How To Avoid Bank of America’s Monthly Maintenance Fees

Bank of America overdraft fees

Bank of America, Member FDIC, offers a number of checking and savings accounts. Like most banks, it charges monthly fees depending on the account you have, but it also has options for avoiding those fees. Customers can avoid Bank of America’s fees in several ways, such as by setting up approved direct deposits or fulfilling account balance requirements.

Here’s a breakdown of the assortment of fees associated with Bank of America’s products and services.

Bank of America Checking Account Fees

Depending on what type of account you have, the checking account monthly maintenance fee can vary.

There is a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee for Advantage SafeBalance Banking®, a $12 monthly maintenance fee for Advantage Plus Banking® and a $25 monthly maintenance fee for Advantage Relationship Banking®, but only Advantage Relationship Banking earns interest.

While there are no student-specific checking accounts, Bank of America will waive the monthly maintenance fee for those under age 25 on the Bank of America SafeBalance Banking account.

Here’s a quick look at the monthly maintenance fees for each of Bank of America’s checking account options.

Account Monthly Service Fee Earns Interest
Advantage SafeBalance $4.95 No
Advantage Plus $12 No
Advantage Relationship $25 Yes

What Is a Monthly Maintenance Fee at Bank of America?

Monthly maintenance fees at Bank of America — and other banks — are fees that the bank charges account holders to use their account. These fees help increase the bank’s revenue.

However, many banks, including Bank of America, offer options to their customers to have their monthly maintenance fees waived, which often includes keeping a certain amount on deposit at the bank, making a certain number of debit card transactions or setting up a monthly direct deposit.

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Other Checking Fees

Each Bank of America checking account comes with this schedule of fees, though some accounts waive fees for specific services.

Service Fee Charged
Out-of-network ATM -In U.S. — $2.50
-Outside of U.S. — $5
Overdraft $10 for each overdraft over $1.00
International transaction 3%
Wire transfer Varies
Card replacement $15.00 per card
Copies of documents -Statements — $5 per copy
-Checks, deposit slips and other credit items — fee waived for first two items; $3 each thereafter, up to $75

Bank of America Savings Account Fees

Bank of America’s Advantage Savings account comes with an $8 monthly maintenance fee. Bank of America also imposes a withdrawal fee of $10 should you go over the six savings withdrawals it permits per month.

The APY the bank offers is low compared with the national rate of 0.39% APY. Qualifying for Preferred Rewards can bring the APY up a little, but it remains lower than the national rate. However, the monthly service fee is waived for those under 25.

Account Monthly Service Fee Annual Percentage Yield
Bank of America Advantage Savings $8 APY for all balances

How To Avoid Bank of America’s Monthly Maintenance Fees

It’s a common question: How do I avoid the $12 monthly fee at Bank of America? The answer is that maintaining minimum balances and making qualifying direct deposits are the easiest ways to avoid most Bank of America account fees. Some accounts will also waive fees based on your age.

Each account has its own requirements, so be sure the fee waiver information you have matches your account type. Additionally, monthly service fees are different from item-specific costs, such as Bank of America’s overdraft fees.

You have options to avoid Bank of America’s monthly maintenance fees, but they vary from account to account. Here are five ways to avoid Bank of America’s monthly fees:

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1. Be Aware of the Bank of America Minimum Balance Requirements

Here are the minimum balances required to qualify for a fee waiver:

  • Advantage Savings: $500 minimum daily balance
  • Advantage Plus: $1,500 minimum daily balance
  • Advantage Relationship: $20,000 combined balance in eligible linked accounts

2. Have Qualifying Direct Deposits

Just one account lets you avoid paying the monthly maintenance fee by receiving qualifying direct deposits:

  • Advantage Plus: Minimum of one qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more

3. Link Your Bank of America Accounts

Linking your eligible accounts can help you meet the balance requirement to avoid the monthly maintenance fee.

  • Advantage Savings: Link your Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking® account.

4. Enroll in the Preferred Rewards Program

Maintenance fees for eligible Bank of America checking and savings accounts are waived when you enroll in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. Qualification for the Preferred Rewards program tiers is based on having an active Bank of America personal checking account and maintaining a three-month average combined balance across your Bank of America accounts.

Minimum balances are $20,000 for the Gold tier, $50,000 for the Platinum tier, $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier and $1 million for the Diamond Tier.

5. Qualify for the Under 25 Waiver

This qualification applies when an account holder is under the age of 25. This waiver applies to the following accounts:

  • Advantage SafeBalance
  • Advantage Savings

How To Avoid Bank of America’s Overdraft Fees

Bank of America’s overdraft fee of $10 for each overdraft that exceeds $1 — up to $20 per day — can add up to a huge chunk of change if you aren’t careful. The best thing you can do to avoid Bank of America’s overdraft fee is to remain vigilant in keeping a healthy account balance. Overdrafts only kick in when you’re attempting to use more funds than you have in your account.

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You can also sign up for Balance Connect® overdraft protection service, wherein the bank will cover a transaction using funds from a linked account, like a savings account.

Good To Know

You can eliminate overdraft fees entirely by getting a Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® account, which does not come with the fee.

How To Avoid Bank of America’s ATM Fees

Bank of America’s ATM fees — $2.50 for a non-Bank of America ATM inside the U.S. and $5 outside of the U.S. — are standard, and the easiest way to avoid them is to use Bank of America ATMs whenever possible. You may also be charged a fee by the operator when you use an out-of-network ATM.

If you’re enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program, you can avoid ATM fees altogether, depending on which tier you’re in.

How Fees at Bank of America and Other Banks Compare

Here’s an overview of the fees you can expect from Bank of America and how they compare with the costs of banking elsewhere:

Fee Type Bank of America Chase Citi®
Monthly maintenance Up to $25 Up to $25 Up to $30
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal – In U.S.: $2.50
– Outside of U.S.: $5
– In U.S.: $3
– Outside of U.S.: $5
$2.50
Overdraft $10 $34 No fee — transactions will be declined
Excess transactions $10 $5 No fee
Wire transfer Varies $0-$50 $15-$35
International debit purchase 3% 3% 3%
Fees listed reflect amounts typically charged; exceptions may apply.
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Traditional banks usually carry similar service fees, like the wire transfer and ATM fees shown above. However, it should be noted that Bank of America and Chase offer a lower ceiling of $25 for monthly maintenance fees.

Does Bank of America Charge To Close an Account?

No, Bank of America does not charge customers if they wish to close their account. However, you will need to take several steps before your account can be officially closed:

  1. Confirm your mailing and email addresses.
  2. Cancel any automatic payments and cease making new transactions.
  3. Zero your account balance.
  4. Download any statements you might need for recordkeeping.
  5. Destroy all checks and debit cards connected to the account.

Getting the Most Out of Your Bank of America Account

Bank of America offers a wealth of information for customers and non-customers alike. Bank of America’s Better Money Habits series features articles and tips for the financial layman.

You can find information on topics that include:

  • Auto loans
  • Building credit
  • Owning a home
  • Retirement planning
  • Savings advice
  • Understanding credit reports

To see what else Bank of America accounts can offer you, visit your local branch or Bank of America’s website.

More on Bank of America

Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of April 18, 2023.

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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