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

Banking, Banks & Credit Unions
Bank of America vs. Chase: Which Is Best for You?
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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


Checking accounts
Bank of America Core Checking

  • Monthly fee: $12 (How to waive it)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25

  • Chase Total Checking®

  • Monthly fee: $12 (How to waive it)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • 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)


  • Chase SavingsSM

  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY (effective 3/27/18; rates are variable and subject to change)
  • Monthly fee: $5 (How to waive it)
  • Certificates of deposit
    Bank of America CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.05% APY
  • 5 years: 0.75% APY
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Chase CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.01% APY
  • 5 years: 0.25% APY
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service
  • Overdraft fee: $35, maximum of four per day
  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12
  • Branches: About 4,500
  • ATMs: 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
  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $0
  • Branches: About 5,100
  • ATMs: 16,000
  • Customer service: Available by phone 24/7
  • Choose Bank of America if

    Choose Bank of America if

    • You want slightly better savings and CD rates

    Choose Chase if

    Choose Chase if

    • You want the opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus (expires 7/16/2018)
    • You seek lower fees for some services

     

    Below is a detailed breakdown of how the banks compare on checking, savings, CDs, bank experience and overdraft fees.

    Checking accounts

     Bank of America Core CheckingChase 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
  • Note: Students under 24 have this fee waived

  • [Back to top table]
    $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

  • [Back to top table]
    Minimum opening deposit$25$25
    Interest on balancesNoneNone
    ATM network
  • About 16,000 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
  • $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
  • » See more options on our list of best checking accounts
    Both banks’ most basic checking accounts are similar, but Chase stands out because of its signup bonus (expires 7/16/2018). At least one interest-bearing checking option is available at both, but they require high balances to waive monthly fees and earn minimal interest.

     

    Savings accounts

     Bank of America Rewards SavingsChase SavingsSM
    Monthly fee$8

  • Maintain a daily balance of at least $500
  • Have a linked Bank of America Interest Checking account
  • Are a Preferred Rewards client

  • [Back to top table]
    $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 Chase Premier PlusSM, Premier PlatinumSM or Private ClientSM checking account
  • Are under 18

  • [Back to top table]
    Interest on balances0.03% APY on all balances for standard accounts0.01% APY (effective 3/27/18; rates are variable and subject to change)
    Minimum opening deposit$100$25
    Automatic transfer from linked checking?YesYes
    » Looking for higher rates? Explore NerdWallet's list of top online savings accounts
    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.

    But of the two, Chase gives you a better chance of earning some cash through a solid sign-up bonus if you qualify for it (expires 7/16/2018). Bank of America offers a Keep the Change program that rounds up transaction amounts to the nearest dollar and saves the cents for you, but this won’t earn you nearly as much as a high-interest savings account would.

     

    Certificates of deposit

     Bank of AmericaChase
    Minimum opening deposit$1,000$1,000
    APY on one-year term0.05%0.01%
    APY on three-year term0.55%0.05%
    APY on five-year term0.75%0.25%
    Rates may vary by location.
    » To compare, see the latest top CD rates
    Online-only bank CD rates earn more than twice 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.

     

    Bank experience

     Bank of AmericaChase
    BranchesAbout 4,500About 5,100
    WebsiteWell-organized and easy-to-find infoMobile-friendly, solid experience
    Banking apps (ratings
    from app store users)
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars for iOS
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars for Android
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars for Android
  • Customer servicePhone reps are on call
    8 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. weekends. Live chat/social media staff available 8 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturdays (all times Eastern)
    Available 24/7 by telephone; prompt response via social media and available 7 a.m.-11 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. weekends (all times Eastern); no chat support
    Bank of America covers more states, but Chase has 24/7 customer service. Otherwise, the two have similar features: high-rated mobile apps, large ATM networks and clear overviews of account offerings on their websites.

     

    Overdraft fees

     Bank of AmericaChase
    Overdraft fee$35, maximum of four per day$34, maximum of three per day
    Overdraft protection transfer fee$12; fee waived for Interest Checking account holdersNone
    Extended overdraft feeNone$15, charged after the fifth consecutive business day
    Neither bank is forgiving about overdrafts when compared with credit unions and online-only banks, some of which don’t even charge overdraft fees. Bank of America offers a SafeBalance checking option that has no overdraft fees, but it comes with a monthly fee that can’t be waived.

    » Looking for better rates and fewer fees? Our experts recommend the best credit unions in the country

    You might be interested in:

    Bank+of+AmericaRead full review
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    Learn more
    at Chase Bank



    at Marcus Bank

    Savings APY

    0.03%





    Monthly savings fee

    $8





    Bonus Features

    Multiple ways to reach customer service



    Savings APY

    0.01%*





    Monthly savings fee

    $5





    Bonus Features

    Sign-up bonus for new customers (expires 7/16/2018)


    Savings APY

    1.70%





    Monthly savings fee

    $0





    Bonus Features

    Stellar CD rates



    See best banks for checking and savings accounts
    *Effective 3/27/18; rates are variable and subject to change

    Updated April 17, 2018.