If you’ve been thinking about opening a new savings account, this Bank of America savings account review is for you.
BoA is among one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., along side Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup. Bank of America offers many banking products.
This include: checking accounts, investment accounts, IRAs and other high-yield offerings, such as money market accounts.
Business owner? Check out the best business checking account.
In the sections that follow, we’ll be detailing all there is to know about Bank of America savings account. From different savings account types to fees, interest rates, customer service contacts and much more.
Bank of America Savings Account Options
You could open one of three different savings accounts with Bank of America:
The Rewards Savings account is the most popular option for adults. The other two are interest-earning accounts for children. All of the savings accounts for minors include:
- FDIC insurance
- Online banking
- Mobile banking
- Automatic transfers
A Minor Savings account is jointly owned by the child and a parent or guardian, and either party can access the funds at any time. With a Custodial Savings account, the parent or guardian acts as a custodian for the child. The minor can’t take money out of the account before age 18.
Besides those variations, the other difference between these Bank of America accounts is that the Custodial Savings account provides breaks for people who maintain a higher minimum balance.
The Minor Savings account requires a minimum deposit of $25 and is free for account owners under the age of 18. The Custodial Savings account requires a minimum opening deposit of $100.
There are no monthly maintenance fees as long as the daily balance is at or above $500. If the daily balance drops below the minimum balance requirements, an $8 monthly fee will be charged.
Both of these accounts restrict owners to six transfers or withdrawals during each monthly statement cycle. If you make additional withdrawals or transfers, you may be charged $1 for each one if you have a Minor Savings account.
The Custodial Savings account charges $10 for each withdrawal made during a statement cycle if you go over the withdrawal limit.
However, if you keep a daily minimum balance of $300 in the Minor Savings account or $20,000 in the Custodial Savings account, you won’t be charged for additional withdrawals. Also, fees for additional withdrawals and transfers max out at six.
If you’re over 18 and want a traditional savings account, you have one option through Bank of America. The Rewards Savings account is easy to open and features many benefits. However, there are some disadvantages to that account. For the remainder of this article, we’ll review the Rewards Savings account.
At first glance, a Rewards Savings account doesn’t seem to have a particularly impressive annual percentage yield. At the time of this writing, the APY for this account was 0.03 percent.
That doesn’t even compare to some of the other online savings account options. Set up a Personal Savings account with American Express, for example, and earn 2.10 percent APY.
One of the biggest benefits of the Rewards Savings account is that it rewards members for their loyalty. The more you save in other BoA accounts, the more you can earn. The interest rate increases as your balance swells.
But that’s only if you’re enrolled in Bank of America Preferred Rewards. The Preferred Rewards program applies to Rewards Savings account holders, but you need to have a few more qualifications to be eligible.
To enroll in Preferred Rewards, you must hold an eligible Bank of America checking account. You also need to maintain a 3-month average account balance of at least $20,000 in any qualifying BofA accounts or Merrill Lynch investment accounts.
As your 3-month average combined balance across accounts increases, you may qualify for a higher Preferred Rewards tier as follows:
- Gold – $20K to just under $50K
- Platinum – $50K to just under $100K
- Platinum Honors – $100K or more
When you’re enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program, you’ll qualify for higher interest rates on a Rewards Savings account, based on your tier:
- Gold – 0.04 percent
- Platinum – 0.05 percent
- Platinum Honors – 0.06 percent
You’ll get several other benefits for owning other banking products and participating in the Preferred Rewards program.
For example, you’ll boost your cash back rewards if you are a Bank of America credit card holder. The number of free trades that you can make with your Merrill Edge Self-Directed investment account increases as you move up through the tiers.
Therefore, keeping the bulk of your money in other BofA accounts that work with the Preferred Rewards program may be preferable to lumping it all into a Rewards Savings account.
Bank of America Saving Tools
Bank of America offers a few options beyond the Preferred Rewards program to help you save more money.
Automatic transfers let you set the amount and frequency for moving money from other banking accounts into your savings account.
Regularly depositing money into your savings lets you stockpile money before you have a chance to spend it. If you use direct deposit, you can also have a percentage of your income added to your savings account so that you don’t have to do it manually.
Keep the Change Program
To enroll, you also need a Bank of America checking account. Register your debit card with the program. As you use your debit card, every purchase will be rounded up to the nearest dollar. The extra change will be deposited in your savings account automatically. If you use your debit card for bill pay and regular purchases, the savings could add up quickly.
A Rewards Savings account is also compatible with BankAmeriDeals, mobile app feature that customers can use to earn money back when they shop at restaurants, retailers and other locations.
Bank of America Savings Account Fees
The account fees for the Rewards savings account are a bit high when compared with some of the other deposit account options that are available.
The bank charges a monthly service fee of $8 unless you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or more within a statement cycle, connect your Rewards Savings account to a Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account or sign up for Preferred Rewards.
If you’re still in school and under 24 years of age, you may qualify to waive the $8 fee. New Rewards Savings account customers also qualify for a fee waiver for the first six months.
Like many savings accounts, there are other fees associated with this account, including the following:
- Overdraft fees: $35
- Deposited item return fee: $12
- Withdrawal limit fee: $10
- NSF: returned item fee: $35
- Overdraft protection transfer fee: $12
- Non-BoA ATM transaction fee: $2.50
- Check-cashing fee: $8 for each check that totals more than $50
- Statement copies: $5
Opening a BoA Rewards Savings Account
With $100 and access to the internet, you can open a Rewards Savings account online. You can also open the account at a brick-and-mortar if you live in a state with retail branches.
Another option is to call the Bank of America customer service phone number: at (844) 375-7031.
The application process should take approximately 10 minutes. You’ll need your social security number or passport number for foreign applicants, permanent U.S. address, date of birth, employment information and contact information. Bank of America may check your credit score before approving your account.
If you’re approved, the opening deposit of $100 can be transferred from another bank or credit union. You can also deposit the initial amount or more using a debit card, money order or check.
Bank of America Savings Summary
What you do with your money depends on your financial goals. A BofA savings account isn’t the best place to grow your funds. However, it’s a useful way to save money for emergencies. It’s also a great way for children and high school students to learn how to save for the future.
You can access your funds relatively easily, especially when they’re linked to a checking account. One thing to note is that the bank offers interest checking accounts to help you earn interest wherever you stash your cash. Bank of America also offers a wide network of branches and ATMs.
You need to be careful that you don’t make too many withdrawals from this account, though. If you go over the limit, they charge a $10 fee each time up to a maximum of $60. Bank of America will waive the withdrawal transfer limit if you maintain a daily balance of at least $20,000. Rates and fees may vary depending on your location.
At this time, this is the only savings account that Bank of America offers. It’s a good choice if you have other banking products there. The large bank is reputable, and your money will be FDIC-insured.