Updated October 31, 2023

Bank of America Bank Review

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Bank of America is a national bank with many account options and user-friendly online banking. But does this convenience come at a cost? Read on.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Large branch network
  • Extended service hours
  • Full service banking
  • Monthly fees
  • Low interest rates
  • Many misc. banking fees

Bottom Line

National bank with widespread accessibility and wide range of services

Bank of America offers a variety of account options, including checking, savings, CDs, IRAs, and investment accounts.

We cover your product choices and more in our guide.

Checking

Bank of America offers one checking account with 3 distinct account options. If your financial situation changes, you can switch to the account that works best for you.

  • Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®: This account has no overdraft fees - you can only spend what you have. There are no paper checks.

    The monthly fee can be waived if you are under 25, or if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or more in your account, or if you are a member of Bank of America Preferred Rewards®. The minimum opening deposit is $25.

  • Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®: The minimum opening deposit for this account is $100.

    To waive the monthly service fee, you'll then need to keep a balance of $1,500, or have one direct deposit of at least $250 each statement cycle, or become a member of Bank of America Preferred Rewards®.

    This account allows you to write checks and enroll in overdraft protection.

  • Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking®: You can open an interest-bearing checking account with just $100.

    But, you'll need to maintain a minimum daily balance of $20,000 in your account or become a member of Bank of America Preferred Rewards® to waive the monthly fee.

Compare Checking Accounts

Business Checking Accounts

Savings

The savings account options are rather limited at Bank of America. You only have one choice for a "standard" savings account.

  • Advantage Savings: Open this account with $100 and you'll have access to tiered interest rates. You can earn higher interest rates if you are a member of Bank of America Preferred Rewards®.

    You can waive the monthly service fee with a daily balance of at least $500, or a linked Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking® account, Bank of America Advantage® with Tiered Interest Checking, or Bank of America Advantage® Regular Checking Accounts (first 4 savings accounts).

    The monthly fee is also waived for those under age 25, or a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards®. For new accounts, Bank of America will waive the monthly maintenance for the first six months.

Keep reading to learn about Bank of America's CD options.

Contacting Bank of America: You can reach Bank of America at 1-800-432-1000 for general account questions, issues with a lost/stolen card, or to open an account.

Customer service representatives are available Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 11 PM ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 8 AM to 8 PM ET. They also offer automated support 24/7.

Compare Savings Account Promotion

CDs

If you can tie your money up for a specific period, you may earn higher interest rates on it with a CD.

  • Featured CD: If you won't need $1,000 of your money for at least 7 months, invest it in the Featured CD.

    You'll receive a fixed interest rate for the five CD terms ranging from 7 months to 37 months. You'll have the ability to roll the money over into another CD upon maturity.

  • Standard Term CD Account: If you have at least $1,000, but less than $10,000, you can invest in a Standard Term CD.

    The maturity dates range between 28 days and 10 years, each of which has variable interest rates. You can opt for automatic renewal upon maturity.

You Should Know
With both types of Bank of America CD's, your balances are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Compare CD Rates

IRAs

If your employer doesn't offer a 401(k) or you have extra money to invest beyond your 401(k), Bank of America offers a couple of IRA options.

  • Savings IRAs: If you like to keep things safe, Bank of America offers IRA CDs and money market accounts. You'll receive a predicted return and have the stability of FDIC insurance on your deposits and earnings.

  • Investment IRAs: If you need a more aggressive retirement plan, open an IRA with Merrill Edge. You can then invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs.

Note: Investment IRAs are not FDIC-insured. There is no guarantee of return.

Reasons We Like Bank of America

  • Cashback rewards. You can earn cashback on your regular purchases. With BankAmeriDeals, you can opt in to receive deals on certain purchases.

    You do this in your online or mobile banking platform. If you conduct these purchases with your Bank of America debit card, you'll receive cash back in your checking account.

  • Automatically save with the Keep the Change Savings Program. If you opt into this program, Bank of America will automatically round up purchases made with your debit card to the nearest dollar.

    They deposit the extra change into your savings account.

  • Instant debit card lock. You can lock and unlock your debit card online or in the mobile app instantly.

    If you think you've misplaced your debit card or it was stolen, you can freeze access instantly. When you find it, you can unlock it just as easily. If your card is gone for good, you'll need to call customer service for a replacement.

  • Perks with Bank of America Preferred Rewards®. If you have a combined balance of $20,000 in Bank of America/Merrill Lynch products, you can become a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program.

    This gives you access to higher savings rates, a rewards bonus on your BofA cashback credit cards, limited fee-free, third-party ATM transactions, and savings on Merrill Edge investment commission costs.

  • Build good money habits for kids. Bank of America offers parents help in teaching kids about finances with their "Family Financial Matters" page.

    It offers tips on teaching kids as young as middle school how to budget, tips on saving for college, and many other age-appropriate financial tips for parents to discuss with their children.

  • Mobile banking access. You can conduct a large amount of banking transactions online or on the mobile app.

    Aside from checking your balances and viewing statements, you can pay your bills, transfer funds, and make mobile check deposits.

  • Financial tools. The Bank of America mobile app has spending and budgeting tools.

    These tools allow you to track your spending, create a budget, and potentially increase your savings by changing certain habits.

  • Custom alerts. Set up custom alerts so that you never miss a low balance or payment that's due. You can receive the alerts via text, email, or through the mobile app.

    Choose from a variety of alerts, including low balance alerts, payment due alerts, unusual activity alerts, or deals expiring alerts.

  • Debit card security. Bank of America offers the option to add your picture to the front of your Bank of America debit card to prevent fraudulent activity from a stolen card.

  • FDIC Insured. Your deposits at Bank of America are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per account.

    If Bank of America went out of business, your money would remain safe. This does not apply to any investments opened with Merrill Edge or Merrill Lynch, though.

Bank of America Routing Number: Your Bank of America routing number will depend on the state you opened the account. The routing number is a 9-digit number that you can find on the bottom of your checks, on the left side.

You can also find them in Bank of America's FAQs after you enter your state of residence.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • Monthly service fee. Unless you're under the age of 25, there is monthly service fee. Even for the more basic account, you need to maintain $1,500 to waive the service fee (or have $250 in a single direct deposit each statement cycle).

    This may exclude the lower-income customers who can't meet the minimum balance requirements.

  • Hefty non-BofA ATM fees. Bank of America charges $2.50 - $5.00 for every ATM transaction conducted on an ATM other than one owned by Bank of America. This is in addition to the fees that the third-party bank will charge.

  • Low interest. You have minimal account options and the accounts that do pay interest offer minimal interest rates.

    If you need a place to just park money that will be safe and BofA is convenient for you, it may be feasible. If you are trying to grow your savings or need more account options, you may want to look elsewhere.

  • Fee heavy. Bank of America has a lot of "miscellaneous account charges."

    Even if you qualify to waive the monthly service fee, you may incur a large number of other charges. Make sure to read the fine print to see if any of the charges may apply to your normal banking transactions.

How It Compares

See how Bank of America stacks up against its competition.

  • Chase: Like Bank of America, Chase has many branches and ATMs throughout the US. Chase also offers a similar number of bank accounts as Bank of America, which means you have only a few options.

    Chase does offer a variety of promotions in order to entice consumers to open an account with them, though. Chase tends to charge slightly higher fees, especially for their "premium" accounts for account holders with larger balances.

  • Wells Fargo has branches throughout the United States. But you won't find as many as Bank of America offers.

    Wells Fargo offers customer service around-the-clock and a larger variety of checking and savings accounts than Bank of America.

  • US Bank branches are scattered across the US as well. They tend to offer more checking and savings account options than Bank of America.

    They also offer specialty products for teens and seniors. You may find slightly higher interest rates at US Bank, but they still won't compare to your online bank options.

Bottom Line

Bank of America is a "convenient bank" because of its many locations. It's easier to avoid the third-party ATM fees that banks, including BofA, charge.

But its limited account options and low interest rates may have you looking elsewhere.

Read the fine print and focus on what you want out of your bank account before opening an account just for its convenience.

Bank of America
Member FDIC

Bank of America Advantage Banking - $200 Bonus Offer

Expires 5/31/2024
  • The $200 bonus offer is an online only offer and must be opened through the Bank of America promotional page.
  • The offer is for new checking customers only.
  • Offer expires 5/31/2024.
  • To qualify, open a Bank of America Advantage Banking account through the promotional page and set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $2,000 or more into that new account within 90 days of opening.
  • Bank of America will attempt to pay bonus within 60 days.
  • Additional terms and conditions apply. See offer page for more details.
  • Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.
Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $300 Bonus

Expires 7/24/2024
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account with qualifying activities
  • Access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ - no overdraft fees if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*
BMO Bank
Member FDIC

BMO Smart Advantage Checking - $250 Cash Bonus

Expires 5/3/2024

Open a new BMO Smart Advantage Checking account and get a $250 cash bonus when you have a cumulative total of $4,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of account opening. Offer is limited to one per customer and is not available for existing BMO personal checking customers (including signers on joint accounts) or those who have closed a BMO personal checking account within the past 12 months. Conditions apply.

Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Online Savings Account - Earn 4.25% APY

  • No fees
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum balance required
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Platinum Savings - 5.05% APY

  • 5.05% APY with a balance of $5,000 or more
  • 0.25% APY with a balance of less than $5,000
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Member FDIC

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CreditDonkey is a bank comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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