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Review: BMO Bank of Montreal Savings Builder Account

Want to get a bonus interest rate if you deposit money into your savings account each month? If that’s the case, the BMO Bank of Montreal Savings Builder Account might be right for you.

About BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal is the personal and commercial banking business of BMO Financial Group, one of the largest financial services companies in Canada. The bank has more than 960 branches and more than 2,000 ATMs across Canada.

Rates

Unlike most high-interest savings accounts, the BMO Bank of Montreal Savings Builder Account gives you a bonus rate if you deposit a certain amount each month into your account. You’ll receive 0.25% on all balances in months if you deposit less than $200. But you’ll receive an additional 1% (for a total of 1.25%) in months when you deposit $200 or more.

How does the bonus interest work? According to BMO Bank of Montreal, it calculates “the difference between the closing balance on the last business day of the previous month and the closing balance on the last business day of the current month, excluding base interest from the current month, bonus interest, any promotional interest credited from the previous month, and any withdrawal or transfer fees.” If the difference is at least $200, you’ll earn bonus interest.

Deposit per monthInterest rate
$0 to $199.990.25%
$200 or more1.25%

For deposits of $5,000 or more, the bonus rate is better than three of the Big Five banks: CIBC, RBC Royal Bank, and TD Canada Trust. But it’s lower than the Scotiabank Momentum Savings Account, which has an interest rate of 1.50%. Also, if you compare BMO Bank of Montreal’s rate to the best rates offered by other financial institutions, there are better rates available:

Financial institutionInterest rate
Tangerine2.40%/0.80%*
EQ Bank2.00%
Alterna Bank1.95%
Oaken Financial1.75%
Luminus Financial1.75%
Achieva Financial1.70%
Outlook Financial1.70%
Steinbach Credit Union1.60%
Meridian Credit Union1.50%
Scotiabank1.50%
BMO Bank of Montreal1.25%
Canadian Western Bank1.00%
PC Financial0.80%
ATB Financial0.70%
CIBC0.55%
RBC Royal Bank0.55%
TD Canada Trust0.55%

*currently 2.40% for new clients only for the first 182 days and 0.80% thereafter; rate for current clients is 0.80%

Fees

The account doesn’t have a monthly fee and comes with one free monthly transfer. But there’s a $5 fee for every withdrawal or each additional transfer.

The bottom line

The BMO Bank of Montreal Savings Builder Account is good because it forces you to save in order to get the bonus interest rate. However, the rate is still lower than what many other financial institutions offer. See how it compares by looking at the best high-interest savings accounts.

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