Is bank of america a safe bank?
Bank of America offers a wide range of products you’d typically expect from any big bank including checking and savings accounts, CDs, credit cards, investments, and loans—home, auto, business, etc.
This article will give you a closer look at Bank of America, so you can make an informed decision. We’ll break down some of the different types of checking and savings accounts offered, give an overview of their fees and customer service, and then provide a comparison to other large banks along with pros and cons.
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Under their Advantage Banking platform, Bank of America offers three key types of personal checking accounts. These accounts have subtle differences covered below, but they all have some key service offerings across the board such as:³
Advantage Plus Checking is Bank of America’s standard checking account offered at a monthly fee of $12 with a $100 minimum deposit to open. There’s no interest offered on this type of account.⁴
The account also offers some additional services like the option to purchase paper checks and set up overdraft protection.
Bank of America markets their Advantage SafeBalance account to students as it has some key advantages for younger individuals.
It’s only a $25 minimum deposit to open an account, and the account has a monthly maintenance fee of $4.95 that can be waived if you’re under 24 and can prove enrollment in school or if you’re a Preferred Rewards Program member.⁴
This account also has some other traits to help people stay within their budget, as these accounts are checkless and offer no overdraft protection. So if you don’t have the funds in your account, the card will decline.
There is no interest earned through this account.
The Advantage Relationship checking account is Bank of America’s interest bearing account that also waives some fees on some services like domestic wire transfers, stop payments, paper checks, and transfer fees on overdraft protection from linked accounts.
The account has a monthly fee of $25 that can be waived with a combined $10,000 balance of all of your accounts through Bank of America—including checking, savings, IRAs, CDs, or linked Merrill Lynch investment accounts—or if you’re a Preferred Rewards member.⁴
All rates verified on 7/15/2021. APY rates vary by location, but these are rates for NYC based on the account balance.
Bank of America offers only one savings account option, and it requires a $100 minimum deposit to open. But it comes with some key benefits that allow you to increase the interest rates and balance of the account.⁷
All rates verified on 7/15/2021
Bank of America offers a Standard Term CD and a Featured CD that differ in their minimum deposit amounts, terms, and APY.
The Featured CD has a $10,000 minimum opening deposit with terms ranging from 7 to 27 months and a 0.05% APY. With this account, you have a higher minimum deposit than a Standard Term CD account and fewer terms to choose from, but you’ll net a higher APY.
The Standard Term CD has a minimum opening deposit of $1,000 with terms ranging from 28 days to 10 years and a 0.03% APY. You’ll net a lower APY with this CD, but it doesn’t take as much to get going. Plus, you have more term options.
With both types of CDs—as with most CDs out there—you cannot add additional funds to the account once it’s opened, and there are penalties for withdrawing your money early.
All rates verified on 7/15/2021
Overall, the Bank of America customer experience is like most modern banks you find today. The bank offers online banking with secure login where you can take care of most of your banking needs like credit card and loan approval, transfers, and bill pay.
They also offer customer service in-person, by phone, or online.
The fastest way to get assistance is through their online platforms via chat on their website or mobile application or through messaging on Facebook or Twitter. You can also call their customer service line at 1-800-432-1000 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST Monday - Friday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday.
But if you need direct assistance, it’s easy to schedule an appointment or walk-in to any of their over 4,300 branch locations. There are also 17,000 ATMs where you can handle a lot of banking needs as well.
To start, overdraft protection and fees are not applicable if you have an Advantage SafeBalance account, as the service is not available with this type of account.
Otherwise, overdraft fees at Bank of America are $35 for each item over $1.00. That means you’ll be charged every time you make a debit transaction—use your debit card, clear a check, or make an auto draft payment—that is over $1.00 in value or overdraws your account over $1.00.⁴
The bank does offer some overdraft protection services by linking other savings or credit card accounts to your checking account to cover overdrawn amounts. But they’ll still charge a $12 transfer fee and pull at least $100 from the linked account.⁴
Looking at checking accounts from some of Bank of America’s competition, it’s easy to see they’re on par with other big banks.
For example, Chase Bank—the largest bank in America in terms of assets²—also offers three checking account types with monthly fees at $25, $12, and $4.95, and only the Premier Plus checking account bears interest. The accounts have similar ATM and overdraft fees as well.
They include most—if not all—of the same features. And with 4,700 branch locations and 16,000 ATMs, you also won’t have trouble accessing your accounts in-person.⁹
US Bank also offers 3 types of checking accounts with monthly fees at $6.95, $14.95, and $24.95, and the accounts offer most of the same features and fees. They also have comparable numbers on their branch locations.¹⁰
However, there are some new online banking options out there that offer highly competitive perks.
Chime is a completely online bank—so no branch locations—that offers access to over 60,000 ATMs with no fees through their partnership with Moneypass. You can open an account through Chime with no minimum deposit, and there’s no monthly fees or minimums on the account.¹¹
Another perk is that Chime automatically rounds up your purchases and puts them into a high-yield savings account—like Bank of America’s Keep the Change program. Also, if you qualify, you can enroll in their SpotMe program that offers overdrafts up to $200 with no fees.¹²
All rates verified on 7/15/2021
Whether Bank of America is good or not is completely based on your needs. They have a lot of branches and ATMs out there, so you’ll have access to your money and customer service nearly anywhere in the US.
If you’re able to qualify for their Preferred Rewards program—minimum $20,000 combined total in all accounts—you’ll have access to higher interest rates, discounted loan interest rates, and extra perks on your credit cards. Those rates are well worth it if you have the funds.
Bank of America also offers a low minimum deposit to open a checking account, so it’s easy to switch over if you want. And they’re a well established bank with a variety of investment and lending options.
On the other side, their monthly account fees can be difficult for some to have waived, and their savings and CD rates are on the lower side unless you can qualify for Preferred Rewards.
Also, they charge various wire transfer fees for incoming and outgoing international wire transfers.⁴
Many of the fees can be waived or discounted with a Preferred Rewards membership, but they can rack up quickly if you travel or do business overseas.
If you want to save money on your international transfers and avoid international transaction fees, Wise can be a great option. With Wise, you can always wire money fast and at the mid-market rate. Plus, you’ll never get hit with currency conversion upcharges and foreign transaction fees. Transfer money up to 7x cheaper with Wise!
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According to Trustpilot (a consumer review website) US Bank has a score of 1.3 out of 5 stars on where most of the feedback seem to be revolving around customer service.¹⁵ This is a exactly the same score Chase also received on the website.¹⁶
But, ultimately, this is for you to decide. Here’s our review of Chase Bank, so you can have an informed opinion.
Bank of America is the second-largest bank in America in terms of assets, and they’re FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor. They offer fraud protection and other security features like third-party access reviews and customized reviews, so you can keep an eye on your accounts. Overall, Bank of America is a safe place to deposit your money.
Bank of America is a full-service national bank with roots dating back 240 years. It’s the second largest in the U.S. by assets and offers in-person banking through roughly 4,300 financial centers across the country. BofA also maintains a strong digital presence through its highly rated mobile app and online banking platform. Along with personal banking products, Bank of America offers business and commercial banking products and services.
Bank of America offers three versions of its Advantage checking account. All three accounts come with a complimentary debit card.
Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® is a basic checking account. It only requires a $25 minimum deposit with a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee. The fee is waived for Preferred Rewards members and select students under 24 years of age. SafeBalance accounts aren’t eligible for overdraft protection. Transactions are declined or returned unpaid when you don’t have enough funds in your account. There’s also no option to buy paper checks.
Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking® features a $12 monthly service fee monthly maintenance fee and options for adding overdraft protection and paper checks. A $100 minimum deposit is required to open an Advantage Plus checking account. You can waive the fee by:
The fee is waived for select students under 24 years of age.
Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking® also requires a minimum deposit and features a monthly fee. You can waive the fee two ways:
The account is interest-bearing but features low interest rates, especially compared to many online banks. Paper checks and overdraft protection are also available for Relationship Banking accounts.
One detail to note is that with Advantage Plus and Advantage Relationship Banking, Bank of America may charge a $35 fee up to four times daily if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a check or other transaction.
Bank of America Advantage Savings is the bank’s main savings product. It takes a $100 minimum deposit to open this account. Advantage Savings accounts come with an $8 monthly maintenance fee. The fee is waived when you meet one of the following requirements:
There’s also a $10 fee for each withdrawal or transfer over the six monthly transactions allowed.
Currently, Advantage Savings accounts earn 0.01% APY on all balances. Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn up to 0.04% APY, depending on their rewards tier level.
Bank of America also offers two accounts for children—the Bank of America Minor Savings Account and the Bank of America Custodial UTMA Savings Account.
Minor Savings accounts are joint accounts owned by the child and parent or guardian. The account requires a $25 minimum deposit but has no fees and no minimum balance requirement. Children have access to their funds at any time. The account allows for automatic transfers from your other accounts if you want to build up your child’s savings.
Custodial UTMA Savings accounts work differently. The parent or guardian acts as the custodian for the child’s account. Minors can’t access funds until after they turn 18 years of age, so all transactions are at the parent’s discretion. Also, the account requires a $100 minimum deposit and carries an $8 monthly maintenance fee. The fee is waived by keeping a minimum daily balance of $500.
There are two options for certificates of deposit, or CDs, through Bank of America. Bank of America Featured Certificates of Deposit accounts require a $1,000 minimum deposit and come in five term lengths ranging from seven months to 37 months. Featured CDs earn between 0.05% to 3.75% depending on the term.
Bank of America Standard Term Certificates of Deposit offer even more flexibility with terms ranging from 28 days to 10 years. They also only require a $1,000 minimum deposit. All standard CD terms currently earn 0.03% APY. With so many term options available, Bank of America standard CDs are a great option if you want to build a CD ladder.
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