Bank of America Review: Online and In-Person Convenience

GOBankingRates Score

Bank of America
4.7
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: Bank of America is best for customers who seek a major international financial institution with a full suite of services including accounts, credit cards, home mortgages and other loans. The bank is an especially good fit for wealthier customers because it waives service fees on larger accounts.
  • APYs
    4.6
  • Benefits
    4.6
  • Products
    4.8
  • Customer Service
    4.7
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Broad and deep range of accounts and services
  • Fees waived for certain high-value accounts
  • Extensive network of 4,100 branches and online capabilities
  • Weekend customer service available

Cons

  • High fees for low-value accounts
  • High fees of $2.50 to $5 for non-Bank of America ATM withdrawals

Bank of America Overview

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Bank of America casts a very wide net, with roughly 4,100 retail financial centers around the world and about 16,000 ATMs. It also offers extensive digital banking options that serve around 41 million active users, including 32 million mobile users. 

If you’re ever in need of a teller or an in-branch representative, you probably won’t have to look too far to find a Bank of America branch. GOBankingRates has ranked Bank of America, Member FDIC, as one of the Best National Banks of 2022.

Bank of America Key Features

You’d be hard pressed to find a bank with more product options than Bank of America, which offers everything from checking and savings accounts to a full roster of investment and loan options, including credit cards. This Bank of America review details its best features.

APY

Bank of America isn’t known for offering highly-competitive interest rates. Checking accounts don’t earn interest. Savings accounts can earn a standard rate of . Joining Preferred Rewards could help bump the APY between and depending on the tier you choose. CDs earn , regardless of the balance, on all terms between seven and thirty-seven months. 

Benefits

Bank of America is an ideal financial institution if you have a growing number of financial interests. The bank offers personal and business bank accounts, loans, credit cards and even investing through Merrill Lynch. Merrill Edge is available for self-directed investing or you can work with an advisor to set up a portfolio through Merrill Guided Investing or to manage your investments fully through its wealth management division.

Products

The most popular accounts offered by Bank of America include:

Bank of America Checking Account

Bank of America technically only offers one type of checking account — the Advantage Banking account — but it comes in three different levels: Advantage SafeBalance, Advantage Plus and Advantage Relationship. GOBankingRates has ranked this account as one of the Best Checking Accounts of 2022

Only Advantage Relationship Banking checking accounts pay interest and the APY depends on the size of your account. All Advantage Banking checking accounts have monthly maintenance fees, although these can be waived. Fees range from $4.95 for the Advantage SafeBalance account to $12 for Advantage Plus and $25 for Advantage Relationship Banking. 

On the downside, Bank of America charges a pretty high overdraft fee of $35 as well as fees of $5 or more for using non-Bank of America ATMs.

Bank of America Savings Account

Bank of America offers a single primary savings account, the Advantage Savings account, in addition to two savings accounts for children. To avoid the $8 monthly fee with the Advantage Savings account, you must either maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $500, link your account to an Advantage Relationship checking account or become a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client.

The fee is also waived for account holders under 18 years old. The required opening balance for the Advantage Savings account is $100. Annual percentage yields vary based on the type of relationship you have with Bank of America. For example, to earn the top-tier APY of , you must be in the Platinum Honors tier of the Preferred Rewards program.

Bank of America Money Market Account

Bank of America only offers a money market account for IRAs.

Bank of America CD Accounts

Bank of America has two main types of CDs: Standard Term and Featured. It also offers a line of IRA CDs. Standard Term CDs have a $1,000 minimum opening deposit, while Featured CDs have a $10,000 minimum.  

All CDs come with no monthly service charge and are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Unless specifically stated otherwise, all Bank of America CDs automatically renew. The APY on Standard Term CDs is and the APY on Featured CDs is , so you don’t get nearly as much bang for your buck as you would at other banks. But Bank of America does have a wider range of terms than many other banks.

Customer Service

Bank of America boasts about 4,200 branch locations and 17,000 ATMs around the world, with services in more than 30 countries, making it one of the most wide-reaching companies in the banking industry.

With 24-hour customer service and a massive branch network, you’ll find no shortage of ways to access accounts and services at Bank of America. It also offers mobile apps for nearly any type of platform, from Apple and Android to Windows 10. You can use the app to log in to your account, deposit checks, set up alerts, send money and check your accounts.

How Bank of America Stands Out 

Because of its breadth of products and services and thousands of locations, Bank of America can likely meet your every financial need, making it a convenient, one-stop shop for all of your financial accounts. Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program offers perks like loan rate discounts and ATM fee rebates. Customers who enroll in Preferred Rewards can also avoid monthly account maintenance fees on checking and savings accounts.

Bank of America vs. Competitors

Here’s a look at how Bank of America and its competitors compare.

Bank of America vs. Chase

Bank of America has slightly higher APYs available on its savings accounts, giving it the edge in that regard. But Chase has the advantage in the number of branch locations, with more than 4,700.

Bank of America vs. Wells Fargo

Bank of America pays a slightly higher APY on its savings accounts than Wells Fargo, and also offers a robust rewards program. Wells Fargo gets the nod in terms of the number of investment, retirement and wealth management products and services it offers.

Bank of America vs. Citi®

Citi has the biggest fee-free ATM network among any major U.S. bank, at more than 65,000. It also has a big edge with its high-yielding savings account, which offers an APY of for its Citi Accelerate Savings Account. If you desire in-branch services, however, Citi’s branch network is pretty sparse compared with Bank of America’s.

How To Apply

You can open an account in-person or by applying online. You’ll need to provide personal details such as your name, address, date of birth, phone number, email address and Social Security number. 

Who Bank of America Is Best For

Bank of America is one of the country’s largest banks and offers a variety of accounts and financial services. This means that it’s the right bank for someone just getting started and in need of basic checking, or someone with a high net worth who would like to integrate banking with wealth management — and everything in between.

Final Take

For anyone in search of a financial institution that provides banking and loans such as car loans and mortgages, Bank of America is a good option. Its network of branches nationwide and robust digital presence covers the needs of nearly any type of customer. Best of all, the bank rewards customers by providing relationship rates when multiple products are selected.

Bank of America FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Bank of America.
  • Is Bank of America a reputable bank?
    • Bank of America is one of the largest and oldest banks in the U.S. Its long-standing reputation makes it one of the most reputable banks in the country.
  • Is Bank of America a good bank?
    • Bank of America offers a variety of accounts, branches nationwide and plenty of other financial services. GOBankingRates has ranked Bank of America as one of the Best National Banks of 2022.
  • What are the cons of Bank of America?
    • Individuals in search of a smaller bank may decide Bank of America isn't right for them. In addition, Bank of America's interest rates aren't as competitive as other financial institutions.
  • What's the better bank Chase or Bank of America?
    • Both Chase and Bank of America offer similar products. If branch availability is important to you, Chase may be slightly better with more than 4,700 branches compared to Bank of America's 4100 locations.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of July 11, 2022.

Editorial Note: 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.

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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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.
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