Bank of America Savings Account Rates for December 2023 – CNET

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Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the US. It offers a wide variety of financial products — including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans and investing services — as well as thousands of retail locations and ATMs across the country. Bank of America also features a strong online experience with a robust website and a fully featured mobile app. That noted, its basic bank accounts offer dispiritingly low annual percentage yields compared to many other institutions.

Some banks are now offering annual percentage yields just north of 5%, making it a more attractive time to park your money in a savings account. The APY is the compounding interest rate you earn on your savings. And the higher the APY, the more you’ll earn in interest over time. Though APYs have been low for the past few years, many banks are boosting their APYs. But other large banks haven’t moved an inch… yet. 

However, Bank of America continues to offer relatively low APYs, even if you have tens of thousands of dollars in a savings account. But if having in-person, nationwide access or bringing all your finances under one roof is important to you, Bank of America might make sense for you.

Bank of America savings account options

Bank of America has just one savings account: Advantage Savings. The base APY is 0.01%, but if you’re eligible and enroll in the Preferred Rewards program, you can earn up to 0.04%.

The Preferred Rewards tiers are: Advantage Savings Gold Tier, Platinum Tier and Platinum Honors Tier. The only difference among them is the amount of APY you can earn.

Bank of America savings account options, compared

Account name APY Minimum deposit to open the account Monthly service fee* Balance required
Advantage Savings 0.01% $100 $8 $0
Advantage Savings, Gold Tier 0.02% $100 $0 $20,000 to less than $50,000**
Advantage Savings, Platinum Tier 0.03% $100 $0 $50,000 to less than $100,000**
Advantage Savings, Platinum Honors 0.04% $100 $0 $100,000 to less than $1 million**
Rates are as of Dec. 14, 2023.

*Fees are waivable.

**Three-month combined average daily balance in Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts.

Note: APYs vary by region, and Bank of America’s savings account may not be available everywhere. You’ll need to check your ZIP code on Bank of America’s website to see your options.

Bank of America Advantage Savings

Advantage Savings is Bank of America’s standard savings account. You earn 0.01% APY (well below the national average APY for savings accounts) and interest compounding monthly. You can open this account with an initial deposit of $100. You’ll be charged an $8 monthly maintenance fee, unless you meet one of Bank of America’s listed criteria, such as maintaining a minimum balance of $500 or linking to Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking®.

For any new account opened, though, Bank of America will waive the fee for the first six months. 

Bank of America Advantage Savings

Advantage Savings is Bank of America’s standard savings account. You earn 0.01% APY (well below the national average APY for savings accounts) and interest compounding monthly. You can open this account with an initial deposit of $100. 

You’ll be charged an $8 monthly maintenance fee, unless you meet one of Bank of America’s listed criteria, such as maintaining a minimum balance of $500 or linking to Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking®.

For any new account opened, though, Bank of America will waive the fee for the first six months.

Preferred Rewards Bank of America Advantage Savings

If you maintain a higher balance, you may be eligible for Preferred Rewards membership, which can earn a higher APY on the money in your Advantage Savings account.

To get approved for a higher APY account, you’ll need a Bank of America checking account and a three-month combined daily average in any of your Bank of America deposit accounts (i.e. checking and savings) and/or a Merrill investment account. 

Here’s how much interest you can earn and the minimum amount you’ll need for each of the upper-tier accounts:

  • Gold: 0.02% APY; $20,000 to less than $50,0000
  • Platinum: 0.03% APY; $50,000 to less than $100,000
  • Platinum Honors: 0.04% APY; $100,000 to less than $1 million

As a Preferred Rewards client, you don’t have to pay the $8 monthly fee. 

Enrolling in the Preferred Rewards higher tiers isn’t automatic. Once you reach $20,000 in assets, Erica, Bank of America’s AI-driven financial assistant, will nudge you to enroll in the Preferred Rewards program to get the benefits. Once you enroll, you’ll be automatically bumped into the higher tiers as your assets reach the additional thresholds, according to a Bank of America spokesperson.

If you’ve got a lot of assets stored at Bank of America and/or Merrill investment accounts, Advantage Savings might make sense for you — but you’ll still be earning relatively low APY compared to the national average and competitors offering over 1% APY.

How Bank of America’s APYs compare with other banks

While other brick-and-mortar banks like Chase and Wells Fargo also have monthly fees and similarly low APYs, their standard savings accounts tout some benefits over Bank of America’s. 

For example, both have cheaper monthly fees — $5 instead of $8 — and the option to waive the fee with just $300 in your savings account — $200 less than what Bank of America requires. 

APY comparison

Account name APY First year earnings on $5,000
Bank of America Advantage Savings 0.01% $0.50
Chase Premier Savings 0.02% $1.00
Bread Savings 5.15% $213
Varo* 5.00% $250
Rates are as of Dec. 14, 2023.

*Varo’s savings account enables you to start earning 3.00% APY and then qualify to earn 5.00% APY.

Opening a standard savings account with Chase and Wells Fargo is also more accessible than Bank of America. Chase doesn’t require a minimum deposit for a savings account, and Wells Fargo requires just $25 for its base savings account — four times less than what Bank of America requires.

Parking your savings in an online bank may make sense if you want to earn more in interest. Online banks can offer high APYs, because they don’t have physical locations to manage, reducing their overhead costs, which they then pass on to customers in the form of reduced fees and higher interest rates. 

That noted, there are some banks you can visit in-person that offer high APYs and no account fees, including Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings, which offers a robust 4.35% APY.

For more banks offering higher savings account rates, check out our picks for the best savings accounts.

Who should open a Bank of America savings account?

Customers who prefer bank branches with a national presence to conduct business in person will appreciate the vast presence that Bank of America provides. Bank of America also offers a robust mobile banking service with state-of-the-art technology tools for managing your banking needs remotely. 

The savings accounts don’t offer competitive rates. Customers interested in maximizing their savings growth should consider other big banks that provide similar services but offer better rates.

How to open a Bank of America savings account

You can open a savings account at Bank of America by visiting one of its physical branches or completing an application online or through the mobile app. To open a savings account, use the following steps:

1. Complete an application.
2. Verify your identity with a government issued photo ID, such as your driver’s license.
3. Provide your Social Security number.
4. Deposit at least the required minimum of $100.

Bank of America certificates of deposit

As an alternative option to savings accounts, Bank of America offers two types of CDs: Fixed-term and Featured. The Fixed-term CD comes in one-month increments, ranging from one month to 10 years. It earns a small but steady 0.03% APY, across all terms, which is well below the national average. The current average one-year CD APY is 1.73%, according to CNET’s sister site Bankrate.com. You can find much more competitive rates for high-yield CD accounts at other banks. 

Bank of America’s Featured CDs are more promising, offering higher APYs than the fixed-term option. Featured CDs come in five terms — seven-, 10, 13-, 25- and 37-month — require a minimum deposit is $1,000 and have no annual or transaction fees.

CD term APY
7-month 5.00%
10-month 0.05%
13-month 5.00%
25-month 3.20%
37-month 0.05%
Rates as of Dec. 13, 2023.

FAQs

For most of 2023, the average savings account interest rate in the US was 0.46%, according to the FDIC. Since then, it’s been ticking up. Now, most online-only banks and credit unions are offering over 4% for most high-yield savings accounts, but some traditional banks are holding rates below the FDIC average.

Money market accounts – A money market account offers the accessibility of a checking account with the interest-earning benefits of a savings account. Unlike most savings accounts, MMAs generally offer check-writing privileges. But like savings accounts, some banks limit the number of withdrawals and transfers allowed each month.

A certificate of deposit is another high interest alternative to savings accounts. A CD is similar to a savings account, but it’s a one-time investment rather than an account you continue pouring money into. With a CD, you make one lump-sum deposit at a fixed interest rate for a specified period, which could range from a month all the way up to 10 years. Since CD APYs are directly tied to the federal funds rate, CD interest rates are currently rising, reaching over 4% at some banks.

I bonds — Secure government-backed investments sold directly to the public — offer a considerably more appealing interest rate of 6.89%. This is a good option if you won’t need access to your funds for five years. You can’t draw on your funds for the first year at all, and if you withdraw before the five-year holding period is up, you’ll face a three-month interest penalty for withdrawing early. After five years, you can take out the money from your I bond without penalty.

You can withdraw from Advantage Savings six times per month without penalty. After six withdrawals, Bank of America charges you $10. You can incur this additional withdrawal fee six times, for a total penalty of $60. You can waive this fee if you:

  • Are under the age of 18
  • Qualify as a student
  • Maintain a minimum daily balance of $20,000 or more
  • Are enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program

Bank of America’s $10 fee for up to six extra withdrawals is more expensive than Chase, which charges $5 per extra withdrawal only up to three times (that’s $15 max versus $60 max at Bank of America). However, some banks charge no fee for extra withdrawals.

This withdrawal limit used to be the standard in the US due to a Federal Reserve rule called Regulation D. In April 2020, the Fed eliminated this rule to allow consumers unfettered access to their savings throughout the pandemic. As a result, some banks have eliminated the withdrawal limit, but some still follow the previous guidelines.

Brick-and-mortar banks such as Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo typically charge a monthly fee for a savings account. Monthly fees are usually waived if you maintain a set minimum balance. If you can’t satisfy that requirement, consider a savings account without monthly fees such as Capital One’s 360 Savings account.

You should avoid a savings account with fees if your income is inconsistent. Often, fees are waived if you are able to enroll in direct deposit, but if you have varying monthly income or have periods of time without receiving a paycheck, you may get hit with fees without realizing it.

More banking advice

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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