Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking review | finder.com

Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking review

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Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking
  • Fast, secure sign-in
  • Fraud protection
  • Smart money management tools

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An interest-bearing account from one of the largest banks in the country.

Bank of America’s top-tier checking option pays interest and offers other perks you won’t find with its other checking accounts. And while it does have a higher monthly fee than its other checking accounts, it’s possible to avoid it.

APY0.03%
Monthly fee$25 per month
To waive the feeMaintain combined balances of $10,000 or more each statement cycle
Minimum deposit to open$100
ATMs16,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
ATM transaction fee$2.50
Out-of-network ATM fee$5 for non-US ATMs, plus any fee charged by the ATM's operator
Overdraft fee$35
Deposit methodsCash by teller
Check by teller
Mobile/remote check deposit
Bank transfer
Wire transfer
Direct deposit

What are the benefits of the Advantage Relationship checking account?

This FDIC-insured account comes with a Visa debit card for easy access to ATMs and for purchases almost anywhere in the world. Other benefits include:

  • Cardless ATMs. For ATM transactions with your smartphone or other contactless devices.
  • Earns interest. Pays up to 0.03% APY just for keeping your money in the account.
  • Perks for high balance. Avoid fees on additional checking or savings accounts, incoming domestic wire transfers and standard check purchases.
  • Overdraft protection. Avoid overdraft fees by linking an eligible Bank of America account.
  • No monthly balance requirements. You aren’t required to maintain a minimum balance.
  • Preferred rewards. A rewards program that can get you priority customer support, waived fees and more.
  • Budgeting tool. Manage your spending and budgeting to stay on top of your finances.

Bank of America ATM network and fees

The Advantage Relationship checking account comes with a Bank of America Visa debit card to use almost anywhere. It also gives you access to the second largest bank-owned ATM network, with over 16,000 fee-free ATMs in the US. However, if you use an ATM outside of the Bank of America network, these fees may apply:

  • 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?

While this account offers plenty of perks, there are a few potential drawbacks to be aware of:

  • Opening deposit requirement. This account requires a $100 minimum deposit to open.
  • Monthly service charge. The $25 monthly fee is waived if:
    • You’re a member of the Preferred Rewards program.
    • You have a combined monthly balance of at least $10,000 across eligible linked accounts.
  • Low interest. You can find higher APYs with other accounts.
  • Miscellaneous fees. Bank of America’s fees are often higher than online-only banks. Expect to pay:
    • $35 overdraft fee
    • $35 nonsufficient funds or returned item fee
    • $15 per cashier’s check
    • $30 per outgoing domestic wire transfer
    • $16 per incoming international wire transfer
    • $45 per outgoing international wire transfer

How much do I need to open an account?

The Advantage Relationship checking account requires a minimum deposit of $100 to open.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
2.00% on balances of $10,000+ or deposit $1+ each calendar month into any Aspiration banking or investment account
Free to use anywhere worldwide
$0
A high-interest account that operates like a checking account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
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.
16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches
$15/month
(can be waived)
If you’re new to Chase, get $200 when you open this account and complete qualifying activities. It boasts convenient features to help small and growing businesses reach their goals.
You’ll get fee-free access to over 56,000 ATMs around the world
$0
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
1,000 fee-free ATMs across the country
$0
Pay a $0 monthly service charge and get free access to BBVA Compass ATMs.
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 a $350 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Advance Checking account with qualifying activities by June 2, 2019

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

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

Online

  1. Visit the Bank of America website, click Checking, then Explore checking solutions.
  2. Scroll down and click Advantage Relationship, then Open now.
  3. Add a savings account or click Go to application.
  4. Fill in all personal information.
  5. Proceed through the next step to set up and fund your account.
  6. Review the terms, conditions and all personal info, then submit your application.

By phone

If you’d prefer to speak with someone to open this account, call 844-375-7031 to start your application by phone.

At a branch

Visit the Bank of America website to locate your nearest branch.

Eligibility

To open this account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • Deposit of $100 or more
  • Social Security number
  • Permanent US address

Required information

Regardless of how you choose to open your account, you’ll be asked for the following information:

  • Name, date of birth and address
  • Employment information
  • Contact information
  • Social Security number, or passport for foreign applicants

What other checking options does Bank of America offer?

Bank of America has a few other checking options:

  • Advantage SafeBalance. A no-frills checking account with a low and avoidable monthly fee.
  • Advantage Plus. A versatile checking account with convenient features and more ways to pay.

Read up on Bank of America Rewards Savings account

Bottom line

With the Advantage Relationship checking account, you can earn interest and rewards with a higher balance. However, other online banks offer higher APYs and lower fees.

If you’re not committed to Bank of America, compare your checking account options to find one that’s right for you.

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