Citibank vs Bank of America Which Is Best

Citibank vs Bank of America, which is best? Let’s see!

Choosing the right bank is almost as important as choosing the right school for your kids.

Every bank is different in its own right. So finding the right bank to meet your banking needs — doesn’t matter if you just want to save or you need access to a large ATM network — is important.

When looking for the right bank, some of the things you take into consideration are:

  • Good customer Service
  • Low charges and fees (Beware of monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, and overdraft fees)
  • Accessibility (ATM location, branch location, and the availability of online and mobile banking are important to take into consideration)

Citibank and Bank of America are two of America’s biggest banks and in this article, we’ll be weighing Citibank vs Bank of America side by side, comparing and contrasting them.


Citibank was founded in 1812 and was first called the City Bank of New York, it later became the First National City Bank of New York. Citi bank has 2,649 branches in 19 countries, including 723 branches and more than 70,000 ATMs in the States.

The U.S branches are concentrated in Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C, and Chicago. It is the 4th largest bank in the United States.

Bank of America

Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the United States. Bank of America has over 4,300 branches and 17,000 ATMs in the states. It is known for having good customer service with extended hours. Checking, savings, CDs, IRA, and investment accounts through Merrill Edge are some of the services they offer.

Citibank vs Bank of America – Which Is Best?

Citibank vs Bank of America Checking Account Comparisons

Citi Access AccountBOA Advantage Plus Checking Account
Minimum opening deposit$0$100
Monthly service charge$10 / $0$12 / $0
How to waive the monthly service feeMeet the following criteria:

Make at least one deposit.

Make one bill payment
Have an average monthly account balance of $1,500 or more in all your Citibank accounts
Meet at least one of these requirements each month:

Directly deposit at least $250

Have an average daily balance of $1,500 or more in your checking account

Enroll into the Preferred Rewards program
Sign up bonusNone$100

Verdict: Citibank takes it home in my opinion. It narrowly trumps Bank of America when it comes to Checking accounts since it requires a $0 opening deposit, but your ideal choice could come down to which option makes it easier to waive monthly service fees, and whether you prioritize a sign-up bonus.

Citibank vs Bank of America Savings Account Comparisons

Citibank offers two savings accounts — Citi Accelerate Savings and the Citi Savings Account. While Bank of America has one savings account offer — Bank of America Advantage Savings Account.

We’re going to compare the Citi Accelerate Savings to the Bank of America Advantage Savings Account as both are available in most states and have similar monthly service charges.

 Citi Accelerate SavingsBank of America Advantage Savings Account
Annual %
1.01% APY0.01% – 0.04% APY
Minimum opening deposit$0$100
Monthly service charge$4.50 or $0$8 or $0
How to waive monthly chargeYou will have to fulfill one of the following every month:

Sustain an average monthly balance of $500 or more (for Elevate, Basic, or Access account packages)

Sustain an average monthly balance of $50,000 or more across all your Citi accounts.

Have an average monthly balance of $10,000 or more across all your Citi accounts

Automatically waived for those with a Citigold account

No monthly charges during the first 6 months. After the first 6 months, you’ll have to meet the following criteria:

Have an average daily balance of at least $500 

Link to Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking Account.

Enrollment in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program

Are under the age of 18

Are under the of 25 and a student
CaveatsIt is available in 42 states except for CA, CT, IL, MD, NV, NJ, NY, VA, and certain parts of FL. You’ll also need to open a checking accountNone

Verdict: Both are great options.

The Citi Accelerate Savings package may be best if you are looking at earning a high-interest rate although you’ll have to live in an eligible state to maximize it.

On the other hand, the Bank of America Advantage Savings Account may be the better pick if you’re only interested in opening a savings account.

Citibank vs Bank of America Certificate of Deposit Comparisons 

 Citi Fixed Rate Certificates of DepositBOA Standard Term Certificate of Deposit
Term lengths1 month – 10 years28 days – 10 years
Minimum opening deposit$500 – $2,500$1,000
Annual Yield0.05% – 1.50% APY0.03% APY
Early withdrawal penalties90 – 180 days interest7 – 365 days interest
Types of CDsStep-Up CDs, Standard CDs, and Zero Penalty CDsStandard CDs

Verdict: Citibank’s CDs pay higher interest rates than Bank of America’s. Citibank should be your ideal choice if you’re looking for step-up CDs — where the interest rate increases over time or you are looking at no-penalty CDs.

Citibank vs Bank of America Public Controversy

Both Bank of America and Citi have been embroiled in recent public controversies.

Citibank has been in the following public controversy:

  • In 2019, They accidentally sent $900 million to customers. 
  • In 2020, Citi had to pay $400 million in a settlement to the Comptroller of the Currency. The OCC stated the bank had inefficient banking practices.

Bank of America has been in the following controversies 

  • In 2020, the DOJ claimed that Bank of America denied home loans to people with disabilities based on their disability. Bank of America had to pay about $300,000 to people who were refused loans and had to implement a new non-discriminatory policy.
  • In 2019, Bank of America had to pay around $4.2 million in a settlement with the Department of Labor to people who claimed the bank discriminated against Black, female and Hispanic applicants in the recruitment process.


At the end of the day, you might favor Citibank if solid interest rates are a huge requirement.

Bank of America could be a better choice if waiving monthly service charges on a particular account is no biggie for you.

I hope you found this piece helpful. Kindly share and drop a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

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