Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking review
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
Minimum deposit to open
|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|
|ATMs||Over 16,000 ATMs|
|ATM transaction fee||$0|
|Out-of-network ATM fee||$2.50|
|Nonsufficient funds fee||$35|
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.
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.
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
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
How do I apply?
You can open this account at a branch, by phone or online:
- Visit the Bank of America website and click Checking, then Bank of America Advantage Banking.
- Scroll down to Advantage Plus, click the down arrow, then click Open now.
- Select any options that apply to you, then click Go to application.
- Enter your personal information, then click Continue.
- Set up and fund your account, review the details and Submit your application.
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
During your application, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Date of birth
- 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:
- At a branch or ATM
- Direct deposit
- Online or via wire transfer
- By mail
- Bank of America mobile deposit
- 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:
- Advantage SafeBalance. A basic checking account without overdraft protection or check-writing abilities, but lower monthly fees.
- Advantage Relationship. Higher monthly service charge, but you’ll earn interest and get some fees waived.
Frequently asked questions
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