Bank of America is a full-service financial institution that offers customers a wide range of products and services. But many of those products and services — including Bank of America’s checking accounts — come with fees attached. Once you understand the types of fees involved, you can know how to avoid them. Here’s what you need to know about avoiding bank fees with a Bank of America checking account.
Bank of America Checking Account Fees
Bank of America offers two checking accounts: Bank of America Core Checking and Bank of America Interest Checking. Its checking account fees fall into three main categories:
- Monthly maintenance fee
- Overdraft fee
- ATM fee
Bank of America’s checking account fees differ slightly for the two accounts. Here’s a breakdown of the various Bank of America fees and how to avoid them.
Checking Account Fees Comparison Chart: Best Banks for Free Checking Accounts
How to Avoid Bank of America’s Monthly Maintenance Fee
Bank of America’s Core Checking account comes with a $12 monthly maintenance fee and its Interest Checking account costs $25 per month. In addition, both accounts also have minimum opening deposit requirements of $25 and $100, respectively. Here’s how to avoid Bank of America monthly checking maintenance fees on both accounts:
1. Maintain a Minimum Balance
You must maintain the daily minimum balance to avoid the fee. If your account drops below the threshold levels, your bank statement will show you were charged that month.
- Core Checking: $1,500
- Interest Checking: $10,000 in total combined BofA accounts
2. Sign Up for Qualifying Direct Deposits
You can also avoid Bank of America checking account fees by enrolling in qualifying direct deposits. Only the Core Checking account offers this option, though.
3. Enroll In the Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program
You can enroll in the Preferred Rewards Program and if you qualify for the Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors tier, your monthly fee will be waived for Core Checking and Interest Checking.
The Gold Preferred Rewards tier requires a minimum three-month average combined balance of $20,000 across all your Bank of America accounts. For the Platinum tier, you’ll need a $50,000 qualifying balance, and the top Platinum Honors tier requires $100,000.
4. Qualify as a Student
Bank of America customers who are under 24 and enrolled in a high school, college, university or vocational program are eligible to have their Core Checking monthly fee waived.
How to Avoid Bank of America Overdraft Fees
The easiest way to avoid an overdraft fee at Bank of America is to make sure you don’t overdraw your account in the first place. If you do, BofA charges a $35 fee. You can avoid the overdraft fee by signing up for overdraft protection, and the bank will cover your overdrawn checking account with money from your savings account — for a charge of $12 per transaction.
How to Avoid Bank of America ATM Fees
In the U.S. you can avoid ATM fees simply by using Bank of America ATMs. If you use a non-BofA ATM in the U.S. you’ll incur a $2.50 charge, plus any fees the ATM operator charges.
Customers at the Platinum tier of the rewards program can avoid this charge and get one ATM operator fee reimbursed per statement cycle. Platinum Honors tier members get unlimited operator fees reimbursed. Outside the U.S., you’ll pay $5 per withdrawal, plus a 3 percent currency conversion, in addition to any ATM operator fees, which are unavoidable.
Say No to Bank of America Checking Account Fees
Bank of America checking accounts come with different fees, but you can easily avoid them most of the time. Because you have plenty of ways to avoid monthly maintenance, ATM and overdraft fees, there’s no reason you should part with your hard-earned money to pay them. Keep in mind, too, that elite membership in the rewards program can also shield you from some fees. Check out Bank of America online or visit your local branch for more specifics.
Learn More: 5 Best Banks for No Fees