Choosing the best bank is all about finding the one that can do the most for your money — on your terms. If building your savings is a top priority, then finding accounts with high yields is key. When you compare checking accounts, low fees might be more important. But competing financial priorities — for example, a bank that offers student loans for your child’s education as well as investment services to protect your family’s future — can make choosing the right bank complicated and time-consuming.
To help you find the ideal bank for your needs, GOBankingRates evaluated 100 banks to identify which ones offer the best values. For the Best Banks of 2019 ranking, GOBankingRates compiled a list of 72 national banks by asset size according to the FDIC and 28 online-only banks that offer products nationally. The ranking analyzed each bank on a variety of factors — including fees, account yields, financial strength, products and customer service — to determine the best banks in five categories:
- Best National Banks of 2019
- Best Online Banks of 2019
- Best Checking Accounts of 2019
- Best Savings Accounts of 2019
- Best CD Accounts of 2019
Category winners were announced in January of 2019. Be sure to check out all of the finalists — click through to see the 29 Best Banks of 2019.
Best National Bank of 2019: TD Bank
TD Bank excels at customer service — its long branch hours, both online and physical branches, and a range of product offerings all contribute to it being named the Best National Bank of 2019. Although known by some as an online bank, TD Bank has more than 1,200 branches, primarily located on the East Coast, and they offer the longest branch hours of any of its geographic competitors. Branches open earlier and close later than other banks, and are even open on weekends and most holidays. Customer service is available 24/7. TD Bank also offers high-APY CD options.
Read About the Winner: Best National Bank of 2019 — TD Bank
Best Online Bank of 2019: Ally Bank
Ally Bank is the winning bank in the Best Online Bank category for the fifth year in a row. It’s also a finalist in the Best Savings Account, Best Checking Account and Best CD Account categories.
Ally offers a checking account that earns interest with no monthly fee, no minimum opening deposit and no minimum balance requirements. Its online savings account also boasts one of the best savings account rates in the GOBankingRates ranking.
Find Out More: Best Online Bank of 2019 — Ally Bank
Best Savings Account of 2019: Sallie Mae Bank
Sallie Mae Bank is the winning bank in the in the Best Savings Account of 2019 category and is also a finalist for Best Online Bank of 2019. Although it’s a newcomer to the Best Savings Account category, Sallie Mae Bank earned its way to the top by virtue of its no-fee, no-minimum high-yield savings account that pays a high rate. The bank excels with its online services as well, offering an intuitive website and mobile app. The bank also competes in the CD space.
Learn More: Best Savings Account of 2019: Sallie Mae Bank
Best Checking Account of 2019: Axos Bank
Axos Bank excels in the checking account category, making it the winner in the Best Checking Accounts of 2019 category thanks to a no-fee, no-minimum checking account that pays a high APY. Unlimited ATM fee rebates and no NSF fees make this extraordinary checking account even more of a standout.
Best CD Account of 2019: Barclays Bank Delaware
Barclays Bank Delaware is the winner in the Best CD Accounts of 2019 category and a top finalist in other categories of GOBankingRates’ Best Banks of 2019 ranking. Its online savings account was among the top accounts researched, featuring no minimum opening deposit, no monthly fee and a competitive APY. Barclays Bank Delaware also offers impressive CD accounts, which require no minimum opening deposits. Those two strong offerings made it a Best Online Bank finalist.
Read More About Barclays Bank Delaware: Best CD Account of 2019
American Express National Bank
American Express ® Personal Savings account is a finalist in the Best Savings Account of 2019 category. It has no minimum deposit or balance requirements, plus no monthly service fee.
Bank of the West
Savers looking for a top national bank might want to consider Bank of the West, which is a top pick in the Best National Banks of 2019 rankings. One of the bank’s best products is its Premier Checking, which carries no monthly fee and charges no ATM withdrawal fees worldwide. The bank also offers a wide range of traditional banking products, from loans and investments to credit cards.
Bank5 Connect earned a Best Online Bank finalist spot for offering one of the best checking accounts, providing among the highest interest rates of all checking accounts evaluated. Aside from no monthly maintenance fee, Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking Account also offers a high APY. Its savings account was a finalist, too.
BB&T is another competitor in the GOBankingRates Best National Banks of 2019 category. Branch Banking and Trust — aka BB&T — has a multitude of checking accounts, for those who need elite services, to those over 55, to students. Some accounts have fees, but there are ways to avoid them all. You can make fee-free ATM withdrawals at any of BB&T’s over 3,100 terminals.
BBVA Compass Bank
No-fee checking and a high 12-month CD APY put BBVA Compass Bank in the Best National Banks ranking. BBVA’s free checking account requires just a $25 opening deposit and provides unlimited check writing, fee-free BBVA Compass ATM network access, a free debit card, online and mobile banking with mobile deposit, and bill pay. In addition to full-service financial offerings, BBVA Compass also offers a free, interest-bearing savings account.
Capital One Bank
Capital One is a finalist for Best Checking Account and Best CD Account of 2019. Its 360 Checking account boasts many of the perks online banks can provide, including no minimum opening deposit, no balance requirement and no monthly service fee, while still offering interest on a checking account. Also, Capital One’s 360 Checking account has one of the lowest overdraft fees, costing only $9 against an average of $31 when comparing all checking accounts.
Charles Schwab Bank
Charles Schwab Bank appears in both the Best Checking and Best National Bank categories. The bank offers a no-fee checking account offering an above-average APY. Customers looking to save with a national bank won’t do much better than at Schwab, as it also has a savings account paying a high rate and charging no fees. People looking to invest will enjoy the seamless link that the bank offers with the investment side of the firm.
CIT Bank, a Best Online Bank finalist, offers a wide range of high-paying accounts, from a high-yield savings account to CDs and money market options. On top of standard interest-earning accounts, the bank has a no-penalty CD that still pays a high rate but allows withdrawals without penalty seven days after deposit. All of these accounts carry no fees to open or maintain. The bank also offers a great online interface and 24/7 online and mobile access.
Respectable CD yields place Discover Bank on the Best CD Accounts of 2019 list, and it also appears as a Best Savings Account and Best Online Bank finalist. Discover Bank offers one of the widest ranges of CD products, with maturities from three months to 10 years, and rates are high. The bank’s Cashback Checking account pays 1 percent back on monthly debit card purchases of up to $3,000, with no fees or balance requirements, and customers can access over 60,000 ATMs for no fee.
First Internet Bank
First Internet Bank is a finalist in the Best Checking Account and Best CD Account categories. Its 12-month and 60-month CD accounts have some of the best CD rates among its competitors. Both CDs require a minimum deposit of $1,000.
First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company
Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank is a contender for the Best National Bank of 2019. It offers a full range of financial services, from auto and mortgage loans to insurance and investment services, and has locations in 20 states.
Flagstar Bank is one of the newest banks on the list, but it’s still a competitor on the best national banks of 2019 list. Flagstar got its charter in 1987 but already has over $18.7 billion in assets. That’s enough to make it one of the largest national banks, and the third-largest savings bank in the entire nation. Flagstar Bank offers everything from checking and savings to money market and CD accounts, all paying interest. You can find branches of the community-oriented bank all over Michigan and California.
FNBO Direct’s Online Checking Account is ideal for customers who want an account with no monthly service fees and a high interest rate. The account’s free features include online banking, bill pay, account alerts, stop payments, debit card fraud monitoring and person-to-person payments with Popmoney. All it takes to open the account is $1. It’s these features that put FNBO Direct on the list of Best Checking Accounts of 2019. Its savings account is also a finalist in that category.
Great Western Bank
Great Western Bank gets on the GOBankingRates Best National Banks of 2019 list for three main reasons: low fees, high yields and great service. Great Western Bank offers two no-fee checking accounts, along with high-rate CDs, savings accounts, IRAs, credit cards and investment options. When you need customer service, you can reach the bank for longer-than-average hours during the business week and also on Saturdays. The bank also has a specialized Agribusiness division, providing lending and insurance services.
iGObanking.com is a finalist for both Best Checking Account and Best Savings Account of 2019, plus the Best Online Bank of 2019 overall category. The iGOchecking account offers a high APY, requires a minimum deposit of just $1, and doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee. It also comes with free bill pay and surcharge-free access to the 43,000-plus ATMs on the Allpoint network. The bank also offers a high-paying savings account that comes with no monthly service fee and no minimum deposit requirement.
With a high savings yield, Incredible Bank’s High Yield Savings Account lives up to its name. The bank’s CDs are also high-yielding competitors. On the checking side, Incredible Bank has a free checking account that offers a number of free services, including online banking, mobile banking and bill pay, a smartphone app, a Visa debit card, and the reimbursement of domestic ATM fees, all for a $500 minimum deposit. All of these features make Incredible Bank a Best Online Bank finalist.
KeyBank is a perennial contender in the GOBankingRates Best National Banks ranking, thanks to its no-fee checking, network of 1,300 ATMs and a variety of financial services. KeyBank services customers in all of the major product categories, from loans and mortgages to credit cards, investing and insurance, savings and CDs, and other banking services. The bank’s no-fee checking account, one of a few checking options, provides a free debit card and online bill payment, and has a mobile-deposit feature.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a finalist for several types of bank accounts in GOBankingRates’ Best Banks of 2019 rankings. Its online savings account is a finalist in the Best Savings Account of 2019 category because it has no monthly service fee, no minimum opening deposit and no balance requirements. Plus, it carries a high APY. It also boasts high enough CD rates to qualify for the Best CD Accounts of 2019 list.
The My eBanc Advantage Checking Account offers a respectable APY in addition to lots of features and benefits, including free online and mobile banking, unlimited check writing, person-to-person and interbank transfers, and local discounts across almost 400,000 merchants in the U.S.
Free is the name of the game with SouthTrust Bank, with a no-cost, interest-earning checking account that carries lots of free services, such as free bill pay, free online and mobile banking, and free eStatements with online check images. There’s no minimum balance to open the account, and new customers receive a free thank-you gift at participating locations. These features and benefits are enough to put SouthTrust Bank on the Best Checking Accounts of 2019 list.
SunTrust Bank makes its presence felt on two different top bank lists, as it’s one of the Best National Banks of 2019 and also competes on the Best CD Accounts of 2019 list. SunTrust offers one of the widest ranges of CDs you can find, with maturities as short as seven days or as long as 10 years. A minimum of $2,000 can get you access to the bank’s high rates. SunTrust bank also offers a complete line of financial services, including no-fee accounts, a rewards program and online features.
Synchrony Bank earned the top spot in GOBankingRates’ 10 Best Savings Accounts of 2018 ranking and is a finalist in that category again in 2019. The bank’s high-yield savings account charges no monthly service fee and offers a highly competitive interest rate. Synchrony Bank also appears on both the Best CD Account and Best Online Bank lists, making it an overall powerhouse among financial institutions.
TIAA offers three types of CDs, but its Yield Pledge CD account is the one that places TIAA Bank on the Best CD Accounts of 2019 list. The Yield Pledge CD carries a high minimum of $5,000, but it guarantees to pay a rate in the top 5 percent of competitive accounts. TIAA Bank also appears on the list of Best Online Banks for 2019.
High CD rates and an excellent online interface are enough to overcome a high minimum balance requirement and place VirtualBank on the list of Best CD Accounts of 2019. VirtualBank requires a $10,000 minimum investment to open a certificate of deposit. However, it offers a range of CD maturities, from one month to five years, and rates are high.
The Best Banks Rankings
- 10 Best National Banks of 2019
- 10 Best Online Banks of 2019
- 10 Best Savings Accounts of 2019
- 10 Best Check Accounts of 2019
- 10 Best CD Accounts of 2019
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GOBankingRates carefully evaluated 100 financial institutions for inclusion in Best Banks 2019. Read about the selection criteria here.
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 companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of GOBankingRates alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. 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. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.
GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their personal circumstances.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been endorsed by American Express.
About the Author
John Csiszar is a freelance writer and article curator. He served as a registered investment advisor for 18 years before becoming a writing and editing contractor for private clients. In addition to writing thousands of articles for various online publications, he has published two educational books for young adults.