BMO Relationship Checking: Your Path to a Premium Banking Experience

If you’re ready to upgrade your banking experience and have built up a nest egg, the BMO Relationship Checking Account is an option that should be on your radar. This premium bank account offers a range of rewards that increase as your balance grows.

Before you apply, it’s important to understand what the BMO Relationship Account entails. While it may not be the best fit for every banking customer, it does come with numerous benefits that make it worth considering.

A High-End Checking Account

The BMO Relationship Checking Account is a high-end checking account offered by BMO Bank. It has a $25 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived when you meet the minimum balance requirement.

To qualify for additional perks and benefits, such as credit card spending bonuses and discounts on BMO mortgage closing costs, you need to maintain higher balance tiers. These tiers start at $25,000 and increase from there. The balance requirement encompasses all eligible BMO accounts, including savings, money market, and CDs.

Even if you have less than $25,000 with BMO, the Relationship Account offers generous benefits. These include up to $25 in non-BMO ATM surcharge rebates and a $10 monthly credit when you spend a minimum amount on a linked BMO credit card.

It’s important to note that the BMO Relationship Account is different from BMO Premier Banking Services, which is a private banking service requiring a minimum of $250,000 in combined eligible deposits with BMO. Premier Banking Services clients also enjoy a wider range of benefits, including financial planning and wealth management.

Unique Features of BMO Relationship Checking

The BMO Relationship Checking Account stands out from competing accounts due to several unique features:

  • Quarterly credit card spending bonuses: By spending at least $3,500 in purchases on an eligible BMO credit card during a calendar quarter, you qualify for a spending bonus of at least $10. At higher relationship levels, this bonus can range up to $75 for the same amount of spending.
  • Closing cost credits and interest rate discounts on BMO home loans: As a BMO Relationship Checking account holder, you are entitled to two valuable benefits when you get a mortgage loan through BMO. You receive a $500 discount on your closing costs and a 0.50% interest rate discount when you set up automatic payments.
  • Generous ATM fee reimbursements: While BMO customers already enjoy fee-free transactions at the bank’s own ATMs, BMO Relationship Checking goes a step further by reimbursing ATM fees charged by other banks, up to $25 per month. This reimbursement can offset the account’s monthly maintenance fee.
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Key Features of BMO Relationship Checking

The BMO Relationship Checking Account offers all the features you would expect from a traditional checking account, along with multiple ways to waive the monthly maintenance fee and potential perks for heavy users.

Account Opening Bonus

Open a new BMO Relationship Checking Account by December 08, 2023, and receive a $600 cash bonus when you receive a total of at least $7,500 in qualifying direct deposits within the first 120 days of opening your account.

Monthly Maintenance Fee & Waiver Options

The BMO Relationship Checking Account has a $25 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Maintain an average daily balance of at least $10,000 in your Relationship Account.
  • Maintain a monthly combined balance of at least $25,000 across all eligible BMO accounts, including savings and investment accounts.
  • Participate in BMO’s employee benefits program (limited to certain BMO employees).

ATM Network & Fees

BMO is part of the Allpoint ATM network, providing access to tens of thousands of ATMs throughout the United States. As a Relationship Account customer, you won’t incur any ATM withdrawal fees at Allpoint ATMs.

Additionally, BMO reimburses third-party ATM surcharges up to $25 per month. This ensures that you don’t have to worry about ATM fees if you make regular cash withdrawals.

Interest on Balances

All BMO Relationship Checking Account balances earn 0.01% APY. However, balances held in linked savings and money market accounts earn higher rates, depending on your relationship level.

Credit Card Spending Bonus

As a BMO Relationship Checking Account holder, you receive a $10 bonus credited to your account in any quarter where you spend at least $3,500 in eligible purchases on a linked BMO credit card. It’s important to note that you need to qualify for the credit card separately, as having a Premier Account does not automatically entitle you to this bonus.

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Mortgage Lending Benefits

The BMO Relationship Checking Account offers two benefits for mortgage borrowers who set up autopay from their account:

  • A $500 credit towards the loan’s closing costs.
  • A 0.50% interest rate discount.

The interest rate discount can result in significant savings over the life of the loan, making it a compelling reason to pay your mortgage through your Relationship Account.

Relationship Tiers & Balance Requirements

The BMO Relationship Checking Account features three higher relationship tiers based on your total combined balance in eligible BMO accounts. Each tier offers additional benefits on top of what you receive as a BMO customer:

  • Premier Gold: Requires balances ranging from $25,000 to $99,999.99. Additional benefits include up to $30 in wire transfer fee rebates, a $25 quarterly credit card spending bonus, and a 0.75% bump to the base yield on a linked BMO money market account.
  • Premier Platinum: Requires balances ranging from $100,000 to $249,999.99. Additional benefits include up to $60 in wire transfer rebates, a $50 quarterly credit card spending bonus, and a 1.50% bump to the money market base rate.
  • Premier Platinum Elite: Requires balances of $250,000 or more. Additional benefits include up to $90 in wire transfer rebates, a $75 quarterly credit card spending bonus, and a 2.25% bump to the money market base rate.

Advantages of BMO Relationship Checking

The BMO Relationship Checking Account offers several advantages that can offset the monthly fee, particularly as your balance grows:

  • Above-average account opening bonus: The account opening bonus for BMO Relationship Checking is worth pursuing. To qualify, you need to receive at least $7,500 in direct deposits during the first 90 days of account opening.
  • ATM surcharge fee reimbursement: If you frequently withdraw cash from ATMs, regardless of the owner, you could qualify for a monthly ATM fee reimbursement that offsets the account’s maintenance fee.
  • Quarterly credit card spending bonuses: Meeting spending requirements set by BMO can earn you at least $10 in quarterly bonuses. At higher relationship levels, this bonus increases up to $75 per quarter.
  • Lending benefits for all relationship levels: All BMO Relationship Checking account holders enjoy two mortgage lending benefits: a $500 discount on closing costs and a 0.50% interest rate discount with autopay.
  • Additional benefits at higher relationship tiers: As your balance increases, so do the benefits. Once your combined balances across all eligible BMO accounts exceed $25,000, you become eligible for valuable perks not available to entry-level account holders.
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Disadvantages of BMO Relationship Checking

While the BMO Relationship Checking Account has numerous benefits, there are also some downsides to consider:

  • Monthly maintenance fee: BMO Relationship Checking has a $25 monthly maintenance fee that requires a substantial minimum balance (at least $10,000 in the account or $25,000 across all eligible BMO accounts) to waive. This may not be suitable for everyone.
  • Low yield on balances: With a 0.01% APY on all balances, this account offers a very low yield. If you’re looking to earn substantial interest on your checking balances, there are other interest checking accounts available.
  • Unchanging lending benefits: All Premier Checking customers receive the same lending benefits on BMO home loans, with a $500 discount on closing costs and a 0.50% interest rate discount with autopay. While these benefits are great for entry-level users, other banks offer more generous benefits for higher-asset borrowers.

How BMO Relationship Checking Compares

Before opening a BMO Relationship Account, it’s worth comparing it to other full-service checking accounts. One popular competitor is Chase Total Checking, which has some overlapping features but also has its own unique aspects.

BMO Relationship Checking Chase Total Checking
Monthly Maintenance Fee Waiver Requirements
ATM Fee Reimbursement Credit Card Benefits
Mortgage Benefits Interest on Balances

Final Thoughts

As the name implies, the BMO Relationship Account offers an exclusive banking experience. With a significant monthly fee waiver requirement, it may not be suitable for those just starting their financial journeys.

However, if you can meet the waiver requirement, BMO Relationship Checking is an excellent bank account. It offers generous benefits, such as quarterly credit card spending bonuses of up to $75, monthly ATM fee reimbursements of up to $25, and valuable loan perks like closing cost and interest rate discounts.

BMO Relationship Checking also provides strong incentives to do more with BMO. Its relationship tiers offer progressively more attractive benefits, with the best rewards reserved for individuals with at least $250,000 across all their BMO deposit and investment accounts. If you don’t yet have that kind of money, it’s a goal worth striving for.

To learn more about BMO Relationship Checking and explore the account further, visit Six Minute Dates.