BMO Review: Savings and Mobile Banking You Can Count On

GOBankingRates Score

GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: BMO is a great choice for customers who want a straightforward approach to banking. A solid selection of products, dependable savings account options and a customer-favorite mobile app are just some of the features that make it one of GOBankingRates' Top Banks of 2023.
  • Checking Account
  • Savings Account
  • CD Account
  • Banking Experience
How did we calculate this?


  • Large ATM network
  • Competitive savings rates
  • No or low fees on standard accounts


  • High overdraft fees
  • Low rates on money market accounts
  • Limited U.S. branches

BMO Overview

BMO Financial Corp. is the U.S. holding company of the Bank of Montreal, North America’s eighth-largest bank. Founded in 1817, BMO has been helping customers make real financial progress for more than 200 years. BMO operates under BMO Financial Corp.

Headquartered in Chicago, BMO has over 500 branches located in the following eight states: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. Customers also can bank online, by phone, in a branch or via a network of over 40,000 ATMs. As a Member FDIC, enjoy peace of mind knowing your money is safe and secure with FDIC deposit insurance.

Checking, savings, money market and certificates of deposit all extend beyond the basics to include investment products such as individual retirement accounts, savings accounts and CDs. GOBankingRates has ranked BMO as one of its Best Savings Accounts and one of the Top Banks of 2023.

Key Features

Checking Accounts

BMO gives you three checking accounts to choose from. Here are the details for each one.

BMO Smart Advantage Checking

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Minimum opening deposit is only $25
  • Unlimited transactions, including withdrawing money, with more for free with more ATMs than the next two largest banks combined; transactions outside the extensive network cost $3
  • BMO digital banking access allows you to manage your account, make mobile check deposits, pay bills and transfer money all from your PC or mobile device
  • $15 overdraft fees, but you can opt for overdraft services to avoid those hefty fees.

BMO Smart Money Checking

  • $5 monthly fee unless you are under 25, in which case fee is waived
  • No overdraft fees as the bank returns items that would cause your account to overdraw and won’t allow you to complete transactions with your debit card that exceed your balance, including ATM withdrawals
  • Unlimited transactions, including withdrawing money, for free at over 40,000 in-network ATMs across the U.S.; transactions outside the extensive network cost $3 each
  • Low opening deposit of just $25
  • BMO digital banking access allows you to manage your account, make mobile check deposits, pay bills and transfer money all from your PC or mobile device

BMO Relationship Checking

  • Silver, Gold, Platinum and Elite account options offer tiered benefits and discounts for account holders who tend to maintain much higher balances
  • Monthly account fee is $25, but waived if you meet the requirements
  • Interest on checking account balances
  • Unlimited free non-network ATM transactions
  • Up to $25 per month in ATM surcharge rebate fees from owners or operators of non-network ATM machines
  • Free incoming wire transfers and outgoing wire fees will be rebated up to $90 a month depending on your tier + free or discounted safe deposit boxes
  • The Premier account also comes with all of the standard account benefits offered with the bank’s other checking options
  • Eligible for a Money Market interest rate bonuses depending on your tier
  • Can earn a credit card spend bonus up to $75 a month depending on your tier
  • May be eligible for lending discounts on mortgage, home equity, and auto

Business Checking Accounts

BMO offers six business checking accounts catering to many different sizes of companies and businesses. For example, if you’re a solo company owner and looking for something straightforward, you might select the BMO Simple Business Checking Account, which allows for 100 transactions each month at no charge. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the Business Checking Analyzed account, which can be used to manage larger balances and handle more complex transactions.

Savings Account

You’ll find just one regular savings account at BMO, but that is enough to get it ranked by GOBankingRates as one of the Best Savings Accounts of 2023. BMO’s Savings Builder account requires a $25 deposit to open, which is in line with what its other accounts require. However, the account doesn’t carry a monthly maintenance fee, which means your savings balance will add up faster.

Plus, the account has an automated saving feature that allows you to set up recurring transfers from a BMO checking account. You can also access your money whenever you like with no transaction limits. And, while there’s no monthly minimum deposit required, for the first year you’ll receive a $5 bonus every month you deposit at least $200, which means you could earn an extra $60 just for saving.

There are a few drawbacks. If you close your account within 90 days of opening, you’ll face a $50 fee. Statements are sent quarterly rather than monthly.

Money Market Account

The Relationship Plus Money Market account is BMO’s only money market account, but it should serve the needs of most customers. It comes with all of the standard features of BMO’s other accounts. Although there is a minimum deposit of $25 to open the account, there’s no minimum balance requirement. A $10 monthly maintenance fee can be waived with a $5,000 minimum daily balance.

The base APY for this account is rather low, but you can earn a higher rate with one of the BMO Relationship Packages, which require a quarterly combined balance of at least $25,000 across all eligible deposit accounts. If you aren’t able to maintain the $5,000 minimum daily balance, you may want to shop elsewhere for a money market account because you’ll end up paying $120 per year in maintenance fees.

CD Accounts

Certificates of deposit are considered no-risk investments with guaranteed returns. Two CD products are available through BMO. The standard CD has an opening deposit requirement of $1,000 and terms of three to 60 months. The bank also offers CD specials with a minimum deposit of $1,000 and terms from 13 to 59 months. With the bank’s CD specials, you’ll likely find more competitive rates than offered with the standard CD, but the deposit minimums are higher.

Banking Experience

With its excellent mobile and digital banking capabilities, BMO makes it easy to take care of banking tasks without visiting a branch. Plus, the bank offers various account options with low opening deposits and easy options to waive monthly fees.

Although BMO offers straightforward banking, it does offer more than just a basic slate of products. It has three checking account options, one savings account, one money market account, standard CDs and CD specials. Additionally, it offers IRA certificates of deposit and IRA retirement savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans and lines of credit — plus, you can become a Premier Services customer if you prefer financial assistance and guidance from banking and investment experts. Having access to all of these products under one roof, so to speak, makes it possible to use this bank for all of your lending, financial advice and deposit needs.

Mobile and Digital Experience

With BMO, you can sign up for online banking to access a full suite of digital tools to help you manage your money anywhere, any time. Pay bills, manage your BMO accounts and your accounts at other banks and view statements. You also can send and receive money via Zelle and make transfers between BMO accounts and external accounts — free of charge.

The mobile app, available from Google Play and the Apple Store, adds additional functionality to online banking. You can deposit checks and manage alerts so you always know what’s happening with your account. Touch and face ID keep your accounts secure, and you can create a four-digit PIN for instant access to the information you use most. The app has high ratings, which bodes well for functionality. Users rate the app 4.6 stars on Google Play and rate it 4.8 stars on the App Store.

Comparable Banking Options

Here’s how BMO measures up to its competitors, so you can get a better idea of whether it’s the bank for you. 

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has a wider range of services than BMO, and some of its products are slightly more modern. Its mobile app, which has a virtual assistant — the mobile banking version of Siri and Alexa — is a case in point. Unfortunately, the bells and whistles don’t extend to its customer service. Whereas BMO puts its contact methods front and center, you’ll have to dig to get the same information from the U.S. Bank website.

Chase Bank

Chase checks just about every box when it comes to full-service banking. Its relationship banking program is especially impressive for the sheer volume of perks it offers well-heeled customers. BMO’s version, Premier Services, can’t compete point for point, but its more down-to-Earth approach might be a better fit for customers who want robust but uncomplicated wealth-building solutions.

Fifth Third Bank

In addition to extensive banking and investing solutions that compete with the largest banks, Fifth Third Bank offers a comprehensive range of insurance products the other banks listed here don’t have. However, it bears repeating that more isn’t always better. BMO provides a more straightforward approach to helping customers manage their finances.

Final Take

BMO is best for anyone who wants a full-service bank with a solid selection of accounts that offer the ability to waive fees. It also makes sense for people who want to open several accounts at once without having to deposit large amounts. 

More on BMO

Compare to Other Banks


Here are answers to some of BMO's more commonly asked questions.
  • Is BMO a reputable bank?
    • BMO is a subsidiary of Canada's Bank of Montreal and all accounts are FDIC-insured.
  • How does BMO rank?
    • BMO was ranked among the Top Banks and Best Savings Accounts by GOBankingRates for 2023.
  • Why is BMO the best bank?
    • BMO has competitive APYs, a highly rated mobile app, savings account benefits and a large network of ATMs
  • Does BMO have free checking?
    • Yes. The Smart Advantage Checking account is fee-free when you request paperless statements.
  • What does BMO stand for?
    • BMO stands for Bank of Montreal.

Daria Uhlig, Cynthia Measom and Melanie Grafil contributed to the reporting for this article.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

Methodology: To discover the Top Banks, GOBankingRates looked at the top national institutions (excluding credit unions) with over $100 billion in total assets. To determine rankings, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) checking product minimum deposit; (2) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (3) savings product minimum deposit; (4) savings product APY; (5) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (6) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (3) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighted 2.5 times, and factor (6) was weighted 1.5 times.  

Methodology: To determine rankings for the Best Savings Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding online, neobanks and credit unions): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) monthly savings fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) minimum balance needed in account to earn APY; (6) savings APY; and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (2) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighed 1.5 times and factor (6) was weighted 3 times. 

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of July 21, 2022.

Is this your bank?

Stay Up to Date on the Latest From Your Bank

Keep a good thing going with top financial tips and advice from GOBankingRates.

Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

Thank You For Signing Up!

Get ready to receive top financial tips from the experts at GOBankingRates.

Take Advantage of our Best Offer(s)


See Today's Best
Banking Offers