How To Open a Bank of America Checking Account

LOS ANGELES, CA/USA - AUGUST 30, 2014: Bank of America Center.
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Whether you need a convenient way to pay bills, track your finances or provide proof of payment, having a checking account can come in handy. It also serves as a more secure method of payment than cash.

Although there’s no shortage of financial institutions to choose from when you’re interested in opening an account, Bank of America is ranked as one of the best national banks of 2021. So it’s not by accident that the bank has several good checking account options for you to consider. Read on for the full details of the bank’s Advantage Banking checking account settings and what you’ll need to open an account.

What Do You Need To Open an Account at Bank of America?

To open a checking account with Bank of America, you’ll need to provide your personal information to complete the application, including:

  • Current mailing address
  • Social Security number
  • Email address
  • Account number (if you have an existing checking account)
  • Same information for any joint account holder

You’ll be required to show two forms of identification. Acceptable primary forms of ID include:

More From Your Money
  • Driver’s license
  • State-issued ID with photo
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID with photo
  • Bank of America-branded debit or credit card with photo

Your second form of ID verifies your primary ID. Types of acceptable secondary IDs include:

  • Major credit card from another financial institution
  • Major retail credit card from a national department store or retail company
  • Debit card with Visa or Mastercard logo from another financial institution
  • U.S. college or university ID
  • U.S. student ID card from a local high school
  • U.S.-issued employment or work ID card or badge

Decide Which Bank of America Account Is Best for You

Once you’ve gathered your documents, you’ll need to choose the Bank of America checking account setting that best suits your needs. Bank of America currently offers three options:

  • Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®: This account setting is designed for individuals and students who want an account with a low minimum balance requirement. The monthly service fee is $12, but Bank of America will waive the fee if you have a monthly $250 direct deposit, you maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, you’re a student less than 24 years old or you enroll in the Preferred Rewards program.
  • Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking®: This account setting is for individuals who maintain a high balance in their checking account. You’ll earn interest and receive perks such as no service fees, free incoming domestic wires and the option to open other checking or savings accounts with no monthly maintenance fees. If you don’t maintain a combined $10,000 in balances among all of your Bank of America accounts, and you’re not a member of the Preferred Rewards program, then you’ll have to pay a $25 monthly service fee for Advantage Relationship.
  • Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®: The Advantage SafeBalance is a “checkless” checking account setting, which means there is no paper check writing for this account setting. It is more of a digital payment method with a $4.95 monthly service fee that is waived for students and Preferred Rewards members.

Now that you’ve reviewed what Bank of America’s Advantage Banking checking settings have to offer, you can make an informed decision as to whether one suits your needs. If you’re still not sure or want to read more before you decide, check out a review of the bank that covers its products, fees and how it compares to its competitors.

    Click through to learn more about Bank of America and decide whether it’s the right bank for you.

    This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.

    About the Author

    Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in finance, travel, gardening and education. With more than 13 years of experience, her work has appeared in Chron.com, Livestrong, eHow, USA TODAY, GlobalPost, Education.com and wiseGEEK.

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