Skip navigation
Contact Us
Convenience, confidence and peace of mind.

Overdraft Services for personal checking accounts

Overdraft Services for personal checking accounts

When it comes to overdrafts, you have options. In order for you to make an informed decision about which Overdraft Services may be best for you, you should understand the basics of what an overdraft is and how overdrafts are handled at BMO.

BMO Harris Smart Money Account: Overdraft Program for ATM and Everyday Debit Card Transactions is not available. New Overdraft Protection Services cannot be added to this account after 6/12/21.

About Overdrafts

What is an overdraft?
Any time a transaction results in a negative balance to your account, it’s considered an overdraft. For example, an overdraft takes place when you make a payment and don’t have enough money in your account to cover it. This is not the only scenario in which you could overdraw your account.

How overdrafts are handled at BMO
At our discretion, we pay checks, automatic bill payments and other transactions that overdraw your account. We’ll decline ATM and everyday debit card transactions that would overdraw your account unless you opt-in to the Overdraft Program for ATM and Everyday Debit Card Transactions described in the Your Options tab. We won’t guarantee that we’ll always pay or authorize any type of transaction even if we’ve paid similar items in the past. footnote 1, terms and conditions1 Please see the Fees tab for the fee associated with overdrawing your checking account.

As stated in the Deposit Account Agreement, you agree to immediately repay us the amount of any overdraft, including fees. Any deposits into your checking account will be used to repay the overdraft and associated fees. The order in which you write checks and authorize other withdrawals is not necessarily the same order they post to your account, which will affect whether you incur Overdraft fees.

Find a branch

Helpful Tips

Ways to avoid an overdraft

  • Consider a BMO Harris Smart Money Account with no Overdraft fees
  • Revoke your opt-in to the Overdraft Program for ATM and Everyday Debit Card Transactions (in other words, opt-out). Overdraft fees will still apply to recurring debit card transactions, ACH payments and checks that overdraw your account.
  • Set up Overdraft Funding to have funds pulled from a linked account
  • Apply for an Overdraft Protection Line of Credit to have funds advanced from a line of credit
  • Sign up for BMO Digital Banking to:
    • Deposit checks from your phone with the BMO Digital Banking app, footnote 2 and 3, terms and conditions2, 3
    • Set a daily budget and keep track of your spending
    • Sign up for email or SMS alerts to receive updates about your account, footnote 3, terms and conditions3
    • Access account statements and view current balance information

Avoid overdraft fees with a BMO Harris Smart Money Account
Our low monthly fee checking account gives you peace of mind with no Overdraft fees.

Visit the BMO Harris Smart Money Account page for full account details.

New: Now we are giving you more time to avoid an Overdraft Fee
Good News! We do not charge an Overdraft Fee if your account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the close of the Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions6 that the item is presented for payment (first Business Day). Now we will also NOT charge an Overdraft Fee if your account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the close of the first Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions6 after the item is presented for payment (second Business Day).

Example of how our additional time to avoid Overdraft Fees works, assuming no other transactions post to your account on the first Business Day or the second Business Day:

First Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions6: On Monday, your account has a starting balance of $10. During the day, you write a check for $600 and the check is posted to your account. At the end of the Business Day, the account is overdrawn by $590.

Second Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions6: On Tuesday, you deposit a check for $550 to your account in your local BMO Branch during business hours. The account is overdrawn by $40 at the end of the second Business Day.

Even though the account is overdrawn by more than $50 at the end of the first Business Day, no Overdraft Fee was charged for the $600 check because your account was overdrawn by less than $50 at the end of the second Business Day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to enroll to get access to the additional time to avoid Overdraft Fees?
There is no need to enroll. This benefit automatically comes with consumer and business deposit accounts.

What happens if I partially cover funds when my account is overdrawn?
You only need to add money to cover your overdrawn balance if your account is overdrawn by more than $50 at the close of the first Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions6 that the item is presented for payment. If you add money and you are still overdrawn by more than $50 by the close of the second Business Day, you will be charged Overdraft Fees for each item that is more than $5. If you add money and you are overdrawn by $50 or less by the close of the second Business Day, you will not be charged Overdraft Fees.

How can I quickly know if I'm overdrawn?
You can know if your account is overdrawn by signing up for BMO Digital Banking app, footnote 3, terms and conditions3 to:

  • Register for email or SMS alerts, footnote 3, terms and conditions3 to receive updates about your account
  • Access account statements and view current balance information
  • Set up a low balance alert. Learn here how to set up alerts using the BMO Digital Banking app to notify you when your account falls below your desired threshold.

You can also get this information by calling us or stopping by your local branch.

How much additional time do I have to avoid an Overdraft Fee?
You only need to add money to cover your overdrawn balance if each item overdrawing your account is more than $5. If your account is overdrawn by more than $50 at the close of the first Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions6 that the item is presented for payment; you will have until the end of the second Business Day to add money to bring your balance to overdrawn on your account by $50 or less to avoid Overdraft Fees.

What is an Overdraft?
Overdraft means a negative balance in your account that occurs when we pay an item that you do not have Sufficient Available Funds in your account to pay when the item is presented for payment. Sufficient Available Funds means that the Ledger Balance in your account, minus any holds placed on your account, equals or exceeds the amount of the item being presented for authorization or payment. Holds may be placed on your account pursuant to the Deposit Account Agreement, including, but not limited to, Section 7.Z for suspected fraud or to comply with legal requirements and Section 8 for extended holds; or the BMO Digital Banking Agreement for deposits made using Mobile Deposit.

Could you please provide examples of deposits that increase Sufficient Available Funds the same Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions6?

Full amount will increase Sufficient Available Funds

  • Cash deposited at branches, through the mail, or at ATMs
  • Checks deposited at branches, through the mail, or at ATMs and there is no Extended Hold placed on the deposit
  • Preauthorized electronic credits (i.e. ACH)
  • Transfer from another BMO account through any channel
  • Federal Reserve Bank wire transfers

Partial amount will increase Sufficient Available Funds

  • Checks deposited at branches, through the mail, or at ATMs and there is an Extended Hold placed on the deposit – the amount held will not count
  • Mobile Deposit – the first $500 of each check deposit (i.e. check deposit is $600 – only $500 will count)

No amount will increase Sufficient Available Funds

  • BMO Digital Banking External Transfer from an account not held at BMO

What is overdraft protection?

These are optional services that let you link your BMO Harris savings, money market or other checking account or Line of Credit as a backup to your checking account to cover an overdrawn account.

BMO Harris offers two types of Overdraft Protection Services to help protect you from paying Overdraft fees. These are Overdraft Funding and Overdraft Protection Line of Credit.

Find a branch


Your options for handling overdrafts:


Overdraft Protection Services
Overdraft Program for ATM and Everyday Debit Card Transactions Overdraft Funding, footnote 4, terms and conditions4 Overdraft Protection Line of Credit
Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Certain checking account customers can opt-in to this program if they are comfortable overdrawing their account and paying the fees associated with ATM and everyday debit card transactions
  • Customers who have a companion checking, savings or money market account to link to cover overdrafts
  • Customers who apply for, and are approved for, a line of credit that can be linked to cover overdrafts
How it works

How it works

    We will decline ATM and everyday debit card transactions that would overdraw your account unless you select the Overdraft Program for ATM and Everyday Debit Card Transactions (opt-in) described below:

  • If you choose to opt-in:
    • At our discretion, we’ll pay ATM and everyday debit card transactions that would overdraw your account
    • Even if we’ve done so before, we don’t guarantee that we’ll always pay or authorize all transactions
  • If you don't opt-in (in other words, you choose to opt-out), footnote 5, terms and conditions 5:
    • We’ll decline ATM and everyday debit card transactions that would overdraw your account
  • Money transfers automatically from your linked BMO Harris savings, money market or other checking account to cover your overdraft
  • Transfers are subject to funds availability and transfer limitations
  • Accesses your line of credit automatically in increments of $10 to cover the overdrawn amount up to your available credit limit
What it costs

What it costs*

  • If you choose to opt-in:
    • You will be charged a $15 fee for each item we pay when your account is overdrawn more than $50 after all items are posted to the account
    • We will charge a maximum of three Overdraft Fees per business day, footnote 6, terms and conditions 6
  • If you don't opt-in (in other words, you choose to opt-out), footnote 5, terms and conditions 5:
    • No Overdraft Fee will apply to ATM and everyday debit card transactions
  • Whether you opt-in or opt-out, Overdraft Fees will apply to recurring debit card transactions, ACH payments and checks that overdraw your account
  • There is no fee for Overdraft Funding transfers
  • No fee to advance from the line of credit
  • A fixed 18% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) applies to outstanding balances
  • $15 Late Payment fee
How to apply

How to apply

  • Opt-in or opt-out of this program by:
    • Logging in to BMO Digital Banking and modifying your overdraft selection within the “Account Preferences” section
    • Calling us at 1-888-340-2265 
    • Speaking with a BMO Harris Banker at any branch
  • Speak with a BMO Harris Banker by calling 1-888-340-2265 or visiting your nearest branch
  • Complete an application in person at a branch or over the phone by calling 1-888-340-2265 

It costs you nothing to add Overdraft Protection Services to your account*

Want to learn more?
We’re here to help you choose the best Overdraft Protection Services for you:

  • Visit bmoharris.com/overdraft
  • Call us at 1-888-340-2265 
  • Visit us at your nearest BMO Harris branch

, footnote*Even if your account has an Overdraft Protection Service, the Overdraft Fee still applies if you do not have sufficient available funds for us to make a transfer. If you have Overdraft Funding, the Overdraft Fee still applies if we are unable to transfer funds for all items that overdraw the account due to the transfer limitations. If you have an Overdraft Protection Line of Credit and do not have sufficient credit availability to cover an item(s), the item(s) will be returned., footnote 1, terms and conditions 1

(This fee does not apply to the BMO Harris Smart Money Account)

Overdraft Fee:
You will be charged an Overdraft Fee for each item we pay when your account is overdrawn more than $50 after all items are posted to the account. We will not charge you an Overdraft Fee if:

  • The amount of the item is less than or equal to $5;
  • Your account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the close of the Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions 6 the item is presented for payment;
  • Your account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the close of the first Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions 6 after the item is presented for payment. Deposits may not be available immediately. Please see our Funds Availability Policy for Deposit Accounts in Section 8 of the Deposit Account Agreement for more information;
  • Your account has already been charged three (3) Overdraft Fees for the applicable Business Day, footnote 6, terms and conditions 6;
  • The item is a bank fee we assess pursuant to the terms of the Deposit Account Agreement;
  • We previously returned the item unpaid;
  • You had sufficient available funds to pay the item when the item was authorized;
  • The item is an ATM or everyday debit card transaction and you have not authorized us to pay these types of transactions.

When we return an item unpaid because your account does not have sufficient available funds, we don’t charge a fee.


  1. footnote 1 details If for certain reasons we are unable to return an item that overdraws your account, we will pay it and you will be charged any applicable fee associated with paying the item. If the item is an ATM or everyday debit card transaction, you will not be charged the Overdraft Fee if you do not opt-in to the Overdraft Program for ATM and Everyday Debit Card Transactions.
  2. footnote 2 details Mobile Deposit is available using the BMO Digital Banking App. This service may not function on older devices. Users must be a BMO Digital Banking customer with a BMO Harris account opened for more than 5 calendar days. Deposits are not immediately available for withdrawal. For details, please see the BMO Digital Banking Agreement found at bmoharris.com/legal.
  3. footnote 3 details Message and data rates may apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details.
  4. footnote 4 details CDs and IRAs are not eligible to be linked under Overdraft Funding.
  5. footnote 5 details BMO will automatically decline ATM and everyday debit card transactions that would overdraw your account and no fee will be charged if you have not opted-in to the Overdraft Program for ATM and Everyday Debit Card Transactions.
  6. footnote 6 details Business days are Monday through Friday except federal holidays.

For additional information about overdrafts, please read the Deposit Account Agreement for Personal and Business Accounts.