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Bank of America Review 2022

Published February 2022 by Matthew Goldberg

AT A GLANCE
3.3

Bankrate Score

bank-logo

24/7 Customer Service

Digital Leader

Large Branch Network

Banking with Bank of America makes sense if you want an institution with top-notch digital features, an extensive branch network and plenty of ATMs. But if you want to avoid bank fees and seek to earn a high rate of return, this bank is not the best choice.

  • Savings
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    2.7
  • CDs
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    2.0
  • Checking
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    3.9
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Bask Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.61 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    CIBC Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.27 % APY

    $ 1

    Min. balance for APY

    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.26 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Overall

    3.3

    Bankrate Score

    Bank of America is the second-largest financial institution in the country. It’s a digital leader with a global presence and roughly 67 million customers.

    What we like

    • The bank is accessible across the country and has about 4,200 branches and about 16,000 ATMs.

    • It has an award-winning mobile banking app and has invested heavily in digital technology.

    • Customers have access to the person-to-person payment service Zelle, making it easier to transfer money directly into the bank accounts of friends and family.

    • Artificial intelligence-driven virtual assistant Erica makes budgeting, money management and tracking expenses easier.

    What we don't

    • Fees are avoidable but could easily rack up for customers who can’t meet certain requirements.

    • Savings and CD yields are low.

    • Branches have been closed, some of them temporarily due to COVID-19 and others permanently as the bank transitions to more online banking.

    • Unless customers have the SafeBalance account that prevents overdrafts, they could spend over $100 per day on fees.

    Savings accounts

    2.7

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Bask Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.61 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Bank of America’s Advantage Savings has a minimal APY that is lower than the national average. It requires a $100 minimum deposit to open the account, and there is an $8 monthly maintenance fee, which can be avoided by maintaining a $500 minimum balance. You can also link a Bank of America Advantage savings account or become a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client to avoid the monthly service fee.

    The Bank of America Advantage Savings offers tiered APYs. The bank's mobile app can be used to deposit checks into your savings account.

    Like most banks, there’s a fee for making more than six withdrawals or transfers during a monthly statement cycle. Bank of America charges $10 for each withdrawal or transfer exceeding the six-withdrawal limit.

    Bank of America’s Keep the Change program helps to automate your savings by rounding up purchases made with a Bank of America debit card and transferring the difference into your savings account.

    What we like

    • Bank of America’s Keep the Change program helps to automate your savings by rounding up your purchase when you use a Bank of America debit card — connected to your Bank of America checking account — and transferring the difference into your savings.

    • The mobile app can be used to deposit checks into your savings account.

    What we don't

    • Bank of America’s highest APY on its Advantage Savings account is less than the national average for savings accounts.

    • There are other savings accounts with higher yields that don’t have a monthly service fee.

    CD rates

    2.0

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    CD

    2.50 % APY

    18mo

    Term

    $ 0

    Min. deposit

    Bank of America offers 14 terms of CDs. Its CD terms range from one month to 10 years. Customers have the choice between two different types of CDs. The standard CD has a low minimum deposit of $1,000 and the option to choose from multiple terms. The featured CD is available for customers interested in a short-term account and it has a $10,000 minimum opening deposit requirement. Featured CDs come only in limited terms, ranging from seven months to 37 months.

    A penalty applies for early withdrawals. For CDs with terms between 12 months and five years, the penalty is 180 days of interest.

    What we like

    • Standard CDs have a $1,000 minimum opening deposit requirement. Some banks have higher deposit requirements for CDs.

    • Customers can choose from a variety of different terms with standard term CDs.

    What we don't

    • Bank of America CDs have a low yield compared to what online banks offer.

    • Featured CDs only have terms ranging from 7 months to 37 months.

    • Featured CDs require a $10,000 minimum to open.

    • There aren’t any special CDs available, such as bump-up or no-penalty CDs.

    Checking accounts

    3.9

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Axos Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.25 % APY

    $ 50

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    You’ll only need $100 to have an Advantage Plus Banking checking account at Bank of America. There’s a $12 maintenance fee unless you keep at least $1,500 in your account. Other ways to waive the monthly fee include having at least one qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more each statement cycle or enrolling in Preferred Rewards.

    Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking offers an interest-bearing checking account with a $100 minimum opening deposit. The $25 monthly maintenance fee is waived for those with a combined balance of $10,000 across eligible linked accounts or Preferred Rewards customers.

    Another option is the noninterest-bearing Advantage SafeBalance Banking ($4.95 monthly fee, $25 opening balance and no paper checks).

    What we like

    • Opening deposits for checking accounts are reasonable.

    • Checking customers can use the mobile app's virtual banking assistant, Erica.

    • An overdraft protection option called Balance Connection is offered.

    What we don't

    • Advantage Plus Banking doesn’t earn interest.

    • There are no checking account options that don't have a monthly service fee.

    Bank experience

    Bank of America offers access to about 4,200 branches and about 16,000 ATMs. Customers also have access Zelle, a person-to-person payment platform that lets you send and receive money directly from family and friends.

    Bank of America’s mobile app experience also includes a few extra touches when compared to rivals. On the app, you can customize your dashboard as well as get insight and guidance from Erica, the bank’s virtual assistant.

    You can also reach customer service members seven days a week.

    About Bank of America

    What’s known today as Bank of America was originally the Bank of Italy, a local bank in San Francisco founded in 1904 by Amadeo Peter Giannini to support immigrants whom other financial institutions wouldn’t serve. The bank expanded until it became the only statewide bank in California. Offices were opened in Italy and other U.S. cities and by 1945, it was the world’s largest bank.

    A merger with NationsBank in 1998 made Bank of America the first bank that operated from coast to coast. Today, the bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Bank of America offers a wide range of banking, small business and wealth management services. It has top-notch digital features, an extensive branch network and plenty of ATMs. But bank elsewhere if you want to avoid bank fees or you’re trying to earn a high rate of return.

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. He uses his banking and financial services experience to help readers with personal finance. Nearly his entire career has either been as a reporter or working in financial services, in banking and insurance. He’s been in financial services for more than a decade. His banking career includes being a banker in New York City. His reporting career includes working as a staff reporter at two daily newspapers. He earned his first newspaper bylines in 1998. His writing has been honored by both the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. His writing has also been featured online on MSN, the Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle, the Omaha World-Herald, The Kansas City Star, the Arizona Daily Star, and appeared in Sports Illustrated On Campus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Buffalo News and other publications. Matthew’s radio experience includes being a weekly panelist on the SportsWriter’s show on WGEM AM ESPN 1440 in Quincy, Illinois. He was also an occasional co-host and call-in guest on WGEM SportsCenter. He’s also been a guest on other stations throughout the country. Matthew is currently a member of the Board of Governors at the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW), which is the world's largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists. He chairs the organization's training committee and is on the finance committee. He has previously served on conference planning committees and has been a Best in Business contest judge for the organization. Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and an MBA at William Paterson University. Media mentions CNBC CNBC Acorns + CNBC WGN Radio 720 in Chicago 1080 KRLD Dallas-Fort Worth