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BMO Harris Smart Advantage Review: Additional perks for Midwestern sport fans


BMO Harris SmartAvantage checking accounts at a glance


Physical Locations
There are more than 500 branches in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Indiana.

Getting started
You can open a deposit of $25 by phone, in person, or online

Monthly service charge
None

Overdraft fees
$15 per overdraft (if you have overdrawn $50+)

Other charges
Wire transfer, ATM replacement, cashier’s check, money order and foreign transaction fees are some of the options available.

How do I deposit
Zelle, direct deposit, in branch, mobile check deposit

How do I withdraw
Zelle, checks, debit card, ATMs, in branch

Noteworthy feature
You can choose from three different debit cards: Chicago Bulls-Chica Blackhawks-Milwau Bucks.

BMO Harris, a regional bank that is popular in Arizona, Florida, and the Midwest is known for its many locations. You can get savings accounts, loans and investment accounts as well as checking accounts.

There are three options available for checking accounts. The most popular is the Smart Advantage, which is the main BMO Harris everyday account. Continue reading to learn more about BMO Harris Smart advantage Checking.


5 things you need to know about the BMO Harris Smart Advantage checking accounts


1. You will not earn interest

Many people associate savings accounts with earning interest. However, there are many checking accounts that can earn interest. This BMO Harris everyday account is not one of them.

It’s a smart idea to save some money if you don’t want to miss out on additional earnings. However, you risk a new problem: The lower your checking account balance is, the more likely it is that you will overdraw your account.

You have two options: you can choose to divide up your money between a savings and regular checking account or you can search for an interest-earning account to get the best of both.


2. There is no monthly maintenance fee, but you should be aware of other costs.

Some checking accounts have a minimum balance in order to avoid monthly maintenance fees. However, the BMO Harris Smart Advantage account does not require any monthly fees.

However, this doesn’t mean that the checking account is free of fees. You could face fees such as ATM fees, foreign transaction fees or account closing fees.

It is possible to avoid many of these fees completely. However, you will need to carefully read and comply with the requirements. It’s best to avoid worrying about fees by looking for a fee-free checking bank account.


3. An online toolkit will be provided.

BMO Harris has a strong online and mobile offering. The app has been highly rated by users and offers useful features such as mobile check deposit and cash. You can withdraw money from an ATM at BMO Harris without needing to swipe your card.

BMO Harris offers Total Look, a program that makes it easy for you to manage your finances. It allows you to create a budget or set savings goals. You can view and add the balances of all your financial accounts even if they are not affiliated with BMO Harris. However, you will not be able interact with them.


4. Two types of debit cards are available: one with sports perks and the other without.

This account can be used to purchase a regular debit card. BMO Harris has a special debit card offering for sports fans. There are three options for you to choose from, with each featuring the logo of your favorite Midwest sports team: the Chicago Bulls (or the Chicago Blackhawks), or the Milwaukee Bucks (or both).

You can also get a 15% to 20% discount when you use your debit card at the United Center Team Store (for Chicago teams) and the Fiserv Forum Bucks Pro Shops for the Milwaukee Bucks.


5. You can opt in to overdraft protection

You can opt in to get overdraft protection for ATM and debit card transactions if you want extra assurance that your transactions won’t be declined. There is a catch: if transactions (including those covered by overdraft) exceed your account’s limit, you will likely be charged $15 per transaction. You can also set up a backup account to receive free overdraft transfers, or an overdraft credit line at a high 18% interest rate.


Is there a monthly charge for BMO Harris?

The monthly maintenance fee for BMO Harris Smart Advantage checking accounts is not charged. However, you might be signed up for paper statements automatically when you open an account. There is a $2 per month charge for this service. To make your BMO Harris Everyday Checking account free from monthly fees, you will need to take the initiative and opt out.


What does everyday testing mean?

A “everyday” checking account is a common term. It describes a simple, low-cost checking account that meets most people’s needs.

This account offers more perks that a bare-bones account. For example, a second-chance account is a bank offering to help people get back on track. The account is not as feature-rich as premium checking accounts offered by some banks. These usually have requirements such as a minimum monthly deposit, a minimum minimum deposit, or other requirements to keep it open.


Are you unsure if the Smart Advantage checking account from BMO Harris is right for your needs? These are some alternatives.

  • Ally Bank : If convenience is important to you, then the Ally Bank online-only account offers many accounts that have lower fees and earn more interest.
  • Mint: BMO Harris has some great budgeting and savings tools. But, if you want a more comprehensive option with additional features and automations, the Mint app, which is free, is well worth a look.
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