Bank of America is the second largest bank (after Chase) of the Big Four banks in the United States. It was the only one to post an increase in revenue in 2014. It has $2.1 trillion in assets. It has 57 million customers and extended $19.1 billion in loans to small businesses and individuals in 2012.
Bank of America is the result of 200 years of bank mergers. Its heritage banks, such as the Bank of Nantucket, the Bank of Albany and The Merchants Savings Loan and Trust Company were started in the 18th century and early 19th century. The Bank of America has an A+ rating with the BBB and a four-star rating with Bauer Financial. In 2014, BoA was hit with a record $16.7 billion settlement of government mortgage probes.
Bank of America has an impressive selection of online and mobile tools and products. At the same time, Band of America is reducing its branch network. However, its geographical coverage is still larger than all but a few financial institutions. It has 5,000 branches in 37 states and a network of 16,000 ATMs
Here are the highlights of Bank of America’s Core Checking Account:
- Maintenance fee of $12 a month. This fee is waived if you make at least one direct deposit of $250 a month, you maintain a balance of $1,500, or you’re a student under the age of 23.
- Minimum initial deposit is just $25
- Online and mobile banking
- Debit card
- $35 overdraft fee. However, it will simply deny small debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals, instead of charging an overdraft fee.
- Does not earn interest.
- Access to a wide selection of financial products.
If you use direct deposit and you’re looking for a cheap place to store your monthly income, BoA is a solid option. It’s also a good start in the world of banking for college students.
Here are the highlights of Bank of America’s Regular Savings Account:
- A low (but typical) APY of 0.01% regardless of your balance.
- $25 minimum opening deposit.
- $5 monthly maintenance fee that is waived if you make at least $25 in monthly transfers or you maintain a balance of $300. The fee is also waived if you link it to a Bank of America checking account.
- Only three withdrawals a month allowed. A $3 fee is charged for any additional withdrawals. This fee can be avoided if you have $2,500 or more in your account.
- Keep the Change feature makes it easy to save by rounding up every purchase you make and transferring the difference to your savings account.
Bank of America’s CDs have interest rates ranging from 0.05% (for one year) to 0.15% for a five-year term. The minimum deposit to open a CD account is $1,000. The rates are nothing to rave about but Bank of America does offer varied term lengths.
Here is what we like about Bank of America:
- Bank of America is a leader in online and mobile tools. Its mobile app, for instance, offers free money transfers, allows you to pay bills from your phone, and has an excellent expense-tracking app.
- It has creative saving options, such as Keep the Change.
- Low minimum deposits and it’s easy to avoid maintenance fees.
Here is what we don’t like about Bank of America:
- Low interest rates all around.
- Limited options on checking accounts