Bank of America vs. Citibank: Which Is Best for You?

Both national banks offer convenient options but their interest rates are lacking. See how they stack up against each other.
Nov 18, 2021

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Citibank and Bank of America both offer what national banks are known for: convenience over high savings rates. Each has a wide range of accounts and extensive ATM access, plus perks such as top-shelf technology, but their accounts don’t earn much interest.

Here’s a quick look at how Bank of America and Citibank compare.

Snapshot comparison

Bank of America

Citibank (in Basic Banking package)

Checking accounts

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

  • Monthly fee: $12 (see below for ways to wave it).

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100.

Citibank Simple Checking

  • Monthly fee: $12 (see below for ways to waive it).

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.

Savings accounts

Bank of America Advantage Savings

  • APY: 0.01% APY on all balances for standard accounts.

  • Monthly fee: $8 (see below for ways to waive it).

Citi Access Account Savings

  • APY: 0.04% APY (may vary by state).

  • Monthly fee: $4.50 (see below for ways to waive it).

Certificates of deposit

Bank of America interest rates on CDs

  • 1 year: 0.03% APY.

  • 5 years: 0.03% APY.

  • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

Citibank interest rates on CDs

  • 1 year: 0.10% APY.

  • 5 years: 0.15% APY.

  • Minimum deposit: $500.

Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service

  • Overdraft fee: $35, maximum of four per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12 per day.

  • ATMs: About 17,000.

  • Branches: About 4,200.

  • Customer service: Available via messaging support (for certain accounts), phone, email and social media.

  • Overdraft fee: $34, maximum of four per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $10 per day.

  • ATMs: More than 65,000.

  • Branches: More than 600.

  • Customer service: Available via messaging support (for existing customers), social media and 24/7 by phone.

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®
NerdWallet rating 

at Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC

Citi® Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Choose Bank of America if:

  • You want access to more branches.

Choose Citibank if:

  • You want a larger ATM network.

  • You’ll need live customer service during irregular hours.

Or go with an alternative

Unlike these brick-and-mortars, online banks don’t offer a lot of — if any — branches. But online banks do have excellent annual percentage yields, or APYs, that make your savings grow faster, no matter where you live. And fees tend to be low or nonexistent.

Bank of America vs. Citibank: Basic checking accounts

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

Citibank Simple Checking (called Regular Checking in Basic Banking package)

Monthly fee

$12.

  • Receive a direct deposit of $250 or more at least once a month.

  • Maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500.

  • Enroll in Preferred Rewards (which requires $20,000 as an average three-month balance).

  • Have an account owner who is under 25 and an eligible student.

$12.

  • Have one direct deposit and one bill payment each month.

  • Keep an average monthly balance of at least $1,500 in eligible linked accounts.

  • Have a first-listed account owner who is age 62 or older.

  • Have a joint account holder who is a minor.

Minimum deposit to open

$100.

$0.

APY

None.

None.

ATM network and fees

  • About 17,000.

  • $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs.

  • More than 65,000.

  • $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs.

Bonus offer

$100 (expires 6/30/2022); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

None.

Bank of America offers a bonus for opening and funding an account (expires 6/30/2022), giving it a slight edge. But both banks charge steep monthly fees, and you have to jump through hoops to waive them. Bank of America and Citibank both have interest-bearing checking accounts that could offset some fees. But the rates, starting at 0.01%, aren’t worth much attention.

» See more options on our list of best checking accounts

Bank of America vs. Citibank: Basic savings accounts

Bank of America Advantage Savings

Citi Basic Savings

APY

0.01% APY on all balances for standard accounts.

Rates may vary by state. In some, it's 0.04% APY for balances below $25,000; in others, it’s 0.50% APY for balances below $10,000.

Monthly fee

$8.

  • Have a daily balance of at least $500.

  • Have a linked Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking® account.

  • Become a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer (which requires $20,000 as an average three-month balance).

  • Have an account holder who is under 25 and an eligible student.

$4.50.

  • Have an average monthly balance of at least $500.

  • Have a first-listed account owner who is age 62 or older.

  • If you have a linked Citi checking account, the monthly fee is waived if you have a qualifying direct deposit and make a qualifying bill payment each statement period, or if you maintain a minimum $1,500 monthly balance across eligible linked accounts.

Minimum deposit to open

$100.

$0.

Bonus offer

None.

None.

With below-average rates, the basic savings accounts at either bank won’t help your money grow much. Other banks and credit unions have rates around 0.50% for similar accounts. But in some states, Citibank offers a high-yield basic savings option with a rate that’s on par with the higher rates at other banks and credit unions. You can enter your ZIP code on Citibank’s site to see what rates are available in your region.

» For more great options, check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Bank of America vs. Citibank: Certificates of deposit

Bank of America

Citibank

Minimum opening deposit

$1,000.

$500.

APY on one-year term

0.03%.

0.10%.

APY on three-year term

0.03%.

0.10%.

APY on five-year term

0.03%.

0.15%.

Rates may vary by location.

Neither bank earns competitive rates compared with online banks.

» To compare, see the latest top CD rates

Bank of America vs. Citibank: Banking experience

Bank of America

Citibank

Branches

About 4,200.

Over 600 in the U.S.

Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS.

  • 4.6 out of 5 for Android.

  • 4.9 out of 5 stars for iOS.

  • 4.7 out of 5 for Android.

Customer service

  • Available by phone 8 a.m.-11 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET weekends.

  • Live chat also available.

  • Email support available.

  • Social media support available.

  • Available by phone 24/7.

  • Social media support available.

  • Messaging support available (for existing customers).

Both banks have great technology and tools. Bank of America has many more branches, but Citibank has a larger ATM network. If you need live customer service in the middle of the night, Citibank has the edge with its 24/7 staffed call center.

Bank of America vs. Citibank: Overdraft fees

Bank of America

Citibank

Overdraft fee

$35, maximum of four per day.

$34, maximum of four per day.

Overdraft protection transfer fee

$12 per transfer.

$10.

Extended overdraft fee

None.

None.

Bank of America and Citibank charge hefty overdraft fees up to four times a day on most accounts. For those concerned about racking up charges, both banks offer specialized checking accounts — SafeBalance Banking at Bank of America and Access Account at Citibank — that don’t allow paper checks and automatically decline transactions that would send the account into the red.

Should you choose Bank of America or Citibank?

Like most of the best national banks, Bank of America and Citibank offer convenience but charge high fees. Generally, the interest rates at both banks are low, though Citibank offers a highly competitive savings rate in some states. Ultimately, the best bank for you will depend on your location, preferences and financial circumstances.

The information related to Citi Simple Checking (Regular Checking in the Basic Banking package), Citi Savings and Citi CDs has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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