With its 4,000 branches nationwide — not to mention more than 16,000 ATM locations — you’re probably familiar with Bank of America.
It’s one of the largest banks in the U.S. and offers services that range from banking and loans to credit cards, investing, and more. If you’re looking for convenience and a range of banking options in one place, Bank of America can be a solid choice.
But one place where it falls short is in how much you can earn on the money you keep in your bank account. Like many large, national banks, Bank of America offers very little on its savings products, including savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
For savers looking to maximize interest earnings as rates continue to rise, there are plenty of online and hybrid banking alternatives with high-yield accounts earning 100x or more than Bank of America offers.
Here’s an overview of the bank’s savings and CD rates, and more about what to consider for your savings today:
Bank of America Savings Rates by Account Type
Bank of America offers one main savings account option online — a Bank of America Advantage Savings account. Here’s more on the current interest rate, deposit, and fees required for this account:
|Annual Percentage Yield (APY)||Minimum Deposit||Fees|
|Bank of America Advantage Savings account||.01%||$100||$8 monthly service fee (can be waived when you meet specific requirements)|
To waive the $8 fee, you must meet at least one of these requirements each monthly statement cycle:
- Maintain a minimum balance of at least $500
- Link your account to an eligible Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account
- Be a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member
- Be under the age of 18
- Be a student under the age of 25
The fee is also waived for all new account holders the first six months after account opening.
Earn more with Preferred Rewards
Like with many of its accounts, Bank of America offers additional savings perks for Preferred Rewards members. Not only can you avoid the monthly fee, but you’ll earn a higher yield on deposits if you’re part of the Preferred Rewards program.
To join the program, you must maintain a certain balance across your Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts. There are three Preferred Rewards tiers, depending on your total balance. Here’s how savings APYs rise based on tier:
|Bank of America Overall Account Balance||Annual Percentage Yield (APY)|
|Gold Tier||$20,000 to < $50,000||.02%|
|Platinum Tier||$50,000 to < $100,000||.03%|
|Platinum Honors Tier||$100,000 to < $1 million||.04%|
How Do Bank of America Savings Rates Compare to Other Banks?
Bank of America’s savings interest rates are on par with other large brick-and-mortar banks nationwide. However, they lag far behind what you can find from online banks, hybrid banks, and even some smaller credit unions.
These rates are even below the national average determined by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which is currently 0.17% APY.
Today, many high-yield savings accounts earn more than 2% APY. If you have $1,000 in a savings account, that’s the difference between $0.10 in interest annually (at 0.01% APY) and $20 annually. Even the top rates you can earn as a Preferred Rewards member are far lower than many high-yield savings accounts offer — with little or no minimum deposit requirements.
Bank of America CD Rates by Type
Bank of America also offers certificates of deposit (CDs) with varying terms based on your minimum deposit. The longer the term, the higher the minimum deposit required. Like with savings, the interest you can earn on a Bank of America CD is limited.
For CD terms within the minimum deposit tier of $1,000 or more, you’ll earn 0.03% APY. You may choose any CD term, in monthly increments, between one month and 120 months.
CDs within the higher $10,000 minimum deposit tier, and longer available terms, earn a marginally higher 0.05% APY. The CD terms available are seven months, 10 months, 13 months, 25 months, and 37 months.
Bank of America CD Rates vs Other Banks
While Bank of America’s CD rates are better than its savings rates, they’re still much lower than other CDs available today — and carry higher minimum deposits.
National averages for CDs according to the FDIC range from 0.07% APY for one-month terms, 0.60% for 12 months, and 0.74% for 60 months. But even those ranges are far less than high-yield CD rates today. Many of the best CD rates among online or hybrid financial institutions are more than 2% APY for shorter terms, and higher than 3% APY for longer terms, with minimum deposit requirements as low as $0.
Is Bank of America a Good Choice for a Savings or CD Account?
Bank of America may be good for full-service banking and breadth of locations, but you won’t earn the best interest rates on your savings.
In fact, you can easily earn many multiples of Bank of America’s interest rates from a range of high-yield savings account and high-yield CD options. There are other benefits though, too, and more details to consider beyond just interest rate.
For example, Bank of America’s monthly fees and minimum deposit requirements can end up being more costly in the long run when you’re already earning very little interest. Many other savings and CD options have no fees and much smaller minimum deposit requirements or no requirement at all.
However, you should also remember: If you have a savings goal or want to bulk up your emergency fund, the most important thing you can do is start saving and making regular contributions. Even the best interest rates are small compared to the difference you can make by building your balance over time, even if you only add a few dollars each month or each pay period.
But if you want the boost that a great interest rate can give, a high-yield savings account or CD may be the better option, especially today.