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

Compare Bank of America and Chase to see which of these traditional banks could be a better fit for your money.
Jun 27, 2022

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With big national banks like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, it can be tough at first to see much of a distinction. Both have thousands of branches and ATMs, a variety of account choices and up-to-date technology. But the details can make the difference.

Snapshot comparison

Bank of America

Chase

Checking accounts

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

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

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100.

  • Chase Total Checking®

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

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.

  • Savings accounts

    Bank of America Advantage Savings

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

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

    Chase Savings℠

    • Interest rate: 0.01% APY (effective 11/18/2021; rates are variable and subject to change).

    • Monthly fee: $5 (See below for ways to waive it).

    Certificates of deposit

    Bank of America CD interest rates

    • 1 year: 0.03% APY.

    • 5 years: 0.03% APY.

    • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

    Chase CD interest rates

    • 1 year: 0.01% APY.

    • 5 years: 0.01% APY.

    • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

    Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service

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

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12.

  • Branches: About 4,200.

  • ATMs: About 16,000.

  • Customer service: Available by phone 8 a.m.-11 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET on weekends.

  • Overdraft fee: $34, maximum of three per day. No charge if account is overdrawn by $50 or less at end of day. Also no overdraft fee if the account balance is overdrawn more than $50 but is brought down to being overdrawn by $50 or less by the next business day. 

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $0.

  • Branches: More than 4,700.

  • ATMs: 16,000.

  • Customer service: Available by phone 7 a.m.-12 a.m. ET, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET on weekends.

  • Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®
    NerdWallet rating 

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

    Chase Overall Star Rating
    NerdWallet rating 

    at Chase, Member FDIC

    Choose Bank of America if:

    • You want a lower monthly deposit requirement to waive the monthly checking account fee.

    • You want an automated roundup program to boost your savings.

    Choose Chase if:

    • You want the opportunity to earn a bigger sign-up bonus on checking (expires 10/19/2022).

    • You seek lower fees for some services.

    • You have less to deposit initially for checking and savings.

    • You want a lower limit on the daily balance requirement to waive the monthly savings account fee.

    See where Bank of America and Chase rank in the list of the largest banks in the U.S.

    Or go with an alternative

    Unlike these brick-and-mortars, online banks don’t have thousands of branches. But they do have excellent annual percentage yields, or APYs, that make your savings grow faster. And fees tend to be low or nonexistent.

    Bank of America vs. Chase: Basic checking accounts

    Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

    Chase Total Checking®

    Monthly fee

    $12.

    • Receive direct deposits of at least $250 each month.

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

    • Become a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer.

    $12.

    • Receive direct deposits of at least $500 each month.

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

    • Maintain an average beginning day balance of at least $5,000 across eligible Chase accounts.

    Minimum deposit to open

    $100.

    $0.

    APY

    None.

    None.

    ATM fees and network

    • About 17,000 free Bank of America ATMs.

    • $2.50 fee for using out-of-network ATMs.

    • $5 fee for using international out-of-network ATMs, plus foreign debit card transaction fee of 3% of amount withdrawn.

    • 16,000 free Chase ATMs.

    • $3 fee for using out-of-network ATMs.

    • $5 fee for using international out-of-network ATMs, plus foreign debit card transaction fee of 3% of amount withdrawn.

    Bonus offer

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

    $200 (expires 10/19/2022); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

    Both banks’ most basic checking accounts are similar, but Chase stands out because it requires a lower balance to open, and it offers a more generous bonus (expires 10/19/2022). At least one interest-bearing checking option is available at both, but they earn minimal interest and require high balances to waive monthly fees.

    » See more options on our list of best checking accounts

    Bank of America vs. Chase: Basic savings accounts

    Bank of America Advantage Savings

    Chase Savings℠

    APY

    0.01% APY on all balances for standard accounts.

    0.01% APY (effective 11/18/2021; rates are variable and subject to change).

    Monthly fee

    $8.

    • Maintain 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.

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

    • Have an account owner who is under 18.

    $5.

    • Maintain a daily balance of at least $300.

    • Have a repeating automatic transfer of at least $25 each month from your Chase checking account.

    • Have a linked premium checking account.

    • Have a linked Chase College Checking℠ account for Overdraft Protection.

    • Have an account owner who is under 18.

    Minimum deposit to open

    $100.

    $0.

    Bonus offer

    N/A.

    N/A.

    Neither bank offers savings rates worth bragging about, and they’re both below the dismal national average savings rate. Plus, you have to waive monthly fees to avoid losing part of your savings.

    Both banks offer automatic savings options and the ability to set up savings goals. But Bank of America offers a Keep the Change program that rounds up transaction amounts to the nearest dollar and saves the cents for you. Neither of these bank accounts will earn you nearly as much as a high-interest savings account would over time.

    » Looking for higher rates? Explore NerdWallet's list of top online savings accounts

    Bank of America vs. Chase: Certificates of deposit

    Bank of America

    Chase

    Minimum opening deposit

    $1,000.

    $1,000.

    APY on one-year term

    0.03%.

    0.01%.

    APY on three-year term

    0.03%.

    0.01%.

    APY on five-year term

    0.03%.

    0.01%.

    For more details:

    See our post on Bank of America CD rates.

    See our post on Chase CD rates.

    Rates may vary by location.

    Online-only bank CD rates earn more than 20 times what Bank of America and Chase CDs earn for one-year and five-year terms. Both banks require the same minimum to open a CD, but some online bank CDs don’t even have minimums.

    » To compare, see the latest top CD rates

    Bank of America vs. Chase: Banking experience

    Bank of America

    Chase

    Branches

    About 4,200.

    More than 4,700.

    Banking apps (ratings from app store users)

    • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS.

    • 4.6 out of 5 stars for Android.

    • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS.

    • 4.3 out of 5 stars for Android.

    Customer service

    • Phone reps are on-call from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET weekends.

    • Social media support available.

    • Live chat support available.

    • Available by phone 7 a.m.-12 a.m. ET, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET on weekends.

    • Social media support available.

    Chase has locations in more states but Bank of America offers more support channels. Otherwise, the two have similar features: high-rated mobile apps, large ATM networks and clear overviews of account offerings on their websites.

    Bank of America vs. Chase: Overdraft fees

    Bank of America

    Chase

    Overdraft fee

    $35, maximum of four per day.

    $34, maximum of three per day. No charge if account is overdrawn by $50 or less at end of day. Also no overdraft fee if the account balance is overdrawn more than $50 but is brought down to being overdrawn by $50 or less by the next business day.

    Overdraft protection transfer fee

    $12.

    None.

    Extended overdraft fee

    None.

    None.

    Neither bank is as lenient about overdrafts as some credit unions and banks that don’t charge any overdraft fees. But Chase is more forgiving than Bank of America because it doesn’t charge a fee if your account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the day, and there's no fee for overdraft protection transfers. There's also no overdraft fee if the account balance is overdrawn more than $50 but is brought down to being overdrawn by $50 or less by the next business day. 

    Bank of America offers a checking option that has no overdraft fees, but it comes with a monthly fee that can’t be waived unless you’re a Preferred Rewards Member (requirements for being a Preferred Rewards Member include having a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 in qualifying deposit and/or investment accounts) or if an account owner is either younger than 18 or is a student younger than 25. Chase also offers a checking account option without overdraft fees, but it charges a monthly fee that can’t be waived.

    Should you choose Bank of America or Chase?

    Both Chase and Bank of America will do the trick if you prefer to do your banking in person, though Chase does offer the opportunity to earn a bigger bonus for opening a new checking account. But if high rates on your savings and avoiding overdraft fees and other charges are a priority, look elsewhere. You can find other options on our list of best banks and credit unions.

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