Announcing the Best Banks of 2016The 31 Best Banks of 2016 offer high rates, low fees and the best services.

Announcing the Best Banks of 2016

The essential role banks play in your financial life means that they can be a force to help or harm your finances. From receiving deposits and making payments to getting credit and choosing investments, you can rely on banks’ financial services and tools to manage your money.

The best banks, however, help you avoid costs as well. Through competitive interest rates, low fees, accessibility, and great service and product offerings, these financial institutions make handling your money simpler, easier and cheaper.

To provide consumers with up-to-date information on the best banks in the U.S., GOBankingRates conducted its annual survey of national banks to find the ones that offer you the best deals. The Best Banks of 2016 survey evaluated a total of 120 banks that offer service at the national level. Whether you’re tired of checking fees or want your savings to grow faster, you can use this list of the 31 best banks of 2016 to help you find the right financial institution for you.

Ranking the Best Banks of 2016

In the Best Banks of 2016 survey, GOBankingRates compiled a list of the top 90 FDIC-insured banks by asset size and 30 online-only banks that offer products nationally in the U.S. The survey evaluated and ranked the banks on different factors, with the best banks offering the most favorable experience to customers. These 120 banks were ranked to find the top 10 banks in five categories:

For the Best Banks (national brick-and-mortar banks) and Best Online Banks category rankings, the factors considered included: best interest rates and low fees, range of products and services offered, and accessibility and customer service.

For the rankings of deposit products, accounts were evaluated based on fees levied, deposit requirements and annual percentage yields.

Based on the rankings, GOBankingRates compiled a list of 31 banks that landed in the top 10 across the five categories. Here are the best banks of 2016:

Ally Bank CIT BANK iGObanking.com
AloStar Bank of Commerce Citibank MySavingsDirect
American Express Bank Discover Bank Nationwide Bank
Arvest Bank EverBank PNC Bank
Bank of America First Internet Bank Sallie Mae Bank
Bank of Internet USA First Midwest Bank Simple Bank
Bank5 Connect First Niagara Bank State Farm Bank
Barclays Bank Delaware FNBO Direct Synchrony Bank
Capital One Great Western Bank U.S. Bank
Charles Schwab Bank HSBC Bank USA Wells Fargo Bank
Chase

Category Winners and Ranking Methodologies

Best National Banks

Winners: Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Citibank, HSBC Bank USA, Bank of America, Chase, Great Western Bank, First Niagara Bank, First Midwest Bank, PNC Bank

Methodology: To determine its Best Brick-and-Mortar Banks category ranking, GOBankingRates examined the top 90 national banks by asset size according to the FDIC, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts.

Criteria for ranking: GOBankingRates scored the banks from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) checking account fee, (2) savings account annual percentage yield, (3) 12-month certificate of deposit APY and (4) BauerFinancial Star Ratings for overall financial strength. Banks were then scored according to whether they offered each of the following services, all of which contributed to a single weighting: (5) auto loans, (6) mortgage loans, (7) credit cards, (8) investment services and (9) insurance services. Next, banks were scored according to accessibility factors: (10) branch locations, (11) international ATM access and (12) 24/7 customer service with a live person. Banks were then ranked according to their total accessibility score, then by their service offering score and lastly by their overall score.

Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions’ websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions.

Best Online Banks

Winners: Ally Bank, Bank5 Connect, EverBank, Discover Bank, Bank of Internet USA, FNBO Direct, State Farm Bank, Synchrony Bank, First Internet Bank, Nationwide Bank

Methodology: To determine its Best Online Banks ranking, GOBankingRates examined 30 online-only banks that offer products nationally according to the GOBankingRates and FDIC databases, excluding online products offered by institutions with a physical, retail banking presence. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.

Criteria for ranking: GOBankingRates scored each online-only bank from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) checking account fee, (2) savings account annual percentage yield, (3) 12-month certificate of deposit APY and (4) BauerFinancial Star Ratings for overall financial strength. Banks were then scored according to whether they offered the following services, all of which contributed to a single weighting: (5) 24/7 customer service available by phone, (6) live chat service via website with a person, (7) mobile app and (8) remote check deposit. Next, banks were ranked according to their services offered score and then by their overall score.

Data was compiled via BauerFinancial and the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions’ websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions.

Best Checking Accounts

Winners: Bank5 Connect, Bank of Internet USA, Capital One, FNBO Direct, Charles Schwab Bank, iGOBanking.com, Ally Bank, Simple Bank, EverBank, Arvest Bank

Methodology: To compile its list of the top 120 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC’s list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 120 banks includes 90 brick-and-mortar banks and 30 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.

Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best Checking Accounts category ranking, GOBankingRates scored each bank’s basic, personal checking account from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open the checking account, (2) monthly maintenance fee, (3) minimum balance to avoid a fee, (4) annual percentage yield and (5) nonsufficient funds fee. Minimum balance to avoid a fee and APY were weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score. In the case of a 10th-place tie, tiebreakers were used in the following order: APY, monthly maintenance fee and then minimum deposit required to open the account.

Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions’ websitesbetween Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

Best Savings Accounts

Winners: MySavingsDirect, Ally Bank, Barclays Bank Delaware, iGOBanking.com, CIT Bank, Synchrony Bank, American Express Bank, Bank5 Connect, Capital One, FNBO Direct

Methodology: To compile its list of the top 120 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC’s list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 120 banks includes 90 brick-and-mortar banks and 30 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.

Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best Savings Accounts category ranking, GOBankingRates scored each bank’s basic, personal savings account from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open the savings account, (2) monthly maintenance fee, (3) minimum balance to avoid a fee and (4) annual percentage yield. APY was weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score. In the case of a 10th-place tie, GOBankingRates used the APY as the tiebreaker.

Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions’ websitesbetween Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

Best CD Accounts

Winners: CIT Bank, Barclays Bank Delaware, Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, Nationwide Bank, First Internet Bank, Sallie Mae Bank, AloStar Bank of Commerce, Capital One, Discover Bank

Methodology: To compile its list of the top 120 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC’s list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 120 banks includes 90 brick-and-mortar banks and 30 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.

Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best CD Accounts category ranking, GOBankingRates evaluated each institution’s 12-month certificate of deposit product and five-year CD product. If the bank did not offer a 12-month or five-year CD, then the next-closest CD term length was selected for evaluation. GOBankingRates scored the CD accounts from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open a 12-month CD, (2) annual percentage yield for a 12-month CD, (3) minimum deposit to open a five-year CD and (4) APY for a five-year CD. APY for a 12-month CD and APY for a five-year CD were weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score.

Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions’ websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

Full Best Banks Rankings Announced Jan. 12, 2016

The full top 10 rankings for each category were announced Jan. 12, 2016. GOBankingRates published an article on each of the category rankings, as well as features on the winners in each category outlining what makes each bank a top pick for 2016.

The full findings were presented with useful tools such as an infographic and video to help consumers know how to find the best bank for their financial needs in 2016, as well as coverage of the latest banking tech trends and tips for readers to do more with their money.

Some banks in the 2016 rankings also earned high marks last year in the Best Banks of 2015 rankings. See which ones consistently offer great banking products and services:

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some banks mentioned in the Best Banks of 2016 survey are clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement.

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