Bank of America Keep the Change Savings Program review
Supplement your savings goals by sending your spare change to your savings account.
The Keep the Change program rounds up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers your change to your savings account. It’s a seamless way to slowly and steadily save — but you may be able to earn more interest elsewhere.
Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).
If you’re an existing Bank of America customer and use your debit card for everyday purchases, the Keep the Change program could help you save money. The program transfers money into your savings and gives you a platform to monitor your savings.
However, it doesn’t offer the highest APY and indirect fees can get in the way of your savings goals if you don’t keep an eye on the account requirements. If you want a high-interest savings account and one with minimal fees, you’ll want to keep looking.
What are the benefits of Bank of America’s savings program?
With this program, you’re privy to the benefits of banking with Bank of America, such as access to a wide network of ATMs, sophisticated online and mobile banking tools, BankAmeriDeals and Preferred Rewards. These are the unique benefits of the Keep the Change savings program:
- Automatic savings. The bank takes over the admin by rounding up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transferring the difference to your Bank of America savings account. The roundups are accumulated and transferred once a day.
- Option to transfer to a child’s saving account. Boost your child’s savings by sending your spare change to their Bank of America savings account.
- Flexibility. Enroll in or cancel the Keep the Change service at any time.
- Ability to monitor savings. View a summary of your Keep the Change savings via online banking or the app.
- Won’t overdraw your account. If your checking account is overdrawn, Bank of America cancels the Keep the Change transfer for that day.
What should I look out for?
The program has the following pitfalls:
- Limited to Bank of America accounts. You can’t transfer to an external bank account.
- Doesn’t apply to all debit cards. Keep the Change isn’t available for small business debit cards.
- Indirect fees. It’s free to enroll in Keep the Change, but watch out for the fees and minimum balances that come with banking with Bank of America. For example, you’ll be charged an $8 monthly maintenance fee for your Reward Savings account unless you maintain a daily balance of $500 or qualify for Preferred Rewards.
- Low interest rates. You may be able to find better interest rates and stack up your savings quicker elsewhere.
- Can’t cancel online. While you can opt out of the program at any time, you’ll have to call Bank of America or visit a local branch.
- No savings matching. Bank of America used to match your contributions — 100% for the first three months, 5% after that — but it stopped.
Before you sign up, you may want to check our guide to savings accounts to get a full look at what’s available.
Compare Bank of America checking accounts
How do I enroll in the program?
If you’re an existing customer, follow these steps:
- Visit the Bank of America website or app.
- Log into online banking
- Navigate to the Keep the Change Savings Program. Click Enroll Now.
If you’re not, here’s how to set up an account:
- Head to the Bank of America website. On the homepage, click Open an Account.
- Under Checking & Savings, click Get Started.
- Review the checking account options. When you find one you like, click Open Now.
- Select Yes, Add a Rewards Savings account. Click Go to Application.
- Enter your personal and contact information and follow the prompts to fund your account.
Once you’ve set up online banking, you can enroll in Keep the Change.
You need three Bank of America products to enroll in the program:
- Checking account
- Savings account
- Debit card
You need to meet these requirements to open any of these accounts:
- 18 years or older
- US citizen or resident alien
- $100 minimum opening deposit
Have this information handy:
- Social Security or taxpayer ID number
- Physical US address
- Personal, contact and citizenship details
How do I deposit money into my checking account?
You can fund your Bank of America checking account by:
- Direct deposit
- Cash deposit
- Personal or mobile checks
- Visiting a financial center
Some Bank of America ATMs accept checks. Use the search function on the site to find one near you.
Can I withdraw money from my savings account?
By law, you can only make six withdrawals per month from your savings account. If you exceed this number, Bank of America charges $10 per withdrawal or transfer.
This defeats the purpose of the Keep the Change program. To speed up your savings, avoid dipping into your savings account.
What savings accounts does Bank of America offer?
Bank of America keeps it simple by offering one savings account:
Reward Savings. It has a tiered savings model, so the more you save, the more interest you’ll earn.
- Minimum opening deposit of $100
- $8 monthly maintenance fee, waived for the first six months, then waived for customers with a daily balance of $500.
- You can link the savings account to a Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking checking account or enroll in Preferred Rewards.
- To qualify for Preferred Rewards, you’ll need a combined balance of $20,000 across Bank of America and Merrill Lynch investment accounts.
You can also set up a joint savings account in your child’s name. The Minor Savings Account has a minimum opening deposit of $25 and earns interest according to the account balance. When the co-owner turns 18, the account automatically converts to a Rewards Savings account.