National banks typically offer a wider range of services than online or regional banks. This feature is particularly true for higher-level financial planning needs, such as tax planning or estate planning. The top banks also offer good rates and lower fees, along with quality customer service. To help you choose the best bank for you from among many choices, take a look at the top 10 Best National Banks in GOBankingRates’ Best Banks 2018 ranking.
The ranking used a number of factors to evaluate the best banks in America, including checking account fees, savings account and CD rates, and the availability of services, such as auto and mortgage loans, credit cards, and investment and insurance services. Bank accessibility was evaluated based on overall geographic presence, mobile banking, and 24/7 customer service with a live person.
Best National Banks of 2018
To qualify as one of the best national banks in America, contenders needed at least $10 billion in assets. Consider one of the following options if your current bank didn’t make the cut.
Here are the 10 Best National Banks of 2018:
- TD Bank
- First Citizens Bank & Trust Company
- Wells Fargo Bank
- Regions Bank
- BBVA Compass Bank
- Prosperity Bank
- PNC Bank
- U.S. Bank
- Bank of America
All of these financial institutions offer auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance. Keep reading to find out more reasons why these banks are among the best in the nation.
|10 Best National Banks of 2018|
|Bank||Checking Fee||Savings Account Interest (APY)||12-Month CD Interest (APY)||Branches||24/7 Customer Service|
|First Citizens Bank & Trust Company||$0||0.05%||0.10%||566||No|
|Wells Fargo Bank||$10||0.01%||0.05%||6,114||Yes|
|BBVA Compass Bank||$0||0.05%||1.40%||672||No|
|Bank of America||$12||0.01%||0.05%||4,639||No|
|Rates accurate as of Sept. 21, 2017.|
Why: Key to TD Bank’s success are customer service and accessibility, with a range of product offerings, a strong online presence and numerous physical branches.
Review: TD Bank’s 1,300 branches, primarily located on the East Coast, offer the longest branch hours of any of its geographic competitors, opening earlier and closing later every day — including weekends and most holidays. The bank features a toll-free number offering live, 24/7 customer service, along with mobile and web-based banking. TD Bank offers a 12-month CD with 0.65% APY.
How to Open: You can open a TD Bank account online, over the phone or in-person at a branch.
More About the Best National Bank of 2018: TD Bank
Review: Free checking accounts are common with online banks, but national banks tend to charge fees to compensate for additional services. First Citizens offers a full-service checking account with no fees and no minimum balance requirement. Additionally, the bank offers four additional types of checking accounts with higher levels of services that can be fee-free if certain requirements are met, such as a higher balance requirement. The bank has more than 500 branches and provides nearly every type of financial service available, from savings accounts to auto and home loans, insurance and investment products, and online and mobile capabilities.
How to Open: You can open a First Citizens account online or over the phone with your driver’s license, home address, Social Security number, and details for a source of funding, such as a bank account number.
Why: No-fee checking, a network of 1,300 ATMs and a variety of financial services land KeyBank firmly in the GOBankingRates’ top 10 Best National Banks ranking.
Review: Like most of the best banks on the list, KeyBank services customers in all of the major product categories: auto loans, home mortgages, investment services, credit cards and insurance. The bank’s no-fee checking account, one of a few checking options, provides a free debit card and online bill payment and has a mobile-deposit feature. The KeyBank Relationship Rewards program allows customers to earn points based on everyday banking activities that can be redeemed for gift cards, travel rewards, cash, charity donations, electronics or merchandise.
How to Open: Accounts can be opened online. The bank has a customer service line and online chat available for assistance.
Why: Wells Fargo has the most branches of any bank in the U.S., in addition to an online presence, so you can access its ATMs or bank services nearly anywhere you go.
Review: The Wells Fargo checking account charges a $10 monthly fee, but you can avoid that by having a $1,500 minimum daily balance, qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more, or posting 10 or more debit card transactions every month. The full-service account includes bill pay and online transfers, mobile deposit, access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs, and budgeting, cash flow and spending tools. Wells Fargo provides a broad array of financial services, including banking, loans and credit, insurance, wealth management services and a rewards program.
How to Open: You can open your account in a branch or online with your Social Security number, valid ID and a $25 opening deposit.
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Why: Regions Bank scored the highest among all retail banks in Florida with reputable customer satisfaction surveyor J.D. Power and Associates.
Review: Regions Bank has an $8 to $10 service fee on its basic checking account, but you can avoid that with a $1,500 average balance or a direct deposit of $500 or more. Online banking with bill pay and online statements, mobile banking, access to more than 2,000 ATMs, a Regions Visa check card, and Regions Rewards cash back or points all come with the account. Regions Bank, primarily based in the South, offers full service across all lines, including home and auto loans, credit cards, insurance and investment services.
How to Open: You can open an account at Regions online in about 10 minutes. You can also make an appointment to open an account in a branch or call the customer service line.
Why: A free checking account and the highest 12-month CD APY in the top 10 Best National Banks ranking are enough to secure BBVA Compass Bank’s position on the list.
Review: BBVA Compass offers a 12-month CD with 1.25% APY as of Jan. 4, 2018. The free checking account requires $25 to open but provides free, unlimited check writing, BBVA Compass ATM access, a debit card, online and mobile banking plus mobile deposit. In addition to full-service financial offerings, BBVA Compass also offers a free savings account with a 0.05%.
How to Open: You can open an account with BBVA Compass online by providing your personal and financial information.
Why: Prosperity Bank earns its way on the list with a free checking account and high savings and CD rates.
Review: Prosperity Bank’s savings account has a $3 fee that you can avoid by maintaining a $200 balance in the account. The account’s highlight is the 0.30% APY, by far the highest among the top national banks. With the $1,000 minimum deposit, the 12-month CD pays a 0.50% APY, also among the highest in the list. Although the bank is the only one on the list that doesn’t provide insurance products, Prosperity Bank offers all other reviewed services, such as loans and investment services.
How to Open: Unlike all the other best national banks, you’ll have to go to a banking center to open an account with Prosperity Bank.
Why: PNC’s Virtual Wallet is a unique program that combines checking and savings with online financial advice and tools.
Review: PNC’s checking account comes as part of a service known as Virtual Wallet, which is designed to help you better manage your finances. Virtual Wallet includes various online money management tools, including Calendar, Money Bar and Spending Zone, which help you track and budget your money. Virtual Wallet is made up of Spend, Reserve and Growth accounts, which represent checking, short-term savings and long-term savings accounts. The standard checking account comes with a $7 monthly fee that can be avoided with a $500 monthly balance or $500 in direct deposits.
How to Open: The online application process takes less than 10 minutes on the PNC Bank website.
Why: High-rate CD specials complement the bank’s high level of customer service and diverse product line.
Review: U.S. Bank pays modest rates on its savings account and regular CDs, including 0.10% APY for its 12-month CD. The basic checking account is free with $1,000 in direct deposits or a $1,500 balance. U.S. Bank offers any type of account or service you’ll likely ever need, from checking and savings to credit cards and gift cards, mortgage and refinance loans, personal and auto loans, credit lines, and investing and wealth management services.
How to Open: You can open an account online, visit a branch or call customer service to open an account with U.S. Bank.
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Why: Bank of America isn’t known for low fees, but its broad presence makes finding branches, ATMs and bankers easy.
Review: As one of the largest national banks, you can find Bank of America branches in 37 states, second-highest on the list behind Wells Fargo. The bank provides full-service banking, from checking and savings to insurance, investment services, auto loans, mortgage loans and credit cards. Checking accounts have a $12 monthly fee, but it can be avoided with a monthly $250 direct deposit or an average balance of $1,500. Enrolled students are also exempt from the fee.
How to open: You can apply online for an account in about 10 minutes, or you can visit a banker in a branch.
Check Out Last Year’s Ranking: 10 Best National Banks of 2017
Methodology: To determine its Best National Brick-and-Mortar Banks category ranking, GOBankingRates examined the top 82 national banks by asset size according to the FDIC, excluding non-active institutions, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. An asset threshold of a minimum of $10 billion was used for the purposes of this category.
Criteria for ranking: GOBankingRates scored the banks from most to least favorable on the following factors: (1) checking account fee, (2) savings account annual percentage yield, (3) 12-month certificate of deposit APY and (4) BauerFinancial Star Rating for overall financial strength. 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. Next, banks were scored according to accessibility factors: (10) overall geographic presence, (11) mobile banking and (12) 24/7 customer service with a live person. Banks were then ranked according to their total score and then by the specific number of states they have physical branches in.
Data for the Best Banks of 2018 was compiled from and verified against the individual institutions’ websites between Sept. 12 and Sept. 21, 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 the Best Banks of 2018 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.