October 12, 2018

Bank of America Review: Account Good for You?

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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.

Overall Score

3.2

Savings

3.0

CD

2.0

Checking

2.5

Customer Service

4.0

Mobile App

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Large branch network
  • Extended customer service hours
  • Full service banking
  • No free checking option
  • Low interest rates
  • Many miscellaneous 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 settings. If your financial situation changes, you can switch to the setting that works best for you.

  • Advantage SafeBalance: This setting 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 a student under 24, or if you are enrolled in Preferred Rewards. The minimum opening deposit is $25.

  • Advantage Plus Banking: The minimum opening deposit for this setting 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 month, or be a student under 24.

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

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

    But, you'll need a minimum average balance of $10,000 in your combined accounts to waive the monthly fee. These accounts include checking, savings, CDs, IRAs, or Merrill Edge/Merrill Lynch investment accounts.

Compare Checking Accounts

Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $225 Bonus

Expires 1/19/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $225 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect - 0.50% APY

  • Earn a competitive high yield savings rate with access and convenience features of an eChecking account.
  • Earn up to 0.50% APY on Savings Connect and 0.25% APY on eChecking.
  • Savings Connect is a tiered interest rate account dependent on the account holder opening a linked qualifying eChecking concurrently and makes periodic qualifying deposits.
    • Base Tier: (0.42% APY, 0.399% Interest Rate) A minimum qualifying deposit of $200 is not deposited each month into the linked eChecking or the eChecking account is closed.
    • Upper Tier: (0.50% APY, 0.499% Interest Rate) A qualifying deposit of $200 or more is deposited into the linked eChecking account each month.
    • APY assumes a qualifying deposit of $200 or more is made to the linked eChecking account each month.
  • Minimum of $100 for both the Savings Connect and eChecking to open ($200 total).
HSBC
Member FDIC

HSBC Premier Checking - $450 Welcome Deposit

Expires 1/5/2022
  • Get a $450 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open a new HSBC Premier checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
  • Open your new HSBC Premier checking account online by January 5, 2022; and
  • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening.
  • You will automatically receive the $450 Welcome Deposit in your new HSBC Premier checking account approximately eight weeks after completing all qualifying activities. It's that simple.
  • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.

Savings

© CreditDonkey

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

  • Reward Savings: Open this account with $100 and you'll have access to tiered interest rates. The more you save, the higher interest rates you'll earn.

    You can waive the monthly service fee with an average balance of $500, a linked BofA Interest Checking account, or become a member of the Preferred Rewards Program (see below).

  • Child Savings: Put your child in charge of their money with this joint account. Children under the age of 18 don't pay a monthly service fee for this account.

    Your child will need $25 to open the account. There is no minimum required balance. Children/parents will have access to:

    • Online/mobile banking
    • Automatic transfers from a checking account
    • A Bank of America debit chip card.

  • Custodial Savings Account: If you want to save for your child but not give him/her access until the age of 18, this account is a good choice. You stock away the savings, and your child receives access to it upon their 18th birthday.

    You will need to maintain an average balance of $500 in order to waive the monthly fee. This account also includes:

    • Online/mobile banking
    • Automatic transfers from a linked checking account
    • A Bank of America debit chip card.

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

Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code CY21 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 12/15/21, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 12/15/2021
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Savings Builder - 0.40% APY

Earn up to 0.40% APY. Here's how it works: Maintain a minimum balance of $25k OR make at least a $100 minimum deposit every month. Member FDIC

Axos Bank
Member FDIC

High Yield Savings

  • 0.61% APY on balance < $25,000
  • 0.25% APY on balance $25K-$100K
  • 0.15% APY on balance > $100K
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No fees to open or maintain account
  • Free ATM card upon request
  • FDIC Insured

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 $10,000 of your money for 12 months, invest it in the Featured CD.

    You'll receive a fixed interest rate for the 12-month term. 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

Quontic
Member FDIC

CD Rates - Up to 1.11% APY

  • $500 minimum opening deposit
  • FDIC insured
TermCD Rates
6 Months0.55% APY
1 Year0.60% APY
2 Years0.75% APY
3 Years1.00% APY
5 Years1.11% APY
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Term CDs

  • Up to 0.50% APY
  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
TermCD Rates
6 Month0.30% APY
1 Year0.30% APY
13 Month0.30% APY
18 Month0.30% APY
2 Year0.40% APY
3 Year0.40% APY
4 Year0.50% APY
5 Year0.50% APY
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Certificate of Deposit

  • 0.50% APY for 12-month term
  • 0.60% APY for 36-month term
  • 0.80% APY for 5-year term

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: These accounts are not FDIC-insured. There is no guarantee of return.

Reasons We Like Bank of America

© CreditDonkey

  • 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 Preferred Rewards Program. If you have a combined balance of $20,000 in Bank of America/Merrill Lynch products, you can join the 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.

  • Free mobile banking. 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

  • No free checking option. Unless you're a student under 24, there is no free checking option. 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 per month).

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

  • Hefty non-BofA ATM fees. Bank of America charges $5 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.

 

Bank of America

US Bank

SPECIAL OFFER
Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking® - $100 Bonus Offer - Learn More

SPECIAL OFFER
Business Checking Account - $750 Bonus - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Savings
Check
0.01% APY. Minimum deposit $25. Monthly maintenance fee $4, unless you have $300 minimum daily ledger balance OR $1,000 average monthly collected balance.
CD
Check
Standard Term CD: 0.05% - 0.25% APY. Terms ranging from 1 month - 60 months. Minimum deposit of $500. Maximum deposit $249,999. CD Special: 0.15% APY - 0.75% APY. Terms of 21 month - 59 months. Minimum deposit of $1,000. Maximum deposit $249,999.
Checking
Check
Easy Checking, Gold Checking Package, Platinum Checking Package
Customer Service
  • Mon-Fri: 8am - 9pm (ET)
  • Sat: 8am - 8pm (ET)
  • Sun: 8am - 5pm (ET)
24/7 Live Customer Service (Telephone)
ATMs
Approximately 17,000 ATMs
More than 4,700 ATMs across the country
LocationsApproximately 4,300 retail financial centersMore than 3000 branches across the country.

Business Checking Account - $750 Bonus

Bank of America: Pricing information from published website as of 10/02/2021 based on 91107 zip code.

US Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 10/02/2021 based on 91107 zip code.

You might also consider:

Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover Online Savings - $150 Cash Bonus

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code CY21 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 12/15/21, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 12/15/2021
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Online Savings Account - Earn 0.40% APY

  • No fees
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum balance required
Quontic
Member FDIC

High Yield Savings - 0.55% APY

  • 0.55% APY
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly service fees

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.

Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $225 Bonus

Expires 1/19/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $225 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code CY21 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 12/15/21, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 12/15/2021
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Money Market Account - 0.45% APY

  • 0.45% APY
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
HSBC Bank
Member FDIC

HSBC Premier Checking - $450 Welcome Deposit

Expires 1/5/2022
  • Get a $450 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open a new HSBC Premier checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
  • Open your new HSBC Premier checking account online by January 5, 2022; and
  • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening.
  • You will automatically receive the $450 Welcome Deposit in your new HSBC Premier checking account approximately eight weeks after completing all qualifying activities. It's that simple.
  • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
TD Bank
Member FDIC

TD Beyond Checking - $300 Cash Bonus

  • New customers who apply online for a TD Beyond Checking account can earn a $300 cash bonus after receiving direct deposits of $2,500 or more within 60 days. To qualify for this offer, you must be a U.S. resident and apply for the offer online. Offer is available in these states: CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, ME, MA, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA
  • Earn $300 when you receive direct deposits totaling $2,500 or more within 60 days
  • Get more from your checking account. With TD Beyond Checking with Payback Plus, you'll earn interest and get reimbursed for non-TD ATM transactions, Rush Bill Payments and more.
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived when you receive monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more, or maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500, or a combined balance of $25,000 across eligible TD accounts.
  • TD fees waived at any ATM and non-TD fees reimbursed when you keep at least a $2,500 daily balance
  • Overdraft Payback - Get overdraft fees automatically reversed up to two times a year.
  • Get your money where it needs to go —fast— with Rush Bill Payments, Send Money with Zelle®, incoming wires and a reimbursement for one outgoing wire (domestic or international) per statement cycle.
  • TD checking accounts come with an instant-issue debit card. And, you can pay with confidence with Zero Liability protection and 24/7 fraud monitoring.
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived on one TD Simple Checking℠ account and any Savings and Money Market accounts. Plus, get free standard check orders, money orders, official bank checks and stop payments.

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