WealthRocket is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the website, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) Review 2023

padlock icon

Why you can trust us

The team at WealthRocket only recommends products and services that we would use ourselves and that we believe will provide value to our readers. However, we advocate for you to continue to do your own research and make educated decisions.

Selecting your ideal bank can seem like an overwhelming task. You want to be sure you’re handing your money over to an institution you can trust, as well as one with competitively priced services.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a comprehensive look at the Bank of Montreal (BMO) for a deep-dive into the chequing and savings account options, their best credit cards, as well as their investment and mortgage opportunities. Read on for our Bank of Montreal review below.

BMO’s chequing accounts

BMO Performance Chequing Account

The BMO Performance Chequing Account is a great option for those looking for unlimited transfers without breaking the bank.

This account comes in at $16.95 a month, or is available free of charge with a $4,000 minimum monthly balance. Until October 31st, 2023, BMO is offering up to a $450 sign up bonus when you sign up for a Performance Account, as well as a 5.25% promotional interest rate for 120 days when you add a Savings Amplifier Account.

The account includes unlimited transactions and Interac e-transfers, making this a solid option for those with intermediate banking needs.

The BMO Performance Chequing Account is also available as a Family Bundle, allowing you to include additional family members onto the plan, free of charge.

BMO Premium Chequing Account

One of BMO’s premium banking products, the BMO Premium Chequing Account offers users a wider choice of options and also carries a heftier monthly fee.

The account charges a $30 monthly fee (waived if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $6,000), and new users can earn up to $1,200 in value when signing up. The signup bonus includes a $400 welcome bonus and a 4% promotional interest plan for 120 days when you bundle the Premium Account with a Savings Amplifier Account and sign up before September 30th, 2023.

If you’re a frequent traveller, you can take advantage of the no-fee BMO Premium ATM withdrawals worldwide, which can save you up to $5 per transaction. You’ll also receive no-fee Global Money Transfers and preferred U.S. currency exchange rates.

BMO Plus Chequing Account

Our BMO review shows that the BMO Plus Chequing Account is a great option for those seeking a low fee chequing account that doesn’t skimp on the benefits.

BMO Plus users receive 25 free transactions a month, as well as unlimited Interac e-Transfers. Users are charged $11.95 a month, which is waived if you have a $3,000 monthly minimum account balance. BMO is offering a $100 welcome bonus cash offer if you apply by July 3rd, 2023, with the Plus account to help sweeten the deal.

The BMO Plus Chequing Account is suitable for the most casual banking needs, making this a sensible choice for many users.

BMO Air Miles Chequing Account

Yes, I believe you receive one “mile” and each mile can be put towards travel purchases.

There aren’t any bells and whistles associated with the BMO Air Miles chequing account; this is strictly for Air Miles users who want to maximize their points for day-to-day banking needs.

If you’re looking to save up Air Miles for an upcoming trip, the BMO Air Miles card will help you get to your next destination even faster.

You’ll earn 1 Air Miles reward mile for every $30 you spend with your BMO debit card, and also receive unlimited transactions and unlimited Interac e-Transfers. Each Air Mile can be put toward travel purchases with the Air Miles rewards program. The monthly fee is $16.95, with no minimum account balance required.

BMO Practical Account

If your banking needs are minimal and you’re looking to save some money each month, BMO’s Practical Chequing Account may do the trick.

At just $4 a month, the BMO Practical Account provides 12 free transactions per month, with additional transactions running $1.25 each. The account also includes unlimited Interac e-Transfers. ATM withdrawals from non-BMO machines will set you back $2 each in Canada, and $5 each in the U.S.

If you only require a few transactions per month, the BMO Practical Chequing Account is a no-fuss option that will save you some extra money each month.

BMO accounts for students, newcomers, and seniors

Students, newcomers to Canada, and seniors can often receive preferential rates when opening a chequing account with BMO.

Youth 18 and under, seniors 60 and over, and students of any age can have the monthly free waived on certain BMO chequing accounts.

New permanent residents to Canada and foreign workers (within their first five years in Canada) can take advantage of BMO’s NewStart program. The program waives monthly account fees for the first year, offers a Family Bundle plan, as well as the ability to earn up to $400 (subject to criteria).

Performance Premium Plus Air Miles Practical
Monthly fees $16.95 or free with a $4,000 minimum monthly balance $30.00 or free with a $6,000 minimum monthly balance $11.95 or free with a $3,000 minimum monthly balance $16.95 $4.00
Sign up bonus Earn up to $400 + 4% promotional interest rate for 120 days Earn up to $400 + 4% promotional interest rate for 120 days Earn up to $100 bonus N/A N/A
Features Add accounts for family members for free and up to $40 off eligible BMO credit cards Add accounts for family members for free and up to $150 off eligible BMO credit cards. Preferred U.S. exchange rate. 25 free BMO transactions per month and free Interac e-Transfers. Earn 1 Air Mile per $30 spent on your debit card and unlimited transactions. Unlimited Interac e-Transfers
Minimum balance None, but $4,000 minimum monthly balance to waive the monthly fee None, but $6,000 minimum monthly balance to waive the monthly fee None, but $3,000 minimum monthly balance to waive the monthly fee None None
Monthly transactions Unlimited Unlimited 25 per month Unlimited 12 per month

BMO’s savings accounts

BMO Savings Amplifier Account

If you’re looking to ramp up your savings for an upcoming trip or for the security of having money put aside for the future, the BMO Savings Amplifier Account can help.

With no monthly fees, you’ll earn 1.8% interest on your balance, and also receive free unlimited transactions to your other BMO accounts. BMO is currently offering the ability to earn up to $400 when you open a new account, as well as a promotional interest rate of 4% for the first 120 days, when you sign up before August 31, 2023.

You can track your savings progress and see how far you are from your next goal via the mobile BMO Savings Goals application. The app allows you to add goals (including a trip or a car purchase), and clearly shows you how close you are to your next savings milestone.

Savings Builder Account

The Savings Builder Account is BMO’s high-interest savings account option. If you’re able to commit to a regular monthly deposit, you can earn a competitive monthly interest rate and kickstart your savings plans.

By depositing at least $200 each month into your BMO Savings Builder Account, you’ll earn a high interest rate of 2.5%, which can quickly grow your savings. If you don’t meet that minimum $200 monthly requirement, you will still earn an interest rate of 0.5%.

The plan includes one free internal transfer between accounts out of your account per month, with subsequent transfers costing $5 each. With no monthly fees, the BMO Savings Builder Account is a viable option for those who want to grow their savings and can commit to the monthly minimum deposit.

BMO Premium Rate Savings Account

If you’re starting to save but also want the flexibility of being able to access your funds at all times, look no further than the BMO Premium Rate Savings Account.

This account has no monthly fee and will earn users 0.01% daily interest on balances, that will be paid out monthly. The account must be opened with a BMO chequing account, and you share the transaction limit with your chequing account. Those with a BMO Performance or BMO Premium chequing account will receive unlimited transactions from their savings account, whereas those with a BMO Plus chequing account will have to share the 25-per-month transaction limit between their chequing and savings account.

Think of the BMO Premium Rate Savings Account as a combination of a traditional chequing account and a savings account. You’ll get the full flexibility of being able to access your money at any time, while earning interest on the balance in your account in the meantime.

BMO U.S. Dollar Premium Rate Savings Account

If you frequently travel to the U.S., the U.S. Dollar Premium Rate Savings Account can save you some money next time you cross the border.

Like the Canadian Premium Rate Savings Account, there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. You’ll earn 0.05% interest on your balance and similar to the Premium Rate Savings Account, will have to share the transaction limit with your chequing account

The benefit of this account is being able to access your USD funds directly, without having to pay foreign transaction fees while travelling abroad (saving you 2% to 3% on your U.S. shopping bills).

Comparing BMO’s savings accounts

Savings Amplifier Savings Builder Premium Rate Savings U.S. Dollar Premium Rate Savings
Monthly fees $0 $0 $0 $0
Sign up bonus $400 + 4% promotional interest rate for the first 120 days 2% bonus interest rate when you deposit $200 a month N/A N/A
Features Free transfers to your BMO accounts and earn 1.8% interest Up to 2.5% interest rate when you deposit $200 a month and earn 0.5% interest if you don’t meet the $200/month requirement 0.01% interest Earn 0.05% interest
Minimum balance N/A Deposit $200 monthly to earn the bonus interest rate N/A N/A
Monthly transactions Unlimited 1 free transfer out per month, $5 each after Combine transactions with your chequing account Varies by your plan

BMO credit cards

BMO offers 13 different credit cards:

  • BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Card
  • BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard
  • BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege Card
  • BMO CashBack Mastercard
  • BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
  • BMO Air Miles Mastercard
  • BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
  • BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard
  • BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard
  • BMO Rewards Mastercard
  • BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard
  • Student BMO CashBack Mastercard
  • Student BMO Air Miles Mastercard

Investing with BMO

In addition to its chequing, savings accounts and credit card offerings, BMO offers a full suite of investment products, including:

  • Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSPs)
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
  • Stocks/Mutual Funds/Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

For those looking to explore the stock market, BMO offers customers the ability to choose their own stocks via the BMO InvestorLine online system.

BMO InvestorLine

The BMO InvestorLine is an online trading platform that lets users invest in mutual funds, ETFs, and more. The easy-to-use platform also provides a number of tools to help guide you on your way, as well as the ability to track and customize your investment strategy in real-time. You can begin with the Self-Directed version ($9.95 per trade), or adviseDirect option, which carries a $10,000 minimum account balance.

BMO Mortgages

If you’re in the market for a new home or looking to switch over your mortgage to lock in a lower rate, BMO has a number of options to help. They offer three and five-year fixed mortgage rates, as well as a variable-rate mortgage, where the interest rate fluctuates based on the market.

Best of all, BMO offers a 130-day mortgage rate guarantee, a welcome bit of extra security in what is always a hectic time for new homeowners.

Article Tags

Frequently asked questions

Related Articles

An image of the KOHO logo

KOHO Review 2023

Mark Gregorski August 17, 2023

Read more
Neo Logo

Neo Financial Review 2023

Gabriel Sigler September 13, 2023

Read more
Close up of BMO financial advisor checking a BMO Performance Plan Chequing Account

BMO Performance Chequing Account Review 2023

Gabriel Sigler September 5, 2023

Read more
Neo Logo

Neo Money Account Review 2023

Gabriel Sigler June 28, 2023

Read more
HSBC High Interest Savings

HSBC High Rate Savings Account Review 2023

Gabriel Sigler April 24, 2023

Read more
Saving coins in a piggy bank

HSBC Newcomers Program Review & Welcome Offer 2023

Rachel Cribby September 5, 2023

Read more