10 Best Banks in California

Find out what the top 10 best banks in California have to offer.

The top 10 banks in California, as determined by GOBankingRates, offer an array of services. As for which is the overall top bank in the state, that depends on what type of account or service you need. A customer looking for the highest annual percentage yields might select a different bank than a customer who needs low mortgage rates, high levels of bank customer service or investment products.

GOBankingRates identified the best banks in California based on bank asset size, accessibility, savings account interest rates, monthly checking account fees and available products. You can use this guide to help you choose the best bank for you from among the top options.

Best Banks in California at a Glance

The best banks in California include national and regional banks that offer personal and business banking products and services. Here's a quick look at the top choices:

Best California Banks at a Glance
BankChecking FeeSavings APY
East West Bank$5 to $12Call bank for rates
Bank of Hope$3 to $150.05% to 0.15% APY
City National Bank$5 to $350.01% to 0.15% APY
CIT Bank$0Up to 0.50% APY
First Republic Bank$3 to $250.05% to 0.30% APY
Tri Counties Bank$5 to $12Call bank or visit branch for rates
BBVA$0 to $19Up to 0.05% APY
Bank of America$4.95 to $250.01% APY
Bank of the West$0 to $250.01% APY
Union Bank$0 to $250.01% APY
Rates for Bank of Hope, City National Bank, First Republic Bank and Union Bank are accurate as of July 28, 2020. All other rates are updated periodically and subject to change.

Best Banks in California

To determine the best banks in California, GOBankingRates evaluated banks using a methodology centered on the following criteria:

  • Checking account fee
  • Savings account annual percentage yield
  • 12-month CD APY

All of the top 10 banks offer competitive accounts that come with the best online banking services, such as a mobile app and mobile deposit.

East West Bank

Where It's Located: More than 125 branches in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Texas, Washington and China

Why Consumers Like It: East West Bank is a private bank originally founded to serve the needs of Chinese Americans in Los Angeles. The bank offers a variety of banking solutions for personal and business customers.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, certificates of deposit, credit cards, home loans, prepaid cards, gift cards, Small Business Administration loans, merchant services

Benefits:

  • Allpoint and MoneyPass ATM partnership
  • Variety of products available
  • Fee-free CDs

Drawbacks:

  • Limited number of branches
  • APY not available on website

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $5 to $12
  • Personal savings: $3 monthly maintenance fee; $0 for account holders under 18
  • 12-month CD: None

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: $100 to $10,000
  • Personal savings: $100
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $1,500 to $2,500 to waive service fee
  • Personal savings: $2,500 to waive service fee on Premier Savings
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: N/A
  • Personal savings: Not listed
  • 12-month CD: Not listed on website

Access (ATM): No charge to use East West Bank, Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs

How To Open an Account: East West Bank

Bank of Hope

Where It's Located: 58 branches in eight states; 32 branches in California

Why Consumers Like It: The bank has multiple checking options, including the Basic Checking account designed for customers with low to moderate account activity.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, CDs, money market, credit cards, mortgages

Benefits:

  • Minimal deposit to open a checking account
  • Broad ATM network

Drawbacks:

  • No auto loans, insurance or investment services
  • Limited number of branches outside of Los Angeles

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $3 to $15
  • Personal savings: $5
  • 12-month CD: Listed in deposit account agreement, which is available from the bank upon request

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: $25 to $1,000
  • Personal savings: $500
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $500 to $1,000 to waive service charge
  • Personal savings: $500 to waive service charge
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: N/A
  • Personal savings: 0.05% to 0.15%
  • 12-month CD: 0.04% to 0.50%

Access (ATM): No surcharge to use Bank of Hope, Allpoint and MoneyPass network ATMs

How To Open an Account: Bank of Hope

City National Bank

Where It's Located: 72 offices in California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

Why Consumers Like It: The bank offers a variety of high-level services, including international banking, treasury and cash management, real estate financing, trust services and equipment financing.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, preferred banking, credit cards, mortgages, gift cards, lines of credit, investment and brokerage services

Benefits:

  • Full range of financial products and services

Drawbacks:

  • Steep minimum balance required to avoid service fees
  • Physical branches concentrated in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $5 to $35
  • Personal savings: $4 to $5
  • 12-month CD: None offered

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: $25 to $1,000
  • Personal savings: $50 to $500
  • 12-month CD: None offered

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $250 to $50,000 to waive service fee
  • Personal savings: $100 to $1,000 to waive service fee
  • 12-month CD: None offered

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: 0.01% to 0.20%
  • Personal savings: 0.01% to 0.15%
  • 12-month CD: None offered

Access (ATM): City National ATMs, plus ATMs in the Plus and Interlink networks

How To Open an Account: City National Bank

CIT Bank

Where It's Located: 70 retail branches in Southern California

Why Consumers Like It: CIT offers one of the highest yields for a savings account compared with the other top 10 banks on this list. The Premier High Yield Savings Account pays 0.95% APY.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, money market, CDs, mortgages

Benefits:

  • High yields on savings accounts and CDs compared to similar banks
  • Fee-free checking and savings accounts

Drawbacks:

  • No credit cards or auto loans
  • Minimum deposit for CDs is high compared to similar banks

Fees:

  • Personal checking: None
  • Personal savings: None
  • 12-month CD: None

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: $100
  • Personal savings: $100
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: None
  • Personal savings: $100 to $25,000
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: None
  • Personal savings: 0.50%
  • 12-month CD: 0.50%

Access (ATM): The bank reimburses charges for using non-CIT ATMs (up to $30)

How To Open an Account: CIT Bank

First Republic Bank

Where It's Located: 79 branch locations across the United States

Why Consumers Like It: The bank offers competitive interest rates on savings products and a full range of banking products to meet customers' financial needs at a single institution.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, money market, individual retirement accounts, CDs, personal loans, personal lines of credit, home loans, home equity lines of credit, business banking, business lines of credit, business loans, private wealth management

Benefits:

  • Competitive interest rates on savings products
  • Variety of banking products

Drawbacks:

  • Limited number of branches
  • Passbook Savings has no ATM access
  • High minimum deposit for CDs

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $3 to $25
  • Personal savings: $0
  • 12-month CD: Early withdrawal penalty

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: $25 to $500
  • Personal savings: $500
  • 12-month CD: $10,000

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $0 to $3,500
  • Personal savings: None listed
  • 12-month CD: $10,000

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: None
  • Personal savings: 0.05% to 0.30% 
  • 12-month CD: 0.45% 

Access (ATM): ATM Rebate Checking reimburses customers for non-First Republic Bank ATMs

How To Open an Account: Call or visit a local branch to open an account.

Tri Counties Bank

Where It's Located: More than 70 branches in northern and central California

Why Consumers Like It: The bank offers plenty of no-frills banking products. Customers can speak to a representative seven days a week.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, CDs, credit cards, individual retirement accounts, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, health savings accounts, business checking, business savings, business CDs, business loans, merchant services, treasury management, pension and retirement

Benefits:

  • Customer service available seven days a week
  • Member of MoneyPass ATM network
  • Low minimum deposit to open accounts

Drawbacks:

  • Limited service area

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $5 to $12
  • Personal savings: $0 to $5
  • 12-month CD: None

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: $25 to $100
  • Personal savings: $100
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $500 to $5,000 to waive service fee
  • Personal savings: $500
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: Not listed
  • Personal savings: Call bank or visit branch for current rates
  • 12-month CD: Call bank or visit branch for current rates

Access (ATM): Surcharge-free ATMs at Tri Counties branches and MoneyPass ATMs

How To Open an Account: Tri Counties Bank

BBVA

Where It's Located: 20 branches in central California

Why Consumers Like It: BBVA customers have access to more than 60,000 ATMs through the Allpoint and 7-Eleven networks. This full-service bank offers a variety of products.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, home equity lines of credit, home equity loans, mortgages, small business checking, small business lending, small business credit cards, private banking and financial planning

Benefits:

  • Full range of financial products
  • Low minimum deposit to open checking and savings accounts
  • No service fees for savings accounts and CDs
  • Generous ATM network

Drawbacks:

  • Branches concentrated in central California

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $0 to $19 maintenance fee; $3 for paper statements
  • Personal savings: $0
  • 12-month CD: $0

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: $25
  • Personal savings: $25
  • 12-month CD: $500

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $1,500 to waive maintenance fee
  • Personal savings: $25
  • 12-month CD: $500

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: None
  • Personal savings: Up to 0.05% 
  • 12-month CD: 0.30%

Access (ATM): No surcharges at BBVA, Allpoint and 7-Eleven ATMs

How To Open an Account: BBVA

Bank of America

Where It's Located: More than 300 financial centers and ATMs in California

Why Consumers Like It: The bank has plenty of branches available around the country, so it's fairly easy to find a physical location or ATM. Its mobile app is highly rated.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, CDs, credit cards, home loans, auto loans, investment services, wealth management, business checking, business savings, business credit cards, business loans, merchant services and payroll

Benefits:

  • Access to branches and ATMs across the country
  • Full range of financial services for individuals and businesses
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Drawbacks:

  • Not all customers can meet requirements to waive maintenance fees
  • Better APYs for savings accounts and CDs are available at other banks

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $4.95 to $25
  • Personal savings: $8
  • 12-month CD: Early withdrawal penalty

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: $25 to $100
  • Personal savings: $100
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $1,500 to waive maintenance on Advantage Plus checking
  • Personal savings: $500
  • 12-month CD: $1,000

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: Up to 0.02%
  • Personal savings: 0.01% standard APY, with potential to earn more as a preferred member 
  • 12-month CD: 0.05%

Access (ATM): Bank of America ATMs

How To Open an Account: Bank of America

Bank of the West

Where It's Located: Branches in 24 states

Why Consumers Like It: Customers can open a checking or savings account with as little as 1 cent.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, CDs, credit cards, car loans, RV loans, boat loans, home equity loans, mortgages

Benefits:

  • Low minimum deposit to open checking and savings accounts
  • Easy to waive service fees on basic checking account

Drawbacks:

  • Unimpressive interest rates on savings accounts and CDs
  • Limited ATM network

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $0 to $25; $3 for paper statements
  • Personal savings: $5 to $15
  • 12-month CD: Early withdrawal fee

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: Any amount
  • Personal savings: $15 to $100
  • 12-month CD: $2,500

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $0 to $25,000
  • Personal savings: $300 to $5,000
  • 12-month CD: $2,500

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: N/A
  • Personal savings: 0.01%
  • 12-month CD: 0.10%

Access (ATM): Reimbursement for withdrawal charges at non-Bank of the West ATMs for Premier Checking Account holders

How To Open an Account: Bank of the West

Union Bank

Where It's Located: More than 100 branches in California

Why Consumers Like It: Union Bank offers a range of competitive banking products and has plenty of branches throughout California. Customer service is available Monday through Saturday to assist banking customers.

Products Offered: Checking, savings, money market, CDs, credit cards, home equity lines of credit, mortgages, investments

Benefits:

  • Variety of banking products
  • Easy requirements to avoid service charges
  • Convenient branches throughout California

Drawbacks:

  • Low APY for savings accounts

Fees:

  • Personal checking: $0 to $25
  • Personal savings: $4
  • 12-month CD: Early withdrawal penalty

Minimum Deposit:

  • Personal checking: More than $0
  • Personal savings: $50
  • 12-month CD: $350

Minimum Balance:

  • Personal checking: $0 to $25,000
  • Personal savings: $300
  • 12-month CD: $350

Rates (APY):

  • Personal checking: 0.01% to 0.05%
  • Personal savings: 0.01%
  • 12-month CD: 0.2%

Access (ATM): Rebates for charges at non-Union Bank ATMs

How To Open an Account: Union Bank

How To Choose a Bank

It's helpful to compare the products and services different banks offer so you can find the one that can best help you meet your financial goals. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a bank:

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A BANK

  • Availability
    • If you like to do your banking in person, look for a bank with branches that are conveniently located. If you prefer to bank online, note customer service hours and communication methods.
  • Bank health
    • Your bank should be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. You can also check independent ratings systems that evaluate the bank's health, such as BauerFinancial.
  • Rewards and promotions
  • Account offerings
    • Compare the bank's offerings with your financial goals. Avoid accounts with excessive service fees that reduce your balance.

With some research and careful consideration, you can find a bank that helps you manage your money and work toward your financial goals.

This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of July 28, 2020.

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.

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Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that's accurate, impartial and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary sources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates' processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

John Csiszar

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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