Best Banks for December 2022

Today, we ask a lot of our banks. We want convenience and simplicity. We want security, but we also want freedom. While there are many quality banks that can deliver these needs, the best banks go above and beyond.

So, let’s talk about some of my favorite banking options right now. The banks on this list offer convenient mobile and online banking, plus help you save money through higher interest rates and lower fees.

All of these banks are insured by the FDIC, the federal government’s insurance company that guarantees your deposits will be safe (up to $250,000).

If you’re considering another bank or credit union, make sure it’s an FDIC member.

16 Best Banks for 2022

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

  1. CIT Bank
  2. Chase Bank
  3. Chime
  4. Bank of America
  5. Discover Bank
  6. Alliant Credit Union
  7. Betterment
  8. Aspiration
  9. Ally Bank
  10. CapitalOne Bank
  11. Axos Bank
  12. Charles Schwab
  13. Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  14. US Bank
  15. PNC Bank
  16. Huntington Bank

1. CIT Bank

🏆 Best Overall

CIT Bank, now a division of First Citizens Bank, is an online bank that offers good rates with no monthly service fees – and with that alone, it definitely ticks a lot of the boxes for millennials.

The competitive rates CIT bank offers make it a top choice for anyone looking to earn interest on their savings.

CIT Bank operates primarily as an online bank offering checking and savings accounts, CDs, and MMAs.

Pros:

  • Online Access
  • No Monthly Fees on Most Accounts
  • Competitive Interest Rates
  • ATM Fee Reimbursement

Cons:

  • Limited physical branches

 

2. Chase Bank

🏆 Best Traditional Bank

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 16,000 ATMs.

The bank stands out among traditional banks with its sleek online and mobile banking features. Chase also offers eight different checking accounts, ranging from starter accounts for kids to premium interest-bearing accounts.

Pros:

  • Account fees can be waived
  • Massive network of branches and ATMs
  • Often offers bonuses on new accounts
  • Highly reviewed online banking platform

Cons

  • No ATM reimbursements for basic checking account
  • Lower CD and savings rates
  • Steep monthly fees

 

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

3. Chime

🏆 Best Bank for Millennials

Chime offers another streamlined banking option for millennials looking for convenience and flexibility.

Chime encourages saving money by rounding up checking transactions and depositing the difference in savings. You can also easily program your account to save a percentage of your deposits.

They recently promoted a significant increase in their high-yield savings account and it’s definitely competitive with other banks.

Chime does not charge overdrafts, in fact, the bank doesn’t allow overdrafts, if the money isn’t in your account, Chime will decline the transaction.

Pros:

  • Competitive high-yield savings interest rate
  • Solid app and text alerts
  • No fees of any kind
  • More open to applicants with lower credit

Cons:

  • Cash and check deposits can be difficult

 

4. Bank of America

🏆 Best Sign-Up Bonus

Similar to Chase, Bank of America is a major national bank, touting more than 4,000 locations and 16,000 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 $100 signup bonus when you receive $1,000 of direct deposits within 90 days of opening your account.

Pros:

  • Accessible customer service
  • Solid mobile app and banking tools
  • Compatible with Zelle
  • Reduced overdraft fee of $10

Cons:

  • Less competitive APY than online banks
  • Monthly maintenance fee

5. 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 could get up to $30 a month cash back just by using the debit card associated with your checking account. If you’re spending the money anyway, you may as well claim this automatic reward which also has no service fees.

Here’s an idea: Direct that 1 percent cash back into savings. Discover Bank has solid savings rates. If you max out the reward, you can save an extra $360, plus interest, a year while doing nothing out of the ordinary.

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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • $30 overdraft fee
  • Can’t deposit cash

 

6. Alliant Credit Union

🏆 Best Credit Union

Alliant is our top pick if you’re looking for a credit union.

The Chicago-based credit union offers membership to residents of select communities and employees of partnering organizations and businesses, but anyone can join with a $5 donation to Foster Care to Success.

There’s a wide variety of credit cards, loans, checking and savings accounts, and CDs. Account holders get access to a network of more than 80,000 ATMs and $20 of monthly ATM fee reimbursements.

One of Alliant’s best features is its competitive APY on checking accounts, savings accounts, and CDs. These accounts have low minimum deposit requirements and minimal fees.

Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Easy membership requirements
  • Large ATM network and fee reimbursements
  • No overdraft fees

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have physical branches
  • Customer service gets mixed reviews

 

7. Betterment

🏆 Best Bank for Robo-Investors

I’ve been excited about this for a while. Betterment, the innovative robo-advisor, has now officially launched Betterment Checking.

Now you can move money back and forth in and out of your robo-advisor seamlessly. No more waiting a couple of days or more for money to transfer to or from checking.

And Betterment Bank stands alone as a solid choice even if you don’t use Betterment for robo-advising.

Pros:

  • No monthly fees
  • Mobile-first design
  • ATM fees reimbursed worldwide
  • No minimum balance required
  • No overdraft fees

Cons:

  • No branches
  • No cash deposits
  • Bank can pull from your investment account if you overdraw checking

 

8. Aspiration

🏆 Best for Rewards Checking

Aspiration offers a lot: an interest-earning checking account with no fees and a cashback rewards program attached to your checking account. They even reimburse one out-of-network AMT fee per month, and donate 10 percent of their profits to charities!

So why didn’t Aspiration appear higher on this list? Customer service has been an issue as the company has grown quickly over the past few years.

This makes it more difficult to give them an unqualified recommendation. Still, if you don’t anticipate needing to call for help very often, Aspiration will be worth a close look.

Pros:

  • Up to 10% cashback on debit card transactions
  • APY up to 5%
  • No fees
  • Solid mobile app
  • Great savings rate (for customers who deposit every month)

Cons:

  • Potential for customer service delays
  • Does not offer CDs
  • No cash deposits
  • The debit card doesn’t always work internationally

 

9. 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 a broad variety of 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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • No physical branches
  • Can’t deposit cash

10. CapitalOne Bank

🏆 Best Online Bank

CapitalOne Bank offers a hybrid approach: It’s an online bank with around 350 brick-and-mortar branches.

If you don’t live near a branch, that’s OK: You’ll still get one of the best online banking experiences out there, including customer service via chat or Twitter and nice budgeting tools.

You won’t get as much out-of-network ATM support from CapitalOne 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 so far, CapitalOne’s interest rates exceed the national average. But the bank’s typical savings rates can be beaten. If you’re looking into certificates of deposit, though, CapitalOne can outperform most other banks.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Online-only banks can offer better savings rates
  • Only has branches in 9 states

11. 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 90,000 ATMs and reimbursements
  • No monthly account fee
  • Highly rated app

Cons:

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

12. Charles Schwab

🏆 Best for Minimal Fees

Charles Schwab is arguably known best for its investment products, but that’s not all it has to offer.

The bank also has top-notch High-yield Investor Checking and Savings accounts. These accounts are ideal for managing your bank accounts and investments in one place. Just note that the interest on these accounts isn’t quite as high as what online banks have to offer.

Schwab takes the cake for its lack of fees. For example, they don’t charge foreign transaction fees on debit card purchases, while most banks do. The bank has no overdraft fees, account minimums or monthly management fees, either.

You also get unlimited rebates for ATM fees worlwide. Most banks cap reimbursements, if they even offer them.

Pros:

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly account fee
  • High J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings

Cons:

  • Limited physical locations
  • Less competitive savings rates

13. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

🏆 Best for Rewards Savings

Goldman Sachs is one of the most recognizable names on Wall Street. In addition to its investment banking services, it also offers some promising personal banking products.

Unlike most banks on this list, Sachs doesn’t offer checking. While you can’t open a checking account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs, you can sign up for a highly competitive savings account or CD.

The current savings rate is 2.15%. There are no account fees and no minimum deposit requirement to earn this APY. Its CD rates are also consistently competitive.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs doesn’t have physical locations, but its app is straightforward and user-friendly.

Pros:

  • Competitive savings and CD rates
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Allows up to $100,000 in transfers
  • Highly reviewed mobile app

Cons:

  • No checking account
  • No mobile check deposits

14. U.S. Bank

🏆 Best Mobile App

U.S. Bank has a massive presence, with more than 2,700 branches that span 25 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 or you want to 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.

Its CDs stand out the most. While you might find more competitive rates elsewhere, U.S. Bank has numerous short-term CD options and CD specials with promotional rates.

Pros:

  • 24/7 phone support
  • Excellent mobile app
  • Over 2,700 physical branches
  • Versatile CD options

Cons:

  • Difficult to waive account fees
  • Less competitive savings rates

 

15. PNC Bank

🏆 Best East Coast Bank

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 these can be avoided by maintaining a combined $500 balance in all your PNC accounts.

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

Pros:

  • Virtual Wallet a pioneer in online and 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
  • Monthly fees can not be easily waived

16. Huntington Bank

🏆 Best Bank for the Midwest Region

Huntington Bank has a growing presence in the Midwest, especially among younger customers looking for higher interest on savings.

For a brick-and-mortar bank, Huntington pays out a healthy interest rate in its Money Market accounts, rivaling some online banks’ high-yield accounts. Of course, along with better-than-average interest on savings, the bank also offers a full online experience and an impressive array of loans, checking accounts, and budgeting tools.

You won’t find a Huntington Bank branch outside of its eleven-state territory across the Midwest. But within that region, you’ll have access to about 1,800 ATMs, and you’ll have a checking account without hefty fees or unreasonable overdraft policies.

Huntington offers a 24-hour grace period for most overdraft charges, giving you time to make a deposit before facing a cascade of insufficient funds fees.

However, if you do incur overdraft fees, you’ll pay $15 per overdraft item, up to three times per day.

Pros:

  • Competitive savings rate on Money Market accounts
  • Strong presence within its region
  • Low/no fees on basic checking accounts

Cons:

  • Physical branches in only 8 states
  • Extended overdraft fees ($25 every 5 days account is overdrawn)

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 $3.38 trillion in assets. It’s also one of our highest-recommended banks overall.

Are there banks for freelancers?

Yes, there are some really great banks out there that cater to freelancers and their specific financial needs.

How do I choose a bank?

Follow these steps to choose the right bank:

  1. Consider what type(s) of account you need.
  2. Weigh the pros and cons of a traditional vs online bank or credit union.
  3. Pay attention to fees and account minimums.
  4. Check out account features and perks.
  5. Compare rates on interest-bearing accounts.
  6. Factor in the digital banking experience.
  7. Look into the bank’s reputation.
  8. Read customer reviews.
  9. Read the fine print before opening an account.

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Read Comments

  • Comment Author image blank
    Matt Reif
    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
    Robert
    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.