Bank of America Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Bank of America offers a great branch and online experience, but like many traditional banks, it pays little interest on its savings products.
Spencer Tierney
By Spencer Tierney 
Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn

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Bank of America, N.A.
Learn more

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

  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Customer experience
  • Overdraft fees

Overall institution rating

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

Editor’s note: Some of the information on this page may be outdated as of the publication date.

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.

NerdWallet star-rating penalty for CFPB settlement, July 12, 2023: Bank of America entered into a consumer banking-related settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. NerdWallet deducted 0.5 star from Bank of America’s overall rating because of the negative impact of the actions discovered. For more information about penalties in general, see our methodology page. For more details on Bank of America’s penalty, scroll down to the customer experience section.

Best for: Those who prioritize branch and ATM access, are unlikely to overdraft their accounts and don’t care about maximizing interest.

Pros

  • Large branch network.
  • Large ATM network.
  • Extended phone customer service hours.

Cons

  • Low rates on savings accounts and some CDs.
  • Monthly fees (though they are avoidable).

Full review

Checking

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

Checking

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$12.00
Learn about ways to waive the fee. Click 'Learn More'
Bonus
$200
Requirements to qualify
Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A.

Bank of America’s Advantage Plus Banking option is the standard choice of its three checking account options to get convenient checking account features — including check writing and overdraft programs — with fairly easy ways to avoid the $12 monthly fee, including receiving monthly direct deposits of at least $250 or maintaining a minimum daily account balance of at least $1,500. Being a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program also helps you dodge the monthly fees on all three checking accounts.

Bank of America also offers the SafeBalance Banking® 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. But the account comes with downsides, such as the lack of check-writing privileges and a $4.95 monthly fee that’s hard to waive. The only interest-bearing checking account that Bank of America offers, Advantage Relationship Banking, requires at least $20,000 as a daily minimum balance to avoid a $25 monthly fee and pays minimal interest.

You can earn a $200 bonus offer for opening any of the three accounts. See more bonus options at NerdWallet's list of best bank bonuses.

Customers that use non-Bank of America ATMs are charged a $2.50 fee for U.S. ATMs, and a $5 fee abroad. The bank also charges $3-$10 for sending transfers to accounts at other banks (depending on the transfer speed) and limits consumers to sending $1,000 per day — much lower than some other banks' limits.

Savings

Bank of America Advantage Savings
Bank of America Advantage Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.01%
With $0 min. balance for APY
Bonus
N/A

Bank of America’s Advantage Savings has an unimpressive 0.01% annual percentage yield. Customers can secure higher rates by being a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program (which requires a three-month combined average daily balance of at least $20,000 across deposit and/or investment accounts), but those rates top out at 0.04%. The account requires an initial deposit of $100. It offers a potentially useful Keep The Change program, which rounds up debit card transactions from your linked Bank of America checking account to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference to your savings account.

The bank waives the $8 monthly maintenance fee on the savings account for customers who either maintain a daily balance of at least $500, link to a Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking checking account or are a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program.

» Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Certificates of deposit

Bank of America CD
Bank of America CD

CD

Member FDIC

2.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
0.03%
3-year APY
0.03%
5-year APY
0.03%
Minimum deposit
$1,000

Generally low rates. Most of Bank of America’s CDs don’t come close to matching the rates on high-yield CDs or savings accounts available elsewhere. Compare with NerdWallet's list of the best CD rates.

No-penalty CD option. Bank of America has a decent rate on its flexible CD, also known as a no-penalty CD, which lets a CD be fully redeemed without a penalty after the first six days. These CDs aren’t that common but offer more flexibility than a typical CD does.

The standard CD can be opened with $1,000. The annual percentage yield is a flat rate of 0.03%, no matter the term length and balance.

» Learn more details about Bank of America CDs

Customer experience

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Bank of America shines with an easy online banking experience and digital tools. The website design is straightforward, and information about fees and rates is relatively easy to find. Its mobile app lets you deposit checks, pay bills, send money, monitor account activity and balances and use its virtual assistant, Erica. Android and iOS phone users gave the bank’s app high marks.

Customer service hours and channels are convenient. You can get a real human on the phone from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. ET on weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends. The bank also provides live chat support for existing customers and answers questions on Twitter.

2023 CFPB settlement. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Bank of America to pay at least $100 million to customers affected by illegal overdraft practices that occurred from 2018 to 2022 and illegal credit card practices that occurred from 2012 to 2020. The agency found that Bank of America charged customers $35 nonsufficient funds fees (a so-called “junk fee”) after the bank declined a transaction when a customer didn’t have enough funds and charged the same fee twice for the same transaction. Bank of America also withheld promised credit card rewards and enrolled customers in credit cards without their permission or knowledge, which resulted in fees and negative impacts on credit profiles. The CFPB also ordered Bank of America to pay $150 million in fines to the agency and to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. For more details, see the July 2023 CFPB statement.

Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Bank of America has a $10 overdraft fee, and the bank can charge it up to two times per day. There’s no fee for a continuous negative balance, which some banks charge.

You can opt for Balance Connect®, the bank’s overdraft protection service, but it’ll cost $12 per day for every day a transfer occurs from a linked Bank of America savings or secondary checking account. Other banks provide this service for free.

How does Bank of America, N.A. compare?

Current Product

Chime Checking Account
Chime Checking Account

Deposits are FDIC Insured

NerdWallet rating 

3.5

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5

Monthly fee 

$12.00

Learn about ways to waive the fee. Click 'Learn More'

Monthly fee 

$0

Monthly fee 

$0

Monthly fee 

$0

APY 

N/A

APY 

0.50%

With $0 min. balance for APY

APY 

N/A

APY 

N/A

Bonus 

$200

Requirements to qualify

Bonus 

$300

Earn up to $300 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Bonus 

$360

Up to $360 per year. See website for details.

Bonus 

N/A

Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A.

Learn more

at SoFi Bank, N.A.

Learn more

at Discover® Bank

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at Chime®

Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.