Whether you just need a checking account to pay bills, a place to park your emergency fund, a bank to lend money or all of the above, establishing the right banking relationship is an important way to build wealth. GOBankingRates studied the best banks in Alabama to make it easier for you to find the best bank for your needs.
10 Best Banks in Alabama
Alabama banks include some of the best banks in the South, and the top 10 banks in the state include online-only banks, local banks with just a few branches, and banks with as many as 1,500 branches. Some of these financial institutions offer a full slate of banking products — like mortgages, credit cards, car loans, insurance and investment services — whereas others just offer savings accounts and checking accounts.
Find out if your bank is one of the best banks in Alabama, or, if it’s not, it might be time to consider switching banks. The 10 best best banks in Alabama are:
- Regions Bank
- BBVA Compass Bank
- Peoples Bank of Alabama
- First Community Bank
- National Bank of Commerce
- Liberty Bank
- FNB Bank
- AloStar Bank of Commerce
- First Citizens Bank
- First Jackson Bank
Regions Bank has 1,500 branches and offers mortgages, car loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance products. It can be a good choice for people who prefer to bank in person because of its large number of branches. It charges $10 per month for the LifeGreen Checking account or $8 with e-statements rather than paper ones, but you can avoid the fee by meeting one of the following requirements:
- $1,500 average balance
- A direct deposit of $500 per month
- $1,000 in deposits from multiple direct deposits
Create a Regions Bank account online with your Social Security number, email address, personal identification and a funding source for your new account.
BBVA Compass Bank
Low minimums to open free checking accounts make it easy to get started with BBVA Compass Bank. You only need $25 to open a fee-free checking account, and if you need a personal loan, you can apply online and be approved as soon as the same day. You can also apply for the BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card, which has benefits such as:
- No annual fee
- Triple points in your choice of categories
You can apply for an account at BBVA Compass Online with your identifying information, Social Security number and government ID.
Peoples Bank of Alabama
Peoples Bank of Alabama offers free checking and myEasyAdvisor, a financial resource for clients. Its eChecking Plus account has no fee or minimum balance and requires just $50 to open. You’ll receive extra interest on the first $25,000 of your balance and up to $6 of ATM fees refunded each month when you do all of the following:
- Use e-statements.
- Make at least 10 purchases with your debit card during a statement period.
- Use direct deposit or ACH each month.
Only residents of Alabama can open an account at the People’s Bank of Alabama. Apply online with your Social Security number, government ID and a method to fund your new account.
First Community Bank
First Community Bank has free checking, multiple loan offerings and 26 branches to serve you. The Community Free account gives you unlimited check writing with no minimum balance requirements. Customers over 50 qualify for a Community 50 checking account that’s free and offers these perks:
- Pays interest
- Allows free cashier’s checks
- Gives you two free boxes of checks each year
You can also apply for a credit card with tiered cash rewards and no annual fee.
Apply online with your Social Security number, government ID, previous address if you’ve lived at your current address for less than two years and a way to fund your new account.
National Bank of Commerce
National Bank of Commerce has free checking accounts plus loan products including all-terrain vehicle, car and boat loans. There’s no fee for the Simple Choice checking account when you choose electronic statements. When you sign up now, you’ll receive up to $50 by way of:
- 25 cents per unused check, up to 100 checks, from your old bank’s checking account
- A $25 reward after the third direct deposit to your National Bank of Commerce account
The account minimums are higher for savings accounts: You’ll need a $200 balance in your savings account or $1,000 in a money market account to avoid a fee.
Start the application process by filling out the National Bank of Commerce’s online form, and a banker will reach out to you about opening an account.
Liberty Bank’s savings account earns interest and requires only $25 to open. The regular checking account’s monthly fee is $5 if your balance drops below $400, and the fee increases by $1 for each additional $100 drop in your daily balance. Liberty Bank also offers personal loans, but its credit cards have some limitations, such as:
- No rewards for the basic card
- $35 annual fee on the rewards card
- Maximum of 1 percent cash back on your first $60,000 of reward card spending
Visit your closest Liberty Bank location to apply for an account in person.
FNB Bank offers free checking accounts plus various loan products to meet your needs. The bank’s Totally Free Checking account requires only $50 to open and offers up to $5,000 of identity theft insurance. You can opt for an interest-bearing checking account with no monthly maintenance fee if you maintain a minimum balance of at least $2,000. FNB also has several loan products, including:
- Car loans
- Personal loans
- Agricultural loans
Apply for an account in person at your local FNB Bank branch.
AloStar Bank of Commerce
AloStar offers free checking and savings accounts with low minimums, plus certificates of deposit to help you save more. AloStar’s Personal Checking doesn’t charge a maintenance fee and offers several benefits:
- Unlimited check writing
- First set of checks for free
- Low $5 monthly fee for online bill pay
AloStar offers 1.35% APY on a 12-month high-yield CD and even higher rates for longer terms. But you’ll have to look elsewhere if you need to borrow money.
You can open an AloStar Bank of Commerce account online with your Social Security number, government-issued ID, and a checking or savings account to fund your new account.
First Citizens Bank
Low minimums that let you open checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees help make First Citizens Bank one of Alabama’s top 10 best banks. You can open a free checking account with an initial deposit of $50 and get a free Visa debit card, free online banking and unlimited bill pay. First Citizens Bank’s online savings account requires only a $25 deposit. You can also get several types of insurance through First Citizens Bank, including:
- Homeowners insurance
- Renters insurance
- Auto insurance
- Umbrella insurance policies
Open a First Citizens Bank account online with your driver’s license, current home address, Social Security number and a credit or debit card to make your initial deposit.
First Jackson Bank
First Jackson Bank has low minimums to open checking and savings accounts, and you can open a Christmas Club account to save up for holiday shopping. You only need a $500 minimum balance to avoid the $6 monthly fee on Regular Checking accounts. You can open a Regular Savings account with as little as $25. With a Val-You Checking account, an $8 monthly fee gets you:
- Checking service
- Basic accidental insurance
Visit your nearest First Jackson Bank to open an account.
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Methodology: To determine the best banks in the state, GOBankingRates ranked the top 10 banks based on (1) asset-size, with $100 million minimum in assets held, according to the FDIC; (2) monthly checking account service fee; (3) savings account annual percentage rate, which was either a flat rate or the lowest tiered rate available from the bank for non-specialty savings account products; (4) bank accessibility, based on the approximate number of branches; and (5) products, with banks being scored on selection of products offered, including auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services, and insurance.
Data for this ranking was compiled from and verified against the individual institutions’ websites between Sept. 21 and Sept. 26, 2017. 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.
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 this ranking 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.
Related: The Best Banks of 2018