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.
Jun 27, 2022

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Overall bank rating

Bank of America, N.A.

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

  • Checking

  • Savings

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

3.5

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Editor’s note: Some of the information on this page may be outdated as of the publication date.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

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

Pros

  • About 4,100 branches and 16,000 free ATMs.
  • Strong savings tools and mobile app.

Cons

  • Low rates on certificates of deposit and savings account.
  • $35 overdraft fee can be charged up to four times daily.
  • Low transfer limits.

Full review

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

Checking

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$12.00
Waived with direct deposit of $250 or more or $1,500 daily minimum balance each statement cycle
Bonus
$100
See offer page for more details
Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A.

Bank of America’s Advantage Plus 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 enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program also helps you dodge the monthly fees on all three checking accounts.

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. 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 $10,000 at the bank to avoid a $25 monthly fee and pays minimal interest.

You can earn a $100 bonus offer for opening any of the three accounts. See more details at Bank of America's offer page. And 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.

Bank of America Advantage Savings
Bank of America Advantage Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

3.0

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

Bank of America’s Advantage Savings has an unimpressive 0.01% annual percentage yield. Customers can secure higher rates by enrolling in Preferred Rewards (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 enrolled in Preferred Rewards.

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

Bank of America CD
Bank of America CD

CD

Member FDIC

1.5

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

Neither of Bank of America’s two types of CDs come close to matching the rates on high-yield CDs or savings accounts available elsewhere. You can use NerdWallet's rates tool to compare CD rates at other institutions.

The Standard Term 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.

» Interested in the top CD options? Check out our list of the highest CD rates.

Banking experience

4.5

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.

Overdraft fees

2.5

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.

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

Checking

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$12.00
Waived with direct deposit of $250 or more or $1,500 daily minimum balance each statement cycle
Bonus
$100
See offer page for more details
Learn more

at Bank of America, N.A.

Bank of America’s Advantage Plus 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 enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program also helps you dodge the monthly fees on all three checking accounts.

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. 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 $10,000 at the bank to avoid a $25 monthly fee and pays minimal interest.

You can earn a $100 bonus offer for opening any of the three accounts. See more details at Bank of America's offer page. And 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.

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 

4.5

/5

Monthly fee

$12.00

Waived with direct deposit of $250 or more or $1,500 daily minimum balance each statement cycle

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

APY

0.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

APY

N/A

Bonus

$100

See offer page for more details

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

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.