Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the United States and chances are you have a branch just around the corner.
While headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bank of America has approximately 4,600 retail branch locations and almost 16,000 automated teller machines sprinkled throughout the country. I did a quick search on their location tools and found 50 results within 12.7 miles! (many were ATMs, but still quite a sizable footprint)
Bank of America is the second-largest bank behind JPMorgan Chase – and today you can find out how they will give you money to open an account with them.
Bank of America has two offers:
- For existing customers – Bank of America will give you $300
- For everyone else – Bank of America will give you $300
We'll discuss both:
Existing Bank of America Customers — $300
If you already have an account with Bank of America, such as a credit card, but you don't have a personal checking account, log in.
On the right-hand side of the screen, you'll see an “Activity Center.” When you click on Special Offers & Deals, you may see athe following offer.
“*This exclusive offer is only for select Bank of America® customers who don't already have a personal checking account with us and who received an email or direct communication from Bank of America.”
The richest one we've seen is where you:
- Open a Bank of America Core Checking or Interest Checking account, and,
- Set up a qualifying direct deposit totaling $4,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account to get the $300 bonus.
The terms will be similar though the dollar amounts may vary based on what they've decided to offer you.
One key point to remember is that both accounts have monthly maintenance fees. These can be waived if you meet other qualifications such as a minimum daily balance or maintaining that direct deposit. The bonus money will be reported as income as a 1099-MISC.
Non-Customers of Bank of America — $100
If you are not a customer of Bank of America at all, the offer is not nearly as generous. Their public nationwide offer is for $100 and to get it, you need to open a new checking account on their offer page.
Three Bank of America Checking accounts qualify for this bonus:
- Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking – $25 opening deposit, $4.95 monthly fee waived for eligible students or enrolees of Preferred Rewards
- Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking – $100 opening deposit, $12 monthly fee waived with direct deposit or daily balance requirements, etc.
- Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking – $100 opening deposit, $25 monthly fee waived with direct deposit or daily balance requirements, etc.
Open the account and receive at least 2 qualifying direction deposits of at least $250 within the first 90 days and you'll get your bonus. Confirm the monthly fee waiver rules for each (they can change from when this is published) but they are relatively easy to satisfy.
Learn more about this offer
(Offer expires 12/31/2019)
Museums on Us Promotion
While not straight cash, Bank of America offers a nice perk for its customers – you can get free access to museums across the country during one weekend each month. It's called Museums on Us and quite a few cultural institutions participate. You get free access on the first full weekend of every month simply by showing your credit or debit card and photo ID. It's valid for one general admission, unfortunately guests are not included.
Here is the full list of participating institutions sorted by state.
How Does This Compare?
If you're an existing customer, the $300 bonus is fantastic. We maintain a list of bank bonus offers and there are very few offers that are as generous as the $300. Since you already have an existing relationship with Bank of America, it makes the maintenance of the account very easy since you have a login already.
If you're not a customer, the $100 bonus is not great. You can get way more from both Wells Fargo and Chase. Wells Fargo's current offer is $400 for their checking account and it only requires $25 to open and direct deposits of $3,000 (cumulative monthly total) set up within 150 days. If you have more cash, you can pair it with the savings account bonus of $250 (it requires $15,000 of new money though) for a total bonus of $650.
Alternatively, Chase has its Total Checking offer of $200 with very easy requirements. Just open an account, set up a direct deposit within 60 days, and you'll get the bonus in 10 days. The fee is waived if you have monthly direct deposits of at least $500 or you keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500. Those are both very easy requirements to satisfy. You can pair a Chase Savings account too for an extra $150, though that requires $10,000 in new money.
So as you can see, the public offer from Bank of America is not worth it. Wells Fargo and Chase both have similar large geographic footprints (Chase is bigger actually) so you aren't getting anything extra by going with Bank of America.