RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST BALTIMORE BANKS & CREDIT UNIONS


These 8 Baltimore Credit Unions & Banks Can Help Your Bank Account Thrive (Plus 1 Bank to Avoid)

We all like to get ahead financially, but it’s not always easy to find more dollars and cents at the end of the month to put toward the future. If you happen to live in the harbor city of Baltimore, MD, the right Baltimore bank can help you do just that.

Baltimore is not only the largest city in MD, it’s also just 40 miles from our nation’s capital in Washington DC. It also is the #2 largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic. And with a city this size, there are a lot of credit unions and banks in Baltimore, Maryland vying for your business.

Best Banks & Credit Unions in Baltimore, MD

Award Emblem: Top 8 Best Banks & Credit Unions in Baltimore, MD

This means that if you choose where you bank in Baltimore, MD wisely and according to your financial goals, you can gain financially through things like free and interest bearing checking, cash back rewards programs, and high interest rate CDs.

We’ve searched through the best Baltimore banks and credit unions to find those that offer the most perks to help you prosper financially. We’ve also looked at things like reputation and customer service, and rated each accordingly.

As a bonus, we’ll let you know which Baltimore credit union or bank doesn’t quite measure up, and that you should avoid until they make improvements.  



Top 8 Best Baltimore Banks & Credit Unions (and 1 to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Baltimore Bank or Credit UnionRatings
1st Mariner Bank5
Hamilton Bank5
MECU of Baltimore5
SECU5
Securityplus Federal Credit Union5
The Harbor Bank of Maryland5
M&T Bank3
The Columbia Bank3
Members First of Maryland Federal Credit Union1

Table: Top 8 Credit Unions and Banks in Baltimore (& 1 to Avoid) | Above list is sorted by rating



Baltimore Credit Unions & Banks FAQ | Which Cities are Suburbs of Baltimore?

If you’re moving to a town around Baltimore, MD, you may be wondering if that Baltimore bank you’re considering also has branches in Columbia, Maryland. Or if you live in Baltimore, but work in Ellicott City, is a certain Baltimore credit union going to have an ATM nearby?

If you’re new to the city and you’ve started researching local banks and credit unions in Baltimore, it helps to know which towns are close when taking a look over branch and ATM locations.

Here are some of the more popular Baltimore, Maryland suburbs:

  • Columbia, MD
  • Ellicott City, MD
  • Fulton, MD
  • Gambrills, MD
  • Highland, MD
  • Ilchester, MD
  • Scaggsville, MD


AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.


Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Credit Unions & Banks in Baltimore, MD (Plus 1 to Avoid)

Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of top credit unions and banks in Baltimore. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these Baltimore, Maryland banks & credit unions to score so highly in our selection ranking

Click on any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.



1st Mariner Bank Review


1st Mariner Bank is the largest independently owned bank in Baltimore. It was started in 1995 and offers free access to over 25,000 1st Mariner and MoneyPass® ATMs across the U.S.

Below are the highlights that make 1st Mariner Bank stand out on this 2018 best Baltimore banks & credit unions ranking.

1st Mariner Bank in Baltimore at a Glance:

  • 14 branch locations in Baltimore, MD & surrounding areas
  • Voted Best in Business Banking in The Daily Record’s Readers Rankings Awards
  • Voted Best Mortgage Broker in The Capital Gazette Readers Choice Awards
  • Free personal checking with free thank-you gift for signing up
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Get Ahead with Business Interest Checking

If you have a small business and are looking for a way to stretch that month-end budget, 1st Mariner is a Baltimore bank that gives you the chance to earn interest on your checking account. If you keep at least $1,500 in the account, checking is free and you’ll earn a competitive interest rate on the balance.

Rating Summary

We rated 1st Mariner Bank a 5 as one of the best banks in Baltimore, MD. They’re a home town bank that offers some great ways to get ahead financially.

Their free and interest bearing checking accounts are tailored for both business and personal accounts. They also have a Money Market Maximizer account designed to provide the flexibility of checking with the interest of a high-yield mutual fund.

If you like to bank locally because they give back to the community, then you won’t be disappointed with this bank in Baltimore. They have a community outreach program and participate in community reinvestment.

See Also: Northwest Savings Bank Review | Ranking & Rating



Hamilton Bank Review


Hamilton Bank serves customers throughout southern PA, MD, DC, and northern VA. They are one of the regional banks in Baltimore, Maryland that offers a complete package of personal and business banking services, plus gives you access to 50,000 no-fee ATMs.

Below are the highlights that make Hamilton Bank stand out on this 2018 Ranking of Best Baltimore Banks & Credit unions.

Hamilton Bank at a Glance:

  • 7 branch locations in Baltimore, MD & surrounding areas
  • Bank President/CEO named one of Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs by The Daily Record
  • Several interest checking options
  • Remote deposit capture for businesses
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Choose Your Favorite Personal Interest Account

Have you wanted to earn interest on your checking account at other Baltimore, Maryland banks, but couldn’t keep up with their minimum balance requirement?

Hamilton Bank offers 3 levels of interest checking to pick from. Their Low Minimum account has a minimum balance of just $100 and their Advantage 50 account has no minimum balance.  

Rating Summary

Hamilton Bank scored a 5 on our ranking of the top banks and credit unions in Baltimore. If you want the excellent customer service of a local bank with the convenience of more locations, then this regional bank in Baltimore, MD is a perfect fit.

They have a full suite of business and personal financial offerings besides their checking and savings accounts, which include investments, cash management services, and merchant services.

Don’t Miss: Old National Bank Ranking & Reviews



MECU of Baltimore Review


MECU of Baltimore, which touts itself as “Baltimore’s credit union,” has been serving the city since 1936. They’re one of the Baltimore credit unions that’s part of the CO-OP network of shared branches, giving them a reach of over 5,000 shared branches and 30,000+ ATMs.

Below are the highlights that make MECU of Baltimore stand out on this 2018 Ranking of Best Baltimore Banks & Credit Unions.

MECU of Baltimore at a Glance:

  • 9 branch locations in Baltimore, MD & surrounding areas
  • Their CEO recognized as one of Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs by The Daily Record.
  • Received U.S. Treasury Department grant of $2 million to invest in low-income areas in the city
  • Member rewards and discounts program
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Get Cash Back Bonuses

How would you like to share in your Baltimore credit union or bank profits? This is one of the Baltimore credit unions that lets you do just that. They’re a non-profit, so their customers are members and shareholders. They recently rewarded members with $1 million in cash back bonuses. If they do well, you get a cut of the action.

Rating Summary

MECU of Baltimore gets high ratings across multiple sites for being a great place to bank. We scored them a 5 on our list of the best credit unions in Baltimore.

It’s easy to qualify for membership. Anyone that lives, works, worships, or goes to school in Baltimore can bank there. The combination of their member rewards programs, discounts, and member bonuses, make them one of the best Baltimore credit unions to earn more from your money.

Related: Pacific Western Bank Review & Ranking | What You Should Know About Pacific Western Bank



SECU Review


This next Baltimore credit union was started in 1951 with a borrowed desk and chair. Today, SECU serves over 230,000 members and you don’t have to be a state employee to join. A number of different qualifying relationships with organizations can allow you to become a member.

Below are the highlights that make SECU stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of Best Baltimore Banks & Credit Unions.

SECU at a Glance:

  • 21 branch locations in Baltimore, MD & surrounding areas
  • Member of the CO-OP network of shared branches, with over 30,000 ATMs in places like Target an Costco
  • Offers young members a way to establish credit
  • Refer a friend and get $25
  • Better Business Bureau A- rating

Cash Back Visa® Credit Card

You don’t have to go to one of the big banks in Baltimore, Maryland to get some sweet cash back rewards when you spend money. SECU’s Cash Back Visa® lets you earn 2% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% on everything else you buy.

Rating Summary

SECU earned a 5 star rating on our Ranking of the Top Baltimore Credit Unions and Banks. They get high marks for customer service and have several programs to help you multiply your money.

Besides their cash back card, you can also get cash just from referring a friend to them. And they’re also one of the Baltimore, Maryland banks or credit unions that has multiple convenient locations both in dedicated and shared network branches.

Popular Article: Prosperity Bank (Ranking & Review)



Securityplus Federal Credit Union Review


This next credit union in Baltimore, MD is one of the largest in Maryland, having over 34,000 members. Securityplus Federal Credit Union was founded in 1938, and anyone that lives, works, worships, or attends school in Baltimore is eligible to join.

Below are the highlights that make Securityplus Federal Credit Union stand out on this 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks & Credit Unions in Baltimore, MD.

Securityplus Federal Credit Union at a Glance:

  • 6 branch locations in Baltimore, MD & surrounding areas
  • Awarded a Biz Kid$ grant by the National Credit Union Foundation to promote financial literacy
  • They give back to the community through scholarships & charitable contributions
  • Share certificate investment with as high as 1.71% APY
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Free Financial Counseling

Do you wonder how much better you could do financially if you could only afford a top financial counselor? You don’t have to wonder anymore. Securityplus is one of the Baltimore credit unions that offers members free money management advice and counseling through GreenPath Financial Wellness.

Rating Summary

Securityplus Federal Credit Union scored a 5 on our list of the best credit unions and banks in Baltimore. They give their members lots of extras that all banks in Columbia, Maryland or Baltimore may not have like free coin counting, no cost financial counseling, and free accidental death & dismemberment insurance.

Their motto promotes their goal to make “a positive difference” in the lives of their members. Their website makes it easy to see how, with their “Life Happens” choices that take you directly to the banking area that matches your stage in life from first starting out through retirement.

Read More: Sandy Spring Bank Ranking & Review


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The Harbor Bank of Maryland Review


If you’re looking for a small hometown Baltimore-based bank, then The Harbor Bank of Maryland is one to take a closer look at. They’ve been serving the community since 1982,and have 6 branches in the Baltimore area, plus another in Riverdale, MD.

Below are the highlights that make The Harbor Bank of Maryland stand out on this 2018 best Baltimore banks & credit unions ranking.

The Harbor Bank of Maryland at a Glance:

  • 6 branch locations in Baltimore, MD & surrounding areas
  • Received $70 million in tax credits from the U.S. Treasury Department to spur community revitalization
  • Recognized with the Bank Enterprise Award for increased lending in Baltimore
  • Fixed CD rates as high as 2.122% APY
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund (MBPF)

If you have a great idea for a minority-owned business, but aren’t sure which Baltimore banks to go to for financing, check out the Harbor Bank of Maryland. They partnered with TEDCO to form the MBPF to spur economic growth and support the passion of minority entrepreneurs.

Rating Summary

As small bank in Baltimore that has a mighty big positive impact on the city, we rated The Harbor Bank of Maryland a 5 as one of the best Baltimore banks. Their support of economic development in Baltimore both through community reinvestment and support of small business owners is truly impressive.

While they may not be the bank everyone chooses due to their smaller footprint, they are a shining example of how closely a hometown bank in Baltimore can be tied to the success of their local community.

Related: TCF Bank Reviews – What You Want To Check Out! (Overdraft Protection & Bank Review)


M&T Bank Review


This bank in Baltimore has been around for over 160 years and has grown into a large eastern regional bank. M&T Bank serves communities in NY, NJ, CT, PA, MD, DE, VA, WV, and DC. They’re also well-known in this city because M&T Bank Stadium is where the Baltimore Ravens NFL team plays.

Below are the highlights that make M&T Bank stand out on this 2018 best Baltimore banks & credit unions ranking.

M&T Bank at a Glance:

  • 19 branch locations in Baltimore, MD & surrounding areas
  • Ranked by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as the 6th Largest SBA Lender in the country
  • Chosen by Money Magazine as one of the Best Banks in America
  • Flexible home equity line of credit
  • Better Business Bureau A rating

M&T CHOICEquity

Just when you think you’re getting ahead, an unexpected repair or hospital stay can drain your savings. This is one of the banks in Baltimore, MD that understands those kind of unplanned costs. With their M&T CHOICEquity home equity loan, you can have a fixed rate for revolving credit, make payments only on what you use, and have no application or closing fees.

Rating Summary

We scored M&T Bank a 3 on our list of the top Baltimore credit unions and banks. For those looking for a larger multi-state bank in Baltimore that still treats you right, M&T is one to consider.

They do seem to need some updates to their mobile and online banking interface, according to some customers, to make them easier to use. Overall, this Baltimore bank offers a good fit between too big and too small for many.

Don’t Miss: TD Bank Review and Ranking | What You Should Know About TD Bank


The Columbia Bank Review


The Columbia Bank is part of the Fulton Financial Corporation and has been serving the community since 1988. They’re a regional bank in Baltimore that has locations throughout the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Washington. 

Below are the highlights that make The Columbia Bank stand out on this 2018 best Baltimore banks & credit unions ranking.

The Columbia Bank at a Glance:

  • 12 branch locations in Baltimore, MD & surrounding areas
  • Nearly 300 ATMs in the region
  • They support multiple local charities
  • Debit card rewards program through Visa®
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Get Rewards with Your Debit Card

You don’t have to use your credit card at this bank in Baltimore, MD to take advantage of rewards points that you can spend on cool stuff. At The Columbia Bank, if you have a checking account, then the debit card you receive automatically enrolls you in their Relationship Rewards Program to earn points you can redeem for merchandise or gift cards.

Rating Summary

We scored The Columbia Bank a 3 on this listing of the best banks in Baltimore, MD. Their rewards program just for banking as usual with your debit card is very convenient for earning extras with no additional effort. They also have a full suite of personal and business banking products to meet each depositor’s unique financial needs.

They have some mixed reviews online, mainly relating to poor customer service. If they address their customer support, we could easily see then getting a higher score on a future Best Banks in Baltimore, Maryland ranking.

If you’re looking for top banks in Columbia, Maryland, then you’ll want to consider this one. They have 4 branches in Columbia, not including the neighboring towns, like Ellicott City.

Popular Article: The Bank of Missouri Ranking & Review


Members First of Maryland Federal Credit Union Review


Now, we’re going to tell you which Baltimore bank we recommend avoiding until they make some improvements. Members First of Maryland Federal Credit Union, with just 1 dedicated location in the city and 1 other in Perry Hall, MD, doesn’t exactly offer convenience. 

Below are some of the improvements we feel would help Members First of Maryland Federal Credit Union improve their future ranking among the top Baltimore credit unions.

Get Some Reviews on the Board

Although this credit union in Baltimore has been around since 1969, it’s difficult to find positive reviews about them online. We recommend they make an effort to encourage happy depositors to review them on some of the main sites like Yelp and DepositAccounts so they can start building a good reputation. 

Rating Summary

We rated members First of Maryland a 1 on our banks in Baltimore, MD listing as one to avoid until improvements are addressed. One positive thing they do have going for them is being a member of the CO-OP shared branch network which greatly increases the branches and locations their customers can take advantage of.

Their website could use a major update to help brush up their online persona. That in addition to focusing on driving more positive customer reviews, could greatly increase their exposure in a beneficial way. With those improvements, we’d consider revisiting their rating on a future ranking of Best Baltimore Credit Unions and Banks.


Conclusion – Top 8 Best Baltimore Banks & Credit Unions to Help You Get Ahead Financially

Have you been missing out on perks like personal financial advising or earning free points while shopping with your debit card as usual? Is your home equity loan at the lowest rate available?

Just by taking a look at your personal financial habits and goals and matching them to one of these top Baltimore banks, you can get a serious boost in your finances. Whether you’re looking for a start-up business loan or discounts and rewards just for banking at a particular Baltimore credit union, many of these banks offer big benefits.

Every penny saved on lower interest or earned through a free reward adds up to more money in your account. So it makes sense to take a look at what perks banks and credit unions in Baltimore have to offer that you may have been missing out on.


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Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ 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.

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