Bank of America vs. Citi

In this article...
  • Bank of America and Citi offer similar products and services, so which is right for you? Explore the pros and cons with this Bank of America vs. Citi guide.
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Bank of America and Citi are two of the most well-known banks in the United States, and choosing between them can be confusing. Understanding the differences between these institutions' checking and savings accounts can help you pick the right bank for your needs. Below, we'll explore the Bank of America vs. Citi debate. 

What Products and Services Do Bank of America and Citi Offer?

Bank of America and Citi offer pretty comparable product ranges. However, Citi offers personal loans, while Bank of America offers auto loans. Therefore, one bank may be the more obvious choice if you need a specific loan type.



Bank of America

Citi

Checking Accounts

x

x

Savings Accounts

x

x

CDs

x

x

Banking IRAs

x

x

Personal Loans



x

Credit Cards

x

x

Mortgages

x

x

Home Refinancing

x

x

Home Equity Loans

x

x

Personal Investing

x

x

Wealth Management



x

Student Banking

x



Auto Loans

x



Auto Refinancing

x



Bank of America vs. Citi: Checking Accounts

Bank of America and Citi checking account options are similar, and neither offers an APY rate on your balance. Bank of America could be the better option for youth banking, as it provides a no-fee option for students. Meanwhile, Citi offers a broader range of accounts for people with higher monthly balances. 

Bank of America

Bank of America offers three checking account options and waives account maintenance fees for Preferred Rewards customers. SafeBalance accounts are suitable for youth or student banking, as you won't pay maintenance fees if you're under 18 or a student younger than 25. Otherwise, you'll pay $4.95 per month. 

Advantage Plus accounts are ideal for everyday banking and come with monthly maintenance fees of $12. However, Bank of America will waive your fee during any month you:

  • Make at least one qualifying deposit of $250 or more OR
  • Maintain a consistent daily balance of at least $1,500

Finally, a Relationship account could be a good option if you have a higher balance. This account costs $25 per month. However, you won't pay a maintenance fee in any month where you maintain a minimum balance of $10,000 across all linked accounts. 

Citi 

Like Bank of America, Citi provides access to three everyday banking checking accounts as packages with a savings account. Its Access Account Package and Basic Banking Package cost $10 or $12 per month, respectively, although the Access option doesn't allow check writing. Citi will waive your service fees during any statement cycle when you:

  • Make at least one direct deposit or bill payment
  • Maintain a consistent minimum daily balance of $1,500 across all linked accounts

Alternatively, the Citibank Account Package costs $25 per month, although you won't pay a service fee if your combined monthly average balance across all linked accounts equals or exceeds $10,000. Therefore, this checking account is more suitable if you have a higher account balance. The advantage of a Citibank Account Package is that you can make unlimited free ATM withdrawals at non-Citi ATMs if you meet the fee waiving criteria.

It's also worth noting that Citi offers premium checking accounts for wealth management customers. However, these accounts require significantly higher minimum monthly balances. 

Does Bank of America or Citi Offer Better Savings Account Rates?

If you want to earn as much interest as possible on your savings account balance, Citi is probably the way to go. However, a Bank of America savings account could be more cost-effective if you're a student, as you'll avoid service fee charges.

Bank of America

You must make a minimum deposit of $100 to open a Bank of America Advantage Savings account, and the service fee for the account is $8 per month. However, Bank of America will waive the fee if you satisfy any of the following criteria:

  • You're younger than 18 and the named account holder
  • You're younger than 25 and a qualified student
  • You're a Preferred Rewards customer
  • You link your savings account to a Bank of America Relationship Checking account
  • You maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $500

You can make a maximum of six transfers and deposits each month. Any transactions beyond this maximum will incur a $10 fee. 

APY rates for Bank of America savings accounts depend on the rate assigned by the bank. Typically, you can earn between 0.01% and 0.04% APY.

Citi 

Access Account Packages include a savings account in the monthly fee, so you won't pay a separate service charge. If you don't have a Citi checking account, you'll pay $4.50 per month or $0 if you have an average monthly balance of at least $500. 

Alternatively, you can open a savings account with a checking account as part of a Basic Banking Package without paying an extra service fee. 

Citibank Account Package customers have access to a linked savings account. You can also open the associated savings account as a standalone product, which costs $25 per month, unless you maintain a combined balance of $10,000.

All everyday Citi savings accounts pay a flat rate of 0.05% APY, regardless of your balance. Wealth management customers can access a range of premium savings accounts with higher balance requirements. These accounts offer APY rates between 0.10% and 0.15%. 

Bank of America vs. Citi: CD Rates

You can purchase a fixed-term CD from Bank of America with a minimum deposit of $1,000. This product offers terms between 28 days and 10 years and pays 0.03% APY. Alternatively, Featured CD accounts require a minimum deposit of $10,000 and last between 7 and 37 months. Depending on your deposit amount and account term, they yield between 0.05% and 1.50% APY. 

Meanwhile, Citi requires a minimum deposit of $500 for all CD accounts. The bank offers fixed-rate CDs, step-up CDs with gradually increasing interest yields and no penalty CDs. APY rates vary between 0.05% and 2.81%.

Do Bank of America and Citi Provide Good Customer Service?

Bank of America has a 3.8-star rating on Consumer Affairs, and customers generally praise the bank's excellent customer service and robust fraud detection protocols. However, a few reviewers mention long wait times to correct mistakes on their accounts. 

Meanwhile, Citi has a slightly lower rating of 3.6 stars. Most reviewers are highly satisfied with the bank's customer service, and several praise the competitive interest rates earned on their savings accounts. However, some clients say they experienced difficulties performing large transactions and getting approved for lines of credit. 

Is Bank of America or Citi Better?

Whether Bank of America or Citi is the better bank depends on your needs. Bank of America could be the more suitable option if you're a student or want to access auto loans or refinancing. However, you may be better off with Citi if you want to maximize returns on your savings, especially if you need wealth management services for higher balances. 

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