2018 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST CREDIT UNIONS & BANKS IN RALEIGH, NC


Learn How to Save More Money at the 5 Best Banks & Credit Unions in Raleigh, NC (& 1 to Avoid)

Raleigh, North Carolina is known as the “City of Oaks” due to the many oak trees that live in the heart of this capital city. It’s a part of the innovative Research Triangle Park (RTP) area, which includes Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The influx of science and technology jobs over the last several decades have made this one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Whether you’re a student at North Carolina State or employed at a tech company, smart banking is always a good thing.

In our top 5 selection of the best credit unions and best banks in Raleigh, NC, we’re going to give you a rundown of the best financial institutions in the city. We’ll also tell you ways each of these banks and credit unions in Raleigh, North Carolina can save you money.

Best Banks & Credit Unions in Raleigh, NCAward Emblem: Top 5 Best Banks & Credit Unions in Raleigh, NC

We’ll highlight little-known rate discounts, rewards programs, and other ways you can save money with smart banking. You’ll also learn which Raleigh, NC bank you might want to avoid until they grow a bit.

Raleigh is close to several neighboring towns, so if you’re looking for banks in Durham, NC or banks in Cary, NC, you’ll find those here too!



Top 5 Best Raleigh, NC Credit Unions & Banks (& 1 to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Credit Unions & Best Banks in Raleigh, NC2018 Ratings
Coastal Credit Union5
Fidelity Bank5
North State Bank5
RTP Federal Credit Union5
First Citizens Bank3
Summit Credit Union1

Table: Top 5 Best Raleigh, NC Banks & Credit Unions (& 1 to Avoid) | Above list is sorted by rating



Banks & Credit Unions in Raleigh, NC FAQ | Clever Ways to Save Money at Banks

raleigh, nc credit unions

There are obvious money saving options offered at Raleigh North Carolina banks and credit unions, like free checking with no monthly fee. But, are you aware of other lesser known ways to save money where you bank?

We’ve listed a few clever ways to save money at your credit union or bank in Raleigh, NC that you can take advantage of right now.

Great Ways to Save Money at Banks and Credit Unions in Raleigh:

  • Discounts on loan rates when you have auto-payment in place
  • Extra interest earned on CDs when you have other accounts at the bank
  • Checking accounts that offer ATM fee refunds for out of network charges
  • Love My Credit Union Rewards program with retailer discounts
  • Free shredding or financial education events that offer freebies
  • Free notary, checks, or other services offered with youth or senior accounts


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 AdvisoryHQ Review – AdvisoryHQ’s Top Ranking Best Raleigh, NC Credit Unions & Banks (& 1 to Avoid)

Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of top Raleigh, North Carolina banks & credit unions. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed each credit union and bank in Raleigh, NC 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.

See Also: Pinnacle Bank Ranking & Review



Coastal Credit Union Review


Coastal Credit Union was started in 1967 by employees of IBM in Raleigh. Today, membership to this credit union in Raleigh, North Carolina is open to anyone that lives, works, worships, or attends school in 24 NC cities, or is a NC resident can pay $18 to join the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.

Below are the highlights that make Coastal Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Credit Unions & Banks in Raleigh, NC.

Ways to Save at this Raleigh, NC Credit Union at a Glance:

  • Membership perks program with discounts on products and local sports tickets
  • They’re part of the Love My Credit Union Rewards discounts program
  • Save on commissions when you sell a home through Coastal’s Daymark Realty
  • Members get free identity theft recovery services
  • Checking accounts with dividend rates as high as 2.25% APY

Great Perks When You Buy a Home

If you’re looking to buy a new home, Coastal Credit Union is one of the credit unions in Raleigh, NC with some great perks and discounts.

You save hundreds by not needing Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and the underwriting fee is a flat $400, with no fee for document preparation. A mortgage at Coastal Credit Union is also eligible for their annual Loyalty Bonus payouts to members.

AdvisoryHQ Rating Summary

We rated Coastal Credit Union a 5 in our ranking of the best Raleigh, NC banks and credit unions. They’ve got an A+ at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and get high marks at sites like Deposit Accounts.

Reviewers praise this credit union in Raleigh, NC for great customer service and ease of setting up an account online. Members also like their great rates on savings and investment products and the rewards programs.

This is one of the Raleigh, NC credit unions that is very convenient. They have 19 branches in the area and are part of the CO-OP shared branches network. You also get access to free ATMs in the Allpoint, Sheetz, and CashPoints networks.

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Fidelity Bank Review


Fidelity Bank was started in 1909 in a one room office in Fuquay Springs, NC. This bank in Raleigh, NC has grown since then to serving customers in NC and Virginia at 60 locations in 27 counties.

Below are the highlights that make Fidelity Bank stand out on AHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks & Credit Unions in Raleigh, NC.

Ways to Save at this Bank in Raleigh, NC at a Glance:

  • Premier Key checking account with free checks and free ATMs nationwide
  • Credit cards with no annual fee or balance transfer fee
  • Competitive mortgage rates
  • Junior savings account with no service charge
  • Checking Reserve options to avoid overdraft fees

Banking Made Easy

You can bank easily online or by mobile app and apply for a mortgage online in as little as 20 minutes. Fidelity is one of the Raleigh, NC banks that works hard to make your banking experience effortless.

Their 19 locations in the greater Raleigh area also mean that whether you’re looking for banks in Durham, NC or banks in Cary, NC, there’s a Fidelity Bank nearby.

AdvisoryHQ Rating Summary

Fidelity Bank scored a 5 on our ranking of the top Raleigh, NC credit unions and banks. Besides an A+ rating at the BBB, they get 4 stars on sites like Yelp and DepositAccounts.

Positive reviews mention top notch customer service both in person and by phone, and that they’re a bank that actually cares about their customers. They are an independently owned bank, and plan to remain that way, which gives them more freedom than publicly owned Raleigh, NC banks.

Ease of banking and convenience are two great reasons to check out this bank in Raleigh, NC the next time you’re looking to open a new account or get a loan.

Related: Best Banks & Credit Unions in Columbus, OH | Ranking



North State Bank Review


North State Bank is young compared to other banks and credit unions in Raleigh, North Carolina, but they’re making an impact. They started in 2000 and are headquartered in Raleigh and focused on the local community with 6 branches in the area.

Below are the highlights that make North State Bank stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Credit Unions & Banks in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Ways to Save at this bank in Raleigh, NC at a Glance:

  • Checking accounts with ATM fee reimbursement
  • Hero Checking with $50 bonus for firefighters, law enforcement, military, healthcare workers, EMS, and teachers
  • Low, fixed-rates on home equity loans
  • Free fraud monitoring on debit card transactions
  • High Yield Savings account with 0.60% APY on up to $10,000 balances

Banking Focused on the Community

North State Bank calls Raleigh home and is proud to serve people in the area. This is one of the Raleigh, North Carolina banks that has a CommunityPLUS banking division that focuses on helping community associations and homeowner associations with all types of banking products from deposit services to project loans.

AdvisoryHQ Rating Summary

North State Bank earned a top 5 score on our listing of the best banks and credit unions in Raleigh, NC. They’re rated A+ at the BBB and get 3.5 to 5 star ratings on sites like Bankrate and Yelp.

One negative reviewer had a mortgage loan issue, but other reviews said they “love this bank” and their great service and staff that knows you by your first name. This is definitely one of the top Raleigh, NC banks to use if you like a local community touch.

Whether they’re there for business, personal, or community association banking, many feel they’re treated like family at North State Bank.

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RTP Federal Credit Union Review


The “RTP” in RTP Federal Credit Union comes from the Research Triangle Park employees that started this Raleigh, NC credit union in 1968. They’ve now grown to over 12,000 members, and anyone that is associated with over 300 businesses and associations in the area can join.

Below are the highlights that make RTP Federal Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Credit Unions & Banks in Raleigh, NC.

Ways to Save at this Credit Union in Raleigh, NC at a Glance:

  • Surcharge free ATMs through CashPoints network
  • Member resources including an auto buying center and TurboTax Online
  • Checking accounts with interest and unlimited check writing
  • Auto loans starting at 2.29% APR
  • Certificate accounts with as low as $250 deposit

Loan Assistance Program

Everyone needs a little help now and then, and RTP Federal Credit Union understands that. They offer a Loan Assistance Program to their members who are experiencing financial difficulties and need help to get back on track.

Some of the help this Raleigh, NC credit union offers is the ability to skip a payment, consolidation of loans to reduce payments, and reduced or waived late fees or interest.

AdvisoryHQ Rating Summary

RTP Federal Credit Union gets excellent reviews online at sites like WalletHub and Yelp, and has an A+ rating with the BBB. We gave them a 5 on our ranking of the best Raleigh, NC banks and credit unions.

Though they have just 3 locations in the area, they are part of the North Carolina Credit Union Network giving members access to 150 free ATMS in the area and more throughout the state. And if you’re looking for banks in Cary, NC, you’ll find them there.

Members say they like banking at RTP due the friendly service and low fees, and find it easy to bank with them online. If you’re looking for low rates and help with payments when you need it, this one of the credit unions in Raleigh, North Carolina to consider.

Read More: Top Credit Unions & Banks in Charlotte, NC | Ranking



First Citizens Bank Review


If you’re shopping for a larger regional Raleigh, NC Bank, this next one has been around for over a century. First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S. and serves customers in 18 states at over 500 branches.

Below are the highlights that make First Citizens Bank stand out on AHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Credit Unions & Banks in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Ways to Save at this Raleigh, NC bank at a Glance:

  • Get $200 towards mortgage closing costs with Prestige or Premier checking
  • No fee military member bank accounts with preferential CD rates
  • First Citizens Rewards credit card to earn points towards rewards
  • Competitive fixed rates on auto loans with up to 72-month terms
  • Checking accounts with interest and free safe deposit box

One Stop Shop for Multiple Financial Services

If you like to simplify your life by using as few companies as possible for your financial needs, then you’ll like First Citizens. This is one of the banks in Raleigh, NC that has multiple products and services.

Besides checking, savings, and loans, they have insurance for home, auto, renters and more. Their website also offers multiple financial budgeting and planning tools to map out your financial future.

AdvisoryHQ Rating Summary

We rated First Citizens Bank a 3 on our list of the top Raleigh, NC credit unions and banks. Although they do have an A+ rating at the BBB, they’ve got mixed reviews on sites like WalletHub and DepositAccounts.

Unhappy customers mentioned less than helpful employees and high fees. Those that love banking there, many for decades, compliment their excellent customer service and reasonable loan interest rates.

With 21 locations in the Raleigh area, and others across 17 states, this is one of the best banks in Raleigh, NC to use if you travel regularly. Being family controlled, they’ve also managed to offer “big bank” services while keeping a “small bank” personal touch.

Related: Wells Fargo Bank (Ranking & Review) | What You Should Know About Wells Fargo Bank


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Summit Credit Union Review


Summit Credit Union just missed a higher rating in our ranking of the best Raleigh, NC credit unions and banks. The thing holding them back was having only a single branch location in the Raleigh area. So, you may want to avoid this one until they add a few more.

Here is a rundown of main improvements we feel would help Summit Credit Union move up on our next top Raleigh, NC banks and credit unions ranking.

Add Another Branch or Two in the Area

Summit has branches in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Hickory, and Oxford, NC in addition to Raleigh. Since Raleigh is the second largest city in North Carolina and the Research Triangle Park area is one of the fastest growing in the country, it would make sense to add another branch or two either in Raleigh or nearby Cary or Durham.

As a plus, they are a member of the CO-OP shared branch network, which expands member access to approximately 5,000 branches throughout the U.S.

AdvisoryHQ Rating Summary

Honestly, Summit Credit Union isn’t far from getting higher rating, they were just up against other banks in Durham, NC, Raleigh and the RTP area that have a much bigger footprint there. For this ranking, we had to give them a 1 due to the single area location.

They’re a member of three different surcharge-free ATM networks, CashPoints, Allpoint, and Star, which shows that they do care about member convenience.

They’re BBB accredited with an A+ rating and offer many of the same services as other credit unions in Raleigh, NC, so we’ll be keeping an eye on them for our Raleigh rankings in the future.

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Conclusion – Top 5 Best Raleigh, NC Banks & Credit Unions (& 1 to Avoid)

Raleigh, North Carolina has a lot of great things going for it. Universities and innovative industries surround this oak tree lined city. They also have hidden gems among the local banks and credit unions that not only help you save but make you feel great just for walking in the door.

Whether you’re searching for banks in Durham, NC, banks in Cary, NC, or banks in Raleigh, each of the top financial institutions on our list have deals, rewards, and discounts to save you money, if you know where to look.

Popular Article: Community Trust Bank Ranking & Review


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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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