Chase vs. Bank of America: How to decide which one is better for you

Chase vs. Bank of America 4x3

Chase; Bank of America; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

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Chase is the better option if you don’t have much money to open an account. Both banks make it pretty easy to waive their monthly fees, but if you don’t qualify to waive charges with either institution, then you may prefer Chase’s lower fee.

Both banks pay very low rates, though. So if you’re searching for a high APY, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Chase and Bank of America have very similar checking account offerings. Your choice could come down to the sign-up bonus and/or the monthly fees. Chase pays a higher sign-up bonus, and it’s easier to qualify. But Bank of America makes it a little easier to waive monthly service fees. 

Chase and Bank of America have similar CD offerings. You’ll need $1,000 to open a CD with either bank, and they both have terms up to 10 years, which is a longer term than most banks have.

The penalties for withdrawing funds before your CD matures are comparable for the most part. But if your term is under 90 days, the penalty is less harsh with a Bank of America CD.

Both banks pay very low rates, though. If you’re searching for a competitive APY, then you may want to consider an online bank.

The two banks both have strong mobile apps. Neither has 24/7 live customer support, but Chase’s hours are a little longer than Bank of America’s hours.

Chase and Bank of America are two of the largest banks in the US, so they both have a large network of branches and free ATMs. Your choice between the two could come down to which has a branch or ATM closer to your home.

There isn’t a clear answer on which bank is more trustworthy. The Better Business Bureau has given JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase’s parent company) an A- in trustworthiness, and Bank of American an A+.

A good BBB rating signifies a company responds effectively to customer complaints, has honest advertising practices, and is transparent in how it handles business.

Although both banks have pretty good scores from the BBB, each has its own history of public scandals. Here are a couple conflicts from Chase over the past few years:

And here are some issues from Bank of America:

  • The Department of Justice charged Bank of America for unfairly denying home loans to adults with disabilities, even though they qualified for loans. Bank of America paid around $300,000 total to people who were refused loans. (2020).
  • The Department of Labor required Bank of America to pay $4.2 million to people who claimed the bank discriminated against women, Black, and Hispanic applicants in the hiring process (2019).

Chase’s recent scandals revolve around trading and investments, while Bank of America’s are about discrimination. The specifics of each bank’s conflicts may affect your choice between the two, or you may decide to go with a bank with a less worrisome history.

Get the latest Bank of America stock price here.

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