Overview: US Bank vs. Bank of America vs. Citibank | Review and Ranking Comparison

People have many different options when it comes to choosing which financial institution to bank with. Some institutions provide attractive features like no fee checking or high interest savings accounts.

Others are chosen because they have a solid reputation, and people trust them to hold and manage their money. One of the best ways to choose is to conduct an informed comparison.

This review will look at three popular banks: Citibank, Bank of America, and US Bank. This review will compare Citibank vs. Bank of America, US Bank vs. Bank of America, and Citibank vs. US Bank.

In order for this review to be helpful for the most people possible, it will compare the most common banking product sought from financial institutions: checking accounts.

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Citibank vs. Bank of America: Checking Accounts

This Citibank vs. Bank of America review will provide a comparison of the checking accounts offered by both institutions. But first, a note of clarification before launching into a detailed Bank of America vs. Citibank review: What is the difference between Citigroup and Citibank?

The answer is simple: Citibank is a subsidiary of Citigroup. For those who have already begun their research and were wondering if a comparison of Citibank vs. Bank of America and Citigroup vs. Bank of America are the same thing, that should help set the record straight.

Bank of America vs Citibank: Checking Account Comparison

Citibank offers four checking accounts:

citibank vs bank of america

Image Source: BigStock

Bank of America offers three checking accounts (this count excludes checking accounts offered for small business needs):

At first glance, comparing Citibank vs. Bank of America demonstrates that both institutions offer a variety of options for their customers.

But naturally, it is not just about diversity—it’s about the comprehensiveness of each offer. A direct comparison of each Citibank vs. Bank of America account is a bit more difficult, but putting their similar features side by side can be helpful for consumers trying to make a decision.

Citibank vs. Bank of America: Basic Banking vs. Core Checking

The first Bank of America vs. Citibank comparison is between Citibank’s Basic Banking Account and Bank of America’s Core Checking Account.

Citibank’s Basic Banking Account carries a monthly fee of $12, but this fee can be waived under specific circumstances: account holders must have a combined average balance of $1,500 or more in either their checking account or their Citibank Savings Plus account.

If this does not work, they can choose to have a qualifying direct deposit (i.e. regular income) set up in their checking account and a qualifying bill payment.

Comparing the fees between Bank of America vs. Citibank’s two similar checking accounts reveals that they do not differ greatly. The monthly maintenance fee for Bank of America’s Core Checking Account is also $12.

This fee can be waived if there is a qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more, the account holder maintains an average daily balance of $1,500 or more, or if the account holder is a student under the age of 23.

If you look at Citi vs. Bank of America’s two simplest checking accounts side by side, you see that some of the requirements are different.

Bank of America’s Core Checking Account requires a minimum opening deposit of $25, while Citibank’s Basic Banking Account does not require one at all. In a competition between Citibank vs. Bank of America, while Citibank offers no minimum deposit, that’s the biggest perk it has compared to Bank of America. Bank of America, while it does require a minimum deposit, provides more leeway in terms of what you can do to waive the fees. The monthly maintenance fee, as mentioned, is the same.

Ultimately, for Bank of America vs. Citibank’s simplest checking accounts, it comes down to how much of a deal-breaker the minimum starting deposit is.

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Citibank vs. Bank of America: Earning Interest

Some people are looking for a banking option that earns them interest on money held in their checking account, not only in their savings account. Citibank vs. Bank of America makes for an interesting comparison when looking at earning potential.

Bank of America offers a relatively straightforward account for this purpose called the Interest Checking Account.

There are zero maintenance fees for a combined balance of $10,000 or more. If not, the monthly fee is $25 a month. The minimum opening balance is $100.

The interest works on a sliding rate: balances less than $50,000 have an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.01%; those that are between $50,000 and $99,999 have an interest rate of 0.02%; and those $100,000 or over also have an interest rate of 0.02%.

When comparing Citibank vs. Bank of America, Citibank has two options: their Citigold Account and their Citibank Account. Since the Citibank Account is more accessible, this review will compare Bank of America vs. Citibank using the Citibank Account.

There is no opening deposit required for the Citibank Account. There is a monthly maintenance fee; however, those can be waived if the account holder meets the requirement of  maintaining a $10,000 combined average balance.

If the holder meets this requirement, not only does he get to avoid monthly fees, but he also does not have to pay a fee when using a non-Citibank ATM, which is normally charged. The interest paid on any balance in this checking account is 0.01%. The sliding fee is reserved for savings accounts, although Citibank offers a premium rate to Citigold customers.

If your main reason for getting a checking account is to get one that allows you to execute basic banking activities while also earning interest on your balance, comparing the two accounts indicates that between Bank of America vs. Citibank, Bank of America comes out stronger.

The earning potential is higher (between the two accounts), and the monthly fee is the same as Citibank’s monthly fee.

The downside is that there is a minimum opening balance for the Bank of America Interest Checking Account; however, it makes sense that you would have some money to keep there considering you are opening the account in order for a remaining balance to accrue interest.

Citibank vs. Bank of America: Earning Interest

Image Source: BigStock

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US Bank vs. Bank of America: Checking Accounts

Bank of America vs. US Bank is another useful comparison for those looking to open a checking account or switch checking accounts. For our US Bank vs. Bank of America comparison, we will look at what US Bank offers compared to the features Back of America offers.

US Bank provides multiple checking accounts: Silver Checking, Gold, Platinum, Premium, Easy Checking, and Student Checking. The most basic checking account is the Easy Checking account, which offers the basic features of a checking account (i.e. debit card, ability to pay bills), but comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $8.95 if you choose to receive paper statements or $6.95 using only online statements. This fee can be entirely waived by opting for online statements and having either a $1500 average account balance or monthly direct deposits of $1000 minimum.

With US Bank vs. Bank of America’s Core Checking, it is easier to waive the US Bank fees. Even if you do not choose to waive them, the US Bank fee is cheaper.

Earning Interest on Checking Accounts

Both the Platinum and Premium Checking accounts offer the ability to earn interest, but the Premium account is the cheapest of the two interest-earning accounts offered by US Bank. With paper statements, the monthly maintenance fee is $12.95, or using only online statements, the fee is $10.95.

The fee for the Premium account can be waived if the holder uses online statements and is either 65 or older or maintains an account balance of $5,000 on average. The Premium account also has a minimum opening deposit of $25.

US Bank vs. Bank of America, put side by side in terms of their interest-earning checking accounts, makes US Bank look more favorable. However, there is one additional variable that needs to be considered: the interest rate offered by both banks.

The interest rate offered by Bank of America is a slide rate. As mentioned above, balances less than $50,000 have an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.01%; those that are between $50,000 and $99,999 have an interest rate of 0.02%; and those that are $100,000 or over also have an interest rate of 0.02%.

Those comparing US Bank vs. Bank of America’s interest rates will find that looking at US Bank’s rates is useful. US Bank gives 0.01% APY for balances under $2,500, and they give 0.01% for balance between $2,500 and $9,999.

For balances that are $10,000 or more, they give 0.02% interest. A user with a US Bank Premium Checking Account can start earning more interest faster than someone with a Bank of America Interest Checking Account.

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How About US Bank vs. Citibank?

The focus of this review was to compare Citibank vs. Bank of America and US Bank vs. Bank of America, but what about US Bank vs. Citibank? After going through this review, some may be curious to know more about these two institutions as opposed to looking further into a Bank of America vs. Citibank or Bank of America vs. US Bank comparison.

The two banks are rather similar in their rankings. Citibank ranks slightly higher than US Bank in some ratings. Generally speaking, when it comes to the two banks’ overall products, Citibank is ranked as having higher fees than competitors, while US Bank is ranked as having lower fees than its competitors.

However, when the specific products and services of US Bank vs. Citibank are considered, both companies have higher checking account rates than their competitors, but Citibank has higher savings account rates than US Bank.

How Do All Three Banks Rank? (Bank of America vs. Citibank vs. US Bank)

In Forbes’ list of the top banks in America, Bank of America fell in at 90, Citigroup ranked at 74, and U.S. Bancorp (the holding company for US Bank) landed at 36.

This list measures performance and profits, so while it does not factor in reviews or customer feedback, it is a helpful list for seeing where these banks stand in terms of their prosperity and their ability to attract business.

When comparing big banks like Bank of America vs. Citibank or US Bank vs. Bank of America, or even just as prominent banks like Citibank vs. US bank, your individual needs and comfort level normally determine which bank you choose.

The FDIC’s protection of your money in checking and savings accounts at these banks means that is ultimately not a choice about safety, but of preference. Normally during such comparisons, drastic differences (i.e. big savings or high interest rate offers for savings accounts) are usually explained by a bank’s online-only business model.

In this case, all of the banks have physical branches. As a result, weighing your options between these three banks comes down to what your deal-breakers are (i.e. average balances and monthly fees) and what your individual financial needs may be.

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