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FAQs



Our top questions

 

I'm a new business owner. Where should I start?

 

Every new business needs different financial solutions to help it get off to a great start. As a first step, it's a smart idea to open a Business Account so that you can separate your personal and business banking. From there, you can explore the different credit card, lending and cash management solutions that we offer, which can help you succeed.

 

We have developed a helpful tool that can provide guidance and financial solutions to consider, depending on the size and type of your business. Give it a try today!

What do I need to know about my credit rating?

 

Building and maintaining a good credit rating can help you borrow the money you need to start, grow and manage your business. Even if you have a strong personal credit rating, it's a good idea to build a strong business credit rating, so that you can get the financing you need today and down the road. Having and using a Business Credit Card is one way to start building your business' credit rating - and set it up for future growth.

 

Money in. Money out. How do I control the flow?

 

Most business owners will tell you that managing cash flow is one of the greatest challenges to running a successful business. We have many solutions that can help ensure you have the cash on hand to smoothly operate your business every day. Visit our Cash Management page for more information about how we can help.


Business credit card FAQs

 


What is the difference between a charge card and a credit card?

 

With a credit card, you can choose to pay off your monthly balance by the due date and enjoy interest-free financing of your purchases; or, you can choose to make a partial payment or minimum payment if it fits your budget better. With a charge card, you must pay off your balance in full every month. BMO MasterCard for Business is a credit card.

 


What is a Payment Grace Period?

 

Generally, the card issuer gives the cardholder a set number of days (21 at a minimum) from the statement date to make the minimum payment as shown on the statement. This is called the payment grace period. When certain conditions are met, it allows cardholders to use their credit card to make purchases without paying any interest. There is no grace period for cash advances or balance transfers.

 


What determines my credit limit?

 

Your credit limit is based on your (the business owner's/owners') income, existing debt, and your credit history. Once your application has been approved, a credit limit is assigned to the BMO® MasterCard®* for Business account. Business owners can request to allocate the limit to different cards (including employee cards) within the account. The sum of the limits for all cardholders on the account must match the credit limit assigned to the business. From time to time, we may re-evaluate your credit situation and make changes to your credit limit if necessary. Only business owners can request changes to the credit limit.

 

Employee card limits are requested by the business owners. Employees cannot request card limit changes; changes (including increases and re-allocations) can only be requested by business owners. In the case of multiple business owners, any business owner can request card limit changes.

 

As you demonstrate responsible use of credit (such as making timely payments and not exceeding your credit limit), chances are you can have your credit limit increased. You may make purchases and cash advances up to your credit card's pre-set credit limit. Your card offers you revolving credit; as you use your card, you are continually borrowing against your limit and repaying it. Therefore, the amount of credit available at any time will vary depending on your current outstanding balance.

 


How can I have my credit limit changed?

 

If you would like to request a credit limit increase or decrease, call us at 1-800-263-2263 (TTY 1-866-859-2089) or, once you have your BMO® MasterCard®* for Business card, visit bmo.com and login to BMO Online Banking. There, you can complete your request via the Credit Cards section. Only business owners can request changes to credit limits for BMO MasterCard for Business accounts.

 

You may be required to provide up-to-date information about your income, assets, and/or credit obligations, depending on the amount of credit limit increase you are requesting.

 


What is a cash advance?

 

With a BMO MasterCard for Business card, you have access to cash through a network of ATMs and financial institutions worldwide displaying the MasterCard logo. With a cash advance, interest begins accruing from the day you receive the advance. Unlike purchases, there is no payment grace period for cash advances.

 


What do I need to know about my credit rating?

 

Your credit history is an indicator to other creditors whether you pay your bills on time, how much you owe, and how responsible you are with your money. A credit card can help you build a credit history. Many businesses will use this to judge your credit worthiness, your reliability, and your ability to act responsibly. Lenders use it to make decisions on applications for loans, mortgages, and lines of credit. Landlords often check it before renting. Employers may use it in hiring. How you handle credit today has a very real impact on your future. You can obtain a copy of your credit bureau report by contacting the credit bureau in your area.

 


How old do you have to be to get a credit card?

 

You need to have reached the age of majority in your province or territory:

  • 19 years of age in: British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland/Labrador, and the Territories
  • 18 years of age in: Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island

 


How are interest charges calculated?

 

We charge interest on Purchases, Cash Advances, cash-like transactions and fees from the date of the transaction or the fee until the date we receive payment in full. You authorize us to charge this interest to your Account. However, as explained below, we do not charge interest to your Account if you meet certain conditions. We never charge interest on interest charges.

 

When we don't charge interest.

We don't charge interest on Purchases when they appear on your Account statement for the first time if you pay your New Balance in full by the payment due date. You are required to pay interest on all Cash Advances and cash-like transactions. We treat electronic balance transfers and purchases you make using MasterCard Cheques and lottery gaming fees as Cash Advances.

 


How are fees for optional features calculated?

 

The date on which your card is first issued becomes the anniversary date for your account. Any fee-based optional features or interest rate plan you have are always billed to your account within the first two months of obtaining your card or when you add them to your account and then annually on the first statement following this date. Later on, if you add a fee-based feature or interest rate plan to your card, the fee for that feature will be pro-rated to your anniversary date. This means that your account may initially be billed for only part of the fee. Then, on your card's anniversary date, your account will be billed the full fee for the upcoming year.

 

More about how fees are charged and refunded

 


How are foreign currency transactions charged?

 

If you have a Canadian dollar MasterCard®*, we convert transactions made in a foreign currency to Canadian dollars. If you have a U.S. dollar MasterCard card, we convert transaction made in a foreign currency to U.S. dollars. We make the conversion at our purchase exchange rate in effect on the day the transaction is posted to your account. Our purchase exchange rate may not be the same as the rate that was in effect on the transaction date.

 

Our purchase exchange rate means the rate we pay to MasterCard International on the day the transaction is posted to your account plus the markup percentage shown on the card carrier (for example, 2.5%) or in any notice we may send you.

 

Our refund exchange rate means, the rate we pay to MasterCard International on the date the refund is posted to your account, minus the markup percentage shown on the card carrier or in any notice we may send you.

 

If you have a Canadian dollar MasterCard and a foreign currency transaction is refunded to your account, we convert the transaction in Canadian dollars. If you have a U.S. dollar MasterCard and a foreign currency transaction is refunded to your account, we convert the transaction in U.S. dollars. We make the conversion at our refund exchange rate in effect on the day the transaction is posted to your account. Our refund exchange rate may not be the same as the rate that was in effect on the date the transaction was refunded. The difference between our purchase exchange rate and our refund exchange rate means that the amount credited to your account for a refund of a foreign currency transaction will in most cases be less than the original amount charged to your account for the transaction.

 


What should I do if I lose my credit card?

 

The moment you realize your BMO® MasterCard®* for Business is lost or stolen, report it to us by calling 1-800-361-3361 from North America, or 514-877-0330 internationally (call collect through the Canadian operator).

 

If you are a member of a credit card registration plan, you can report the lost card to them and they in turn will report this to us.

 

If your card is used without your authorization, you will not be liable if; you did not knowingly contribute to the unauthorized use; you used reasonable care to keep your card safe from loss, theft or misuse; you kept your PIN confidential and separate from your card; you notify us by telephone within 24 hours if you learn of the loss, theft or misuse or your card, or if you know or suspect that someone else knows your PIN; there has not been more than one unauthorized use of your card in the last 12 months and your account is in good standing. If you do not meet these criteria, you will be liable for all charges incurred in connection with the unauthorized use.

 


What about security and my personal information?

 

Your BMO MasterCard automatically includes IDefence®†# and Zero Dollar Liability to protect you around the clock. IDefence is a service that helps prevent identity theft and includes assistance in the event you become a victim. Zero Liability protects you in most instances for unauthorized purchases.

 

More about your security

 


How are AIR MILES®† reward miles collected?

 

With a BMO® AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* for Business card (no annual fee, $5 per employee card), you will earn one Mile for every $20 you spend on the card: $20 in card purchases =

one Mile.

If you spend $500 in card purchases every month, you will accumulate 25 Miles in a month or 300 Miles in one year.

Bonus reward miles:

Purchases made at Shell®†† locations in Canada (including Beaver, Turbo and Payless) are cumulative over your statement period and you’ll earn 1.25x Miles for every $20 spent on your card up to a monthly maximum spend of $2,500 for owners and $500 for employees. Purchases made at National Car Rental®#† and Alamo®#† Rent A Car locations worldwide earn 1.5x reward miles for every $20 spent on your card on a per-transaction basis.

With a BMO Gold AIR MILES®† MasterCard for Business ($119 annual fee, $15 per employee card), you will earn one mile for every $15 you spend on the card: $15 in card purchases =

one Mile.

If you spend $1,000 in card purchases every month, you will accumulate 66 Miles in a month or 792 Miles in one year.

Bonus reward miles:

Purchases made at Shell locations in Canada (including Beaver, Turbo and Payless) are cumulative over your statement period and you’ll earn 1.25x Miles up to a monthly maximum spend of $2,500 for owners and $500 for employees. Purchases made at National Car Rental & Alamo Rent A Car locations worldwide earn 2x Miles for every $15 spent on your card on a per-transaction basis.

Miles are earned on card purchases (less returns). Reward miles are not awarded for cash advances, cash-like transactions, fees, interest or payments. The number of Miles will be rounded down to the nearest whole number. Fractions of Miles will not be awarded.

 


What is BMO Premium BizAssist™?

 

BMO Premium BizAssist is a feature included with all BMO® MasterCard®* for Business cards. With this feature, business owners have access to a vibrant online community. This premium membership (valued at $149 annually) provides access to a full suite of online resources designed to help your small business grow.

  • Build a dynamic web profile for your business in minutes that will help customers find you locally
  • Promote your business with an image gallery to showcase the brands, products, and services you offer
  • Get exclusive access to an extensive library of social marketing guides and business templates that help you get the most out of current marketing trends
  • Benefit from exclusive discounts through a network of partner suppliers

 


What is MasterCard Easy Savings?

 

Managed by MasterCard International Incorporated, this program offers BMO MasterCard for Business customers (owners and employees) automatic rebates on their statements if they make purchases at participating merchants.

 



Online banking questions

 


I normally use the function 'Remember my Bank Card' but my card number does not appear in the list anymore.

 

Solution:

 

If you have cleared your cookies or are using another computer the card number will not appear and you’ll need to enter the card number again. Please refer to the 'Remember my Bank Card FAQs'.

 


Why do I receive a security alert telling me that the site certificate has expired or is not yet valid?

 

Solution:

 

For Windows:

  • Double click the time display in the bottom right corner of the system tray, or right click on the time and select 'Adjust Date/Time'.
  • Ensure the date and time is current. If necessary adjust the date and time accordingly and then close the window.

 

For Apple:

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Select Date and Time.
  • Adjust the date and time accordingly and then close the window.

 


I cannot print using the 'Print' icon from within BMO Online Banking.

 

Solution:

 

Verify that pop-up blocking settings of your browser are currently allowing pop-ups from bmo.com.

 

 

Block Pop-up Windows

 

What is a Pop-up Blocker?

 

A Pop-up Blocker is a browser feature that prevents pop-up ads from appearing. A pop-up window contains advertising and is usually generated by JavaScript code.

 

Internet Explorer®#**

By default, Pop-up Blocker is turned on in Internet Explorer and set to the medium setting, which means it will block most automatic pop-ups.

 

Changing Pop-up Blocker settings

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • In the Tools menu, select Pop-up Blocker, and then click Pop-up Blocker Settings.

 

 

Block Pop-up Windows with Firefox®††*

 

Changing Pop-up Blocker settings

  • Open Firefox.
  • In the Tools menu, select Options, and then the 'Content' tab.
  • Put a tick in 'Block Popup Windows' option.

 

Note: Un-checking the Block Popup Windows option will disable pop-up blocking.

 


How do I disable file sharing in Windows®#** products?

 

Windows family of operating systems uses a feature called "File Sharing" which allows other computers on the network to access your PC, even from across the Internet. The help feature included in the Microsoft®#** products will help you disable this feature (click on Start, then Help, then Index and type "disabling folder or drive sharing" to find out instructions).

 


What browsers do we support for BMO Online Banking?

 

  • Internet Explorer 8 to 11
  • Firefox: latest version
  • Safari‡‡: latest version
  • Chrome: latest version
  • Please note that we do not support alpha and beta versions of these browsers.

 


Where can I get a 128-bit encryption browser?

 

If your browser does not use this level of encryption, please download a browser with 128-bit encryption to use BMO Online Banking. Please note that we do not endorse specific Internet browsers. Following are links to some of the more commonly downloaded Internet browsers available today:

 

 


What are cookies?

 

Cookies are very small text files sent by a web site to your Internet browser. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages.

 


How do I enable cookies?

 

To use Online Banking, change your browser settings to accept cookies. Following are the detailed instructions about changing your settings on your browser:

 

* Internet Explorer 7 and 8 settings

  1. click on "Tools" on the menu bar
  2. select "Internet Options"
  3. click on "Privacy" (third tab at the top)
  4. adjust the slider on the bar to the desired level. If you click on "Advanced", you can customize the chosen level.
  5. click "OK"

 

* Firefox settings

  1. Click "Tools" and select Options on the Firefox menu bar.
  2. Click the "Privacy" Icon on the option menu bar, to open the Privacy Properties.
  3. Click on the PLUS sign in front of the Cookies option to extend the menu.
  4. Add a check mark to the box in front of Allow sites to set cookies option.
  5. Remove the checkmark from the for the originating web site only option.
  6. Click the down arrow to expand the drop down menu after the Keep Cookies field and select "until they expire".
  7. Note: If this option is already checked, close the window to accept the Cookies settings.
  8. Click "OK" to return to the browser main page.
  9. Exit and re-launch the browser.

 


What is a firewall?

 

A firewall helps to limit online access to only those with proper authorization. Consider a firewall as a virtual wall that separates a trusted environment (such as corporate or home networks) from untrusted environment (such as the Internet) by controlling and regulating the traffic between these two environments such that the trusted environment is protected from any harmful activity (such as viruses, worms or intrusion attacks) initiated on the untrusted side.

 


What is a personal firewall?

 

A personal firewall (sometimes called a desktop firewall) is a software application used to help protect a single Internet-connected computer from intruders. Personal firewall protection is useful for users with "always-on" connections such as DSL, cable modem or dial-up connections. Often compared to anti-virus applications, personal firewalls work in the background, to help protect the integrity of the system from unauthorized access by controlling Internet connections to and from a user's computer, filtering inbound and outbound traffic, and alerting the user to attempted intrusions.

 


What is encryption?

 

Encryption is a technique used to help safeguard private information while it is sent via the Internet. To recognize that your transmission is encrypted, some browsers will display a small icon on your screen that looks like a padlock or a key, and the URL (the address or location at the top of the browser) starts with "https" instead of "http" (the extra "s"). BMO Financial Group uses 128-bit encryption, which is a very high form of encryption. In order to use our Online Banking, you must have a 128-bit encryption level browser.

 


What is a digital certificate?

 

A digital certificate is an electronic "passport" that authenticates a web site when doing business or other transactions on the Web. It is issued by a certification authority (such as Entrust and VeriSign). It contains, amongst other things, the name, a serial number, expiration dates and the digital signature of the certification authority, so that a recipient can verify that the certificate is genuine. You can verify a digital certificate by clicking (or double-clicking) on the closed padlock that comes up at the bottom of the browser when doing business with a secure web site.

 


What is cache?

 

Cache has been designed to improve performance and reduce network traffic. When you view a web page, it is stored in both your browser's memory cache and/or your computer's disk cache. Your browser relies on its memory cache when you use the browser's "Back" button. Rather than going to the network to retrieve the page, the page is retrieved from the browser memory cache. To help protect the confidential nature of your personal information, we highly recommend that you clear your browser's memory cache after logging out of your Online Banking session.

 


To clear browser's cache

 

If you are using any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7:

  • from your browser menu select: Tools
  • from the drop-down menu select: Internet Options
  • on the "General" tab (the 1st one at the top) look for the "Browsing History" section near the middle of the window, and click on the "Delete" button
  • In the new dialogue box, click "Delete Files" in the Temporary Internet Files section, and then click "Yes"
  • Click the "Close" button and then click the "OK" button

 

If you are using any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 8:

  • from your browser menu select: Tools
  • from the drop-down menu select: Internet Options
  • on the "General" tab (the 1st one at the top) look for the "Browsing History" section near the middle of the window, and click on the "Delete" button
  • In the new dialogue box, de-select the checkbox for "Preserve Favorites website data", select the checkbox for "Temporary Internet Files", and then click "Delete"

 

If you are using Firefox 1.5 to 3:

  • Click "Tools" and select "Options" on the Firefox menu bar
  • Click the "Privacy Icon" on the Option menu bar to open the Privacy Properties
  • Click "Clear" across from the Cache/Private Data option
  • Click "Ok" to return to the browser main page
  • Exit and re-launch the browser

 

If you are using Firefox 3.5 +:

  • Click "Tools" and select "Clear Recent History" on the Firefox menu bar
  • In the new dialogue box, select "Everything" in the drop-down menu next to "Time range to clear"
  • Click "Details" and select "Cache"
  • Select "Clear Now"

 

For users of other browsers, please refer to your browser's documentation on memory/disk caching

 


How to choose a good password

 

DO
  • use 6-digit passwords. Avoid birthday dates, numeric sequences or any other combinations that can be easily guessed
  • change your passwords frequently
  • use different passwords for every system you access

 

DON'T
  • use words from dictionaries, names of friends or relatives, calendar dates or common phrases
  • use combinations of your name and initials
  • tell anyone your password
  • write passwords on easily accessible places such as your desk calendar or under your keyboard

 


Where to report fraud on credit and debit cards

 

BMO: 1-800-555-3000

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) (a Canadian national call centre)

Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501

Toll Free Fax: 1-888-654-9426

And/or to the Canadian credit bureaus:

Equifax: 1- 800-465-7166

Trans Union Canada: 1-877-525-3823; Quebec residents 1-877-713-3393

 


®*MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Inc.

®†AIR MILES is a trademark of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Co. and Bank of Montreal.

®††Registered trademark of Shell Canada Limited. Used under license by Shell Canada Products. Used with permission by Bank of Montreal

®#†National, the ‘flag’ and Emerald Club are trademarks of Vanguard Trademark Holdings USA, LLC

®#†Alamo is a trademark of Vanguard Trademark Holdings USA, LLC.

®†#IDefence® is a trademark owned by D+H Limited Partnership, used under licence by Bank of Montreal.

®†Biz Assist is a registered trademark of D+H Limited Partnership. Bank of Montreal is an authorized user of the trademark.