2016 RANKING OF TOP BANKS IN WASHINGTON

Intro: Why Do Consumers Need a Great Bank in Washington?

Whether you’re searching for banks in Seattle, banks in Spokane, WA or banks in Vancouver, WA, are you wondering why you would need to pick the best one? What is it that sets one bank apart from all the others? How is a top bank differentiated from one that’s average or subpar? What are the advantages of banking with a top financial institution?

Top 16 Banks in Washington Review-min



Many of the factors that set one bank apart from another are subtle yet can have a significant impact on your finances and the level of convenience you enjoy as a customer. For example, do you realize how much you might be paying in monthly service charge fees at your current bank? What about the maintenance fees you’re being charged for on your savings account?

That’s right—simply for using your own accounts and money, your bank may be charging you.

It’s factors like this and many others that help to define the best banks in Washington from all the others.

List of the Best Banks in Washington

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



Related (Please Review):

Top Banks in Washington-min


Methodology for Selecting Top Banks and Credit Unions

As mentioned above, one of the most important factors considered when ranking the top Washington banks are the fees they charge customers. What else is important when we’re reviewing and ranking the best banks in Washington?

We look at factors including reputation, how long the bank has served customers in the area, and the diversity of products and services that are available as well as convenience factors, including whether or not mobile and online banking are available and how many branch locations and ATMs may be located across the country.

Using that criteria, we’re then able to create an in-depth ranking of the top Washington banks. The following ranking is statewide, so it may include banks in Seattle, WA; banks in Bellevue, WA; banks in Tacoma, WA or anywhere throughout the state.

Click here for a detailed explanation of our methodology: AdvisoryHQ's Methodology for Selecting Top Banks and Credit Unions.


Top Banks in Washington (Statewide)

Bank

Location

Anchor Bank

Seattle Metro

Banner Bank

Northwestern & Central WA

Cashmere Valley Bank

Central WA

Columbia State Bank

Northwestern 

Heritage Bank

Northwestern 

HomeStreet Bank

Northwestern & Central WA

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Seattle Metro/Eastern WA

Kitsap Bank

Seattle Metro

MUFG Union Bank

Seattle Metro

Opus Bank

Seattle Metro

Peoples Bank

Seattle/Northern Area

Security State Bank

Western WA

Washington Federal

Northwestern 

Washington Trust Bank

Central/Eastern WA

Wells Fargo Bank

Tacoma/Seattle Metro

Yakima Federal Savings and Loan Association

Yakima & Surrounding Areas

(List is sorted alphabetically)

Detailed Review—Top Ranking Banks in Washington

After carefully considering Washington banks, we created the following list of the top 16. As you continue reading, you’ll find detailed reviews for each of our picks as well as specifics of some of the factors we used in our decision-making process.


FEATURED REVIEWS


 Anchor Bank Review


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Anchor Bank is a leading Northwest region financial institution with a history dating back more than 100 years. Anchor Bank not only serves the direct needs of the customer through innovative banking solutions but also the local communities, including partnerships with more than 50 local charities.

There are ten convenient branches of Anchor Bank, including in Olympia and Puyallup.

In addition to these in-person locations, customers can also enjoy accessibility to more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout the world, as part of the Allpoint Network. Services include personal and business banking as well as lending options.

Key Factors That Allowed This to Rank as One of the Top Banks in Washington

Primary reasons Anchor Bank was named one of the best banks in Washington are listed below.

Rewards Checking

Rewards Checking is a recently introduced offering from Anchor Bank that lets account holders take advantage of UChoose Rewards. These rewards are earned by accumulating points from retail and online purchases made with an Anchor Bank debit card.

Participants earn one point for every $2 spent on PIN and signature transactions and one point for every $4 spent on PIN-less transactions.

Rewards points can be redeemed for activities, travel, merchandise, tickets to events, cash, gift cards, and more.

Business Online Banking

For business customers of Anchor or those customers that do both business and personal banking here, there is a separate online banking portal called netBusiness, which is an efficient and convenient way to manage cash. Using netBusiness allows business customers to pay bills, transfer funds, originate payroll via ACH, and more, all without having to visit a branch or leave the office.

Other powerful business banking tools available through netBusiness include wire transfers, bill pay services, and transferring money between accounts in real time.

This is a great cash flow management tool because it saves busy business owners time, and it can be used alongside your personal online banking at Anchor.

Credit Cards

Anchor credit card options include Platinum and Classic cards. Both cards feature low variable rates as well as competitive APR on cash advances and transfers. The Platinum card has no annual fee while the annual fee for the Classic card is minimal.

Online account management is available, and the UChoose Rewards program can also be used with Anchor credit cards. You can use your card to earn points on your everyday purchases.

These cards are also embedded with a microchip, adding an extra layer of protection for all purchases made.

Anchor Bank Review-min

Home Loans

Along with being one of the top Washington banks with checking and savings options, Anchor Bank also features home loans and equity lines. The signature home loan from Anchor is called the POWERHOUSE Mortgage Loan.

This 10-year loan is designed to help borrowers pay off their homes more quickly while saving money on interest since they’re making fewer payments.

There are many other options in addition to the POWERHOUSE loan, and all lending decisions are made locally.

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Cashmere Valley Bank Review


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A top pick among Washington banks, Cashmere Valley Bank was founded in 1932. The city of Cashmere was selected because the area didn’t have a financial institution at that time, after two banks had failed during the Great Depression. From the 1970s to the early 1990s, five new branches were opened to serve local communities.

Now Cashmere Valley Bank has a presence in Ellensburg, Cle Elum, Chelan, and Yakima. This is also one of the best banks in Bellevue, WA, where the Municipal Banking office of Cashmere Valley is located. As well as traditional banking services, Cashmere Valley also offers investment, insurance, mortgage, and equipment lease services through subsidiaries and partnerships.

Key Factors Considered When Ranking This Bank as a Top 2016 Best Bank in Washington

Highlighted below are top reasons Cashmere Valley Bank was included in this ranking of the leading banks in Washington.

College Savings

Customers of Cashmere Valley can opt to open a Coverdell Education Savings Account, which is a custodial account or tax-advantaged trust that helps parents and students save for future education expenses.

This account includes tax-free earnings on non-deductible contributions if the funds are used for qualified education expenses, and, along with being used for post-secondary education costs, funds can also be used for elementary and secondary school expenses.

Funds can be used to pay for tuition as well as fees, books, supplies, and equipment. Anyone can contribute, and the beneficiary can be changed to an eligible family member. There are no annual fees or contribution requirements.

Freedom Checking

Freedom Checking is the most popular checking account available from Cashmere Valley. This flexible, convenient, and inexpensive checking account has no minimum daily balance requirement or monthly service charge fee.

The minimum opening deposit is only $100, and features including online banking, bill pay, mobile banking and telephone banking, all which can all be used with this checking account. It also includes e-statements with check images, overdraft protection options, and the availability of automatic transfers.

Cashmere Valley Bank Checking Accounts Review-min

Retirement Savings

For those customers interested in planning and saving for retirement, Cashmere Valley Bank offers traditional and Roth IRAs. With traditional IRAs, account holders see increased savings potential because of tax-free contributions and earnings that are tax-deferred.

With the Roth IRA, account holders pay income taxes on their contributions at current tax rates, but they get tax-free distributions.

Cashmere Valley highlights the income, age, and other requirements for each of these accounts on its website.

Online Banking

Online banking from Cashmere Valley Bank is designed to offer convenience, accessibility, and ease of use; it’s also free. This real-time banking system provides a complete financial picture, and you can also combine data from other outside institutions.

Features of Cashmere Valley Bank’s online banking portal include:

  • Track and categorize transactions for better budgeting and spending management
  • See and review your accounts, budgets, transactions, and financial goals
  • Aggregate data from more than 12,000 sources in one location
  • Monitor account activity with customized alerts
  • Transfer funds to make loan payments
  • Transfer funds to and from external accounts
  • View images of cleared checks and deposited items
  • Order Stop Payments
  • Download account information
  • Pay bills

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Kitsap Bank Review


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With more than 20 locations in six Western Washington counties, Kitsap is a top bank in Tacoma, WA as well as one of the best Seattle banks. This community bank was started in Port Orchard, Washington in 1908 and, since that time, has grown and expanded, but the values remain the same.

Today, Kitsap operates locations throughout Western Washington and provides a full array of financial services and products. Kitsap is also stable, with more than $960 million in assets.

Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as One of the Top 2016 Banks in Washington

When reviewing and ranking the best banks in Washington, the following are primary reasons Kitsap was included on this list.

Sustainable Banking

As a bank that’s dedicated to the community and supporting local businesses, as well as the environment, Kitsap strives to improve efficiency at all locations, support eco-friendly nonprofits, and partner with vendors offering sustainable products.

Kitsap even offers a “green” banking option, which is called Eco Checking. Eco Checking requires a $100 minimum opening deposit, but when you sign up for environmentally-friendly e-statements, there is no monthly maintenance fee. This account also includes free online banking and bill pay so that account holders don’t have to receive any paper documents.

As well as green accounts and eco-friendly partnerships, Kitsap also works to support local businesses that it feels are doing great things in the community.

Smart Choice Checking

Smart Choice Checking is for account holders with higher balances that want to earn competitive interest rates while still having the flexibility of liquidity. The minimum balance to open the account is only $100, and if certain daily balance requirements are met, the monthly fee can be waived.

The interest rate is tiered, and there are also perks that come with this account, including Identity Theft and Fraud Assistance, Roadside Assistance, and shopping and dining discounts.

This checking account also includes a discount on Safe Deposit Boxes, free personalized program checks, and three free cashier’s checks per month.

Personal Loans

There are several different personal loan products available from Kitsap, each of which has competitive terms and interest rates.

The first are auto loans, with flexible terms and availability for a variety of types of vehicles.

Also available are mortgage loans as well as home equity loans for home remodels.

For those lending needs that don’t fall into these categories, there are personal loans, which are offered in both secured and unsecured options.

Overdraft Services

To help customers in as many ways as possible, Kitsap offers overdraft services.

Some of the overdraft protection options include a Home Equity Line of Credit which can be linked to a checking account. There’s also the option to use a Balance Watch Automatic Transfer. This authorizes the bank to watch the balance on your account by linking your checking to another qualified account. If there is an accidental overdraft, funds are automatically transferred into your checking account to cover the amount.

You can also receive balance alerts through the Kitsap Bank free online banking service.

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MUFG Union Bank Review


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MUFG Union Bank, also frequently just called Union Bank, is one of the top banks in Seattle as well as a leading bank in Bellevue, WA and one of the premier full-service financial institutions and banks in Tacoma, WA. MUFG Union Bank has offices across the U.S. and features an extensive portfolio of value-added, consumer-driven solutions.

The bank has assets of $120 billion, as well as strong levels of capital reserves, and the bank is part of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the largest international financial institutions. Retail banking branches are available across Washington as well as in California and Oregon.

Key Factors That Led Us to Rank This as a Top Bank in Washington

Highlighted below are key details of why MUFG Union was included in this ranking of the top Washington banks, including the best banks in Seattle.

Economic Opportunity Mortgage Loans

Union Bank offers many different lending and mortgage options, including the Economic Opportunity Mortgage program, also called the EOM program. This is designed for low-to-moderate-income households who want to purchase a home or refinance an existing loan.

It’s designed to make ownership or refinancing affordable through competitive interest rates and no requirement for private mortgage insurance. This is also a home loan program with lower monthly payments as compared to traditional loans.

You can purchase a home with a low down payment and save on many other fees that are often required with traditional loans.

Access Account

Union Bank offers quite a few alternative accounts to suit a range of needs, and one of those is the Access Account. This is a low-cost account designed for people who may not want or need a standard checking account but still want access to convenient banking features.

There is no monthly service charge if certain criteria are met, and customers who are on the ChexSystem may be accepted, making it a good second chance banking option. It includes an ATM card with unlimited branch and Union Bank ATM deposits, transfers, and withdrawals.

It also includes no overdraft fees and discounted fees on money orders.

High Rate Money Market

A High Rate Money Market account is linked to a Union Bank personal checking account, and it earns interest based on the combined balance of these two accounts.

Features of the High Rate Money Market include:

  • Up to six withdrawals or transfers can be made from the account each month. This includes checks and point-of-sale debit card transactions.
  • Rates are tiered, so they increase as your balance grows.
  • Interest is compounded monthly.
  • There is no monthly service charge if you maintain a $10,000 minimum daily ledger balance.
  • It includes a debit/ATM card.

Banking by Design

Banking by Design is a signature Union Bank offering that lets customers personalize their checking accounts by adding the features they need and want. The minimum opening deposit is only $100, the monthly service charge is only $3, and this charge can be waived if you meet simple criteria such as having a single mobile check deposit of $250 or more during a statement cycle.

Account holders can select features including unlimited check writing, sending money from a mobile device, online banking and bill pay or account alerts. There are also options like an unlimited check supply, expedited card delivery, and incoming wire transfers.

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Security State Bank Review


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Security State Bank was founded in 1903, making it one of the oldest independent commercial Washington banks. Since 1910, there have only been four people to serve as the president of the bank, indicating the reliability and stability of this pick for one of the best banks in Washington. Throughout its long history, Security State Bank has remained a locally-owned, independent community bank.

Current services available from Security include personal and business banking as well as lending options. Branches and ATM locations are founded in Centralia, Packwood, Morton, Grayland, Chehalis, Winlock, South Bend, and more.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Banks in Washington

The list below represents reasons Security State Bank was selected for this ranking of top Washington banks.

eChecking

Convenience and accessibility are two of the primary benefits of the eChecking account. This paperless account is ideal for any customer that wants to bank online or by using a mobile device.

It includes e-statements, and since they are paperless, there are no checks. The minimum balance to open the account is $100, and there is no monthly service charge. Also included are free online and mobile banking and free bill pay service as well as no minimum balance requirement after the account is opened. It also includes a Visa Debit Card or ATM card upon approval.

Security Advantage Checking

Another valuable checking account option from Security State Bank is Security Advantage Checking. This account is designed to reward customers for their relationship with the bank, and it's for customers who have a combined deposit and/or loan balance of at least $20,000.

Benefits of this account include:

  • The balances earn a competitive interest rate
  • Free Security Advantage Checks
  • Receive a Security State Visa Platinum Card with no annual fee upon credit approval
  • Special rates on CDs
  • Money orders and cashier’s checks at no fee
  • Free online banking, mobile banking, and bill pay

Savings Accounts

Along with offering several different checking accounts to suit a broad range of needs, Security State Bank also features various savings accounts.

These include the following:

  • The Security Saver account has a $100 minimum balance to open, and it earns interest.
  • A Minor Savings Account is for customers under 21 years of age, is interest-earning, and has no service charge before the account holder’s 21st birthday.
  • Money Market Deposit Accounts are interest-bearing, and interest rates are tiered based on the account balance. Checks can be written from these accounts.
  • CDs are offered at fixed rates and with a variety of terms, which can range from 32 days to 99 months.
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) available through Security State include traditional and Roth IRAs. Customers can also open a Coverdell Education Savings account, a Simplified Employee Pension IRA or a self-directed IRA

Conveniences

Security State Bank strives to offer a banking experience that’s accessible, simple, and delivers the utmost in value to customers. It’s with those concepts in mind that it offers a range of conveniences which include:

  • Debit cards
  • ATM cards
  • Online banking available 24 hours a day, featuring a Personal Demo to learn how to maximize use of this convenience
  • Online Bill Payment which is automatic and fast
  • Mobile phone banking
  • E-statements
  • 24-hour telephone banking
  • SecurityLine is an unsecured personal line of credit that can be used as overdraft protection for a personal checking account
  • Visa Gift Cards

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To browse exclusive reviews of all top rated banks in Washington, please click on any of the links below


Conclusion – Top 16 Banks in Washington

The Northwest region and Washington state, in general, is a unique area, and the people have specific financial needs and interests. The best banks are often those institutions that have a local history and community-driven decision-making process as well as stability and a credible reputation in the area.

All of the banks that are included in this ranking of the best banks in Washington embody those characteristics. Whether it’s the best banks in Seattle, top banks in Spokane, WA or the most respected banks in Vancouver, WA, each of the names on this ranking provides the tools, products, and services that Washington customers need to take control of their finances presently and plan appropriately for the future.

Some of the criteria used to create this ranking of the top Washington banks included not only locally-driven services and solutions but also the cost of doing business, the particular features of the products they offer, and whether or not they’ve exceled over many years at meeting the financial needs of the communities in which they’re located.


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Cheers,               

AdvisoryHQ Team


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