How To Open a Bank of America Checking Account

Bank of America branch in Knoxville, TN
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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, Member FDIC, is ranked as one of the best national banks of 2022. 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 accounts 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:

  • 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
Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

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 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 for students under 25 or if you have a monthly $250 direct deposit, you maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance 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 under 25 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.

Bank of America Checking Account FAQ

Although the basic idea behind a checking account can be simple to understand, there are still many common questions surrounding them, in part because there are so many different kinds. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding checking accounts.
  • How much money do you need to open a Bank of America account?
    • Bank of America checking account settings have a low initial deposit amount. For Advantage SafeBalance, you only need $25 to open an account, and for Advantage Relationship and Advantage Plus settings, you'll need $100.
  • Can I open a bank account online with Bank of America?
    • Like most banks, Bank of America allows you to use an online banking system to open an account. If you prefer, you can visit one of the local branches to open a checking account.
  • Will my checking account be protected?
    • Bank of America takes your security seriously. The bank will send you alerts if your account exhibits suspicious behavior. Plus, you can set online alerts to notify you if you spend over a designated amount. You'll get an alert if anyone makes changes to the account. And if your card is lost or stolen, Bank of America will not hold you responsible for fraudulent charges.
    • You can also use the Bank of America online system or app to lock your debit card if you lose it, which gives you a chance to locate and reactivate it instead of canceling it.
  • Can I deposit a check without going to a branch?
    • It's not necessary to visit a Bank of America branch when you have a check to deposit. Instead, you can conveniently make a mobile deposit using your smartphone. Just follow these steps:
      • -Download the mobile banking app.
      • -Take a photo of the front and back of the check with your phone camera.
      • -Type in the exact amount of the check.
      • -Hit the "send" button.
      • -Check your account to verify the deposit.
  • Do Bank of America checking accounts have special benefits?
    • You can take advantage of two benefits when you open a Bank of America checking account:
      • -"Keep the Change" Savings Program: This program rounds up every purchase you make with your checking debit card to the nearest dollar and transfers that money to your savings account.
      • -BankAmeriDeals®: Use the mobile app to earn cash back by clicking on the deals you want. Use your debit card to shop, and your rewards will be credited to your account by the end of the following month.
Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

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

Information is accurate as of Sept. 28, 2022.

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.

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.

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Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

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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