BMO Money Transfer Review

Exchange rates, Payment methods, How to, Transfer fees and much more

BMO Money Transfer Review

If you’re in Canada and want to send money abroad, you may want to consider using Bank of Montreal (BMO) international money transfer. The Bank of Montreal, commonly known as BMO, can be used to send money home using wire transfers and Western Union too.

Before you start though, you should do some research. It’s important to know what countries you can send money to with BMO. Their fees, exchange rates, and the total cost of the transfer are other important factors. Depending on your needs, BMO may be the right choice for you, or you may want to look at other money transfer options.

If you’d like to know how BMO international money transfers measure up, keep reading. This review will tell you everything you need to know.

Payment Methods Available With BMO

In order to send money from Canada with BMO, you will need to have a checking or savings account with the bank. BMO uses your bank transfer to fund either the wire payment or the Western Union transfer service.

How Much I Can Transfer With BMO?

Using Western Union, you can send an international transfer with BMO up to the limit of $999 per day. Using the wire transfer method, there is no maximum limit.

BMO Transfer Fees

BMO wire transfer fees start at a minimum of $15 to as high as $125 depending on the transfer method you choose. Outgoing fees for wire transfers are 0.2 percent of the value of the transfer. There is a communication charge of $10.00. Note that in some cases the recipient’s bank or intermediary banks may charge a fee as well.

If you opt to send with Western Union, the fee will be $9 as well as 1 percent of the transfer amount.

Pros And Cons Of Using BMO Money Transfer


  • Transfers usually arrive quickly

  • Receivers can pick up cash

  • Wide variety of currencies available

  • App makes it easy to transfer on the go

  • Cons

  • Have to visit a branch to do a wire transfer

  • Fees to send can be high

  • Exchange rates are not competitive

  • Not good for sending large amounts

  • How Does BMO Money Transfer Work?

    There are two methods with BMO Money Transfer:

    Wire transfer

    In order to send a wire transfer you will need to visit a BMO branch. You will need the following information:

    • Recipient's full name
    • Recipient's address and country
    • Recipient's bank account number
    • Name and address of recipient’s financial institution.
    Western Union
    • Click on Payments and Transfers
    • Choose Western Union. If it's your first time, you need to enter your email address. Your name and address will be already filled out, so all you have to do is:
      • Enter the receiver’s country.
      • Choose which account to debit.
      • The destination currency will be displayed as well as the fee and exchange rate
      • Enter recipient details, including first and last name.
    • Click on Verify Transfer after checking all the details are correct.
    • Click on Send Transfer, and the transfer is now on its way.

    In order for the receiver to collect their money, they will need the MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number). Make a note of this number and provide it to them.

    Other Money Transfer Providers

    BMO Exchange Rates

    BMO only publishes their over the counter cash exchange rates. If you choose to send via online banking using Western Union, the rate will be displayed on your screen when you initiate the transfer. In most cases, there will be a 2 to 5 percent margin added to the basic exchange rate. This is the interbank rate, which is the one you’ll see if you search for the daily rate in a search engine or similar.

    How Does BMO Make Money?

    BMO’s sliding scale of fees means the more money you send, the more the bank charges. In addition to the fees charged, BMO also makes a profit on the exchange rate. They do this by charging a margin over and above the interbank exchange rate.

    Platforms Where BMO Is Available

    In addition to transferring money, you can pay bills and view balances on BMO’s mobile applications. Both Apple users users and customers with Android phones have the benefit of highly rated apps. The former is rated highly at 4.6 out of 5 stars and the latter 4.5 out of 5 stars.

    Is BMO Secure?

    BMO has been in operation since the 1800s and has millions of customers. The bank is regulated by the Canadian government as well. It protects customers with the option of two-factor authentication for online banking. BMO also guarantees to reimburse you all money lost if there are unauthorised transactions on your bank accounts.

    What Countries Does BMO Allow You To Send Money To?

    Using either wire transfer or Western Union, you can send to over 200 countries. Popular currencies include the euro, British pound, Mexican peso, Philippine peso, Indian rupee, Japanese yen and US dollar.


    How To Contact BMO

    Telephone: 1-844-837-9228


    Online support: Use the support tool

    In branch: Use the branch locator tool

    Alternatives To BMO Money Transfer

    Other banks

    Banks are seen as a safe and traditional option for sending money, but in the modern marketplace, they aren’t actually the best option. BMO and other banks have to pay for high management salaries, as well as brick and mortar branches. All these costs are passed on to the customer. BMO’s transfer fees are higher than other banks, but they all charge a set fee to send money overseas as well as making a profit on the exchange rate.


    Online banks

    Online banks offer a more modern way of sending. Their costs are low since they have no branches to maintain. However, their service is conducted entirely online. This may not be the best option for you if you prefer the security of having a branch to go into if something goes wrong. However, if you are tech savvy and need just basic banking, an online bank like Tangerine or Simplii Financial could be a good choice.



    Transferwise is an online transfer service, which, like an online bank, does not have any branches. It offers the actual interbank rate on its transfers.

    It does charge fees as well, but these are transparent and you know the fee up front.


    Traditional Money Transfer Providers

    If you need to get the money to your recipient in minutes, then you may want to choose a traditional money transfer company. These are companies like Western Union, MoneyGram, and Ria. Their fees and exchange rates are the least competitive. However, their branches are usually conveniently located and their speed can’t be beat.


    Online Money Transfer Companies

    Online money transfer companies like Remitbee, Skrill, Remitly, and TransferGo all offer similar services. They have low overheads and their only business is sending international transfers. This means they have a smooth process and lower costs. Compare rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal no matter which company you choose.


    BMO Frequently Asked Questions

    Here are some frequently asked questions about choosing BMO Money Transfer for your online money transfers:

    Sending is as easy as logging into the app or online banking. If you pick the Western Union option, you can send money worldwide in minutes.

    The fees range from $9 to as high as $125 depending on the method chosen.

    Traditional transfers take two to five business days. Western Union transfer with BMO takes less than 30 minutes to arrive if you choose a cash payout option.

    History Of BMO

    BMO holds the title of Canada’s first bank. It has been in service to the Canadian people since 1817. It started its life as the Montreal Bank, and since then it has had a large part in the nation’s history. The primary purpose the bank was opened for was to assist businessmen in Montreal with a safe space to store their money, get loans, and get foreign currency.

    In 1935, the Bank of Canada was created. The many different subsidiaries of the bank are called the BMO Financial Group. Today, the bank serves 12 million customers and has over $800 billion in assets. It is now Canada’s fourth largest bank.

    Other Services BMO Offers

    • Bank accounts for military members and students
    • Credit cards and prepaid cards
    • Loans and lines of credit
    • Mortgages
    • Investment options including retirement and tax free savings
    • Insurance

    How To Open An Account With BMO

    It’s possible to register for a BMO account online or in branch. Newcomers to Canada can get a special offer from the bank with the BMO NewStart program.

    This plan includes a no-fee chequing account and a free safety deposit box for a year. The bank will even give you cash bonuses to sign up for an account. In order to apply for an account, have your Canadian address and Social Insurance Number (SIN) handy. BMO will run a credit check using this information.

    So What Is BMO In A Nutshell?

    BMO has a long and trusted history in Canada, so it may be a safe place for you to bank. However, when it comes to sending money internationally, the bank isn’t exactly competitive. You have the convenience of sending online, quickly, but you must balance that with the fact that you'll pay more and have to have a bank account with BMO to use the service. If you’d like to explore more money transfer reviews, check out the Remitbee Blog.

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