Personal finance forecaster Kiplinger has released its first-ever ranking of the best banks in the US, because where you store your money matters, especially if you’re aiming to build wealth.
Kiplinger enlisted the help of Moebs Services, an Illinois-based economic research firm, to filter the 11,831 banks and credit unions in the US by asset size, excess fees, high expenses, and sufficient capital.
Kiplinger then evaluated the “soundest financial institutions” on customer service, fees, perks, and digital offerings.
Their final list includes No. 1 picks for the best national bank, best credit union, best internet bank, and best regional banks, plus the best banks for millennials, retirees, students, high-net-worth families, travelers, and military service members.
Read on to find out the best banks, and runners-up, across 11 categories.
Check out Kiplinger’s full ranking for more information about each category and bank.
Best national bank (tie): TD Bank
Perks of banking with Canadian-owned TD Bank include “a basic checking account that requires a minimum of just $100 to avoid a monthly fee, a basic savings account with a $300 minimum, and certificates of deposit with a minimum of $250,” according to Kiplinger.
Customers with a net worth of at least $3 million or $750,000 in investable assets have access to personalized wealth management and financial planning.
Best national bank (tie): U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank’s Silver package allows you to open a checking account and money market account. With both, “you’ll avoid a monthly fee if you have a monthly direct deposit of $1,000 or a $1,500 combined account balance,”according to Kiplinger. You’ll also qualify for a year’s membership in the Start Smart program, where you can “set up automatic transfers from checking to savings and earn bonuses.”
Best credit union: Langley Federal Credit Union
Three of Langley’s four checking accounts charge no monthly fee. “Langley also offers a free money market deposit account that yields up to 0.5%, certificates of deposit that yield from 1% on a one-year term to 2.02% on a five-year term ($1,000 minimum deposit), and a variety of no-fee savings accounts, including one that pays interest of 1.61% on balances of up to $1,000,” according to Kiplinger.
Runner-up: Connexus Credit Union
Best internet bank and best bank for millennials: Ally Bank
Ally Bank offers one checking account, one savings account, and one money market account, none of which charge a fee or require a minimum deposit amount.
“There are no hidden fees, and the savings account yields 1.05% no matter what your balance. The money market deposit account yields 0.85% on all balances and comes with a debit card and free checks. Even the checking account pays 0.1% on balances under $15,000 (and 0.6% on deposits above that),” according to Kiplinger.
Best internet bank runner-up: Bank of Internet
Best bank for millennials runner-up: Langley Federal Credit Union
Best bank for retirees: U.S. Bank
There’s no monthly maintenance fee on U.S. Bank’s premium checking account for those 65 and older. “Standard checks, paper statements, money orders, cashier’s checks, and copies of checks and statements are all free, and a safe-deposit box is half-price,” according to Kiplinger. Plus, customers with investable assets of $100,000 to $3 million can join the Private Client Group to get “a dedicated relationship manager and access to services such as trust administration.”
Runner-up: Fidelity Cash Management
Best bank for students: Bank of Internet USA
“Free, no-frills Essential Checking is a good choice for students and parents who want to bank together. There is no fee to open the account, no monthly maintenance fees, and no fee for withdrawals at any ATM in the U.S. or to transfer funds from a linked account or line of credit to cover overdrafts,” according to Kiplinger. Plus, the high-yield savings account “charges no monthly fees and yields a generous 0.61%.”
Runner-up: Alliant Credit Union
Best bank for high-net-worth families: Citibank
The bank’s Citigold package “rolls out the red carpet for those who keep a combined $200,000 or more in deposit, investment, and retirement accounts with the bank,” according to Kiplinger, offering them a banking relationship manager and financial adviser, more rewards points, and access to wealth-management seminars, private dining, and sporting events and concerts, among other things.
Runner-up: Bank of America
Best bank for frequent travelers: Charles Schwab Bank
If you open Charles Schwab’s High Yield Investor Checking account alongside a Schwab One brokerage account — both free to open and maintain — “you’ll get refunds of all ATM fees worldwide, including fees levied by the ATM owner, and you won’t pay foreign-transaction fees when you use the debit card,” according to Kiplinger.
Plus, the bank’s extensive mobile app helps travelers stay on top of bill pay, transactions, and mobile check deposit.
Runner-up: Capital One 360
Best bank for military personnel: Navy Federal Credit Union
Open to current and former members of all military branches, all Navy Federal Credit Union’s “no-fee basic savings account yields 0.25%, and a free money market deposit account pays a rate of up to 0.55% (depending on the balance),” according to Kiplinger. There nearly 300 branches of Navy Federal worldwide, including 30 in the US.
Runner-up: Andrews Federal Credit Union
Best regional bank (East): People’s United Bank
People’s United offers three checking accounts with varying requirements and perks, including reimbursed out-of-network ATM fees. The bank operates nearly 400 brick-and-mortars in six Northeastern states and notably has “some handy features on its mobile app” including the ability to “switch your debit card on and off,” and it’s compatible with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, according to Kiplinger.
Best regional bank (Midwest): Flagstar Bank
This Michigan-based bank offers special perks to local customers, including “preferred rates on CDs ($500 to open) … when you hold more than $5,000 in checking, savings and money market accounts, you receive a rate of 0.95% on a 12-month CD — a 0.65 point bonus. Customers also get a 0.25-percentage-point rate reduction on personal and home-equity loans or lines of credit,” according to Kiplinger.
Best regional bank (South): Trustmark National Bank
Trustmark counts 200 branches in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas and “offers six checking accounts that cater to a wide spectrum of customers, from students to the 50-plus set,” according to Kiplinger. The bank also “comps fees for overdraft transfers and out-of-network ATM withdrawals.”
Best regional bank (West): Bank of the West
Bank of the West has ties to Silicon Valley and invests greatly in tech.”The bank’s credit and debit cards work with several mobile wallets, including Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Javelin Strategy & Research recognized Bank of the West in 2016 as an online banking leader for innovation and personalization,” according to Kiplinger.
Some perks of the Premier Checking account include a free retirement-planning checkup and 15 commission-free online stock trades per month.
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