How To Avoid Bank of America’s Monthly Maintenance Fees

Bank of America in Beverly Hills - LOS ANGELES / CALIFORNIA - APRIL 20, 2017.
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Bank of America 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.

Below, GOBankingRates breaks down 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.

Bank of America Checking Accounts
Account Monthly Service Fee Earns Interest
Advantage SafeBalance $4.95 No
Advantage Plus $12 No
Advantage Relationship $25 Yes
Information is accurate as of Nov. 5, 2020.

Additionally, each Bank of America checking account comes with this schedule of fees:

Bank of America Checking Account Fees
Fee Amount Charged
Out-of-network ATM In U.S. $2.50
Outside of U.S. $5
Overdraft $35
Foreign exchange rate 3%
Wire transfer Varies
Information is accurate as of Nov. 5, 2020.

While there are no student-specific checking accounts, Bank of America will waive the maintenance fee for qualifying students.

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.

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As you can see, the annual percentage yield the bank offers is low compared with the national rate of 0.09% APY.

Bank of America Savings Accounts
Account Monthly Service Fee Annual Percentage Yield
Bank of America Advantage Savings $8 0.01% APY for all balances
Minor Savings $0 0.01% APY for all balances
Information is accurate as of Nov. 5, 2020.

    How To Avoid Bank of America’s Monthly Maintenance Fees

    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:

    1. Maintain a Minimum Balance

    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: combined balance of $10,000

    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, Bank of America Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking or Bank of America Advantage Regular Checking 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 and $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier.

    5. Qualify for the Student Waiver

    Qualification for the Bank of America student waiver applies when an account holder is enrolled in an academic institution and is under the age of 24. This waiver applies to the following accounts:

    • Advantage SafeBalance
    • Advantage Plus
    • Advantage Savings

    How To Avoid Bank of America’s Overdraft Fees

    Bank of America’s overdraft fee of $35 is standard, but that can be a huge chunk of change if you already have low funds. 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.

    You can sign up for overdraft protection service, wherein the bank will cover a transaction using funds from another 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:

    Fees at Bank of America and Other Banks
    Fee Wells Fargo Chase Bank of America Citibank U.S. Bank
    Monthly maintenance Up to $30 Up to $25 Up to $25 Up to $30 Up to $24.95
    Out-of-network ATM withdrawal In U.S.: $2.50
    Outside of U.S.: $5
    In U.S.: $2.50
    Outside of U.S.: $5
    In U.S.: $2.50
    Outside of U.S.: $5
    $2.50; additional 3% fee for transactions made outside U.S. and Puerto Rico $2.50
    Overdraft $35 $34 $35 $34 $36
    Excess transactions Undisclosed $5 $10 No fee, but Citibank will move funds to unrestricted account or close your account if you withdraw over the limit three times in a 12-month period $15
    Wire transfer $15-$30 $15-$50 Varies $17.50-$35 $20-$50
    International debit purchase 3% 3% 3% 3% 3%
    Information is accurate as of Nov. 5, 2020. Fees listed reflect amounts typically charged; exceptions may apply.

    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, Chase and U.S. Bank all offer a lower ceiling of $25 for monthly maintenance fees.

    Getting the Most Out of Your Bank of America Account

    Bank of America offers a wealth of information for both 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.

    This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication. This content is not provided by Bank of America. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Bank of America.

    About the Author

    Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.

    How To Avoid Bank of America’s Monthly Maintenance Fees
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