- Certificates of deposit
- Customer experience
Overall institution rating
BMO Alto is the online-only banking option that’s part of the BMO Financial Group, which also includes BMO and Bank of the West. BMO Alto’s offering is limited without a checking account or access to branches and ATMs, but rates are highly competitive and the bank doesn’t charge any fees.
Best for: Customers looking to simply stash savings at competitive rates, who prefer to bank online and have a checking account elsewhere.
- No monthly fees.
- Competitive rates on savings account and CDs.
- No minimum opening deposits.
- 24/7 customer service by phone.
- No cash deposit.
- No branch access.
- Must already have another bank account to fund your account.
- No mobile apps.
Deposits are FDIC Insured
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
The BMO Alto Online Savings Account doesn’t have a monthly fee, a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance requirement. On top of that, the high-yield savings account pays a competitive 5.10% annual percentage yield — many times higher than the national average rate of 0.46%.
There’s no limit to the number of transfers and withdrawals you make, which not all banks offer. Without access to ATMs or bank branches, the BMO Alto savings account requires an external bank account to transfer your money to — but that could be a plus if you’re trying to build up your savings.
» See how BMO Alto stacks up: Check our picks for the best high-yield online savings accounts
Certificates of deposit
Deposits are FDIC Insured
5.0/5 NerdWallet rating
BMO Alto offers a simple choice of standard-term certificates of deposit. CDs are available in terms ranging from six months to five years. Rates are highly competitive, and there are no fees and no minimum opening deposit requirements, though you must fund your account within 10 days of opening.
CDs are automatically renewed, so it’s important to withdraw your funds when your CD matures. You’ll have a grace period of 10 days to take action before the bank puts the money in a CD with the same term length as the one that matured.
» COMPARE: See our picks for the current best CD rates
As an online-only bank, BMO Alto doesn’t have any branches. There’s also no mobile app. The bank offers account alerts by email, 24/7 live phone support and FAQs on the website.
The bank also doesn’t offer a checking account or ATM access. The only option for depositing funds is to transfer from another bank, so you must have an external bank account to both fund your account and withdraw from the account. BMO Alto doesn’t limit the number of transfers and withdrawals, which isn’t something all banks allow.
» Also check out BMO Review: Checking, Savings and CDs
How does BMO Alto compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Access Savings
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at SoFi Bank, N.A.
at CIT Bank
NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.