Are you looking for a way to invest your hard-earned money? Opening a savings account should be one of the ideas that should top your list. With the plethora of banks out there, sometimes you might be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing one for your savings accounts.
One of the best banks that will offer a good interest rate for your money is the Bank of America. This bank is one of the largest U.S banks that offers a wide spectrum of products and services. Here, you will be able to open a rewards savings account where your money will earn some interest over time.
You can later use this money to do something meaningful such as opening a business or even financing your education. This article will outline how can open a savings account in this bank among other considerations.
How to Open a Bank of America Savings Account
Unlike other banks, you can now open a Bank of America savings account either at your nearest branch or over the phone. Better still, you can do it on your desktop computer or on your mobile device.
It all depends on what suits your needs. When opening this account, here are the steps that you should follow:
1. Choose the account that suits you
There are many types of accounts that you can open at the Bank of America. From checking accounts to savings accounts, there are many types of accounts that you can open with this bank. However, our main interest is the saving account. There are several types of savings account that you can open here.
- Minor Savings Account.
- Custodial (UTMA) Savings Account.
- Advantage Savings.
- Advantage Savings, Gold.
- Advantage Savings, Platinum.
- Advantage Savings, Platinum Honors.
Each of these savings accounts come with their own interest rates and minimum deposit amounts. Therefore, choose the one that suits your needs and then proceed to the next step.
2. Gather all the documents needed
You will be required to have a number of documents in order to verify your identity.
Some of the documents that you should present include:
- Your current home address.
- Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number.
- Your email address.
- Bank account information to fund your new account.
- Identification such as a driver’s license or passport.
- Date of birth.
Remember that these details will be needed whether you are opening the savings account online or physically at your nearest branch.
3. Choose a joint or an individual account
You are free to open a joint savings account or an individual one. The choice is solely yours. If you are opening the savings account for yourself, choose the option, Open an individual account.
On the other hand, if you want to open a savings account with another person such as your child or spouse, choose the option, Open a joint account.
4. Fill in the application and accept the terms and conditions
With all the details mentioned above, the time is ripe for you to fill in the application. You can either do this online or physically at your nearest branch. Ensure that you fill in the right details so that you can avoid future inconveniences. You can ask the customer care representative in case you have issues with filling in the application form.
Thereafter, accept the terms and conditions set by the bank. Here, you should ensure that you read the disclosure documents showing the fees charged, liabilities, and how interest is calculated. More importantly, you should counter-check and see if you have chosen the account that earns high rates. This way, you will get better returns in the long run.
5. Fund your account
When opening the savings account, you will need to make an initial deposit. Here, you can deposit the money in cash or using a check. Better still you can pay with a debit card or a money order.
The choice is solely yours. As you purpose to fund your savings account you should know that this bank normally has a minimum opening deposit of $100. Therefore, if you have more than $100, the better for you.
6. Submit your application
Once you have filled in the correct information and have funded your savings account, you can now submit your application. The good news is that you will get an acknowledgment within minutes once you apply online.
However, it might take about 2 to 5 business days for the bank to verify the information and finally open the account. Once your account is open, you can now set up a direct deposit and then schedule automatic transfers from checking to savings. More importantly, try to make regular deposits so that you can build your balance more effectively.
7. Set up online banking
Online banking has become very popular nowadays, thanks to modern banking apps and modern tech devices such as smartphones and tablets. As we speak, you can now check your balance, transfer money and even manage your account from any location.
For optimal results, you should sign up for an online banking account with Bank of America and then download the bank’s apps on your device for ease of access to your savings account.
How Bank of America Compares to Online Banks
To start with, you will note that the Bank of America normally shares a lot of similarities with other online banks. When it comes to interest rates, the disparity is relatively small. However, it is imperative that you compare these banks so that you can make an informed decision about where you should open your bank account.
Here is a compilation of other excellent choices in comparison with the Bank of America.
1. Bank of America VS Chase
These two banks tend to have more similarities than differences when it comes to the products they offer. However, there are some notable differences that we cannot overlook. A good example is that the Bank of America checking options are normally geared towards account holders with lower balances.
Generally, you need to have a higher daily limit on your spending and withdrawals if you choose the Bank of America as your bank of choice.
Besides this, while Chase Bank offers one extra level of premium checking, Bank of America Safe Balance banking automatically all overdrafts. Also, Chase’s credit card normally comes with a reward program and therefore makes it better than Bank of America.
2. Bank of America VS Capital One
Geographically speaking, Bank of America has more branches compared to Capital One. However, Capital one has leveraged its presence by offering online checking and savings accounts. Besides this, Capital One 360 Checking account normally offers an APY of at least 0.20% on all balances.
On the other hand, the highest rate you can get if you choose the Bank of America’s Rewards Money Market Account is 0.06% APY, and only applies to balances that are at least $100000.
The other difference is that Capital One allows you to do your banking through apps and websites. Besides, this offers a better experience and good returns on your deposits than Bank of America. However, if you need complex products such as loans and mortgages, you should not hesitate to consider Bank of America as it has better offers.
3. Bank of America VS. Wells Fargo Bank
Wells Fargo bank is very popular out there. It is known to have more branch locations and ATMs than the Bank of America. However, there has been speculation that there has been widespread account fraud at Wells Fargo and as such, CFPB fined it $100 million.
As a way of replenishing its deposits, Wells Fargo is now offering a $200 bonus to new checking customers, thereby making it an ideal choice compared to Bank of America. Generally, Wells Fargo has improved its internal practices, and now is its way up.
4. Bank of America VS. Citibank
When it comes to ATM withdrawal limits and debit purchase limits, Citibank and the Bank of America are the same. However, the difference comes when it comes to the number of branches each of these banks has. For instance, Citibank has fewer branches and ATMs than the Bank of America.
The only advantage Citibank has is that it more international locations which makes it ideal for travelers. When it comes to similarities, both of these banks have low-interest rates on savings. Also, their checking options are similar in terms of fees and limits.
The Best Bank of America Savings Account Interest Rate – Provides
If you are looking for the best Bank of America savings account that will guarantee a high-interest rate, you should consider Advantage Savings, Platinum Honors. Here, you will enjoy an interest rate of 0.05%. However; the minimum deposit here is $100.
Bank of America Savings Account Fees
Bank of America Advantage savings account normally comes with an $8 monthly maintenance fee. Besides this, this bank imposes a withdrawal fee of $10 in case you over the 6 savings withdrawal it allows per month.
The minimum opening deposit is normally $100 and the overdraft item fee is usually $35. Other fees that you are likely to come across include:
- NSF: Returned item fee which is $35.
- Non-bank of America ATMs charges you $2.50 per withdrawal.
- The overdraft Protection Transfer fee is normally $12.
- For bank statement copies, you will be charged $5.
- The check-cashing fee is normally $8 per check for any amount greater than $50.
How to Avoid Monthly Maintenance Fee
As we mentioned above, this account comes with an $8 monthly maintenance fee. For many people, this might sound quite exorbitant. The good news is that you can waive it in a number of ways. These include:
1. Maintain a minimum balance
If you have opened an Advantage Savings account you should ensure that you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500.Those who have opened Advantage Plus savings account should maintain a minimum daily balance of $1500.
Finally, those with advantage relationship saving accounts should maintain a combined balance of $10000.
2. Link your Bank of America Accounts
Besides maintaining a minimum balance in your savings account, you should link your eligible accounts to avoid the costly maintenance fee.
For instance, you should link your Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking, Bank of America Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking, or better still, the Bank of America Advantage Regular Checking account.
3. Have qualifying direct deposits
A good example of a savings account that allows you to avoid paying the monthly maintenance fee by receiving qualifying direct deposits is the Advantage Plus savings account. Here, you should have at least one qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more.
4. Enroll in the preferred rewards program
By enrolling in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you can be sure that the monthly maintenance fees will be waived for you. It is important to note that the qualification of this program tiers is based on having an active Bank of America personal checking account.
Apart from this, you should ensure that you maintain a 3-month average combined balance across all your Bank of America accounts. For the Gold tier, the minimum balance is $20000.The minimum balance for the Platinum tier is $50000 and finally, that of the Platinum Honors tier is $100000.
5. Be enrolled in an academic institution
If you are a student who is enrolled in an academic institution and you are below the age of 24 years, you stand the chance to enjoy the monthly maintenance fee waiver. However, this usually applies if you have any of these savings accounts:
- Advantage Savings.
- Advantage Plus.
- Advantage SafeBalance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Answer: Yes. Just like any other saving accounts in other banks do, these ones are not an exception. However, the current APY for the Bank of America Advantage Savings is 0.01%. Despite this, you have the option to increase your earnings in case you are a Preferred Rewards member, though the threshold is quite high.
Answer: Yes. To start with, you will have access to many of its physical branches. It also allows you to access your account online and on mobile apps. In addition, you will have access to shopping deals and comes with an automatic savings program.
Answer: The maximum you can withdraw at any of the Bank of America ATM is $1000 or a maximum of 60 bills which can only be dispensed at one time. However, it is imperative to note that there will be different limits based on your account type and the availability of funds.
Answer: No. For your own security, you will need to use your ATM from this bank and also enter the ATM pin when picking up your cash at the ATM. This makes it harder for anyone else to do it on your behalf.
Bank of America has proved to be one of the best banks where you can invest your money and allow them to earn some interest. Although the interest rates are relatively low, you will be able to save your money and achieve your long-term goal.
Despite the fact that the Bank of America Rewards savings account comes with a high monthly fee, you can waive these fees by considering the above-mentioned ideas. Generally, you can save your money here and utilize them on a rainy day, such as when you have emergencies to cater for. Consider opening a savings account in this bank and you will not regret it.