Most top banks in the US charges monthly fees depending on the account you have. These charges include overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, checking account fees, savings account fees, wire transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, and ATM fees.
The precise size of Bank of America is hard to underestimate: It keeps around $1 out of every $10 on deposit in the U.S. Bank of America has had plenty of time to grow since its origins in 1904 and now boasts over 4,200 branches around the country.
That makes it convenient, but that convenience comes at a price because its accounts come with high fees and low interest rates. Customers can avoid Bank of America’s fees in several ways, such as by setting up approved direct deposits or fulfilling account balance requirements.
Bank of America Banking Fees
Bank of America offers three checking accounts – Core Checking, Interest Checking, and Safe Balance Banking each with a different monthly maintenance fee:
- Bank of America Core Checking Account has a $12 Monthly Maintenance fee which is waived with at least 1 direct deposit of $250 each month or maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more.
- Bank of America Interest Checking Account has a Monthly Maintenance fee of $25 which is waived if the balance of all linked accounts is above $10,000.
- Bank of America Safe Balance Banking comes with a Monthly Maintenance fee of $4.95 which cannot be waived.
Bank of America Savings account fees come with a number of restrictions on the maximum number of free withdrawals and restrictions against making payments directly from the account.
The three levels of savings accounts are Rewards Savings, a Minor Savings Account (owned and maintained by an individual under 18), and a Custodial Savings Account which is similar to the Minor Savings account but is managed by a custodian such as a parent.
- Rewards Saving Account has a monthly fee of $8 which is waived with a minimum daily balance of $500.
- Minor Savings Account has no monthly maintenance fee but is only available to those under 18 and converts to a Rewards Savings Account once the holder turns 18.
- Custodial Savings Account is $5 per month which is waived with a minimum balance of at least $300.
Bank of America overdraft feesare broadly similar to other banking providers and are standard across their accounts at $35 for each payment authorized or returned item, with a maximum of four charges per day.
Overdraft Protection is available for linked Bank of America accounts. If there is not enough money in one account to pay for the transaction the money will be automatically transferred from the linked account to cover the amount. There is a $12 fee per transaction to use this service.
Copies of Documents
Should the account holder need to have a copy of their bank statements or printable check images, perhaps due to loss or needing to send to a third party, then they are able to request a copy of their bank statement. The charge is $3 per request.
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ATM transactions at Bank of Americas ATM network are free for account holders. Use of a Domestic non-Bank of America ATM will result in $2.50 fee per transaction. This is in addition to any charges that the ATM operator may add.
For foreign non-Bank of America ATMs there is a fee of $5 per transaction. In addition, there is an “International Transaction Fee” of 3% for each ATM withdrawal converted into local currency. The issuing bank may also charge a transaction fee.
Ordering checks for a personal account costs on average $30.If a customer requires a cashier’s check, usually needed for real estate purchases or brokerage transactions, these carry a fee of $10 per check.
Account-holders are able to place a “stop payment” on any checks they have issued. Each request carries a charge of $30.
Wire transfer fees with Bank of America depend on a number of factors such as whether it is incoming, outgoing, is it a domestic or foreign transfer and what currency the wire needs to be sent in. These are outlined in detail below.
- Incoming domestic wire transfer fees are $15 per transaction.
- Incoming foreign wire transfer fees are $16 per transaction.
- Outgoing domestic wire transfer fees are $30 per transaction.
- Outgoing foreign wire transfer sent in foreign currency fees are $35 per transaction.
- Outgoing foreign wire transfers sent in U.S. Dollar fees are $45 per transaction.
Customers should be aware that other banks may also charge additional fees for both incoming and outgoing foreign transfers made in any currency. If a deposited transfer is returned there is a fee ranging from $12 to $15.
To replace a lost, damaged or stolen debit card that has not expired, Bank of America charges $5. Rush delivery incurs an extra $15 charge.
How to Avoid Bank of America’s Monthly Maintenance Fees
Maintaining minimum balances and making qualifying direct deposits are the easiest ways to avoid most Bank of America account fees. Some accounts will also waive fees based on your age.
Each account has its own requirements, so be sure the fee waiver information you have matches your account type. Additionally, monthly service fees are different from item-specific costs, such as Bank of America’s overdraft fees.
You have options to avoid Bank of America’s monthly maintenance fees, but they vary from account to account. Here are five ways to avoid Bank of America’s monthly fees:
1. Maintain a Minimum Balance
Here are the minimum balances required to qualify for a fee waiver:
- Advantage Savings: $500 minimum daily balance
- Advantage Plus: $1,500 minimum daily balance
- Advantage Relationship: combined balance of $10,000
2. Have Qualifying Direct Deposits
Customers with an Advantage Plus account can avoid paying the monthly maintenance fee by meeting the direct deposit minimum:
- Advantage Plus: Minimum of one qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more
3. Link Your Bank of America Accounts
Linking your eligible accounts can help you meet the balance requirement to avoid the monthly maintenance fee:
- Advantage Savings: Link your Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account
4. Enroll in the Preferred Rewards Program
Maintenance fees for eligible Bank of America checking and savings accounts are waived when you enroll in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.
Qualification for the Preferred Rewards program tiers is based on having an active Bank of America personal checking account and maintaining a three-month average combined balance across your Bank of America accounts.
Minimum balances are $20,000 for the Gold tier, $50,000 for the Platinum tier and $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier.
5. Qualify for the Student Waiver
Qualification for the Bank of America student waiver applies when an account holder is enrolled in an academic institution and is under the age of 24. This waiver applies to the following accounts:
- Advantage SafeBalance
- Advantage Plus
- Advantage Savings
How Fees at Bank of America and Other Banks Compare
Here’s an overview of the fees you can expect from Bank of America and how they compare with the costs of banking elsewhere:
|Fees at Bank of America and Other Banks|
|Fee||Wells Fargo||Chase||Bank of America||Citibank||U.S. Bank|
|Monthly maintenance||Up to $30||Up to $25||Up to $25||Up to $30||Up to $25|
|Out-of-network ATM withdrawal||In U.S.: $2.50Outside U.S.: $5||In U.S.: $2.50Outside U.S.: $5||In U.S.: $2.50Outside U.S.: $5||$2.50; additional 3% fee for transactions made outside U.S. and Puerto Rico||$2.50|
|Overdraft (nonsufficient funds)||$35||$34||$35||No overdraft fees, will decline transaction at no cost to you||$36 if overdrawn for seven days.|
|Excess transactions||$15||$5||$10||No fee, but Citibank will close your account if you withdraw three times over the limit||$15|
|International debit purchase||3% of transaction||3% of transaction||3% of transaction||3% of transaction||3% of transaction|
|Information is accurate as of Nov. 15, 2019. Fees listed reflect amounts typically charged; exceptions may apply.|
Traditional banks usually carry similar service fees, like the wire transfer and ATM fees shown above. However, it should be noted that Bank of America, Chase, and U.S. Bank all offer a lower ceiling of $25 for monthly maintenance fees.
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