Whether you’re new to banking or looking to switch banks, you’re probably familiar with Chase and Bank of America. These are two of the biggest names in the banking industry. Each has similar product offerings, from a simple checking account to rewards-earning credit cards. Plus, as big banks, each has thousands of branches and ATMs across the country for your convenience. So, should you choose Chase or Bank of America?
Consider working with a financial advisor to help you with all aspects of your finances.
Who Should Bank With Chase?
Chase is the largest bank in the U.S., across every metric. It operates more than 4,800 branches in 48 states and the District of Columbia as well as some 16,000 ATMs. If convenience is a priority then Chase may be good choice.
But for all its size, its interest rates are curiously unimpressive. Even so, Chase offers several distinct banking options, which enables it to provide services to customers at every income level. Its two basic savings accounts are called the Chase Savings and Chase Premier Savings accounts. The latter of which offers slightly better rates and benefits and is catered toward customers with higher balances. There are several options for waiving the attached fees that Chase employs, but most of them hinge on maintaining certain account minimums. If you’re starting out unsteady, Chase may not be for you.
Who Should Bank With Bank of America?
With a beginning in 1904 as the Bank of Italy, the Bank of America of today has expanded worldwide. Not only that, but its offerings of banking products have grown to include home loans, auto loans, investment opportunities with Merrill Lynch and more. It operates approximately 3,900 branches and thousands of ATMs.
Though one of the nation’s largest banks, it doesn’t feature any of the nation’s highest-earning interest rates. So if you’re focused on other benefits in addition to building your current savings incrementally, BoA could be a great place for you to have an account.
Perhaps the strongest feature that Bank of America offers customers is its Apple and Android mobile apps. Through these platforms, users can review their account activity and balances, order new checks, order debit card replacements, mobile bill pay, do internal transfers and, via Zelle, do external transfers, find ATMs and branches in their area, set up secure login procedures and more.
Chase vs. Bank of America: Bank Accounts
Both big banks offer a variety of bank accounts, allowing customers to benefit from the convenience of having a full suite with one company. With Chase, you can open two kinds of savings accounts – Chase Savings and Chase Premier Savings accounts. The bank offers eight types of checking accounts, Total Checking, Premier Plus Checking, Secure Banking, First Banking, High School Checking, College Checking, Sapphire Checking and Private Client Checking. The bank offers numerous certificates of deposit (CDs), ranging in length from one month to 10 years.
Bank of America offers a wide range of accounts tailored to its customers, including multiple savings accounts – one of which, its Rewards Savings Account, offers benefits based on your spending patterns. The bank has two types of CDs, both with a minimum initial deposit of $1,000. It also offers tax-advantaged plans like traditional and Roth IRAs.
Chase vs. Bank of America: Fees
On the whole, Bank of America and Chase charge similar fees for their accounts. Bank of America has a higher monthly fee for its savings account. However, most its checking accounts have much lower monthly fees. This is due to Chase’s many checking accounts increasing in rewards levels, making the fees more expensive. For example, the Chase Premier Plus Checking comes with a $25 monthly fee. However, you can have these fees waived by meeting one of the account’s requirements.
Neither bank charges maintenance fees for their CD accounts. You could run into early withdrawal penalties, though, for withdrawing any part of an account’s principal amount before maturity.
You’ll also always want to watch out for overdraft fees and foreign ATM fees. These are easily avoidable by using your account and money responsibly.
Chase vs. Bank of America Fees
|Chase||Bank of America|
|Basic Checking Account||$0 or $12 per month, (can be waived)||$4.95, $12 or $25 per month (can be waived)|
|Basic Savings Account||$0 or $5 per month, (can be waived)||$8 per month, (can be waived)|
|Non-bank ATM in the U.S.||$3 per transaction||$2.50 per transaction|
Chase vs. Bank of America: Rates
Unfortunately, big banks like Chase and Bank of America can’t compete with online banks and credit unions when it comes to interest rates. Chase’s base rate is the lowest you can possibly earn, at a 0.01% APY. You can earn a higher rate of 0.02% by opening a Chase Premier Savings account, linking it to a Chase checking account and having a balance of at least $250,000. Chase CDs carry annual percentage yields that range from 0.01% to 5.00%, depending on balance and term.
Bank of America’s basic checking account offers 0.01% to 0.02%, with qualified account activity. Its basic savings account gives 0.01%, also with qualified account activity. The bank’s money market accounts provide a range of rates, from 0.03% to 0.6%, depending on term and balance. The interest rate for CDs are from 0.03% to 5.00%.
Chase mortgage rates, as of mid-2022, range from 5.75% for a 15-year fixed loan to 6.75% for a 30-year fixed loan. The former carries an interest rate of 6.111%; the latter carries an a rate of 6.98%.
Bank of America’s rates on its fixed-rate conventional mortgages, with 15-, 20- and 30-year terms, are also attractive. As of mid-2022 its 30-year fixed mortgage was offering 5.625% and its 15-year fixed was 4.625%. Although shorter-term loans allow you to save significantly on interest, you will then be subject to larger monthly payments. But if you can afford these heftier bills, it’s well worth doing.
Overall, if you’re choosing between Chase and Bank of America, the better option for you will really depend on your personal banking needs and preferences. Both are big banks with thousands of branches and tens of thousands of ATMs. Chase offers a wider variety of accounts, though it is lacking in IRA options. Chase’s website and mobile interfaces are both easily navigable and full of convenient features. Bank of America has about 3,900 branches compared to Chase’s 4,800 branches.
Tips for Finding the Right Bank
- You’ll need more than just a quality bank to grow your money and get ready for retirement. A financial advisor is also a crucial piece of the equation. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Our free savings calculator will help you determine how your future savings will grow based on APY, initial deposit and periodic contributions and help you make a smart decision when planning your finances and choosing your a bank.
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