Bank of America Review: Checking, Savings, & CDs

Banking
Updated: 29th Sep 2021
Written by Justin Estes
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May 31, 2021
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Choosing your bank account is an important financial decision because you need a reliable place to keep your money and manage your finances.

Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the United States by assets, and they operate over 4,000 branches.

Customers looking for an all-in-one baking solution will enjoy various options for checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and more.

Bank of America makes baking easy thanks to a massive network of free ATMs, in-person branches, intuitive mobile apps, and online banking access.

If you are looking for higher interest rates or fee-free banking, Bank of America may not be the best option for you. However, if you want a simple jack of all trade solution, Bank of America may be a great choice.

What Is Bank of America?

Bank of America was founded in 1904 in San Francisco. Over a century later, they have grown to be one of America’s largest banks and the first bank to offer coast-to-coast banking services. Customers have access to banking services such as checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and more.

All savings accounts bear interest, and they offer a unique solar fan for spenders who are prone to overdraft fees.

Bank of America also offers luxury perks with their Preferred Rewards Program that offers discounts on interest rates and increased rewards rates on credit cards.

>> More: See Our Round Up of the Best Online Banks

What Does Bank of America Offer?

Bank of America offers a wide range of financial products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and certificate of deposits (CDs). Each category has multiple offerings to appeal to a wide variety of customers.

Bank of America Checking Accounts: 3 Choices

Bank of America offers three different checking accounts depending on how much money you keep in the account and your spending habits.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®

  • Minimum Balance: $25
  • Monthly Service Fee: $4.95

The Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® account is designed for customers prone to overdrafting their accounts. Bank of America charges $35 per overdraft up to four times per day if you keep overdrafting the account.

These overdraft fees can stack up quickly, and the Advantage SafeBalance banking® account helps customers avoid overdraft fees by declining a transaction if there are not enough funds in the account.

There is a $4.95 monthly fee for the Advantage SafeBalance Banking® account, but customers can waive this if they are a student under 24 years old or enrolled in the Preferred Rewards Program.

Students and frequent overdrafts can benefit from the best checking account due to the low monthly maintenance fee and lack of overdraft fees.

The minimum balance to open this account is $25.

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

The Bank of America advantage Plus banking account is the flagship checking account most customers will use. Account holders can buy paper checks and set up overdraft protection linked to a Bank of America savings account.

The Advantage Plus Banking® account offers a full suite of banking services to account holders and comes with a $12 monthly maintenance fee.

Account holders can waive the monthly fee easily by receiving monthly direct deposits of at least $250, Being a student under 24 years old, or maintaining a daily balance of $1,500 or more.

Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking®

The Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking® account is the only interest-bearing checking account. The Advantage Relationship Banking® also waives fees on select services and other accounts with Bank of America while providing all of the Advantage Plus account’s check-writing privileges.

Account holders can waive the $25 monthly maintenance fee by maintaining a combined balance of $10,000 or more in linked accounts or enrolling in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program.

Bank of America Checking Account Features & Benefits

All Bank of America checking accounts offer a robust array of features and benefits to ensure security and convenience.

Fraud Protection

Bank of America uses the most up-to-date encryption technology to keep account data safe and help prevent fraud. Account holders also have access to fraud monitoring service through Bank of America, and they can lock their debit cards remotely if it is stolen or misplaced.

Mobile Deposits

Account holders with Bank of America can deposit checks through the mobile app, which is a convenient and easy solution instead of going to a physical branch to deposit a check.

Better Budgeting

Bank of America offers a helpful tool to encourage saving and budgeting. The Bank of America Keep the Change Savings Program will round up each purchase you make with a Bank of America debit card to the next dollar and deposit that amount into your linked Bank of America savings account.

For example, if you buy a cup of coffee for $3.89, your debit card will round the purchase up to $4 and deposit $0.11 into your savings account.

While each transaction may only deposit pennies into your savings account, the more transactions you have, the more you’ll see your savings balance increase.

Robust Security

Bank of America continues to lead in online encryption practices. Customers can be confident in Bank of America’s security practices, and customer service is available to help with any concerns you may have about your bank account.

Debit Card Controls

Losing your debit card can be a serious issue if most of your money is in your checking account. Thankfully, Bank of America offers the ability to remotely deactivate your debit card if you cannot find it.

Bank of America Advantage Savings

  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Monthly Service Fee: $8

Tiered Savings

Bank of America Offers tiered interest rates, which means that the more money you save, the higher the potential interest rate your money will earn.

The rates are currently 0.01% APY on balances less than $2,500 and 0.01% on balances of $2,500 and more.

Customers in the Preferred Rewards Program earn up to 0.05 percent APY in the Platinum honors tier.

These rates are lower than the national average, and if you are trying to maximize your savings account earning potential, you may want to consider an online bank.

Cashback Deals

Banks often partner with vendors and offer unique discounts and incentivize customers to shop with them. Bank of America consistently offers cashback deals that require customers to enroll to receive the discount.

Most of the cashback deals require a minimum spend amount to receive the benefits.

How Do I Waive the Bank of America Advantage Savings Monthly Fee?

There are a few ways to waive the $8 maintenance fee on the Bank of America Advantage savings account.

Customers can either maintain a daily balance of $500 or more, link a Bank of America Advantage relationship banking checking account, or enroll in preferred Rewards.

BoA Child Savings Account

Bank of America offers a child savings account for minors under 18 years old. The account earns a variable interest rate and is FDIC insured.

Opening the account requires a $25 opening deposit. There are no maintenance fees if the account owner is under 18 years old.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program

Bank of America offers a rewards program for customers who have at least $20,000 in eligible deposit accounts. There are three tiers in The Bank of America Preferred Rewards programs that increase interest rates on savings accounts, rewards rates on credit cards, and more.

Gold

Gold is the introductory level for the Preferred Rewards Program. Customers with at least $20,000 in combined savings with a Bank of America will receive a 5% interest rate booster, 25% rewards bonus on eligible credit cards, a $200 reduction in mortgage origination fees, and a discount on interest rates for loans taken out through Bank of America.

Platinum

Platinum is the middle tier for the Preferred Rewards Program. Customers with $50,000 or more in combined savings will receive a 10% interest rate boost on their savings account, a 50% rewards bonus on eligible credit cards, a discount on Merrill guided investing programs, a $400 reduction in mortgage origination fees, and more discounts on interest rates for home equity and auto loans.

Platinum Honors

Platinum honors are the highest tier in the Preferred Rewards Program. Customers with $100,000 or more in combined savings at Bank of America will receive a 20% interest rate booster on their advantage savings account, a 75% rewards bonus on eligible Bank of America credit cards, unlimited no-fee transactions at non-bank of America ATMs, $600 every on mortgages, and up to 0.375 percent discount on home equity loans, and 0.5% interest rate discounts on auto loans.

Bank of America CD Rates

Bank of America offers two different CD accounts. The standard term CD account offers a 0.03% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000—the terms for the standard term CD account range from 28 days to 10 years.

The featured CD account offers 0.05% APY with a minimum opening deposit of $10,000—the terms for the featured CD account range from 7 months to 37 months.

>> More: Best CD Rates

Other Bank of America Financial Products Offered

  • Credit Cards: Bank of America offers various travel, cash back, and rewards credit cards.
  • Home Loans: Customers have the option to apply for a mortgage or refinance their home for Bank of America.
  • Auto Loans: Bank of America offers auto loans for new and used cars.
  • Merrill Lynch Wealth Management: Merrill Lynch offers a robust Investment Management Service for Bank of America customer service.
  • Small Business Services: Bank of America offers a variety of small business checking accounts and credit cards.
  • Retirement Accounts: customers can manage their retirement accounts through Bank of America’s investment platform.

Bank of America Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • All in One banking solution.
  • Overdraft protection on checking accounts
  • Over 4,000 branches and 17,000 free-to-use ATMs.

Cons:

  • Low APY on savings accounts
  • Many fees, including a $35 fee for overdrafts.
  • Low CD rates

Bank of America Review: Fees, Customer Support, & Experience

BoA Banking Experience

Thanks to excellent digital tools and online banking capability, Bank of America offers a fantastic banking spirit.

Customer Support

Bank of America offers various customer support channels to ensure that their account holders are taken care of.

Customer service is available on weekends, and customers with immediate needs to Utilize the online chat feature.

Bank of America Fees

Bank of America charges its $35 overdraft fee, which is above the market average. The fee can be charged four times a day if customers continue to overdraft the account, and if a customer wants overdraft protection, that will cost $12 per day if a transfer occurs from a linked account to cover the overdraft.

Bank of America also charges various account maintenance fees, but most of them are avoidable if minimum balance requirements and direct deposit requirements are met.

How Does Bank of America Compare?

Many large National Banks offer similar services, so it is important to compare them against each other to make sure you’re getting the service and capabilities you need for your personal finances.

#1. Bank of America vs. Chase Bank

Chase Bank and Bank of America are two of the biggest banks in the country. While most of their offerings are very similar, Chase focuses more on premium banking.

Bank of America has a stronger choice for customers who keep less money in their bank accounts.

#2. Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

Wells Fargo and Bank of America are neck and neck in terms of bank accounts and interest rates; however, Wells Fargo has more branch locations in ATMs than Bank of America does.

So, if local branches and access to in-person banking are important to you, Wells Fargo may be a stronger option.

#3. Bank of America vs. Capital One

Bank of America is known for its extensive network of brick-and-mortar branches. However, customers who prefer an online-only experience may want to consider Capital One.

Capital One offers 0.20% deposit accounts, rewards credit cards, and more. if you want to maximize your savings account earning rate and are comfortable with doing most of your banking online.

#4. Citibank vs. Bank of America

Citibank and Bank of America offer very similar account features, and they both have relatively low interest rates on savings accounts.

Citibank does have high ATM withdrawal limits and debit card purchases like Bank of America does, but it has far fewer branches.

Customers with existing investment brokerage accounts and frequent Travelers would benefit from a Citibank account; however, Bank of America is more competitive.

Bank of America Reviews: FAQs

Is Bank of America FDIC Insured?

Yes. All Bank of America deposit accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Is Bank of America a Good Bank?

With a combination of deposit accounts, credit cards, Investment Management programs, and lending services, Bank of America can be a good fit for somebody who wants to keep all of your finances in one place under the same umbrella.

Has Bank of America Been Hacked?

While one of Bank of America’s third-party data providers was breached in 2013, no customer data has been compromised.

Is Bank of America Safe?

Bank of America is one of the largest and most reputable banks in the country. They utilize the most up-to-date encryption software, and all of their deposit accounts are FDIC-insured.

How Do I Speak to a Bank of America Representative?

You can reach a Bank of America, customer support representative by calling 1-800-432-1000. Bank of America has customer service representatives available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. eastern time and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Bottom Line: Bank of America Review

As one of the largest banks in America, Bank of America offers plenty of financial products for all customers. If you are looking for a one-size-fits-all bank with physical branches across the country, Bank of America may be worth considering.

However, if you are trying to maximize the yields on your savings accounts or avoid any fees, you may want to consider an online bank (such as Chime) as an alternative.

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Justin Estes
Justin Estes
Justin is an experienced personal finance writer, blogger, and author. His background in accounting and finance led to a passion for helping people make the most of their money and matching them with financial products that enhance their lifestyle. When he's not working, he enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and drinking coffee.