Whether you need to close an extra savings or checking account or just want to switch banks altogether, Bank of America provides multiple options for closing your account. While the bank doesn't have an option to initiate the process through its website, you can either call the customer service line, visit a local branch or complete some paperwork and mail it in.
But before you proceed, you'll want to do some preparation and make sure that closing your account is the best decision. Here's all you need to know about the Bank of America account closure process.
Exploring Common Account Closure Reasons
Before moving forward with closing the checking or savings account, consider your reason, since you may have alternatives to consider. For example, you may want to close your Bank of America account since you're moving and won't have any branches nearby, or maybe you're getting divorced and no longer want a joint account at the bank with your spouse. Closing the existing account and either finding another bank or opening an individual account can make sense in such situations.
On the other hand, you might feel dissatisfied with the bank's customer service, find the account fees too high or think that your current bank account doesn't offer the features you need now. Speaking to someone higher up in the organization could help address customer service concerns, while meeting with a personal banker could unveil other bank account options at the financial institution that would work better for you.
Further, you may have ways to avoid Bank of America account fees by checking your account's schedule of fees to see waiver options, such as making certain deposits or maintaining a higher balance.
Preparing for Bank Account Closure
To avoid problems and inconveniences, you'll want to do some preparation before contacting Bank of America to close your account.
Here are some common steps you should consider:
- Stopping automatic transactions: There's a good chance you used your bank account for direct deposit or automatic bill payments. You'll want to cancel those arrangements with your employer and merchants to avoid delays in getting paid or issues with bill payments not going through. You'll also want to consider whether you have a Bank of America debit card and cancel or update any subscriptions or services linked to that card.
- Withdrawing remaining funds: If you plan to cancel your Bank of America account in person, you could wait and withdraw your remaining money when you go to the branch. However, taking your money out beforehand can help you avoid having to wait to receive a paper check if you cancel by mail or phone.
- Removing other links to the account: Online payment services like PayPal and Payoneer link to your bank account to send and receive payments. You'll want to transfer any money left in such accounts and then remove the links to your BofA bank account to avoid future issues. You should also consider any links to investment accounts or retirement savings programs.
- Handling a negative balance or any fees owed: Bank of America will require that you deal with any unpaid overdraft fees and other account fees before they can cancel your bank account. Similarly, you'll need to get your account to at least a zero balance if you've overdrawn funds.
- Letting in-process transactions finish: If you plan to receive any money or have bills paid from your Bank of America account soon, wait until those go through before contacting them about account closure. Otherwise, you could end up with fees and other issues.
- Opening a new bank account: Getting a new account before canceling your old one offers benefits since you can simply redirect your direct deposits, automatic withdrawals and account links to the new bank. Keep in mind you have a variety of online and brick-and-mortar banks to consider. You can evaluate your options based on the account features offered, fees required and conveniences you get.
- Gathering Bank of America account information: To make the cancellation process go smoothly, make sure you have the account information and documentation that Bank of America will ask from you. For example, you should know your account number and Social Security number and be ready to present photo identification if you're going in person. If you plan to cancel an account for a deceased person, you'll need their death certificate and documents showing you have the authority to handle their finances.
Calling Bank of America
If you prefer the convenience of canceling your account by phone, you can dial 1-800-432-1000 to reach customer service. They're available between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m ET on Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET on weekends. To proceed, you'll have to enter bank account information such as your checking or savings account number, debit card number or phone access ID.
Once you get logged in to the Bank of America phone system, pressing "0" should get you in touch with an account representative. Expect to be asked some more questions to verify your identity and then explain that you want to close your bank account and why. The representative may also suggest alternatives such as other products.
While Bank of America can take your account closure request by phone, they may mail you a form to sign and send back. You can expect to mail in additional documents in the case of closing someone else's account after their passing. You'll be sent a written confirmation letter after the closing process finishes.
Closing Bank Accounts by Mail
Bank of America customers who'd prefer to cancel by mail can download an account closure request form through the bank's website. This form will ask for the following information:
- Name and contact details: You'll include your name, address and phone number so that Bank of America can contact you and send any remaining funds to the right place.
- Account information: List the account numbers and types (such as savings or checking) for all accounts you wish to close. You'll also include the names for the primary and secondary account holders.
- Preference for remaining funds: Bank of America will ask whether you want your check to come to your listed address or another one, so select the option and fill out a new address if needed.
- Signatures and dates from all account holders: Include signatures for all account holders along with the current date.
If the account is part of someone's estate, include the death certificate and other required documents with the letter. You'll send it all to Bank of America at this address to start the account closure process: FL1-300-01-29, P.O. Box 25118, Tampa, FL 33622-5118. Keep in mind that this account closure option can take time, since you need to wait for the request to be received and processed, so any account maintenance fees may still apply. Bank of America will mail you an account closure confirmation letter once they've finished the request.
Visiting a BofA Branch
Finding a local Bank of America branch offers the fastest way to close your bank account because you can handle all the paperwork in person. You can find the nearest option through the online branch locator tool as well as book an appointment online to reduce your waiting time. Bring your account information, identification and any accompanying documents to your visit.
After discussing your desire to close your account, the BofA representative will ask some questions and help you with the paperwork. You can expect to fill out a form similar to the one you'd mail in, except you can get any remaining funds instantly rather than wait for a check to cash later. Once you've done everything that's required to close the account, you should get a confirmation letter that you can keep on file.
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- Bank of America: Account Information & Access FAQs
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- SmartAsset: A 5-Step Checklist for Closing a Checking Account
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Ashley Donohoe has written about business and technology topics since 2010. Having a Master of Business Administration degree, bookkeeping certification and experience running a small business and doing tax returns, she is knowledgeable about the tax issues individuals and businesses face. Other places featuring her business writing include Zacks, JobHero, LoveToKnow, Bizfluent, Chron and Study.com.