Bank of America Review – Is Bigger Better?
- What is Bank of America?
- Bank of America checking and savings accounts
- Bank of America fees
- Bank of America features
- Who is Bank of America best for?
- Who shouldn’t use Bank of America?
- Pros and cons
- Bank of America vs. competitors
- Should you open a savings account at Bank of America?
- The bottom line
What is Bank of America?
Bank of America checking and savings accounts
Bank of America checking accounts
- Advantage SafeBalance: For students in high school, college, or vocational school. A monthly $4.95 maintenance fee is waived if under age 24 and enrolled in school. The account doesn’t have overdraft fees.
- Advantage Plus: Everyday banking for non-students. A monthly $12 account fee is waived for having a $250 direct deposit each month, or by keeping a $1,500 minimum daily balance.
- Advantage Relationship: Meant for customers with high balances, this checking account earns interest and doesn’t charge fees for some services. A monthly $25 fee is waived for having $10,000 in linked accounts or being enrolled in Preferred Rewards.
Bank of America savings accounts
- Advantage Savings: This savings account pays 0.01% APY, though Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn 0.02, 0.03, and 0.05% more by having $20,000, $50,000, or $100,000, respectively, in their combined accounts at BofA. The monthly maintenance fee is $8 unless the minimum daily balance is $500 or it’s linked to an Advantage Relationship account. The minimum deposit to open an account is $100.
- Minor Savings Account: No monthly maintenance fee if the child is under age 18. This joint account is owned by the minor and parent or guardian. The child can access the funds before age 18, the account pays interest, requires $25 to open, and has no minimum daily balance requirement.
- Custodial Savings Account: Has an $8 monthly fee and is money is given to the child when they reach maturity. The fee is waived with a minimum daily balance of $500. The account pays interest and requires a minimum opening deposit of $100.
Bank of America fees
- Direct deposit of $250 per month.
- $1,500 minimum daily balance in checking account.
- Under age 24 and in school.
- $500 minimum daily balance in a savings account, or linked to a high balance checking account.
- High balance account, called Advantage Relationship, requires $10,000 in linked accounts.
- $12 for overdraft protection transfer
- $5 for statement copies
- $5 for ATM or debit card replacement
- $30 for stop payment request
- $15 for incoming domestic wire transfer
Bank of America features
|Rewards level||Minimum balances||Savings interest rate booster||Free use of non-BofA ATMs||Select banking services|
|Platinum Honors||$100,000||20%||Unlimited||No fees|
Keep the Change
Who is Bank of America best for?
Those with direct deposits
Those who want physical bank branches
Those with high balances
Who shouldn’t use Bank of America?
Those with non-traditional income
Pros and cons
- Accounts for any age. From children to retirees, Bank of America has savings and checking accounts for all ages. It offers a savings account where children can get access to their money now or a custodial account where money can be saved for them and given to them when they turn 18.
- Rewards for high balances. The more money you have in your accounts, the more you’ll save on fees and can get bonuses on the interest you earn in a savings account and elsewhere. Keep at least $100,000 in Bank of America accounts and you can use ATMs for free that aren’t run by the bank.
- Waived fees. Most people should be able to have the monthly maintenance fees waived by having a direct deposit or meeting minimum balance requirements.
- Lots of ATMs and branches. Bank of America has 16,000 ATMs that are free to use, and 4,300 branches across the U.S.
- Low savings rate. The basic rate on a savings account is 0.01% APY. It can go up to 0.05% APY if you have a high balance, but a savings account may not be the best place to park $100,000.
- Overdraft fees. While overdraft fees can be avoided, Bank of America charges a hefty $35 per overdraft, up to four times daily. That can be painful at up to $140 per day. It also charges $12 for an overdraft protection transfer.
- Fees for non-Bank of America ATMs. The bank also charges fees for using non-Bank of America ATMs. The fee is $2.50 in the U.S. and $5 internationally. With 16,000 ATMs that it owns, it shouldn’t be hard finding a BofA ATM in the U.S. If you’re going abroad, you may want to use a credit card without foreign transaction fees instead.
Bank of America vs. competitors
|Bank||Monthly fee||Savings APY||Overdraft fee||Branches|
|Bank of America||$4.50-$25||0.01%||$35||4,300|
Bank of America vs. Citibank
Bank of America vs. Wells Fargo
Should you open a savings account at Bank of America?
Is a large bank for me?
The bottom line
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