2017 RANKING & COMPARISON REVIEWS
BEST BANKS TO BANK WITH IN AMERICA


Intro: How Important Is It to Choose the Right Best Bank in America?

The right bank can play a critical, long-term role in your life.

By choosing the best banks to bank with, whether that’s choosing from the best online banks, the biggest and largest banks in America, the best banks with no fees, or just selecting one of the top banks in America, you’re creating the potential for a healthy financial future for you and your family.

There are many different types of banks in America that provide checking and savings accounts as well as a broad array of lending, credit, and other banking products.

Some of these banks provide free checking or savings accounts with no fees, while others have branches all across the U.S. for convenient banking. Some banks provide high-yield accounts, and there are others that provide personal, business and investing accounts under one dashboard.

So which is the best bank to bank with, and which top bank in America should you go with?



Review & Ranking: Best Banks to Bank with in the USA

This article presents a detailed review of the types of top banks listed below:

Based on the types of services that a bank in America provides, as well as its size and customer satisfaction level, the U.S.-based bank might be included in all of the below categories or just one.

For example, Bank of America and Chase are two of the largest banks in the U.S., but they are not considered best banks for high-yield savings due to the relatively low yields they offer on their savings accounts.

On the other hand, Capital One 360 is one of the best online banks in the U.S., based on its high yielding online accounts, but it does not fall under the “biggest banks in America” category.


Don't Miss: High Yield Bank Accounts


Best Banks to Bank with in America (Categories)

For Individuals:

  1. Top Rated Best Banks in America Near You (By City/State)
  2. Top 10 Best Online Savings Accounts
  3. Top 10 Best Online Banks in America
  4. Top 12 Best Banks for Bad Credit
  5. Top 12 Best Banks for Students
  6. Top 12 Best Second Chance Checking Accounts
  7. Top 10 Best Online Checking Accounts
  8. Top Credit Unions in America Near You (By City/State)
  9. Top 10 Best Private Banks in the U.S.

For Businesses:

  1. Top 12 Best Banks for Small Business Banking
  2. Top 12 Banks for Free Business Checking
  3. Top 12 Best Business Checking Accounts
  4. Top 12 Best Online Business Banks

Click on the above links to be taken directly to the review section on this page



Review of the Best Banks to Bank With


Best Banks in America Near You (Ranking by State)

Our “Top Banks in America” publication presents the list and reviews of the best banks in cities across the states below:

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Illinois
  7. Indiana
  8. Maryland
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Michigan
  11. Minnesota
  12. Missouri
  13. New Jersey
  14. New York
  15. North Carolina
  16. Ohio
  17. Pennsylvania
  18. Tennessee
  19. Texas
  20. Virginia
  21. Washington
  22. Wisconsin
  23. … and many more

The firms on our top rated lists and reviews of banks in America were selected after they successfully passed AdvisoryHQ’s ground-breaking four-step banks and credit unions selection methodology

For a detailed review of the best banks near you, click here: Top Rated Banks in the U.S. (Breakdown by City & State).



Top 10 Best Online Savings Accounts

  • Ally Bank
  • American Express
  • Bank of Internet USA
  • Bank5 Connect
  • Capital One 360
  • Discover Online Bank
  • First Internet Bank
  • FNBO Direct
  • iGObanking
  • Synchrony Bank

Due to the establishment of so many online banks, opening a high interest online savings account has become a popular option with consumers.

Without the high overhead that comes with operating brick-and-mortar offices, many online banks are able to offer a high-yield online savings account with a rate much higher than most traditional banks offer.

For a detailed review of the above top banks in the U.S. with the best high-yield savings account, click here: Banks with the Best Online Savings Accounts.



Top 10 Best Online Banks in America

  • Ally Bank
  • American Express Bank
  • Bank5 Connect
  • Bank of Internet USA
  • Capital One 360
  • Discover Online Bank
  • First Internet Bank
  • iGOBanking
  • Simple Bank
  • Synchrony Bank

Why are online-only banks so popular?

One of the big reasons is that online banks provide higher interest rates on products like savings accounts. Working with top online banks also allows customers to pay fewer fees than they might otherwise be required to do.

This is possible because of the lower overhead costs of online banks, and it’s making them an increasingly appealing option, even for the consumer who might have been wary of the concept just a few years ago.

For a detailed review of the above best online banks to bank with, including information on their most recent financial situation, growth, complaints, benefits, and history, click here: Top 10 Best Online Banks | Ranking & Comparison Review.



Top 12 Best Banks for Bad Credit

From a low credit score to past problems with checking accounts, quite a few consumers are wondering how to open a bank account with bad credit.

Luckily, there is an option. Many banks and even credit unions throughout the country are offering bad credit bank accounts.

The following is a list that highlights the best banks for people with bad credit, the best online bank accounts for bad credit, and the best checking accounts for bad credit.

Best Bank for Bad Credit

Website

Axiom Bank

https://www.axiombanking.com/

BBVA Compass Bank

https://www.bbvacompass.com/

City National Bank

 https://www.bankatcity.com/

Go Bank

https://m.gobank.com/

OneUnited

https://www.oneunited.com/

Peoples Cash Solutions

http://www.peoplescashsolutions.com/

PNC Bank

https://www.pnc.com/

United Bank

https://www.unitedbank.com/

U.S. Bank

https://www.usbank.com/index.html

USAA

https://www.usaa.com/

Wells Fargo

https://www.wellsfargo.com/

Woodforest National Bank

https://www.woodforest.com/

For a detailed review of the above best banks for bad credit, including information on their most recent financial situation, growth, complaints, benefits, and history, click here: Top 12 Best Banks for Bad Credit | Ranking & Review.



Top 12 Best Banks for Students

If you are a college or high school student or the parent of one, you may wonder the importance of choosing a good bank.

A bank can play a critical, long-term role in a young person’s life.

By choosing the best bank for students, whether that’s the best bank for college students or the best bank for high school students, you’re creating the potential for a healthy financial future.

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Best Banks for Students

  • Bank of America
  • BB&T
  • BBVA Compass
  • Chase Bank
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • KeyBank
  • PNC
  • Regions Bank
  • SunTrust
  • TCF Bank
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo

For a detailed review of the above top banks for students, including information on their most recent financial situation, ranking factors, growth, complaints, benefits, and history, click here: Top 12 Best Banks for Students.



Top 12 Best Second Chance Checking Accounts

  • Axiom Bank – Opportunity Checking
  • BBVA Compass – Easy Checking
  • Capital One – Capital One 360 Checking
  • Citizens National Bank – Clean Slate Checking
  • First National Bank and Trust – Renew Checking
  • OneUnited – Unity Checking
  • Peoples Cash Solutions – Second Chance Checking
  • PNC Bank – Foundations Checking
  • United Bank – Gateway Checking
  • U.S. Bank – Easy Checking
  • Wells Fargo – Opportunity Checking
  • Woodforest National Bank – Second Chance Checking

Unless you’ve faced challenges or obstacles when it comes to opening a checking account, you may not realize just how essential it is to your life. A checking account is used to maintain money without having to carry cash.

Unfortunately, many consumers have bad credit or a poor checking account history, so banks will often reject them when they try to open an account.

So, what’s the solution?

Increasingly, many of the nation’s leading banks are offering second chance bank accounts. These 2nd chance bank accounts offer many of the privileges of a conventional checking account, but they’re specifically for people who don’t qualify for a traditional account.

For a detailed review of the above best second chance banks and 2nd chance bank accounts, including information on why they were selected, and the details on their most recent financial situation, growth, complaints, benefits, and history, click here: Top 12 Best Second Chance Checking Accounts.



Top 10 Best Banks with Top Online Checking Accounts

  • Ally Bank
  • Bank of the Internet USA
  • Bank5 Connect
  • CapitalOne 360
  • Discover Online Bank
  • EverBank
  • First Internet Bank
  • FNBO Direct
  • iGobanking
  • Simple Bank

While doing business with an online bank may have seemed risky to some a few years ago, today these types of banks are being embraced by the mainstream.

Even many big name, brick-and-mortar banks have embraced many of the hallmarks of online banks, including user-friendly websites with the option to open an online checking account instantly.

For a detailed review of the above top online checking banks and accounts, click here: Best 10 Top Online Checking Accounts.



Top Rated Credit Unions Near You

Our “Best Rated Top Credit Unions in America” publication presents the list of top rated 2016-2017 best credit unions in the U.S. across the locations below.

California

  • Los Angeles
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • California (statewide)

Florida

  • Florida (statewide)
  • Jacksonville
  • Miami
  • Tampa

Illinois

  • Chicago
  • Illinois (Statewide)

New York

  • New York City

Ohio

  • Ohio (Statewide)

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania (Statewide)
  • Pittsburgh

Texas

  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • San Antonio
  • Texas (Statewide)

Click here for a detailed review: Top Ranked Best Credit Unions in America | 2017 Ranking & Reviews | Best U.S. Credit Unions.



Top 10 Best Private Banks

  • BMO Private Bank US
  • Citi Private Bank
  • Deutsche Bank – Private Banking
  • Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management (PWM)
  • HSBC Private Bank
  • J.P. Morgan Private Bank – Global Wealth Management
  • Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group
  • Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
  • UBS Private Bank
  • Wells Fargo Private Bank

Private banking. Just the phrase sounds elite, like something reserved for the ultra-wealthy, which is exactly what it is.

The benefits of working with private banks for wealthy individuals include a sense of confidentiality, an understanding of the complexity that can impact the finances of people with a high net worth, and the development of personalized relationships and one-on-one attention.

Click here for a detailed review of the best private banks listed above: Top 10 Best Private Banks | Ranking | Top Private Wealth Management Banks.



Top 12 Best Banks for Small Business Banking

Best Small Business Banks

Website

Bank of America

https://www.bankofamerica.com/

BMO Harris Bank

https://www.bmoharris.com/main/personal

Capital One

https://www.capitalone.com/

Chase

https://www.chase.com/

Citizens

https://www.citizensbank.com/

FSG

https://www.fsgbank.com/

Suntrust

https://www.suntrust.com/

Synovus

https://www.synovus.com/

TCF Bank

https://www.tcfbank.com/

U.S. Bank

https://www.usbank.com/index.html

Wells Fargo

https://www.wellsfargo.com/

Zions National Bank

https://www.zionsbank.com/

When you’re a small business owner, where do you turn to for support and resources that will help you thrive, even in challenging situations? For many business owners, the answer is not surprising: your bank. 

It’s with this in mind that AdvisoryHQ has researched and published this article of best banks for small business accounts and detailed small business bank reviews.

For a detailed review of the top business banks above, including information on why they were selected, click here: Top 12 Best Banks for Small Business Banking | Ranking | Reviews & Comparison.



Top 12 Banks for Free Business Checking

Whether you’re a startup boldly venturing into unknown territory or a small business owner finally separating your business and personal finances, a free business checking account can be a great resource.

List of the Top Banks for Free Business Checking:

  • BBVA Compass
  • Capital City Bank
  • Capital One
  • Everbank
  • First Citizens Bank
  • First National Bank
  • First Bank
  • Iberia Bank
  • SunTrust Bank
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Zions Bank

For a detailed review of the above best banks for free business checking accounts, including information on their most recent financial situation, growth, complaints, benefits, and history, click here: Top 12 Banks for Free Business Checking | Ranking & Review.



Top 12 Best Business Checking Accounts for Small Business Owners

  1. Bank of America Business Fundamentals  
  2. Capital One Spark Checking
  3. Chase Performance Business Checking
  4. CitiBusiness Flexible Checking Account
  5. First National Bank 300 Class Checking
  6. HSBC Analyzed Business Checking
  7. PNC Analysis Business Checking
  8. SunTrust Analyzed Business Checking
  9. TD Bank Business Premier Checking
  10. U.S. Bank Platinum Business Package
  11. Wells Fargo Business Choice Checking
  12. Wells Fargo Platinum Business Checking

For a detailed review of the above banks and accounts for small businesses, click here: Top 12 Best Business Checking Accounts | 2017 Ranking.



Top 12 Best Online Business Banks

  • Alliant Credit Union
  • Ally Bank
  • Bank5 Connect
  • BOFI Federal Bank
  • Capital One
  • CBB Bank
  • Discover Online Bank
  • Everbank
  • FirstBank
  • First Internet Bank
  • Synchrony Financial 
  • Union Bank

Online banking represents the future of financial services, even for small business owners and operators.

Why? Because opening a business checking account online, or any online business bank account, offers a high-level of flexibility and versatility.

Online banking solutions also often feature the lowest fees and the highest interest rates, and they provide a simplified way for business owners to manage every aspect of their finances.

For a detailed review of the above top online business banks for small businesses, including information on why they were selected, and details on their most recent financial situation, growth, complaints, benefits, and history, click here: Top 12 Best Online Business Banks.


 

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AdvisoryHQ Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be our affiliates. Click to view our advertiser disclosures.

 


PREVIOUS RANKING| 2016 RANKING

BEST BANKS IN AMERICA TO BANK WITH


There are many different types of banking firms in America that provide checking and savings accounts as well as a broad array of lending, credit, and other banking products.

So which is the best bank to bank with, and which top rated bank in America should you specifically go with?

Best Banks in America - Ranking of the Best Banks to Bank With-min

Ever since AdvisoryHQ launched in 2015, we have become one of the fastest-growing review and ranking sites for the banking and financial advisory industries. We often receive queries from readers asking about the best banks to bank with as well as the best banks in America with the highest interest paying accounts.

The answer to these questions depends on what you are looking for. 



Key Questions (Deciding on One of the Best Banks to Bank with)

  • Are you interested in a high yield account (that will pay you high interest on your deposits)? If so, one of the banks reviewed below that offers high yield rates would be the best bank to bank with for you.
  • Or are you mostly interested in a bank with a free checking account? If so, one of the best banks with no maintenance or minimum balance requirements would be a great choice for you.
  • What about a bank that caters to businesses or reimburses you for your ATM fees?
  • Also, are you looking for a top online bank or a more traditional brick-and-mortar financial institution?

If you are seeking any (or all) of the above types of best banks to bank with, then this ranking article of the best banks in America (and also the top credit unions) has been published for you.

Lists of the Best Banks in America to Bank with

Top Banks in America:

  1. Best Online Banks
  2. Best Banks | Ranking by State (Florida, Georgia, NY, Texas, Illinois, etc.)
  3. Top Banks with Free Checking Accounts
  4. Largest Banks in America

Best Banks for Businesses:

Best Credit Unions:

This article presents a list and detailed reviews of the types of top U.S. banks presented above. Click any of the titles above to go directly to that section.


Don't Miss: High Yield Bank Accounts


Are you interested in the best bank to bank with in the U.K., Canada or Australia? Then check out this page: Top U.K., Canadian and Australian Banks   

Best American Banks - Ranking-min        


Best Online Banks (List & Comparison Reviews) — 2016

The table below presents a list of this year's top online banks in America, followed by a detailed review and comparison of each of these top rated best online banks.

List of Best Online Banks (2016 Ranking)

Best Online Banks in America

APY

Bank of Internet USA

1.25%

EverBank

1.11%

My Savings Direct

1.10%

GE Capital Bank

1.05%

Synchrony Bank

1.05%

Ally Bank

1.00%

Barclays Online Banking

1.00%

Salem Five Direct

1.00%

iGObanking

1.00%

Discover Bank

0.95%

American Express Bank

0.90%

Bank5 Connect (1)

0.90%

Sallie Mae Bank

0.80%

Bank5 Connect (2)

0.76%

Capital One 360

0.75%

FNBO Direct

0.75%

Detailed Review of the Best Online Banks to Bank with

When searching for the top online bank to bank with, U.S. consumers normally consider a few key factors. 

The best online banks with no fees are a top priority for consumers searching for the best banks to bank with. This priority includes finding banks with no monthly service fees, no account opening fee, and no maintenance fees.

In addition to finding the best online banks with no service fees, another key factor for selecting top online banks to bank with are high-interest paying savings accounts. 

Besides having high yield accounts, banks that also reimburse you for your ATM costs is another top consideration for individuals searching for the top ranked best banks to open a checking account with.

Below, we present a detailed review of the best online banks with no fees as well as a review of important factors you should consider before signing up with one of these top ranked best online banks.

Reviews of banks in Illinois-min

How Can These Online Banking Firms Offer Such High Rates?

Most of the online banks on our review are able to provide these high yield savings and checking accounts and offer some of the highest savings rates available because of their unique and simplified banking business models.

For example, most of these online banks: 

  • Do not operate many bank branches  
  • Do not hire nearly as many employees as traditional brick-and-mortar banks  
  • Rely heavily on automated online tools

Based on the above factors, many of these online banks are able to pass along these "overhead cost savings" as additional savings and yields to their depositors.

Best Online Banks With High Yield Checking and Savings (Detailed Comparison)

Sorted by highest to lowest APY

Firm

APY

Min. to Open

Best Online Banks (Detailed Comparison Ranking)

Bank of Internet USA – Checking

1.25%

$100

  • Bank of Internet USA is one of the top rated online banks to bank with based on its high yield "Rewards Online Checking" account which comes with unlimited ATM reimbursements
  • Plus, you can earn up to 1.25% APY on all balances of $150,000 or less. This is one of the highest APYs available on a checking account across the U.S. However, it does have some requirements
  • Requirements: To earn the 1.25%, you’ll need to do the following:

*    Receive direct deposits each month totaling $1,000 or more

*    Use your Rewards Checking Visa® Debit Card 15 or more times per month for normal everyday purchases (min. $3 per transaction)

  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum monthly balance
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient funds fee
  • You also have access to free FinanceWorks™ money management software
  • Use any domestic ATM, and the bank automatically refunds the fees by the next business day

EverBank

1.11%

$1,500

  • EverBank is another best bank to bank with based on its Yield Pledge Money Market online account which pays 1.11% on $0-$150,000 in balances
  • You also get a 1.60% bonus interest rate which applies to the first $150,000 for the first 6 months
  • Use ATMs across the country and never pay an EverBank ATM fee
  • Keep your balance at or above $5,000 each month, and EverBank will pay you back 100% of the ATM fees charged by other U.S. banks
  • No monthly bank fee
  • Free bill pay
  • Mobile check deposits

My Savings Direct

1.10%

$0

  • My Savings Direct also ranks high on our list of best banks based on its high yielding savings account
  • No fees and no minimums
  • No need to change your checking account. Your MySavings Account™ will be linked to your current checking account
  • Opening an account is easy; the only requirements are that you are at least 18 years old, have a valid tax identification number, a legal address, and a personal checking account at a U.S. bank

GE Capital Bank

1.05%

$0

  • Earn 1.05$ APY on $1 to $1,000,000
  • No minimum deposit required to open an account
  • No transaction fees
  • Interest compounded daily and paid monthly
  • Open a bank account online with no deposit

Synchrony Bank

1.05%

Varies

  • Earn 1.05% on any balance deposited in the High Yield Savings Online Account with Synchrony Bank
  • As long as you keep a $30 minimum balance, the bank will waive the $5 monthly service charge
  • If you are ever a victim of identity theft, Synchrony Bank will provide you with complimentary identity theft assistance service through Identity Theft 911®
  • You are automatically enrolled in Synchrony Bank Perks as soon as you open an account. No signup is required, and you don't have to keep track of points
  • Your perks, which start with deposit perks such as ATM reimbursements and expand to include exciting travel benefits, are based on your balance or the length of time you have been a customer with the bank — whichever is greater

Ally Bank

1.00%

$0

  • Although its high yielding rate is less than those provided by the banks above, we consider Ally Bank to be one of the very top ranking best banks to bank with
  • Ally Bank is one of the original online banks with free checking and no minimum balance requirement
  • Ally Bank’s online savings accounts currently pay a savings interest rate of 1% on any balance
  • The bank also provides a high yield checking account (0.60% APY). However, this APY is only offered on daily balances of $15,000 or more. If you have less than $15,000, then you only get a 0.10% APY
  • There is no minimum deposit required to open an account
  • There are no monthly bank maintenance fees
  • An Ally Bank account comes with no ATM fees (nationwide ATM fee refunds)
  • Schedule transfers up to a year in advance

Barclays Online Banking

1.00%

$0

  • Barclays is another top bank to bank with
  • The firm's high yield online savings account pays a 1.00% APY
  • Free checking account with no minimum balance
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balances required to open an account
  • Open a bank account online for free with no deposit
  • Online transfers to and from other banks
  • Direct deposits to make saving simple and easy

Salem Five Direct

1.00%

$0

  • Salem Five Direct is an online division of Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, which is located in Salem, Massachusetts, with over 150 years of banking experience
  • The bank’s online savings account offers a 1% APY
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Mostly importantly, there is no commitment  move money in and out whenever you want

iGO banking

1.00%

$0

  • High interest savings account
  • No account fees and no minimums to maintain the account
  • No monthly maintenance charges

Discover Bank

0.95%

$500

  • Earn 0.95% APY for all balances on a high yield Discover online savings account
  • Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly
  • No monthly service bank fees
  • No minimum balance bank requirements
  • 24/7 customer service
  • No hidden bank fees

American Express Bank

0.90%

$0

  • American Express Bank, FSB, is a top online bank that offers saving accounts with competitive rates
  • The firm’s High Yield Savings Account currently offers a 0.90% savings account interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Apply for an account online or by phone
  • No hidden bank fees
  • 24/7 account access

Bank5 Connect – High Yield Savings

0.90%

$10

  • Bank5 Connect, another one of our top online banks to bank with, offers everything a traditional bank does, including checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and more
  • The bank’s high yield savings account offers a 0.90% APY
  • It also offers online bill pay, e-statements, and free mobile banking
  • The minimum balance to open a Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings Account is $10
  • The minimum balance to earn interest is $100
  • It is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000

Sallie Mae Bank

0.80%

Varies

  • High-Yield Savings Account
  • Interest rate compounds daily – this gives you a higher return on your money
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements

Bank5 Connect  Checking

0.76%

$10

  • Bank5 Connect’s high-interest checking account currently pays a 0.76% APY
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Free online banking/bill pay/e-statements
  • UChoose Debit Rewards program
  • Free ATMs anywhere, anytime!**

Capital One 360

0.75%

$0

  • A high-interest savings account paying 0.75% APY
  • 360 Savings® — the online savings account from Capital One 360®
  • No maintenance or account opening fees required
  • No minimum balance required to open or keep an account

FNBO Direct

0.75%

$1

  • FNBO Direct Online Savings is a high-interest savings account that pays 0.75%
  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Free person-to-person payments with Popmoney®
** Please note that all rates, promotions, fees, information, and ranking/review factors presented in this article may change at any time. Please review the respective banks' websites for the most updated information.        

People’s United Bank Review-min

Top Traditional Banks with Free Checking Accounts (List & Comparison Reviews)

Below is the list of this year's best banks with free checking accounts. The list is followed by a detailed review and comparison of each of these top rated banks in America with free checking accounts.

List of Best Banks with Free Checking

  1. Bank of America (MyAccess Checking)
  2. Capital One (360 Free Checking)
  3. Chase (Total Checking)
  4. CIT Bank (High Yield Savings)
  5. Citibank (Basic Checking)
  6. PNC Bank (Virtual Wallet)
  7. SunTrust (EZ Checking)
  8. TD Bank (Convenience Account)
  9. U.S. Bank (Gold Checking Account)

Detailed Review of the Best Large banks with Free Checking Accounts

When conducting our research analysis to identify traditional top U.S. banks that provide free checking account options, we reviewed over fifty of the largest banks in the US.

A tough lesson most Americans have learned is that the days of completely free checking accounts with traditional, major banks are long gone. Most banks charge a fee to cover the costs of debit cards, checks, ATMs, tellers, and online banking. 

Despite most major traditional banks charging a monthly or service fee, your ability to avoid bank fees is not an impossible task or a fairy tale.

We identified numerous ways in which you can still maintain a free checking account with major banks without the fees

For example, most big banks on our list of best banks to bank with will waive the monthly fees if you meet some requirements, usually by directly depositing wages or maintaining a minimum balance.

Featured Bank: CIT

CIT is a traditional (brick-and-mortar) U.S. bank, and a top rated best bank to bank with. It is featured here based on its impressive high yield savings account, which is higher than those offered by most traditional banks. This account also has no maintenance fees.

CIT Bank’s high-interest savings account (High-Yield Savings) pays up to 1.05% APY (Tier 1), with no daily minimum balance required

  • The bank also has a Tier 2 savings account option, which also pays 1.05% but requires a daily balance of $25,000
  • The interest rate compounds daily, which gives you a higher return on your money
  • No fees to open the account, but you’ll need to deposit $100 into the account when you open it
  • No daily minimum balance

Best Free Checking Accounts (Comparison Table)

Account

Fees to Waive

How to Waive the Fee

Additional Info

Bank of America MyAccess Checking

$12

Bank of America will waive the $12 fee on its MyAccess Checking account if you have direct deposits of more than $250 per month or maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500.

Bank of America is huge – it estimates that 80% of Americans have access to its services – so it shouldn’t be hard to find a branch or ATM nearby.

Chase Total Checking

$10

The $12 fee is waived with $500 monthly direct deposits or a $1,500 minimum balance.

Chase has a nationwide footprint (low footprint in the Midwest).

The Chase Total Checking account does not have any bells and whistles to offer but is perfect for those who want straight checking.

Citibank Basic Checking

$10

A favorite option for direct depositors is the Citibank Basic Checking. It’s really easy to avoid the $10 fee by paying one bill with its online bill pay and having one direct deposit, which doesn’t require any minimum amount.

One direct deposit and one bill pay per month or a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in a checking or linked savings account.

Citibank has a nationwide footprint, but the real benefit of a Citibank account is the perks. Citibank offers presale tickets to tons of concerts and other events, so you can frequently get early access to big shows.

You can also earn up to 600 ThankYou points a month, which you can redeem for almost anything such as cash, travel, gift cards, and merchandise (redemption starts at 100 points).

Not only can you easily avoid fees, but it gives you rewards for banking with it.

PNC Virtual Wallet

$7

There are no monthly maintenance fees if you stay out of the bank, sticking to ATMs and online tools instead.

You do have the option to stop by a branch, but you will be charged the $7 monthly fee unless your direct deposits or total account holdings are more than $500.

If you live east of the Mississippi River, there’s probably a PNC Bank nearby.

Branches are located only east of the Mississippi River.

SunTrust EZ Checking

$7

The $7 fee is waived if you make 10 transactions per month and receive paperless statements.

This shouldn’t be a hard goal to hit if you use your debit card a lot, and you still have the option of stopping by a branch if you need to.

If you live in the Southeastern U.S., SunTrust EZ Checking might be right for you.

The account is pretty much no-frills, with a free debit card and all the online tools you need.

There are branches in 12 of the Southeastern states.

TD Bank Convenience Account

$15

A minimum daily balance of $100 is required.

As long as you have an average minimum balance of $100, the TD Bank Convenience Checking account is free.

It only has branches on the East Coast, but it’s a good option as long as you don’t dip below that $100 threshold.

U.S. Bank Gold Checking

$10.95

The $10.95 monthly fee is waived if you have any line of credit open with U.S. Bank – even just a credit card.

A favorite option for a free account at a brick-and-mortar bank is the U.S. Bank Gold Checking Account.

You can apply for one of its fee-free credit cards. You don’t even have to use the credit card.

The branches are mostly in the Midwest and western states.

Best Banks in America-min        



List of Biggest Banks in America

Largest US Banks to Bank With

Assets*

JP Morgan

2,096,114

Bank of America

1,599,746

Wells Fargo

1,571,389

Citigroup

1,335,871

US Bank

405,363

PNC

340,231

Bank of NY Mellon

316,699

State Street

274,919

Capital One

253,202

TD Bank

234,389

HSBC

194,569

SunTrust

185,316

BB&T

184,405

Fifth Third

138,030

Goldman Sachs

127,771

Morgan Stanley

126,857

Assets*:  Consolidated Assets (Mil $)

Largest Banks to Bank with in the US and Across the World

Due to their global operations and scale, these large banking firms also rank as the biggest banks in the worldMost of these large banks are considered systemically important financial firms (SIFIs).

SIFIs are banks or other financial institutions that are considered “too big to fail” because their failure could trigger a financial crisis.

Key Ranking Statistics: Major US Banks & Largest Banks in the World per Asset Size

#

Bank Name

Assets (Mil $)
(Consolidated)

Assets (Mil $)
(Domestic)

% Assets
(Domestic)

Branches
(Domestic)

Branches
(Foreign)

1

JP Morgan

2,096,114

1,528,986

73%

5,576

30

2

Bank of America

1,599,746

1,517,375

95%

4,894

33

3

Wells Fargo

1,571,389

1,532,131

98%

6,225

9

4

Citigroup

1,335,871

741,466

56%

802

273

5

US Bank

405,363

404,591

100%

3,230

1

6

PNC

340,231

336,828

99%

2,792

2

7

Bank of NY Mellon

316,699

212,257

67%

3

13

8

State Street

274,919

212,845

77%

2

11

9

Capital One

253,202

253,117

100%

873

0

10

TD Bank

234,389

234,389

100%

1,308

1

11

HSBC

194,569

190,667

98%

231

3

12

SunTrust

185,316

185,316

100%

1,479

0

13

BB&T

184,405

184,262

100%

1,875

1

14

Fifth Third

138,030

137,215

99%

1,349

1

15

Goldman Sachs

127,771

127,771

100%

1

1

16

Morgan Stanley

126,857

126,857

100%

0

0

** Source: US Federal Reserve Statistical Release Data
** Both TD Bank and HSBC are 100% foreign-owned banks
         


Top Credit Unions in the US

  1. Alliant Credit Union
  2. Digital Federal Credit Union
  3. First Technology Federal Credit Union
  4. Kinecta Federal Credit Union
  5. Lake Michigan Credit Union
  6. Patelco Credit Union
  7. Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  8. San Diego County Credit Union
  9. The Golden 1 Credit Union
  10. …… many more

Click here to visit our "top credit unions" page: Best Credit Unions in America


Which Is Better for You? A Traditional or an Online Bank?

There are various pros and cons to the two types of banking, but, at the end of the day, it’s really all about your preference.

A major advantage of going with a traditional bank is your ability to easily walk into a branch and conduct a bank transaction.

Online banks, on the other hand, have little to no branches, so their overall costs are much lower than traditional, big banks, and they can better pass these savings to you.

If you like to do most or all of your banking online and like to earn a higher interest APY on your checking account, then you want to go with the free or high-interest paying online checking or savings account.

If, however, you like the convenience and guarantee of a big bank, then you’ll want to go with a more traditional bank.   


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SELECTION METHODOLOGY

1. Type of Account Provided

What are the differences between high yield checking and high yield savings accounts?

A high yield checking account comes with greater flexibility than a high yield savings account.

Banking regulations place limits on savings accounts. You are only allowed to make six free transfers or withdrawals during each statement cycle from a savings account.

2. High Yield APY (high yield paying checking/savings accounts)

The APY (annual percentage yield) is the annual interest rate that the bank pays you for depositing your money in an account with it.

Having as high a yield as possible is a high priority for most individuals.

3. ATM Fees Refund

Some of the best banks on our list will refund your ATM fees up to a particular amount each month.

This allows you to use any third-party bank's ATM and have the ATM fee refunded that you are charged for using the other bank's ATM machine.

4. Monthly Fees

When selecting the best online banks to bank with and other traditional banking firms, we focused on banks with no monthly service fees.

5. Minimum Balance

The minimum balance is the minimum amount of money that a bank requires you to keep in your account each month.

For our top rated best banks to bank with, we focused on those firms with no minimum balance requirements.

6. Account Opening Deposit (minimum amount to open account)

The account opening deposit is the initial deposit required by some banks when you open an account.

7. Requirements to Earn High-Interest Rates

Most of the banks listed on our list of best banks for checking and savings accounts require you to meet a few requirements in order to qualify for the high-interest paying accounts. 

In addition, one or more of the top banks on our list only provides services to residents in a particular state or to individuals that are part of a group or affiliation.

FDIC-INSURED

All of the banks on our review lists of best banks to bank with are FDIC-insured.

In the unlikely event that any of these banks should fail, the FDIC would step in and "reimburse" your funds from the failed bank – up to $250,000 per bank and per beneficiary for checking, savings, and CD accounts.

The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) is backed by the full faith of the U.S. government, and $250,000 is the maximum amount allowed by law at FDI-insured banks.

In addition to savings, checking, and CD accounts, money market accounts and other types of demand deposits are also insured.

TYPES OF BANKING PRODUCTS

Retail Banks Accounts and Banking Products

  • Checking account
  • Savings account
  • Deposit account
  • Transaction account
  • Asset account
  • Loan account
  • Revolving loan account
  • Extension of credit
  • Credit account
  • Certificate of deposit account
  • Online bank account
  • Mortgage loan account
  • Safety deposit box
  • Other safekeeping services
  • Cash management services
  • Trust services

Financial and Investment Accounts – Broker-Dealer (BD), Global Markets (GM), Custodian, and Investment Manager (IM):

  • Broker-dealer trading accounts
  • Sales and trading
  • Transaction accounts
  • Custodian accounts
  • Trust services
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Investment management accounts
  • Clearing accounts
  • Services (research, M&A, etc.)
  • Investment and lending accounts

BANK DEFINITION

What is a bank? 

A bank or banking institution is any agent, branch, company, agency or office person that conducts business in any of the below capacities:

  • A commercial bank registered under the banking laws of a country within which the firm does business
  • A trust company registered under the banking laws of a country within which the firm does business
  • A registered private bank
  • A registered savings and loan association
  • An insured institution as defined in section 401 of the National Housing Act
  • A registered savings financial institution
  • A registered industrial bank
  • A registered thrift institution
  • A registered credit union
  • A registered national banking association