As one of the largest financial institutions in the United States, Bank of America (BoA) has had some controversy. In 2014, he was fined $ 16.65 billion for his role in the 2008 financial crisis.
Previous controversy aside, is Bank of America (BoA) the right place for you to do your banking? It is your call.
This Bank of America review gives you an honest look at the bank’s checking and savings features for individuals and small businesses, as well as its general convenience and mobile banking features. Note that Bank of America credit cards and credit products are not included in this review.
Bank of America Review: The Pros and Cons
What we like:
Keep Change Feature: Adding this feature to your BoA Advantage savings account will allow you to increase your savings without thinking as it rounds up every debit card transaction and deposits the change in your savings account.
BoA Mobile App: It’s easy to use with some pretty advanced features that you won’t find in many banks.
Convenience: As one of the “Big Four” banks in the US, the BoA is everywhere. There are nearly 16,000 ATMS and more than 4,000 stationary branches.
What we don’t like:
Not for ordinary overdrafts: The standard overdraft fee is $ 35, with a maximum of four per day. Another $ 35 is pinned after five days of uninterrupted negative balance. Overdraft protection comes with a $ 10 transaction fee.
The APYs: The prices for checking accounts and savings accounts are well below average.
The Monthly Fees: There is a monthly fee of $ 8 for savings accounts that do not have a minimum balance of $ 500.
You can open the simplest Bank of America checking account, AdvantageSafe Balance Checking, with a pretty standard $ 25 minimum deposit.
AdvantageSafe Balance Checking has a monthly service charge of $ 4.95. Bank of America waives this fee if you can check any of the following boxes:
You are enrolling in the BoA Preferred Rewards program. To qualify as a Preferred Rewards member, you need a three month combined average of $ 20,000 in your accounts at Bank of America and Merrill Edge / Merrill Lynch. This can be a big challenge for many customers.
You are under 24 years old and in school.
The Advantage Plus checking account has a monthly fee of $ 12. However, there are a few more ways to avoid this. In addition to enrolling in Preferred Rewards or qualifying as a Student, you can avoid the fee if you:
Have at least one qualifying direct deposit of $ 250 or more OR
Maintain a minimum daily balance of $ 1,500.
Carmen Mandato / The Penny Hoarder Neither the AdvantageSafe Balance Checking nor the Advantage Plus offer interest on your money.
To earn interest on a Bank of America checking account, you must access the Advantage Relationship checking account. This account offers 0.03% APY on your money, which is below the national average for interest checking accounts. You can increase this when you join the Preferred Rewards program.
Bank of America’s overdraft fee is $ 35, with a maximum of four per day. Another $ 35 is pinned after five days of uninterrupted negative balance.
The overdraft protection option covers overdrafts by withdrawing money from your savings account. However, there is a substantial $ 10 per transaction fee. You will only be charged $ 10 once a day.
Bank of America’s basic savings account, the Advantage Savings Account, has a minimum deposit of $ 100.
There is a $ 8 monthly service charge that is waived if:
You will maintain a minimum daily balance of $ 500.
You are a Preferred Rewards member.
You link your savings account to your Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account (waiver applies to the first four savings accounts).
With the Advantage savings account, you cannot make large profits on your money through interest. You earn just 0.03% APY, well below the national average for savings accounts. The only way to earn more is by becoming a Preferred Rewards member.
If you want to open a savings account for minors, you’re in luck. BoA has a small savings account. Only an opening deposit of $ 25 is required, but there is no minimum balance requirement or monthly maintenance fee after that. The interest rates are the same as for the advantage savings account.
One feature we like is the “Keep Changes” feature. If you choose to use this feature, your debit card purchases will automatically be rounded up and the remaining change will be deposited into your savings account. This is an easy way to increase your savings without thinking about it.
If you’re looking for a deposit slip, you can start with a minimum of $ 1,000. You can also choose your term between 28 days and 10 years. The CD rates vary between 0.03% and 1% depending on the term.
Small business banking
Bank of America has its own website dedicated to small business banking only. The website makes it easy to track and keep track of your account. That said, there are some shortcomings in its services.
The Business Fundamentals Checking account is non-interest bearing and does not contain a minimum deposit amount. However, there is a $ 17 monthly service charge. You can do without this if you:
Spend $ 250 on net new purchases on a business debit or credit card.
Maintain an average monthly balance of $ 5,000 or more.
Maintain a minimum daily balance of $ 3,000.
Maintain a combined average monthly balance of $ 15,000 or more in your linked Bank of America accounts.
Qualify and enroll in the Preferred Rewards for Business program (waiver applies to up to four eligible business checking accounts.)
Receive 200 free transactions per billing cycle and free cash deposits worth $ 7,500.
Bank of America’s next-level small business verification account is called Business Advantage Checking. There is a monthly fee of $ 29.95 for this account. To do without it, you must:
Spend $ 2,500 in net purchases using a business credit card.
Maintain an average monthly balance of $ 15,000 or more.
Maintain a combined average monthly balance of at least $ 35,000 on your linked Bank of America accounts.
Make active use of one or both of these business services: Bank of America Merchant Services or Payroll Services.
Qualify for the Preferred Rewards for Business program (first four checking accounts per enrolled company) and sign up.
This account includes 500 free transactions and no fees for the first $ 20,000 of cash deposits. As you can see, Business Advantage Checking is designed for companies with a slightly higher cash flow.
Like any of the Big Four banks, BoA is pretty easy to find. There are 4,270 bank locations. However, that number has decreased in recent years. Finding a BoA ATM isn’t hard either, as there are 15,900.
As you would expect, Bank of America offers many modern banking services such as a phone app, online banking, and mobile deposits.
As with most major banks, you can do a lot more with Bank of America than just checks and savings. You can get a mortgage, car loan, credit cards, and even some investment accounts linked to Merrill Lynch. They even have a better money habits website that offers tips for consumers on financial wellbeing.
Getty ImagesNote: A.
The BoA Mobile Banking App receives rave reviews. With 4.8 out of 5 points in the Apple App Store and 4.7 out of 5 points in the Google Play Store, it doesn’t get much better.
Users comment on the ease of use, as well as features like money transfers, mobile notifications for low funds, and the ability to disable a lost or stolen card. Thanks to the fingerprint and face recognition features, you can easily log in and protect your account.
Has your card ever been declined because you are away? The Bank of America phone app has a feature you can enable to compare the location of your phone to where the transaction is taking place. If your phone is nearby, they can assume it’s you and approve the transaction. That’s pretty smart (unless the crook steals your phone and card).
If you want a personal connection to your banking app, you can even access Erica, the BoA’s virtual assistant, to guide you through your banking duties.
Check out our current list of bank promotions to receive a cash bonus when you sign up for a new bank account.
Our bank verification method
Penny Hoarder’s editorial team takes into account 25+ factors when verifying their bank account, including fees, minimum daily balance requirements, APYs, overdraft fees, ATM access, number of physical locations, customer service access and mobile features.
To see how we weigh each factor, The Penny Hoarder surveyed 1,500 people to find out which banking functions are most important to you.
For example, we give top marks to banks with low fees because our survey found this to be the number 1 you look for in a bank. Since more than 70% of you stated that you had visited a physical bank branch in the past year, we take into account the number of stationary locations. More than a third of you use mobile apps for more than 75% of your banking business. Therefore, digital functions are also carefully checked.
Banks are divided into the following categories:
Personal checking accounts
Personal savings accounts
Small business banking
Credit card and credit products are currently not included.
Tyler Omoth is a freelance writer covering topics like personal finance, career advice, and even lawn care. His work has been featured on TopResume.com, Writersweekly.com, and others. He is also the author of over 70 textbooks for children and the proud parent of twin toddlers.