Personal Finance

People who use Bank of Montreal: Why do you do this to yourselves?

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  • Aug 27th, 2021 10:49 am
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Jul 13, 2014
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People who use Bank of Montreal: Why do you do this to yourselves?

Is BMO the worst bank in Canada?

It's always behind the competition. Just a few examples:
- it came out with mobile deposits years after all other banks had it
- it still charges for Interac E-Transfers
- it still doesn't have envelope free deposits at a lot of their B&M locations, and the ones that do have it got it long after the other banks started implementing theirs
- it still charges ridiculous fees for chequing accounts and investment accounts in an age where people can get this stuff for free nowadays

They also have possibly the worst UI and UX for their banking website, mobile app, and brokerage site. It's like they built them in 1999 and haven't updated since.

It's also quite difficult to get a loan or credit card approved by them. Speaking from both personal and third-party experience.

And don't forget their terrible mortgage rates. When I was shopping around, BMO offered nearly 1.5% higher than the competition. This isn't an isolated incident as I've spoken to multiple people who had much higher offers from BMO than anywhere else.

And don't get me started on their customer service... whether online, through the phone, or in person.....



Why do people still use BMO? I really want to know why you use this bank? Do you just not know that better banking exists in Canada?
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25 replies
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Jan 27, 2004
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MayorOfToronto wrote: Is BMO the worst bank in Canada?

It's always behind the competition. Just a few examples:
- it came out with mobile deposits years after all other banks had it
- it still charges for Interac E-Transfers
- it still doesn't have envelope free deposits at a lot of their B&M locations, and the ones that do have it got it long after the other banks started implementing theirs
- it still charges ridiculous fees for chequing accounts and investment accounts in an age where people can get this stuff for free nowadays
Some fake news here i’ll clarify

1. yes mobile deposits were late compared to others. Its the fact of corporate budget life. You invest money where its needed first with biggest impact. Less & less people deal with cheques, so the digital banking investment went towards improving mobile apps, which is a great app. And also making sure you can get everything done without going in branch.
Test. Tell me 3 things you can’t do with BMO online banking.

2. Not true. All plans have free etransfers for many many years, almost half a decade they made that switch.

3. They had envelope free for a long time actually. They actually beat RBC in implementation despite them being #1 bank by a large margin.
I know in Gta @ least… they were all converted 5+ years ago. 100% guaranteed. The full conversion was 2015 ish

4. This is like every b&m bank. They all pretty much the same fee wise with slight differences.

5. Online banking, the mobile app is admittedly better than desktop. The mobile app is very good and modern.
However i never got why people complain about UI for banking. Banking is such a utilitarian thing. It just needs to have all the functions, which is much more important. Who cares if the transfer button looks html? I just need to do the transfer…
Newbie
Aug 28, 2017
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they are #1 for a reason, plus they are at First Canadian place!
jokes aside, they did give me the lowest mortgage rate versus any broker I went to.
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Sep 14, 2012
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Montreal, QC
MayorOfToronto wrote: Is BMO the worst bank in Canada?

It's also quite difficult to get a loan or credit card approved by them. Speaking from both personal and third-party experience.

Why do people still use BMO? I really want to know why you use this bank? Do you just not know that better banking exists in Canada?
Everyone's experience are different. My main brick and mortar Big 5 bank is TD Canada Trust and I don't have any major issues with them. You'll find quite a lot of people on RedFlagDeals and outside of RedFlagDeals who probably don't share my opinion of them. Sure, TD Canada Trust has wronged me a few times and when they've wronged me, I call them out on it.

In terms of BMO, I dealt with them ages ago when I was in my early 20's (they were known as Bank of Montreal back then) since they gave me my first credit card (and I didn't even have a bank account with them whereas my own bank at the time Toronto Dominion Bank didn't give me or approve me for their credit card). BMO also gave me a car loan at a good/great rate which I got from the dealership and when Toronto Dominion Bank found out that I had a car loan with Bank of Montreal, they mentioned that I should transfer the loan over to them and pay them (and pay them the interest of course) but then Toronto Dominion Bank couldn't match the rate which Bank of Montreal had given me.

I don't know anything about BMO's current line-up but everything is subjective as I mentioned with what I wrote about TD Canada Trust.

I believe that BMO's Investorline allows for certain ETF purchases to be commission free whereas for example, TD Direct Investing doesn't have ETF purchases for free unless you decide to open a special account called "TD GoalAssist" and you're then limited to commission free TD ETF purchases/sales) whereas I believe BMO's Investorline has ETFs outside of their own ETFs which can be purchased commission free: https://www.bmoinvestorline.com/selfDir ... tfs_en.pdf
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Oct 16, 2008
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MayorOfToronto wrote: - it still charges for Interac E-Transfers
No, not across the board.
- it still charges ridiculous fees for chequing accounts and investment accounts in an age where people can get this stuff for free nowadays
The same can be said for all the other big 5 banks.
They also have possibly the worst UI and UX for their banking website, mobile app, and brokerage site. It's like they built them in 1999 and haven't updated since.
I kind of agree with this point, but at the end of the day, who cares how pretty the UI looks?
It's also quite difficult to get a loan or credit card approved by them. Speaking from both personal and third-party experience.
Not in my experience. In fact they are one of the easiest in my experience. This is person-dependent.
And don't forget their terrible mortgage rates. When I was shopping around, BMO offered nearly 1.5% higher than the competition. This isn't an isolated incident as I've spoken to multiple people who had much higher offers from BMO than anywhere else.
For me, BMO offered me the lowest rate. They even beat out HSBC.
And don't get me started on their customer service... whether online, through the phone, or in person.....
Not the worst IMO. The throne belongs to Scotia. Again, this is situation/person dependent.
Do you just not know that better banking exists in Canada?
LOL.
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Dec 26, 2019
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MayorOfToronto wrote: Why do people still use BMO? I really want to know why you use this bank? Do you just not know that better banking exists in Canada?
I signed up for the $300 offer for new customers.
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Oct 24, 2010
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I left BMO 12 years ago when I had issues with their lack of security.

I went to a teller for an $8k bank draft to purchase a used vehicle. The teller took my debit card, asked my name, and then proceeded to issue a bank draft. That was the extent of the security valididation - a verbal name check.

They didn't have debit card terminals at the teller at that time (other banks did), so they didn't verify my pin number or anything like most banks do today. And they didn't check ID.

I complained to the branch manager. Nothing came of it. I packed up and left the next week.
Last edited by Dynatos on Aug 25th, 2021 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jr. Member
Aug 2, 2021
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Old people.

My grandparents used BMO since before I was born. No matter what. BMO screw up so many things for them, but they would not switch under any circumstances.

In Canada, for a certain generation banks are like EPL teams. They are diehards even they the team is a loser. My grandma once told me I was foolish for using TD because she didnt "trust" Canada Trust. This was in 2017 :)

I guess I shouldnt talk, my main is TD and its really only because my dad opened me a kids account there.
Sr. Member
Feb 28, 2014
964 posts
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hubbabubba73 wrote: Old people.

My grandparents used BMO since before I was born. No matter what. BMO screw up so many things for them, but they would not switch under any circumstances.

In Canada, for a certain generation banks are like EPL teams. They are diehards even they the team is a loser. My grandma once told me I was foolish for using TD because she didnt "trust" Canada Trust. This was in 2017 :)

I guess I shouldnt talk, my main is TD and its really only because my dad opened me a kids account there.
I wouldn't put all the blame on old people. Lots of younger ones choose banks because their parents used it and so they just stick with it like some inheritance. Then they will complain about how the bank wronged them from time to time but then do nothing about it.

Canada has dozens of banks and hundreds of credit unions. We're not lacking for choice but for many, they just don't see why one would shop their FIs around. I still get colleagues & friends giving me a weird look for shopping & moving around FIs and some of them are just in their 30s.
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Jun 23, 2017
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honestly, i still do a sliver of business with this bank for nostalgia. it was the first bank i went to with my mom to open up a savings account. i was so proud to have my own blue plastic bank book that featured two buttons snaps designed to hold the pages. way before we had online banking options.
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Feb 24, 2008
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UrbanPoet wrote: 2. Not true. All plans have free etransfers for many many years, almost half a decade they made that switch.
Not true. My BMO IGA Air Miles unlimited checking still has a $1 e-transfer fee associated with sending those out.

djino
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Apr 5, 2016
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djino wrote: Not true. My BMO IGA Air Miles unlimited checking still has a $1 e-transfer fee associated with sending those out.

djino
That's a grandfathered account that's not offered anymore.

I'm probably biased but regarding the mortgage rates, BMO has been competitive. Don't think there was ever a rate I couldn't match that the other big 5 banks offered. Keep in mind, the big 5 banks don't consider HSBC, credit unions and B lenders as competitors so we don't match their rates but can come close.
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bomber17 wrote: That's a grandfathered account that's not offered anymore.
Right, but I thought this thread (and/or that post) was referring to "All plans", which would include grandfathered ones, no?

djino
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djino wrote: Right, but I thought this thread (and/or that post) was referring to "All plans", which would include grandfathered ones, no?

djino
Well for sake of argument, if it's not a plan that a normal person can get, then it doesn't apply to majority of people. Currently all offered personal accounts have free e transfers.

I also know other banks grandfathered accounts still charge for e transfers too so it's not just a BMO issue.
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bomber17 wrote: Well for sake of argument, if it's not a plan that a normal person can get, then it doesn't apply to majority of people. Currently all offered personal accounts have free e transfers.

I also know other banks grandfathered accounts still charge for e transfers too so it's not just a BMO issue.
I am a normal person, and I was able to get it. I think anyone could get that account at the time it was a promoted product.

djino
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djino wrote: I am a normal person, and I was able to get it. I think anyone could get that account at the time it was a promoted product.

djino
What I meant was you can't get it now.
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Feb 17, 2015
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I got the bank unlimited promo back in the day, I am a little cheesed about it being nerfed and having to pay $80 for the world elite cashback card, the app and customer service seem fine no complaints there, they are lax about giving out credit most of the time when they see assets, PLOC rate definitely sucks but it is what it is, I mean I'd probably pick CIBC or Tangerine over them if anything but for now I am just going to go with it
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Mar 3, 2021
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They also have possibly the worst UI and UX for their banking website, mobile app, and brokerage site. It's like they built them in 1999 and haven't updated since.


Oh dear, BMO has the best UI and UX out of the 5 banks, especially for Mobile... You must be born before 1990....
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djino wrote: Not true. My BMO IGA Air Miles unlimited checking still has a $1 e-transfer fee associated with sending those out.

djino
Correct… also the interest chequing account from 1987 with unlimited transactions, money orders/drafts, free cheque book, and free passbook updates, and minimum $1000 balance to waive the fee also doesn’t include e-transfer…

(Thats a real account actually).

Now you can see how ridiculous that sounds. Everyone got the point hence 12 upvotes and counting.

What is a pile of sand?
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deltatux wrote: I wouldn't put all the blame on old people. Lots of younger ones choose banks because their parents used it and so they just stick with it like some inheritance. Then they will complain about how the bank wronged them from time to time but then do nothing about it.

Canada has dozens of banks and hundreds of credit unions. We're not lacking for choice but for many, they just don't see why one would shop their FIs around. I still get colleagues & friends giving me a weird look for shopping & moving around FIs and some of them are just in their 30s.
This!
I too was a big 5 user because of parents but I left and never looked back.
I have been able to use EQ Bank, Tangerine and Simplii and I have been able to do all the basic operations I have needed for the past 5 years.

All banks are not the same and everyone has different needs but it's worth checking if you really need a traditional bank account, like do you actually use something that can't be done online...

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