Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking review 2019 | finder.com

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking review

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Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking
  • Overdraft protection
  • Avoidable monthly fee
  • Money management tools

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A mid-range option with overdraft protection and four ways to avoid its monthly fee.

As the middle child of the three Bank of America checking accounts, this option offers more perks than the basic version and a lower monthly fee than the premium account. You’ll get the option for overdraft protection and the ability to write checks, but you won’t automatically earn interest or have fees waived.

Monthly fee$12 per month
To waive the fee· Make one qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more
· OR maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500
· OR sign up for Preferred Rewards
· OR be under the age of 24 and enrolled in school
Minimum deposit to open$100
ATMsOver 16,000 ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$2.50
Overdraft fee$35
Nonsufficient funds fee$35
Deposit methods Ways to deposit
Cash
  • Cash by teller
  • Cash by ATM
Check
  • Check by teller
  • Check by ATM
  • Mobile/remote check deposit
Transfer
  • Bank transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Direct deposit

What are the benefits of Advantage Plus Banking?

This account is covered by FDIC deposit insurance and issued by one of the Big Four banks, but besides security, you’ll also get:

  • Overdraft protection. Optional overdraft protection can help you cover purchases that would otherwise bring your account balance below $0.
  • Avoidable monthly fee. There are four ways to avoid the monthly fee.
  • Convenient access. This account comes with a Visa debit card and access to over 5,000 branches and 16,000 ATMs.
  • Preferred rewards. Join the Preferred Rewards program to get better interest rates, credit card bonuses, ATM fee waivers and more.
  • Money management tools. Use the budgeting tool to take control of your money by tracking your habits and creating budgets.

Bank of America ATM network and fees

When you sign up for this account, you’ll get a Visa debit card that allows you to shop almost anywhere. Plus, you’ll have access to over 16,000 fee-free ATMs and over 5,000 branches.

As an added bonus, you can use cardless ATMs to make transactions using only your smartphone or other contactless device.

If you use an out-of-network ATM, you’ll be charged the following fees:

  • Domestic ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction plus fees from the ATM owner.
  • Foreign ATM fee: $5 per transaction plus fees from the ATM owner.

What should I look out for?

This account comes with a suite of useful perks and an avoidable monthly fee, but there are still a few things to watch out for:

  • Monthly service fee. You’ll be charged $12 per month to keep the account open without one of the fee waivers.
  • Opening deposit. It takes a deposit of at least $100 to open the account.
  • No interest. Unlike some other checking accounts, you’ll earn zero interest on your balance.
  • Overdraft fees. While overdraft protection can be convenient, you’ll be charged $35 every time it’s used.

Case study: Jenn's experience

Jenn profile photo
Jenn
Editor
I’ve had a Bank of America Advantage Plus Checking Account for over 15 years now — this was the first checking account I opened when I was in high school. The reason I first chose BoA was because of how many ATMs it has around the country, which I’ve found convenient over the years.

However, I’ve recently been thinking of opening a checking account with a different bank because of how many times my BoA debit card has been “compromised.” Though I’ve thankfully never had my account hacked, I’ve gone through over five different debit cards over the years due to potential security risks. Between waiting days for my new debit card to arrive and having to change the payment information on a lot of my online accounts, it’s been a bit of a hassle.

Compare to other checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches nationwide
$12/month
(can be waived)
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches.
1.25% on balances of $0+ with $1,000+ in direct deposits, 10 $3+ debit card transactions and 5 additional account transactions per month
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
Free at over 56,000 ATMs around the world
$0
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
0.01% on balances of $5+
Surcharge-free HSBC ATMs nationally and internationally, plus up to four rebates a month for using non-HSBC ATMs in all US states except New York
$25/month
(can be waived)
Get $350 by funding and maintaining your new account with at least $5,000 in combined checking and savings for 90 days and setting up recurring third-party direct deposits for 3 consecutive months. Offer expires December 31, 2019.
0.01%
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$0
No overdraft fees. No monthly maintenance fees. No monthly service fees. No minimum balance fees. No deposit required. No foreign transaction fees. Over 38,000+ fee-free MoneyPass ATMs.
2.00% on balances of $10,000+ or deposit $1+ each calendar month into any Aspiration cash management or investment account
Free to use anywhere worldwide
$0
A spend and save combo account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC. The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offering of Aspiration Financial, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Aspiration is not a chartered bank.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

You can open this account at a branch, by phone or online:

  1. Visit the Bank of America website and click Checking, then Bank of America Advantage Banking.
  2. Scroll down to Advantage Plus, click the down arrow, then click Open now.
  3. Select any options that apply to you, then click Go to application.
  4. Enter your personal information, then click Continue.
  5. Set up and fund your account, review the details and Submit your application.

Eligibility

Regardless of how you open this account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • Have an initial deposit of at least $100
  • Possess a valid Social Security number
  • Have a permanent US address
  • Hold valid state-issued ID or a passport
  • Be at least 18 years old if opening online

Required information

During your application, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Employment information
  • Contact information
  • Social Security number — or passport for international applicants

How can I get in touch with customer service?

If you need to speak to Bank of America customer service, here’s how you can get in touch with a representative:

  • By phone: Call 800-432-1000
  • By email: Sign in to your online banking account, navigate to the Help and support menu and click Contact us
  • Live chat: Visit the BoA website and click the chat icon to start live chat
  • In person: Visit a branch or set up an appointment

How do I deposit or withdraw money?

Now that your account is open, here’s how you can access your money:

Deposits:

  • At a branch or ATM
  • Direct deposit
  • Online or via wire transfer
  • By mail
  • Bank of America mobile deposit

Withdrawals:

  • At a branch or ATM
  • Online or via wire transfer
  • Bill pay
  • Write a check
  • Cash back at participating merchants

What other checking options does Bank of America offer?

Bank of America has two other checking account options that are available through the Advantage Banking program:

Bottom line

Advantage Plus Banking is a simple checking account that offers a handful of ways to access your money. You’ll also be able to sign up for overdraft protection and write checks, just be sure to watch out for the — avoidable — $12 monthly fee.

If you’re not sure if this account is right for you, compare your options to find out what might be a better fit.

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