Banking » Reviews » Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking: 2024 Review
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Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking: 2024 Review

The Advantage Safebalance is the most basic BoFa checking account. It has almost everything for starters, but not for advanced users
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking

Fees

$4.95 Can be waived if you are a student under the age of 25, you’re aged under 18 or you’ve enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program

Minimum Deposit

$25

Promotion

None

Our Rating

4.1
4.1/5

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking

Fees

$4.95 Can be waived if you are a student under the age of 25, you’re aged under 18 or you’ve enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program

Minimum Deposit

$25

Promotion

None

Our Rating

4.1
4.1/5

Bank of America is one of the largest financial institutions in America and so it should come as no surprise that this bank has a comprehensive product line including several checking account options.

The Bank of America Advantage Safebalance is the most basic checking account offered and it provides a flexible account option with no option to go overdrawn, making it ideal for those who are trying to get their finances under control or who have struggled to maintain a more feature heavy checking account.

BoFa Advantage SafeBalance Banking: Account Features

The Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking account is designed to provide customers with a simple and affordable way to manage their finances. This account has a number of unique features that set it apart from other traditional checking accounts.

As with all of the Bank of America checking account options, the Advantage SafeBalance has a monthly maintenance fee.

The current fee for this account is $4.95, but this fee can only be waived if you are a student under the age of 25, you’re aged under 18 or you’ve enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program.

This is less flexible than the other Bank of America checking accounts, as most people will end up paying the fee.

Although you don’t need to carry a specific balance to maintain this account, there is an initial deposit requirement of at least $25.

This is lower than the other Bank of America checking account options, which may make it more accessible for some users.

Zelle allows you to quickly send or receive money from family members and friends. While you can use Zelle independently, it is integrated into the Bank of America app, which provides higher transfer limits and greater ease of use. You can also set a direct deposit with Bank Of America.

BofA Transfer Money Zelle
Send or receive money with Zelle (Screenshot from Bank Of America app)

Bank of America has an ATM network with approximately 16,000 machines. This means that with your SafeBalance account, it should be simple to find a fee fee machine in your area.

Bear in mind that if you use a non network machine, you will incur a fee, so be sure to check the ATM finder on the Bank of America website or app to discover where you’ll find the surcharge ATMs nearby.

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Fees:
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• Earn an extra $500 when you set up recurring monthly Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 for 3 months
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Fees:
No monthly fees No monthly fees and no overdraft fees. Plus get reimbursed for ATM fees with an active account 
Rewards:
Up to 2% cash back Up to 2% cash back on common everyday expenses for active accounts with monthly $1,000 direct deposit, and up to 1% cash back for other purchases 
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Promotion:
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• Receive a cash bonus of $1,500 when you deposit or invest $100,000 – $199,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,000 when you deposit or invest $200,000 – $299,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,500 when you deposit or invest $300,000 – 499,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $3,500 when you deposit or invest $500,000+

• Earn an extra $500 when you set up recurring monthly Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 for 3 months
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Get access to wealth products, insights and advice from an HSBC Financial Professional through HSBC Securities (USA) Inc
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Is the BoFa Advantage SafeBalance Banking Good?

There is no simple answer to this question as whether you consider the Advantage SafeBalance Banking account good will depend on your preferences, requirements and circumstances.

However, there are some pros and cons that may help you to decide.

Pros
Cons
Access to a Massive Branch Network
Monthly Maintenance Fee
Highly Rated App
No Possibility for Overdrafts
Mobile Check Deposit
Fees
Lock and Unlock Your Card
No Checks

While you can manage your account online or using the app, account holders can also access Bank of America’s branch network.

Bank of America has approximately 4,000 branches throughout the U.S, which makes it quite easy to visit a physical location and access in person support.

Bank of America has a highly rated app that offers a great user experience. 

The app allows you to manage almost every aspect of your account on the go, including Zelle integration to quickly send and receive money.

Although you can use a Bank of America ATM or branch to make deposits, if you have checks, you don’t even need to leave the house.

The Bank of America app has mobile check deposit which just requires a few basic details for the check and then snapping a picture using your device when prompted.

BofA Mobile Deposit
(Screenshot from Bank Of America app)

If you lose or misplace your card, or suspect it may have been stolen, you don’t need to be concerned about unauthorized transactions. You can lock your card via the online or app platform, so you don’t need to call the helpline or visit a branch.

The waiver criteria for the account’s monthly maintenance fee is a little thin, so if you’re not a student or under 18, the only way to avoid the fee is to be a Preferred Rewards member.

This account does not allow overdrafts. If you have insufficient funds, any transactions will be automatically declined.

This is a basic account, but the fee structure is not particularly streamlined. You may encounter fees for a number of activities including card replacement, non network ATM transactions, and wire transfers.

While it is possible to have paper checks with the other accounts such as the BoFa Advantage banking, this facility is not available with the Advantage SafeBalance.

When BoFa Advantage SafeBalance May Be Relevant?

The Bank Of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking is a streamlined checking account, with no paper check writing abilities and no possibility for overdrafts.

While this may not appeal to everyone, it is a good option for those who want to simplify their banking or are looking for second-chance banking. Although it may be tricky for many people to have the monthly fee waived, the fee is far lower than with the other Bank of America checking accounts.

However, if you need more account features or want to earn interest on your balance, you may wish to consider the higher tier Bofa Advantage Relationship checking account.

BofA spending chart
(Screenshot from Bank Of America app)

Is Bank of America a Good Bank to Work With?

As with the majority of traditional bricks and mortar banks, Bank of America does not have an excellent reputation on the popular consumer review websites. There are a number of complaints and negative comments about the level of customer service and the automated answering.

On the other hand, Bank of America does have an impressive product line with savings, CDs, credit cards, loans and other products, with several choices for each type of account. This makes it far easier to move all of your finances under one roof to make managing your money a little simpler.

However, you do need to be prepared for not getting the highest deposit rates on the market. If you want to achieve the highest returns on your money, you may need to forgo the option of branch support and look at online banks.

How to Open a SafeBalance Account?

While you can visit a Bank of America branch in your area to open an account, it is simple to open an account online using the Bank of America website.

  1. Visit the Advantage SafeBalance Product Page: You’ll need to navigate to the Advantage SafeBalance product page which you’ll find under “Checking” on the top bar. The product page will provide an overview of the account and you can then click the blue “Open Now” button.
  2. Confirm Your Customer Status: The first screen you’ll see has a couple of basic questions to confirm if you’re an existing Bank of America customer and if you want to open a savings account along with your new checking account. If you have a promo code, be sure to enter it into the box at this point.
  3. Complete the Application Form: You’ll need to complete all of the mandatory fields including your full name, date of birth, contact information, Social Security Number and a few basic financial details.
  4. Add a Co-Owner (Where Appropriate): If you would like to have a joint account, you’ll see an option for adding a co-owner.  To make the account into a joint account, you will need to tick the box and then provide all the above details for the second person.
  5. Complete Account Set Up: The final step to complete the account set up is to provide details for funding your account with at least $25. You can then review the terms and conditions, and then submit the application.

FAQs

No, Advantage SafeBalance is not an interest bearing account. If you want to earn interest on your balance, you will need to look at the Advantage Relationship checking account.

Bank of America does periodically have promotions for new account holders. You’ll need to keep an eye out for promo codes and be sure to enter the code into the box in the first application form screen

If you want to close your Advantage SafeBalance account, you’ll need to either visit a local branch or call the customer helpline. A Bank of America representative can then walk you through the closure process.

How We Review Checking Accounts: Our Methodology

The Smart Investor team has conducted a comprehensive review of checking accounts offered by various banks, taking into account several key factors to provide a thorough evaluation. Here's how we rated them across four important categories:

  • Checking Account Features (60%): We meticulously assessed the features and benefits associated with each bank's checking accounts. Factors considered include account fees, minimum balance requirements, ATM access, overdraft protection, online and mobile banking functionalities, and additional perks such as rewards programs. Higher ratings were awarded to banks offering a wide range of features and benefits that cater to diverse customer needs, ensuring convenience and flexibility in managing finances.

  • Customer Experience (20%): A positive customer experience is essential in banking, so we evaluated each bank's performance in this area. This included assessing the ease of account opening, quality of customer service, availability of support channels, and overall user satisfaction. Ratings were based on factors such as responsiveness, efficiency, and the bank's commitment to meeting customer needs, ensuring a seamless and satisfactory banking experience.

  • Diversity of Other Financial Products (10%): We also considered the diversity of other financial products offered by each bank, such as savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and investment options. Higher ratings were given to banks with a comprehensive suite of financial products, allowing customers to meet their various banking and financial needs in one place.

  • Bank Reputation (10%): The reputation of a bank is a crucial factor in decision-making. We examined factors such as financial stability, regulatory compliance, and public perception to determine each institution's overall trustworthiness and reliability. Higher ratings were assigned to banks with strong reputations, reflecting their credibility and ability to inspire confidence among customers.

By considering these categories and assigning appropriate weights to each, our review aims to provide valuable insights to help individuals make informed decisions when selecting a checking account

Checking Accounts Reviews

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Fees:
No monthly fees No monthly fees and no overdraft fees. Plus get reimbursed for ATM fees with an active account 
Rewards:
Up to 2% cash back Up to 2% cash back on common everyday expenses for active accounts with monthly $1,000 direct deposit, and up to 1% cash back for other purchases 

Promotion:
$300 Use Promo Code “AXOS300” for a $300 bonus when you apply for a Rewards Checking account
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to get the maximum rate (up to $50,000) you’ll need monthly direct deposits of $1,500 (0.40% APY), 10 transaction on your debit card (+0.30% APY), average daily balance of $2,500 on Axos Invest Managed Portfolio (+1.00% APY), average daily balance of $2,500 on Axos Invest Self Directed Trading Account(+1.00% APY) and make full monthly payment on loans (mortgage, personal and auto) with Axos account (+0.60% APY).

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0.15% APY on daily balances of less than $20,000 or 0.35% APY on daily balances of $20,000 up to $50,000
Get paid up to 2 days early
Set up direct deposits and get your paycheck up to 2 days early

Promotion:
Up to $4,000 New customers may earn up to $4,000 when they open an eligible HSBC Premier checking account from January 8, 2024 through March 27, 2024 and complete qualifying activities:

• Receive a cash bonus of $1,500 when you deposit or invest $100,000 – $199,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,000 when you deposit or invest $200,000 – $299,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,500 when you deposit or invest $300,000 – 499,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $3,500 when you deposit or invest $500,000+

• Earn an extra $500 when you set up recurring monthly Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 for 3 months
Wealth Products & Advice
Get access to wealth products, insights and advice from an HSBC Financial Professional through HSBC Securities (USA) Inc
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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