Bank of America Review: Online and In-Person Convenience

Here's why Bofa has 58 million customers.

The way people bank has changed dramatically in the last 100 years, due to technology and consumer demands. Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, has remained competitive by prioritizing customer needs as it has evolved over the years, from the introduction of ATM and credit cards in the 1960s to internet banking in the 1990s, and mobile banking services in the last 10 years. So you can better decide if this is the right financial institution for you, learn more about Bank of America’s online banking services, products and more.

Review of BofA Products and Services

Bank of America, informally known as BofA, provides traditional banking services including:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Auto loans

It also offers investment products through its partnership with Merrill Lynch. All types of deposit accounts — checking accounts, savings accounts, money market savings and certificates of deposit — and individual retirement accounts are FDIC-insured. Investment products are not FDIC-insured.

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Related: 10 Best National Banks of 2017

Pros and Cons of Bank of America

GOBankingRates found Bank of America to be one of the best banks in the U.S. To find out if it could be the best bank for you, take a closer look at some of its advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros of Bank of America

  • Location Convenience: Convenience factors for banking customers include brick-and-mortar branch locations, ATM locations, and services such as drive-up ATMS and cardless ATMs — during 2016, Bank of America became the first major bank to begin a broad rollout of cardless ATM technology. It’s also committed to rolling out new branches while it renovates existing ones. The bank had 4,579 branch locations, or “financial centers,” at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Reuters.
  • Internet Banking: Competition from low fees and high interest rates offered by online banks such as Synchrony Bank and Ally Bank have forced traditional banks to develop their online technology to provide customers with the best banking options. Customers can use the Bank of America online features to check account balances and activity, review statements and transfer funds between accounts. The Bank of America website accommodates computer and mobile access.
  • Mobile Banking: The Bank of America app makes it easy to deposit checks — just snap a quick picture of the front and back. The app also allows you to manage your account, take advantage of cash-back deals, and pay for purchases using a digital wallet.
  • Privacy and Security Protection: You can keep your identity and your Bank of America account safe with security alerts, password-change reminders, and optional two-step authorization requiring a unique, one-time code each time you log in. In addition, you can set privacy preferences to determine how the bank shares your personal information.

Check Out: Here’s Your Bank of America Routing Number

Cons of Bank of America

  • Interest Rates: Bank of America’s Core Checking offers a 0.0 percent interest rate, and its Interest Checking offers 0.01 percent interest for balances of less than $50,000. For individuals looking for an interest checking account, internet banks such as Ally have more competitive rates. Ally offers 0.10% APY for checking account balances of less than $15,000 and 0.60% APY for balances higher than $15,000.
  • Fees: Although a Bank of America Core Checking account is free with an average daily balance of $1,500 or more, the account is not without potential fees. Fees include a $12 monthly maintenance charge if the account does not have a qualifying direct deposit or an average daily balance of $1,500 or more, but the fee is waived for students under age 24. An ATM fee of $2.50 is assessed if you use a machine other than Bank of America’s. No fee is charged to use a Bank of America ATM. In addition, Bank of America imposes a $35 transaction fees for insufficient funds, including overdraft or declined/returned transactions. These fees might be higher than those found at some community banks and credit unions such as Alliant Credit Union.

Find Out: How to Open a Bank of America Checking Account

You’ll find fewer fees and higher interest rates on checking accounts if you look at internet banks and credit unions. But Bank of America’s long history, online and mobile technology, full range of banking and investment products, and extensive network of physical branch locations makes it an excellent choice for consumers who prefer a traditional banking experience. Consulting friends and family members about their experiences and reviewing other Bank of America reviews can help clinch the decision.

Rates and fees are accurate as of Oct. 5, 2017, except for Ally Bank, which is accurate as of April 18, 2018.

About the Author

Valerie Ashton is a writer based in Southern California, specializing in real estate, finance and aviation topics. Valerie is a commercial pilot, California real estate broker, certified paralegal and Notary Public. Her work has appeared in numerous publications in print and online.