Bank of America is one of the biggest banks in the US, with nearly 4,000 branches and 15,000 ATMs. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank provides a full suite of banking and financial products and services to nearly 70 million retail banking customers and small business clients.
Despite its large presence in the banking industry, it doesn’t have the best certificates of deposit rates. Savers looking to maximize their returns can find more competitive CD rates at other banks with similar convenience and comparable customer service.
You can open a CD with Bank of America online or at one of its branch locations -- but some rates are as low as 0.03% APY. Bank of America’s featured CD accounts offer rates between 3% and 5%, but that only applies to a handful of terms.
Here’s our take on Bank of America’s CD options.
Bank of America CDs: At a glance
|Featured CD||Fixed-Term CD||Flexible CD|
|Term lengths||7 months to 37 months||28 days to 10 years||12 months|
|Early withdrawal penalties||90 to 365 days of interest||90 to 365 days of interest||Early withdrawal penalty is waived unless you withdraw within the first 6 days of the term|
|Grace period||1 or 7 days, depending on term length||1 or 7 days, depending on term length||1 or 7 days, depending on term length|
Bank of America’s CD rates
Bank of America offers three types of CDs: featured, fixed-term and flexible. Bank of America’s CD accounts require a $1,000 minimum deposit and come in various term lengths, ranging from 28 days to 10 years, depending on the type you choose. Note that available terms may vary by region.
The rates on some of Bank of America’s featured CDs are well above the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s national average. For example, you can earn between 3% and 5% with a seven-month, 13-month or 25-month CD. But some rates are as low as 0.05%. You’ll need to keep your money in the CD for the entire term to avoid an early withdrawal penalty.
|CD term||APY||Minimum deposit|
Bank of America’s fixed-term CDs are like its featured CDs, but there are more terms to choose from. Term lengths range from one month to 10 years, and most earn 0.03% APY, well below the FDIC average. The only exceptions are the three-, four- and five-month terms, which earn 4.00% APY. With high-yield savings accounts offering comparable interest rates and more flexibility, there’s not much incentive to put your money into the longer-term CDs, said Bernadette Joy, founder of Crush Your Money Goals.
|CD term||APY||Minimum deposit|
|1 to 2 months||0.03%||$1,000|
|3 to 5 months||4.00%||$1,000|
|6 months to 10 years||0.03%||$1,000|
Bank of America offers one flexible CD option -- a 12-month CD -- that lets you withdraw money from your CD penalty-free anytime after the first six days of funding the account. If you withdraw from the account during the first six days, you’ll be subject to a penalty of seven days’ interest.
|CD term||APY||Minimum deposit|
Early withdrawal penalties
You’ll pay an early withdrawal penalty if you withdraw money from your featured CD account or fixed-term CD account before the CD term ends. The fee varies depending on the length of your CD term. Here’s a breakdown of Bank of America’s early withdrawal penalties, based on term length.
|Less than 90 days||The greater of all interest earned on the amount withdrawn or an amount equal to 7 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn|
|90 days to 12 months||90 days’ worth of interest|
|12 to 60 months||180 days’ worth of interest|
|60+ months||365 days’ worth of interest|
Though its flexible CD lets you withdraw your funds before the CD term expires, you’ll have to leave your funds in the CD for at least six days to avoid an early withdrawal penalty.
Early withdrawal penalties can significantly impact your earnings if you aren’t careful. There are a handful of reasons why you might need to withdraw from a CD early, but the easiest way to avoid an unnecessary penalty is to hold off until the maturity date. If you’re concerned about locking in a lump sum for an extended period, diversify your funds in a CD ladder, open a no-penalty CD or consider a high-yield savings account instead.
How much can you earn with a Bank of America CD?
Here’s how much you can earn if you deposit $1,000 in one of Bank of America’s CDs:
|3 months (Fixed)||4.00%||$9.85|
|4 months (Fixed)||4.00%||$13.16|
|5 months (Fixed)||4.00%||$16.48|
|7 months (Featured)||5.00%||$28.87|
|10 months (Featured)||0.05%||$0.42|
|12 months (Flexible)||3.51%||$35.10|
|13 months (Featured)||5.00%||$54.28|
|25 months (Featured)||3.20%||$67.82|
|37 months (Featured)||0.05%||$1.54|
|10 years (Fixed)||0.03%||$3.00|
How do Bank of America’s CD rates compare?
CD rates at Bank of America are underwhelming compared to rates from competing online-only banks and credit unions. Many banks on CNET’s best CD list offer competitive rates well above the FDIC’s national average. But Bank of America doesn’t come close -- with the exception of a few terms.
Capital One, for example, offers an APY of 4.40% on its 24-month CD while Bank of America only offers 3.20% APY on its 25-month featured CD.
|CD term||Bank of America||FDIC average||CNET average|
|1 year||3.51% (Flexible)||1.79%||5.30%|
Additional savings options at Bank of America
If you don’t want to lock your money in a CD, Bank of America offers an Advantage Savings account – but its APY is well below the national average. The standard APY is 0.01%, but if you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program, you can earn up to 0.04%.
It requires a $100 minimum deposit to open and an $8 monthly maintenance fee. You can avoid paying the monthly maintenance fee if you maintain a $500 minimum monthly balance.
However, there are better savings options without fees and higher APYs. Check out CNET’s best savings accounts list to find banks offering APYs between 4.25% and 5.25%.
Is Bank of America a good choice for a savings or CD account?
Some of the best banks offer savings and CD rates well above 4%, but Bank of America continues to offer low APYs that don’t stack up against the competition.
If you prefer big banks with a national presence, the convenience of Bank of America might stand out to you. But other big banks with physical branches offer competitive APYs on savings and CDs right now. Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings offers a 4.30% APY with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit requirements.
Capital One also offers nine CD terms ranging from six months to five years. Its 12-month CD, for example, currently offers a competitive 5.00% APY.
But if you’re chasing high rates, you can find more competitive rates for high-yield savings accounts and CDs at other banks without the maintenance fees. Online banks and credit unions usually offer the best rates because they don’t have physical branches to manage.