Intro: Key Questions to Finding the Best Banks in New York (NYC, Buffalo, & Other NY Cities)

Do you live or work in New York? If so, how much money are you paying each month in banking fees with a NY based bank? Could you be saving a substantial amount of money by reducing or eliminating those fees?

What about interest yields? Are you earning interest with your New York bank that are competitive in both your checking and savings accounts?

All of these are essential questions to ask when you’re considering the best bank in NY to use and whether or not it’s time to move to another NY bank.

Top Banks in New York Review-min

It’s with these guiding questions in mind, along with many others, that this review, ranking and list of banks in New York was created.

The New York City Metro, as well as the entire state of New York, is a thriving hub of commerce and a center of the world’s economy. It’s only natural that this is also where some of the world’s top retail banks are found.

This list of the best banks in New York covers a diverse selection of institutions, from community to national banks.

It’s also dispersed geographically, so the ranking includes everything from the best bank in NYC to the top banks in Buffalo.

Each bank included on this list of the best New York banks was researched with one thing in mind: the needs of the consumer.

AdvisoryHQ's List of the Best Banks in New York

This list is sorted alphabetically (click any of the above names to go directly to the detailed review for that bank).

Top 16 Best Banks in New York
(List is sorted alphabetically)



 Bank of America

New York

 Capital One

New York


New York

 Citizens Bank

New York

 First Niagara Bank

New York


New York

 JPMorgan Chase Bank

New York


New York

 M&T Bank

New York

 New York Community Bank

New York

 People's United Bank

New York

 Santander Bank, N.A.

New York

 Signature Bank

New York

 TD Bank

New York

 Valley National Bank

New York

 Wells Fargo Bank

 New York

Don't Miss: High Yield Bank Accounts

Methodology for Selecting Top Banks and Credit Unions

To compile this comprehensive review and list of best banks in New York, AdvisoryHQ utilized a rigorous research and ranking process. All research was done from the perspective of the consumer to provide the best information possible.

Some of the criteria considered during the research process include fees, convenience, branches, online banking, education materials, and the selection of available services.

Click below for a detailed overview of AdvisoryHQ’s methodology for ranking the best banks in NYC, selecting the top banks in Buffalo, and reviewing other popular banks across NY.

AdvisoryHQ's Methodology for Selecting Top Banks and Credit Unions.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Banks in New York

After carefully considering the best banks in New York, we created the following list of top ranked banks in New York.

As you continue reading, you’ll find in-depth reviews for each of our selections as well as details of why these particular banks were selected.

Featured Reviews 

First Niagara Bank Review

First Niagara is one of the leading banks in Buffalo, where its headquarters is located, but it’s also ranked as the 44th largest bank in the U.S.

This multi-state community bank maintains about 390 branches and has around $40 billion in assets. First Niagara Bank locations are found throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

This leader among banks in Buffalo and New York banks in general is led by President and CEO Gary M. Crosby.

Key Factors Leading Us to Rank This Bank as One of the Top Banks in New York

First Niagara was included on this list of banks in New York for many reasons, including the following that are detailed below.

Finding a Checking Account

It can be overwhelming to determine what banking products and services are right for you, your family, and your financial needs, so First Niagara strives to make this easier for customers. One of the ways it does this is through its guide to finding a checking account.

It's a simplified format that allows you to answer basic questions about yourself, and you’ll be pointed in the right direction.

To begin, you answer whether you’re a student, just married, retired, relocated for work, looking to consolidate or just exploring your options.

You then enter information on current account balances, ATM usage, and preferences before receiving a customized recommendation.

Health Savings Accounts

A valuable product offering from First Niagara is its Health Savings Account options, which are designed for customers with high-deductible health plans. These HSA options allow account holders to put pre-tax money aside to fund medical expenses that wouldn’t be covered by insurance.

To be eligible, customers must have a high-deductible insurance plan. Contributions are tax-deductible. All users need to do to set up one of these accounts is print the forms from the First Niagara website and send them in. There are also guides available, including “Understanding HSA,” “Setting Up My HSA Checklist,” and “Managing MY HSA Account.”

First Niagara Champion Savings 

First Niagara Champion Savings is a versatile savings account product that requires customers to deposit as little as $50 to open a new account.

The monthly maintenance fee is waived for account holders who maintain an average daily balance of $400, make direct deposits of $25 or more to the account per month or maintain a consumer checking relationship with an average balance of $1 or more per month.

Account holders of the Companion Savings option can also take advantage of online banking and 24/7 account management as well as a choice of paper or convenient eStatements.

Apple Pay

First Niagara account holders have the option of using advanced Apple Pay, which can be linked to either their credit or debit card. It allows users to pay for purchases quickly, with one touch at checkout and without searching for a card.

First Niagara cards that are used for iTunes can be added to Passbook quickly, which is required for the use of Apple Pay. If a First Niagara card isn’t set up in iTunes yet, it can be done by using an Apple device camera or through manually entering the card details.

Apple Pay  isn’t only one of the most convenient way to pay retailers, but it’s considered one of the safest and securest.

New York Community Bank Review

New York Community Bank is part of the New York Community Bancorp Inc., and this state-chartered savings bank works with customers throughout New York as well as New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona. Along with being considered a top selection for the best bank in New York, New York Community Bank is also the largest thrift in the nation.

The history of the bank goes back to 1859 when the state initially chartered it. In the New York metro, branches of the bank are dispersed throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and other locations.

Key Factors That Enabled Us to Rank This Bank as One of the Best Banks in NYC and New York State

Based on a comparison of NYC banks, PNC was selected as one of the best based on the following criteria and ranking details.

My Community Free Checking

In an effort to provide reduced fees to customers, New York Community Bank is one of the top banks in New York offering a free checking account option. The My Community Free Checking account is a personal account with unlimited check writing.

With My Community Free Checking, along with no monthly fees, there are also rewards options available, and account holders can choose to have paperless e-Statements delivered to them.

Rewards Program

New York Community Bank offers a rewards program for account holders each time they use their Visa check card on particular transactions. Customers are automatically enrolled in the program by opening a consumer checking account, and it’s possible to earn cash with as few as 2,000 rewards points.

Account holders have the opportunity to earn up to 50,000 points, or $500, every calendar year, and if your points exceed that amount, they roll over to the next year. Each time $2,000 points or more are accrued, accounts are credited with cash automatically.


New York Community Bank offers account holders the opportunity to seamlessly and quickly send money using Popmoney. This personal payment service provides account holders from one of the top banks in New York with an easy way to receive and request money.

Popmoney is also part of the bill pay service provided by NYCB, and all you need to send money using this platform is the name and email address or phone number of the recipient.

Since it’s offered through NYCB, all of the same security and protection measures are in place when account holders use Popmoney.

Account and Security Alerts

To ensure that customers and account holders can maintain control over their finances and how their money is handled, NYCB offers various account and security alerts.

You can choose what to be notified about, and this includes if your balance goes above or below an amount you set, when a direct deposit is made into your account, or when a withdrawal, deposit or check posts to your account.

You can also receive personalized alerts through email, text message, and push notification.

Security alerts  are automatically sent to an account holder’s primary email address and can be customized to be sent by text message or push notification.

TD Bank Review

TD Bank has been recognized for its delivery of excellent, personal banking customer service for more than 150 years. What initially started as Portland Savings Bank in Portland, Maine, in 1852, has grown to include many locations throughout the country as well as in New York. 

TD is recognized as one of the ten largest banks in the U.S., with about 26,000 employees and more than 8.5 million customers throughout the country.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This Bank as One of the Best Banks in New York

Key reasons TD Bank was included in this ranking of the top banks in NYC, as well as throughout the state, are listed below.

Digital Payments

As an innovative, forward-thinking financial institution, TD Bank embraces advanced technology in every possible area, and that includes the provision of digital payment options. Digital payments add another layer of security to purchases and transactions, and they also make it faster to pay and check out quickly.

TD’s accounts integrate with the three primary digital wallet solutions: Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Account holders can also use Visa Checkout to pay online with their TD Bank Visa Card, which lets them pay with a single login from any device, without re-entering payment and shipping advice. Checkout is as simple as a single click with participating retailers.

Clover 1 Merchant Solutions

TD customers have access to not only personal banking services but also business options. One way TD serves the needs of businesses and merchants is with the provision of The Clover 1 solution suite, which helps business clients not just accept payments but also manage and protect their business.

Features of the Clover 1 solution include the ability to process any payment securely, in flexible ways, and to get customized solutions and support when needed.

The solutions suite also includes cloud apps to help promote customer loyalty and security, for managing reporting and scheduling, and to manage inventory.

Cross-Border Banking

A range of convenient services is available to clients who require banking across the Canada-United States border. Clients can open a U.S. dollar account online, apply for U.S. mortgages and credit cards, and can take advantage of free wire transfers between Canadian and U.S. TD accounts.

The three TD accounts available to customers who need banking, which extend across the Canada-U.S. border, include TD Simple, TD Convenience, and TD Premier.

TD Relationship Checking

One of the top-level checking accounts available from TD is the Relationship Checking account, which is packed with exclusive benefits, features, and discounts.

These include the following:

  • Account holders earn interest on their account balance
  • There is a discount rate on TD Bank home loans
  • TD ATM fees are waived regardless of the balance
  • Non-TD ATM usage includes fees reimbursed when a minimum daily balance of at least $2,500 is maintained
  • Free money orders
  • Free standard checks
  • Free waivers on savings accounts
  • Transfer fees waived for overdraft protection
  • When a $20,000  combined minimum daily balance is maintained between TD Bank deposit accounts, the $25 monthly maintenance fee is waived

Wells Fargo Review

Wells Fargo is a large, multinational presence in the world of banking with $1.8 trillion in assets. It’s a diversified financial services provider founded in 1852 that delivers not only retail banking services, but also insurance, investments, mortgages and more.

Along with the banks in New York, Wells Fargo has 8,700 worldwide locations and 13,000 ATMs. Wells Fargo also works with more than 70 million customers and has been honored by media outlets including Barron’s, Forbes and Fortune.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This Bank as One of the Best Banks in New York

When comparing and researching the best bank in New York, the following were some of the criteria that made Wells Fargo a standout selection.

Establishing Credit

Wells Fargo is unique because even though it’s a global powerhouse in terms of banking and finance, it offers many educational and informational resources to customers and the public in general.

One focus area of Wells Fargo is providing consumers with information to aid them in establishing and maintaining good credit. It has put together a comprehensive online guide that includes tips and activities to establish credit and build a sound financial foundation.

It also offers more exclusive resources to help people with building their credit history. This includes information on credit basics, and video guides on attaining credit.

Finally, it features product selections for people who are just beginning to establish credit, such as secured loans and secured lines of credit.

Servicemembers and Military Families

Wells Fargo remains consistently committed to providing resources and support for military servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

Not only does it bank participate in community programs providing support to veterans in the community, but it also works to employ veterans. Some of the programs it actively participates in are the SBA Veterans Pledge Initiative and the Warriors to Summits programs.

Additional Wells Fargo programs help servicemenbers and spouses translate their military skills into career competencies, and deliver banking products and services focused on their unique needs.

Some of these banking services include a combination of online classes, local seminars, and on-base forums to improve the financial literacy of veteran participants.

PMA Package

The PMA Package is a checking option for those Wells Fargo customers with higher balances. The PMA Package is a premier option that features more benefits including bonus interest rates, fee waivers and discounts on banking services.

PMA also includes combined statements and online access for easy money management, and these customers are served by the Wells Fargo Premier Banking Team.

There is no monthly service fee on additional Wells Fargo linked checking and savings accounts, an annual fee waiver is available on an eligible home equity line of credit, and participants can receive a Platinum Debit Card.

Wells Fargo Works for Small Business

Wells Fargo Works for Small Business is a program designed specifically to address the banking and financial needs of small business owners.

Services are designed to fit with each step of the business cycle, from launching a new business, to running it and growing it.

Through the Small Business program participants not only have access to premier banking products, but also comprehensive resources that can allow them to be more successful in their ventures.

Below, click on the individual banks included in the Top Banks in New York list, to browse the exclusive reviews:

Conclusion – Top 16 Banks in New York

If you’re looking for banks in NYC, banks in Buffalo or banks anywhere throughout the state of New York, there are likely to be some important considerations you take into mind.

Some of these common considerations include the cost to do business with a bank, including associated fees, the sense of transparency, the length of time they’ve been serving the community, the products they have available, and how technologically advanced their services are.

When creating this comprehensive list of banks in New York, these factors and many more weighed heavily into the ranking process. Each of the above institutions is not only considered to be one of the best banks in New York, but they also cater to a wide variety of financial and personal needs. Despite their similarities in the quality of service and products, they are also unique from one another with signature offerings and exclusive products.


Follow AdvisoryHQ  for insightful stories:

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.