Posted by William Charles on February 1, 2020
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on February 1st, 2020 | by William Charles

108

[AZ, FL, IL, IN, KS, MO, MN and WI] BMO Harris $200/$500 Business Checking Bonus

Update 2/1/20: Deal has been extended until April 30th, 2020. Length of time the money needs to stay in the account has changed from 60 to 90 days

Update 11/3/19: Bonus extended until January 31st, 2020.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $500
  • Availability: Must open in branch, all branches are located in AZ, FL, IL, IN, KS, MO, MN and WI. I imagine out of state applications will work in branch. [Branch locator]
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: See below
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: Cannot fund with a credit card
  • Monthly fees: $15-$20
  • Early account termination fee: $20 if closed within 90 days, bonus will post after 120 days
  • Household limit: None
  • Expiration date: October 31st, 2018 October 31st, 2019 January 31st, 2020

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • BMO Harris is offering two business checking bonuses. Both require opening an account in branch. They are as follows:
  • $200 Essential Business Checking bonus:
    • Open a new Essential Business Checking account between November 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020.
    • Deposit at least $1,500 within 30 days of account opening.
    • Once your balance reaches $1,500, your balance cannot drop below $5,000 for the next 90 days.
    • Have at least 10 electronic transactions post to the account within 90 days of account opening. Electronic transactions can be any combination of ACH credits or debits, online bill payments, mobile deposits, wire transfers or debit card POS purchase transactions. ATM transactions and POS credits do not qualify.
  • $500  Business Advantage Checking bonus: 
    • Open a new Business Advantage Checking account between November 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020.
    • Deposit at least $5,000 within 30 days of account opening.
    • Once your balance reaches $5,000, your balance cannot drop below $5,000 for the next 90 days.
    • Have at least 10 electronic transactions post to the account within 90 days of account opening. Electronic transactions can be any combination of ACH credits or debits, online bill payments, mobile deposits, wire transfers or debit card POS purchase transactions. ATM transactions and POS credits do not qualify.

The Fine Print

  • You can receive either the $200 checking bonus or the $500 checking bonus.
  • To receive a checking bonus, you must open the account in a BMO Harris branch and present the promo code email from BMO Harris.
  • Your account must be open and in good standing when the bonus is paid approximately 120 days after opening.
  • For Business Advantage Checking, the accrued interest will be increased by the amount of the bonus.
  • The accrued interest will be credited at the next scheduled interest payment, which may be after the 120 days.
  • Offers are not available to existing BMO Harris business checking customers or those who have closed a BMO Harris business checking account within the past 12 months.
  • Bonus is not considered part of the opening deposit and will be reported to the IRS for tax purposes.
  • You are responsible for any applicable taxes.
  • Offers are subject to change without notice, cannot be combined with any other offer and are limited to one per customer. The minimum deposit to open a small business checking account is $100, however to receive the bonus you must open the account with the minimum as stated below.
  • To receive the $200 checking bonus: 1) Open a new Essential Business Checking account between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. 2) Make a minimum opening deposit of $1,500 in funds not currently on deposit at BMO Harris Bank or its affiliates. 3) Maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500 in the account for 90 days following account opening. 4) Have at least 10 electronic transactions post to the account within 90 days of account opening. Electronic transactions can be any combination of ACH credits or debits, online bill payments, mobile deposits, wire transfers or debit card POS purchase transactions. ATM transactions and POS credits do not qualify.
  • To receive the $500 checking bonus: 1) Open a new Business Advantage Checking account between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. 2) Make a minimum opening deposit of $5,000 in funds not currently on deposit at BMO Harris Bank or its affiliates. 3) Maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $5,000 in the account for 90 days following account opening. 4) Have at least 10 electronic transactions post to the account within 90 days of account opening. Electronic transactions can be any combination of ACH credits or debits, online bill payments, mobile deposits, wire transfers or debit card POS purchase transactions. ATM transactions and POS credits do not qualify.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Both accounts have the first three months of fees waived. After that the fees are as follows:

  • Essential business checking ($200 bonus): $15 monthly maintenance fee. Waived with $1,500 average collected balance
  • Business Advantage checking ($500 bonus): $20 monthly maintenance fee. Waived with $5,000 average collected balance

Our Verdict

Seems like a great deal to me, the requirements should be fairly easy to meet for most people. What bonus you go for will likely depend on whether you can float $5,000 or not, the $500 deal is definitely better if you can. Either way both deals are a return of 10% over the course for 120 days or so (annualized return of 30%+). That’s the good news, the bad news is that BMO Harris is known for slow bonus posting and having to manually follow up to get your bonus. If you don’t believe me please read the comments on the personal bonus. Given that this has an in branch component and it’s for businesses, I’m hopeful that the bonus posting will be easier. Either way I’d get the contact details of your bank and a reference number for your application when signing up so you have a good point of contact if anything goes wrong.  I’ll be adding this to our best business checking bonuses for sure.

Also since I’m sure some people won’t read the fine print, yes you’ll be able to get this bonus even if you’ve received a bonus on the personal account and even if you still have that personal account.

Hat tip to abhirupduttamit

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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JT
JT

I will go in branch for this bonus eventually.

BW
BW

Anyone know if the business checking will show up in your existing online profile for personal accounts or if it has to be separate?

Max
Max

Minimum opening deposit of $5000 sounds like a big hassle. Is that $5000 in cash or check to take in branch?

Ryan Thompson
Ryan Thompson

Can I just open with $5k, take it out after a few days and then put it back around the 90 day mark?

Jeff G
Jeff G

That is what it sounds like, would be great to confirm.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

Maybe, but you’ll pay the $20 monthly service fee.

JR
JR

Yes, but only from month 4 onward, as the 1st 3 are fee free.

George
George

I don’t believe so.

3) Maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $5,000 in the account for 90 days following account opening.

FindingMyPossible
FindingMyPossible

This isn’t the wording that was used for the 2018 bonus.

Andrew
Andrew

Can someone clarify what it means to have a collected balance of X? Does that simply mean deposit X and spend away? Or does it mean have X at the end of 90 days?

Grant
Grant

I suspect it means that you should have X dollars collected across all your BMO Harris accounts, so it need not all be in this specific checking account.

Abe
Abe

Good business checking bonus. It is unfortunate that it is not available within California, come on BMO Harris Cali is just adjacent to Arizona.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

Will:

Here’s the list of documents they want to open an account (varies based on type of business entity):

https://www.bmoharris.com/pdf/sb/sb-checklist.pdf

FlyingBoat
FlyingBoat

Its unclear to me. Do we need an assumed name to get the business account? What if the business is just under my name. What would I then need to register? When I look in MN for registering a business, the cheapest option they have is assumed name for $50. I am checking for my daughter, I have my own business for many years.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

Your best bet might be to just stop by the branch and tell them you (or she) is a sole proprietor operating under your actual name and see if they will want additional information such as a business license, tax return (Schedule C) or some other document.

BW
BW

I’m just going to tell them I haven’t registered my business with the state yet.

FlyingBoat
FlyingBoat

Wife and I just opened our business accounts yesterday. Crp, I forgot to ask about the assumed name thing for my daughter. Both wife and I have had business for many years with an assumed name.

Anyone else have experience opening without assumed name?

Brian
Brian

Any update on this? I just got turned away for not having an assumed name cert but I really don’t have any interest in getting another name for my business at this time. I have just used my own name for other account registrations.

Brian
Brian

So I continued to look into this, the state says “Any… business in Minnesota under a name that does not contain the full name of each individual doing business as a proprietor or partner, must file a Certificate of Assumed Name.” So given that I operate under my own name a Certificate of Assumed Name would be inappropriate.

Despite this BMO claims that a Certificate of Assumed Name is required by the state. This is likely untrue as Chase did not require this documentation when I recently opened an account with them. I’m giving up as there would be a $50 filing fee plus an additional fee ($280 w/ Star Tribune) for posting in a Legal Newspaper (I could probably skip publishing the Certificate as I would have the paperwork needed by BOM but it would technically invalidate the business name application, sounds like a lot of busy work if the Certificate is ultimately meaningless).

Celia
Celia

Depends if it’s worth it to you going forward. If you get the certificate, it makes it easier to get the biz bank bonuses. I have had one for a lot of years for legit purposes (a lot cheaper back then) but I find it’s a lot easier to get those bonuses because of it.

Dave
Dave

Seems like the only branch in Florida is in Brandon, nothing near Miami =(

Chris
Chris

Hi Dave,
How did you find this out? When I search on Google, it seems like there might be a branch in Fort Lauderdale or Miami. Though, I find very little information about either one.

Mrs. Gee
Mrs. Gee

Chris, if you follow the link for the branch locator, a branch in Miami shows up. However, if you click through to that branch’s information, the hours of operation show “closed” for every day of the week. Guess that branch has closed. Bummer. I’m in Broward and looking to take advantage of this but it seems like a no-go.

Chris
Chris

Thank you Mrs. Gee. I saw that. They have a Wealth Management Branch in West Palm but turns out they don’t do regularly banking there. Definitely a bummer.

Jeff
Jeff

If CC funding is capped at $1,000 how do we meet an initial deposit of $1,500 or $5,000? Do we have a short window to deposit the rest or is funding with a Credit Card not an option?

JR
JR

You likely would need cash or ACH from an external account at time of opening. This is how it’s worked for me in the past.

JR
JR

Edit to the above: just called my local branch & was told opening deposit is cash or check only, no ACH.

Sarah E
Sarah E

This will be super easy for me to do, thanks!!

JR
JR

Would be interested to know what kind of questions are asked when opening the account, particularly if you are a sole prop. with a “business”.

Ken
Ken

So if you have a sole-proprietorship business, will they deny you for a business checking account?

Sassenav
Sassenav

Do you need to have a business to open a business account?

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

I’ve met my 120 days but the bonus hasn’t posted. According to the fine print, it will post with the monthly interest payment which looks to be on the last day of the month, so my bonus may not post until 6/30.

Anyone have theirs show up earlier?

TatyG
TatyG

I had two personal BMO bonuses and I had to send messages to request the bonuses. They argued with me, but posted the bonuses in a couple of days after my messages.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

I waited until my June statement closed, but no bonus posted. Sent a message through the “contact us” section and got a response that since this is a business account, I have to go into the branch where I opened the account and have them escalate it for me.

That’s a hassle, but at least it’s by my Costco so I can stop by on my next run there. I’ve had good luck with my personal account so this problem with the business side is disappointing.

britchurner
britchurner

Just wondering if this worked out for you. I am from out of state, so going to a branch will be a pain and I may just call my banker instead.

Chris
Chris

That’s ridiculous. Why wouldn’t they be able to resolve it over the phone?

FindingMyPossible
FindingMyPossible

What does this requirement mean?

Have a collected balance of at least $5,000 in the account at the end of 90 days following account opening.

Max
Max

I just got the bonus posted y’day. It was a hellish experience. Summary:

Opened in branch from out of state, met all reqs, waited to the 120 day mark. I called in then and I was told a supervisor had checked the account and said the bonus would be paid tomorrow. There was then no bonus. Strike 1. I call in the next day and ask where the bonus is (since they said tomorrow) and they say wait 10 business days. For the first of several instances, an associate tells me he personally cannot check if I met the requirements (even though it’d take 10 seconds to look through my account) and instead I have to wait for marketing to do it. I wait 10 business days and there’s no bonus. Strike 2. I call in again and they tell me it’s because I’m outside the target area. But this is incorrect, I opened it in branch, and it doesn’t matter where my mailing address is. I needed an account in that city where I visit regularly. Strike 3. Then I get told I didn’t meet the debit card requirement, which just wasn’t true. Strike 4. I never heard back from anyone I contacted.

Nobody was helpful. The echat told me to call the phone number. The phone number said they needed to reach marketing. Twitter told me first to call the banker who helped me in branch. The banker tried to help but again was having difficulty reaching marketing. Then Twitter’s social media team called me directly after I asked for help again and once again they spoke to marketing, and said I had to wait. It then posted a few days after that, finally.

Toad
Toad

Been thinking about doing this one, but this along with other DPs of BMO being a POS is putting me off…probably will still go for it but damn I hope I don’t have issues like you did. At least I am in the target area so here’s to hoping.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Extended by a YEAR
To receive the $X00 checking bonus: 1) Open a new Business XXXX Checking account between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019.

FlyingBoat
FlyingBoat

I have had the account since September 10th. I never received a PIN for my debit card. I have called in twice and they keep telling me they are going to send one. Wife and I opened the same day. She received her PIN in the mail. Guess I am going to need to go into the branch to get a pin. Just shows more of their ineptitude.

On second thought, checking wife’s account, I see all of those low value charges at Walmart are showing up as Pin transaction, though I didn’t need to enter one. So I am just going to go to Walmart and pay for several items separately through the self check out.

Andrew K
Andrew K

Opened the account yesterday 12/1 in Chicago. Took about 45 min in branch with my ‘business.’ Opened with $5k personal check. Going to do 10-20 venmo cashouts (they usually code as ACH depos) and then wait. Hopefully I wont need to badger at the 120 day mark.

DB
DB

Oh my God please avoid this disaster of a bank. They have such incredible hoops to jump through to “verify” your account, and then when you jump through the hoops (fax copy of drivers license with signature, e-mail the same document”) they don’t respond and demand you come into a branch (even when that is hundreds of miles away).

Steer clear of this organization, they are horrid.

Glenn
Glenn

i went in the same week i opened 3 personal accounts online, with ID, proof of address, signed the docs, etc and then they still were sending me letters saying they needed more information (bad on me for not responding timely). ended up having to go a different branch and ask what the hell happened to my money ($1k per account) and they recut, i guess, and mailed me checks for the amounts. a long churn.

Emporio
Emporio

The fine print in this posting regarding the $500 bonus should be corrected
FROM
“Have a collected balance of at least $5,000 in the account at the end of 90 days following account opening”
TO
“Maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $5,000 in the account for 90 days following account opening”

There is a difference between these two statements as the first statement means a person could pull the $5K out after account opening, enjoy the first 3 months with the courtesy waive of the monthly fee and then deposit $5K on or before day 89 to qualify for the bonus.

Kyle
Kyle

Any special documents required to open?

Accountant69
Accountant69

10/31: Opened account, funded with $5,200.
11/10: Made 10 qualifying purchases.
02/27: $500 bonus posted.

I don’t see anything regarding claw-backs after the bonus posted. Should be good to close out, right?

kingkong

Took a hard L on this one. The banker put a random address (it auto-filled) on my signup documentation, I could not access online or any of my funds. Explains why I never got a debit card.

They closed the account and sent a $1500 check to a U-HAUL rental company. I definitely signed docs with the wrong address, so that is on me.

Robert
Robert

I never received a 1099 for this bonus. Did anyone else?

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