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.
Jun 27, 2022

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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 waive 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: 0.05% (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

Bank of America details
  • Overdraft fee: $10, maximum of two per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12 per day.

  • ATMs: About 16,000.

  • Branches: About 4,100.

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

Citibank details
  • Overdraft fee: $0.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $0.

  • 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 want to avoid overdraft fees.

  • You’ll need live customer service by phone 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.

3 ways to waive it
  • 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).

$12.

4 ways to waive it
  • 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 16,000.

  • $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs.

  • More than 65,000.

  • $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs.

Bonus offer

$100 (expires 12/31/2022); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

Up to $2,000 (expires 01/09/2023); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

+ Click here for analysis of Citibank and Bank of America's checking accounts

Both Citibank and Bank of America offer a sign-up bonus, but both banks charge steep monthly fees, and you have to jump through hoops to waive them. Bank of America and Citibank both offer interest-bearing checking accounts but the rates, starting at 0.01%, aren’t worth much attention.

Choose Citibank if you want access to more ATMs and the potential to earn a bigger cash bonus.

» 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 0.05% APY for balances below $10,000; in others, it’s 1.40% APY for balances below $10,000.

Monthly fee

$8.

5 ways to waive it
  • 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.

  • Have an account holder who is under 18.

$4.50.

4 ways to waive it
  • 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.

  • If you have a linked Citi checking account, the monthly fee is waived if you maintain a minimum $1,500 monthly balance across eligible linked accounts.

Minimum deposit to open

$100.

$0.

Bonus offer

None.

None.

+ Click here for analysis of Citibank and Bank of America's savings accounts

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 basic savings 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.

+ Click here for analysis of Citibank and Bank of America's CDs

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 4,100.

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 support also available.

  • Email support available.

  • Social media support available.

  • Available by phone 24/7.

  • Social media support available.

  • Messaging support available (for existing customers).

+ Click here for analysis of Citibank and Bank of America's banking experience

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

$10, maximum of two per day.

$0.

Overdraft protection transfer fee

$12 per transfer.

$0.

Extended overdraft fee

None.

None.

+ Click here for analysis of Citibank and Bank of America's overdraft fees

Citibank comes out on top because it doesn't charge overdraft fees.

» Check out the banks that have recently reduced or eliminated overdraft fees

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.

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