The Best Banks of 2023
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There are a large number of banking institutions across the country that customers can choose from to help manage their money. In fact, there are nearly 5,000 FDIC-insured banks within the U.S. that provide a range of services, from checking and savings accounts to loans and lines of credit and convenient options such as online and mobile banking. But with so many options comes the task of determining the best one to work with for your needs.
To determine the best banks in the U.S., GOBankingRates ranked 18 options based on a number of factors, including:
- Total assets
- Minimum deposit needed to open a checking or savings account
- Checking and savings account fees
- Minimum balances needed to maintain the account
- Savings account APY
- Customer service
- Options for loans, credit cards and investment services
- Mobile app ratings
GOBankingRates’ Best Banks of 2023
Best for high rates and no fees
Why we like Capital One
How do you land the coveted top spot on this list? It helps when your checking account, savings account and CDs were each honored as finalists in their respective categories. Above-average interest rates, no monthly fees and a nationwide network of more than 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs combine to make Capital One a financial institution worth checking out.
360 Performance Savings comes with a APY on any balance, with no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirement.
- No monthly service fees
- No minimum balances
- Higher-than-average interest rates
- Over 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs
- Capital One Cafés and branches
- Money market accounts not available
- Limited to one or two options per bank account category
Capital One Bank is a primarily online institution that provides interest-bearing accounts with no fees or minimum requirements. While it doesn’t have as many physical locations as other major national banks, Capital One’s user-friendly mobile app and website make it possible to handle most of your needs online.
Best for full-service banking
Why we like Bank of America
Offering a wide selection of services and boasting an extensive network of branches and ATMs, Bank of America has the muscle to serve just about every customer’s banking needs. Among that assortment of options are some top-notch accounts, including Bank of America’s well-regarded checking and savings products.
Advantage Relationship Banking checking accounts pay interest, with the annual percentage yield depending on the size of the balance in the account.
- Large variety of accounts and services
- Highly rated mobile app
- Wide network of branches and ATMs
- High fees for low-value accounts
- High overdraft fees or fees for non-Bank of America ATMs
- Low rates on CD accounts
For those looking for a financial institution that provides banking as well as products such as auto loans and mortgages, Bank of America is a solid option. Bank of America is ideal for someone just getting started and in need of basic checking, or someone with a high net worth who wants to integrate banking with wealth management.
Best for competitive rates
Why we like BMO Harris Bank
A robust selection of products, reliable savings account options and a highly rated mobile app make BMO Harris Bank a popular choice for customers who want a straightforward approach to banking. Competitive savings rates and low fees on basic accounts add to the appeal of BMO Harris.
Savings Builder account pays out a $5 bonus each month when you deposit at least $200, which allows you to earn $60 a year just for saving.
- Large ATM network
- Competitive savings rates
- No or low fees on standard accounts
- High overdraft fees
- Low rates on money market accounts
- Limited U.S. branches
BMO Harris Bank is ideal for those seeking a full-service bank with a wide assortment of accounts. While some accounts come with fees, many can easily be waived if you meet certain criteria. BMO Harris doesn’t have the branch presence across the U.S. that some other institutions on the list can claim, so in-person banking may not be accessible if you live outside its footprint.
Best for checking and savings
Why we like Chase Bank
Chase is a banking juggernaut that boasts a wide reach and an incredible depth of products, including its eight checking options for different types of clients. While it will appeal to a variety of customers, Chase is an ideal bank for those who value quality checking and savings account options.
Total Checking is a no-frills account and one of Chase’s most popular products. The $12 monthly fee gets waived if you keep your balance above $1,500 or make regular deposits over $500.
- Bonus offer for new customers
- Large selection of account options
- User-friendly mobile app
- No money market accounts
- Monthly fees
- High fees for non-Chase ATMs
Chase is perfect for the traditional banking customer, as it offers consistency and reliability. The sheer number of account options and banking services is one of Chase’s strongest features. Plus, no matter where you roam, you’re probably not far from one of its 4,700 branches.
Best for checking
Why we like Citibank
A national bank boasting a range of products, Citibank is an excellent option for those who want to handle all of their banking needs in one place. Citibank offers six checking accounts with the opportunity for cash bonuses and no minimums to open a checking or savings account. It also maintains an award-winning website and mobile app.
Citi® Basic Banking requires no minimum deposit and offers unlimited check writing, and the $12 monthly fee can be waived if you maintain a high enough balance.
- Variety of checking accounts
- No required minimums to open checking or savings accounts
- Opportunities for bonuses
- Low savings rates
- Fewer U.S. branches than other national banks
- Can’t open top-tier savings account separately from package
Citibank is great for customers interested in a bank with a solid reputation and who want to build their finances over time at the same institution. While Citibank charges some fees, they are similar to what you’d find at other major banks, plus there are ways to waive the fees. Citibank has one of the largest selections of checking accounts you’ll find out there.
Best for wide range of services
Why we like Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank has branches across the Midwest, Northeast and Florida, and it offers a variety of accounts, many of which don’t have monthly account fees or have fees that you can easily get waived. The bank provides numerous physical locations and ATMs in the 11 states that make up its service area, and its online banking and mobile app help broaden its reach.
One Deposit Checking requires no minimum balance, and the $10 maintenance fee is waived as long as you make at least one deposit each month.
- Multiple account options
- Easy-to-avoid monthly fees
- No required minimum to open most accounts
- High overdraft fees
- In-person banking only available regionally
- Low savings and CD rates
Citizens Bank is a good option for those who want a diverse product line and a one-stop shop for their banking needs. While those looking for low monthly fees will appreciate what Citizens has to offer, customers searching for high yields on deposit accounts may be underwhelmed by Citizens Bank’s rates.
Best for specialized accounts
Why we like Fifth Third Bank
Headquartered in Ohio with locations across 10 states, Fifth Third Bank offers a wide selection of products highlighted by specialized checking and savings accounts. It’s a great option for those looking to handle all of their banking in a single place.
Fifth Third Momentum Checking has no minimum balance required and no monthly fee, and it gives you extra time to avoid overdraft fees.
- Wide variety of products, including investments and insurance
- Better interest rates when you have multiple accounts
- Specialized checking accounts
- Regional bank with just 1,100 branches
- Low rates except on promotional CDs
Fifth Third Bank is a solid choice if you want to keep all of your accounts at one bank and you live in Fifth Third’s coverage area — or don’t mind banking online or on the mobile app. However, those who prioritize competitive interest rates will likely want to look elsewhere.
Best for free checking
Why we like First Citizens Bank & Trust Company
First Citizens Bank has all of the products most people need, including checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, credit cards, mortgages and other loans, investment accounts and insurance. It tallies more than 500 branches across 21 states and you can reach a customer service representative seven days a week.
Free Checking account requires no minimum balance and just a $50 opening deposit, although you’ll need to sign up for paperless statements to waive fees.
- Wide variety of banking products
- CD relationship rates for customers with Premier or Prestige checking accounts
- Free checking and savings options
- Some monthly service fees are difficult to waive
- Limited branch availability
First Citizens Bank offers all of the banking and investment products and services most people need, and it offers incentives for customers to hold multiple accounts. Rates on savings products are relatively low compared to some other banks.
Best for high yields
Why we like First Republic Bank
First Republic Bank caters to wealthier customers who appreciate its banking, wealth management and investment services, but it isn’t just for those with high net worths. Generous yields on savings accounts, CDs and money market accounts make it appealing to a wide range of people.
Passbook Savings boasts a annual percentage yield on balances below $25,000, and that rate trends upward for even higher balances. There’s a $500 minimum opening deposit.
- Interest-bearing checking options
- ATM rebates available
- Large variety of products and services
- Competitive APYs
- Limited branches in select markets
- Balances of $1 million or more needed to get the highest APY on some accounts
First Republic Bank offers multiple standout products, such as its high-yielding Passbook Savings account and flexible Liquid CD. It’s a good fit for those with a larger-than-average bank balance and those who value wealth management guidance.
Best for checking
Why we like KeyBank
KeyBank provides a wide variety of products, highlighted by its five checking account options. Choices include basic fee-free checking and an online-only option as well as relationship accounts. The bank puts a premium on customer service with extended hours for chat support, Twitter assistance and around-the-clock live phone support.
Key Smart Checking requires no minimum balance and charges no service fee, and you can open an account with an initial deposit of just $10.
- Fee-free overdraft protection available
- Mobile app is user-friendly and highly rated
- Upgraded ATMs accept cash deposits
- Higher-tier checking accounts have high monthly maintenance fees and high balance requirements to waive them
- Interest-bearing checking accounts offer a minimal amount of interest
- Must live in one of 15 states to bank with KeyBank
KeyBank has a wide selection of checking, savings and money market accounts, as well as CDs. Some checking accounts have relatively steep monthly fees, although you can have them waived if you maintain a high enough balance.
Best for basic checking
Why we like Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company
M&T Bank offers a full suite of financial services at competitive rates, and its community-minded service model sets it apart from some other full-service banks. It also requires low minimum initial deposits and waivable monthly fees.
EZChoice Checking account has no monthly maintenance charge or minimum balance requirement, and it requires just a $25 opening deposit.
- Low minimum opening deposits
- Waivable monthly maintenance fees
- Plenty of account options
- Limited service area
- High minimum balance requirement on Premium checking
M&T Bank’s diverse line of products offer something for everyone. With personalized service and a range of checking and savings accounts, M&T is a great option for those who live in the bank’s service area.
Best for planning tools
Why we like PNC Bank
PNC Bank provides one-stop shopping for banking, including checking, savings and money market accounts. It also provides credit cards, mortgages, auto loans and student loans. Through its Virtual Wallet, it offers a combination of checking, short-term planning and long-term savings. Each account is a part of PNC Bank’s Spend, Reserve and Growth model.
PNC offers several tiers of Virtual Wallet, including the basic and student versions, Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend and Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. With each option, customers get a primary checking account, an interest-bearing checking account and a long-term savings account. The Virtual Wallet options offer an array of tools to help you manage your funds.
- Variety of management and planning tools
- 24-hour grace period for overdraft fees
- No minimum balance for checking and high-yield savings account
- Limited branch locations
- High overdraft fees
- Rates vary by location
PNC Bank is best for people who live in select Midwest, Northeast or Southern states where brick-and-mortar branches are located. If you live in one of the areas served by PNC Bank, or if you want to bank online only, it’s a solid choice. The breadth of product offerings and the advanced technology make it worthy of consideration if you’re in the market for a new bank.
Best for customer service
Why we like TD Bank
TD Bank has a variety of options, from checking and savings accounts to credit cards, personal loans and home equity loans. However, one of TD Bank’s most impressive features may be its 24/7 live customer service.
TD Bank often offers sign-up bonuses for new customers, and new checking customers can currently get up to $300 when they open an account.
- Extended branch hours on nights and weekends
- Sign-up bonuses for checking accounts
- Rewards for having multiple accounts
- Low CD interest rates
- High fees for non-TD Bank ATMs
- Monthly fees unless minimums are met
TD Bank provides banking services at more than 1,100 branch locations and 700 ATMs across the East Coast. Its round-the-clock customer service and generous sign-up bonuses should entice nostalgic customers who appreciate both of those features that have disappeared from some other banks.
Best for full-service banking
Why we like The Huntington National Bank
With a strong presence in the Midwest, Huntington National Bank offers financial products ranging from mortgages to checking, savings and even business accounts. It has over 1,000 branches and more than 1,600 ATMs in the U.S.
Platinum Perks Checking is an interest-bearing account that comes with various benefits, such as identity monitoring, annual-fee waivers on home equity lines of credit and more.
- 24-Hour Grace and $50 Safety Zone features for overdraft fee relief
- $100 to $500 line of credit that can be repaid with no interest or fees over three months
- Waivable monthly maintenance charges
- Varying minimum balances for different accounts
Huntington Bank is a great one-stop shop option for those who live in its service area and plan to open numerous accounts and services within one bank. The main drawback is that you won’t get the high yields on deposit accounts that you may find at some online banks.
Best for basic checking
Why we like Truist Bank
The product of a 2019 merger, Truist Bank is now the seventh-largest bank in the U.S. and offers a wide range of services to customers. Its checking and savings products offer protection from overdraft fees and require low minimum balances.
The Truist Confidence Account offers checking with no overdraft fees, with a minimum opening deposit of $25 and a $5 monthly fee that can be waived.
- Monthly maintenance fees are easily waived
- No overdraft fees on checking accounts
- Buffer for unintended overspending
- Relatively low interest rates may not make interest-bearing accounts worthwhile
- Not as many branches as some of its competitors
Truist Bank delivers affordable banking products and services and the convenience of banking at a branch or online. While you may be able to find higher APYs elsewhere, this bank works well for people who would benefit from a free savings account and a large network of branches.
Best for customer experience
Why we like U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank ranks as the fifth-largest bank in the U.S., with more than 2,700 branches in 26 states, and it offers an assortment of products and services. In addition to its various checking and savings accounts, U.S. Bank also boasts a highly rated mobile app and 24/7 customer service.
Standard Savings account requires just a $25 minimum opening deposit, and its low monthly fee of $4 gets waived if you maintain at least a $300 balance in your account.
- 24/7 customer service
- More than 2,700 branches in 26 states
- Variety of checking account options
- Low APYs
- Can get better savings rates elsewhere
- Monthly checking account fees unless the minimum requirement is met
U.S. Bank is ideal for those who prioritize the convenience of accessible customer service and a large network of ATMs, and who don’t want to run a high risk of overdraft fees. Like most national banks, U.S. Bank’s strength is the first-rate breadth and quality of its services. However, customers who want a completely fee-free banking experience with higher yields might be happier with an online bank.
Best for many locations
Why we like Wells Fargo Bank
With around 4,700 branches, Wells Fargo has more locations than any other bank in the U.S. Offering everything from checking and savings accounts to credit cards, loans and brokerage services, Wells Fargo fits the bill for those seeking a single bank for all of their financial needs.
Way2Save Savings account pays out a APY, and it requires a minimum opening deposit of $25.
- Wide array of products
- Easy and accessible mobile and online banking
- Approximately 4,700 retail banking branches and more than 83,000 ATMs nationwide
- Rewards and bonus interest rates for high-balance accounts
- Low APY rates compared to online banks
- Monthly service fees on checking and savings accounts
Wells Fargo is great for a traditional bank customer because of its reliability and accessibility. While you may be able to get a higher interest rate at an online bank, you can walk into a Wells Fargo branch almost anywhere in the country and ask questions or make transactions.
What To Consider When Choosing the Best Bank
When choosing a bank, there are several factors you should look for — including the products and services it offers, its fees and interest rates, and, if it’s a brick-and-mortar institution, whether there are physical branches near you. The best bank for you will also depend upon the type of account you wish to open. You can also open different accounts at different banks to take advantage of the best rates and offers for specific accounts.
Different Types of Banks
In this day and age, there are more banking options than ever before, each offering different services and accessibility that are tailored toward individuals as well as businesses. Here are some of the main types available:
National Banks – The big banks that have a national presence and thousands of physical locations, with recognizable names like Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, among others.
Online Banks – Unlike national banks that have plenty of brick-and-mortar locations, online banks work primarily in the digital space including website portals and mobile apps.
Retail Banks – Financial institutions that cater to retail consumers, aka regular people, rather than corporations and large businesses. They offer personal banking options like checking and savings accounts as well as loans.
Neobanks – Non-traditional banking options that are virtual and rely on fintech solutions to provide money management without in-person customer support. They generally partner with more established institutions to provide services.
Private Banks – A concierge-style service providing personalized counseling for wealth management and estate planning, and is usually reserved for high net worth individuals.
Standard Bank Services
Every bank operates independently with its own terms, rates and range of options for customers, however, there are a number of standard services that most will provide to help clients manage their money.
Savings Accounts – A low interest earning account that allows you to make regular deposits to help build up a financial reserve. Generally, these accounts are used to store money you don’t need to access regularly and want to allow to grow.
Checking Accounts – A type of bank account for active money transactions. Customers can deposit money either through paper checks or direct deposits and are able to use funds 24/7, including paying bills or making retail purchases, which are generally done with a linked debit card. Many banks allow you to link savings accounts to checking accounts for easy money transfers and protection from overdraft fees if your checking account runs low.
CDs – A certificate of deposit is a more specific type of savings product where you make a one-time deposit and determine a term that allows the money to vest (typically from three months to five years). Generally, you are not able to access the money and will incur a penalty for an early withdrawal. The tradeoff is that a CD offers a higher interest rate and more earning potential.
Money Market Account – This type of account combines the earning potential of a savings account with the convenience of a checking account in which the customer can write checks or use a linked debit card for purchases.
Loans – Banks can provide loans for large purchases with varying interest that will accrue over the course of the agreement. Whether it’s a 30-year mortgage or a five-year auto loan, there’s a large range of options. Banks may also be able to help finance student loans and business loans and help process home equity loans and lines of credit.
Credit Cards – In addition to loans, many banks offer personal credit cards with a revolving line of credit available for purchases that can be paid off over time. Bank-issued credit cards can also come with perks such as cash-back promotions, accruing travel miles and reward points but it’s important to read the fine print when it comes to APRs and any annual fees.
Retirement Accounts – Some banks also offer personal retirement plans such as 401(k) plans that can be helpful for those unable to contribute to an employer-matching retirement savings account, such as if the person is unemployed or a contract/freelance/side gig worker.
All banks operate differently but many have fees that may be applied for maintaining accounts unless you meet certain requirements. For example, a savings account may require that you keep a minimum amount deposited at all times to avoid a fee and a checking account may dictate that you must have regular direct deposits made in order to not be charged. Many banks also apply overdraft fees, charging customers any time they overdraw a checking account where the available balance can’t cover the purchase being made.
Bank Interest Rates
Savings accounts and certificates of deposit opened with a bank will both accrue interest, though the amount will change based on the financial institution and the current average as dictated by the Federal Reserve. Savings accounts will have a lower interest rate than a CD but it’s best to shop around to find the most competitive offer.
ATMs and Online Banking Services
It used to be that you had to wait until a local branch of a bank was open to withdraw money or deposit checks. But with advanced technology, there are more convenient options nowadays. All major banks have ATMs (automated teller machines) that allow you to do most of your banking business at any time of the day without needing a teller to be present. Online banking portals and mobile apps also offer the same 24/7 banking opportunities where you can check balances, transfer funds, pay bills and deposit checks by taking a photo with your smartphone.
What You Need To Open a Bank Account
Once you’ve determined which financial institution you want to do your banking with, you’ll need a few items in order to open an account. That list includes a government-issued ID, your Social Security number and an initial deposit, whether for a savings or checking account. Most of the time you can open new accounts either in-person or online. Once established, you may also need to change your paycheck direct deposit and update any of your linked automatic bill pay agreements.
The Difference Between a Bank and Credit Union
There is another option for banking called a credit union. Unlike a traditional national bank which is a for-profit entity and is governed by shareholders, a credit union is a not-for-profit institution that works for its membership. Meaning, they’re generally smaller and community-based with more personalized services. There are a few factors in order to be considered eligible for membership in a credit union (usually determined by where you live, an employer you work for or a community you belong to such as the military). Because credit unions are smaller and not-for-profit, they typically offer better interest rates and lower fees than traditional banks. However, there usually aren’t as many branch locations and advanced technology like mobile apps that national banks offer.
How Your Money Is Protected in a Bank
National banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which protects up to $250,000 per person per institution. So for any event that may affect a financial institution’s health or viability, whether a natural disaster or default, a customer’s money is insured through this federally regulated mandate.
Sign-On Bank Bonuses
Banking is a competitive field and many major institutions will offer incentives to encourage new clients to work with them. Many provide sign-on bonuses when you open a new account that can top $150-$300 or more. It’s one more point to consider when deciding where to bring your business.
More Best Banks 2023
To determine the Best Banks of 2023, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open a checking account; (2) monthly checking fee ratio (minimum to avoid fees compared to the monthly fee itself); (3) minimum deposit to open a savings account; (4) savings APY; (5) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (6) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (7) 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 (3) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighed 2.5 times and factor (6) was weighted 1.5 times.
FAQs About Banks
Although the basic idea behind a bank can be simple to understand, there are still many common questions surrounding them. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding banks.
- What are the top 10 biggest banks?
- The Federal Reserve regularly reports on the biggest banks in America, determined by the number of branches/ATMs available as well as services provided for customers. With that in mind, the top 10 currently include, in alphabetical order: Bank of America, Capital One, Chase Bank, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
- What’s the No. 1 bank in America?
- Based on the number of branches and ATMs available as well as customer service hours and products offered, Chase Bank is the No. 1 largest bank in the U.S. with a presence in nearly all 50 states as well as a network of 16,000 ATMs.
- Which is the safest bank in the world?
- Since all major banks are insured by the FDIC, all rank similarly when it comes to safety. The FDIC insures up to $250,000 per person per account and per bank. This is the same cap for a credit union, though they are insured under the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 2, 2023.