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Bank of America: 2022 Banking Review


Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the US. It offers a wide variety of financial products — including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans and investing services — as well as thousands of retail locations and ATMs across the country. Bank of America also features a strong online experience with a robust website and a fully featured mobile app. That noted, its basic bank accounts offer dispiritingly low annual percentage yields compared to many other institutions. 

What we like

  • Multiple account options for savings, checking, investing and borrowing
  • Thousands of retail branches and ATMs
  • Solid digital experience
  • 24/7 customer service online and by phone

What we don’t like

  • Numerous fees
  • Low interest rates on savings products
  • Relatively stringent requirements to open and maintain an account

Who is Bank of America best suited for?

Bank of America is best for customers who want a reliable digital banking experience, the option to visit a branch location and a full array of savings products and other financial services. Especially if having all your accounts under one institutional umbrella is a priority, Bank of America could be a good fit.

Savings account review

Bank of America’s flagship Advantage Savings account is a basic, straightforward savings account that is very much not a high-yield savings account. Like some other large, national institutions, Bank of America offers an extremely low APY — even if you qualify for the bank’s Preferred Status, which is based on maintaining a minimum balance threshold. 

Savings account features

APY 0.01% to 0.04% depending on your Preferred Rewards status
Minimum opening balance$100 $100
Minimum daily balance$500 $500
Monthly maintenance fee* $8

*Bank of America will waive monthly fees if certain criteria are met.

Note: APYs shown are as of Dec. 9, 2022. CNET’s editorial team updates this information regularly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products.

What we like

  • Automated savings: You can schedule automatic deposits into your account or choose to round up transactions and have the remainder deposited into your savings account.
  • Fees can be waived: Bank of America will waive its monthly maintenance fee if you’re a student or Preferred Rewards member, or you maintain a minimum balance of at least $500.
  • ATM access: Thousands of branches across the US make it relatively easy to find a local option.

What we don’t like

  • High fees: Bank of America charges a monthly $8 maintenance fee plus an additional $10 fee per transfer when you make more than six in a month. There is also a fee when you make a transaction on a non-network ATM ($2.50 in the US, $5 outside of the US). And there’s a $5 replacement fee if you lose your ATM card.
  • Low APY: Bank of America offers very low interest rates compared to other banks. This savings account earns so little that, with the fees and charges, you could end up losing more than saving.

Checking account review

Bank of America has three different types of checking account options. Most customers will qualify for the Advantage Plus account. The SafeBalance account is for students and younger customers and the Advantage Relationship account is for high-income earners who will maintain a large balance.

Checking account features

SafeBalance Advantage Plus Advantage Relationship
APY N/A N/A 0.01% to 0.02%
Minimum opening deposit $25 $100 $100
Minimum balance None $1,500 or monthly direct deposits or enroll in preferred rewards $10,000 across linked accounts or enroll in preferred rewards
Monthly fee* $4.95 $12 $25

*Bank of America will waive monthly fees if certain criteria are met.

Note: APYs, shown are as of Dec. 9, 2022. CNET’s editorial team updates this information regularly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products.

What we like

  • Vast ATM network: Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the US. If you need cash, there are thousands of branch and ATM locations to visit.
  • Digital payment options: Each account gets a chipped debit card, access to Zelle and a digital wallet. 
  • Overdraft protection: Both Advantage accounts let you opt into overdraft protection. But SafeBalance account holders do not have that option. 
  • Solid user experience: The mobile app and website are easy to use, whether you’re checking your account, sending or receiving money or setting up autopay or direct deposit.
  • Monthly fee waived for students: Designed for those with an inconsistent income, the SafeAccount option waives the fee for students who prove eligibility. 

What we don’t like

  • High monthly fee: Each account has a standard monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived if certain criteria is met. For instance, the bank charges a $12 maintenance fee for its Advantage Plus account if you don’t set up direct deposit or maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500. That won’t be practical for many, including people who get paid with paper checks or in cash. 
  • Low or no APY: Only one Bank of America checking option pays interest on a balance, the Advantage Relationship, which is designed for wealthy customers. 
  • Overdraft fee: The bank will charge you $10 per transaction on an overdrafted account.

CD account review

Bank of America offers two types of CDs, each with its own terms and conditions.

CD account features

Featured CD Fixed-term CD
APY 0.05 to 3.20% depending on balance and term 0.03%
Minimum opening deposit $10,000 $1,000
Terms 7 months to 37 months 28 days to 10 years

Note: APYs, shown are as of Dec. 9, 2022. CNET’s editorial team updates this information regularly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products.

What we like

  • Good banking app: The Bank of America makes managing your CD easy. 
  • Not many fees: There is no transfer fee or annual fee to keep your money in a Fixed Term CD, though there is an early withdrawal penalty.

What we don’t like

  • Low yields: Unless you open your CD with a large deposit and plan to keep your money in the CD for a longer term, the APYs are low. 
  • Large opening balance requirement: To qualify for the highest APY, you’ll need to make a $10,000 deposit into a Featured CD. 
  • Higher returns elsewhere: Many banks, credit unions and online lenders offer much higher yields and fewer hoops to jump through. Bank of America’s Fixed Term CD maxes out at 0.03% APY. There are other institutions offering significantly higher APYs in high-yield savings accounts that have no withdrawal restrictions. 

Banking experience

Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the country, with thousands of ATMs and branches located across the country. You can open up most accounts online or at a local branch. 

Customer service

You can call Bank of America at 800-432-1000. Representatives are available during the following times:

  • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET
  • Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
  • Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

If you log on to the company’s website, you can use the live chat feature to chat with a representative any time, including outside of branch business hours.



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