Best Banks for February 2024

Finding the best banks in the country can feel like a complicated task, but we’ve located the best of the best. Knowing what to look for in a bank is important, and we focus on the most important factors including accessibility, APYs, monthly fees, and account types.

No two people have the same banking needs, which is why finding banks with many account options is crucial. Whether you’re looking for one bank to handle all your financial needs or several banks for multiple uses, you’ll find the best banks to choose from on our list.

10 Best Banks for 2024

Here are the best banks you can open an account with today:

  1. Discover Bank
  2. PNC Bank
  3. US Bank
  4. Chase Bank
  5. Bank of America
  6. Ally Bank
  7. CapitalOne Bank
  8. UFB Bank
  9. Axos Bank
  10. Synchrony Bank

1. Discover Bank

🏆 Best for Cash Back

Discover Bank uses Ally Bank’s low-fee, high-interest approach, and I like Discover’s 1-percent cash back option when you use your checking account. You earn 1% back on up to $3,000 in debit purchases monthly.

Discover also offers an online savings and money market account, as well as high-yield CDs. The Discover checking and savings accounts don’t have a minimum opening deposit requirement, but the money market and CD accounts require a $2,500 opening deposit, which can be steep for some.

Discover Bank lets account holders use Allpoint and MoneyPass fee-free ATMs. The bank, of course, has an app and mobile deposit options like every bank on this list, but the best part is they don’t charge any fees.

Pros:

  • Simple account options
  • 1% cash back on debit card transactions
  • 24/7 customer service even on social media

Cons:

  • Can’t deposit cash
  • High minimum deposit requirements for CDs

 


2. PNC Bank

🏆 Best Banking Product

PNC Bank is a large East Coast institution with a traditional approach to banking. The bank also pioneered online banking in the early years of this century with Virtual Wallet.

The Virtual Wallet app gives real-time, visual analysis of your accounts while also giving customers access to some nice budgeting tools.

As a traditional bank, PNC has branded ATMs and branches throughout its East Coast market.

Also, like a traditional bank, you’ll notice monthly fees, though you can avoid them by maintaining a combined $500 balance in all your PNC accounts or receiving $500 in monthly direct deposits.

Though it does have the convenience of an online bank, PNC Bank does not compete with online-only banks’ high-yield savings rates.

Pros:

  • User-friendly mobile banking
  • Wide network of branded ATMs and branches
  • Wide variety of banking products and loans

Cons:

  • High overdraft fees of $36 up to four times a day
  • Somewhat high monthly balance to waive monthly maintenance fees


3. U.S. Bank

🏆 Best Mobile App

U.S. Bank has a massive presence, with more than 2,000 branches that span 26 states. It offers the best of both worlds, with the accessibility of a traditional bank and the technology of an online bank.

U.S. Bank’s app is highly rated thanks to its Smart Assistant, an AI tool you can type or talk to when you have questions that need quick answers. It can even carry out tasks like paying off your credit card balance.

When it comes to products, US Bank offers a long list of commercial, small business, and personal banking products, such as checking, savings, money markets, and CDs.

Like most big banks, the APYs aren’t the highest, but U.S. Bank has numerous short-term CD options and CD specials with promotional rates; you also benefit from its large physical presence.

Even though it’s a national bank, U.S. Bank keeps its monthly fees low, and easy to waive. The highest fee is $6.95 for a checking account, and you can waive it with a $1,500 monthly balance, direct deposit of $1,000, or opening a U.S. Bank credit card.

Pros:

  • 24/7 phone support
  • Excellent mobile app
  • Versatile CD options

Cons:

  • Difficult to waive account fees
  • Less competitive savings rates

 


4. Chase Bank

🏆 Best For Signup Bonuses

Chase is the biggest bank in the nation, and it has an impressive lineup of checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and investment products.

Chase has over 4,700 branch locations, and it’s the first bank in the nation to have locations in all 48 of the contiguous United States. Customers also get access to a network of over 15,000 ATMs.

The bank stands out among traditional banks with its sleek online and mobile banking features. Chase offers eight different checking accounts, ranging from starter accounts for kids to premium interest-bearing accounts, two savings accounts, and CDs with surprisingly high APYs for a large bank.

Pros:

  • Account fees can be waived
  • Massive network of branches and ATMs
  • Often offers bonuses on new accounts

Cons

  • Lower CD and savings rates
  • Steep monthly fees

 


*must setup direct deposit within 90 days to earn bonus cash.

5. CapitalOne Bank

🏆 Best Online Bank

CapitalOne Bank offers a hybrid approach: it’s an online bank with hundreds of brick-and-mortar branches.

If you don’t live near a branch, they still offer one of the best online banking experiences, including customer service via chat or Twitter and nice budgeting tools.

You won’t get as much out-of-network ATM support from Capital One, but the bank is betting you won’t need to use an ATM since its online tools perform so well.

Like all the banks on this list, Capital One’s interest rates exceed the national average, especially its savings and CD rates. The nice thing about most of the accounts Capital One offers, including checking and savings accounts, is they don’t have monthly fees.

Pros:

  • 70,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • Great CD rates
  • Occasional bonuses for opening money market savings accounts

Cons:

  • No money market account
  • Only has branches in 9 states

6. Bank of America

🏆 Best Traditional Nationwide Bank

Similar to Chase, Bank of America is a major national bank, touting more than 3,800 locations and 15,000 ATMs.

You can choose from dozens of investment, lending, business, and personal banking products. As a traditional bank, Bank of America’s interest rates don’t stack up to the competition of online banks, but its user experience does.

The bank and its app have solid customer reviews on third-party sites like the Better Business Bureau.

Bank of America also stands out for its signup bonus on new checking accounts. You can earn a $200 signup bonus when you receive $2,000 of direct deposits within 90 days of opening your account.

The downside is Bank of America’s fees. Its checking account fees range from $4.95 – $25 per month, and its savings accounts charge fees too. On average, you can waive them with a $500 balance, but the higher-tier checking accounts require as much as a $20,000 balance to avoid the fees.

Pros:

  • Accessible customer service
  • Solid mobile app and banking tools
  • Compatible with Zelle

Cons:

  • Less competitive APY than online banks
  • Monthly maintenance fee

7. Ally Bank

🏆 Best Bank for Customer Service

I like online banks because they can pay higher-than-average interest rates on your savings account and sometimes even on your checking.

Ally Bank sets a high standard for online banks. Ally can deliver great savings rates, low fees, and various account options.

You can find higher interest rates at other online-only banks, but it’s harder to beat Ally’s convenience.

You can access your accounts using the bank’s app, or you can use an Allpoint ATM fee-free. If you use another bank’s ATM, Ally will reimburse up to $10 in that bank’s fees each month.

Ally Bank offers various accounts, including checking, savings, money market, and high-yield CDs. The nice thing about their CDs is they don’t require a minimum opening deposit, making them accessible to anyone. Plus, Ally Bank doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee.

Pros:

  • Variety of accounts
  • Low fees on standard checking
  • 24/7 customer service

Cons:

  • No physical branches
  • Can’t deposit cash

8. UFB Direct

🏆 Best ATM Network

UFB Direct is another online bank offering great APYs, especially on its savings account. When you first look at their website, it looks like they only offer savings, money market accounts, and mortgage loans.

However, when you apply for a savings or money market account, you can add a UFB Freedom Checking Account. Whether you choose a savings or money market account, you’ll earn 5.25%, but the savings account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee. To waive the $10 fee on the money market account, you need a $5,000 balance.

UFB has an impressive ATM network of 91,000 ATMs, and there’s no minimum balance to open an account.

Pros:

  • Competitive savings rates
  • Over 91,000 ATMs
  • Checking account add-on

Cons:

  • No physical branches
  • High fee on money market account

9. Axos Bank

🏆 Best Variety of Checking Accounts

Formerly the Bank of Internet USA, Axos is another of our favorite online banks.

While you can’t go to a physical branch to meet with a representative, Axos offers 24/7 customer support for its banking products by phone. You can also use Evo, the bank’s virtual chat assistant.

Axos offers an impressive suite of business banking products, ranking high on our list of business checking accounts.

We also like Axos’ versatile checking accounts that are designed to meet a range of needs. You can choose from a kid’s account, essential checking account with two-day pay advances, rewards checking, cashback checking, and an account for seniors ages 55 and older.

Pros:

  • Competitive checking rates
  • Over 91,000 ATMs and reimbursements
  • No monthly account fee
  • Highly rated app

Cons:

  • $250 opening minimum balance for savings
  • Mediocre CD rates

10. Synchrony Bank

🏆 Best APY on Savings

Synchrony Bank is an online bank that offers high-yield savings, money markets, and CDs. While they don’t offer checking accounts, they make up for this downside with incredible APYs on their savings account, which is unusual for many banks.

What’s unusual is their savings account pays a much higher APY than their money market, but neither account requires a monthly fee or minimum monthly balance. They will also reimburse non-network ATM fees by up to $5 per month.

Pros:

  • High APYs
  • Reimburses non-network ATM fees
  • No monthly fees

Cons:

  • No checking account
  • Low money market APY

Methodology

When choosing the best banks, we look at various factors to provide the best list:

  • Fees: We look for banks that either don’t charge monthly maintenance fees, or if they do, offer a way to waive them. We look closely at the requirements and ensure they’re easy enough for the average consumer to meet.
  • Accessibility: Having a bank account that’s difficult to access or use is pointless. We look for banks with a large ATM network and many ways to access the account, including electronic transfers and in-person deposits.
  • Account options: The banks on our list include many account types including checking, savings, money markets, and CDs. Everyone has different banking needs and these accounts help you satisfy them.
  • Large ATM network: ATMs are important, especially if you use an online bank. The banks on this list have vast ATM networks, and some even include non-network ATM reimbursement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I choose a brick-and-mortar bank or an online bank?

It depends. If you prioritize getting the highest interest rates and lowest fees and like the convenience of banking on the go, an online bank is your best bet.

However, if you prefer to do business in person at a local bank, a traditional brick-and-mortar bank makes more sense. This option is also better if you frequently need to make cash deposits.

What is the number one bank in America?

JPMorgan Chase is the number one bank in the US based on size, with $3.4 trillion in assets. It’s also one of our highest-recommended banks overall.

Are credit unions safer than banks?

Credit unions may have higher APYs or lower fees than banks, but they aren’t necessarily safer. As long as you bank with an FDIC-insured bank, your deposits are safe up to $250,000 per depositor, just like they are at NCUA-insured credit unions.

Are there banks for freelancers?

Yes, there are some really great banks that cater to freelancers and their specific financial needs. While many banks require businesses to be a registered LLC to get a business account, banks like Bluevine and Axos offer business accounts to freelancers or independent contractors without the LLC requirement.

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  • Comment Author image blank
    This blog is really cool! I love everything you post but this one in particular stuck out to me. Fees suck! I am always looking for ways to save some money as well as make money on the money that is in my savings account. Thank you so much for sharing!
  • Comment Author image blank
    These are all good options, but I'm surprised to not see Schwab on the list. The ATM fees are reimbursed, the interest rates are often competitive, there's no minimum balance, and the overdraft terms are positive. You even have some options to consolidate accounts for investing and checking/savings.