Review: BMO Harris Bank Credit Cards

harris-bank-credit-cardBMO Harris Bank, with locations throughout the Midwest as well as Florida, offers four different credit card options, all of whoch are OK cards, but none of which are the best cards in their respective categories. Our review of the BMO Harris cards is below:
Let’s look at the cards one by one, to see what each offers:

  • The BMO Harris Platinum Mastercard is a no-annual-fee, no-rewards credit card for those who care about getting a lower interest rate more than other card features. It offers an interest rate range from 13.99% to 20.99%, meaning you could be accepted for this card at any interest rate between those two numbers, depending on how BMO Harris evaluates your credit history. Offers a 0% rate on purchases for the first 6 months you have the card. Overall, an OK card, but you can possibly find lower rates on our Low Interest Credit Cards page.
  • The BMO Harris Platinum Rewards Mastercard offers a points program, giving you 2 points per dollar on gas and grocery purchases, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Points are generally worth a penny each, though they are worth a bit more on travel purchases (however, BMO Harris makes it difficult to figure out exactly how much they are worth). We’d suggest you’d do much better than this card with one of the top cash back credit cards on the market.
  • The BMO Harris Cash Back Mastercard offers 2% cash back on gas and grocery purchases, and 1% everywhere else. You can get a $200 bonus if you spend at least $2000 with the card in the first three months of having it. An OK cash back card with a nice bonus, but there are plenty of other cash back cards offering more.
  • The BMO Harris Premium Rewards Mastercard comes with a $79 annual fee (though that fee is waived for the first year), and offers greater rewards than the other cards from BMO Harris. You get 3 points per dollar on dining, hotel, and airfare purchases as well as 1 point per dollar on any other purchases. You also get a bonus on your card “anniversary” of 15% of the points you earned in the previous year. (Example: if you earned 10,000 points in Year 1, you’d get an extra 1500 points put into your account on the anniversary of opening the card.) You can also earn 35,000 bonus points if you use the card for at least $5000 in purchases in the first 3 months of having it. You can get a bit of a boost on the value of your points if you redeem them for travel rewards, though BMO Harris is vague on the exact value. (They say that 35,000 bonus points is “redeemable for over $435 in travel awards” but don’t say exactly how much “over” $435 they are worth.) This card is a decent competitor to cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, though maybe a notch below in terms of rewards.