Table of Contents
What is the best bank in the USA to open an account?
- What is the best bank in the USA to open an account?
- The best national banks in 2022
- Exploring the characteristics of bank accounts in the USA
- How to find the best bank in the USA for you
There is no bank that is the best. It all depends on what you want to do and what services the bank offers. It will depend on your individual needs.
An important factor is location if you are going to need to use a physical bank branch on a regular basis. For example, if your business doesn’t offer direct deposit, it’s important to have a bank branch in a convenient location to deposit your paychecks.
Another factor is the availability of ATMs. Most banks charge a fee for using another bank’s ATM. Some not only do not charge any commission for it, but they reimburse you for the other bank’s charge.
Of course, you will want to check the conditions of the accounts they offer: what kind of commissions do they charge.
Everyone needs a safe place to store their money, rather than burying it in the backyard (or worse, under the mattress).
If you’re looking for a new bank, you have hundreds of options to choose from, but every year it seems like more banks are entering the market.
And we know that every bank is different. All of them will have different options for accounts, financial products and benefits.
Who to choose? Let’s break down our full list.
The best national banks in 2022
- CIT Bank
- Ally Bank
- Bank of America
- TD Bank
- Wells Fargo
- Banco TIAA
To create the list of the best banks, several factors were taken into account, such as the number of branches, commissions, financial products, customer service, interest rates and much more.
An important caveat to understand while looking at my list is that these banks tend to be the most popular, but they may not be the best option for you and your money.
CIT Bank – Best Savings Rates
- Great interest rates and CD and money market account options
CIT Bank is consistently one of the best banks when it comes to interest rates for savings accounts, money market and CDs.
They offer very flexible options for CDs and have an 11-month no-penalty CD that allows you to make withdrawals after holding the account for a week.
Where they are not so good is in checking accounts. In fact, they don’t even offer a checking account.
If you only need a smaller number of transactions, CIT Bank money market accounts offer six free transactions per month. For simple budgets and people who use a lot of cash, this might work.
However, if you are looking to always have the highest interest rates for your money, CIT Bank will always be there.
BBVA – The best interest rates in the money market
- Check out the money market account, free checking account and CD offers.
BBVA is not the best-known bank on our list, but it should not be ruled out of the search. Some of the reasons I put them at the top of my list is because of their money market account, their free checking account, and their CD.
BBVA (formerly BBVA Compass) has a 12-month CD that has an APY of 0.30% at this time. Their free checking account has a $25 fee to open it, but they don’t have BBVA ATM fees or monthly service charges.
An additional advantage is that you can open a BBVA account online. It’s quick and easy, just like managing your account. With BBVA Wallet you can track your purchases, activate new cards, make payments, report your card stolen, change your PIN and access rewards for your spending, all through the app.
Ally Bank – A Great Online Bank
Due to its recent publicity push, you have probably heard of Ally Bank, but you may not know that it is one of the best online banks on the market. Their rates are one of the most important reasons they stand out from the competition.
They only have 3 account options to choose from:
- Ally Interest Checking
- Ally Online Savings
- Money Market Ally
With your Online Savings Account, you can get 2.10% APY on all balance levels, which is much higher than a traditional bank.
Other advantages of your online savings account are that there are no minimum balances or maintenance fees.
- Best for coverage range
Although Huntington is less well known, its banking products and services are top notch.
Huntington offers banking, lending, investment and insurance products for personal banking, along with a number of business and enterprise options.
Huntington stands out for its low commissions, excellent customer experience, and rewarding CD accounts.
Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking is worth considering. Although it does not accrue interest, the account does not have any commission.
If it’s a return you’re looking for, you might want to take advantage of Huntington 5 Checking, which has low fees and APY that are easy to avoid.
Also, your savings accounts have easily avoidable fees and reasonable interest.
- It’s a great option for those with large investment accounts, lots of savings, or already have a loan or credit card through Citi
Unlike other banks on our list, Citi has a specific niche that it specializes in. Citibank is a great option for anyone with large investment accounts, lots of savings, or who already has a loan or credit card through Citi.
Citi offers bonuses for opening accounts, but there are some lofty requirements you’ll need to meet first.
If you want to secure your $300 bonus, you have to deposit at least $15,000 into a Citibank account package, or you can get your $500 bonus by putting at least $50,000 into a Citi priority account package.
The more you use your Citi credit card and its services, the more ThankYou Points you’ll earn. These are part of their rewards system, and you can use those points to redeem them for gift cards, purchases, redeem them for flights and much more.
With the Citi Private Pass card, you can even get advanced access to sporting events and concerts. If you have a Citi ThankYou Premier card or a Citi Prestige card, your points will be worth more.
- Check out the PNC Virtual Wallet, one of the best banking tools out there
PNC’s financial tools have established it as one of the best banks in the country.
PNC has a nifty tool they call Virtual Wallet, and it’s one of the best banking tools out there. With the virtual wallet, you will get a lot of useful benefits, like having your accounts divided into three categories:
- To spend
This tool can give you a unique view of your money and help you understand your finances. Virtual Wallet often comes with limited-time promotions where you automatically earn for using the service.
The money in the reserve portion can be used for short-term savings and has free overdraft protection. The growth category is used for larger savings. With the Virtual Wallet, you can also create budgets, take advantage of your invoice calendar and much more.
One thing to keep in mind with PNC is that they have a $7 monthly fee that you can avoid if you have a combination of $500 in spending and reserve categories or have at least $500 deposited directly into your spending category each month.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the biggest banks on our list. Bank of America has about 4,500 branches across the United States, which means no matter where you live, there’s a Bank of America branch near you.
The reason they made it onto my list is their customer service. They have call centers that are open every day of the week from 8 am to 11 pm, and on weekends from 8 am to 8 am. Not only can you call them if you have any questions, but you can also contact them on Twitter or through of the online chat.
Bank of America also has a helpful Mobile Banking app that lets you set notifications for account activity of your choosing, like unusual card activity or insufficient funds.
If you want a bank that’s always available (and has plenty of ATMs), Bank of America is a great option.
If you want a simple checking account and great customer service, TD Bank is the place to go.
They have three main types of checking account that you can choose from. Your TD Simple is exactly what it sounds like, a simple checking account with no minimum balance. Your TD Premier is an interest-bearing account if you have a balance of more than $2,500 and gives you free ATM access wherever you go.
TD also offers customers a number of services such as home and personal loans. One of the exclusive advantages of TD Bank is for those who travel.
TD Bank does not charge fees for foreign debit cards. Plus, if you travel to Canada often, you can use TD Canada Trust ATMs with no additional fees.
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, TD Bank will be one of the best banks for you.
There are several publications or organizations that have named Wells Fargo the “Best Bank.” In fact, they have won the GOBankinRates Best Bank survey for two years in a row. They’ve been around for over 150 years, which means they’ve had time to perfect their business.
One area where Wells Fargo shines is with its fees and balances.
To open an account, you will only need an initial deposit of 25 or 50 dollars. Their monthly fees are as low as $5 (some accounts have rates higher than $30, but those are the highest accounts).
Aside from their fees, another reason many people love Wells Fargo is because of the number of ATMs and locations they have.
They have 12,000 ATMs throughout the United States and more than 6,500 branches. This is more than any other national bank.
If you want access to most places and hotspots, look no further than Wells Fargo.
TIAA Bank – Best Investment Bank
Some people want more from their bank than just a place to store their money. If you want to invest some of your bank’s money, TIAA, formerly Everbank, has you covered. They have some of the best types of CDs on the market.
They have three different CDs, a Basic CD, a Variable Rate CD, and their Promised Yield CD.
Each of them is slightly different in how they work and their benefits. Their basic CD can be opened with $1,000, while their main Yield Pledge CD requires an initial deposit of $5,000. Variable rate CDs, one of its most prominent investment offerings, allow you to increase the interest rate once the TIAA rate rises.
SunTrust – Best Bank for Students
There are many banks that offer student accounts, but they are not the same.
SunTrust has one of the best accounts for students. As long as you are a high school student (or your child is), you will not pay any monthly fees.
These accounts offer online banking with bill pay, mobile banking, account balance alerts and much more.
Students are always on the go, and this account understands that. SunTrust makes it easy to teach your child the importance of banking.
The reason for choosing Chase is obvious: the bonuses !
Chase is the largest bank in the country by the size of its assets. One of the ways to attract many new customers is to offer sign-up bonuses.
If you decide to open a new Chase checking account, you could earn up to $200. With a savings account, you will pocket $150.
Obtaining bonuses is very simple. All you have to do is open a Chase Total checking account and set up direct deposit. For the Chase savings account, deposit $10,000 – within 20 business days – and hold the balance for 90 days, and then you’ll earn the $150 bonus check.
Chase also offers credit scores, investment tools, home loans, auto loans, and savings and certificates of deposit. In short, you can earn all those bonus points and manage most of your financial needs with Chase, all in one place.
Barclays Bank has been around for a long time. Founded in 1690, the British bank is still going strong, and there’s a good reason for that.
Although founded in Britain, Barclays is a global bank with an impressive offering that ranges from credit cards to corporate and investment banking and wealth management.
One of Barclays’ best deals is its online savings account, which currently offers 2.10% APY.
Barclays operates as a pure savings platform. This means that it does not offer some traditional banking functions, such as consumer loans and checking accounts. But that doesn’t stop more than 45 million customers from using their other products.
When you bank with Barclays, you do so with the peace of mind and stability that comes from centuries of consistency.
Exploring the characteristics of bank accounts in the USA
Below we explain in more detail the characteristics and commissions that we highlight for each of the bank accounts.
- Initial Deposit Requirement: Some bank accounts require a minimum initial deposit to open the account. This is usually between $25 and $100, although as the examples above show, some accounts do not require any minimum deposit. This requirement is also more common in money market accounts, a type of savings account in the United States that can have a higher interest rate than other accounts, but also often has a high minimum balance requirement.
- Monthly fee: Some accounts charge a monthly maintenance fee if account holders do not meet certain requirements. These may include having direct deposits into the account or maintaining a minimum daily balance. If you don’t think you’ll keep your account balance, look for a free checking account that has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service fees.
- ATM fees: Many banks offer free ATM use at their tellers, but may charge a fee if you use an ATM operated by a different financial institution or independent ATM operator. Credit unions typically have fewer ATMs, but they can be part of large ATM networks that give you access to free ATMs across the country. Regardless of whether your bank or credit union charges fees for using ATMs, the ATM operator may charge you a fee. Some banks and credit unions will return these fees to you each month (sometimes only up to a certain dollar amount), but others do not.
- Overdraft Fees: If a purchase or withdrawal brings your account balance below zero, the bank or credit union may decline the transaction and charge you a non-sufficient funds fee (NFS). Or they can approve the transaction and charge you an overdraft fee. You can also purchase overdraft protection. Protection means that the bank or credit union will always cover the cost of the transaction, or transfer the money to your checking account from a linked savings account, credit card or line of credit. However, even with the protection, you may still have to pay a transfer fee.
- Foreign Debit Card Transaction Fees: Some banks may charge a fee for debit card transactions made outside of the United States. The commission can be a percentage of the money you withdraw or of your purchases with the debit card.
- Checks: If you are going to open a checking account, you may receive free checks or you may have to pay for them. Some online-only accounts don’t offer checking at all.
- Mobile Deposit: Some banks and credit unions allow you to take a photo and deposit a check using a mobile app.
- FDIC Insured: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), part of the federal government, helps insure money kept in FDIC-insured accounts. Depositing your money in FDIC-insured banks gives you the assurance that even if the bank goes bankrupt, the government will pay you back for your savings. The insurance covers up to $250,000 per depositor, per property category. Similar insurance is offered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and your money will be safe in an NCUA-insured credit union.
One feature we don’t highlight is the Annual Percentage Yield (APY) offered by each account, because these rates tend to change frequently. The APY can help you understand how much interest you’ll earn each year on the money in your account, and you should consider the APY offered by each bank when comparing accounts. The APY can be especially important if you plan to keep a large amount of money in the account.
Checking accounts, especially those at large traditional banks, may not offer any interest. Sometimes there are interest-bearing checking accounts, and some high-yield checking accounts offer even higher APY than a savings account, but you may have to meet certain requirements (such as using your debit card a certain number of times or keeping certain minimum balance) to earn interest.
By comparison, savings accounts almost always offer an APY on money kept in the account. While traditional banks can fall short when it comes to savings, many online-only banks offer low fees and high interest rates.
How to find the best bank in the USA for you
Choosing the best bank often depends on your specific life circumstances, your knowledge of saving, and your geographic location. If none of the banks discussed above seem right for you, we suggest you consider the following:
- What are my financial goals?
- Do I want to bank online or in person?
- What banks are in my area?
You have to be honest about your financial situation. Do you have a large sum of money that you want to store and accumulate a small amount of interest, or are you just starting to build equity? If you are in the first situation, you should consider a bank with a high interest rate. If you find yourself in the latter case, you might consider a bank that offers educational and planning tools to keep track of your funds.
Deciding whether to bank in person or online is another consideration you need to make. Online banks offer advantages that physical banks cannot offer, such as high interest rates and no commissions. That said, it’s normal to feel uncomfortable storing your funds in an institution you can’t physically visit. The online banks recommended above have a record of stellar customer service and are all FDIC insured, so the risk is minimal if you choose one of them.
Ultimately, the location may dictate your decision. Access to network bank branches or ATMs may be more convenient and help you avoid pesky fees. Be sure to check your local bank and credit unions or large national banks with branches in your area.