Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the U.S. and it offers a wide selection of products and services.
Bank of America offers several different checking account options. Each connects to the bank’s highly rated mobile app to help you manage your finances. As a BofA customer, you’ll also have access to a large network of bank branches and ATMs. Bank of America earned 3.2 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s overall review of its deposit accounts.
Here’s a closer look at the checking accounts offered by BofA to help you decide whether one is a good choice for you.
Bank of America checking accounts
BofA offers these checking accounts:
|Account name||APY||Minimum deposit||Monthly fee|
|Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking||None||$25||$4.95|
|Bank of America Advantage Plus||None||$100||$12|
|Bank of America Advantage Relationship||0.01%-0.02%*||$100||$25|
Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Jan. 24, 2021, and may vary by region for some products.
*APY varies based on account balance
Find out everything you need to know about them below:
1. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking
The Advantage SafeBalance Banking checking account has safeguards in place to help you keep spending within the bounds of your account balance.
Instead of allowing an overdraft to occur, BofA will decline your transactions if the funds aren’t available in your account, avoiding an overdraft fee.
Checks are not offered with this account; transactions are conducted using a debit card, Zelle and digital banking.
Minimum opening deposit: $25
Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking Fees
The SafeBalance Banking account has a monthly maintenance fee of $4.95 that is waived for eligible students under age 25 and customers enrolled in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.
BofA charges no ATM fees for withdrawn from one of its more than 16,000 ATMs. Using an ATM outside of Bank of America’s network in the U.S. results in a $2.50 charge for each ATM withdrawal — plus any fees charged by the ATM owner.
Other fees to be aware of with this account include: paper statement copy fee ($5); stop payment fee ($30); card replacement fee ($5); cashier’s check fee ($15); and outgoing international wire fee ($45). There are no overdraft fees as the account cannot be overdrawn.
2. Bank of America Advantage Plus
The Advantage Plus checking account offered by Bank of America offers more standard features than the SafeBalance banking account. Purchases can be paid by debit card, Zelle, mobile and online banking, or checks.
In addition, an overdraft protection transfer feature can be added to the Advantage Plus account, which automatically transfers funds from a linked savings or checking account to cover purchases.
Minimum opening deposit: $100
Bank of America Advantage Plus Fees
A $12 monthly fee applies to the Advantage Plus account, but it can be waived if you:
- Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance
- Enroll in BofA’s Preferred Rewards program
- Are an eligible student under age 25. (Effective Feb. 18, 2022, BofA will no longer waive the monthly fee for students with Advantage Plus accounts.
Cash withdrawals are free at Bank of America ATMs. Funds withdrawn from out-network ATMs in the U.S. are subject to $2.50 fee, plus any fees charged by the ATM operator.
Unlike the SafeBalance Banking account, the Advantage Plus Fees account charges an overdraft fee ($35 per item). If you choose the overdraft protection transfer feature, BofA automatically transfers funds from other linked accounts to cover the outstanding amount — but at a cost: $12 each instance.
A few other notable fees that you might have to contend with include:
- Card replacement fee ($5)
- Incoming domestic wire transfer fee ($15)
- Printed statement copies ($5)
3. Bank of America Advantage Relationship
The Advantage Relationship checking account is an interest-bearing account that offers tiered rates on all balances, though the APYs offered are relatively low.
The account allows you to pay for purchases with a debit card, Zelle, check, or mobile and online banking. Like the Advantage Plus account, you’ll have the option to add overdraft protection to cover for any overdraft transactions.
Minimum opening deposit: $100.
Bank of America Advantage Relationship Fees
The Advantage Relationship account is an interest-bearing checking account, but there are several fees that could easily eat away any earnings.
The monthly maintenance fee alone is $25, though, you can avoid this fee with a combined balance of $10,000 or more each statement cycle across eligible linked accounts. Another way to waive the fee is to enroll in BofA’s Preferred Rewards program.
The Advantage Relationship account imposes an overdraft fee of $35 an item. But if you sign up for overdraft protection, BofA will transfer funds from a linked account to cover overdrafts. Unlike the Advantage Plus account, the Advantage Relationship account charges no fee for the transfer feature.
Many of the other fees imposed by Bank of America are waived on the Advantage Relationship account, including card replacement and stop payment fees. But you will still have to contend with fees for cashier’s checks and wire transfers.
Bank of America checking account promotions and bonuses
Bank of America offers its customers a rewards program that include benefits such as additional cash back, and reduced and waived fees.
Preferred Rewards program
Preferred Rewards is a tiered-balance program that allows Bank of America customers to earn additional rewards as their account balances grow. Perks include higher APYs on savings, credit-card rewards bonuses, reduced mortgage origination fees, interest-rate discounts on home equity and auto loans, and more.
Balance tiers for Preferred Rewards program members:
- Gold: $20,000 to $49,999
- Platinum: $50,000 to $99,999
- Platinum Honors: $100,000 and more
BankAmeriDeals is Bank of America’s rewards that allows you to earn cash back for purchases made with a BofA credit or debit card. Cash-back deals can be found in the mobile and online banking portals and are credited to your account within 30 days after purchase.
New customers may qualify for sign-up bonus
Bank of America occasionally offers $100 sign-up bonuses for its checking accounts on its website. New customers who sign up for a BofA personal checking account are eligible once they receive a qualifying direct deposit in the account. A code is required when opening an account to qualify.
Alternatives to Bank of America checking accounts
Although you can enjoy the standard features of a checking account with a multitude of branches, these checking accounts fall short in other areas. The cost of fees associated with these accounts can add up quickly if minimum requirements aren’t met.
If branch banking isn’t a priority, you might want to explore other banking options. A few alternatives include products from NBKC Bank, Capital One and LendingClub Bank. Each of these banks offer features that might be a better fit for your finances — if branch banking isn’t a necessity.