2018 RANKING & REVIEWS
BEST BANKS IN NORTH CAROLINA


Intro: Finding the Top 12 Banks in North Carolina

Banking may seem like an everyday service that the average person takes for granted. After all, millions of Americans routinely use banks across all 50 states. Banks in North Carolina are equally well used.

Whether you are new to the state and in search of a bank, seeking out a suitable banking institution after overcoming financial hardship, or simply looking to reduce your bank fees and increase your dividends, there are plenty of reasons to search for information about the best banks in North Carolina.

While demand for banking services in North Carolina banks is certainly growing, the sheer volume of banks that exist can make finding the right financial institution overwhelming.

Indeed, with over 60 banks operating in the Tar Heel State, deciphering which ones are the best banks in NC can seem like a daunting task.

Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork to give you a list of the top 12 best banks in North Carolina, complete with detailed reviews for each of these institutions.

Best Banks in North Carolina

Award Emblem: Top 12 Best Banks in North Carolina



Top 12 Best Banks in North Carolina | 2018 Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best North Carolina BanksHighlighted Features2018 Ratings
Bank of AmericaKeep the Change® savings program5
Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T)Broad range of investment & retirement services5
Capital BankHome Buyer Incentive program5
Fidelity BankExtensive mobile banking options & features5
Fifth Third BankPreferred Checking® Program5
Pinnacle Financial PartnersFlexible Health Savings Accounts (HSA)5
Southern Bank and Trust CompanyConvenient & effective business banking through Southern BusinessPro5
SunTrust BankSunTrust Premier Program with dedicated, personal bankers5
Woodforest National BankVariety of financial solutions for businesses5
First Citizens BankForeign currency & international payment services3
PNC BankDynamic online banking services & features3
Wells FargoSavings accounts designed to automatically transfer funds3

Table: Top 12 Best North Carolina Banks | Above list is sorted by rating



What Do Banks in North Carolina Have to Offer in 2018?

The vast majority of North Carolina banks offer traditional checking and savings accounts. The former generally allows for numerous or unlimited deposits and withdrawals via check, ATM or electronically.

The latter is normally primarily a deposit account. While they are considered liquid investments and offer modest interest rates, savings accounts often limit the number of transfers and withdrawals that can be made to and from the account.

Additionally, like most other banks, banks in North Carolina provide various loans (auto, home, and student loans, among others) as well as investment accounts to help customers save for life events like education or retirement.

In addition to checking and savings accounts, loans, and investment products, the following institutions have unique characteristics or products that contribute to their ranking among the best banks in NC. Keep reading to determine which one is the right fit is for you.

best banks in north carolina

Best Banks in NC



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Detailed Review – Best Banks in North Carolina

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

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

Click below for previous years’ rankings:



Pinnacle Financial Partners Review


With offices across Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina, Pinnacle Financial Partners is a North Carolina bank with a strong history of success.

This best bank in North Carolina has won multiple awards each year, with some of the more recent industry recognition including:

  • Named as one of the “Best Workplaces for Women” in 2017 by Fortune and Great Place to Work®
  • Named one of the “Best Banks to Work For” in 2017 by American Banker
  • Named as one of the “50 Companies That Care” by People Magazine

This North Carolina bank continued to grow, adding additional branches and acquiring various other banks throughout the region, including the recent merger with BNC Bank.

Today, Pinnacle remains committed to its original mission: to be the best financial services firm and the best place to work in the Southeast.

Key Factors That Enabled Pinnacle Financial Partners to Rank as a Best Bank in North Carolina

Below are key factors that contributed to this year’s ranking of Pinnacle Financial Partners as one of the best banks in NC.

Dynamic Online & Mobile Banking

For many customers, finding the best bank in NC often means finding a North Carolina bank that is both convenient and accessible on-the-go.

To make money management as simple as possible, Pinnacle offers dynamic online and mobile banking options to their customers. With online banking, you can:

  • See real-time account activity and balances
  • Manage and pay your bills
  • Pay other people with Popmoney
  • View up to 24 months of banking history
  • View and print check images
  • Transfer funds
  • Track balances and activity with a variety of alerts
  • Go paperless

Mobile banking capabilities include:

  • Apps available for Android and iPhone
  • Custom iPad application
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Make payments and view recent payments
  • Check current account balances
  • Search recent transactions

As an additional benefit, Pinnacle’s Personal Financial Manager (PFM) is fully integrated into the online banking program, making it easy to track all accounts, including savings, checking, mortgage, investments, and even outside accounts.

Banking for Music & Entertainment

As a top bank in NC, Pinnacle provides banking services that are catered to the unique needs of those in the music and entertainment industry. With a dedicated team of North Carolina banking experts, customers can benefit from:

  • Relationship-focused service
  • Local decision making
  • 24/7 support from real people, not an answering service
  • A team that holds key leadership roles in Pinnacle’s strategic planning
  • A common-sense approach

For individual artists, entrepreneurs, and national companies alike, partnering with a North Carolina bank that understands the unique needs of their industry can provide significant benefits, making Pinnacle one of the best banks in North Carolina for those in music and entertainment.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

For customers that have a High Deductible Health Plan, Pinnacle offers an HSA account to help establish pre-tax savings for health care costs.

Both deposits and interest earned are tax-exempt, and include the following benefits:

  • Unused funds roll over from one year to the next with no penalties
  • Funds can be used at your discretion—after the age of 65, your HSA savings can be applied to non-medical expenses with no penalties
  • No time limit for reimbursing yourself for medical expenses
  • Funds are available as soon as the next business day with electronic transfer

With health care costs skyrocketing, having a flexible and penalty-free option is a great way for customers to ensure that health care remains affordable over time, making Pinnacle one of the top banks in North Carolina for customers that want an affordable way to save for health care costs.

top banks in north carolina

Best Banks in North Carolina

Rating Summary

As one of the best banks in North Carolina and a full-service financial firm, Pinnacle Financial Partners offers customers a wide range of accounts and tools to manage their financial health.

Aside from traditional checking and savings accounts, Pinnacle also provides access to health savings accounts, loans, credit cards, mortgages, financial planning, and wealth management, providing a one-stop-shop for complete financial management.

With an impressive range of products and services, Pinnacle Financial Partners is one of the best North Carolina banks to consider partnering with this year.

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Capital Bank Review


Capital Bank is a North Carolina bank that was formed in 2010 as part of the First Horizon family of companies.  

It had the unique mission to create a regional banking franchise in the southeastern United States by acquiring other failed, underperforming banks as well as through organic growth.

Not only is Capital Bank among the best banks in NC, it also has branches in South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia. Capital Bank has a large presence among banks in Raleigh, NC, with 5 locations in the state capital.

Key Factors That Enabled Capital Bank to Rank as a Best Bank in North Carolina

Keep reading for reasons why Capital Bank qualifies as one of the best banks in North Carolina.

Home Buyer Incentive

Would you like to receive up to $1,000 towards closing costs on your next new home? If you answered “yes,” you’ll want to consider Capital Bank as one of the best banks in NC for its Home Buyer Incentive.

Here’s how it works: Incentives are credited at the time your home loan closes. Loans of $300,000 or more qualify for a $1,000 credit towards closing costs. For loans less than $300,000, you can still earn a $500 credit towards closing costs.

While this is a limited-time offer, the institution routinely offers similar discounts, making it one of the best banks in North Carolina for home buyers.

CashBack Checking

The CashBack Checking with CashBack Saver account package is a two–for-one deal. You get two accounts with unique ways to save with each.

To start, you need a CashBack Saver account, which is free to open and does not have a monthly service charge. Your CashBack Saver account will be linked to your CashBack Checking account; the accounts cannot be opened alone.

When choosing this account with Capital Bank, one of the top banks in NC, you’ll receive interest calculated based on a three-tier structure and dependent on how many point-of-sale (POS) transactions you make with your accompanying CashBack Checking account.

While CashBack Checking accounts require a minimum $100 deposit to open, as well as a $10 monthly service fee (waived with a monthly balance of $1,000 or more OR 20 purchases made with your debit card), you will get cash back directly to your savings account.

The amount of cash back you receive depends on your card purchase transactions:

  • $0.10 cash back for purchases between $1.00 and $74.99
  • $0.25 cash back for purchases of $75.00 or greater

While there are certainly savings to be had for customers that primarily use their debit card to make purchases, be sure to review the conditions for this dual account to make sure you are receiving all the benefits.

Treasury Management Solutions

As a best bank in NC, Capital Bank provides entrepreneurs, businesses, and corporations with a wide range of financial products and solutions.

Along with checking, savings, and lending products, Capital Bank also maintains a strong Treasury Management division of services. This best bank in NC can help businesses with:

  • Receivables—Gain better insight into cash flow and receive funds more efficiently
  • Payables—Deliver funds quickly and efficiently
  • Investments—Boosts idle or under-performing assets
  • Information—Monitoring account transfers, wire activity, and cash position
  • Online Payroll—Streamline payroll calculations, manage payroll taxes, and pay employees by check or direct deposit
  • Remote Deposit Capture—Scan checks on your desktop scanner any time
  • Certificate Deposit Account Registry Services (CDARS)—Keeps large certificates of deposit safe
  • Insured Cash Sweep (ICS)—FDIC insurance on funds placed into money market accounts

best banks in nc

Best Banks in NC

Rating Summary

As one of the best banks in North Carolina, Capital Bank provides a wide range of personal and business financial solutions, including dynamic treasury management services and lending support for home buyers.

Additionally, all personal checking accounts come with the added benefits of a debit card, access to online and mobile banking, notary services, standard checks, and even a complimentary financial review.

With a strong presence throughout Central North Carolina and a solid history of success, Capital Banks is one of the best banks in NC to consider partnering with this year.

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Conclusion – 12 Best Banks in North Carolina

As you’ve reached the end of our ranking of the best banks in North Carolina, you’ve not only become familiar with the top financial institutions in the state, but you’ve also had a chance to read about these homegrown banks in great detail.

As you have seen, North Carolina banks are among the best in the country. Many of these best banks in NC offer first-class services and innovative products that are necessary to be competitive in today’s world.

In addition to everyday checking and savings accounts, lending, and financial advisory services, banks in North Carolina provide top-notch products and services.

These include online and mobile banking, e-statements, reverse mortgages to help those in financial need, and community services to give back to communities in which they are based – to name just a few.

The best banks in North Carolina are located all across the state. Leading institutions can be found among the best banks in the Raleigh, NC area and banks in Charlotte, NC as well as among banks in Greensboro, NC and Winston-Salem banks.

Rest assured that you will not have to search far for a North Carolina bank that you can trust.

Whether you are looking for personal banking services, business banking solutions, loans, or wealth management tools, our list of the best banks in NC is the perfect starting point to give you useful background information.

As always, it is wise to contact any bank you may be considering and speak with a representative to make sure the institution is a good fit for you and your financial goals.

The good news? There are plenty of North Carolina banks to choose from. Happy banking, North Carolinians!

Related: Best Banks & Credit Unions in Philadelphia


To browse exclusive reviews of all top-rated banks in North Carolina, please click on any of the links below for a detailed review of each of these top banks in NC:


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