If you are looking for a full-service bank that comes with mobile access and a wide selection of banking products and services, then, this BMO Harris Bank review is perfect for you.
In an article entitled, The Mobile Banking and Payment Revolution, which was written by Sunil Gupta, the Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration and co-chair of the executive program on Driving Digital Strategy at Harvard Business School, it says that mobile technology has revolutionized the global banking and payment industry.
He further states that it offers new opportunities to banking institutions to provide added convenience to their customers. In the said article, it says that mobile penetration in the United States as well as in France is 105%.
Meanwhile, data by Statista says that as of 2018, the total number of mobile banking users in the United States is 57 million, and the number is expected to increase further as years go by.
In fact, according to Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) as reported in a CNBC article, there was a 200% jump in mobile banking registrations in early April of 2020, which was the peak of the pandemic in the country.
Furthermore, mobile banking traffic increased to 85%, definitely higher as compared to previous years. This was not surprising at all, though, since a lot of bank branches had to close, and tellers were not available for health and safety reasons.
While 2020 was a challenging year for almost all industries, it was in a way a game-changer for the banking industry per se.
It was then that banks had to step up and ensure they are able to cater to the needs of their customers – whether it be in-person or online.
It was also during that time that a lot of people realized the value of having a bank that does not only provide a traditional banking experience but a great online banking experience as well.
One of the banks that actually offers both ways before the pandemic hit the world is BMO Harris Bank.
In this BMO Harris Bank review, we are going to tell you more about what to expect in this full-service bank, and what makes it a good banking option.
In the next few sections, we are going to particularly tackle the following:
- What is BMO Harris Bank?
- Who is BMO Harris Bank best for?
- What are the products offered by BMO Harris Bank?
- How to bank with BMO Harris Bank?
- Is BMO Harris Bank safe?
- What to like about BMO Harris Bank?
- What not to like about BMO Harris Bank?
WHAT IS BMO HARRIS BANK?
First of all, we are going to share with you key facts you need to know about BMO Harries Bank. This provides you a picture of what the bank is all about and where it stands out as compared to other banks of the same kind.
So, with that said, here’s what you should know about the BMO Harris bank —
BMO Harris Bank is a full-service financial entity that runs over 500 brick-and-mortar locations across eight states. It is a subsidiary of Canada’s Bank of Montreal, with U.S. headquarters located in Chicago.
Founded over 130 years ago, BMO Harris Bank is currently in the eighth spot among the largest banks by assets in North America. The bank boasts having over 12 million customers to date.
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BMO Harris Bank offers a wide selection of banking products and services including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CD), IRAs, as well as other investing and loan options. Needless to say, providing customers with a large ATM network of over 40,000 nationwide.
Moreover, the bank offers a high-yield money market account, while its checking accounts are generally affordable and provides several options to waive fees.
Adapting to the needs of its customers, and providing better banking services, BMO Harris Bank comes with a mobile banking application that provides some distinct features such as a service that links all your accounts, including non-BMO ones, to give you a full picture of your current financial situation.
Furthermore, the mobile app also allows its users to withdraw money from some BMO Harris ATMs even without their physical debit cards.
WHO IS BMO HARRIS BANK BEST FOR?
Obviously, in this section of our BMO Harris review, we are going to talk about who is the bank best for.
Generally, BMO Harris Bank should appeal to customers who want a Midwest-based bank that offers a wide variety of banking products and services.
As mentioned in the previous section, BMO Harris is a full-service banking institution making it an ideal choice for those who want to manage all their finances in just one bank.
Furthermore, BMO Harris Bank is a good choice for clients who are looking for competitive money market account, as well as multiple checking account options.
Since the bank offers over 40,000 ATM networks, this should also appeal to those who want easy access to cash.
BMO Harris Bank has brick-and-mortar locations, and it is also accessible through its mobile banking app. Thus, making it appealing to those who want to have access to both.
WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY BMO HARRIS BANK?
Similar to other full-service banks, BMO Harries had everything you need financially. Apart from traditional checking and savings accounts, the bank offers personal loans, wealth management services, mortgages, retirement and investment accounts, as well as business and commercial banking.
BMO Harris has over 500 physical branches located in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, and Wisconsin. Needless to say, the bank has over 40,000 ATMs, allowing customers to withdraw their money anytime.
Now, for the purpose of this BMO Harris review, we are going to focus only on its deposit product offerings such as checking and savings accounts, as well as money market and certificate of deposit accounts.
BMO Harris Bank offers three different types of checking accounts. These are:
Smart Advantage Checking
This checking account type is the most popular among all of the bank’s checking account offerings.
The Smart Advantage checking account requires no monthly maintenance fees as well as ATM fees. While electronic statements are free, if you prefer receiving a paper statement, you may do so for a fee of $2 per month.
Smart Advantage checking account comes with a debit MasterCard, which enables the account holder to withdraw money from the bank’s large ATM network.
To open a Smart Advantage checking account, BMO Harris only requires a minimum of $25 opening deposit, which is definitely lower as compared to other banks.
The only downside of this account type is that it does not earn any interest.
Smart Money Checking
Unlike Smart Advantage, the Smart Money checking account comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $5. This fee is waived only if the account holder is 25 years old and below.
Additionally, Smart Money checking account is free from overdraft fees or non-sufficient fund fees. Basically, this is because customers can only spend the funds available in the account.
Similarly, Smart Money checking account electronic statements are free. However, if you opt for a paper statement, this costs a $2 fee.
Also, this checking account type comes with a debit MasterCard and can be used in over 40,000 ATMs.
To open a Smart Money checking account, the bank requires a minimum of $25 initial deposit. This account type does not earn interest, as well.
Of all the three checking account types offered by BMO Harris Bank, Premier checking is the only one that bears interest.
With Premier checking, all account balances earn interest. However, you need to have a minimum of $25,000 in your account to earn the highest interest rate, which currently is 0.10% APY.
The Premier checking account comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $25. However, this can be waived only if you meet any of the following requirements:
- Maintain a $10,000 minimum daily balance
- Has $25,000 in combined BMO Harris accounts
- Has a BMO Harries investment account
Similar to other checking account types, this also comes with a debit MasterCard. More so, it also offers up to a $25 rebate monthly on out-of-network ATM fees. Fees are also waived on cashier’s checks and money orders.
Overdraft fee can be waived if you set it up by linking your savings account, MMA, or other checking accounts. The fee is $36 for every overdraft over $5 with a maximum of four overdrafts per day. Additionally, a $10 fee is charged for transferring funds to cover the overdraft.
To open a Premier checking account, the minimum initial requirement is also $25.
BMO Harris Bank only has one savings account option. This is the one they call the Statement Savings.
Similar to the bank’s checking account options, BMO Harris only requires at least a $25 initial deposit.
Unlike other savings account offerings from other banks, the Statement Savings only offers a 0.05% interest rate, which is below the national savings account average rate.
The savings account also comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $5, which can be waived for account owners who are 25 years old and below, or those who are keeping a minimum daily ledger balance of $100 for the month.
Money Market Accounts
If you want to earn a competitive interest rate, one of the ways to achieve that is by opening BMO Harris’s Platinum Money Market account.
Currently, account balances between $5,000 and $999,999.99 earns 0.95% annual percentage yield (APY), while balances that range $1,000 or more earn 0.75% APY.
While it requires a minimum opening deposit of $5,000, the account does not have an ongoing balance requirement.
Unlike the previous account types, the Platinum Money Market account does not charge a monthly maintenance fee. Furthermore, it comes with check-writing privileges.
Generally, the Platinum money market account is ideal for people who want to keep an emergency fund.
Certificate of Deposit (CD) Accounts
BMO Harris Bank offers two kinds of certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. These are Standard CD and Add-On CD accounts.
When it comes to interest earned, it is handled similarly with the two account types. For CD terms below 12 months, the interest is compounded daily and credited at maturity. Meanwhile, for CDs 12 months or greater, the interest is compounded on a daily basis and is credited to the CD account quarterly.
Now, to understand the difference between the two-CD account types here’s a brief explanation of each:
This CD account type features terms from three to 60 months. It has an option for one-month and two-month CDs for balances of at least $100,000.
Standard CDs have tiered fixed rates depending on the term as well as the account balance. Rates vary from 0.05% for 1 month CD term up to 0.70% for 60 months CD term. Occasionally, the bank offers special rates for certain term lengths.
The minimum balance requirement for this CD type is $1,000.
As the name of the product suggests, this allows account holders to add more funds to their CD account after opening.
Unlike the other CD type, Add-On only has a one-year CD term, which at the moment earns 0.30% APY.
Similarly, the bank requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open an Add-On CD account.
For both CD types, the bank charges an early withdrawal fee of up to 545 days interest if you opt to withdraw your money prior to its maturity date.
HOW TO BANK WITH BMO HARRIS BANK?
This part of our BMO Harris review will focus on how to actually bank with BMO Harris.
What’s nice about BMO Harris is that the bank pairs some of the best in-person banking features with its digital banking functionality.
To open an account with BMO Harries, customers have the option to either visit any of the banks’ over 500 branches located in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, and Wisconsin or do it online via its website.
Similar to any other financial institution out there, BMO Harris Bank requires all new customers to provide some personal information including their name, address, phone number, and Social Security number. Additionally, government-issued identification such as a passport and driver’s license is also required.
As already mentioned, BMO Harris has over 40,000 fee-free ATMs where customers can access cash.
For those who prefer mobile or online banking, BMO Harris Bank provides digital banking services so you can access your account anytime and anywhere.
The bank’s mobile app is highly-rated in both App Store and Google Play.
Using the mobile app, customers are able to enjoy the following features:
- Mobile cash withdrawals in most of the bank’s ATMs
- Mobile check deposit
- Bill Pay
- Total Look account management
- Apple Pay and Zelle integration
If you have any concerns, you may contact someone at BMO Harris’s call center, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
IS BMO HARRIS BANK SAFE?
Of course, we made sure to also look into the bank’s digital platforms’ safety and security features.
As mentioned, you can access your BMO Harris Bank account either through the website or the mobile app.
Having been in the banking industry for more than 130 years, BMO Harris surely knows how to keep its customers’ personal data and accounts safe and secured.
The bank uses bank-grade encryption to ensure all accounts and personal data are free from possible fraud or identity theft.
Additionally, BMO Harris Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means all deposits are insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, per account category in case the bank fails.
WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT BMO HARRIS BANK?
In this section, we are going to give you a list of the things that really stand out about BMO Harris Bank, and the list includes the following:
- Several Product Offerings – BMO Harris is a full-service bank. Thus expect to find a wide variety of banking products and services. Not only does it offer traditional checking and savings accounts, but that it also offers personal loans, wealth management services, mortgages, retirement and investment accounts, as well as business and commercial banking.
- Inexpensive Checking Accounts – For only $25, you can easily open a checking account of your type.
- Waivable Monthly Maintenance Fee – For most of its products, the bank charges a monthly maintenance fee. However, the fee is waived if you meet certain requirements.
- Competitive Rates for Money Market Accounts – Of all the deposit products offered by BMO Harris Bank, the best in terms of rates would be Money Market. It definitely offers one of the best rates out there.
- Large Fee-Free ATM Network – The bank has over 40,000 ATMs free of charge.
- Physical Branches – Apart from providing a highly-rated mobile application, as well as online access, the bank has over 500 physical branches in select states.
WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT BMO HARRIS BANK?
While there are a lot of things to like about BMO Harris Bank, it sure does have its share of downsides as well, and this includes the following:
- Low-Interest Savings Account – Unlike other banks of the same type, BMO Harris Bank’s savings account is not that appealing. It offers a low-interest rate. In fact, below the national average for savings accounts even.
- Limited Branches – Although we like the fact that BMO Harris Bank does have physical branch locations, it is limited to eight states only. It would be nice, though, if they could have more and eventually be present across all 50 states.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BMO HARRIS BANK REVIEW
BMO Harris is a full-service bank that offers a wide selection of banking products and services. It comes with over 500 physical branches across eight states and provides access to over 40,000 ATMs.
While it does have a few downsides, the good things that it provides overshadow them.
Setting the not-so-good things about the bank, would you consider opening an account with BMO Harris?