BEST OF

7 Best Banks and Credit Unions in California

Alice Holbrook
By Alice Holbrook 

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences 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.

We scoped out some of the best banks and credit unions in California.

Choosing a place to bank means finding the best combination of low account fees, convenience and features, as well as harder-to-measure factors such as customer service. California has no shortage of alternatives. We included online options with top interest rates to help you make the best choice.

Best banks and credit unions in California

Here's a rundown of the best credit unions and best banks in the state of California:

  • Discover Bank: Online bank with solid CDs.

  • Alliant Credit Union: Online credit union with high rates, no overdraft fees.

  • Chase: Solid checking, national bank.

  • Varo Bank: Online bank with no fees.

  • Ally Bank: Online bank with market-leading rates, no overdraft fees.

  • Capital One 360: Online bank with great rates, forgiving overdraft policy.

  • Golden 1 Credit Union: Strong credit union.

» Check out some of NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions nationwide

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage to help you choose the financial accounts that work best for you. See our criteria for evaluating banks and credit unions.

7 Best Banks and Credit Unions in California

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Discover Bank
NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Alliant Credit Union
NerdWallet rating 

3.5

/5
Chase
NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Varo Bank
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Ally Bank
NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Capital One
NerdWallet rating 

4.0

/5
Golden 1 Credit Union

Savings info for the best banks and credit unions in California

Financial institution

Savings rate

Minimum deposit to open

Discover Bank

3.30%.

$0.

Alliant Credit Union

2.70%.

$5.

Chase Bank

0.01% (effective 8/6/2021; rates are variable and subject to change).

$0.

Varo Bank

3.00%.

$0.

Ally Bank

3.40%.

$0.

Capital One 360

3.40%.

$0.

Golden 1 Credit Union

0.05%.

$1.

Lower fees, better rates
Find out how much you could be earning with the best online savings accounts.

Last updated on February 9, 2022

Methodology

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

We took a close look at over 80 financial institutions and financial service providers, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on assets and membership; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's 7 Best Banks and Credit Unions in California