Bank of America Review: Easy to Waive Monthly Service Fees
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Bank of America review: Low savings rates, but easy to waive monthly service fees

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Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the US.
Bank of America; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

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This post was last reviewed and updated on November 5, 2021.

Overall bank rating

FeatureInsider rating (out of 5)
Savings3.25
Checking3.75
CD3.25
Trustworthiness3.5
Total:3.5

Pros and cons

ProsCons
  • Large bank with branches around the US
  • Possible to waive monthly fees
  • Overdraft protections
  • Low interest rates on savings and CDs
  • Monthly fees on accounts
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Savings

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
0.01% to 0.04% APY
Min Deposit
$100
Editor's Rating
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
0.01% to 0.04% APY
Min Deposit
$100
Editor's Rating
  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • New accounts have monthly fee waived for the first 6 months
    • Multiple ways to waive monthly fee after the first 6 months
    • No excess withdrawal fee if your balance is at least $20,000, or if you're a Preferred Rewards customer
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • Compounds interest monthly, not daily
    • $100 opening deposit
    • $8 monthly service fee
    • $10 excess withdrawal fee
    • Access to over 4,200 branches and 16,000 ATMs
    • Earn slightly higher rates by becoming a Preferred Rewards customer and qualifying for the Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Honors tier
    • Waive $8 monthly service fee by maintaining $500 balance, OR linking to your Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking® account, OR by becoming a Preferred Rewards customer
    • Waive monthly fee if you're a student under age 24
    • Interest compounded monthly and paid monthly
    • FDIC insured
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Like most large brick-and-mortar banks, Bank of America pays low rates on its savings account. On the bright side, you may have an easier time waiving the monthly service fee than with some banks.

    This account doesn't charge a monthly fee for the first six months. You can continue to waive it if you are a student under age 24. You'll also waive the fee if you keep a $500 daily balance or sign up for the bank's Preferred Rewards program, a rewards group for people with higher balances. You could also link to an Advantage Relationship Checking Account, which is best for customers with at least $10,000 in checking.

    Checking

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
    None
    Min Deposit
    $100
    Editor's Rating
    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
    None
    Min Deposit
    $100
    Editor's Rating
  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • Multiple ways to waive monthly service fee
    • Link to savings for overdraft protection
    • No fee for using overdraft protection beginning in May
    Cons
    • $100 minimum opening deposit
    • $12 monthly service fee
    • $10 overdraft fee beginning in May
    • $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee
    • Access to over 4,200 branches and 16,000 ATMs
    • Earn the $100 sign-up bonus by receiving at least two recurring direct deposits of at least $250 within 90 days of opening the account
    • Waive $12 monthly service fee by doing one of the following: receive $250/month in direct deposits, keep $1,500 minimum daily balance, enroll in Preferred Rewards, or be a student under age 24
    • FDIC insured
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    You might like the Bank of America Advantage Plus Checking Account if you can waive the monthly service fee. You'll need to make at least one direct deposit of $250 per month, keep at least $1,500 in your account daily, or enroll in the bank's Preferred Rewards. 

    This account may not be a good fit if you regularly overdraw. Like most banks, Bank of America charges an overdraft fee. However, in May 2022, Bank of America will reduce overdraft fees from $35 to %10. If you use overdraft protection, the bank will also no longer charge you a fee. 

    CD

    Bank of America Standard Term Certificate of Deposit

    Bank of America Bank of America Standard Term Certificate of Deposit
    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
    0.03% APY
    Min Deposit
    $1,000
    Editor's Rating
    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
    0.03% APY
    Min Deposit
    $1,000
    Editor's Rating
  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • Terms from 28 days to 10 years
    • Access to over 4,200 branches and 16,000 ATMs
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • Interested is compounded monthly, not daily
    • $1,000 opening deposit
    • High early withdrawal penalties
    • Access to over 4,200 branches and 16,000 ATMs
    • Terms ranging from 28 days to 10 years
    • Early withdrawal penalties are as follows: the greater of all interest earned or 7 days interest on the amount withdrawn for terms under 90 days; 90 days interest for terms over 90 days and under 12 months; 180 days interest for terms of 12 months to under 60 months; 365 days interest on terms of 60 months or more
    • Interest compounded monthly and paid monthly
    • FDIC insured

    Bank of America has more term options for than most banks, with terms ranging from 28 days to 10 years. But its rates are low, and it only compounds interest monthly rather than daily.

    How Bank of America works

    Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the US. There are over 4,200 branches in 37 states, and 16,000 free ATMs. You can use ATMs outside the Bank of America network, but you'll pay a $2.50 fee each time.

    The Bank of America mobile app has 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

    To speak with customer support about your bank accounts, call Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET. Or call weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

    Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000, or $500,000 for joint accounts.

    Is Bank of America trustworthy?

    The Better Business Bureau gives Bank of America an A+ in trustworthiness. A strong BBB grade indicates a company responds to customer complaints effectively and is transparent about business practices.

    A good BBB score doesn't guarantee you'll have a smooth relationship with a company, though. And Bank of America does have some recent public scandals involving discrimination:

    • The Department of Justice charged Bank of America for unfairly denying home loans to adults with disabilities, even though they qualified for loans. Bank of America paid around $300,000 total to people who were refused loans. (2020).
    • The Department of Labor required Bank of America to pay $4.2 million to people who claimed the bank discriminated against women, Black, and Hispanic applicants in the hiring process (2019).

    If these issues bother you, you may prefer to use a different bank.

    How Bank of America compares to similar banks

    We've compared Bank of America to two other large national banks: Chase and Wells Fargo. These are the three banks with the most branches around the US, so your pick may come down to which one has a location closest to your home. But if you're still trying to decide, there are ways to make up your mind.

    bank of america logo
    Bank of America
    chase logo member fdic
    Chase Total Savings
    Wells Fargo logo
    Wells Fargo

    Standout feature

    Several ways to waive monthly service fees

    Standout feature

    No minimum opening deposit for checking account

    Standout feature

    Debit card included in savings account

    Open an account Open an account

    Bank of America review vs. Chase review

    You'll probably prefer Chase if you don't want to make a minimum opening deposit

    Both banks make it possible to waive monthly service fees, but Bank of America waives the fee for at least six months with every new Advantage Savings Account.

    Bank of America review vs. Wells Fargo review

    You may prefer Bank of America for CDs. It has more term options than Wells Fargo, and the minimum opening deposit is lower.

    But you may still like Wells Fargo if it has a branch closer to your home. The two banks have similar savings rates, monthly service fees, and overdraft fees. Wells Fargo has a debit card attached to the savings account, though.

    Get the latest Bank of America stock price here.

    Disclosure: This post may highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. Read our editorial standards.

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