Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking review
An interest-bearing account from one of the largest banks in the country.
finder.com’s rating: 2.8 / 5.0
★★★★★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.
$25 per month
Minimum deposit to open
|Monthly fee||$25 per month|
|To waive the fee||Maintain combined balances of $10,000 or more each statement cycle|
|Minimum deposit to open||$100|
|ATMs||16,000 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|
|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.
With the Advantage Relationship checking account, you can earn interest and rewards with a higher balance. Even if you’re not keeping as much in your account, you don’t have to worry about minimum balance fees — and you can take advantage of other features such as built-in budgeting tools.
However, other online banks offer higher APYs. A number of miscellaneous fees can also end up costing you your hard earned cash if you’re not careful about how you manage your account.
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
If you’re not committed to Bank of America, compare your checking account options to find one that’s right for you.
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
How do I apply?
You can open this account online, by phone or at a branch:
- Visit the Bank of America website, click Checking, then Explore checking solutions.
- Scroll down and click Advantage Relationship, then Open now.
- Add a savings account or click Go to application.
- Fill in all personal information.
- Proceed through the next step to set up and fund your account.
- Review the terms, conditions and all personal info, then submit your application.
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.
To open this account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:
- Deposit of $100 or more
- Social Security number
- Permanent US address
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.
Frequently asked questions.
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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.