BMO Harris Bank Smart Advantage™ Checking Account

Great choice if you're looking for a checking account with:

  • no monthly fees,
  • plenty of digital banking tools,
  • large ATM network.

securely on the bank's website

The BMO Harris Bank Smart Advantage Checking Account is a free checking account featuring a suite of banking tools BMO Harris Bank offers to its customers, so that they could manage their finances quickly and easily.

Some of the particular pros of this checking account include plenty of free services, such as BMO Harris Mobile Cash for money withdrawals, BMO Harris Total Look for account management, and free BMO Digital Banking app for on-the-go banking.

With free access to over 40,000 ATMs, you'll be able to access your funds anywhere in the United States, without incurring the $3 out-of-network ATM usage fee. However, unlike the BMO Harris Smart Money Checking Account, the BMO Harris Smart Advantage comes with overdraft and NSF fees, although overdraft protection services are, of course, available, for a fee. That said, if you take advantage of the account and debit card monitoring tools, you should be able to keep an eye on your balance, and avoid going overdraft.

Even though this checking account is great for the fans of technology, as it's packed with digital banking tools, BMO Harris has over 600 physical branches, so, in case you ever need help or questions about your checking account, debit card or want to purchase other BMO Harris products or services, you can always visit your local branch to talk to someone in person. You can, naturally, reach out to BMO Harris bankers through chat or by phone as well.

One disadvantage to this checking account is that there are foreign transaction fees, so if you're planning on spending a lot while on travel, you might want to consider using another debit or credit card. You certainly want to avoid foreign transaction fees, here set at 2.8% (still lower than what other banks usually charge), but also out-of-network ATM fees ($3 per transaction).

Otherwise, the BMO Harris Smart Advantage Checking can be a great solution for all your banking needs, and it is a checking account offer worth considering.

Checking account details

Checking account fees

  • Monthly Fee
  • APY
  • Minimum Deposit to Open
  • Out-of-Network ATM Transaction Fee
  • Out-of-Network ATM Withdrawal Fee
  • Overdraft Fee
  • Non-Sufficient Funds Fee
  • Foreign Transaction Fee

BMO Harris Bank Smart Advantage™ Checking Account FAQ

1. How can I open an BMO Harris Smart Advantage Checking Account?

You can apply for the BMO Harris Smart Advantage Checking account online, when you click the "APPLY NOW" button available on this page. It will take you safely to the official BMO Harris Bank website, where you'll be asked to complete an application form, providing:

  • Your name, phone, address, email,
  • Your date of birth and Social Security Number,
  • Your employment status.

Then, you'll be asked to select a BMO Harris Bank debit card, and order complimentary checks (both of these are optional). Before agreeing to the fine print, you'll need to choose between an individual or joint checking account. Once you've verified everything, you'll need to provide a bank account number or see how else you can fund your new BMO Harris Smart Advantage Checking account.

You can also apply by phone at 1-888-340-2265 or visit your local BMO Harris Bank branch or make an appointment with a BMO Harris banker first.

2. How can I avoid paper statement and check image fees?

Normally, BMO Harris charges $2/month for paper statements, and $3 for check images, which you can avoid by going paperless. Simply sign in to your BMO Digital Banking account, and turn off paper statements.

3. What benefits do I get with my BMO Harris Bank Debit Mastercard?

With a BMO Harris Bank Debit Mastercard, not only will you be able to use it wherever Mastercard debit cards are accepted (globally), but you'll also get to enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Satisfaction Guarantee, with up to $250 refunded in case a store doesn't accept the return,
  • Extended Warranty,
  • Ability to set up recurring payments,
  • Mastercard Global Service™ (24/7 assistance if your debit card is lost or stolen, you need to replace your debit card, request a cash advance, find an ATM or only ask a debit card-related question),
  • Free access at over 40,000 Allpoint® and BMO Harris ATMs nationwide and surcharge fee-free access at over 12,000 Allpoint® ATMs in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
4. Can I use my BMO Harris Bank Debit Mastercard safely?

Sure you can! Your BMO Harris Bank Debit Mastercard comes with many security protection features, such as:

  • Zero Liability Protection,
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection™,
  • BMO Harris Card Monitor,
  • Advanced Chip Technology,
  • Mastercard SecureCode™ for secure online transactions.

You can use your debit card knowing you're protected against fraud, and identity theft. However, it's still important that you keep your debit card information stored safely, and not disclose it to anyone.

5. Do I pay foreign transaction fees at BMO Harris and Allpoint ATMs abroad?

Yes, foreign transaction fees do apply at all BMO Harris, and Allpoint ATMs located outside the United States, meaning you'll pay 2.8% of each transaction amount.

6. What is BMO Harris Card Monitor?

BMO Harris Card Monitor is a free BMO Harris mobile app feature allowing you to set up card controls and alerts, so you're always in control of your BMO Harris debit card usage.

Debit Card Controls enable you to decide how, when, and where your BMO Harris debit card is used. Currently, you can manage locations, merchant types, transaction types, and spend limits.

As for Card Alerts, once set up, you'll receive notifications through the BMO Harris Bank mobile app informing you when your BMO Harris debit card is used. You can select whether you want to receive notifications each time you make a payment or based on transaction types, merchant types, international transactions, and threshold amount.

7. Can I use BMO Harris Mobile Cash to send money?

No, BMO Harris Mobile Cash is a service allowing you to withdraw cash from most of BMO Harris ATMs using your Android or iPhone mobile device. The feature isn't for money transfers, but there are many other ways you can receive and send money with BMO Harris.

8. How can I transfer funds with my BMO Harris Smart Advantage Checking?

BMO Harris offers several money transfer options, including:

  • Zelle, to send, request, and receive money from friends and family, with no charge from BMO Harris.
  • Internal Transfers, to transfer funds between your BMO Harris accounts.
  • External Transfers, tansfers funds between your BMO Harris accounts, and external accounts.
  • Mobile Deposit, to make check deposits with your smartphone.
9. How can I bank by phone with BMO Harris?

BMO Harris Bank by Phone is a feature enabling you to bank by phone (duh!), in case you need to access your account quickly, but don't want to log in to your BMO Harris Digital Banking.

To access your account by phone, simply call 1-888-340-2265. With BMO Harris Bank by Phone, you'll be able to check your balance, get information about transaction history, transfer funds between eligible accounts, request account changes, and more.

If you need to talk to a BMO Harris banker, press 0, and they'll connect you with their Contact Center banker in no time.

10. How can I find a BMO Harris Bank local branch or ATM?

To find a local BMO Harris Bank branch or their nearest ATM, you can use their branch and ATM locator.

Check Out Other Products From BMO Harris Bank
Bank Monthly Service Charge Minimum Deposit to Open APY
BMO Harris Bank Smart Money™ Checking Account $5* $25 0.00%
BMO Harris Bank Smart Advantage™ Checking Account $0 $25 0.00%
BMO Harris Premier™ Checking Account $25 (can be waived) $25 0.01% / 0.05%
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