Bank and Credit Union Reviews from NerdWallet’s Experts

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NerdWallet’s experts have reviewed and rated dozens of banks and credit unions to help you find those with the best accounts, branch and ATM availability, customer service and more.

Below is an overview of the financial institutions that we’ve analyzed, with a special spotlight on a few that received high ratings for both checking and savings products.

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Some of our top overall banks

Bank or credit union

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4.0

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4.0

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4.5

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5.0

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4.0

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Although these financial institutions are the best of the pack, there are plenty of other good options out there. Below are links to reviews of over 50 additional banks and credit unions.

Online banks

What online banks lack in branches, they make up for with low fees, high annual percentage yields (APYs) and helpful budgeting tools. These banks are typically FDIC insured and invest heavily in online security. Your money is just as safe at an online bank as it is at a traditional financial institution.

For more information, check out the following bank reviews.

Bank or Credit Union (click for review)

Details

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Ally is a popular destination for people seeking strong rates, top-notch customer service and helpful tools.

4.0

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American Express National Bank offers highly competitive interest rates on its savings account and certificates of deposit, but doesn’t offer a checking option.

4.0

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Aspiration offers an interest-bearing cash management account with a good annual percentage yield and free access to all ATMs.

4.0

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Unlike many of its competitors, Axos Bank offers a range of checking accounts that come with a variety of perks.

4.0

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Bank5 Connect offers access to thousands of free ATMs and generous fee reimbursements.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

What Barclays lacks in checking account products it makes up for with its impressive selection of savings accounts and CDs.

5.0

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Capital One’s tools are some of the best in the business. The bank also offers a full-service online experience and a great mobile app.

4.0

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Chime is a mobile-only app that offers a checking, or “spending,” account and automatic savings.

4.0

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CIT Bank has an online high-yield savings account but no checking account. It’s a good place to park your money and earn interest.

4.0

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Citizens Access, the online offshoot of parent bank Citizens Bank, offers a savings account and CDs with top-notch rates.

5.0

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Discover Bank’s free ATMs, free checks and fee-free services mean you keep more money in your pocket.

4.5

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FNBO has excellent checking and savings accounts but its CD options have low rates.

3.5

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GoBank is ideal for those who are comfortable doing their banking online.

4.0

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Marcus by Goldman Sachs won’t fulfill all of your banking needs, but it offers top-of-the-line savings rates.

3.5

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Popular Direct’s savings and CD rates are hard to top, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for a checking account.

3.5

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Sallie Mae has excellent savings options and CDs, but doesn’t offer checking accounts.

4.5

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Simple’s checking account, goal-oriented savings accounts, tools and fee structure are as user-friendly as the company’s name suggests.

3.5

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State Farm Bank, part of the insurance giant, is an online institution with an array of banking products

4.0

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Synchrony offers relatively high rates on its savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts.

4.0

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UFB Direct offers stellar savings options.

4.5

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Varo is a mobile-only banking app with a hard-to-beat combo: free checking and high-yield savings.

» Want your cash to grow faster? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

Financial institutions with branches

These banks and credit unions are ideal for people seeking in-person help. But keep in mind that banks with thousands of branches typically charge steep monthly fees, and APYs are often low. Credit unions tend to offer better interest rates but might not have as many branches as regional and national banks.

But there are always exceptions. Take a look at the following reviews for more information on rates, ATM and branch availability, and other services.

Bank or Credit Union (click for review)

Details

4.0

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Shared branching and low fees make Alaska USA a convenient banking experience.

4.5

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Alliant is unusually easy to join for a credit union. It also offers great tech tools and exceptional APYs.

4.0

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America First’s checking and savings accounts are fee-free, but the share certificates are what really shine.

3.0

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Associated’s checking accounts are solid, but it’s otherwise a fairly unremarkable regional bank.

3.0

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Bank of America boasts award-winning online and mobile products, as well as the branches and ATMs you’d expect from a national bank.

3.5

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Bank of the West has a solid branch network, and its online and mobile services make banking convenient wherever you are.

4.0

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BBVA’s branches are concentrated in a handful of states, but its accounts are solid.

4.0

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Boeing Employees Credit Union is a nice alternative to banks if you meet its eligibility requirements.

4.0

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With no monthly fees or minimum balances, checking and savings accounts offer stress-free banking. ATM coverage is superior.

3.5

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Chase delivers a stellar online experience and works well for people who want all their financial needs met by one provider.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Citibank’s budgeting tools are helpful, but customers will find lower fees and higher interest rates elsewhere.

3.5

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It’s easy to avoid monthly fees on Citizens’ basic checking and savings accounts, but its savings rates aren’t competitive.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Commerce Bank is a reasonable pick if you live in its service area.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Community First Credit Union offers accounts without monthly fees and has its own rewards program.

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The interest-bearing checking accounts at Connexus are hard to top.

4.0

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Consumers Credit Union isn’t a big institution, but its free rewards checking account lets members earn big yields.

4.0

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Delta offers good deposit accounts, even though some of its fees are high.

4.0

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Fidelity’s Cash Management account is an excellent place to keep your spending money, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for a savings account.

3.0

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Fifth Third has a strong branch network, but its deposit accounts leave a lot to be desired.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Little distinguishes First National Bank from other banks, and that’s both good and bad.

4.0

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Golden 1 Credit Union is easy to join if you’re a Californian and offers great access to branches and ATMs, especially around the Bay Area.

3.0

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HSBC offers an excellent savings account along with decent checking options.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Fees on Huntington’s basic products are easy to avoid, and the overdraft policy is more lenient than most.

3.0

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KeyBank’s approach to banking includes no-frills checking accounts and good access to branches.

3.5

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Much like the biggest national banks, M&T provides a full array of products and services along with steep fees.

4.5

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Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the U.S. and offers solid checking and savings options.

4.0

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PenFed offers a user-friendly mobile app and an engaging website, unlike many other credit unions.

4.0

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With PNC Bank, you can choose traditional banking, or you can go modern and virtual.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

PurePoint Financial offers good savings and CD options and doesn’t offer checking accounts.

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Radius Bank has good APYs and a consumer-friendly ATM fee policy.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Regions has an impressive number of branches and ATMs, but its deposit accounts aren’t particularly noteworthy.

3.5

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Santander has good savings options and cheap checking accounts, along with plenty of branches.

4.0

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Security Service Federal Credit Unions has good checking and savings options, but its interest rates are mostly low.

4.0

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Service Credit Union has multiple checking options and strong rates on certificates.

4.0

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State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina has low fees and a solid ATM network.

4.0

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Good rates, low fees and a dedication to community accessibility make Suncoast exceptional in western Florida.

3.5

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TCF Bank has a lot of options, but plenty of steep fees, too.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

At TD Bank, you’ll find straightforward checking  and savings accounts, along with plenty of branches.

4.5

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TIAA, formerly known as EverBank, offers solid CD rates, and its ATM fee policy is generous if you keep your checking account full.

3.0

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Union Bank offers a full lineup of services, but its deposit accounts come with steep fees.

3.0

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U.S. Bank offers several types of checking and savings accounts, and a wide range of CDs.

3.5

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USAA serves military members and their families, offering solid checking and savings accounts.

3.5

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Wells Fargo has a full range of solid financial products, but APYs are generally low.


RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, bank experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.