Best Banks and Credit Unions of 2020

NerdWalletMay 1, 2020
On a similar note...
On a similar note...

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The best bank, credit union or nonbank for you depends on what you’re in the market for: a savings account, a checking account, or both.

NerdWallet spent more than 200 hours comparing and rating dozens of financial institutions, including banks, nonbanks and credit unions, to identify those with the best deposit accounts. (Nonbanks provide many of the same services that traditional institutions offer, but are not technically banks themselves.)

Top Overall: Seven financial service providers earned excellent marks in both our checking and savings categories. If you want to keep your checking and savings accounts at the same institution, go with one of these options. (This year, Discover earned our nod for having the best overall checking and savings accounts.)

Our list includes a credit union. Generally speaking, credit unions emphasize customer service more than banks do and pay higher interest rates — although online accounts, like the ones on this list, tend to pay great rates, too. Read our article for more on credit unions vs. banks.

Top Savings Accounts: If you’d like to split your accounts between different providers, consider one of these savings accounts. They have annual percentage yields that are much higher than the national average of 0.05%. This is important because people typically use savings accounts to set money aside for goals, such as a trip or a down payment on a house. Your savings will grow faster with one of these accounts. Read more in our article about savings accounts.

Top Checking Accounts: If you’re more interested in checking accounts, these providers offer perks, such as interest or ATM fee reimbursements. And, crucially, they have large ATM networks and don’t charge monthly fees. Since checking accounts hold most people’s daily spending money, they should be easy to access and cheap to maintain. Read more in our article about checking accounts.

Best banks and credit unions:

  • Best overall, best for customer service: Ally Bank

  • Best overall, best for cash-back rewards: Discover Bank

  • Best overall, best for ATM availability: Alliant Credit Union

  • Best overall, best for overdraft options: Capital One 360

  • Best overall, best for rates: Varo Bank

  • Best overall, best for tools: Simple

  • Best overall, best for interest checking: Bank5 Connect

  • Best for savings, 0.15% APY: HSBC

  • Best for savings, 0.50% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 11/17/2020: Marcus by Goldman Sachs

  • Best for savings, 0.45% APY: Barclays

  • Best for checking, excellent APY: Connexus Credit Union

  • Best for checking, interest, worldwide ATM reimbursements: Charles Schwab Bank

  • Best for checking, interest, 24/7 phone support: Axos Bank

Some of our top overall institutions

Varo Varo Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • 55,000 ATMS, no foreign transaction fees.

  • Up to 2.80% APY on savings.

  • Read more in our Varo review.

Simple Simple Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • 40,000 ATMs, saving and budgeting tools.

  • Up to 0.60% APY on Protected Goals.

  • Read more in our Simple review.

Alliant Credit Union Alliant Credit Union Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
Capital One Capital One Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • 39,000 ATMs, flexible overdraft options.

  • 0.50% APY on savings.

  • Read more in our Capital One review.

Ally Bank Ally Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • Over 43,000 ATMs, strong customer service.

  • 0.60% savings APY.

  • Read more in our Ally review.

Bank5 Connect Bank5 Connect Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • Thousands of ATMs and ATM fee reimbursements, 0.20% checking APY.

  • 0.40% savings APY.

  • Read more in our Bank5 Connect review.

Discover Bank Discover Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
  • Over 60,000 free ATMs, cash-back rewards.

  • 0.50% savings APY.

  • Read more in our Discover review.

Some of our top savings accounts

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
Barclays Barclays Online Savings Account
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
HSBC HSBC Direct Savings
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

» Looking for more excellent savings options? Browse our best savings accounts

Some of our top checking accounts

Axos Bank® Axos Bank® Rewards Checking
NerdWallet rating 

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Connexus Credit Union Connexus Credit Union Xtraordinary Checking
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
Schwab Bank Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking®
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

» For more checking options, take a look at our best checking accounts

Did you have something more specific in mind? If so, check out these articles:

Savings and money market accounts

Checking accounts

Banks, credit unions and cash management accounts

Best banks and credit unions of 2020

Financial institution

Best for ...

Ally Bank

Overall, customer service

Discover Bank

Overall, cash-back rewards

Alliant Credit Union

Overall, ATM availability

Capital One 360

Overall, flexible overdraft options

Varo Bank

Overall, high rates


Overall, budgeting tools

Bank5 Connect

Overall, interest for checking


Savings, 0.15% APY

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Savings, 0.50% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 11/17/2020


Savings, 0.45% APY

Charles Schwab Bank

Checking, worldwide ATM reimbursements, 0.03% APY

Connexus Credit Union

Checking, excellent APY

Axos Bank

Checking, 24/7 phone support

Understand how APY works

Find out how compounding interest works in this quick and complete guide to annual percentage yield.

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