Banking » Bank Review » Bank of America Review 2021 – great banking experience, low rates
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Bank of America Review 2021 – great banking experience, low rates

Bank of America offers amazing tools to stay connected physically and virtually to your finances. However, the negatives should be wisely considered.

We may receive compensation from companies that appear on this page. This may impact how and where products appear on a page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). It doesn’t affect our unbiased editors’ opinions. our opinions are our own.

Bank of America Review

Bank of America offers banking services and free ATMs almost anywhere in the country.  Their savings rates and account fees are comparable to other banking services.  Bank of American is a nationwide network that offers all-in-one bank deposits, loans, and credit cards.  There are also higher daily limits on their ATM and debit purchases, which is a great incentive in growing your finances.

There are some drawbacks to banking with this company.  There are lower than average savings account interest rates and fewer premium checking account options.  These are important banking considerations you should be aware of when determining your short and long term financial goals.  Another drawback to banking with Bank of America is their use of fees that is higher than their competitors. 

The use of fees is a responsible way to increase your organization with your finances to eliminate the chance of overdrawing your funds.  Bank of America is the third-largest bank in the country, with its 4,700 branch offices that operate in 35 states.  It has a wide distribution that makes it a good choice for opening a checking account, but it has low deposits interest rates, which make it less optimal when opening a savings account.

You decide what you want to benefit from with a thorough analysis of all the banking options offered at Bank of America. 

On Bank of America Secure Website

Account Types

– Savings Account
– Checking Account
– Certificate Of Deposits (CDs)
– Money Market Account

Minimum Deposit

$100 – $1000 (Standard term) and $1000 (Featured)

PROS

CONS

Bank Reputation - Customer Ratings, Financial Strength

  • A+ on BBB BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). BB ratings are based on information in BBB files with respect to factors such as business's complaint history with BBB, type of business, time in business, transparent business practices and more.
  • 4.7/5  on BBB customers reviews (180 reviews) – BB customer reviews allow customers to post positive, negative or neutral reviews about marketplace experiences.
  • 4.7/5 on Trustpilot ( 180 reviews) – TrustScore is also an overall measurement of reviewer satisfaction, represented numerically from 1 to 5.
  • Moody’s, Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Fitch – top three credit rating agencies in the world:
    • Moody's: 1.56  – Moody's rating scale running from a high of AAA to a low of C.
    • Fitch: 1.56  – Fitch rating scale running from a high of AAA to a low of D.
    • S&P: 1.56  – S&P rating scale running from a high of AAA to a low of D.
  •  J.D Power Research – We considered J.D. Power’s national banking satisfaction study 2020.

J.D Power offers the most comprehensive and independent study of customer satisfaction. The study aims to help consumers and issuers to understand user opinions and ratings of the largest bank in the country. It covers customer satisfaction, products,  fee structures, digital customer experience, transparency and more.

JD Power National Banking 2020 —

Here are the main products Bank of America offers for savers:

Savings Account

Bank-of-America review

Initial Deposit

$100

Minimum Balance

None

APY

0.01 – 0.05%

Bank of America's Rewards Savings account offers a Keep the Change program that helps you automate your savings by rounding up your purchase when you use a Bank of America debit card.  The debit card is connected to your Bank of America checking account, which transfers the difference into your savings.  This is a highly effective program that allows you to grow your financial savings in positive directing and help reach short and long term goals.

Another great benefit of using the savings program is the mobile application can be used to deposit your checks into your savings account.  This is a helpful way to keep your savings account current and up today with your finances.

A negative aspect of using Bank of America for savings purposes is the less than average APY.  Bank of America’s highest APY for its savings account is less than the national average, making it less desirable compared to other savings accounts.  It is important to keep the APY rates in mind to make sure you are getting the most out of your savings account. 

Checking Account

Bank-of-America review

Initial Deposit

$25 – $100

Minimum Balance

None

APY

0.01 – 0.02%

Bank of American offers a checking account program with its Advantage Relationship checking offer.  This account offers an interest-bearing with a $100.00 minimum opening deposit.  When you maintain a combined balance of $10,000 across your eligible linked accounts you waive the $25 monthly maintenance fee.  This is a great incentive to build your financial portfolio and organize your financial priorities.

Another great aspect of Bank of America's checking account system is the tiered rates offered on all of their balances.  You can also grow your checking account by declining or returning transactions when you do not have enough money.  This helps you to now overdraw your account and maintain your financial independence while preventing fees from adding up.

Some negative aspects of the checking account system are the interest rates are relatively low compared to other banking institutions.  Also, the requirements to waive the monthly fees are higher than average.  Also, there is a $2.50 fee when you use a non-Bank of America ATMs, which also increases the fees, if you are traveling or in a financial bind.

All of these are important aspects to consider when deciding whether or not Bank of America is the institution for you.  There are a lot of positive, but the low-interest rates and maintenance fees can be too complicated and stressful to manage.

Certificate Of Deposits (CDs)

Bank-of-America review

Initial Deposit

$1000 (Standard term) and $1000 (Featured)

Minimum Balance

1 – 120 months

APY

0.03% (Standard term) and 0.06% (Featured)

Bank of America offers CDs with terms that range from one month to ten years.  You have a choice between two different types of CDs.  The standard CD has a low minimum deposit and the option to choose from multiple terms.  This featured CD is available if you are interested in a short-term account.

Some positive aspects of the CD program are the low minimum deposits needed to open a standard CD, this allows for financial flexibility.  Also having a wide variety of CDs to choose from is a great addition to this savings plan.

Some penalties apply for early withdrawals. The penalty is 180 days of interest when the terms are between 12 months and five years.  This forces you to make financial smart and stable decisions and not rush into anything major.  Using the CD savings plan is for long-term goals and should be carefully considered.

One negative aspect of the CD program is the lack of daily compound interest.  The interest is only accrued monthly through this program. Also, there are no special CDs available and when comparing CDs with other financial institutions Bank of America offers low yield.  

All of these are great aspects of CD banking that you should carefully consider. 

Money Market Account

Bank-of-America review

Initial Deposit

None

Minimum Balance

None

APY

Bank of America offers money marketing savings accounts that help you save more money with less effort, which is helping in increasing the amount you put away.  The Rewards Money Market Account requires you to have a minimum deposit of $100,000 in your account to achieve the maximum rate of 0.06%.  This rate is below the average for a money market account, which is something you should consider when deciding if Bank of America is the appropriate platform you should use.

The minimal deposit amount you need to open a money market account is $2,500 to earn the 0.03% rate.  This is comparable to other banking institutions and does not require any monthly maintenance fee, which is helping when you are growing your long-term savings accounts.   The difference from the national average APY is 0.05% to 0.2%. 

The money market account is a reliable and secure savings account that you can easily access and grow over an extended period.

Application Process

Step 1: Visit the Bank of America homepage and click on any of the account options provided.

Bank of America_Homepage Bank of America_Homepage

Step 2: On the next page, fill in your personal information like your names, address, zip code, city, etc.

Bank of America_Homepage Bank of America_Homepage

Step 3: go through all the three terms and conditions stated, and tick each of the boxes, and then click “Continue.”

Bank of America_Homepage Bank of America_Homepage

Step 4:  Finally, your application summary comes up, go through to verify the details, and then click “Submit.”

Bank of America_Homepage

And you are set!

Bank of America FAQs

Is Bank of America trustworthy?

Bank of America is a large, national bank with a solid reputation. In fact, Bank of America has won awards based on its performance and reputation, so it is certainly a trustworthy brand.

Additionally, all Bank of America accounts are FDIC insured. You’ll have protection of up to $250,000 per depositor should the bank fail.

Is Bank of America good for online banking?

Like many of the large national banks, Bank of America has a wide network of branch offices and free ATMS. However, it also offers well designed mobile and online banking tools. The online platform is easy to access and use, making it highly convenient.

Is Bank of America a good bank overall?

Bank of America is a solid choice for those who prefer access to a wide branch network and an abundance of free ATMs.

However, this does come at a cost, as you will earn lower rates than purely online banks offer. You may also find the transfer limits are lower and you may incur fees such as overdraft fees.

Fortunately, the basic monthly fees are quite easy to waive. So, if you don’t particularly care about the greatest interest and prefer in person support, Bank of America is worthy of consideration.

Which is better: Bank of America or Wells Fargo?

Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America are banking giants, but while there are some similarities, there are some key differences. For example, Wells Fargo has lower monthly checking fees with lower minimum opening deposits.

However, Bank of America does have a larger ATM network. So, if this is a priority for you, you may prefer Bank of America. In most cases, customers will appreciate the 24/7 customer support offered by Wells Fargo and the lower fee structure.

Is Bank of America better than Capital One?

Bank of America is one of the largest US banks with over 4,000 locations and an impressive 17,000 ATM network. It is well regarded for its customer service and extended opening hours. However, Capital One is primarily an online bank, so its costs are lower and this is reflected in its rates. So, which is better will depend on your priorities.

If you prefer access to branches and lots of ATMs, do for Bank of America. But, if low fees and competitive rates are more important to you, opt for Capital One.

Is Flagstar Bank better than Bank of America?

Bank of America is a more well known brand, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a better choice for you. Both Flagstar and Bank of America have FDIC insurance and offer a variety of banking products. However, Flagstar does have account minimums and two of the three checking account options are not interest earning. Additionally, Bank of America does have numerous credit card options.

So, unless you have very basic banking needs, you’re likely to find Bank of America has more to offer.

 

Which is better, Chase Bank or Bank of America?

Both Chase Bank and Bank of America are large national banks with solid reputations, so it can be tricky to see much distinction between the two. Both organizations have thousands of ATMs and branches, with a variety of product choices.

Bank of America is a better choice if you want to achieve slightly higher rates on some of the savings products or you want easier ways to waive monthly maintenance fees. However, Chase Bank is a better option if you have less funds for checking or saving accounts, or you want to access sign up bonuses.

Which is better: Citibank or Bank of America?

Both Citibank and Bank of America are national banks that are known for convenience rather than higher savings rates. Both banks have a wide variety of banking products and top shelf technology. You can also gain access to a large ATM network, but Citibank does have a larger network. Additionally, Citibank offers access to live customer service, particularly during irregular hours. So, unless your priority is access to more physical branches, you are likely to find Citibank a better choice.

Alternatives Banks For Consideration

Here are our alternatives to Bank of America:

Discover Bank provides a wide variety of offers like online banking, credit cards, student loans, home equity loans, and personal loans.

The checking account has a 1% cashback on all transactions. You may earn more than five times the national average rate with an APY of 0.60% with the savings account. Money market accounts have an APY of 0.50%, with a balance of $100,000. There is a high-yielding cash deposit account of 12-month, 24-month, and 5-year terms with APYs of 0.60%, 0.65%, and 0.80%, respectively. For all these accounts, there is free ATM access up to 60,000, no minimum balance, and no transaction charges. 

The Bank requests some personal details to open these accounts. For example, it may require you to fill your name, contact details, date of birth, social security number or tax identification number, employment status, and annual income. 

Discover Bank has just one office location, which may be a far distance for several customers. Certificates of deposits have a high minimum deposit of $2,500 compared to other CD accounts. Also, there is no payment option for cash deposits.

JD Power, in 2019, ranked Discover bank at the top position for customer satisfaction with a score of 842. The better business bureau gives an A+ for organizational performance.

They may be a quiet bank without much fanfare going on but they do their job well. In fact, Money Magazine awarded them the Best Bank in the Pacific Region of the US in 2019.

What started out as a small thrift bank in 1890 has now grown to be a big full-service bank with headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington.

Their operations mostly cover the west, providing banking products as well as services in commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans. The bank employs around 2,149 employees.

Banner Bank is the 3rd largest bank in Washington and ranks 126th of all the banks in the United States. The bank reports an asset of more than $12.6B.

They are present in over 175 locations dispersed all over Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. Although they have leveled up their use of technology, Banner Bank is still a traditional brick-and-mortar bank.  

Summary

Bank of America offers extensive access to a wide network of free ATMs and branch offices.  These are amazing tools to stay connected physically and virtually to your finances.  The online and mobile banking site and the app is well designed and maintained, which enhances your banking experience.  

You need to be aware of your financial activity because of the fees and lackluster savings rates.  Overall this service has many positives, but the negatives should be wisely considered and monitored to protect your financial assets.