Reviews BMO Harris Bank MasterCard review

BMO Harris Bank MasterCard review

Published: December 9, 2016
See Full Card Details
Ratings Policy
Low Interest Rating:
2.9 rating
2.9 rating
2.9 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 3.1
Rewards: 0.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The BMO Harris Bank MasterCard is a solid low rate card with a competitive APR and relatively low fees.

Learn more about this card

Regular APR
8.24-13.24%

Introductory Purchase APR
4.99-9.99%

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
None

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 3% or $10 balance transfer fee (whichever is higher)
  • 2% foreign transaction fee
  • 3% or $10 cash advance fee (whichever is higher)

Penalties

  • $35 late payment fee
  • No penalty APR
  • No returned-payment fee

Other Notable Features: VIP event access, year-end summary statement, worldwide travel assistance, Apple Pay, car rental insurance, extended warranty, account alertsts

The BMO Harris Bank MasterCard could be just what you need to control your debt and minimize how much you pay toward your credit card balance. This simple and affordable bank credit card offers one of the most competitive interest rates available, as well as some of the lowest fees.

It doesn’t offer many additional perks, though. So you may not want to rely on it as your only card.

Lower-than-average interest rate
If you tend to carry a balance and need a safer card with an affordable interest rate, you can’t go wrong applying for this low rate credit card. Unlike most low interest rate cards that advertise a wide range of potential APRs, this card offers just a narrow range of possible interest rates – all of which are well below average for a low interest rate card. Cardholders with the best credit can qualify for an APR as low as 8.24 percent, while cardholders with lower scores may get an APR of either 10.24 percent or 13.24 percent. By contrast, the average minimum APR for all credit cards is currently 14.98 percent, according to CreditCards.com data.

Brief introductory rate
In addition, the BMO Harris Bank MasterCard offers a low promotional rate, ranging from 4.99 percent to 9.99 percent for the card’s first six months. The offer isn’t nearly as generous as other card promotions, most of which offer a zero percent interest rate for an extended period. However, it can still save you a significant amount if you plan to use the card from the start.

Comparatively low fees
The BMO Harris Bank MasterCard also charges somewhat lower fees than many of its competitors, making it a good choice for cardholders who occasionally use fee-based services. For example, it charges just 2 percent for foreign transactions and 3 percent for cash advance and balance transfer fees. By contrast, many competitors charge a minimum of 3 percent for foreign transactions and 4 percent or more for cash advances and balance transfers. If you use those services often, you may be able to find a card that nixes some or all of those fees. However, depending on your credit score, you may not qualify for as low of a rate with another card.

Limited penalties
The BMO Harris Bank MasterCard is also more forgiving of occasional missed payments, making it a good choice for cardholders who sometimes forget to pay their bill. Cardholders are charged a $35 late fee, but they aren’t given a hefty penalty rate. Unlike many competitors, the BMO Harris Bank MasterCard also doesn’t charge a returned-payment fee.

Few perks
On the downside, the BMO Harris Bank MasterCard doesn’t offer as many perks as its competitors, nor does it offer any additional rewards. Cardholders do get access to VIP events through MasterCard’s Priceless Cities program. In addition, the BMO Harris Bank MasterCard offers some standard credit card perks, such as car rental insurance, travel assistance and an extended warranty on purchases. However, cardholders who want more premium perks – such as concierge service, lost luggage insurance or roadside assistance – may want to look at other cards.

Reasons to get it:

  • You want a simple card with a predictably low interest rate.
  • You occasionally use fee-based services, such as cash advances, and want a card with lower fees.
  • You sometimes miss payments and need a more forgiving card.
  • You’re already a BMO Harris Bank customer and want a card with the same bank.

How to use it:

  • Use this card for any purchases you can’t afford to repay in full.
  • Limit how much you spend in the card’s first six months. Even if your interest rate is relatively low, the interest you’re assessed can still add up quickly if you can’t afford to repay debt in a reasonable period.
  • Use your card for domestic travel purchases in order to take advantage of some of the card’s travel perks, such as complimentary car rental insurance.
  • Check out MasterCard’s Priceless Cities program before you plan your next vacation. You may be able to get access to exclusive events and experiences.

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information. 

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.

See Full Card Details