Bank of America Savings Account Review

(2 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

Bank of America Savings Account Website
Bank of America Savings Account

You're looking for a new savings account and Bank of America is the destination that you're considering.

It's not surprising, given that it is among the largest U.S. banks that offers a wide range of banking products and services.

Bank of America offers one savings banking account option: the Rewards Savings account. But, it is one of a long list of options that may be available to you.

In this Bank of America Savings Account review, we'll break down the fees, rates, and services of this account so that you'll be able to determine whether it is the right savings account for you.

Key Highlights

Bank of America is one of the largest financial institutions in the country, and that brand recognition often inspires confidence and a sense of reliability.

Here’s a quick overview of the account highlights, which we’ll delve into more below:

  • $8 monthly fee, unless you meet certain criteria for a fee waiver
  • Tiered savings model so as your account balance increases, your interest rate increases as well
  • Potential interest rate boost if you become a Preferred Rewards client
  • Special features include overdraft protection on your Bank of America checking account and enrollment in Bank of America’s Keep the Change savings program

Savings Account Interest Rate

The 0.03% APY interest rate on this Bank of America savings account is very lackluster.

Bank of America Savings Account Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Automatic savings program available
  • Access to shopping deals program
  • Access to physical branches
  • Mobile apps available
  • Monthly fee
  • Interest rate is much lower compared to online savings accounts

The low return makes it undesirable for people interested in earning high interests on their savings.

Look:

If you’re more concerned with finding an easily accessible savings account than with earning money on it, the Bank of America Rewards Savings account does the job. 

But, let's face it...

You want to grow your money.

The extremely low interest rate on this account won't help you twoard that goal.

You might also consider opening an account with an online bank instead. Here are the top online savings accounts:

Bank of America Savings Account Maintenance Fee

This savings account does have a $8 monthly maintenance fee, which is a bit high compared to some savings accounts that have no monthly maintenance fee.

This account bears a $35 overdraft fee and returned item fee, as well as a $12 deposited item returned fee. 

Here's a snippet of some of the other fees that come with this account:

Bank of America Savings Account Fees

Type Fee
Monthly Maintenance Fee $8
Withdrawal Limit Fee $10
Minimum Opening Deposit $100
Overdraft Item Fee $35
NSF: Returned Item Fee $35
Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee $12
Non-Bank of America ATMs $2.50
Statement Copies $5
Deposited Item Returned $12
Check-Cashing Fee $8 per check for amounts greater than $50

How to Avoid Monthly Maintenance Fee

Although this account comes with an $8 monthly maintenance fee, you can waive it by meeting one of the following requirements:

  • Maintain a minimum daily account balance of at least $500,
  • Link it to your Bank of America Interest Checking account, or
  • Be a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client

This monthly maintenance fee is higher than what Wells Fargo and TD Bank charge on their comparable banking products.

What is the minimum balance required for Bank of America?

The minimum balance required for the Bank of America savings account is $500 per day. It means that the balance posted in the account at the end of every day must be $500 or more in order to waive the monthly fee.

Now, the actual balance can dip below that minimum daily balance during the day -- it's the end-of-day account balance that counts.

Standard Excess Withdrawal Policy

Bank of America allows you to make six total withdrawals and transfers for free each month.

Once you use those six, the bank charges $10 per withdrawal or transaction for the rest of the cycle.

This fee applies to all types of withdrawals and transfers, including withdrawals at ATM's and financial centers, and transfers initiated by telephone, mail, online banking, or by any other electronic means. 

There's no surprise here.

It's standard policy for most banks.

Luckily, Bank of America caps the withdrawal limit fee at six, so you won’t pay more than $60 on those transactions in a single month.

However, if you can maintain a $20,000 or greater minimum daily balance in your savings account, or if you are enrolled in the Preferred Members program, BofA will allow you to make more withdrawals from your savings account at no additional cost to you.

Special Feature: Keep the Change Savings Program

And, now for the best part of this account...

Keep the Change is a handy way to save money in small increments.

When you use your Bank of America debit card to buy coffee, clothes, magazines, groceries, and other products, the bank automatically rounds up the dollar amount and transfers the difference to your savings account. 

Here's how it works:

  1. Enroll your Bank of America debit card, that's linked to the checking account you use for daily purchases, in the program online.
  2. Use your card for everyday purchases, such as at drug stores, for your daily coffee run, or to pay a bill. 
  3. Bank of America will round up your purchase to the nearest dollar amount and transfer the change from your checking account to your savings account (or to a child's savings account, if you choose).

So, in other words, if you spend $23.50 on a shirt, BofA will automatically round your purchase up to $24.00 even, and you’ll see that extra $0.50 transfer from your checking account go right to your savings. The amounts are small, but they add up if you use your debit card regularly.

If your savings account is converted to a checking account, either by yours or the banks discretion, you can still be a part of the Keep the Change program. The small transfers will be deposited into your newly-converted checking account.

It's important to note, however, that if your preferred form of payment is by cash or credit card, the program will be ineffective since you're not using your debit card.

Child Savings Accounts

One of the perks of banking with BofA is that offer great services to help you plan ahead for your child's future.

Put another way:

If you're a parent who wants to start saving for your child as early as possible, then Bank of America offers two savings accounts to help you get your child's financial future started.

Minor Savings Account

BofA's Minor Savings Account allows you as the parent/guardian to open a savings account for your child, given they are under 18 years old.

The savings account can be jointly owned by you and your child, and once your kid turns 18, it will automatically be converted into a Rewards Savings account, in your child's name.

Here are some of the perks of the Minor Savings Account:

  • No monthly maintenance fee if the account owner is 18 years old or under.
  • If you maintain a $300 account balance, the Withdrawal Limit Fee will be waived.
  • The minor has access to the funds before they turn 18.
  • You can make automatic transfers to your child's saving account from your own BofA checking account to help build their finances.
  • The account earns interest so you can reap maximum rewards.

Bank of America Minor Savings Account Fees

Type Fee
Monthly Maintenance Fee $0
Withdrawal Limit Fee $1
Minimum Opening Deposit $25
Overdraft Item Fee $35
NSF: Returned Item Fee $35
Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee $12
Non-Bank of America ATMs $2.50
Statement Copies $5
Deposited Item Returned $12
Check-Cashing Fee $8 per check for amounts greater than $50

Custodial (UTMA) Savings Account

The Custodial Uniform Transfer/Gifts to Minors Act (UTMA) Savings account offered by Bank of America, is a savings account designed to act like a stash-away account to save the most money for your child.

So:

As the parent/guardian, you are the "custodian" of the account and you are responsible for managing and distributing funds on behalf of your child.

It's important to note that this kind of savings account is governed by the state where the account is opened, and once you deposit your funds into your child's account, those funds irrevocably become the property of your child.

This means that even though you as the parent/guardian are allowed to control the account, the actual funds must legally only be used for expenses that pertain to your child (and those expenses must benefit your child). Most commonly, this type of account is used for paying for college or some kind of schooling.

The funds that are deposited into this account will be accessible to your child once it reaches maturity -- when your child reaches the age of 18 or 21 -- depending on state law.

Note: Funds may be withdrawn before it reaches maturity, but only for legitimate expenses. Although these expenses can be for educational purposes, they are not limited to just that -- the only rule is that the expenses must be used for the good of your child.

Here are some of the key things to highlight from BofA's Custodial Savings Account:

  • There is an $8 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500.
  • You are allowed 6 transfers/withdrawals per month -- if you go over 6, you will be charged $10/withdrawal (up to a maximum of 6 charges per cycle).
  • The parent/guardian of the account can enroll in automatic transfers to easily deposit money into this account from their checking account.
  • This account is eligible to be a part of the Keep the Change Savings program, to reap maximum savings.
  • This account is eligible to earn interest, based on the same tier-interest model as the Rewards Saving account.

Bank of America Minor Custodial (UTMA) Savings Account Fees

Type Fee
Monthly Maintenance Fee $8
Withdrawal Limit Fee $10
Minimum Opening Deposit $100
Overdraft Item Fee $35
NSF: Returned Item Fee $35
Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee $12
Non-Bank of America ATMs $2.50
Statement Copies $5
Deposited Item Returned $12
Check-Cashing Fee $8 per check for amounts greater than $50

Online and Mobile Banking

You can manage your savings account on Bank of America’s desktop site and through its mobile app. Both platforms allow you to transfer money between Bank of America accounts and to external accounts.

You can also see your recent transaction list, set customized alerts, and deposit checks through the app.

Final Verdict

The Bank of America Rewards Savings account is not a great savings account because of the high monthly fee and tough fee-waiver requirements.

It may serve as an easy cash reserve for emergencies when linked to a Bank of America checking account. Otherwise, it doesn't really help you grow your savings.

However, the Child Savings accounts can be great starter-savings accounts for your kids to help teach them money management skills and grow their finances for the future.

Ultimately, online savings accounts are more effective options for saving.

Related: Bank of America Certificate of Deposit (CD) Rates Review

Related Articles

Bank of America Keep the Change Program Review

Ask a Question

Saturday, 10 Aug 2019 2:40 PM
<p>want to add additional saving to my existing acct</p>
MyBankTracker
Friday, 08 Mar 2019 7:07 PM
<p>Please visit here for personal loans that you might consider for debt consolidation:</p><p><a href="https://disq.us/url?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mybanktracker.com%2Fpersonal-loans%3Ay74UNBQ08gUg5yDld3BAxB43icY&amp;cuid=15643" rel="nofollow noopener" title="https://www.mybanktracker.com/personal-loans">https://www.mybanktracker.c...</a></p>
dedragribble
Saturday, 29 Dec 2018 1:05 PM
<p>I need a consolidation loan</p>
Wednesday, 26 Dec 2018 12:09 AM
<p>I want to avoid all those monthly maintenance fee. To be $0.00</p>
Wednesday, 26 Dec 2018 12:08 AM
<p>I want to avoid all monthly maintenance fees. On my hsa health savings account</p>
Tuesday, 24 Jul 2018 11:09 PM
<p>Is bank of America charge you fees when you want to cash your government check</p>