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Reviews

Never pay an overdraft fee with the Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking account

Select reviews the Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking account.

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Opening a checking account is usually one of the very first steps you take when starting off on your own financial journey.

With a checking account, your money is stored in a safe place that you can conveniently tap into whenever you need to make a deposit or withdraw cash.

With Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®, you don't have to fork over a large sum to meet the minimum of opening an account, and customers can rely on a large ATM network with zero overdraft fees.

Here's a deep dive into Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking's annual percentage yield (APY), access to your cash, perks and fees, so you can decide if this brick-and-mortar checking account is a good choice for you.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking review

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®

  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $0 for eligible students under 24

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $25

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Free ATM network

    16,000+ ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    None

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply. Bank of America is a Member FDIC.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking APY

Access to your cash

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking account holders can conveniently access their cash every day thanks to BoA's network of over 16,000 free ATMs. You can also visit one of BoA's 4,000-plus branches for all your in-person banking needs.

Unlike most other checking accounts, Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking does not charge any overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees. To help its users avoid overdrawing from their account, transactions will be declined and returned unpaid when they don't have enough money in their account. You can also set up email or mobile alerts to notify you when you have a low balance in your account or when items are not paid.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking is a "checkless" checking account, which means users cannot write personal paper checks. Account holders can send and receive money to others via Zelle®, which is integrated into BoA's Mobile Banking app.

Perks

With Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking, checking account holders can count on the below perks:

  • Earn cash back with BankAmeriDeals®, offers apply to participating stores and restaurants. Activation is required to benefit from each deal.
  • Zelle is integrated directly into BoA's Mobile Banking app, allowing you to send and receive money within minutes.
  • Over 16,000 fee-free Bank of America ATMs, so you can get cash or deposit money on the go without paying a fee.
  • Access to Erica, your very own virtual banking assistant.
  • Mobile check deposit, which allows you to easily take a photo of a check and deposit it using BoA's Mobile Banking app, saving you a trip to an ATM or bank.
  • Lock and unlock your card, halting most new transactions if your card is stolen, lost or misplaced. Autopay, returns, credits and some other transactions may continue to be processed.

Fees

The Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking account requires a low $25 minimum opening deposit and a monthly maintenance fee of $4.95. Account holders can waive the $4.95 monthly fee by meeting one of these requirements each statement cycle:

  • Be a Preferred Rewards client (requires a minimum three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 in qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill® investment accounts)
  • Be a student under age 24 who's enrolled in high school or a college, university or vocational program

The monthly fee and account deposit minimum are lower than other BoA checking accounts: the Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking® ($100 minimum deposit; $12 monthly fee) and the Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking® ($100 minimum deposit; $25 monthly fee). Unlike these two other checking accounts, Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking also charges no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees.

While Bank of America has over 16,000 fee-free ATMs, if you use a non-Bank of America ATM, Bank of America will charge you an ATM fee of $2.50 per U.S. transaction or $5 for each foreign country transaction. The ATM operator may also charge an additional fee.

Bottom line

The Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking account is a good starter checking account as it requires a low minimum deposit and has a nominal monthly fee (with the ability to avoid fees if you're a student), plus no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees.

While the Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking does require a higher minimum deposit ($100), this is a good alternative since it has more options to waive the monthly fee. Read Select's full review of the Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking account.

Those looking to open a BoA savings account should consider Bank of America Advantage Savings, which ranked on Select's list of the best brick-and-mortar savings accounts. Learn all about it's perks and benefits in our BoA Advantage Savings review.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.