- Fast transfers
- Cash pick-up
- Many currencies
- Mobile app
Not so great for
- Competitive rates
- Reasonable fees
- Large amounts
BMO charges different fees based on whether you’re sending money online via Western Union or through a traditional wire transfer. Transfers with Western Union cost $9 plus 1% of your transaction amount. If you send a wire transfer in person at a branch, you’ll pay a percentage of your transfer amount on top of a $10 communication fee.
You’ll also find a margin of around 2-5% added to the exchange rate for both types of transfers, so you’ll pay more than the rate you might see by searching on Google or Reuters.
You can send money overseas to over 200 countries using BMO’s online banking and wire transfer service. Some of the more popular currencies include:
You can send money directly to your recipient using a wire transfer or a Western Union money transfer.
To send a wire payment, all you need is your recipient’s personal details, including name and address, account number and financial institution info. Fees for this service will typically be higher than those on offer from specialist money transfer companies.
If you want to send money via Western Union, your recipient simply needs to pick up the cash transfer at their nearest Western Union location. The money will get there faster but the fee is based on a higher percentage, so it can be more expensive for large amounts.
There are no forex options like forward contracts or limit orders on offer from BMO to help you save money by locking in a favourable exchange rate for the future. They also don’t offer regular transfers.
Transfer time depends on what currency you’re sending. As a general rule, it’ll be anywhere between 2-5 business days.
You can only pay for your transfer with BMO through a bank transfer. Funds can be sent from either your chequing or your savings account. You can pay online using Western Union money, or in person via a branch when sending a wire transfer.
Transfers with Western Union have a $999 daily limit while wire transfers don’t have a specified maximum limit.
Transfers typically take
BMO can enable 2FA, meaning that when you log in, you’ll need to go through two levels of verification to access your account. You’re also protected against fraud with their 100% Electronic Banking Guarantee.
BMO makes money by charging fees and a margin on the exchange rate. You’ll end up paying $9 plus 1% on any amount you send online through Western Union. For in-branch wire transfers, you’ll pay 0.20% of the amount, with a minimum fee of $15 and a max fee of $125. On top of this, you’ll have to part with another $10 for a communication fee.
The rest of BMO’s profit comes from adding a 2-5% margin to the mid-market rate, which is the rate that the banks trade at. This is why the rate you’re quoted when you make your transfer will be different from bank to bank, and from the rate you can see on Google or Reuters.
For example, a provider may quote you CAD$1= USD 0.732 for a money transfer to the US, while the rate you can see on Google is CAD$1 = USD 0.751. This difference is the margin and it’s how providers cover their own costs.
You can register for a BMO bank account either online or by visiting a branch. For online registration, you’ll need to have a couple of things handy, including your Canadian address and SIN (Social Insurance Number). The bank will use this information to do a credit check. You can also go into the bank to ask about opening an account.
Once you’re all set up, you’ll be able to register for BMO’s online banking or mobile app, which is where you’ll carry out money transfers.
To send a Western Union Money Transfer, you’ll need to sign into your e-banking, click “Payment & Transfers” and then select “Western Union Money Transfer”. From there, you can fill in the requested information, including your recipient’s details, how much you plan to send and where you’re sending the transfer to.
The Bank of Montreal was founded all the way back in 1817 by nine of Montreal’s most prominent businessmen. It’s Canada’s oldest incorporated bank and the country’s fourth-largest bank based on assets.
BMO is just one among many banks and specialist companies offering international money transfers. Use our calculator below to see how BMO stacks up against the competition.
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