Bank of America Advantage Savings Account is one of the preferred options for savings account due to its accessibility and reputation as a national bank, with numerous branches and ATMs across the state. However, there are potential clients who consider other options as the good services come at high fees, coupled with concerns about the savings accounts yielding low-interest payouts
What is Bank of America Savings Account?
Bank of America claims to provide people an option for savings accounts while obtaining various benefits, rewards, and other account features while accessing the reputable’s bank network of support.
A paltry 0.01% annual percentage yield (APY) means that Bank of America Advantage Savings falls behind its competitors that offer a high-yield savings account. But not all those interested with the bank look for higher returns as reputation, accessibility, and shopping deals are still huge factors in deciding whether this savings account would work for you.
For whom is Bank of America Savings Account Best For?
Most savings accounts are typically meant for short-term financial goals, but this Bank of America Savings Account is flexible as it can be used for short-term goals like building your family’s emergency funds, or for long-term plans like deciding to start saving for your child’s future.
This savings account might work for people who:
- Are high income earners
- Do not mind a low APY
- Prioritize security and accessibility
- Prefer dealing with reputable financial institution
- Want to access their money everywhere they go
- Want a 24/7 costumer service
- Would like shopping deals programs and discount
- Look to do over the counter transactions in several areas
Perks and Disadvantages
Bank of America Advantage Savings Account is registered with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which means all bank accounts including savings accounts are insured up to $250,000 per depositor. This provides customers peace of mind knowing that their investments are secured.
The bank boasts of over 4,000 financial centers and around 16,500 ATMs across the state — making it very accessible to a wide range of people. It is also highly touted for being one of the most secured online banks service provider, while having a 24/7 customer service.
3. Tiered Interest Rates
With Bank of America Savings Account, bigger saving leads to more rewards in the form of higher possible earnings as the standard annual percentage yield or APY increases. Qualifying for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards gives account holders an even bigger chance to a larger yield if they invest more.
4. Possibly waived monthly maintenance fee
Users can do away with the required monthly maintenance fee if they comply with conditions like maintaining a minimum daily account balance of $500 per day; if the savings account is connected to an Advantage Relationship Banking account; or if a customer is a Preferred Rewards client.
New savings account holders would also get their fee waived for the first six months, while students aged below 24 who are still enrolled may apply for a waiver.
5. Cashback deals and overdraft protection
There are deals that a Bank of America Advantage Savings account owner can enjoy, like a 10 percent cash back for partner stores and restaurants when they sign for a savings account.
An overdraft protection system also ensures that clients do not continue buying items or transfer money through debit card purchases or everyday purchases while their account is in an insufficient balance status.
1. High initial deposit/ fees
Safety comes with a price: if several banks require low or zero initial deposits, then Bank of America’s requirement is to shell out $100 initially, and then pay $8 monthly maintenance fees if requirements to waive it are not attained.
Also, an account holder is only allowed to make six withdrawals per month, or they would be asked to make a $10 withdrawal limit fee per transaction.
2. Low annual percentage yield (APY)
Bank of America offers a standard 0.01 percent annual percentage yield, which pales in comparison to other offerings, like American Express’ High Yield Savings account which has an APY of 0.40 percent and Sallie Mae Bank’s 0.70 APY
It also does not help that other banks with a higher APY also have zero initial deposit requirements and a low monthly fee. Aside from that, users can only increase their APY if they meet certain conditions, like a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more.
How to access your money
Customers can access their money by online means, as a savings account opening comes with a standard mobile deposit system and automatic transfers.
Enrolling in mobile banking is also advised account balance and recent transactions can be easily checked. It allows clients to transfer funds between accounts while monitoring important activity by turning on the Online Banking Alerts mode.
With ATMs and offices across the state, users can make transactions like direct deposit in various parts of the United States.
3. Over the Counter
Of course, there is still the good old-fashioned over-the-counter direct deposit and withdrawal option, making Bank of America one of the most flexible options for savings accounts in terms of accessibility.
Bank of America Savings Account Features
One of the top reasons why people are enthusiastic about savings account is when the APY is high. So if you want a high-yield savings account, Bank of America savings account is not for you. But if you’re having a hard time sticking to your savings plan, their unique program might be helpful for you.
Check out these different accounts and their features:
|Bank of America Regular Savings||APY: 0.01%Difference from National Average: -0.05%Minimum Balance for APY: $0Monthly Fee: $5Fee Waivers: $300 daily minimum, linked Interest Checking, Preferred Rewards membership OR $25 repeating automatic transfer from Bank of America checking account|
|Bank of America Minor Savings||APY: 0.03%Difference from National Average: -0.05%Minimum Balance for APY: $0Monthly Fee: $0|
|Bank of America Custodial (UTMA) Savings||APY: 0.03%Difference from National Average: -0.05%Minimum Balance for APY: $0Monthly Fee: $5Fee Waivers: $300 daily minimum|
|Bank of America Rewards Money Market Savings||APY: 0.50% – 0.40%Difference from National Average: -0.05% to -0.02%Minimum Balance for APY: $0Monthly Fee: $5Fee Waivers: $300 daily minimum, linked Interest Checking, Preferred Rewards membership OR $25 repeating automatic transfer from Bank of America checking account|
What is the Preferred Rewards Program?
The Preferred Rewards Program is a loyalty program that the bank has, arranged according to three tiers: Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors.
- Gold tier: Required 3-month average combined balance of $20,000 to under $50,000; 5% savings interest rate booster; 25% credit card rewards bonus
- Platinum tier: Required 3-month average combined balance of $50,000 to under $100,000; 10% savings interest rate booster; 50% credit card rewards bonus
- Platinum Honors tier: Required 3-month average combined balance of $100,000+; 20% savings interest rate booster; 75% credit card rewards bonus
After qualifying, a user can keep his or her benefits for at least a full year even if account balances dip slightly. If you do qualify for the program, you’re also eligible for an elevated APY, ranging from 0.02% to 0.05% depending on which tier.
What is Bank of America’s Keep the Change program?
Keep the Change is a system of rewards savings account which would work if you enroll in the program and make purchases using the debit card. The purchases will then be rounded up to the nearest dollar amount, subtract it from the amount actually paid, where the difference would be transferred from the checking account to the savings automatically
How does Bank of America’s savings accounts compare with other banks?
While Bank of America savings account enjoys a solid reputation, security measures are virtually the same for all of the banks mentioned as American Express, Axos, and Barclays are insured also under the FDIC; and Alliant under the National Credit Union Administration.
Here is a table on how it fares in various categories:
|American Express||Axos Bank||Alliant Credit Unions||Bank of America||Barclays Bank|
|Annual percentage yield (APY)||0.40%||0.61%||0.55%||up to 0.05%||0.40%|
|Minimum initial deposit and monthly maintenance fee||No minimum deposit, zero monthly maintenance fee||$250 opening deposit requirement, zero monthly maintenancefee||$5 opening deposit, zero monthly fee if elected to e-statements||$100 required opening deposit; $8 monthly fee||No minimum deposit, zero monthly fee|
|Minimum balance and other fees||No minimum balance||Zero minimum balance||$5 minimum balance to keep savings account open||zero monthly fee if minimum daily balance is at $500||$5 non withdrawal limit fee|
|Bonuses and perks||Mobile banking accessibilityAllows up to nine withdrawals per month||Referrals lead to cash pointsFree incoming wires||Bank makes opening deposit for customers||Monthly fee waived for first six monthsMonthly fee waiver for students||Low non sufficient funds fee compared to other banks’ $30 penalty|
|Security and services||24/7 customer serviceInsured with FDIC||secure login to online banking with biometrics transactions and account details available member FDIC||face ID or touch ID login credentialssecure online banking with two-factor checkingNCUA insured||wide across the state accessibilityoverdraft protectionInsured with FDIC||no ATMs and no branches for US customersno checking accountFDIC insured|
Here’s where it gets tricky: Bank of America is seen as one of the more robust banking firms, coupled with the fact that it is the second-largest banking firm in US, and one of the top 10 largest banks worldwide.
But in this case, Bank of America savings account offerings do not look as competitive as other savings accounts in the market.
Compared to mainstream banks and financing firms like American Express, Axos Bank, Barclays Bank, and Alliant, Bank of America savings account only bests Barclays due to its lack of physical banking offices in the US, which hinders it from issuing a checking account, unlike US-based banks which can issue such, like the Bank of America Checking account.
But other than that, Bank of America savings account has a little edge against its counterparts.
How to dodge Monthly Maintenance Fee
As mentioned above, there are ways to avoid paying the monthly maintenance fee with Bank of America’s savings account: one way is to ensure that the minimum balance requirements or the minimum daily balance of $500 is maintained.
There are also other ways, which is to connect your Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account to your savings account or sign up as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client
Students can also seek waivers if they are below 24 years of age and are currently enrolled.
How to apply: Eligibility and Requirements
Applicants must fit the following description:
- at least be 18 years old
- a permanent US resident
- a holder of a social security account.
The following is required from applicants:
- documentation (official government ID, proof of billing)
- employment and contact information
- other supporting documents to prove citizenship, residence
- $100 required initial deposit
What are the steps?
- Interested parties can apply either online or through setting an appointment with the nearest branch, just like the case for any other Bank of America offering.
- Setting an appointment can be done online
- Online applications can be done by visiting their website at https://secure.bankofamerica.com/applynow/welcome.go, which would then require prospective applicants to enter their personal information like their name, a valid e-mail address, date of birth, and their social security number.
- Prepare for the possibility of showing your credit score – as credit score is important in determining whether an applicant can comply with the fees.
Applying for the Custodial Savings Account for Children does not differ much also. Similar to the Advantage Savings, applicants would be required to shell out a $100 opening deposit.
How it differs from the rest of the pack
Despite the glaring disadvantages, it is wrong to say that opening a Bank of America savings account is a complete loss. Programs like Tiered Savings, cash back deals, and the Rewards Program make it a good option for those not in a hurry to reap earnings from their saving account.
The bank’s offerings would entice those holding executive positions as the services Bank of America offers in exchange for fees would be best enjoyed by those on higher income brackets.
The pre-requisite terms to avail of the perks that come opening a savings account with the Bank of America, like being able to link accounts to each other, also assume that other accounts have been opened already.
Its overdraft protection also more than makes up for what it lacks in other departments, especially as some banks do not have this program, automatically charge higing fees of up to $30 when accounts reach an insufficient fund status.
Bank of America requires overdraft fees worth $35 for using overdraft protection, but only after it reminds account owners that they will spend beyond their account balance.
More questions on Bank of America:
1. Is the bank’s website easy to understand in case I would apply online?
Quick answer: Yes, it is clear and devoid of hard to understand pages.
Applications are also straightforward, with text easy to see and understand. Also, online applications and appointments come in handy amid the COVID-19 pandemic scare.
Applications can be done here: https://secure.bankofamerica.com/applynow/welcome.go
2. Why should I get a savings account with Bank of America?
Quick answer: The bank boasts of a robust status, being accessible in various cities across the United States.
If an applicant is looking for accessibility in terms of being able to easily deposit, withdraw, or transact through online means or ATMs or physical offices, then Bank of America is the right choice.
3. Why should I avoid applying for a savings account with Bank of America?
Quick answer: If you’re looking for a high APY, you might want to consider looking somewhere else.
If an applicant is looking forward to a high APY, then Bank of America would not suit them, as it ranks low in terms of how much money would be paid back to the account holder. There is also the issue of high initial deposit requirements and monthly fees which some reputable banks do not require. If a user withdraws money often, every new withdrawal past the six free withdrawals per month would cost $10.
4. When would interest to my savings account kick in?
Quick answer: Interest would start to accrue on the day that the account is processed, and not after an applicant submitted his or her application.
In terms of payment, Bank of America said that they “compound and credit interest” to accounts on a monthly basis.
Being one of the largest banks in the United States, Bank of America may be a safe bet if you want to open a savings account. However, you have to be ready for higher fees.
- If an applicant is looking for a quick way to increase the value of an investment through high annual percentage yields, then deciding not to join Bank of America may be easy.
- If higher interest rates and low or zero introductory deposits or monthly fees are a consideration before applying for a savings account, then it may be best to look at other offerings aside from the Bank of America.
- But if an applicant is looking for accessibility and reliability, the bank is a good choice since its wide range of offices and available ATMs remain an asset.
- It is also worth considering whether an applicant can manage with at least $500 in the bank, as it is a major consideration to pull waive monthly fees.
For average investors or those who are starting to build their funds, it is best to get information from trusted sites that can simplify the pros and cons, so you may easily understand the policies and conditions. For more up-to-date and easy to grasp reviews please subscribe to the FiLife newsletter today!