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Bank of Montreal (BMO) Review: Banking, Credit Cards, and More

The Bank of Montreal, more commonly known as BMO, is one of the Big 5 banks in Canada. With operations in Canada and the US, over 12 million people have an account with BMO.

They offer many banking products and services, including chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, and investment products.

If you’re considering opening a BMO bank account, you’ve come to the right place. This BMO review covers everything you need to know about this Canadian bank, including who they are, their offerings, pros and cons, how to apply for an account, and more.

Table of Contents Show

Who is BMO?

Serving more than 12 million customers across Canada and the United States, BMO is the 8th largest bank in North America and the 4th largest bank in Canada.

BMO was founded in 1817 as Montreal Bank, with headquarters in Montreal, Quebec. It was Canada’s first-ever bank. Since 1977, BMO’s operational headquarters and executive offices have been located in Toronto, Ontario.

BMO has over 800 branches and ATMs all across Canada, except Nunavut. They offer an extensive array of bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, investment products, and loans for personal and business use.

While BMO has business credit cards, bank accounts, and more, this review covers its personal products.

BMO Bank Account Offerings

BMO has both chequing and savings accounts. No matter your financial goals, they have an account for you.

BMO Chequing Accounts

BMO bank has 5 different chequing accounts, including the following.

Performance Chequing Account

The Performance Chequing Account is BMO’s most popular bank account, offering unlimited everyday banking transactions for a small monthly fee.

It costs $16.95 per month. The fee is waived when you keep a minimum daily balance of $4,000 in your account.

Features of this chequing account include:

  • An opening cash bonus
  • Unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Unlimited free BMO ATM withdrawals
  • 1 free Canadian non-BMO ATM withdrawal
  • Open a Canadian and US Dollar Savings Account for free
  • Get $40 of a BMO credit card annual fee rebate

Premium Chequing Account

The BMO Premium Chequing Account is ideal for busy people who want to manage their finances easily.

This account costs $30 per month. The fee is waived when you keep a minimum daily closing balance of $6,000. 

It includes more benefits than the Performance account, including:

  • Opening cash bonus
  • Unlimited free transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Unlimited free BMO and non-BMO ATM withdrawals
  • Unlimited worldwide non-BMO ATM withdrawals (savings of up to $5 per withdrawal)
  • Unlimited free global money transfers with BMO Global Money Transfer
  • Get a rebate of up to $150 on the annual fee of any eligible BMO credit card
  • Get the preferred US exchange rate on transfers of up to $5,000 between BMO accounts
  • No monthly fee for overdraft protection
  • Open a Canadian and US Dollar Savings Account for no extra cost
  • Free cheques, money orders, and bank drafts

Plus Chequing Account

BMO’s Plus account is a lower-fee chequing account with limited transactions, ideal for those who don’t make daily transactions or withdrawals.

It includes 25 free transactions per month. After you’ve reached the limit, you’ll pay a fee for additional transactions.

This account costs $11.95 per month, or $0, if you keep a minimum balance of $3,000.

Features of the Plus Chequing Account include:

  • Unlimited, free Interac e-Transfers
  • Opening cash bonus
  • $2 to $5 fee for non-BMO ATM withdrawals
  • Send Global Money Transfers for a fee
  • Standard overdraft protection for a monthly fee
  • Open a Canadian and US Dollar Savings Account for free

Practical Chequing Account

The Practical Account is BMO’s lowest-fee chequing account. It is great for those who only need essential banking features and a few transactions per month.

This account costs $4.00 per month, with no minimum balance to waive the monthly fee.

The Practical Chequing Account features:

  • 12 transactions per month, with each additional transaction costing $1.25
  • Interac e-Transfers included up to your transaction limit
  • $2 to $5 fee for non-BMO ATM withdrawals
  • Send BMO Global Money Transfers for a small fee
  • Get optional overdraft protection for a monthly fee
  • Open a Premium Rate Savings Account for no cost

Air Miles Chequing Account

This chequing account is perfect for avid travellers or those who want to collect Air Miles faster.

It includes unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers for a $16.95 monthly fee, with no option to waive the fee.

With this account, you earn 1 Air Miles Reward Mile for every $30 spent with the debit card, plus 25 bonus Air Miles each month if you have a BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard or the BMO AIR MILES World Mastercard.

The Air Miles Chequing Account comes with features such as:

  • Unlimited, free everyday transactions
  • Unlimited, free Interac e-Transfers
  • A small fee for each non-BMO ATM withdrawal in Canada and the US
  • Optional overdraft protection for a monthly fee
  • Send BMO Global Money Transfers for a small fee
  • Open a Canadian and US Dollar Savings Account for no additional fee

BMO Savings Accounts

BMO offers four personal savings accounts to help you reach your savings goals with competitive interest rates.

Savings Amplifier Account

There is no monthly fee and no minimum balance required to open a Savings Amplifier Account. You get an interest rate above 1%, which is great compared to other big 5 banks.

You get unlimited, no-fee self-serve transfers to other BMO accounts at any time, including at an ATM, via mobile, and online transfers. However, a fee applies when transfers are done at a branch or with a customer service representative.

Plus, you can use the BMO Savings Goals feature on the BMO mobile banking app to keep track of your savings.

Savings Builder Account

The Savings Builder Account is for those who frequently add to their savings and want an amplified interest rate.

This account rewards you with a flat interest rate, no matter the balance. Plus, get a bonus interest rate if you add at least $200 to your account each month.

The bonus interest is eligible on balances up to $250,000.

You can only open one account in your name. It includes one free transfer out of the account, with a fee for each additional transfer out.

Premium Rate Savings Account

The BMO Premium Rate Savings Account is a flexible account that can be opened with a chequing account under the same plan. It gives you the option to save while giving you full access to your money and letting you withdraw it when you need it.

This account pays a base interest rate on all balances. If you include this account with your chequing plan, you’ll only pay one monthly fee.

Transactions are based on your plan limits. You can open one Premium Rate Savings Account with the Practical Plan and 20 accounts with all other plans.

U.S. Dollar Premium Rate Savings Account

This savings account is perfect for those who travel to the United States often and need to hold their US dollars.

If you’re a new BMO customer, you need to sign up for a chequing account first, then add this US Dollar savings account at no extra cost.

This account earns you a base interest rate on every dollar.

You can open one US Dollar savings account with the Practical Plan and 20 accounts with all other plans.

Here’s an overview of the best BMO high-interest savings accounts.

BMO Online Banking

BMO has online banking with a website and mobile banking app. You can manage all your accounts and cards without needing to go to a BMO branch.

With the BMO mobile banking app, you can do all of the following:

  • View all your accounts and eStatements in one place
  • Pay bills and create recurring payments
  • Transfer money between your accounts
  • Deposit cheques
  • Activate your credit card
  • Send and receive money
  • Request money

BMO bank also has a 100% electronic banking guarantee, where they will reimburse you for any unauthorized transactions resulting in losses to your account.

BMO has all the above features and more; however, many customers have complained about poor customer service.

BMO Credit Cards

BMO has an array of credit cards, including cash back, rewards, travel, student, and more.

Cash Back Credit Cards

With the following cash back credit cards, you’ll earn cash back every time you use your card. With some premium credit cards, you can earn an accelerated amount of cash back on certain spending categories, like groceries and transportation.

BMO CashBack Mastercard

BMO Cash Back Mastercard

Good entry-level card for students

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on subscriptions and utilities, and 0.5% on all other purchases.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $15,000

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

BMO Cashback Mastercard

On BMO’s website

  • Earn 3% cash back on groceries ($500 monthly spend cap).
  • Earn 1% cash back on subscriptions and utilities ($500 monthly spend cap).
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on other purchases.
  • Redeem cashback at any time and set an automatic deposit.
  • Get extra cashback for additional cardholders.
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection included.
  • Get up to 25% off car rentals at Alamo and National Car Rental.
  • Save 15% on Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada.

Earn up to 3% cashback

Redeem cashback at any time

Includes extended warranty and purchase protection

No annual fee

Few extra perks included beyond cashback

Cashback rate of 0.5% for most purchases is on low end

$500 monthly spend cap on 1% and 4% cash back categories

The BMO CashBack Mastercard is a good way to earn up to 3% cashback without paying an annual fee. The ability to cash out your cashback at any time and set automatic deposits means no more waiting for your money.

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

Good for travel rewards

Annual fee: $120 (first year free)

Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on groceries. Earn 4% cash back on transit. Earn 3% cash back on gas. Earn 2% cash back on recurring bills. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases and 23.99% for cash advances

Minimum income requirement: $80,000 minimum personal annual income and $150,000 for household income

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

On BMO’s website

  • Earn 5% cash back on groceries (up to $500 monthly spending).
  • Earn 4% cash back on ride-sharing, taxis, or public transportation (up to $300 monthly spending).
  • Earn 3% cash back on gas and EV charging (up to $300 monthly spending).
  • Earn 2% cash back on recurring bills (up to $300 monthly spending).
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem cash back by paying off statement credits, direct deposits into your BMO account, or depositing to your Investorline account.
  • Free access to Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide when travelling through Boingo Wi–Fi.
  • Free roadside assistance.
  • Various travel insurance benefits, including medical and trip cancellation.

Comprehensive travel insurance

Access to a 24/7 concierge

Free roadside assistance (valued at approximately $69 per year)

High income requirements

Caps on spending in every category

The BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard is an excellent card that keeps things simple. Rather than figuring out complicated conversion rates and being restricted to redeeming only on specific categories, this cash back card gives users more control over how their rewards are being spent.

Rewards Credit Cards

With the following BMO rewards credit cards, you can earn rewards points on everyday purchases and redeem them for cash back, travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege

Excellent travel rewards card

Annual fee: $499

Rewards: Earn 5x rewards points for every $1 you spend on dining, groceries, gas, travel, and drugstore purchases. Earn 25% more points on all purchases when you add an additional card user. Receive a $200 annual lifestyle credit.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases and 23.99% for cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents).

Minimum income requirement: $150,000 minimum income and $200,000 household income.

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege

On BMO’s website

  • Earn 5x points on daily purchases, including groceries, dining out and takeouts, gas, travel, and drugstore purchases.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend on anything else.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance coverage included.
  • Visa Infinite Privilege included 6 free airport lounge visits each year, priority airport parking, access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, and more.
  • Mobile Device Insurance is included.
  • Purchases covered by Purchase Security Insurance.
  • Extended Warranty Insurance is included on purchases.
  • $150,000 minimum income and $200,000 household income required.

Earn rewards points for shopping

Packed with premium perks

Includes travel insurance coverage

High minimum income requirement

Expensive annual fee

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege is a premium rewards card. It has a high annual fee and income requirement, but in return, you can earn lots of reward points, especially with the option to earn 5x points bonus in several key categories. It is also packed with premium perks like travel insurance.

Other BMO Rewards credit cards:

BMO Air Miles Credit Cards

BMO Air Miles credit cards are perfect for those who love to travel and earn Air Miles every time they shop. Along with travel rewards, you can redeem Air Miles for cash back, merchandise, events, and more.

The top BMO Air Miles credit cards are:

  • BMO AIR MILES Mastercard
  • BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

BMO Air Miles Mastercard

Entry-level card for Air Miles rewards

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Get 3X Miles on purchases made at Air Miles partners.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $0

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

On BMO’s website

  • Earn 3 Miles for every $25 you spend on purchases made at participating Air Miles partners.
  • Earn 2 Miles for every $25 you spend on eligible grocery purchases.
  • Get a 25% discount on rental cars at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations.
  • Access entertainment benefits like discounted access to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada and resident shows in Las Vegas.
  • Redeem Miles for travel, merchandise, or vouchers. 

No annual fee

Up to 3X Miles on select purchases

Attractive Miles redemption options

High purchase APR at 20.99%

Limited insurance benefits

3X Miles category is fairly restricted

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard makes a travel rewards card accessible for those who want to avoid annual fees. With the ability to earn Miles on high-spend categories, it is a great starter card for frequent travelers.

BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

Best for earning Air Miles rewards

Annual fee: $120

Rewards: Get 3X Miles on purchases made at Air Miles partners.

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 23.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: A minimum annual individual income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000.

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good or better

BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

On BMO’s website

  • Earn 3 Miles for every $12 you spend on everyday purchases made at participating Air Miles partners.
  • Earn 2 Miles for every $12 you spend on eligible grocery purchases.
  • Earn 1 Mile for every $12 you spend on all other purchases using your card.
  • Save with a 25% discount on one flight per calendar year.
  • Enjoy discounted access to airport lounges worldwide.
  • Get a 25% discount on rental cars at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations.
  • Access various travel insurance benefits, including emergency medical, rental car insurance, and more.
  • A minimum annual individual income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000 is required.

Comprehensive travel benefits

Up to 3X Miles on select purchases

Competitive savings on flights

High purchase APR at 20.99%

3X Miles category is fairly restricted

Minimum income requirement may be restrictive

The BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard has a strong travel rewards program in the form of Air Miles without a hefty annual fee. Frequent flyers and travelers are best suited to take advantage of all that this card offers.

Student BMO Credit Cards

BMO offers two credit cards for students, depending on what rewards they’d like: cash back or Air Miles. Both credit cards help students start building a credit history.

  • Student BMO CashBack Mastercard
  • Student BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

Other BMO Credit Cards

BMO also offers three other credit cards that don’t fit into the above categories, including a prepaid card.

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

Best BMO credit card for low-interest

Annual fee: $20

Rewards: Low-interest credit card.

Welcome offer: —

Interest rates: 12.99% for purchases and 15.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $15,000

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

On BMO’s website

  • Low-interest rate of 12.99% for purchases.
  • The $20 annual fee is returned if you have a BMO Performance checking account.
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty included.
  • No fee to add an additional cardholder.
  • Minimum income requirements apply.

Low-interest rate

Low annual fee

Extended warranty included

No other perks included

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is a no-frills credit card that does not come with any additional perks other than extended warranty and purchase protection. However, it offers a very low-interest rate and has a low annual fee of $20, making it tempting for cardholders who carry a balance and want to reduce interest payments or pay off their balances sooner.

BMO Mortgages

Whatever you need a mortgage for, BMO has you covered. They have competitive mortgage rates with a 130-day mortgage rate guarantee, which is the most of any major bank in Canada.

They offer accelerated payment options to help you pay your mortgage faster, as well as knowledgeable mortgage specialists. You can apply for a mortgage and get pre-approved online.

BMO offers three types of mortgages:

Fixed mortgage rates: Your mortgage rate stays the same throughout the entire mortgage term.

Variable mortgage rates: Your mortagage changes with the prime rate. You can pay it off faster if the prime rate drops or change to a fixed rate during your term.

Mortgage + line of credit: As you pay down your mortgage, your line of credit will automatically increase. You can choose a fixed or variable rate mortgage option.

On BMO’s website, you can find a mortgage affordability calculator, mortgage payment calculator, and cash flow calculator to help you see how much you can afford.

BMO Lines of Credit

BMO offers four lines of credit. You can apply for any, based on your needs.

Lines of credit work by applying once to access a certain amount of money. You can borrow any amount up to your credit limit, at any time. You only pay interest on what you borrow, and can continue to borrow from it for as long as you need.

Lines of credit can be used for anything, including an emergency fund, home improvements, or a big life event.

Personal Line of Credit

BMO customers can apply for a personal line of credit for up to $25,000. Once approved, you can use it any time and borrow up to your credit limit.

The minimum monthly payment is 2% of the outstanding balance or $50, whichever is greater.

Homeowner’s Line of Credit

Starting at $5,000, the homeowner’s line of credit lets you borrow up to 65% of your home’s value.

Homeowner ReadiLine

The Homeowner ReadiLine combines both a mortgage and line of credit.

You can borrow up to 80% of your home’s value, which can be split between a line of credit and mortgage.

As you pay off the mortgage, your limit will increase on the line of credit portion. If you only need the mortgage, you can pay back your borrowed amount through regular monthly payments over a period of up to 30 years.

RRSP ReadiLine

The RRSP ReadiLine is an ongoing revolving loan that you can use to add to your annual RRSP contribution.

You only need to apply once, and you can use this line of credit for years.

It is easier to max out your RRSP contributions, as the RRSP ReadiLine interest rate is lower than other BMO loans and lines of credit.

BMO Loans

Loans from BMO work in the same way as any other loan – you apply for a one-time loan, get the exact amount of money you need, then pay it back on a set schedule. You can use BMO loans for almost anything, including debt consolidation, travel, and purchasing a big ticket item.

Personal Loan

BMO’s personal loan is great for virtually anything. It starts at $5,000, and you can defer up to one month’s payment twice a year.

You can pay back your loan in weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly installments from one to 5 years.

If you use your personal assets to secure your loan, you may get a lower interest rate. BMO also gives you a choice between a fixed or variable interest rate.

Here are some of the best personal loans in Canada.

Home Equity Loan

Borrow up to 80% of your home’s value with the BMO home equity loan. This is also known as a second mortgage.

It is a one-time loan that starts at $10,000, and you can borrow up to 80% of the value of your home.

You can pay off the loan in monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly payments over a period of 1 to 25 years.

Retro-Activator RRSP Loan

This one-time loan is ideal for those with unused room in their RRSP who want to maximize their contribution. You can borrow from $7,500 with a fixed or variable interest rate.

With this loan, you can invest in mutual funds, GICs, stocks, or open a savings account.

There are no prepayment charges, so you can pay down your balance faster with the money you get from your tax return.

Depending on the loan amount, you can pay it back in installments for up to 15 years.

Car Loan

Ideal for those who want to buy a car, the BMO car loan is available directly through your dealership.

You can choose between fixed and variable interest rates, with monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly payments.

You can take up to 8 years to pay off the loan, and can defer one month’s payment twice a year.

Here are current car loan rates from online lenders.

Student Borrowing

There’s no doubt that college or university tuition is expensive. BMO can help students pay for school with a line of credit, specialized for their program.

Student Line of Credit

Apply once, and you’re covered for up to 4 years. You can borrow up to $20,000 per year, up to a maximum of $80,000 for 4 years.

BMO offers low, competitive interest rates with no monthly or annual fees.

Students can take advantage of interest-only payments while they’re in school, plus two years after graduation.

To be eligible, you must be a part-time or full-time student enrolled in a diploma or certificate program in a post-secondary school, and be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

Students must have a co-signer, or they will not be eligible for the line of credit.

Professional Student Line of Credit

The Professional Student Line of Credit is for students enrolled in an accredited professional education program, such as law, MBA, engineering, or pharmacy.

This line of credit covers students for the length of their program. They can borrow up to $90,000 in total for most programs up to 4 years. MBA students can borrow up to $150,000.

Students can enjoy a variable low-interest rate, based on BMO’s prime rate. Interest is only paid on the amount borrowed, and there are no annual or monthly fees.

Students can pay just the interest during their program and for 2 years after graduation.

Medical or Dental Student Line of Credit

Medical or dental students can borrow a higher amount of money to help pay for their tuition.

You can access up to $95,000 in the first year, and borrow up to $350,000 in total. This line of credit is continued during specialty studies or residency.

Students can take advantage of lower interest rates, and they only pay interest on what they borrow for the time they are in school and for 2 years after graduation.

Only students who are enrolled in an accredited dental program or medical program leading to an MD degree are eligible for this line of credit.

BMO Investment Accounts

BMO offers registered, non-registered, locked-in, and corporate investment accounts to suit your needs.

Registered Accounts

BMO offers the following investment accounts that are registered with the federal government, and have tax incentives with contribution limits: TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, and RDSP.

Non-Registered Accounts

With non-registered accounts, you can contribute and withdraw however much money you’d like, whenever you’d like to. You can open a joint or individual account.

Cash Account

BMO offers a cash account that can hold investments, such as capital gains, interest, and dividends. Keep in mind that they are taxed every year. This cash account is perfect for those who have maxed out their registered accounts and want to invest in the short- or long-term.

Margin Account

BMO also offers customers a margin account, where investors can borrow money to purchase securities. This account is ideal for experienced investors who want to take risks in the short term.

Related: Best RRIF investments and best RRSP investments.

BMO Online Investing

For those who want to invest themselves, online with advice, or with their portfolio managed by a professional, BMO offers three types of online investing.

InvestorLine Self-Directed

Ideal for those who want to be in control of the entire investment process, BMO Self-Directed is easy to use. You can invest in ETFs, GICs, stocks, bonds, and options.

You get commission-free trading on some of Canada’s most popular ETFs, access to easy-to-use analysis tools, and free trading tutorials for all levels of investors.

You pay one flat-rate fee per trade, and get access to support, real-time alerts, performance tracking, and more.

BMO Advice Direct

BMO Advice Direct is ideal for those who want to trade themselves, with advisor support and built-in advice backed by experts.

You can invest in mutual funds, stocks, bonds, GICs, and ETFs with pricing based on the size of your portfolio. A $10,000 minimum account size applies.

You get personalized advice and guidelines, as well as easy-to-follow trading recommendations.

BMO SmartFolio

BMO SmartFolio is a low-fee, professionally managed portfolio that you can check in on anytime online. You get total transparency about your progress, fees, and performance.

You can only invest in ETFs, and pricing is based on the size of your portfolio. You must have a minimum balance of at least $1,000.

BMO Investment Products

BMO offers investment products for every investor, no matter your level of risk. They have short-, medium- and long-term investment products, including GICs, mutual funds, bonds, stocks, and ETFs.

BMO Insurance Offerings

Creditor Insurance

BMO offers optional creditor insurance for those to manage their finances and be prepared for the unexpected. It can help to pay or reduce your debt if you have a disability, critical illness, loss of life, or lose your job.

Two types of creditor insurance are available for mortgages, loans, and lines of credit: balance protection and payment protection.

Travel Insurance

BMO has two types of travel insurance: multi-trip travel plans and single-trip travel plans. You can insure yourself, your family, and your personal belongings with one of 5 travel insurance plans.

Is BMO safe?

BMO is a safe and secure bank. They keep all your private information and banking details protected across their banking platforms (online banking, the mobile app, and ATM banking).

BMO has a Financial Crimes Unit, with world-class expertise in fraud, cyber security, and physical security, along with crisis management teams to prevent and respond to security threats.

Security features include:

  • Global scale operations
  • Managing security threats 24/7
  • The use of leading security technology
  • Strong internal controls such as security software and firewalls

BMO goes the extra mile and offers free security software available to download, including Verfied.Me, OnGuard, and IBM Trusteer Rapport.

Pros and Cons of Banking With BMO

Pros

BMO offers many different chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment options. No matter your financial situation, you are sure to find something that works for you.

Most BMO chequing and savings accounts offer free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers, which allows you to transfer money through email within seconds.

BMO has a large network of branches and ATMs throughout Canada, so wherever you are, there is likely a BMO branch or ATM near you (with the exception of Nunavut).

If you are a senior or a student, there are many discounts and deals for BMO bank accounts and credit cards.

Cons

Some customers have complained about BMO’s customer service, saying that they were on the phone with BMO for hours at a time. They are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and they have an average rating of 1.2 with over 600 reviews.

Most of BMO’s bank accounts have a monthly fee which is only waived if you keep a minimum daily closing balance – something that not everyone can do.

BMO’s interest rates are not very high compared to other online banks like EQ Bank. However, they offer free savings account alongside their chequing accounts.

How to Apply for a BMO Bank Account

You can open a BMO chequing or savings account online, or visit a branch near you.

To apply online, you’ll need to submit an application that takes about 7 minutes. You’ll need a Canadian address and a social insurance number to speed up the process and avoid going into a branch.

Generally, you’ll need to be at least 13 years old to open an account, or 18 years old for a student account.

Other Banks Like BMO in Canada

The other four banks that are part of the Big 5 include Scotiabank, RBC, TD, and CIBC.

Scotiabank

The Bank of Nova Scotia, operating as Scotiabank, is a multinational Canadian bank with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. They serve over 24 million customers worldwide.

Scotiabank offers chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, lines of credit, investment products, and insurance. They also partnered with Scene+ to offer debit and credit cards that earn you Scene+ points rewards.

RBC

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the largest bank in Canada by market capitalization, serving over 17 million customers.

RBC product offerings include chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, and investments. Their rewards program, Avion Rewards, lets you earn and redeem Avion points for travel rewards and more.

TD

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Canada Trust) is a Canadian bank with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. The bank and its subsidiaries serve over 26 million customers worldwide and 11 million in Canada.

Their products and services include banking, credit cards, mortgages, investing, and small business support.

CIBC

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is one of two Big 5 banks founded in Toronto, Ontario. They have international operations in the US, UK, Asia, and the Caribbean, serving more than 11 million customers worldwide.

CIBC has four divisions: personal, commercial, business, and wealth. Their personal banking products include bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, lending, mortgages, and insurance.

Conclusion – Should You Open a BMO Account?

BMO is one of the big 5 banks in Canada and one of the most highly-rated banks in the country. There are many options for chequing and savings accounts, over a dozen different credit cards, loans, lines of credit, mortgages, and different investment options.

If you’re looking to open a bank account for multiple purposes, such as a chequing and savings account, plus apply for a credit card, BMO is a great option.

However, if you’re looking for lower fees and higher interest rates on a chequing or savings account, you may want to consider an online bank like Tangerine or EQ Bank, as they offer no-fee accounts with higher interest paid on your balance.

FAQs

What is BMO’s minimum balance?

BMO’s chequing accounts require a minimum balance of $3,000 to $6,000 (depending on the account) to waive the monthly fee. BMO’s savings accounts do not have a minimum balance requirement.

What do you need to open a bank account at BMO?

To open a BMO bank account, you’ll need to provide a piece of government-issued photo ID, along with documents showing your name and address or date of birth (if the photo ID does not contain it). You will also need to confirm your tax status and provide your SIN if you are a Canadian taxpayer.

What is BMO known for?

BMO is known for their plethora of rewards, travel, and cash back credit cards, along with its bank accounts and investment products. They are one of the Big 5 banks in Canada, providing accounts and banking products to more than 12 million customers.

Is BMO American or Canadian?

BMO is a Canadian bank that was founded in Montreal, Quebec. Though they serve customers in the United States, BMO is a Canadian company.

How is BMO different from other banks?

BMO offers services in 3 sectors: personal and business banking, investment banking, and wealth management. They serve more than 12 million customers and offer many types of credit cards, banking, and investment products.

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Author

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Brianna Harrison

Brianna is a writer from Toronto, Canada, specializing in the personal finance and tech niche. She has been writing, editing, and proofreading for over 5 years as a freelancer, and her writing has been featured in The Globe and Mail. She loves to travel, meet new people, and discover new places. When she’s not writing or travelling, Brianna likes to bake, decorate cakes, and even ran her own custom cake business.

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