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 it down.
My List of the Best National Banks in 2018
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.
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.
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.
Much like Chase, 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 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, redeem for flights, and much more.
If you have a Citi ThankYou Premier Card or a Citi Prestige Card, your points are going to be worth more.
BBVA Compass Bank is not the most well-known bank on our list, but you shouldn’t count them out of the search. One reason I included them on the list is because of their free checking account and their CD.
BBVA Compass has a 12-month CD which has a 1.85% APY right now, which is one of the highest APYs you’ll find. Their free checking account has a $25 fee to open, but they have no ATM fees at BBVA Compass ATMs and no monthly service charge.
One additional benefit of BBVA is you can open an account online. It’s quick and easy.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 (but 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 to most locations and access points, look no further than Wells Fargo.
There were a few banks who didn’t make it on our best national bank list for this year, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be considered.
Below are a few common categories of customers who are looking for a new bank, and a bank who might meet the need. Some banks are better for particular niches than others, and I wanted to highlight those categories, specifically.
Best 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.
There are several reasons they stand out from the competition, but the most important one is their rates.
You won’t be blown away by the account options available. In fact, they only have three account options to choose from:
- Ally Interest Checking
- Ally Online Savings
- Ally Money Market
The names are pretty self-explanatory.
With their Interest Checking account, you can get an APY of anywhere from 0.10% – 0,60%, which is much higher than a traditional bank (to get the highest interest rates, you have to have a balance of at least $15,000).
One of the other benefits of their checking account is you can get reimbursed for non-network ATM fees up to $10 every month.
Their online Savings Account currently offers a 1.25% APY (it can change at any time), which is drastically higher than the national average. Not only can you earn more money with your savings, but you won’t have to pay any monthly fees and there is no minimum to open.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.