Everyone needs a safe place to stash their money, instead of burying it in the backyard (or worse, under your mattress).
If you’re looking for a new bank, you have hundreds of options to choose from, but every year, it seems like there are more banks who enter the market.
And we know, every bank is different. All of them are going to have different account options, financial products, and benefits.
Who do you choose? Let’s break down our complete list.
Best National Banks in 2021
There were several factors which went into creating the list of best banks, like the number of branches, fees, financial products, customer service, interest rates, and much more.
One important caveat to understand while you’re looking through my list is these banks tend to be the most popular, but they may not be the best choice for you and your money.
CIT Bank – Best Savings Rates
CIT Bank is consistently one of the top banks when it comes to interest rates for savings, money market, and CD accounts.
They offer very flexible options for CDs and have an 11 month no-penalty CD that lets you make withdrawals after having the account for one week.
Where they are not as good is for checking accounts. In fact, they don’t even offer a checking account.
If you only need to have a minor number of transactions, the CIT Bank money market accounts do offer six free transactions monthly. For simple budgets and people that use a lot of cash, this might work.
However, if you are looking to consistently have the highest interest rates on your money, CIT Bank is going to be there every time. Learn more in our in-depth CIT Bank review.
BBVA – Best Money Market Rates
BBVA is not the most well-known bank on our list, but you shouldn’t count them out of the search. Some reasons I include them at the top of my list is because of their money market account, free checking account and their CD.
BBVA (formerly BBVA Compass) has a 12-month CD which has a 0.30% APY right now. Their free checking account has a $25 fee to open, but they have no ATM fees at BBVA ATMs and no monthly service charge.
One additional benefit is you can open a BBVA account online. It’s quick and easy, as is managing your account. With BBVA Wallet, you can track your purchases, activate new cards, make payments, report your card stolen, change its pin, and access rewards for your spending, all through the app.
Ally Bank – Great All Around Online Bank
Because of their recent advertising push, you’ve probably heard of Ally Bank, but you may not know they are one of the best internet 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
- Ally Money Market
With their Online Savings Account, you can get an APY of 2.10% on all balance tiers, which is much higher than a traditional bank.
Other benefits of their online savings account are no balance minimums or maintenance fees.
We cover more reasons in our Ally Bank review, but as long as you don’t mind not having any physical branches to go in, or require a face-to-face meeting, Ally is an excellent option for anyone shopping around for a new bank.
While Huntington may be less widely known, it’s services and banking products are top-notch.
Huntington offers banking, borrowing, investing, and insurance products for personal banking, alongside a number of commercial and business options.
Huntington stands out for its low fees, excellent customer experience, and rewarding CD accounts.
The Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking account is worth considering. While it doesn’t accrue interest, the account is completely fee-free.
If you’re looking for a return, you might want to take advantage of Huntington 5 Checking, which comes with low and easy to avoid fees and APY.
Likewise, their savings accounts come with easily avoidable fees and reasonable interest.
Unlike some of the other banks on our list, Citi has a specific niche which they specialize in. Citibank is an excellent choice for anyone who has large investment accounts, a lot of savings or has a loan or credit card already through Citi.
Citi offers bonuses for opening accounts, but there are some lofty requirements you’ll have to meet first.
If you want to secure their $300 bonus, you have to deposit at least $15,000 in a Citibank Account package, or you can get their $500 bonus by putting at least $50,000 in a Citi Priority Account Package.
The more you use your Citi credit card and services, you’ll earn ThankYou Points. These are a part of their reward system, and you can use those points to redeem for gift cards, to shop, cash in on flights, and much more.
With the Citi Private Pass, you can even earn advanced premier access to sporting events and concerts. If you have a Citi ThankYou Premier Card or a Citi Prestige Card, your points are going to be worth more.
PNC’s financial tools have solidified it as one of the best banks in the nation.
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’ll get a lot of useful benefits, like having your accounts divided into three categories:
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 earn automatically 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’ll also be able to create budgets, take advantage of their bill calendar, and much more.
One thing to note with PNC is they have a $7 monthly fee you can avoid if you have a combined $500 in spend and reserve categories or you have at least $500 directly deposited to your spend category every month.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the biggest banks on our list. Bank of America has around 4,500 branches across the United States, which means regardless of where you live, there is a Bank of America location near you.
The reason they made it on my list is because of their customer service. They have call centers which are open every weekday at 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on the weekends from 8 to 8. Not only can you call them if you have any questions, but you can also reach them on Twitter or through chat online.
Bank of America also has a helpful Mobile Banking app which allows you to set notifications for the account activities you choose, like unusual card activity or insufficient funds.
If you want a bank that’s always available (and has lots of ATMs), Bank of America is an excellent choice.
If you want a straightforward checking account and great customer service, then TD Bank is the place to go.
They have three main types of checking account you can choose from. Their TD Simple is exactly what it sounds like, a simple checking account with no minimum balance. Their TD Premier is an account which earns interest if you have a balance of more than $2,500 and gives you access to free ATMs everywhere you go.
TD also offers customers a number of services like personal and home loans. One of the unique benefits of TD Bank is for those who travel.
TD Bank has no foreign debit card fees. Additionally, if you travel to Canada often, you can use TD Canada Trust ATMs with no additional fees.
If you’re traveling for business or pleasure, TD Bank is going to be one of the best banks for you.
There are several publications or organizations who have deemed Wells Fargo the “Best Bank.” In fact, they won GOBankinRates’ best bank survey two years in a row. They have been around for over 150 years, which means they have had a while to perfect their business.
One area in which Wells Fargo shines is their fees and balances.
To open an account, you will only need an initial deposit of $25 or $50. Their monthly fees are as low as $5 (some accounts have higher rates at $30, but those are the higher accounts).
Aside from their fees, another reason so many people love Wells Fargo is due to how many ATMs and locations they have.
They have 12,000 ATMs across the U.S. and over 6,500 branches you can walk into. This is more than just about every other national bank.
If you want access to most locations and access points, look no further than Wells Fargo.
TIAA Bank – Best Investment Bank
Some people want more from their bank than just a place to stash money. If you want to invest some of the money in your bank, TIAA, formerly Everbank, has got you covered. They have some of the best CD rates on the market.
They have three different CDs, a Basic CD, Bump Rate CD, and their Yield Pledge CD.
Each of them is slightly different in the way they operate and their benefits. Their basic CD can be opened with $1,000, while their premier Yield Pledge CD requires a $5,000 initial deposit. Bump rate CDs, one of their standout investment offerings, allows you to bump up your interest rate one time when TIAA’s interest increases.
SunTrust – Best Bank For Students
There are a lot of banks out there offering student accounts, but they aren’t created equally.
SunTrust has one of the best accounts for students. As long as you’re a high school student (or your child is), then you won’t 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 run, and this account understands. SunTrust makes it easy to teach your child the importance of banking.
The reason for picking Chase is obvious: bonuses!
Chase is the largest bank in the nation based on asset size. One way they attract a lot of new customers is by offering sign up bonuses.
If you decide to open up a new checking account at Chase, you could earn up to $200. With a savings account, you’ll pocket $150.
Qualifying for the bonuses is straightforward. All you have to do is set up a Chase Total Checking account and set up a direct deposit. For the Chase Savings account, deposit $10,000 – within 20 business days – and maintain the balance for 90 days, and then you’ll earn the $150 bonus check.
Chase also offers credit scores, investment tools, home lending, auto loans, and savings and CDs. Bottom line, you can score all those bonus points and manage most of your financial needs with Chase, all in one place.
Barclays Bank has been around a long time. Founded in 1690, the British Bank is still going strong, and there is good reason for that.
Though founded in Great Britian, Barclays is a world-wide bank with impressive offerings from credit cards to corporate and investment banking and wealth management.
One of the best offerings from Barclays is their online savings account, which currently offers 2.10% APY.
Barclays operates as a pure savings platform. This means they don’t offer some traditional banking features such as consumer laons and checking accounts. But, that doesn’t keep over 45 million customers from utilizing their other products.
When you bank with Barclays, you bank with peace of mind and stability that comes from centuries of consistency.
Which Bank Is Best For YOU?
Every person is different, and everyone has different banking needs.
I can’t say these 7 banks (plus some) are going to be the best option for you, but they are a great place to start. There are thousands of banks out there, and hopefully, my research has given you a place to start your own.