Bank of America vs Chase Banking Comparison

At a first glance, Bank of America and Chase seem very similar to each other, as both are gigantic banks with trillions of dollars of assets and thousands of branches all over the country.

Let’s examine and compare them based on a few criteria and see how they stack up against each other there. The table below summarizes the main similarities and differences between Bank of America and Chase.


Bank of AmericaChase
Founded17841799
Ranking by SizeNo. 2No. 1
Assets$2.16 trillion$2.87 trillion
Too Big To Fail?YesYes
Number of Branches4,3004,700
Number of States36 + D.C.38 + D.C.
Number of Free ATMs16,00016,000
Checking AccountsYesYes
Savings AccountsYesYes
Money MarketYesNo
Certificates of DepositYesYes
Credit CardsYesYes
MortgagesYesYes
Home Equity Lines of CreditYesYes
Auto LoansYesYes
Brokerage AccountsYesYes
IRA AccountsYesYes
Mutual FundsYesYes
Personal LoansNoNo
Student LoansNoNo
Notable BrandsBank of America
Merrill Lynch
Chase
J.P. Morgan

In terms of product offering, Bank of America and Chase are very similar to each other. The main difference is that Chase does not offer money market accounts while Bank of America does.

It is worth pointing out that neither Bank of America nor Chase offer personal loans (personal lines of credit) or student loans.

Bank of America offers investment brokerage accounts through its subsidiary Merrill Lynch. Chase does the same through its subsidiary J.P. Morgan.

Related: How Do I Find My Bank Account Number? BOA | Chase & More

Who is Bank of American and Chase for?

How do you choose between the two – who should pick Bank of America and who should pick Chase? Also, given the high fees and low-interest rates of those 2 banks, why even go with them at all? Why not choose a neobank or community bank that charges no fee and offers high-interest rates?

If you have your heart set on going with a giant bank with thousands of branches and are trying to decide between Bank of America and Chase:

Choose Bank of America if…

  • You want slightly better interest rates on savings accounts and CDs
  • You want a money market account
  • You want live chat customer service

Choose Chase if…

  • You want more choices of checking and savings accounts
  • You want more choices of credit cards
  • You want longer hours of operation for customer service phone line

On the other hand, you might want to give a neobank or a small community bank a look:

Choose a neobank or community bank if…

  • You do not need access to bricks and mortar branches
  • You want checking and savings accounts that are free with no need for fee waivers
  • You want higher interest rates on your savings account and CDs

Bank of America Overview

Bank of America is the culmination of dozens of mergers and acquisitions between dozens of banks that took place over more than 100 years. While the name Bank of America first appeared in 1923 in Los Angeles, the current Bank of America can trace its lineage all the way back to 1784 when John Hancock signed the charter of Massachusetts Bank, the first federally chartered joint-stock owned bank in the United States. Early account holders include such famous figures as Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Henry Knox.

Bank of America Size

Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the United States as measured by total assets, which amount to $2.16 trillion as of 2020. Total customer deposits are $1.81 trillion. Any way you put it, Bank of America is huge, and certainly “Too Big to Fail” – the United States government let Lehman Brothers failed during the 2008 financial crisis, but under no circumstances would it let Bank of America fail.

Bank of America Number of Branches

Bank of America has close to 4,300 branches in 36 states and the District of Columbia in the US. This number is down more than 1,000 from its peak. Like many bricks-and-mortar banks, Bank of America has been reducing the number of its branches in an effort to cut costs.

Bank of America Number of ATMs

Bank of America has a network of more than 16,000 ATMs in the United States. Customers of Bank of America can use these ATMs for free.

Customers can also use ATMs that are out of the Bank of America network, but they have to pay a fee for that. For using out-of-network ATMs that are inside the US, Bank of America charges a $2.50 fee. For using out-of-network ATMs that are outside the US, Bank of America charges a $5 fee. These fees are on top of the fees charged by the owners of these out-of-network ATMs.

Bank of America Products And Services

Bank of America offers a very comprehensive range of financial and banking products including:

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Accounts
  • Certificates of Deposits
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Auto loans
  • Investment accounts and brokerage
  • Mutual funds
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Bank of America does NOT offer:

  • Personal loans
  • Student loans – it stopped offering student loans in 2010

Notable Brands

  • Bank of America
  • Merrill Lynch

Chase Bank Overview

File:Chase Bank Athens OH USA.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Like Bank of America, Chase is the end product of a series of mergers and acquisitions among banks that took place over more than 100 years. It traced its root to 1799 when the Manhattan Company was founded. It took its name from Chase National Bank, which in turn was named after former United States Treasury Secretary and Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, although Chase did not have a personal connection with that bank.

Chase Bank Size

Chase is the largest bank in the United States as measured by total assets, which amount to $2.87 trillion as of 2020. Total customer deposits are $2.11 trillion. Any way you put it, Chase is huge, and certainly “Too Big to Fail.” Your money deposited in Chase is going to be as safe as it is going to get.

Chase Number of Branches

Chase has close to 4,700 branches in 38 states and the District of Columbia in the US. This is down from the 5,100 branches Chase had in 2016. Just like Bank of America and other brick-and-mortar banks, Chase has been reducing the number of its branches to cut costs. But still, 4,700 branches are about as ubiquitous as banks get.

Chase Number of ATMs

Similar to Bank of America, Chase has its own network of more than 16,000 ATMs in the United States. Customers of Chase can use these ATMs for free.

Customers can also use ATMs that are out of the Chase network, but they have to pay a fee for that. For using out-of-network ATMs that are inside the US, Chase charges a $2.50 fee. For using out-of-network ATMs that are outside the US, Chase charges a $5 fee. These fees are on top of the fees charged by the owners of these out-of-network ATMs.

Chase Products and Services

Chase offers a very comprehensive range of financial and banking products. The main difference from Bank of America is that Chase does not offer money market accounts whereas Bank of America does. On the other hand, Chase’s credit card offering is more comprehensive and popular than that of Bank of America.

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • Certificates of Deposits
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Auto loans
  • Investment accounts and brokerage
  • Mutual funds
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Chase does NOT offer:

  • Money Market Accounts
  • Personal loans
  • Student loans – it stopped offering student loans in 2013

Notable Brands

  • Chase
  • J.P. Morgan

Related: Types of Chase Credit Cards | Fees | APR | Rewards Chart

Related: How Do I Activate My Chase Credit Card by Phone or Online?

Related: How To Close a Chase Account

Bank of America Pros and Cons

Similar to the case with Chase, the main pro of Bank of America is its massive number of branches and ATMs, while its main con is the myriad of fees it charges.

Pros
  • Too Big to Fail
  • A large network of 4,300 branches in 36 states and the District of Columbia
  • A large network of 16,000 no-fee ATM
Cons
  • High fees on checking and savings accounts
  • Low interest rates on saving accounts
  • Low interest rates on certificates of deposit
  • $2.50 or $5 fee to use ATMs not owned by Bank of America

Bank of America Pros

  • Too Big to Fail: As the second-largest bank in the United States with more than $2.1 trillion in assets, Bank of America is another case of “Too Big to Fail.” When push comes to shove, the United States government is not going to let Bank of America fail
  • Large Network of Branches: With 4,300 branches in 36 states and the District of Columbia, Bank of America operates one of the largest networks of bank branches in the United States. It has slightly fewer locations than Chase does, but Bank of America is still a great choice for anyone who wants to bank in person
  • Large Network of No-Fee ATMs: Just like Chase, Bank of America owns more than 16,000 ATMs in the United States. For people who want the convenience of being able to get cash anywhere without paying a fee, this is a big plus

Bank of America Cons

  • High Fees: All those branches and ATMs come at a high cost. To pay for that cost, Bank of America charges a lot of fees – checking account monthly fee, savings account monthly fee, overdraft fees for up to 4 times per day, and more. We will get into these fees in more detail in the sections below. If you are looking for banking without fees, Bank of America is probably not what you want
  • Low-Interest Rates on Deposits: Bank of America offers very low-interest rates on both savings accounts and certificates of deposit. Its interest rates are somewhat higher than that of Chase. But they are still very low. If your goal is to earn interest on your money, stay away from Bank of America
  • Out-of-Network ATM Fees: Just like Chase, Bank of America charges a $2.50 or $5 ATM fee every time you use an ATM that is not in its ATM network. You can get the ATM fees waived if you are enrolled in Bank of America’s Preferred Reward program. If you want free ATM usage anywhere, there are many banks that provide that. Bank of America is not one of them

Chase Pros and Cons

As the largest bank in the United States, the main pro of Chase is its extensive network of branches and free ATMs. At the same time, the high cost of maintaining so many branches and ATMs directly leads to the main cons of Chase – high fees and low interests paid on deposits.

Pros
  • Too Big to Fail
  • A large network of 4,700 branches in 38 states and the District of Columbia
  • A large network of 16,000 no-fee ATMs
  • A wide variety of highly popular credit cards
Cons
  • High fees on checking and savings accounts
  • Low interest rates on saving accounts
  • Low interest rates on certificates of deposit
  • $2.50 or $5 fees to use ATMs not owned by Chase

Chase Pros

  • Too Big to Fail: As the largest bank in the United States with more than $2.8 trillion in assets, Chase is for sure “Too Big to Fail.” Keeping money in Chase is probably one of the safest options you can find anywhere
  • Large Network of Branches: With 4,700 branches in 38 states and the District of Columbia, Chase offers one of the largest networks of bank branches in the United States. If you prefer to do your banking in person and are looking for a bank that offers lots of locations, you can’t go wrong with Chase
  • Large Network of No-Fee ATMs: Chase owns more than 16,000 ATMs all over the country. No matter where you are, you are likely to find a Chase ATM close to you that you can use for free
  • Popular Credit cards: Chase offers some of the most popular credit cards on the market such as Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, Ink Business, and Chase Hyatt. Whether you want cash backs, rewards, travel points, or balance transfers, you are likely to find a Chase credit card that suits your needs

Chase Cons

  • High Fees: Chase charges a myriad of fees – checking account monthly maintenance fee, savings account monthly maintenance fee, overdraft fees for up to 3 times per day, and more. We will get into these fees in more detail in the sections below. The bottom line is, you can find many other banks that charge no fees or much lower fees
  • Low-Interest Rates on Deposits: Chase offers very low-interest rates on both savings accounts and certificates of deposit. If you have a substantial amount of cash, keeping them in Chase might not be a good idea when it comes to earning interests on your money
  • Out-of-Network ATM Fees: While you can use any one of the more than 16,000 ATMs owned by Chase for free, you would have to pay a $2.50 or $5 ATM fee every time you use an ATM that is not owned by Chase. In comparison, many banks offer unlimited refunds for ATM fees so that you could use any ATM for free. However, if you get a higher-tier checking account at Chase, you can have this ATM fee waived

Bank of America vs. Chase: Checking Account Comparison

Bank of America offers 3 tiers of checking accounts – Advantage SafeBalance, Advantage Plus, Advantage Relationship.

Chase offers 5 tiers of checking accounts – Chase Secure Checking, Chase Total Checking, Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Sapphire Checking, Chase Private Client Checking.

The 3 tables below compare checking accounts from Bank of America and Chase on the entry-level, mid-tier, and premium level.

Entry Level Checking Accounts | Bank of America vs. Chase


Bank of America Advantage SafeBalanceChase Secure Checking
Personal ChecksNoNo
Min Opening Deposit$25$0
Monthly Fee$4.95$4.95
Min Combined Balance to Waive Monthly Fee$20,000No
Free for Students?Students under 24No
Overdraft FeeNoneNone
In-network ATMFreeFree
Out-of-network ATM – USA$2.50$2.50
Out-of-network ATM – foreign$5.00$5.00
Interests on deposit?NoNo

Mid-Tier Checking Accounts | Bank of America vs. Chase


Bank of America Advantage PlusChase Total Checking
Personal ChecksYesYes
Min Opening Deposit$100$0
Monthly Fee$12$12
Min Direct Deposit to Waive Monthly Fee$250$500
Min Balance to Waive Monthly Fee$1,500$1,500
Min Combined Balance to Waive Monthly Fee$20,000$5,000
Free for Students?Students under 24No
Overdraft Fee$35$34
In-network ATMFreeFree
Out-of-network ATM – USA$2.50$2.50
Out-of-network ATM – foreign$5.00$5.00
Interests on deposit?NoNo

Premium Level Checking Accounts | Bank of America vs. Chase


Bank of America Advantage RelationshipChase Premier Plus CheckingChase Sapphire CheckingChase Private Client Checking
Personal ChecksYesYesYesYes
Min Opening Deposit$100$0$0$250,000
Monthly Fee$25$25$25$35
Min Combined Balance to Waive Monthly Fee$10,000$15,000$75,000$150,000
Overdraft Fee$35$34$34$34
Overdraft Fee WaivedNoNo4 times per year4 times per year
In-network ATMFreeFreeFreeFree
Out-of-network ATM – USA$2.50$2.50FreeFree
Out-of-network ATM – foreign$5.00$5.00FreeFree
ATM Fees WaivedNo4 times per monthFreeFree
Interest Rate for Balance < $50,0000.01%0.01%0.01%0.01%
Interest Rate for Balance $50,000+0.02%0.01%0.01%0.01%
Free Safe Deposit BoxNoYesYesYes
Discounted home & auto loansNoNoNoYes

In summary, the checking accounts from Bank of America and Chase are generally similar. Chase offers more options for premium-level checking accounts. Bank of America offers slightly higher interest rates. Most Chase checking accounts can be opened without making any deposit, while Bank of America checking accounts require a minimum opening deposit of either $25 or $100.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance

Advantage SafeBalance is Bank of America’s entry-level checking account. It charges the lowest fee (although there are ways to get around that) and offers the least perks. It does not offer personal checks, and its $4.95 monthly fee is quite difficult to waive if you are not a student under 24.

  • Personal Check: No. Even though this is advertised as a “checking account”, you cannot write personal checks on this account. For payment, you can only use this account’s debit card
  • Minimum Deposit to Open: You need at least $25 to open this account
  • Monthly Fee: $4.95, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: There are 2 ways to waive the monthly fee. But unless you are a student under 24, it would be quite hard to get the fee waived
    • Be a student under 24. This is the easiest way to waive the fee
    • Be enrolled in Preferred Rewards – at least $20,000 average daily balances in savings, checking, CD, and Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts combined
  • Overdraft Fee: None. This is a great feature. Instead of charging an overdraft fee, transactions will be declined and returned unpaid when you do not have enough money in your account
  • ATM Fees: There are 3 tiers of ATM fees
    • Bank of America ATMs: Free
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs in the US: $2.50 + fees charged by the ATM owner
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs outside the US: $5.00 + fees charged by the ATM owner
  • Ways to Waive ATM Fees: None
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: None. This is a non-interest bearing account

Bank of American Advantage Plus

Advantage Plus is Bank of America’s mid-range checking account. It charges a higher monthly fee than Advantage SafeBalance but offers more features. It allows you to write personal checks. Surprisingly, its $12 monthly fee is easier to waive than Advantage SafeBalance’s $4.95 monthly fee

  • Personal Check: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit to Open: You need at least $100 to open this account
  • Monthly Fee: $12, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: There are 4 ways to waive the monthly fee
    • Have at least 1 qualifying direct deposit of at least $250 each statement period
    • Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance
    • Be a student under 24
    • Be enrolled in Preferred Rewards – at least $20,000 average daily balances in savings, checking, CD, and Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts combined
  • Overdraft Fee: $35. Can be charged up to 4 times per day
  • ATM Fees: There are 3 tiers of ATM fees
    • Bank of America ATMs: Free
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs in the US: $2.50 + fees charged by the ATM owner
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs outside the US: $5.00 + fees charged by the ATM owner
  • Ways to Waive ATM Fees: None
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: None. This is a non-interest bearing account

Bank of American Advantage Relationship

Advantage Relationship is Bank of America’s top-tier checking account. It charges the highest fee and its main selling point is that your money in this account will earn interest. However, the interest rates are far from compelling.

  • Personal Check: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit to Open: You need at least $100 to open this account
  • Monthly Fee: $25, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: To waive the monthly fee:
    • Have at least $10,000 average daily balances in savings, checking, CD, and Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts combined
  • Overdraft Fee: $35. Can be charged up to 4 times per day
  • ATM Fees: There are 3 tiers of ATM fees
    • Bank of America ATMs: Free
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs in the US: $2.50 + fees charged by the ATM owner
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs outside the US: $5.00 + fees charged by the ATM owner
  • Ways to Waive ATM Fees: None
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: This account pays interests, although the interest rates are very underwhelming
    • Balances up to $50,000: 0.01% APY
    • Balances of $50,000 to $99,999: 0.02% APY
    • Balances over $100,000: 0.02% APY

Chase Secure Checking

Chase Secure Checking is Chase’s entry level checking account. It charges the lowest fee and offers the least perks. It does not offer personal checks. And unlike Bank of America’s Advantage SafeBalance account, there is no way to waive the $4.95 monthly fee of this account

  • Personal Check: No. Even though this is advertised as a “checking account”, you cannot write personal checks on this account. For payment, you can only use this account’s debit card
  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $0. You can open this account with a $0 balance
  • Monthly Fee: $4.95
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: None
  • Overdraft Fee: None. This is a great feature. Instead of charging an overdraft fee, transactions will be declined and returned unpaid when you do not have enough money in your account
  • ATM Fees: There are 3 tiers of ATM fees
    • Chase ATMs: Free
    • Non-Chase ATMs in the US: $2.50 + fees charged by the ATM owner
    • Non-Chase ATMs outside the US: $5.00 + fees charged by the ATM owner
  • Ways to Waive ATM Fees: None
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: None. This is a non-interest bearing account

Chase Total Checking

Chase Total Checking is Chase’s mid-range checking account. It charges a higher monthly fee than Chase Secure Checking but offers more features. It allows you to write personal checks. Unlike Chase Secure Checking, it is possible to waive the monthly fee of Chase Total Checking.

  • Personal Check: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $0. You can open this account with a $0 balance
  • Monthly Fee: $12, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: There are 3 ways to waive the monthly fee
    • Have at least 1 qualifying direct deposit of at least $500 for each statement cycle
    • Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance
    • Maintain at least $5,000 average daily balances in savings, checking, CD, and J.P. Morgan brokerage accounts combined
  • Overdraft Fee: $34. Can be charged up to 3 times per day
  • ATM Fees: There are 3 tiers of ATM fees
    • Bank of America ATMs: Free
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs in the US: $2.50 + fees charged by the ATM owner
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs outside the US: $5.00 + fees charged by the ATM owner
  • Ways to Waive ATM Fees: None
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: None. This is a non-interest bearing account

Chase Premier Plus Checking

Chase Premier Plus Checking is one of Chase’s top-tier checking accounts, but there are still 2 tiers above it. Its main selling point is that your money in this account will earn interest. However, the interest rates are far from compelling. It also comes with a free safe deposit box.

  • Personal Check: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $0. You can open this account with a $0 balance
  • Monthly Fee: $25, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: There are 2 ways to waive the monthly fee
    • Maintain at least $15,000 average daily balances in savings, checking, CD, and J.P. Morgan brokerage accounts combined
    • Link a qualifying Chase first mortgage enrolled in automatic payments from your Chase account
  • Overdraft Fee: $34. Can be charged up to 3 times per day
  • ATM Fees: There are 3 tiers of ATM fees
    • Chase ATMs: Free
    • Non-Chase ATMs in the US: $2.50 + fees charged by the ATM owner
    • Non-Chase ATMs outside the US: $5.00 + fees charged by the ATM owner
  • Ways to Waive ATM Fees: Non-Chase ATM fees are waived 4 times per statement period
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: This account pays interests, although the interest rate is very underwhelming
    • 0.01% APY
  • Safe Deposit Box: Free 3” x 5” Safe Deposit Box

Chase Sapphire Checking

Chase Sapphire Checking is 1 of the 2 premium checking accounts offered by Chase, the other being Chase Private Client Checking. It charges the same $25 monthly fee as Chase Premier Plus Checking but sets a higher hurdle for waiving that fee. It also offers the same anemic 0.01% APY on its account balance as Chase Premier Plus Checking does.

There are a few additional perks such as no ATM fees worldwide, no overdraft fees for the first 4 overdrafts in 12 months, and a free safe deposit box.

  • Personal Check: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $0. You can open this account with a $0 balance
  • Monthly Fee: $25, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: To waive the monthly fee:
    • Maintain at least $75,000 average daily balances in savings, checking, CD, and J.P. Morgan brokerage accounts combined
  • Overdraft Fee: No fee on the first 4 overdrafts during the current & prior 12 statement periods. After that, $34 per overdraft & can be charged up to 3 times per day
  • ATM Fees: No ATM fee worldwide + refund of fees charged by the non-Chase ATM owner
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: This account pays interests, although the interest rate is very underwhelming
    • 0.01% APY
  • Safe Deposit Box: Free 3” x 5” Safe Deposit Box

Chase Private Client Checking

Chase Private Client Checking is Chase’s highest end checking account. Its monthly fee of $35 is the highest of all Chase checking accounts. It offers the same benefits as Chase Sapphire Checking plus discounted rates on home & auto loans and access to Chase Private Client Arts & Culture Program. Its interest rate on the account balance is the same microscopic 0.01% APY. Like Chase Sapphire Checking, it comes with a free safe deposit box.

  • Personal Check: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $250,000. You need to deposit at least $250,000 to open this account
  • Monthly Fee: $35, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: To waive the monthly fee:
    • Maintain at least $150,000 average daily balances in savings, checking, CD, and J.P. Morgan brokerage accounts combined
  • Overdraft Fee: No fee on the first 4 overdrafts during the current & prior 12 statement periods. After that, $34 per overdraft & can be charged up to 3 times per day
  • ATM Fees: No ATM fee worldwide + refund of fees charged by the non-Chase ATM owner
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: This account pays interests, although the interest rate is very underwhelming
    • 0.01% APY
  • Safe Deposit Box: Free 3” x 5” Safe Deposit Box
  • Discounted Rates on Home & Auto Loans
  • Access to Chase Private Client Arts & Culture Program

Bank of America vs. Chase: Savings Account Comparison

Bank of America offers just 1 savings account: Advantage Savings.

Chase offers 3 types of savings accounts: Chase Savings, Chase Premier Savings, Chase Private Client Savings.

With both Bank of America and Chase, the interest rates you get on savings accounts range from 0.01% APY to 0.05% APY. These rates are atrociously low. And to get to 0.05% APY, you would need a minimum balance of at least $100,000 (Bank of Amica) or $250,000 (Chase.)

More importantly, those interest rates are much, much lower than what you can get on savings accounts from other banks.

For example, Vio Bank is currently offering 0.66% APY on its savings account which only requires a $100 minimum deposit. The same $100 in Chase Premier Savings account will only get you an APY of 0.02% while that $100 in Bank of America Advantage Savings account will only garner an APY of 0.01%. That is a yield as much as 66 times lower!

Comparison of Interest Rates on Savings Accounts with $100 Minimum Deposit

Savings AccountAPY
Vio Bank0.66%
Bank of America0.01%
Chase0.02%

The following table compares Bank of America’s Advantage Savings account with the 3 savings accounts from Chase.

Savings Account Comparison | Bank of America vs. Chase


Bank of America Advantage SavingsChase SavingsChase Premier SavingsChase Private Client Savings
Min opening deposit$100$25$100$250,000
Monthly fee$8$5$25None
Min balance to waive monthly fee$500$300$15,000N/A
Autosave from checking to waive monthly fee?NoYes – $25NoN/A
Link to checking accounts to waive monthly fee?YesYesYesN/A
Free for minors?YesYesNoN/A
Free for students?Yes – students under 24Yes – students under 18NoN/A
In-network ATMFreeFreeFreeFree
Out-of-network ATM – USA$2.50$2.50FreeFree
Out-of-network ATM – foreign$5.00$5.00FreeFree
Monthly Withdrawal Limit666Unlimited
Withdrawal Limit Fee$10$5$5None
Min balance to waive withdrawal limit fee$20,000Not waived$15,000N/A
Interest rate for balance < $20,0000.01%0.01%0.02%0.02%
Interest rate for balance $20,000 – $49,9990.02%0.01%0.02%0.02%
Interest rate for balance $50,000 – $99,9990.03%0.01%0.03%0.03%
Interest rate for balance $100,000 – $249,9990.05%0.01%0.04%0.04%
Interest rate for balance > $250,0000.05%0.01%0.05%0.05%

Bank of America Advantage Savings

Bank of America offers one savings account. And its interest rates are very forgettable. Advantage Savings is the only savings account offered by Bank of America.

  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $100. You need at least $100 to open this account
  • Monthly Fee: $8, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: There are 4 ways to waive the monthly fee:
    • Maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or more
    • Be enrolled in Preferred Rewards – at least $20,000 average daily balances in savings, checking, CD, and Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts combined
    • Link your Advantage Savings account to a Bank of America checking account
    • Be a student under 24
  • Overdraft Fee: None. This is a great feature. Instead of charging an overdraft fee, transactions will be declined and returned unpaid when you do not have enough money in your account
  • ATM Fees: There are 3 tiers of ATM fees
    • Bank of America ATMs: Free
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs in the US: $2.50 + fees charged by the ATM owner
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs outside the US: $5.00 + fees charged by the ATM owner
  • Ways to Waive ATM Fees: None
  • Monthly Withdrawal Limit: 6. You can make up to 6 withdrawals or transfers out of your account per monthly statement period for free
  • Withdrawal Limit Fee: $10. You pay $10 for each withdrawal or transfer out of your account over 6 per monthly statement period
  • Way to Waive Withdrawal Limit Fee: Have a minimum daily balance of at least $20,000
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: The interest rate you get on your money depends on what tier you are in. But no matter what tier, the interest rates are very underwhelming
    • Standard: less than $20,000 in combined balances in savings, checking, CD, and brokerage accounts: 0.01% APY
    • Gold Preferred Rewards: $20,000 to $49,999 in combined balances in savings, checking, CD, and brokerage accounts: 0.02% APY
    • Platinum Preferred Rewards: $50,000 to $99,999 in combined balances in savings, checking, CD, and brokerage accounts: 0.03% APY
    • Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards: $100,000+ in combined balances in savings, checking, CD, and brokerage accounts: 0.05% APY

Chase Savings

Chase Savings is Chase’s entry-level savings account. Its interest rate is an anemic 0.01% APY.

  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $25. You need at least $25 to open this account
  • Monthly Fee: $5, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: There are 5 ways to waive the monthly fee:
    • Have a minimum daily balance of at least $300
    • $25 or more in total Autosave or other repeating automatic transfers from your personal Chase checking account
    • Have a Chase College Checking account linked to this account for Overdraft Protection
    • Have a linked Chase Better Banking Checking, Chase Premier Checking, Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Sapphire Checking, or Chase Private Client Checking account
    • Be younger than 18
  • ATM Fees: There are 3 tiers of ATM fees
    • Bank of America ATMs: Free
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs in the US: $2.50 + fees charged by the ATM owner
    • Non-Bank of America ATMs outside the US: $5.00 + fees charged by the ATM owner
  • Ways to Waive ATM Fees: None
  • Monthly Withdrawal Limit: 6. You can make up to 6 withdrawals or transfers out of your account per monthly statement period for free
  • Withdrawal Limit Fee: $5. You pay $5 for each withdrawal or transfer out of your account over 6 per monthly statement period
  • Way to Waive Withdrawal Limit Fee: None
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: Chase Savings offers 1 single interest rate no matter how much money you have
    • 0.01% APY

Chase Premier Savings

Chase Premier Savings is Chase’s higher-end savings account. It offers tiered interest rates based on how much money you have

  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $100. You need at least $100 to open this account
  • Monthly Fee: $25, but there are ways to waive this. See below
  • Ways to Waive Monthly Fee: There are 2 ways to waive the monthly fee:
    • Have a minimum daily balance of at least $15,000
    • Have a linked Chase Premier Plus Checking or Chase Sapphire Checking account
  • ATM Fees: None
  • Monthly Withdrawal Limit: 6. You can make up to 6 withdrawals or transfers out of your account per monthly statement period for free
  • Withdrawal Limit Fee: $5. You pay $5 for each withdrawal or transfer out of your account over 6 per monthly statement period
  • Way to Waive Withdrawal Limit Fee: Have a minimum daily balance of at least $15,000
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: Just like Chase Savings, Chase Premier Savings offers a standard interest rate of just 0.01% APY. But if you link your Chase Premier Savings account to a Chase Premier Plus Checking or Chase Sapphire Checking account, and make at least 5 customer-initiated transactions in a monthly statement period using your linked checking account, you will be qualified for Premier Relationship rates that are higher than the 0.01% standard rate. The Premier Relationship rates are tiered rates based on the size of your account balance
    • Standard rate: 0.01% APY
    • Premier Relationship rates:
      • Balance of $0 – $49,999: 0.02% APY
      • Balance of $50,000 – $99,999: 0.03% APY
      • Balance of $100,000 – $249,999: 0.04% APY
      • Balance of $250,000 and up: 0.05% APY

Chase Private Client Savings

Chase Private Client Savings is Chase’s top-end savings account. To open this account, you need to have a Chase Private Client Checking account. In other words, you need to deposit at least $250,000.

Even though this account is more premium than Chase Premier Savings, it offers the same interest rates as the Premier Relationship rates of Chase Premier Savings.

  • Minimum Deposit to Open: $250,000. To open this account, you need to have a Chase Private Client Checking account which requires a $250,000 opening deposit
  • Monthly Fee: None
  • ATM Fees: None
  • Monthly Withdrawal Limit: None
  • Withdrawal Limit Fee: None
  • Interest Rate on Account Balance: This account offers the same interest rates as the Premier Relationship rates of Chase Premier Savings
    • Balance of $0 – $49,999: 0.02% APY
    • Balance of $50,000 – $99,999: 0.03% APY
    • Balance of $100,000 – $249,999: 0.04% APY
    • Balance of $250,000 and up: 0.05% APY

Bank of America vs. Chase: Certificate of Deposit (CD) Comparison

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are like savings accounts – you put your money in a bank and in return the bank pays you interests. With savings accounts, you can take out your money anytime you want. With CDs, you are committing to keeping your money in your bank for a fixed period – the term of a CD, which can range from a few weeks to 10 years.

The idea is that in exchange for making this commitment, you will get higher interest rates on your CDs than those on your savings accounts. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Bank of America and Chase, as we will see below.

With both Bank of America and Chase, the interest rates you get on CDs range from 0.01% APY to 0.05% APY. These rates are similar to what you could get from those 2 banks’ savings accounts.

More importantly, those CD rates are much, much lower than what you could get on CDs from other banks.

For example, Limelight Bank is currently offering 0.75% APY on CDs with a 36-month term and a $1,000 minimum deposit. The equivalent CDs from Chase only offer an APY of 0.02% while the equivalent CDs from Bank of America only offer an APY of 0.03%. That is a yield as much as 38 times lower!

Comparison of Interest Rates on CDs with a 36 Months Term and $1,000 Minimum Deposit

CDAPY
Limelight Bank0.75%
Bank of America0.03%
Chase0.02%

The table below compares CDs from Bank of America and Chase.

CD Comparison | Bank of America vs. Chase


Bank of America CDChase CD
Minimum Deposit$1,000
$10,000
$1,000
$10,000
Shortest Term28 days1 month
Longest Term10 years10 years
Monthly FeeNoneNone
Compounding PeriodMonthlyDaily
Grace Period7 days10 days
Standard Rate APY0.03%0.01%
Special Rates APY0.05%0.02%
0.05%
Highest APY: 1 month, $1,0000.03%0.02%
Highest APY: 7 months, $1,0000.03%0.02%
Highest APY: 7 months, $10,0000.05%0.05%
Highest APY: 10 months, $1,0000.03%0.02%
Highest APY: 10 months, $10,0000.05%0.05%
Highest APY: 20 months, $1,0000.03%0.02%
Highest APY: 20 months, $10,0000.03%0.05%
Highest APY: 25 months, $1,0000.03%0.02%
Highest APY: 25 months, $10,0000.05%0.05%
Highest APY: 37 months, $1,0000.03%0.02%
Highest APY: 37 months, $10,0000.05%0.05%
Highest APY: 48 months, $1,0000.03%0.02%
Highest APY: 48 months, $10,0000.03%0.05%

Bank of America Certificate of Deposit

Bank of America offers CDs with a wide variety of terms and a low minimum deposit. However, as seen above, the interest rates on those CDs are much lower than what you could get elsewhere.

Bank of America offers 2 types of CD rates:

  • Standard Rates: These are available for CDs with terms ranging from 28 days to 10 years. These CDs have a low minimum deposit requirement: $1,000. Unfortunately, they also have a very low interest rate: 0.03% APY at the last count
  • Featured Rates: These are available for “Featured” CDs. In other words, they are promotional rates. They require a higher minimum deposit than the standard term CDs: $10,000. These rates are higher than the standard rate, 0.05% APY as opposed to the standard rate of 0.03% APY

Other details about Bank of America CDs:

  • Minimum Deposits:
    • $1,000 for Standard Term CD rates
    • $10,000 for Featured CD rates
  • Terms: 28 days to 10 years
  • Monthly Fee: None. This is typical for CDs
  • Compounding Period: Monthly. The compounding period of a CD is how often that CD is accruing compound interests. The more often it is, the more interest you will get. A daily compounding period is better than a monthly compounding period, which is, in turn, better than a quarterly compounding period
  • Early Withdrawal Penalty: If you withdraw money out of your CD before its term is up, you would have to pay a penalty based on the term of your CD. Note that your penalty amount could be more than the interests you earn on your CD if you withdraw early enough, i.e., you could end up losing money
    • CD term < 90 days: Either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn – whichever is more
    • CD term 90 days – 1 year: 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn
    • CD term 1 year – 5 years: 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn
    • CD term > 5 years: 1 year’s worth of interest on the amount withdrawn
  • Grace Period: 7 days. Bank of America CDs automatically renew. After its auto-renewal, you have a grace period of 7 days to withdraw money out of your CD without getting hit by a penalty
  • IRA CD: Yes. You can buy a CD within your IRA
  • Standard Rates:
    • 28 Days: 0.03% APY
    • 6 Months: 0.03% APY
    • 1 Year: 0.03% APY
    • 3 Years: 0.03% APY
    • 5 Years: 0.03% APY
    • 10 Years: 0.03% APY
  • Featured Rates:
    • 7 Months: 0.05% APY
    • 10 Months: 0.05% APY
    • 13 Months: 0.05% APY
    • 25 Months: 0.05% APY
    • 37 Months: 0.05% APY

Chase Certificate of Deposit

Chase offers CDs with a wide variety of terms and a low minimum deposit. The interest rates on Chase CDs are very bad, sometimes even worse than that on Bank of America CDs.

On the other hand, Chase only requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 even for its higher “Relationship” rates. To qualify for Bank of America’s higher “Featured” rates, you need a minimum deposit of $10,000.

Also, Chase CDs have a daily compounding period, better than the monthly compounding period of Bank of America CDs.

Chase offers 2 types of CD rates:

  • Standard Rate: This is the base level rate that is available to everyone. Unfortunately, it is also exceptionally low: 0.01% APY at the last count
  • Relationship Rates: These rates are available to clients who have a Chase checking account linked to their Chase CD. Your Relationship rate depends on the size and the term of your CD deposit. For CDs less than $10,000, the Relationship rate is 0.02% APY. For CDs more than $10,000 with a term of 5 months or less, the Relationship rate is also 0.02% APY. For CDs more than $10,000 with a term of 6 months or more, the Relationship rate is also 0.05% APY

Other details about Chase CDs:

  • Minimum Deposits:
    • $1,000 for Standard rate (0.01%) and the lowest-tier Relationship rate (0.02% APY)
    • $10,000 for the highest-tier Relationship rate (0.05% APY)
  • Terms: 1 month to 10 years
  • Monthly Fee: None. This is typical for CDs
  • Compounding Period: Daily. The compounding period of a CD is how often that CD is accruing compound interests. The more often it is, the more interest you will get. A daily compounding period is better than a monthly compounding period, which is, in turn, better than a quarterly compounding period
  • Early Withdrawal Penalty: If you withdraw money out of your CD before its term is up, you would have to pay a penalty based on the term of your CD. Note that your penalty amount could be more than the interests you earn on your CD if you withdraw early enough, i.e., you could end up losing money
    • CD term < 6 months: 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn
    • CD term 6 months – 2 years: 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn
    • CD term > 2 years: 1 year’s worth of interest on the amount withdrawn
  • Grace Period: 10 days. Bank of America CDs automatically renew. After its auto-renewal, you have a grace period of 10 days to withdraw money out of your CD without getting hit by a penalty
  • IRA CD: No. You cannot buy a CD within your IRA
  • Standard Rate:
    • 1 Month: 0.01% APY
    • 6 Months: 0.01% APY
    • 1 Year: 0.01% APY
    • 3 Years: 0.01% APY
    • 5 Years: 0.01% APY
    • 10 Years: 0.01% APY
  • Relationship Rates:
    • 1 Month, $1,000+: 0.02% APY
    • 7 Months, $1,000 – $9,999: 0.02% APY
    • 7 Months, $10,000+: 0.05% APY
    • 10 Months, $1,000 – $9,999: 0.02% APY
    • 10 Months, $10,000+: 0.05% APY
    • 13 Months, $1,000 – $9,999: 0.02% APY
    • 13 Months, $10,000+: 0.05% APY
    • 20 Months, $1,000 – $9,999: 0.02% APY
    • 20 Months, $10,000+: 0.05% APY
    • 25 Months, $1,000 – $9,999: 0.02% APY
    • 25 Months, $10,000+: 0.05% APY
    • 37 Months, $1,000 – $9,999: 0.02% APY
    • 37 Months, $10,000+: 0.05% APY

Bank of America vs. Chase: Fees Comparison

By now, it should be clear that both Bank of America and Chase love fees and they charge a lot of fees. The table below is a summary of the major fees charged by these 2 banks – checking account monthly fees, savings account monthly fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees, and wire transfer fees.


Bank of AmericaChase
Entry-level Checking Account$4.95$4.95
Mid-tier Checking Account$12$12
Premium Checking Account$25$25
$35
Basic Savings Account$8$5
Premium Savings AccountN/A$25
In-network ATMFreeFree
Out-of-network ATM – USA$2.50$2.50
Out-of-network ATM – foreign$5.00$5.00
Overdraft$35$34
Incoming wire: domestic$15$15
Outgoing wire: domestic$30$25
Incoming wire: international$16$15
Outgoing wire: international, in foreign currency$0$5 for wires < $5,000
$0 for wires >= $5,000
Outgoing wire: international, in US dollar$45$40

Bank of America vs. Chase: Banking Experience Comparison

Bank of America and Chase offer similar banking experiences. They both operate thousands of physical branches in the country. They both have more than 16,000 ATMs available for free to their customers. And they both offer online banking and mobile banking with apps for iOS and Android.

The table below compares Bank of America to Chase in the main areas of banking experiences such as branches, ATM, and customer services.


Bank of AmericaChase
Number of Branches4,3004,700
Number of States36 + D.C.38 + D.C.
Number of Free ATMs16,00016,000
IOS App4.8 out of 5 Stars4.8 out of 5 Stars
Android App4.7 out of 5 Stars4.4 out of 5 Stars
Customer Service: Phone, weekdays8 am ET – 11 pm ET7 am ET – 12 am ET
Customer Service: Phone, weekends8 am ET – 8 pm ET7 am ET – 12 am ET
Customer Service on Social Media?YesYes
Customer Service: Live Chat?YesNo

Conclusion

Internet-only neobanks such as First Internet and financial service mobile apps such as Venmo and Robinhood are all the rage. There are talks that the traditional bricks and mortar giant banks with branches and tellers are going the way of the dinosaurs.

For one thing, these neobanks and financial apps are more tech-savvy and innovative. They can move at the speed of a Silicon Valley startup, much faster than that of a traditional giant bank slowed down by bureaucracy, For another, these neobanks and apps do not have the high-cost structure of having to maintain an extensive network of branches, enabling them to offer lower fees and more competitive interest rates. It almost seems like there is no reason for any consumer to go with a traditional giant bank in this day and age.

But yet, there are still a few reasons why someone would want to choose a traditional giant bank. First, it is security. If the 2008 financial crisis has taught us one thing, it is that banks can go bankrupt. Keeping your money in an upstart neobank is going to be riskier than keeping it in a giant bank that is “too big to fail” in the eyes of the United States government. Note that this is only the case if your bank balance is more than the FDIC insurance limit of $250,000. If your balance is less than that limit, all your money in the bank is insured by FDIC and you do not have to worry about your bank failing. Second, it is convenient. If you prefer to do your banking in person, you are better off with a giant bank with thousands of branches all over the country.

Chase and Bank of America are as gigantic as they come. As the number 1 and number 2 banks in the United States, they are no doubt “too big to fail.” They have branches everywhere, perfect for those who prefer banking in person. If you are looking for a large traditional bank, Chase and Bank of America are two of the top choices.