[📌 Update July 2022 – Despite the FED’s historic rate hike last month and their commitment to future rate hikes throughout the remainder of the year, Bank of America has yet to increase the yield on their Advantage Saving account. This comes as banks and credit unions nationwide are beginning to lift their savings rates. See Bank of America’s current savings account rates and fees below.]
If you’re in the market for an FDIC-insured savings account, then Bank of America may be one of the first places you start your search.
And for good reason.
Bank of America is perhaps the most recognizable name in banking in the US and is the second largest bank by asset size, only behind JP Morgan Chase, with a whopping $2.38 trillion in assets (yes, with a T).
So it’s not surprising that this bank would get your consideration as the home to your future savings account. But before making your final decision, be sure you understand the full scope of their savings accounts’ features, rates and fees.
In this post you'll learn:
Bank of America Savings Account Options
Bank of America offers just one variable rate savings account at this time. This is their Advantage Savings account.
They’ve offered kids savings accounts, custodial (UTMA) savings accounts and money market accounts in the past (at times, with great rates) but do not offer these products currently.
Instead for minors, they’re waiving the monthly fee and lowering the minimum balance requirement on the Advantage Savings account. More details below.
Bank of America Advantage Savings Account
The big fee to watch out for with the Bank of America Advantage Savings account is the $8.00 monthly maintenance fee. Most big banks (Chase, Wells Fargo, etc) have monthly “maintenance” or “service” fees which can be avoided by meeting a few criteria, but Bank of America’s is the steepest.
The monthly service fees for Chase Bank and Wells Fargo’s savings accounts sit at just $5.00 for comparison.
Below is a complete list of the fees you may face as a Bank of America Advantage Savings account holder.
Advantage Savings Account Rates
You’ll be less than impressed with the yields provided by Bank of America on their Advantage Saving account at the moment.
They offer a tiered rate structure based on your account balance and your Preferred Rewards Membership status. Regardless of where you sit on this spectrum, the range of rates received is just 0.01% to 0.04% APY so don’t feel like you’re missing out on much in terms of rates if you’re not at the highest membership tier.
Below is a breakdown of the APYs received by balance and membership tier.
Advantage Savings Account Rates
|Member Level||APY with < $2,500||APY with > $2,500|
|Platinum Honors Tier||0.04%||0.04%|
To put these offers in perspective the current national average for a savings account sits at just 0.08% APY, according to recent FDIC data, while money market accounts and interest checking accounts sit at 0.09% APY and 0.03% APY, respectively.
That said, a small number of FDIC-insured, online banks are now paying over 1.50% APY and feature no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees.
These rates above are variable and subject to change at any time without notice.
Advantage Savings Fees
|Monthly Maintenance Fee||$8 (can be avoided, see below)|
|Withdrawal Limit Fee||$10|
|Minimum Opening Deposit||$100|
|Overdraft Item Fee||$35 / each|
|NSF: Returned Item Fee||$35 per returned or declined transaction|
|Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee||$12 per transfer|
|Non-Bank of America ATMs||$2.50 / per cash withdrawal|
|Statement Copies||$5 / each|
|Deposited Item Returned||$12 / each|
|Check-Cashing Fee||$8 per check for amounts greater than $50|
How to Waive the Monthly Maintenance Fee
There are five ways to avoid the $8 monthly maintenance fee tied to the Bank of America Advantage Savings account.
You must meet one of the following three to avoid the fee:
- Maintain a minimum daily account balance of at least $500
- Link to your Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account (waiver applies to first 4 savings accounts)
- Be a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client (waiver applies to first 4 checking and savings accounts)
- Account owner is either under the age of 18 – or – under the age of 25 if a student
We should also note that for the brand new Bank of America customers, they will waive the monthly fee for the first 6 months.
Maintaining the minimum daily balance of $500 will likely be the easiest path to avoiding the $8 monthly fee if you’re new to Bank of America.
Remember this is the minimum daily balance requirement, so your account can technically dip below $500 in the day, so long as it ends up at or above $500 by the end of the day.
This is slightly different from say, money market account fees, which generally have an average monthly balance requirement – meaning your balance has to average out at that number (or above) for the entire month to avoid fees.
The average daily balance requirement on the Advantage Savings account, like the fee itself, is steeper than most other large national banks. To put this in perspective both Chase Bank and Wells Fargo let you avoid their $5 service fee by maintaining a daily balance of just $300.
Keep the Change
Keep the Change is the main feature associated with Band of America’s Advantage Savings account.
For those who have a checking account with Bank of America, Keep the Change automatically rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference into your Advantage Savings account. This makes setting aside money for savings seamless and easy.
As mentioned, to benefit from this program you’ll need to open a checking account with Bank of America, if you don’t already have one, and conduct your everyday purchases with your BofA debit card tied to the account. So you’ll have to weigh this against your current spending method. If you get more rewards out of a credit card or another debit rewards card, it may not be worth the switch at this time – especially given Bank of America’s extremely low savings rates.