How to Open a Bank of America Checking Account


Managing your money starts with one essential tool: a reliable checking account. This account isn’t just for your everyday transactions – it’s a safe place for your money, allows you to pay bills easily, and gives you a clear record of payments.

While there are many banks out there ready to provide you with a checking account, Bank of America, a Member of FDIC, stands out with its versatile and customer-friendly options. This guide will walk you through the steps to open a Bank of America checking account, exploring the Advantage Banking account options along the way.

Bank of America branch location

Requirements for Opening a Bank of America Checking Account

Before exploring the various checking account options available, it’s essential to gather the required information to begin the account opening process. Similar to other banks, Bank of America mandates specific personal details for setting up your account.

Basic Information Needed for Opening the Account

The basic details you’ll need to provide include:

  • Your current residential address
  • Social Security number
  • Email address
  • An existing checking account number, if applicable
  • Same set of information for any co-account holder, if any

Validating Your Identity: Primary ID Requirements

Additionally, you’ll need to validate your identity with two forms of ID. Your primary ID can be one of the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • State-issued ID with photo
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID with photo
  • Bank of America-branded debit or credit card with photo

Secondary ID Requirements

For your secondary ID, you’ll need something that affirms your primary identification. These can include:

  • Credit card issued by a different financial institution
  • Retail credit card from a national department store or retail company
  • Debit card with a Visa or Mastercard logo from another financial institution
  • U.S. college or university ID
  • U.S. Student ID card from a local high school
  • U.S.-issued employment or work ID card or badge

Choosing the Right Bank of America Checking Account

When deciding which Bank of America checking account best suits your financial needs, the bank provides three primary offerings under their Advantage Banking portfolio. Each account is designed to serve a different type of user based on their unique needs and financial behaviors.

Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking®

Ideal for individuals, especially students, the Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking® account is a suitable option for those who require a low minimum balance. This account demands a minimum opening deposit of $100 and a monthly maintenance fee of $12.

However, the monthly service fee can be waived for account holders under certain conditions. You must be under 25, have a qualifying direct deposit of $250, maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500, or be enrolled in Preferred Rewards.

Account holders have the convenience of paying through a debit chip card, Zelle®, a digital wallet, and also paper checks if they choose to purchase them.

Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking®

The Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking® account is specifically designed for individuals who maintain high balances in their accounts. Account holders have the potential to earn interest based on their balance. They also enjoy several benefits, including waived monthly maintenance fees and free incoming domestic wires.

Additionally, they can open extra checking or savings accounts without any monthly fees. However, without maintaining a combined balance of $10,000 across all Bank of America accounts or being a member of the Preferred Rewards program, a monthly service fee of $25 is charged. Payment options include a debit chip card, Zelle®, a digital wallet, and paper checks, if requested or purchased.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®

The Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® account is a unique option for those who prefer a “checkless” banking experience, thereby eliminating traditional paper check writing.

A minimum opening deposit of $25 is required, and there’s a monthly service fee of $4.95. However, it can be waived for students under 25 or members of the Preferred Rewards program. The payment methods include a debit chip card, Zelle®, and a digital wallet.

Compare Bank of America to the other best national banks of 2024.

Bottom Line

Bank of America provides a broad spectrum of checking accounts to cater to the diverse needs of their customers. Whether you’re a student looking for low minimal balance requirements, a high-balance holder seeking benefits, or someone who prefers digital transactions over paper checks, Bank of America has an account for you. Always consider your financial habits, lifestyle, and needs when choosing the right checking account.

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