Best Banks in Georgia for September 2022

High-angle view of Atlanta's modern skyline, including office buildings, hotels, and condominiums - Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Nate Hovee / Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are over 200 banks in Georgia with branches spread throughout the state. It may be hard to find the right one for you from so many options. The following list of the best banks in Georgia is a good starting point to help you compare what some of the top financial institutions have to offer.

Best Banks Near Me: How Banks in Georgia Made the List

To come up with the best-of list, banks that made the annual GOBankingRates Top 100 Banks study were narrowed down according to whether they operate in Georgia. However, some banks with a large presence in the state did not make this guide. Besides presence, categories such as interest rates, fees, account options and more were used to select and bring you the eight best banks in Georgia. 

8 Best Banks in Georgia

The following banks ranked highest in the state of Georgia based on the criteria mentioned and more. 

1. Chase

Why it stands out: Chase offers something for everyone. There are locations throughout the state, a large network of free ATMs and a mobile app for when you need to bank from the comfort of your home or office. In addition, the number of financial products, including some of the best rewards credit cards, accounts, investing, mortgages and personal loans, provide most everything you need.

You can start banking with Chase by choosing its no-frills checking account known as Chase Secure Checking. If you find you need more services than basic banking, Premier Plus checking adds interest on your balance, free checks and rebates on four out-of-network ATM withdrawals per month.

Pros:

  • Mobile deposits made before 11 p.m. Eastern are usually available the next business day
  • Relationship rates for mortgage holders
  • Investing services are available
  • Overdraft protection can save you from NSF and returned check fees

Cons:

What to look for: For most accounts, monthly maintenance fees can be waived by maintaining a minimum balance, receiving direct deposits or linking a checking and savings account.  READ OUR FULL REVIEW
A Better Way to Bank

2. Navy Federal Credit Union

Why it stands out: Georgia has a large concentration of active military personnel. For anyone affiliated with the Armed Forces or related to one, Navy Federal Credit Union is a great option.

Although there aren't many physical branches, the NFCU mobile app lets you handle just about everything, including account management, bill pay and applying for a credit card. Plus, customer service is available 24/7.

NFCU is also among the best credit unions in the country. Most accounts don't come with a monthly maintenance fee and if you qualify for membership, you'll receive a dividends on your bank account balances.

Pros:

  • CD rates as high as 4.25% APY
  • Four free checking accounts available and one with waivable fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Get up to $240 per year back on out-of-network ATM withdrawals

Cons:

  • Limited to military personnel and relatives
  • Few U.S. branches

What to look for: Although branches are limited in the U.S., deployed account holders will find locations in Spain, Italy, Japan, Cuba, Guam, Korea and more. In addition, customers can use Co-Op locations or live chat for additional help. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
A Better Way to Bank

3. Bank of America

Why it stands out: Bank of America, Member FDIC, offers what you'd expect from a major bank, such as checking, savings and loans. Carrying a large enough balance in your combined accounts is worthwhile. If you can maintain a balance of at least $20,000 you may qualify for Preferred Rewards membership, which unlocks a number of perks the average account holder won't have access to.

The Gold level is for account holders with $20,000 or more. Once you have at least $50,000, you're upgraded to Platinum. And anyone with six figures or more will achieve Platinum Honors level. Once you're in the Preferred Rewards program, you'll receive relationship rates on balances and loans, the chance to earn more in rewards on credit card spending and reduced fees on ATM withdrawals, loans, accounts and other services.

Pros:

  • Tiered checking account bundles
  • Switch between checking accounts without having to close an account or replace the debit card or checks
  • Checking and savings account fees can be waived
  • Low cost, self-directed investing is available through Merrill Edge

Cons:

  • Low Annual Percentage Yields for non-Preferred Rewards members
  • No money market account available

What to look for: Bank of America's method to checking accounts allows you to switch between the different tiers as you need without having to order new checks or replace your ATM card. You can start with Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®  for a low-cost banking option. As your needs grow, Advantage Plus and Advantage Relationship add items such as free checks, interest on balances and more. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
A Better Way to Bank

4. Wells Fargo

Why it stands out: Wells Fargo is the second-largest bank in Georgia with over 200 branches in 89 cities. You also have access to the mobile banking app, which has over 9 million nearly-perfect reviews from Android and iOS users. You can schedule deposits as well as make mobile ones, set up account alerts and toggle Wells Fargo credit cards on and off.

You'll have plenty of account options, as well as access to currency exchange in the branch. However, you may need to pre-order the currency and state the amount you need so the foreign cash is ready when you stop by.

Pros:

  • Monthly maintenance fees can be waived
  • Most accounts have low opening deposit minimums of $25
  • Automatic savings transfers available
  • Wide branch availability

Cons:

What to look for: Wells Fargo's Everyday Checking made the GOBankingRates best checking accounts list. The monthly maintenance fee of $10 can be waived for young adults between 17 and 24 or for everyone with a minimum balance or monthly direct deposit of $500. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
A Better Way to Bank

5. Wings Financial

Why it stands out: The state of Georgia has a large number of airline employees, with Delta Airlines even headquartered in Atlanta. Wings Financial is available for aviation-industry employees as well as residents of Atlanta, Georgia.

You'll find the level of accounts you'd expect from a financial institution such as checking, savings and IRAs. In addition, Wings Financial provides accountholders safe deposit boxes, an appointment concierge service to schedule one-on-one consultations with a banker and foreign currency exchange.

Pros:

  • Earn rewards when you bank with Wings Financial
  • Free cash withdrawals at 80,000 ATMs nationwide
  • Automated investing available for as little as $200 to start through Wing Financial's EastVest
  • Serves airline employees and Atlanta residents

Cons:

  • Banking not available to all Georgia residents
  • Only one branch available in Atlanta

What to look for: All accounts are fee-free regardless of your balance. Wing Financial offers several savings account options to set aside money for various goals. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

6. Fifth Third

Why it stands out: Fifth Third has a good presence in Georgia, with 31 bank branches in 13 cities. The bank has a full range of banking products, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, loans, investment accounts and insurance which can be accessed through physical locations or using the digital tools such as website or mobile app.

Fifth Third Bank ranks as No.3 in the GOBankingRates Best Regional Banks. Despite the availability of branches and onsite cash machines throughout the state, you also have access to 50,000 free partner ATMs.

Pros:

  • Free basic checking account available, as well as savings and higher-tier checking accounts with waivable monthly maintenance fees
  • Account holders who receive direct-deposit paychecks will receive them up to two days earlier
  • Wide branch availability and strong digital presence

Cons:

  • The best rates are reserved for relationship banking

What to look for: New accountholders should enroll for MyAdvance after a few months to help with cash flow issues. Make sure to establish a banking history with Fifth Third before enrolling to receive a higher line of credit. MyAdvance is a short-term credit line for $50 to $1,000 based on your historical deposits. Once approved, the funds are available right away. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
A Better Way to Bank

7. PNC

Why it stands out: Georgia residents who don't need a local branch or are living in a rural area may prefer to work with a bank with a strong online presence. PNC Bank is largely digital. New accountholders start with a basic Virtual Wallet® and select a checking account type. Adding a savings account can serve as your checking's overdraft protection in case of a cash shortfall.

If you're ready to graduate from the basic Virtual Wallet setup, Spend and Select are PNC's next tier of checking and savings. Accountholders will receive added value such as reimbursed ATM fees. However, a larger balance is required to avoid PNC monthly maintenance fees.

Pros:

  • Robust online mobile app
  • Innovative online checking and savings accounts known as Virtual Wallet, Spend and Select
  • Monthly maintenance fees can be waived
  • A grace period of 24 hours is available to cover overdrawn accounts before an overdraft fee is charged

Cons:

  • No branches in Georgia
  • Daily overdraft fee of $36

What to look for: The mobile app is extremely robust, allowing you to monitor your balances and manage them. If your account balance runs low, you can decline select transactions before they overdraw your account and you get hit with an insufficient-fund fee. In addition, you'll have 24 hours to fund your account before any overdraft fees kick in. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
A Better Way to Bank

8. First Citizens

Why it stands out: First Citizens offers Georgia residents free checking and savings account options with minimal opening balance requirements. One of the bank's best features is the full level of service available. Personal and business checking, savings, credit cards, loans and insurance are offered by the financial institution. Best of all, balances can earn favorable interest rates for savings, CDs and money market accounts.

Pros:

  • Low minimum of $500 to open a CD
  • Free checking accounts can be opened with just $50
  • Unlimited transfers and withdrawals allowed at branches and First Citizens ATMs for money market account holders
  • 56 locations in Georgia

Cons:

  • Interest rate of only 0.05% on premium checking accounts

What to look for: First Citizens is a good bank option if you're interested in opening a CD. You could earn up to 0.15% APY with an initial investment as low as $500.

READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Takeaway

The best banks in Georgia are a combination of highly-rated credit unions and banks. While the number of branches in the state varies by financial institution, all the banks featured offer a positive digital experience, a variety of accounts to choose from and plenty of free ATMs for a convenient experience.

Best Banks By Region

To discover the Top 100 Best Banks, GOBankingRates looked at all institutions with available published data (National, Regional, Local, and Online) from the 2022 Best Banks categories as well as all Credit Unions with over $1 billion in total assets and accessible to a wide audience. GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC and NCUA; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC and NCUA; (3) checking account annual fee; (4) savings account APY rate; (5) 12-month CD APY rate; (6) customer service products offered (24/7 customer service and live chat with a human); (7) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (8) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services, and insurance); and (9) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (4) were weighted 1.5 times in final scoring, factor (2) was weighted 2 times, factor (6) was weighted 0.5 times, and factor (8) was weighted 2.5 times. For all Savings and Checking Account data only the basic accounts/products offered at each institution was analyzed. Rates and fees subject to change.

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 the author 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 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 circumstances.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Sept. 19, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

Share This Article:

A Better Way to Bank

About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.
Learn More