[📌 Update August 2022 – Originally set to expire in June of 2022, Bank of America has extended their $100 bonus for new checking account customers through the end of the year. See details below.]
Bank of America is known for throwing around cash bonuses to incentivize new account sign-ups. Today, they offer only one noteworthy promotion: $100 for new checking account customers.
In this review, we will go over which accounts are eligible for the $100 bonus and how to qualify for it as a new customer.
In this post you'll learn:
Which Bank of America checking accounts are eligible for a $100 Bonus
Right now, three different Bank of America checking accounts are offering a $100 signup bonus to new customers. These are:
- Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking account
- Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking account
- Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account
The three eligible checking accounts offer different features and have different requirements for waiving monthly fees. We’ll dig into these after covering how to get the bonus for all three.
How to Get the $100 Bonus
The requirements for getting the $100 sign-up bonus are the same for each of the three accounts.
Valid through December 31, 2022, you don’t want to sleep on this bonus if you’re already planning on joining Bank of America and opening a checking account. Remember that you can’t qualify as an existing customer no matter what kind of account you have with Bank of America.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Use this link to access the offer.
- Open one of the three Bank of America Advantage Checking accounts (SafeBalance, Plus, or Relationship).
- Use the offer code DNL100CIS when opening.
- Set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 within 90 days of enrolling.
Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking Account
The Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance checking account, advertised as the “check-less banking account that helps you stay within your balance,” is good for those that may need help saving and want the accountability of overdraft prevention. A minimum deposit of $25 is required to open this account.
The primary feature here is that rather than charging you a fee when you overdraw your account, transactions will simply be declined or returned unpaid if you do not have the money available. Because this account doesn’t permit overdrawing, it also doesn’t charge an overdraft fee.
A monthly maintenance fee of $4.95 will be assessed if you do not meet the single criterion for having it waived, which is simply to enroll in the Preferred Rewards program. This is an elite eligibility program offering additional benefits such as interest boosts and fee reductions to clients with an eligible checking account and a 3 month combined average balance of $20,000 or more across all BofA banking and investment accounts.
This fee will also be waived for students enrolled in high school, college, a university, or vocational school that are younger than 25 years old.
Other fees to look out for include a $5 paper statement fee, a $15 fee for incoming domestic wire transfers and a $30 fee for outgoing, and a $12 fee for each returned domestic deposit. See the clarity statement for this account for a complete list of fees.
With a SafeBalance Checking account, you will be able to make payments via a debit card, online or mobile transfer (Zelle), or through online/mobile bill payment.
Remember, this basic checking account does not have check-writing capabilities (and if you do try to write a check, it’ll be returned unpaid). There is no fee when you make transactions through a Bank of America ATM, but you will be charged a $2.50 fee for using out-of-network ATMs in the U.S. and $5 for using out-of-network ATMs outside of the U.S.
Keep in mind that though Bank of America won’t charge you for attempting to overdraw this account (because it doesn’t allow overdrafts), third parties might. Set up email or mobile alerts with BofA when your account balance gets low if you’re worried about this.
With this and each checking account to follow, you’ll be able to enroll in fraud protection, make mobile check deposits, and bank digitally online or through the Bank of America mobile app.
Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking Account
A Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking account is more of a standard checking account option than the SafeBalance account and requires a $100 opening deposit.
It comes with a $12 monthly maintenance fee, but this can be waived in one of three ways:
- By linking a direct deposit of at least $250,
- Maintaining the minimum average daily balance requirement of $1,500, or
- Enrolling in Preferred Rewards (see above section for details about this program).
If you choose to set up direct deposits into this account, they must be for $250 or more (each).
This account also waives the fee for students under the age of 24.
Unlike the SafeBalance account, you may write checks with Advantage Plus. Please see the Advantage Plus account clarity statement for more information about check writing.
This checking account does allow overdrafts, unlike the previous option, and you will be charged $35 for each overdraft item. ATM withdrawals will not be permitted when you have an insufficient balance at the time of a transaction.
If you enroll in an Overdraft Protection plan, you can avoid the possibility of withdrawing outside of your means and being charged for it. The three Overdraft Protection plan options allow you to withdraw funds from another deposit account (Balance Connect), from your credit card, or from your line of credit to prevent you from overdrawing your checking account.
Overdraft Protection from another deposit account will enable BofA to automatically transfer available funds from one of your other accounts when an overdraft is attempted.
Overdraft Protection from your credit card will automatically advance available funds from the linked credit card as long as it is in good standing.
The final option, Overdraft Protection from Your Line of Credit, will automatically advance funds from your linked line of credit as long as this does not cause you to exceed your available credit. Please note that Overdraft Protection transfers incur a fee of $12 each.
You can use overdraft protection for up to five accounts.
Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking Account
Finally, there is the Bank of America Advantage Relationship checking account. This option is generally best for higher net worth individuals. This is an interest-bearing checking account that may qualify you for fee waivers on other BofA services, but you’ll need to maintain a high balance of $10,000 to avoid the monthly fee.
Right now, this checking account is currently earning an APY of 0.01% on balances less than $50,000 and 0.02% on balances of $50,000 or more. This rate is not fixed or guaranteed and the minimal interest you earn is credited and compounded monthly.
There is a $25 monthly maintenance fee tied to this account that can be waived by:
- Maintaining a combined balance of at least $10,000 or more in eligible linked BofA accounts. Combined balances include average daily balance in BofA checking and savings accounts AND current balances in CDs, IRAs, AND current balances in Merrill investment accounts.
- Enrolling in Preferred Rewards (see above section for details about this program).
ATM withdrawals from insufficient funds will not be permitted. The overdraft item fee is $35 as it is with the other two accounts.
You may also choose to enable Balance Connect overdraft protection to connect up to five accounts to help cover transactions that would overdraw available funds for this account. Linking your own checking and savings accounts to cover your overdrafts can help you avoid overdraft fees.
Bonus offer aside, these checking accounts are decent and suitable for large segments of the population.
They’re about as flexible overall (with the SafeBalance being the most rigid) as your average checking account from any big bank. Like Chase and Wells Fargo, they require average daily balances and will charge monthly maintenance fees if these aren’t met.
That said, if you choose the checking account that makes the most sense for you based on your income, you should be able to avoid these fairly easily.
If you’re still not sold on a checking account with Bank of America, you may want to check out the cash promotions going on at Wells Fargo and Chase Bank to see how they compare.
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