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Bank of America vs. Citibank: Head-to-Head Comparison

June 20, 2019
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions
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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 they stack up against each other:

Snapshot comparison

Bank of America
Citibank
Checking accounts
Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking

  • Monthly fee: $12 (How to waive it).
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100.
  • Citibank Regular Checking


  • Monthly fee: $12 (How to waive it).
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.
  • Savings accounts
    Bank of America Rewards Savings

  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY on all balances for standard accounts.
  • Monthly fee: $8 (How to waive it).
  • Citi Savings

  • Interest rate: 0.04% APY (may vary by state).
  • Monthly fee: $4.50 (How to waive it).
  • Certificates of deposit
    Bank of America interest rates on CDs

  • 1 year: 0.05% APY.
  • 5 year: 0.75% APY.
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000.
  • Citibank interest rates on CDs

  • 1 year: 0.25% APY.
  • 5 year: 0.80% APY.
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

  • Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service
    • Overdraft fee: $35, maximum of four per day.
    • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12 per day.
    • ATMs: Over 16,000.
    • Branches: about 4,400.
    • Customer service: Available via phone, email and social media.
    • Overdraft fee: $34, maximum of four per day.
    • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $10 per day.
    • ATMs: More than 60,000 fee-free.
    • Branches: About 700.
    • Customer service: Available via email and social media, and 24/7 by phone.

    Choose Bank of America if

    Choose Bank of America if


    • You want access to more branches.

    Choose Citibank if

    Choose Citibank if


    • You want a larger ATM network.
    • You’ll need live customer service during irregular hours.

     

    Ready for more detail? Read on for a breakdown of their offerings.

    » Want to see other options? Browse NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions

    Basic checking accounts

     Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking
    Citibank Regular Checking
    Sign-up bonus$100
    Get the details
    $300
    Get the details
    Monthly fees
    $12



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

    • Keep an average account balance of at least $1,500.

    • Enroll in Preferred Rewards (which requires $20,000 as an average three-month balance).
    • Fee waived for students under age 24.


    $12


    • Have one direct deposit and one bill payment each month.
    • Keep an average monthly balance of at least $1,500 (can include money in a linked Citibank savings account).
    • Fee waived for ages 62 and older.


    Minimum opening deposit$100$0
    ATM networkMore than 16,000More than 60,000 fee-free ATMs, including partner networks
    ATM fee$2.50 at out-of-network ATMs$2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
    Fees are steep and you have to jump through hoops to waive them. Both banks have interest-bearing checking accounts that could offset some fees. But the rates, starting at 0.01%, aren’t worth much attention. The sign-up bonuses these accounts offer, however, might be worth a look.

     

    Basic savings accounts

     Bank of America Rewards SavingsCiti Basic Savings
    Monthly fees$8


    • Have a daily balance of at least $500.
    • Have a linked Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account.
    • Enroll in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards relationship banking program.
    $4.50


    • Have an average monthly balance of at least $500.
    • Link to a Citibank checking account.

    Interest rate0.03% APY0.04% APY (rates may vary by state) for balances less than $25,000
    Minimum opening deposit$100$0
    » For more great options, check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts
    With below-average rates, the basic savings accounts won’t help your money grow much. Other banks and credit unions have rates that top 2%.

     

    Certificates of deposit

     Bank of America Standard Term CDsCitibank CDs
    Minimum opening deposit$1,000$1,000 (may vary by state)
    APY on 1-year CD 0.05%
    0.25%
    APY on 5-year CD0.75%0.80%
    CD rates may vary by state. Those displayed above are based on ZIP codes in San Francisco.
    » To compare see our latest top CD rates
    Citi’s certificates outearn Bank of America’s CDs. But compared to online banks, neither bank offers competitive rates.

     

    Bank experience

     Bank of AmericaCitibank
    BranchesApproximately 4,400About 700 in the U.S.; more overseas
    WebsiteUncluttered and well-organizedEasy to navigate, but many disclosures are in fine print.
    Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS; 4.5 out of 5 for Android4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS; 4.3 out of 5 for Android
    Customer service
  • Call center staffed Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
  • Live chat also available.
  • Call center staffed 24/7.
  • Live chat also available.
  • 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.

     

    Overdraft fees

     Bank of AmericaCitibank
    Overdraft fee$35$34
    Overdraft protection fee$12 per transfer$10
    Extended overdraft feeNoneNone
    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 which would send the account into the red.

     

    Convenience at a cost

    Like most of the best national banks, Bank of America and Citibank offer convenience but lag in savings rates. If rates are important to you, consider other options such as online-only banking or a local credit union, where your money can earn returns above 2%. Ultimately, the best bank for you will depend on your location, preferences and financial circumstances.