Finding the right bank can be tricky — especially since many banks seem to offer identical accounts, features, and benefits. Although online banks may have higher interest rates and local rates might boast localized benefits, many people still turn to national banks to handle their finances.
In this guide, I’ll run you through the 10 best national banks in 2020, all of which are FDIC-insured, so you can find the right fit for your banking yous.
No-fee foreign transactions and want free, interest-earning checking and savings
Low-cost traditional banking
Combine checking and savings accounts
Capital One might be best known as a credit card provider and loan company, but this national bank offers an impressive suite of services. Capital One offers impressive online banking products and can easily replace your brick-and-mortar bank. This bank has only 755 branch locations across the country but provides access to over 40,000 ATMs.
Capital One Checking and Savings Accounts
Capital One’s online 360 Performance Checking account has no monthly service fees, no minimum deposit requirements, and allows account holders to earn up to 0.10% APY on your checking deposits. It’s rare to find a completely free checking account from a national bank, let alone one that allows you to accrue interest. There’s also a teen checking account option, perfect for minors.
Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings also has no monthly fees, no minimum deposit requirements, and offers a 0.50% APY for all balance tiers. They also offer a kids savings account, 360 CDs, 360 IRA Savings, and 360 IRA CD options.
Capital One Additional Services
Capital One also provides credit card services, auto loans, business banking, commercial banking, and commercial lending services.
Wells Fargo is one of the top banks in the country and is actually the third largest bank in the world. They have over 5,400 bank branches across the U.S. and over 13,000 in-network ATMs, making them an ideal choice for those looking for online or traditional banking services.
Wells Fargo Checking and Savings Accounts
Wells Fargo offers four different checking account options, including a free option for students, a checkless checking account, an interest checking account, and a rewards account for high-income earners. Although they do not offer a free checking account for non-students, their Everyday Checking option makes it easy to waive monthly maintenance fees.
The savings options at Wells Fargo include two traditional savings accounts. Wells Fargo’s Way2Save basic savings account offers easy ways to waive the monthly fee, while their Platinum Savings option offers higher interest rates. However, both accounts offer lower than average interest rates, between 0.01% and 0.04%.
Wells Fargo Additional Services
Wells Fargo also offers personal loans, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, mortgages, home equity services, investing options, and small business and commercial loan products.
Ally Bank first made waves in the online banking marketplace in 2009 and has made it easy to make the switch from traditional banking to online banking. Ally Bank offers a simple suite of digital banking products and access to over 43,000 ATMs across the nation. This bank is online only and does not offer physical locations.
Ally Bank Checking and Savings Accounts
Ally Bank offers a free interest checking account that allows you to earn 0.10% on balances less than $15,000 and 0.25% on balances over $15,000. Ally Bank also has no minimum opening deposit requirements and offers access to Allpoint ATMs for free. While you can’t deposit cash into your Ally Bank account, you can make transfers and deposit checks from their mobile app.
Ally Bank’s online savings account outshines many national competitors. Their savings account offers a 0.60% APY for all balance tiers, has no monthly fees, and no minimum deposit requirements. Ally Bank also offers CDs (as high as 1% APY) and a money market account (0.50% APY).
Ally Bank Additional Services
Ally Bank also provides investment services, retirement options, auto loans, personal loans, and mortgages.
Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the country and one of the top options for anyone looking to open a checking or savings account. Bank of America has 4,300 branches across the country and over 16,900 in-network ATMs. Bank of America also offers sign up bonuses for new customers, currently featuring a $100 signup bonus for new checking account customers.
Bank of America Checking and Savings Accounts
Bank of America offers three main checking accounts referred to as Advantage Banking accounts. The Advantage SafeBalance is checkless banking with a $4.95 monthly fee and overdraft protection options. Next, they offer Advantage Plus Banking with a $12 monthly fee (and flexible options to waive this fee), access to checks, and overdraft options. Lastly, Advantage Relationship Banking has a $25 monthly fee (with options to waive), offers the same perks as Advantage Plus, and allows you to earn interest on checking deposits.
Bank of America provides one main savings account, Advantage Savings, that requires a $100 minimum deposit, costs $8 per month (with options to waive this fee), and earns 0.01% APY. Preferred Rewards members can earn up to 0.05% APY, but you’ll need to meet strict requirements to enroll — they will pull your credit score and review your history. Bank of America also offers a no-fee child savings account, two CD options (0.03% - 0.05% APY), and IRA savings accounts.
Bank of America Additional Services
Bank of America also provides additional banking services including credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, investing services, and small business & commercial banking.
JPMorgan Chase, also known as Chase Bank, is the largest bank in the country. Originally formed in 1799, Chase Bank now has over 4,910 branch locations across 33 states and 16,000 in-network ATMs. This bank offers a few different sign up bonuses for new customers and could be an ideal bank for customers using existing Chase products (such as mortgages).
Chase Checking and Savings Accounts
Chase Bank offers a large number of checking account options, with three different everyday checking accounts (best for basic checking services), three different minor and student account options (best for teens and college students), and two different premium accounts (best for high-earners looking to invest). Despite a large number of checking selections, Chase Bank does not have a free option for anyone who isn’t a student or minor, though it’s easy to waive every day checking fees.
Chase Bank also currently offers two primary savings accounts, Chase Savings and Chase Plus Savings, though the basic savings account is the one most customers will be approved for. Both have low-interest rates, with the Chase Savings account only offering 0.01% APY — on par with brick and mortar banks, but much lower than online and hybrid banks. Neither account is free either, though the monthly charges are easy to waive.
Chase Bank also offers CDs (not available in all areas) with APYs ranging from 0.02% to 0.05%.
Chase Bank Additional Services
In addition to checking and savings options, Chase Bank also offers credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, home equity services, investing options, and business & commercial banking.
You may notice Allpoint ATMs at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and an array of nationwide stores and wondering about its banking. Actually, Allpoint is not technically a bank, but instead, a network of surcharge-free ATMs typically used for online banking customers. Founded in 2003, Allpoint is designed to provide easy access to ATMs throughout the country. If you’re worried about finding ATMs that are free of charge or want to open a checking or savings account at an online bank, Allpoint might be the solution to help you deposit cash, access your funds, and more.
Allpoint Checking and Savings Accounts
Allpoint does not offer checking or savings accounts but does work with a large number of online banks, local financial institutions, credit unions, and national banks to provide Allpoint ATM access. Ally Bank, Capital One, Discover, and Alliant Credit Union are a few of the top names that offer access to Allpoint ATMs.
Although Allpoint isn’t technically a bank, if you’re interested in working with an online bank, it might be beneficial to find one that partners with Allpoint to provide you with more ATM options for cash deposits and withdrawals.
You can find Allpoint locations all across the United States, including inside stores like Target, CVS Pharmacy, Kroger, Walgreens, Circle K, Safeway, and Speedway. You can also download the Allpoint app to find the closest Allpoint ATM near you.
You might know Discover best as a credit card lender, but Discover also offers robust online banking options. Discover does not have any physical branches, but is an Allpoint partner and provides access to over 60,000 in-network ATMs.
Discover Checking and Savings Accounts
Discover offers a no-fee checking account that pays you 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases every month. There’s no initial deposit requirement, no balance requirement, and no fee for reordering checks or debit cards.
Discover’s online savings account is also completely free and offers a 0.60% APY, which is much higher than national competitors. Like their checking account option, there are no minimum deposit requirements and no minimum balance requirements.
Discover also offers a money market account (0.45% to 0.50% APY) and a CD (0.80% APY).
Discover Additional Services
Discover also offers credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, and home equity loans.
Schwab Bank is one of the newer national banks, having opened its doors less than 50 years ago and is primarily known as an investing firm. However, this bank has quickly become a top national competitor for online checking and savings account services. With no fees and competitive interest rates, Schwab Bank might be the right fit for your banking needs.
Schwab Bank Checking and Savings Accounts
Schwab Bank offers one checking account option that has no monthly fees, no minimum account requirements, earns you 0.03% APY on account balances, and has no foreign transaction fees. Best of all, Schwab has unlimited ATM fee rebates across the world, so you never have to worry if you’re using a free ATM or not. They also offer free overdraft transfers from linked accounts to prevent fees.
Schwab Bank’s savings account also has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements and comes with a debit card. ATM fees are rebated worldwide, just like the checking account. The APY is only 0.05% though — higher than many national brick and mortar banks, but much lower than many national online banks.
Schwab Bank Additional Services
Schwab Bank also provides a comprehensive offering of investment management and retirement services, as well as small business banking options, credit cards, mortgages, and insurance solutions.
U.S. Bank is the 5th largest bank in the world and was first founded in Ohio in 1863. This top national bank is well known throughout the country and offers a large selection of personal banking services, both in-branch and online.
U.S. Bank Checking and Savings Accounts
U.S. Bank offers five primary checking accounts. Their Easy Checking is ideal for anyone looking for basic checking services, while Gold Checking is tailored towards those with a U.S. Bank credit card or loan. Platinum Checking offers 0.01% APY on deposits. They also offer a student checking account and a non-check account that offers overdraft protection. All have monthly charges, except the student account.
U.S. Bank has one standard savings account with a $4 monthly fee and 0.01% APY. They also offer four different money market accounts with slightly higher APYs, though all are still on the low end when compared to national online banks.
They also offer a few different CD options with APYs ranging from 0.15% to 0.50%.
U.S. Bank Additional Services
U.S. Bank also offers credit cards, investment and retirement services, personal loans and lines of credit, mortgages, auto loans, business and commercial banking, and wealth management services.
Our last recommended online national bank is Synchrony Bank. This bank formed in 2003 with the idea that banking could be more affordable. While they are an online bank, they have partnered with Accel to provide access to over 412,000 in-network ATMs across all 50 states. Synchrony Bank offers a small selection of banking solutions, but its high-yield savings account might be the most appealing to customers.
Synchrony Bank Checking and Savings Accounts
Unlike many national and online banks, Synchrony Bank does not offer a checking account but instead combines some of the benefits of a checking account into its savings accounts. For instance, the high-yield savings account comes with ATM access for easy access to your money. Their money market account also allows you to write checks, making it easier to earn higher interest on your deposits while retaining all of the benefits of a checking account.
Synchrony Bank’s high-yield savings account is this bank’s primary savings option, with a 0.60% APY, no monthly fees, and no minimum balance requirements. Their money market account offers a 0.50% APY, allows you to write checks off of balances, and has no monthly fees or balance requirements.
Synchrony Bank also offers CDs (0.60% APY) and two IRA savings options.
Synchrony Bank Additional Services
Synchrony Bank is primarily an online bank with savings accounts, but they do also offer credit cards.
1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases every month checking; 0.60% APY savings
0.03% APY checking; 0.05% APY savings
In-branch with online services
0.01% APY Platinum checking; 0.01% APY savings
0.60% APY savings (no checking options)
What is the No. 1 bank in America?
Chase Bank is the largest bank in the United States (by assets).
Is it better to have one of two bank accounts?
How many bank accounts you need depends on your personal finances. Typically most people like to have a checking account for everyday purchases and a savings account to deposit money and earn interest. Some banks have made it easier to combine checking and savings accounts by adding debit cards to savings accounts and increasing interest rates. However, some savings accounts have limits on how often you can withdraw your money. Depending on your personal finances it might make sense to separate your money into more than one account.
What national bank has no monthly fees?
There are many different options for no-fee bank accounts. From this list, Capital One, Ally Bank, Schwab Bank, Discover, and Synchrony Bank all have no-fee checking and savings accounts.
What is the best bank for no fees?
Capital One, Ally Bank, Schwab Bank, Discover, and Synchrony Bank all have no monthly fees and no minimum requirements to open or maintain an account. If you want a no-fee ATM bank, you could look for one that partners with Allpoint’s network of ATMs.
Can you open a bank account with no money?
Many banks allow you to open an account without a deposit. Capital One, Ally Bank, Chase, Discover, Schwab Bank, and Synchrony Bank are all national banks that allow you to set up checking and savings accounts with no deposits. If you hope to earn interest on deposits, you’ll want to make sure you deposit into your account to begin accruing interest.
Easy access nationwide. One of the main benefits of banking with a big bank is the easy access you’ll have to branches throughout the country. While not all national banks have branches in all 50 states, most offer ATMs in all states and provide accessibility online to those without in-state branches.
All services in one place. National banks really shine when it comes to service offerings. Many national banks offer additional services like mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, home equity services, investment options, and more. Often, national banks will offer discounts and benefits to customers who sign up for more than one service, so if you stick with the same provider, you might receive additional perks.
Customer service. National banks have one thing going for them that online banks can’t quite meet — customer service. With a national bank, you have options to speak to a customer service representative in-person, over the phone, via live chat, through email, and more. If you’re having an issue or need to talk through banking options, many customers prefer talking to a person face-to-face.
Lower interest rates. Traditional national banks with branches in the U.S. typically have lower interest rates than online banks. You’ll find banks like Chase, U.S. Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo offer well below the national average when it comes to savings APY. Most national banks also do not offer interest on checking accounts. National online banks, however, typically have higher interest rates.
Monthly account fees. One of the main drawbacks to banking at a national bank is that you’ll often have to pay a monthly account fee. While this fee can often be waived if you meet certain criteria, it’s disappointing that these banks do not provide a basic checking or savings option free of charge. Online banks, on the other hand, have less overhead expenses and as a result, are able to pass these savings along to customers in terms of higher interest rates and no or low fees.
Hidden fees. When banking with a national bank, you’ll want to be on the lookout for hidden fees. Many national banks have high overdraft fees that can be charged multiple times a day and may even add additional fees if your account is overdrafted for a certain period of time. Other fees to look out for are foreign transaction fees, transfer fees, and out-of-network ATM fees which can add up.
National banks are the largest types of banks in the United States. Many customers enjoy banking with this type of financial institution because national banks have convenient branch locations, offer a large selection of banking products, and provide top-notch customer service. However, national banks do have fees to look out for and lower than average interest rates.
I recommend you review all of the pros and cons of working with a national bank and explore all of your options — local banks, credit unions, and online banks — before making a choice.
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