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Bank of America

Reviewed
July 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Bank of America

Pros
  • Large network of ATMs
  • Free online money-management software
  • Mobile banking
  • Free online checking account
Cons
  • Complicated account requirements
  • Lots of little fees
  • No interest on free checking
  • Low interest on savings

Bank of America's customer satisfaction ratings have plummeted since it imposed (and later retracted) a monthly fee on its debit card in 2011, and measures of customer satisfaction, such as The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), reflect that. Bank of America ranks last among the four biggest banks in the most recent ACSI survey. Similarly, ComScore's annual survey of 2,500 people who bank online has Bank of America ranked last out of five. The bank does a little better in ComScore's measure of customers' satisfaction with their banks' websites: There it is tied for third place, meaning it is next to last.

Bank of America fares better in Keynote Systems' objective assessment of its website and the ease with which customers can open accounts and transact business online. Keynote ranks Bank of America first among 24 banks overall and places it at or near the top in all of the areas on which the overall score is based.

Close to 500 customer reviews of Bank of America are available on MyBankTracker.com, the vast majority of them negative, though the site editors rate Bank of America 3 out of 5 stars. BankRate.com offers an assessment of its overall financial stability and also assigns 3 out of 5 stars.  

An online Bank of America checking account is free (as long as you don't use a teller for any transactions), and mobile banking is included. It does not earn interest, but a linked online savings account is also free if you either transfer $25 per month into it from your checking account or maintain a balance of at least $300.

Our Sources

1. Keynote Systems

Bank of America earns top ranking overall and tops all others in many categories in this report, which is based on hands-on research by experts. It is ranked among 23 banks.

Review: Keynote Scorecards for Financial Services/Banks, Editors of Keynote Systems Inc., May 9, 2012

2. The American Customer Satisfaction Index

The American Customer Satisfaction Index measures consumers' happiness with companies with which they do business. Bank of American ranks last among the big banks in this latest edition of the index.

Review: Sector: Finance and Insurance, Editors of The American Customer Satisfaction Index, Dec. 13, 2011

3. ComScore.com

This report is based on a survey of more than 2,500 people conducting online banking at top American banks. The biggest five banks are ranked by overall customer satisfaction, plus separate rankings for satisfaction specifically with the banks' websites. Bank of America is ranked last in customer satisfaction and tied for third in satisfaction with its website.

Review: The 2011 State of Online and Mobile Banking Report, Sarah Lenart and Nathan Frederiksen, Feb. 2012

4. ConsumerReports.org

This article provides helpful information on selecting a bank and is free to nonsubscribers. Bank of America is featured prominently in the discussion.

Review: Bank Accounts: More Fees Are Coming. How To Fight Back -- or Flee, Editors of Consumer Reports magazine, Feb. 2012

5. Bankrate.com

BankRate.com assigns Bank of America 3 (out of 5) Safe & Sound stars. A memo giving details is linked and reads in part, "Bankrate believes that… … this bank exhibited a generally satisfactory condition."

Review: Memo: Bank of America Safe & Sound Rating, Editors of BankRate.com, Dec, 2011

6. MyBankTracker.com

Bank of America gets a 3-star (out of 5) rating from the editors of this personal finance site. It gets a score of "medium" or "poor" in all areas except number of locations relative to the national average. Customer ratings make up part of the overall score and they are low; in about 500 customer ratings, the overall rating is 2 out of 5 stars.

Review: Bank Report Card: Bank of America, Editors of MyBankTracker.com

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