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Like many national banks, Bank of America offers access to a wide network of free ATMs and branch offices. Well-designed online and mobile banking tools complete the banking experience.
But easy access and a solid digital experience come at the price of hefty fees and weak savings rates.
Ratings methodology | Updated August 1, 2019
Of its three checking account options, Bank of America’s Advantage Plus option is the standard choice to get a full suite of services — including check writing and overdraft programs — with fairly easy ways to avoid the $12 monthly fee. You can receive monthly direct deposits of at least $250 or maintain a minimum daily account balance of at least $1,500, among other options.
Bank of America also offers the Advantage SafeBalance account, which can help frequent overdrafters. In lieu of charging overdraft fees, the bank simply declines transactions if the account holder doesn’t have enough funds in checking. But the account comes with downsides, such as the inability to write checks and a $4.95 monthly fee that’s hard to waive for non-students. The only interest-bearing checking, Advantage Relationship Banking, requires at least $10,000 at the bank to avoid a $25 monthly fee. Being enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program also helps you dodge the fee. Interest is minimal.
The bank charges all checking customers a $2.50 fee for using non-Bank of America ATMs in the U.S., and a $5 fee when doing so abroad.