Beware the New Account Inactivity Fee for BMO MasterCard !

For several years, BMO MasterCard has had a fee for people who don’t use their card much. Specifically, if you had a credit balance on your card (perhaps because you over-paid a bill or received a refund for an item back to your card account) and if you didn’t use the card for 12 months, they would charge you $10 and take it out of your positive card balance. This year, however, they have started charging a fee to everyone!

Who Will Get Charged the BMO MasterCard $10 Inactive Card Fee?

If you don’t use your MasterCard one month, the clock will start ticking. If, eleven months later, you still have not used the card, they will bill your card $10.

What Can I Do To Keep My BMO MasterCard Active?

To avoid the fee, you need to

  • buy something that bills your credit card
  • receive a refund on your credit card account
  • pay interest on a balance on your credit card, or
  • pay other fees on your account, perhaps a fee for a cash advance, for example

at least once every 12 months.

How Can I Remember to Keep My BMO MasterCard Active?

You may want to set it up so that an annual or semi-annual bill is charged to your credit card account.

Of course, you’ll need to make sure you remember and pay the credit card bill or you could end up with a huge amount of interest due!

Why Would Anyone Keep a BMO MasterCard If They Are Not Using It?

Many people keep a credit card as a “backup” card in case their usual card is unavailable. This secondary card may seldom get used.

Other people don’t buy much on credit and may simply forget to use it for a year.

Some people also keep an older credit card “open” to maintain the information about the card on their credit history with Equifax and TransUnion.

Are There Any Other New Fees or New Fee Explanations (for 2016) for a BMO MasterCard?

Other fees that they are emphasizing include Cash Advance Fees and Dishonoured Payment Fees.

If you get a cash advance from your BMO MasterCard using

  • BMO Telephone Banking (whether self-serve or through an associate answering your call) or
  • through BMO Online, or
  • through BMO Mobile, or
  • through BMO Tablet Banking

You will be charged a fee of $3.50 in addition to any interest charges on the advance and any other fees, including currency conversion rates.

I thought they had stopped issuing MasterCard cheques but apparently not because there is also a fee if you bounce one.

If you write a MasterCard cheque that exceeds the amount of credit available on your account, it will bounce. (They will refuse to cash it.) If you do that, they will also charge you a fee of $40-$48.

So watch out that you don’t write a cheque at the same time as your pre-authorized bill payment appears on your credit card balance or you could get a nasty fee surprise.

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How to Deposit an Interac e-Transfer of Cash from an EQ Bank Account

OK, first I sent a friend a bit of cash from my EQ Bank Account using a free Interac e-Transfer: Now I want to see how he can deposit the money into his own bank account.

Reading the Interac e-Transfer Message from EQ Bank

Sign in to your email account.

Open the email entitled: INTERAC e-Transfer: Sender’s Name sent you money.
In my email inbox, this note arrived with a green shield and an exclamation mark.

The message tells me

  • who sent the money,
  • whether it’s CAD Canadian dollars or something else
  • what message the Sender wrote to me
  • when the offer will expire (I sent the transfer on April 5 and it expires on May 3)

and it includes a big link button called: Deposit your Money

Cashing an Interac e-Transfer

Open the email message and review the details.

Make sure this is not a scam email phishing for your banking information! If the message is unexpected, contact the sender and check that they really have sent you money by email! Hover your cursor over the Deposit your Money link button and check what address will open if you click on the link. Take any other precautions you can think of!

If everything is ok, click on the Deposit your Money link.

Make a note of the Reference # given in the upper right side of the message, just in case.

You will see icons for most of the common Canadian banks including

  • ATB Financial
  • BMO
  • CIBC
  • Desjardins
  • HSBC
  • Manulife Bank
  • National Bank
  • PC Financial
  • RBC
  • Scotiabank
  • TD

Or you can select a Financial Institution from the drop-down list.

Or you can select a Province or Territory from the drop-down list, and then Select a Credit Union from its drop-down list.

If you don’t bank online or your financial institution is not available, you can click on the Other Options button.

One scary option is you can register your account for online banking through this website, and they will only charge you $4 to do so: No this is NOT a good deal!!! If you can’t deposit the money this way, maybe you should phone the sender and discuss other ways to receive payment.

For most people, click on the link to your bank or select it from one of the drop-down lists.
It may take a bit of time to connect.

It takes you to your regular online banking sign in page.

Sign in as usual

A Receive Money page will open (or at least it did at BMO.)

In the Response field, type the answer to the secret question.

From the Deposit to Account drop-down list, select your preferred account.

Click on Deposit Money

Make a note of the Confirmation Number in case of issues.

You can check your account balance to see what happened. My friend’s shows the money as deposited and off hold immediately. (There may be a hold for some accounts: check with your bank.)

Sign out of your bank account, clear your cache and cookies and close your browser session.

You’re done!

Is It Easier to Deposit an Interac E-Transfer of Cash than a Tangerine Email Money Transfer?

Yes, if the person getting the money does not bank with Tangerine.

To deposit an email money transfer from Tangerine in an account that is not at Tangerine, the receiver has to type in

  • their bank’s “Institution Number”,
  • their bank account “Transit Number” and
  • their “Bank Account Number.”

Many people don’t like this.

When depositing an Interac e-Transfer the person receiving the money just clicks to select the bank into which they want to make the deposit, and then sign in to their online banking like they regularly do. They don’t need to know the Institution Number, Transit Number or even often the Bank Account number.


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