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 a member of FDIC or NCUA.
10 Best Banks for 2023
Here are the best banks you can open an account with today:
- CIT Bank
- Chase Bank
- Bank of America
- Discover Bank
- Ally Bank
- CapitalOne Bank
- Axos Bank
- US Bank
- PNC Bank
- 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.
- Online Access
- No Monthly Fees on Most Accounts
- Competitive Interest Rates
- ATM Fee Reimbursement
- Limited physical branches
CIT Bank is an online-only bank that offers accounts with no monthly fees. Offering competitive rates on high-yield savings accounts, MMA's and CDs, you can't go wrong!
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.
- Account fees can be waived
- Massive network of branches and ATMs
- Often offers bonuses on new accounts
- Highly reviewed online banking platform
- No ATM reimbursements for basic checking account
- Lower CD and savings rates
- Steep monthly fees
Chase Total Checking Account
You can earn a $200 bonus after you create a new Chase Total Checking account and complete your first deposit via direct deposit.
3. 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.
- Accessible customer service
- Solid mobile app and banking tools
- Compatible with Zelle
- Reduced overdraft fee of $10
- Less competitive APY than online banks
- Monthly maintenance fee
4. 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.
- Simple account options
- 1-percent cash back on debit card transactions
- 24/7 customer service even on social media
- $30 overdraft fee
- Can’t deposit cash
Discover Bank offers 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month along with no monthly fees or balance requirements.
5. 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.
- Variety of accounts
- Low fees on standard checking
- 24/7 customer service
- No physical branches
- Can’t deposit cash
6. 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.
- 70,000+ fee-free ATMs
- Great CD rates
- A great option for small businesses
- Occasional bonuses for opening money market savings accounts
- Online-only banks can offer better savings rates
- Only has branches in 9 states
7. 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.
- Competitive checking rates
- Over 90,000 ATMs and reimbursements
- No monthly account fee
- Highly rated app
- $250 opening minimum balance for savings
- Mediocre CD rates
8. 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.
- 24/7 phone support
- Excellent mobile app
- Over 2,700 physical branches
- Versatile CD options
- Difficult to waive account fees
- Less competitive savings rates
- Visit usbank.com
9. 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.
- Virtual Wallet a pioneer in online and mobile banking
- Wide network of branded ATMs and branches
- Wide variety of banking products and loans
- High overdraft fees of $36 up to four times a day
- Monthly fees can not be easily waived
10. 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.
- Competitive savings rate on Money Market accounts
- Strong presence within its region
- Low/no fees on basic checking accounts
- 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:
- Consider what type(s) of account you need.
- Weigh the pros and cons of a traditional vs online bank or credit union.
- Pay attention to fees and account minimums.
- Check out account features and perks.
- Compare rates on interest-bearing accounts.
- Factor in the digital banking experience.
- Look into the bank’s reputation.
- Read customer reviews.
- Read the fine print before opening an account.
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