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How to Avoid Bank of America Checking Account Fees

Learn how you can avoid the monthly fees on Bank of America checking accounts either direct deposit or minimum balances.

You can choose a checking account from a big bank as long as you're prepared to avoid any monthly fees.

As one of the nation's largest banks, you're likely to consider Bank of America.

Its basic checking account can act as the central hub of your finances as it offers many features including mobile check deposit and online bill pay.

However, the account does charge a monthly fee.

Learn how you can meet these fee waivers on your account:

The Bank of America Basic Checking Fees

The basic checking account available to the customers is the Advantage Plus Banking account.

The account has a $12 monthly fee unless you meet the following fee waiver requirements every month:

  • Have at least one qualifying direct deposit of $250
  • Maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more
  • Be a student under age 24 while enrolled in high school, college, university or a vocational program

Avoiding the Monthly Fee

If you cannot meet fee waiver requirements, your checking account will end up being quite expensive.

Of the different ways that you can avoid the monthly fee, the direct deposit requirement has the most leeway.

Here’s how current Bank of America customers can cut the costs of maintaining a basic checking account:

ACH credit transfers are considered direct deposits

According to many Bank of America checking account holders, an ACH credit triggered a direct deposit account alert.

Because BofA doesn’t require a minimum amount on the direct deposit, customers can transfer a small amount of money from an online savings account, such as one from Ally Bank or a PayPal account. It would qualify as a fee-waiving transaction.

You can test this with your other external bank accounts by setting up an account alert for direct deposits and initiating a transfer.

Here are savings accounts with no monthly maintenance fees:

Note: that this step is possible only because Bank of America’s computer system recognizes ACH credits as direct deposits—a tweak in the system would destroy this method.

Consider Online Banks

Imagine a checking account without the monthly fees and minimum balance requirements.

It can be found at online banks because they don't have to deal with the costs of paying for branches and branch staff.

You'll probably notice not much of a different between a checking account from an online bank compared to a traditional bank.

With online checking accounts, you're likely to get an account with:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Earn interest on deposits
  • Large ATM network access
  • ATM fee refunds
  • Mobile check deposit

Consider these banks:

With lower costs, you'll have to jump through fewer hurdles just to have a bank account to manage your money.

It's possible that you won't have to step into a bank branch ever again.

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