7 Best Banks and Credit Unions in New York

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

New York City is a major financial capital, but it's not the only place in the state where you can find great banking options. Which is right for you? Here are seven of the best banks in New York.

Best Banks and Credit Unions in New York

  • Chase Bank: Extensive branch and ATM networks

  • Discover Bank: Online bank with massive ATM network

  • M&T Bank: Lots of branches throughout New York

  • Alliant Credit Union: Low fees and high rates on checking and savings

  • Ally Bank: Online bank with market-leading rates

  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union: Pays interest on checking accounts

  • Charles Schwab Bank: Unlimited fee rebates at any ATM in the world

Best banks and credit unions in New York

Chase Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • Extensive branch and ATM networks.

  • Easy to waive fees on basic checking.

Discover Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

  • Online bank with massive ATM network.

  • Cash back on checking.

M&T Bank Overall Bank Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • Lots of branches throughout New York.

  • No monthly fee on basic checking.

Alliant Credit Union Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by the NCUA

  • Low fees and high rates on checking and savings.

  • Easy to join regardless of location.

Ally Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • Online bank with market-leading rates.

  • 24/7 customer service.

PenFed Credit Union Overall Bank Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • Pays interest on checking.

  • Become a member by supporting a military-affiliated charity.

Schwab Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • Unlimited fee rebates at any ATM in the world.

  • Linked brokerage account.

Chase Bank

Chase Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Accounts: Like most big banks, Chase has a range of checking options. The most basic has a monthly fee, but it’s easy to avoid. Savings options pay low APYs; the basic savings account earns 0.01% (effective 9/14/20; rates are variable and subject to change), but its monthly fee is fairly easy to avoid.

Access: Chase stands out when it comes to access. It has more than 4,700 branches across the country, including more than 700 in New York state. It also boasts more than 16,000 ATMs and well-rated mobile apps. (Learn more with our Chase review.)

» Want to find out how other big banks compare? See our list of the best national banks.

Discover Bank

Discover Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

Accounts: If you want rewards for debit spending, you're covered with Discover's Cashback Debit account. The bank pays 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in monthly transactions, and the account doesn’t charge a monthly fee. You can also open a savings or CD account, both of which pay impressive yields, and there’s no minimum deposit for savings.

Access: Discover is an online bank, but you can get help on the 24/7 customer service line or through social media. And you won’t have trouble getting cash. Discover’s partners at two nationwide ATM networks will let you withdraw cash at more than 60,000 machines for free. (Read more at our Discover review.)

Cashback Debit details from Discover: "ATM transactions, the purchase of money orders or other cash equivalents, cash over portions of point-of-sale transactions, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash), and loan payments or account funding made with your debit card are not eligible for cash back rewards. In addition, purchases made using third-party payment accounts (services such as Venmo® and PayPal™, which also provide P2P payments) may not be eligible for cash back rewards. Apple, the Apple logo and Apple Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries."

See Discover's website for more details.

M&T Bank

M&T Bank Overall Bank Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Accounts: M&T’s basic checking account doesn’t charge a monthly fee, but it also doesn’t pay interest, and the bank doesn’t pay much on basic savings, either. The account earns a minimal 0.02%.

Access: M&T is a regional bank with great branch and ATM representation in New York, especially near New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. If you’re not near home, you can also find coverage in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and D.C, and a few ATMs in Florida. You can also use the app for some banking tasks. (Read our M&T Bank review for more.)

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by the NCUA

Accounts: Alliant offers a free checking account and one that pays interest if you’re willing to meet a few monthly requirements. Neither charges a monthly fee. The credit union also pays 0.55% on its High-Rate Savings account, and it will pay the $5 minimum deposit for you.

Access: Alliant has only one public branch, its Chicago headquarters, and no shared branching. But if you’re comfortable banking online, its membership is open to just about anyone: Choose to support partner charity Foster Care to Success when signing up (Alliant will fund a $5 donation). Members can also get cash at more than 80,000 free ATMs. (Read more at our Alliant review.)

Ally Bank

Ally Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Accounts: Ally’s checking and savings accounts don’t charge monthly fees, and both pay interest. Its 0.50% savings rate is particularly good, and it pays great rates on CDs as well.

Access: Ally is an online bank, and it doesn’t have any branches, but you can reach customer service via a 24/7 phone line or live chat. Need cash? You can use Allpoint’s nationwide network of ATMs for free, and if you need to go out of network, you can get up to $10 per month in ATM fee reimbursements. (Get the details at our Ally review.)

» Looking for more great rates? Check out our best high-yield savings accounts.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union Overall Bank Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Accounts: PenFed pays at least 0.15% on checking balances, and the monthly fee is easy to avoid: Maintain a daily balance or receive a monthly direct deposit of at least $500. Its savings rate isn’t very compelling, but if you’re willing to use a money market certificate — similar to a CD — you can earn up to 0.75%.

Access: PenFed’s branches are concentrated around military bases — such as West Point — but you don’t have to be affiliated with the military to apply. You can become a member by supporting one of several charities that work with military families. (Check out our PenFed review.)

» Find other nonprofit financial institutions with NerdWallet’s best credit unions

Charles Schwab Bank

Schwab Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Accounts: Charles Schwab offers banking products as well as brokerage accounts and doesn't charge monthly fees. You can find higher rates on checking and savings elsewhere, but CD rates are some of the best on the market. And the checking account doesn't charge a fee for using your debit card overseas.

Access: Schwab is another online bank, so you’ll have to do your banking using the extended-hours phone service or on the website or apps. Schwab also has 24/7 chat support. And when it comes to cash, the bank pays unlimited rebates for fees at any ATM in the world. (Check out our Schwab review.)

Compare options to find the best fit

There's no shortage of banking options, so you're bound to find one that best serves your specific needs. Comparing products side by side can make selecting a bank or credit union much less daunting.

Financial institution

Why we like it

Chase Bank

Extensive branch and ATM networks

Discover Bank

Online bank with massive ATM network

M&T Bank

Lots of branches throughout New York

Alliant Credit Union

Low fees and high rates on checking and savings

Ally Bank

Online bank with market-leading rates

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pays interest on checking accounts

Charles Schwab Bank

Unlimited fee rebates at any ATM in the world


METHODOLOGY

For this review, we considered only institutions with a retail presence in Florida and nationwide online institutions, taken from the same list in our standard methodology:

We took a close look at 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation's largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage rates, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more.