Bank of America Checking, Savings, CD, and IRA Account Reviews

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Reviewed By

Updated on Thursday, October 1, 2020

Bank of America checking account options

Bank of America Interest Checking® Account

Bank of America’s Interest Checking® Account offers a minuscule amount of interest and a few extra perks in exchange for a higher monthly fee.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$0 - $50,000

0.02%

$50,000+

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 (waived if you meet certain requirements, detailed below)
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

This checking account earns a minuscule amount of interest while charging a higher monthly fee than their Core Checking account. But, you can also get the monthly fee waived by doing one of the following:

  1. Keeping a combined balance of at least $10,000 in all of your Bank of America accounts.
  2. Enrolling in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program and earn at least a Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors tier.

The Interest Checking account also has a few other perks. If you do opt-in to the overdraft protection and have a linked savings account set up, any transfers to cover overdrafts are done free of charge (with the Core Checking account, this normally costs $12 per transfer). You’ll also get free checks, and you can choose to enroll in the BankAmeriDeals cashback rewards program and the Keep The Change savings program.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Interest Checking® Account. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

Bank of America Core Checking® Account

This fee-heavy, no-interest-earning account isn’t one our favorites.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 (unless you meet requirements, detailed below)
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

This is Bank of America’s go-to checking account for most people. Sadly, it doesn’t earn any interest and charges a monthly fee to boot. Check out our roundup of other great low-fee checking accounts. Still, it’s fairly easy to get this fee waived in one of four ways:

  1. Have at least one monthly direct deposit of $250
  2. Keep a daily balance of $1,500 in your account
  3. Enroll in their Preferred Rewards program and reach a Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors tier
  4. Be a high school, college or vocational program student under age 24

When you opened a bank account before the 2008 financial crisis, it was common to be automatically enrolled in an overdraft program. Bank of America’s overdraft program works like this: If you don’t have a linked savings account and you overdraw your account, you’ll face a $35 overdraft fee per item, up to four times per day. If you do have a linked savings account, they’ll charge you a $12 transfer fee to cover the cost. Now, due to new federal regulations, you need to manually opt into this program when you open an account. If you don’t, you’ll instead face a $35 non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee for each item, which is basically the same as the overdraft fee anyway.

Although this is a fee-heavy account, it does come with a couple nice features. Their Keep The Change program automatically rounds up your purchases and deposits the difference into your savings account. You can also earn cashback rewards by shopping at certain retailers through the BankAmeriDeals program.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Core Checking® account. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

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How Bank of America’s checking accounts compare

This bank’s checking accounts, like accounts at most big banks, offer low interest rates and high fees, especially compared with the best online checking accounts out there. Only one of their checking accounts does offer interest, and it’s such a low rate that you’ll probably even forget it does offer interest. The monthly maintenance fees for these accounts are quite high, and while it is possible to skirt them rather easily, that still means you need to be on your toes to make sure you meet the requirements each month.

The one thing that we actually do like with these accounts is Bank of America’s Keep The Change feature, which rounds up your purchases and deposits the difference into your savings account. This is a unique feature for bank accounts and can really help you save more cash, but it’s also possible to find apps that do the same thing that don’t come with these restrictive accounts.

Bank of America’s savings account options

Rewards Savings

This savings account rewards you with a monthly fee and a super low interest rate.

Tier

APY

Standard

0.01%

Gold

0.02%

Platinum

0.03%

Platinum Honors

0.05%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8 (waived if you meet certain requirements, detailed below)
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

This is Bank of America’s basic savings account, and an option if you’re just looking for a basic, no-frills place to store your cash. Once again, this account comes with a monthly fee that you should be able to skirt around in one of three ways:

  1. Keep at least $500 in this account
  2. Link up your Bank of America Interest Checking® account
  3. Enroll in the Preferred Rewards program and earn at least a Gold, Platinum or Platinum honors tier.

It shouldn’t be too difficult, but remember to keep these rules in mind should you want to drain your savings account and use the cash.

In addition to the monthly maintenance fee, you’re also limited to six transfers and withdrawals per month, as per Federal Regulation D. If you go over that amount, Bank of America will charge you $10 per transaction, up to $60 per month (however, if you’re enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program or keep at least $20,000 in your account, this fee will be waived).

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Rewards Savings account. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

Minor Savings Account

A low-fee alternative to teach your children how to save.

Tier

APY

Standard

0.01%

Gold

0.02%

Platinum

0.03%

Platinum Honors

0.05%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

If you’re looking to teach your kids about savings, this account is one option. Thankfully, Bank of America waives or lowers many of the fees associated with this account. For example, while you’d normally be charged a $10 fee for going over six withdrawals or transfers per month, the bank will only charge kids and teens $1 per occurrence, up to $6 per month, and only if they have less than $300 in their account. Another nice perk is that you, as a parent, can make automatic transfers into your child’s account.

Once the child reaches age 18, the account automatically converts into a regular Rewards Savings account with higher fees and requirements, so be prepared.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Minor Savings account. The account will be jointly owned by your and your child, and so you will both need to provide some basic personal information, such as your names, social security numbers, and addresses. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Custodial (UTMA) Savings Account

This custodial account operates under the rules of the Rewards Savings account.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

This savings account is meant for parents to save for their children’s expenses after they become adults, such as college, living expenses or a home down payment. Bank of America’s UTMA savings account works exactly like their Rewards Savings account, with one twist: it falls under UTMA regulations.

This means that the account is technically owned by the child, but the parent acts as a custodian and manages the account for them until they’re 18 or 21 (depending on the rules of the state you live in). After this point, the now-adult can access the money and do whatever they want with it, and you’re no longer in charge of the account.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Custodial Savings account. Both you and your child will be listed on the account, and so you will both need to provide some basic personal information, such as your names, Social Security numbers and addresses. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Bank of America’s savings accounts compare

There’s no two ways about it: these savings accounts, on the whole, offer high fees and very low interest rates. If you’re banking on these savings accounts for your next vacation, it’ll be quite some time before you find yourself sipping mai tais on a Hawaiian beach. If you’re looking to earn more money with your savings account, a better option would be one of these top online savings accounts.

Bank of America’s CD rates

Featured CD account

Earn a slightly higher interest rate on a short-term CD by bringing 10x the cash to the table.

Term

APY

12 Months

0.07%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount that you withdraw.

If you’re looking for a shorter-term commitment and want to earn a slightly higher rate, you might consider Bank of America’s Featured CD. Still, you won’t earn much more; the interest rate on this featured CD barely edges out their regular 12-month CD, which itself pays out a very small amount of interest.

You also need to pony up a higher amount of cash for this minuscule interest rate increase: You’ll need at least $10,000 to open this CD, whereas you can open a normal CD with as little as $1,000.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for the Featured CD. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

Standard Term CD account

The ability to choose your own CD term with a low opening deposit requirement makes this a great choice for people looking for flexibility.

Term

APY

28-179 Days

0.03%

6-11 Months

0.03%

12-17 Months

0.03%

18-23 Months

0.03%

24-35 Months

0.03%

36-47 Months

0.03%

48-59 Months

0.03%

60-119 Months

0.03%

120 Months

0.03%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 90 days, you’ll pay either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn, or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn (whichever is more).
    • For CDs between 90 days up to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs between 12 months up to 60 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs over 60 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

We like Bank of America’s CDs because they offer a ton of flexibility. You can choose any term length you want, from one month to 120 months. You only need $1,000 to open a CD, which is much lower than many other CDs at other banks. You’ll be able to choose how you get paid interest: you can have it reinvested back into the CD, deposited into your linked checking or savings account or have a check mailed to you every so often.

However, it’s not all roses and sunshine. The biggest thing that counts — the interest rate — is actually quite low with this account.

When your CD matures, it’ll be automatically rolled over into a new CD account with the same term length. Don’t worry, though: you have a short seven-day grace period where you can make any changes to the CD, including adding more money, changing the term length or withdrawing the cash.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Standard Term CD. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Bank of America’s CD rates compare

While Bank of America does offer some pretty nifty features for their CDs (such as flexible term lengths and low minimum deposit amounts), we still can’t get over the fact that the interest rates offered on these CDs are much, much lower than the CDs that you can get elsewhere. These low rates could be worth it if you’re trying to pull off a creative CD ladder structure with odd term lengths, but if you’re looking for the highest interest rates out there, we suggest giving these CDs a pass.

Bank of America’s IRA rates

Featured CD IRA

This account is basically a copycat of Bank of America’s Featured CD, but within an IRA framework.

Term

APY

12 Months

0.07%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 90 days, you’ll pay either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn, or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn (whichever is more).
    • For CDs between 90 days up to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs between 12 months up to 60 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs over 60 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

Bank of America’s Featured IRA CD works exactly like their regular Featured CD, except that it operates within the framework of an IRA. Strangely, it requires a slightly smaller minimum opening deposit ($2,000) compared with the regular Featured CD, which requires at least $10,000 to open.

But, assuming you can manage that hurdle, you’ll still have the same options for dealing with interest payments and CD renewals. You can choose to have interest added onto your CD balance, or paid out to you via deposit into a linked Bank of America account or a check. When your CD matures, it’ll automatically roll over into another Featured CD, and you’ll still have a seven-day period where you can make any changes to your account, including withdrawing the cash.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for a Bank of America’s Featured CD IRA. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

Standard Term IRA CD

Bank of America also offers their regular Standard Term CDs in IRA form.

Term

APY

6-11 Months

0.03%

12-17 Months

0.03%

18-23 Months

0.03%

24-35 Months

0.03%

36-47 Months

0.03%

48-59 Months

0.03%

60-119 Months

0.03%

120 Months

0.03%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 90 days, you’ll pay either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn, or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn (whichever is more).
    • For CDs between 90 days up to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs between 12 months up to 60 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs over 60 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

This account is also another copycat of Bank of America’s regular Standard Term CDs, but within an IRA account. If you open up one of these accounts, you’ll also get a seven-day grace period where you can make any changes to the CD after it matures. Otherwise, it’ll continue on as a rollover CD, with the same term length as before. You can also choose to have interest deposited back into the CD account, or paid out to you via check or electronic deposit into a linked Bank of America account.

Because these CDs are so flexible, it’s easy to choose a term that might fit better with your retirement savings plan. For example, if you just need a place to store your retirement funds for, say, 30 months (not 24 months or 36 months — two common CD terms), these Standard CD IRA accounts allow you to choose that term length. It’s an odd situation for sure, but if you do find yourself in this spot, these CD IRAs allow you that degree of flexibility.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Standard Term CD IRAs. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

Variable Rate CD IRA

This CD IRA may — or may not — offer higher rates than their regular Standard Term CD IRAs.

Term

APY

18-23 Months

0.03%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 90 days, you’ll pay either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn, or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn (whichever is more).
    • For CDs between 90 days up to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs between 12 months up to 60 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs over 60 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

Theoretically, you should be able to earn a slightly higher interest rate by choosing a variable rate. However, sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. As of the time of this writing, the interest rates offered on regular 18-23-month Standard Term CD IRAs is double that of these Variable Rate CD IRAs.

If interest rates should rise, it may be beneficial to open one of these CDs, which also automatically roll over, disperse interest and have the same policies toward a grace period as regular CDs. But, keep in mind that this bank can change — or not change — the interest rate on this CD at any time, making it a bit of a gamble. Right now, it looks like their Standard Term CD IRA is winning in the rate department.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for a Bank of America Variable Rate CD IRA. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. The bank may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Bank of America’s CD IRA rates compare

Just like with their other accounts, Bank of America offers very low rates. If you’re hoping to grow your money as much as possible within an FDIC-insured environment, you might be better off choosing one of the current top IRA CDs. But, just as with their regular non-IRA CDs, we can still see how someone could find these CDs useful, especially if you need an IRA CD with a weird term length. But, fortunately, those cases are probably very rare, and you’re likely better off choosing a higher-interest-earning IRA CD.

Money Market IRA

Bank of America’s Money Market IRA lets you add more money at any time.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100

Even though Bank of America offers a wide range of CD terms, you still might prefer to keep your retirement savings in something a little more liquid in case you need to access it on short notice. If that’s the case, you might consider their Money Market IRA, which works similarly to a savings account. However, unlike their savings account, you can’t use this account to make withdrawals by check, debit card or draft.

You’ll have to call the bank to hear the rates associated with this account as well as to open this account. Fortunately, it only takes a few minutes to apply for a Bank of America Money Market IRA. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Overall review of Bank of America’s products

Bank of America does offer some truly neat features that we like, such as their many options for different CD term lengths. If you’re looking for weird CD term lengths, Bank of America is right for you. We also like their Keep The Change feature, which rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference in your savings account.

But for most people (probably including yourself), you want to earn the best rates and pay the lowest fees possible. If that’s the case, we recommend another bank, because Bank of America’s products are consistently outperformed by other banks that offer higher rates and lower fees.

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