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Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking review

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

finder.com’s rating: 3.3 / 5.0

★★★★★

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.

$12 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$100

Minimum deposit to open

Details

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

Expert review

Peter Carleton

Review by


Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.

Expert review

Advantage Plus Banking is best for those looking for more ways to waive their monthly fee. This simple checking account offers a handful of ways to access your money and three ways to avoid the $12 monthly fee. You can also sign up for overdraft protection and write checks.

But you’ll need to deposit at least $100 to open the account.

How do I open a Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking account?

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

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the Bank of America website, click Checking, then Bank of America Advantage Banking.
  3. Scroll down to Advantage Plus, click the down arrow, then click Open now.
  4. Select any options that apply to you, then click Go to application.
  5. Enter your personal information, then click Continue.
  6. 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 need to provide the following information:

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

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 pay 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 pay $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 is convenient, you’ll pay$35 every time it’s used.

If you’re looking for a checking account with no minimum deposit, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when choosing a checking account.

Case study: Jenn’s experience – May 2019

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Jennifer Gimbel
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 Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
HSBC Premier Checking
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a 3% cash bonus, up to $600 (max. $100 per month) during first six months after account opening. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by September 30, 2020, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
BBVA Online Checking
$25
No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
$3
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
$50
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.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
N26
N26
$0
Fee-free ATM withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs
$0
A digital bank account with no hidden fees, no minimum account balance and no maintenance charges.
Chime Spending account
$0
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Get rid of fees with this mobile-first bank offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
Chase Total Checking
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches nationwide
$2.50
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 4,900 branches. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
HSBC Advance Checking
$0
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
Get up to $270 (max. $50 per month) for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Advance checking account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
NorthOne Business Banking
$50
More than 300,000 ATMs across America.

$0
A digital bank account featuring free cash deposits, on-demand customer support and streamlined bookkeeping integrations.
BBVA Free Checking
$25
1,000 fee-free ATMs across the country
$3
Pay a $0 monthly service charge and get free access to BBVA ATMs.
SoFi Money
$0
$0
SoFi Money® is a cash management account that charges no account fees to save, spend, and earn cash back rewards when you spend on brands you love.
Nationwide Advantage checking
$50
Access to over 80,000 ATMs nationwide
This account offers Nationwide highest interest rate – up to 0.90 APY. Plus, no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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:

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Jill
    August 21, 2019

    To qualify for the monthly fee waiver with a direct deposit of $250 or more, what are the qualifying ways?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jhez
      August 22, 2019

      Hello Jill,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You can avoid the Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking Monthly Maintenance Fee, when you do ONE of the following each statement cycle:
      • Make at least one qualifying Direct Deposit of $250 or more
      • Maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more, OR
      • Enroll in the Preferred Rewards program (first 4 checking accounts)

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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