The Top Missouri Banks Have Standout Features

The top banks in Missouri stand out for specific reasons. 

While everyone may have a subjective opinion of what makes a Missouri bank an excellent bank, some elements tend to be universally important: the cost and fees, access and convenience, mobile and online banking options, customer service, security, and breadth of choices regarding products and services.

These factors have a tendency to be some of the most important considerations many consumers keep in mind when selecting the best Missouri banks.

But they are only a few of the many pieces of criteria included in the decision-making process used to create this comprehensive list of the best banks in Missouri. From Springfield banks to St. Louis banks, this ranking and review list of the best Missouri banks focuses on what’s most important to the typical banking consumer.

Each of the banks in Missouri included on this list excel in some or all of the areas listed below. These Missouri banks are also stable, value-creating, and low-cost financial solutions for diverse consumers who want a bank that understands their needs and works to provide them with the very best in customer service while helping them both earn and save money.

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Award Emblem: Best Banks in Missouri

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 16 Missouri Banks

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the bank names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that bank).

Click here for 2016’s Top 16 Banks in Missouri

Top 16 Missouri Banks | Brief Comparison  

Missouri Banks

Free Checking?
Academy BankWaived with qualifying activities
Arvest BankFree Blue account
Central Bank of the OzarksFree checking account
Citizens Bank and Trust CompanyTotally FREE eChecking
Commerce BankWaived with qualifying activities
First BankGreen Leaf Checking account & more
First State Community BankStudent checking account
Great Southern BankGS Checking
Hawthorn BankNo, but reduced “disappearing” fee available
NBH BankNo, but reduction options available
Regions BankWaived with qualifying activites
Simmons First National BankSimply Checking & Simply Student accounts
Southern BankMultiple free account options
The Bank of MissouriStudent Select Checking account
U.S. BankWaived with qualifying activities
UMB BankWaived with qualifying activities

Table: Top 16 Best Missouri Banks | Above list is sorted alphabetically

AdvisoryHQ Selection Methodology

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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 Banks in Missouri

Below, please find the detailed review of each bank on our list of the best Missouri banks. We have highlighted some of the  factors that allowed these banks in Missouri to score so high in our selection ranking.

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Academy Bank Review

Academy Bank is one of the top Kansas City banks where it’s headquartered and also has a presence throughout the entire state of Missouri. This Missouri bank is a family-owned business that focuses on providing affordable banking products and services that contribute to the financial strength of not just individual customers but also businesses and the entire community.

Academy Bank customers have access to these competitively priced services through extensive branch locations as well as options including toll-free customer service, online banking, and mobile banking. Some of the products available to clients of Academy Bank, one of the best banks in Missouri, include checking and savings accounts, personal loans, residential mortgages, and business accounts.

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

Academy Bank - Top Banks in Missouri

Image Source: Best Missouri Banks

Detailed below are key considerations used in the selection of Academy as one of the best banks in Missouri.

Offset Monthly Service Fees

Each of the checking accounts available from this Missouri bank includes the option to offset monthly service fees.

Some of these options depend on the specific account a customer holds in Academy Bank in Missouri, but options include having direct deposits linked to your account, making a certain number of debit card purchases per statement period, maintaining a particular daily balance, or simply enrolling in online banking.

Even if customers don’t qualify to offset the fees, the fees are relatively low. As one of the best banks in Missouri for affordability, the highest monthly service fee is only $10.

Savings Cents

For customers of this top Kansas City bank, there is the option to participate in the Savings Cents program. Through Savings Cents, customers have the opportunity to effortlessly save and achieve their financial goals.

Savings Cents works by having all Visa Debit card purchases automatically rounded to the nearest dollar. The difference is then added to your savings account with this bank in Missouri. You can sign up for this program by sending a secure message through Online Banking, calling the bank’s customer service number, or speaking to a representative at one of Academy Bank’s Missouri bank branches. 

Online Banking

Customers of Academy can sign up for Online Banking, which offers the following features and functionalities:

  • Manage Accounts: Users can quickly access information about their balances and transactions, download transaction information, and manage account activity with the setup of email or text messages.
  • Bill Pay/Funds Transfer: There are options to pay bills online and easily transfer funds between accounts with this Missouri bank easily.
  • Security: Online banking includes enrollment in the Enhanced Online Security System, which is a login authentication system for online banking that uses multiple layers of security.

Financial Education

To further distinguish itself as one of the top Missouri banks, Academy Bank goes the extra mile to ensure that customers understand the basics and the more advanced concepts that go along with financial security and strong decision-making. Academy Bank offers an online Financial Education Center. This is where customers can view comprehensive guides that will help them build a strong foundation in financial literacy. 

Some of the topics covered include managing checking accounts, preventing overdrafts by using available alternatives, guides to creating and sticking to budgets, understanding and improving your credit, and information to help prevent identity theft.

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Arvest Bank Review

Arvest Bank has a history spanning more than 50 years, and the name includes 16 locally managed banks that are located in more than 120 communities. Arvest Bank is often rated as one of the top banks in Springfield, Missouri, as well being a top Kansas City bank, as it serves these metro markets. According to the FDIC, Arvest has assets of more than $15 billion, and, as well as being the largest bank in Arkansas, it’s also one of the largest banks in Missouri.

Services provided by this Missouri bank include personal consumer banking options, business banking, credit cards, home loans, and investment and trust products. Everything at Arvest is driven by the concept of localized decision-making, which is one of the factors making this bank in Missouri unique.

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

Primary reasons Arvest was ranked as one of the top Kansas City banks and one of the overall best banks in Missouri are listed below.

Flex Rewards

Credit cards from Arvest include the opportunity to participate in the Flex Rewards program, which allows cardholders to earn points with each credit card purchase they make. There are no fees for signing up for membership in this program, and participants can redeem their points for either cash back or statement credits.

Categories in which points can be redeemed include travel and retailer gift cards. Users can go online to track their points and redeem them.

There is 1 point given for each $1 spent, and points can also be swapped for statement credit. It’s a simple way to make your credit card work for you when you do business with Arvest, one of the best banks in Missouri.

Debit Cards

Account holders who hold a checking account with Arvest can receive a chip-enabled debit card which provides a fast, easy way to make purchases anywhere debit is accepted. The card features the highest level of advanced security, and it can be personalized as well.

Called affinity cards, these personalization options let cardholders show their school spirit or affiliation with certain organizations.

These cards also include Visa Checkout which is a simplified way to make online purchases, where one-click online buying options are available and card and billing information are securely stored.

Retirement Planning

In addition to general banking products and services, Arvest is also one of the Missouri banks that offers retirement planning. Users can look at everything from how far their anticipated Social Security payments will go to what their expenses will look like in retirement.

Arvest employs a team of expert Wealth Management Client Advisors whose function is to help clients build a reliable income for their retirement years, grow their long-term assets, and plan for things like taxes as well as the possibility of unexpected events.

Free Checking

Arvest offers a diverse selection of checking accounts, and one of those is Free Blue. This is a basic account designed specifically for those Missouri banking customers that want the features and advantages of a general checking account but don’t want to pay fees.

This account not only has no monthly fee, but it also includes a free debit card and features unlimited check-writing and the option to take advantage of up to $400 in overdraft coverage. Account holders can use online banking with this account as well.

Along with Free Blue, other checking accounts offered by this Missouri bank include Basic Blue, myBlue, and the Arvest Club as well as the Preferred Club which lets account holders earn interest on their balances.

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Central Bank of the Ozarks Review

As one of the leading banks in St. Louis and throughout the rest of Missouri, Central Bank has had a presence in the area for more than 110 years. This financial institution takes the time to serve the needs of the community with localized decision-making. The benefits of banking with this St. Louis bank include long-term stability and full-service offerings.

Central Bank of the Ozarks - Top Ranked Banks in Missouri

Image Source: Finding the Best Bank in Missouri

As well as branch banking, Central Bank also offers online banking and bill pay, mobile banking, and more. Central Bank works with small business clients and also provides mortgages and other loan products.

Key Factors Considered When Ranking This as a Best Bank in Missouri

The list below highlights some of the primary reasons Central Bank of the Ozarks was included in this ranking of the best banks in St. Louis and throughout the state of Missouri. 

Checking Accounts

Central Bank offers four primary checking account options to customers. These include the following:

  • Free Checking: This is a basic checking account, and it provides access to some online banking features. There is no monthly fee, and the minimum to open the account is only $50.
  • MyChoice Checking: This is helpful for those who receive a monthly direct deposit and is designed for customers who use their debit card frequently. There is a $3 fee, but it can be waived.
  • Preferred Interest: This account is for people who keep a minimum balance of $1,000 and want to earn a competitive rate of interest. The $10 fee can be waived.
  • World Checking: This is for people with complex spending needs and higher amounts of spending, and, again, the $20 monthly fee is avoidable if certain circumstances are met.


With a MasterCard from Central Bank, cardholders can use MasterPass, which is a digital wallet tool that lets users shop among thousands of online merchants and enjoy the benefits of multi-tiered security along with convenience. Rather than having to enter your payment information every time you make a purchase, your checkout is brief.

All you do to make a purchase and check out is click, tap, or touch using this tool provided by one of the best banks in St. Louis and Missouri as a whole. 

To sign up, you confirm your identity, create a password, and set a security question. You then enter your shipping information and add your Central Bank credit, debit, and prepaid cards.

When you shop online, you choose the MasterPass option, sign into your wallet, choose your card, and complete your purchase. It’s free to sign up.


Checknology is a way for account holders at Central Bank to manage their money with a suite of financial tools as well as the Central Bank Mobile App.

Users can access their accounts, transfer funds, create and manage budgets, and make deposits from anywhere. 

Financial management tools that are part of Checknology include a Money Manager, eStatements and eDocuments, Quicken access, and account alerts. Payment options include online and mobile bill pay, Apple Pay, MasterPass Digital Wallet, and Pay A Person.

Mobile tools include a mobile app, text banking, and options for depositing checks.

Short-Term Savings

As well as long-term savings options, Central Bank also features products designed for customers that want to achieve a more short-term savings goal, such as creating an emergency fund or putting money aside for a vacation.

Using financial tools from Central Bank, account holders can create a goal and then receive graphs and updates on how well they’re working toward that goal and the time it’s going to take them to reach it.

For example, if your current monthly savings amount is $250, you can see how many months or years it will take you to achieve  your goal at that continued rate using the financial management tools provided by this St. Louis bank.

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Citizens Bank & Trust Review

Serving Northwest Missouri, Citizens Bank & Trust is one of the largest banks headquartered in the area, with a history that dates back to 1889. Citizens includes a network of 20 branch banking centers, and customers have access to more than two million ATMs around the world. There are three areas of core business offered by Citizens, which include Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, and Wealth Management.

But it’s not just its history that makes Citizens one of the best banks in Missouri. Citizens works to offer innovative products along with continuously expanding technology that improves convenience and accessibility for its customers. It’s this commitment to advancement that makes it one of the top Missouri banks. 

Key Factors Leading Us to Rank This as One of the Top Banks in Missouri

Below are key reasons Citizens Bank & Trust was chosen as one of the best banks in Missouri.

Totally FREE eChecking

Totally FREE eChecking is a flexible and versatile checking account option from Citizens that’s not only free of monthly maintenance fees, but it also includes a convenient eStatement, unlimited check-writing, and no minimum balance.

All checking accounts opened at Citizens also include a free debit card, free BillPayer service, online banking access, and free mobile banking.

This account also includes free Switch It Assistance, which is a tool kit that makes it easy for new customers to move their old accounts from other financial institutions to Citizens. 

Save Smart

Save Smart is a signature savings account option from Citizens that lets their Missouri banking customers create a personalized goal and then work toward achieving it. Four primary goals can be set with this account. These include Tax Freedom, Summer Fun, Back to School, and Happy Holidays.

It requires only a $5 deposit to open this account, and participants can enjoy effortless savings with automatic incoming transfers that can either be set up online or at a local branch.

Account holders also have the option to designate payout days for each account.

There is also the opportunity to open a basic savings account, which is flexible, offers competitive interest rates, and has no monthly maintenance fee if a $100 balance is maintained.

Electronic Solutions

While Citizens is a Missouri bank that values personalized and locally-driven customer service, it also puts an emphasis on technology and electronic accessibility. With Mobile Banking, customers can manage their finances on the go, including checking balances, making transfers, and depositing checks.

Other electronic solutions from Citizens include:

  • eStatements
  • Billpayer Service
  • Interbank transfers
  • Reordering checks
  • Making address changes

Billpayer Service

As mentioned above, Billpayer Service is part of the valuable offerings available to customers of Citizens. Users can schedule their payments ahead of time and all at one time with this convenient service.

It’s free for Citizens customers to view and pay all of their bills in one place, and they can schedule them each or month or set up easy, recurring bill payments. Users can also quickly access their bill payment history.

You can pay an unlimited number of bills each month with this Missouri banking service and view check images online if you need to view or print them.

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

Conclusion—Top 16 Banks in Missouri

With so many top banks in Missouri, consumers often wonder how to select the best one for their financial needs, whether they’re looking at Missouri banks in Springfield, banks in St. Louis, or banks in Kansas City.

What is it that differentiates any old Missouri bank from one that’s outstanding?

Along with things like fees and the cost of doing business with the bank, some elements that are shared among all of the names on this list of the best banks in Missouri include a long, stable history and relationship-driven customer service as well as localized, community-centric decision-making.

These are just a few of the many ways the names on this list of banks in Missouri are unique and stand apart, making them valuable for consumers from diverse backgrounds who are seeking the very best a bank can offer.

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