Charlotte, NC, is known as a banking capital where locals can find affordable banking options at competitive rates. In fact, North Carolina was one the first states to allow banks to run multiple branches within a state’s borders, which according to Charlotte Business Journal, paved the way for Charlotte to become the second-largest banking city outside of New York.
Finding the best bank for your needs can involve multiple visits and calls to local and national institutions that provide a range of offerings. GOBankingRates, however, sorted through the nation’s bank promotions, interest rates and service fees to provide its annual “Best Banks” list for 2015. Consumers in Charlotte won’t have to go far for free checking, high-savings yields and loan offers thanks to the No. 3 best brick-and-mortar bank on the list.
Why Bank of America Is the No. 3 Best Bank of 2015
One of the big four banks in the United States, Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte but operates in 40 countries. Locally, Bank of America offers 501 ATMs and 177 banking centers in North Carolina alone. Its vast network of branches and ATMs is a primary reason why the bank earned a spot in the top three of GOBankingRates’ Best Banks ranking.
Charlotte residents can take advantage of a range of lending, investment, wealth management and free deposit account options available through the bank. It’s services and innovative features also include:
- Online and mobile account access 24 hours a day
- Online transfers between accounts
- Text email and alerts
- BankAmeriDeals to earn cash back on your checking
- Online tools for calculating mortgage payments and comparing loan options
Convenient online banking, debit cards used at unlimited point-of-sale locations and cash rewards come standard with many checking accounts, but Bank of America customers also can access multiple credit card rewards options, mortgage programs, auto loans and investment opportunities from Merrill Lynch.
In addition to providing resources for money management, retirement savings and debt reduction online to educate people about their banking options, Bank of America also focuses on small-business initiatives and supports nonprofits, such as helping homeless women in Charlotte by expanding the Center of Hope.
Institution selection: In order to determine its “Best Bank” rankings, GOBankingRates examined the top 100 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 rankings: Banks were scored from most to least favorable in the following categories: (1) BauerFinancial Star Ratings for overall financial strength, and the rankings previously assigned through our survey of (2) checking accounts, (3) savings accounts, and (4) one-year certificates of deposit. Each criterion was individually scored from most to least favorable in comparison to the category average (weighted equally). 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. Banks were then ranked according to overall score. Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions’ websites.
Photo credit: James Willamor