Chase vs. Bank of America
If you want to bank with a big and reputable name, both Chase and Bank of America are solid options. JPMorgan Chase has been in business for more than 200 years, with branches in 29 U.S. states and D.C. as well as international locations. Similarly, Bank of America’s history reaches back 240 years, and today you can find Bank of America locations in 37 states and D.C.
These two juggernauts each offer similar menus of account options, which may make it difficult to decide which bank is the better bet. After reviewing both bank’s offerings, we can safely say that perhaps neither is the best option, given their low rates on accounts like savings and CDs and their tendency to charge fees for accounts with low balances, unless banking with a recognizable name with physical branch locations is your top priority.
Chase vs. Bank of America: Which offers better rates?
Looking at rates on basic products like savings, checking and CDs, neither Chase nor Bank of America offer competitive interest rates on its standard accounts compared to the national average and far below what online banks offer. Still, it looks like Bank of America offers the better deals.
|Bank Account||Chase||Bank of America||National average||Online bank average|
|Savings||0.01% APY||0.03% APY||0.262% APY||1.52% APY|
|Checking||0.01% APY||0.01 - 0.02% APY||0.189% APY||0.41% APY|
|1-year CD||0.01% APY||0.05% APY||1.268% APY||2.09% APY|
|5-year CD||0.50% APY||1.00% APY||2.206% APY||2.70% APY|
These rates are accurate as of 1/21/2019
Bank of America comes out ahead in this matchup, but it’s worth noting that Chase does offer some opportunities for slight rate boosts. You can earn relationship rates on your Chase Premier Savings account if you link the account to a qualifying checking account and make at least five customer-initiated transactions each month with your linked checking account. So instead of earning at a 0.01% APY, you can earn between 0.04% and 0.11% APY, depending on your balance. You can also snag slightly higher relationship rates by linking a qualifying Chase checking account on a Chase CD.
Bank of America’s Rewards Savings account earns higher rates for Preferred Rewards customers. Depending on your level of enrollment (based on your qualifying combined Bank of America and/or Merrill Edge/Merrill Lynch balances), this can boost your standard rate to between 0.04% and 0.06% APY. The bank also offers a few Featured CD accounts which earn at slightly better rates than the standard.
Chase vs. Bank of America: Account options
Chase account options
Hands down, Chase offers more bank account options than Bank of America. At Chase, you can find two savings accounts and three personal checking accounts. The Chase Premier Savings and Chase Sapphire Checking accounts both require an opening deposit of at least $100, while the others only require at least $25. The bank also offers two student checking accounts, one for high school students and one for college students, where the main benefit is lower monthly fees. Chase doesn’t offer a money market account.
As for CDs, Chase offers a wide range of CD terms from one month to 120 months. There are also a number of Featured Terms, ranging from nine to 41 months. Each CD requires a minimum deposit of at least $1,000 to open. Although it was once an option, you can’t open a new Chase CD as an IRA anymore.
In addition to personal deposit accounts, Chase also offer auto loans, mortgages and home equity lines of credit, investment accounts and commercial banking.
Bank of America account options
In contrast to Chase’s deposit accounts spread, Bank of America offers only one main savings account, the Rewards Savings Account, although it earns at a higher standard rate than the savings accounts offered by Chase. You’ll need at least $100 to open the account. There are also a Minor Savings Account (designed for joint ownership between a minor and parent/guardian) and a Custodial (UTMA) Savings Account.
The bank technically offers one checking account, Bank of America Advantage Banking, but it comes in three different “settings” so you can choose your most ideal account based on your preferences. The first account, focused on no overdraft fees, requires a minimum opening deposit of at least $25. The two remaining settings require an opening deposit of at least $100 and include more features and the ability to earn interest on your balance.
Similar to Chase, Bank of America CDs range from 28 days to 120 months and require an opening deposit of at least $1,000. There are a few Featured CDs available that require at least $10,000 to open. Unlike Chase, however, Bank of America does allow you to open its CDs as IRAs. This includes Featured CD IRAs which require a lessened minimum opening deposit of $2,000. There is also a Money Market IRA option which requires at least $100 to open.
Other Bank of America offerings include auto loans, mortgages and home equity lines of credit, investment accounts (which are handled through Merrill Edge) and commercial banking.
Chase vs. Bank of America: Fees
|Chase||Bank of America|
|Standard savings account||$5||$8|
|Standard checking account||$12||$4.95|
|Non-bank ATM withdrawal fee||$2.50 each within the U.S.|
$5 each outside the U.S.
Waived for Chase Sapphire Checking
|$2.50 each within the U.S.|
$5 each outside the U.S.
|ATM refund?||With Chase Sapphire Checking||With Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors|
|Overdraft fee||$34||$35, waived with Advantage SafeBalance Banking|
|Paper statement copy fee||$6 per copy||$5 per copy|
As is typical with brick-and-mortar banks, the more perks your account has, the higher the monthly fee will be. Chase and Bank of America are no different. For example, the Chase Savings account charges a $5 monthly fee while the Chase Premier Savings account, with relationship rates opportunities, charges a $25 monthly fee. The same is true for Bank of America’s Advantage Banking accounts, where the fees range from $4.95 to $25. The most expensive account setting, Advantage Relationship, earns interest on all balances.
Both banks do often give you the chance to waive monthly fees on all savings and checking accounts. You can typically do this by maintaining a minimum balance, linking accounts together or by making a certain number of transactions each month.
Of course, monthly account fees aren’t the only fees that banks charge, especially big banks like Chase and Bank of America. Check out some of the common fees you can run into.
Who should bank with Chase?
Chase offers its customers with a wider variety of account options, giving you more choices when looking for the right account. You’ll have your pick of three different checking accounts, each varying in fees and perks. The bank also allows you to pick your own CD term length (from one to 120 months), unlike most online banks which typically offer a limited number of options like nine different terms ranging from three to 60 months.
Because of its wide account offerings, Chase is a good option if you want to keep all your accounts with the same bank. That way, you don’t have to bounce from bank to bank to manage your money.
Since you’re looking for a brick-and-mortar bank, it’s important to note that Chase is largely absent from Midwestern and Southern U.S. states. If you don’t live in a state with Chase branches, it may not be worthwhile to open an account. You also shouldn’t bank with Chase if you’re looking for high interest rates. With its established reputation and thousands of branches to maintain, Chase does not offer competitve savings through its deposit accounts.
Who should bank with Bank of America
With locations in 37 states and D.C., mostly missing in the Western/Midwestern region of the country, Bank of America offers more widespread physical access to your money. This is helpful if you travel the country often, for example, and want a better chance of finding a branch. You can easily find the nearest branch or ATM online or on your Bank of America mobile app.
Bank of America has expanded its mobile features to include a virtual financial assistant called Erica. You can instruct Erica, through voice commands or text, to make transactions like transfers or take certain actions like locking a debit card. The feature also alerts you to periodic charges, provides routing numbers, schedules payments and more. So if you’re looking for added convenience in managing your bank accounts, Bank of America could be the solution.
Similar to the situation with Chase, you shouldn’t turn to Bank of America if you’re looking for the highest deposit account rates. If you need to choose between these two big banks, however, Bank of America offers marginally better rates on its accounts.
Chase vs Bank Of America ... And Why You Do Not Want To Use Them
Just sort of thinking out loud, I could not IMAGINE doing banking (as opposed to credit card) business with a financial institution having foreigners at the other end of the line when I call in. Why would any American choose that option when there are so many financial institutions offering fellow Americans at the other end of the line when you need help?
I have already done this, obviously. I was so surprised to discover the difference in ChexSystems reporting by large banks as contrasted with smaller banks and credit unions. Fortunately for me I conduct most of my banking business with the smaller institutions. The sort of data dump, to ChexSystems, done by banks such as Chase and BoA . . . and others . . . . leaves me feeling queasy.
In addition, ChexSystems is a separate, ADDITIONAL, channel for potential privacy breaches. You appear to have missed the point of my post, to wit:
The way to avoid detailed data dumps of your financial data to ChexSystems is to avoid the large, money center, banks. Emphasis there is on the word "detailed" and, yes, that means FAR more detailed than anything you will ever find on any credit report.
Do not sweat your credit cards with the big banks. You will be fine with those. It's your bank accounts, savings, checking, CDs, and so forth that are the concern. And, again, only with the larger banks.
Insofar as obtaining your ChexSystems report, Google is your friend. And remember, the report is free. You are a knowledgeable investor so am a tad bit surprised you've never requested a ChexSystems report prior.
I have not seen a ChexSystems report before, so can you expand on what kind of intrusive extra private info. they report there? Is it more than your name, address, etc. along with bounced checks fees?
Sure. OK, let's see. First let me reiterate that I do not, for the most part, do business with the big money center banks . . . outside of credit card business, of course. So, please understand, I cannot respond to your inquiry based upon a large sample base. Regardless, from what I am seeing with just one larger bank, ChexSystems has all my bank account (that's bank account, not CC account) numbers, to include all my CD account numbers together with savings and checking account numbers, they have the date of the last time status of each account changed, along with present status, they have the date the account was opened, they have my driver's license number, and they even have the email address I shared with the bank but NEVER intended for the bank to release to a third party!! All that together with the more routine and anticipated stuff like bank's routing number, my address for each account, my DOB, my telephone number, my ID# (whatever that is), and I could be missing some stuff.
To be candid, it would shorter and easier to list what they do NOT have. I think ChexSystems has about all the information I gave this bank. And it is WAY more information than I want them to have.
After all that I need to repeat myself in order to emphasize a key point. Not all banks share with ChexSystems like the big banks share. Most, the overwhelming majority, of the financial institutions where I do business have shared NOTHING with ChexSystems. And that is how I like things to be. There was the one bank that shared, as reported above. But for me that one bank was the exception, thank goodness.
That sounds like everything except for dollar$ amounts, wow!
Sorry - couldn't resist.
Each one of them banked closed to a trillion dollars for free and used those money to invest in the stock markets around the globe.
They are ripping billions upon billions of those investments each year and could care less for the US consumers. They lend money very rare to anybody, but issue IPOs for huge profit of 10-20% upfront. They have capital to run forever and do not want to pay any interest nor give purchase money to consumers. Speaking of selfish and evil entities, you are looking at them.
I hope most DA readers are as savvy as you folk and read this for informational purposes only. tl;dr: larger B&M banks (ESPECIALLY Chase and BoA) are customer unfriendly and terrible options (with a few super specific caveats) given the online playing field.
As others have said, you don't need to worry about getting a credit card with these giants. That's a license for them to siphon money from merchants and not you so it's reasonably safe. Is it bad for the collective good? Some would say yes if you've read about swipe fees, how just bonkers they are, and how it increases the costs for everyone but I feel this is definitely an area where one person cannot make a difference.
Back to banking though. I had an account with Chase from a bank they bought. Long story short there was little reason to use the account so I got a notice saying the account was going to be closed with the money going to "the State" and it would be a huge hassle to recover it if I didn't close the account myself. Welp as you can imagine, unlike the vast majority of banks, you can only close an account in person. Luckily I was taking a trip a few states away where there would be a Chase branch but this is predatory considering the size of the institution.
BoA offers more if you have a "relationship" with them but it's very codependent (i.e. they need you to enable them to take money from you for a vast variety of reasons). If you're already in bed and having a hard time getting out, i.e. you have their awful fee filled Merrill brokerage (srsly, any other brokerage is better, throw a dart), it might be worth it as you can get their garbage checking/savings accounts without fees (provided you have a certain balance).
I'm sure plenty of DA readers have or have had an account with these two financial vampires but I'd be surprised if they rated them highly and/or did most of their banking with them. If you're out there, enlighten us.
RIP vs OFF
GO vs ELSEWHERE
I think that I am in the minority here to bank at BofA (agreed that Chase are a bunch of robbers, but I have their 3% for every purchase freedom Unlimited card for a year). Well, I am even a platinum honor member. Main reasons: (1) extremely low APY (Prime - 1.01%) HELOC with frequent promotional rate (the recent one is 0.99% for six months), (2) and two of my Cash Rewards credit cards earned 5.25% cash rewards (that I choose dining for this months), and (3) I am treated well, too.:D
Of course, I have other banks/credit unions for high-rate savings as well.
Taking the best attributes of each, so to speak.
I did not forget about privacy. Do not care much even if I loses some privacy, anything you do nowadays, you may lose that part anyway (knowingly or unknowingly), no difference. To me, it does not bother me at all. Neither are the huge crowd that are enjoying their highly-rewarding credit cards (not a commercial! :D).
Not sure I understand the argument about goods and services, I need to buy those at the same price anyway, why not getting some cash reward to go with the purchase? Unless the merchants refuse the use of credit cards or have different price for credit card users and chas users, it shouldn't matter. Having discount or not always applies to all customers, not singly to credit card users (gasoline may be the only exception). For those cases, simply go to another merchant. The argument of not using reward credit card seems a bit weak.
I am earning thousands of dollars in extra cash rewards monthly for things I have to purchase anyway and I am happy with that. Nothing else matters to me ( I am Rhett:D).
Some may be fearful of losing privacy and have a logic not to get any cash rewards via credit card. I respect that, too. :-)
Avoid the $10 monthly service fee with one of the following each fee period:
10 or more posted debit card purchases/payments,1 OR
Qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more, OR
$1,500 minimum daily balance
No interest paid at all.
For saving accounts with 2% interest
Special Interest Rates are available for accounts with aggregate balances up to $1 million, and require $25,000 deposited to the account from sources outside of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., or its affiliates. To receive the Bonus or 2% APY the account must remain linked to a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® relationship. If the Portfolio by Wells Fargo relationship is terminated, the Bonus Interest Rate on all eligible savings accounts will discontinue and revert to the Bank's then current applicable Standard Interest Rate or Special Interest Rate of 0.03%.
Where are the great rates you are claiming or talking about?
Here are the Best National Banks of 2019:
First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company
Charles Schwab Bank
Great Western Bank
BBVA Compass Bank
Bank of the West
Branch Banking and Trust Company
As you can see, Wells Fargo is missing. Sun Trust does need any requirements like Portfolios or other investments to qualify for the 2% interest rate on savings.
Why do I stay at a large bank? Well, because when the stuff ever hits the fan, all the great rate banks with one branch or too little capital to operate or whatever, will fail you or otherwise complicate your life. The infrastructure, technology and capital structure of smaller institutions does not compare to the larger banks.
I have seen small, medium and large banks mess up royally and size does not necessarily increase or reduce the potential to mess up. However, size does determine the ability to clean -up, shore -up and survive.
Big banks are not for everyone. But for me and my house, we will always have at least one account with a large bank.
That is your answer, kill the competition or close them down and you become monopoly. When the competition is eliminated, no need to pay interest on the deposits or gouge the consumers with bad loans and rates.
I have credit cards from both but rarely use them as they do not offer the best cashback most of the time.
I think I have a SDB at one of the local brick & mortar banks but otherwise, see little benefit compared to CUs and internet banks.
Over time, I think there will be fewer & fewer brick & mortar banks. I am a bit surprised their demise has not been faster.
While BoA and Chase would be good for a certain kind of clientele, but for most people, a regional bank or credit union would be a better choice. I use a regional bank for my DD. After paying bills and investments, extra cash gets transferred to higher-yield savings accounts.
Or you can join a Credit Union, whose COOP ATM network VASTLY outnumber either of these banks, and not be ripped off in every fashion, every day of your life by these bloodsuckers.
Or you can smile while you're being fleeced, and perhaps be "Customer 52,245" in the latest lawsuit against these crooked banks...
On the other hand, Merrill Edge can be paired with BoA checking and credit cards to get the 2.625% on everything and 5.25% on a selected category. And since I just checked, BoA is offering a 13 month CD for 1.70%, a 25 month CD for 1.8% and a 37 month CD for 2% APY. Of course, these are all over a percentage point below the leaders on Deposit Accounts, but they are competitive among big banks.