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Best Banks and Credit Unions in New York 2018

NerdWallet’s Best Banks and Credit Unions in the Northeast
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. 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 for 2018

  • Chase Bank: Excellent sign-up bonuses
  • 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

Top choices in New York

Chase

at Chase,

Member, FDIC

Chase Bank

Overall bank rating:
Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

Discover Bank

Overall bank rating:
M&T Bank

at M&T Bank,

Member, FDIC

M&T Bank

Overall bank rating:

Alliant Credit Union

Overall credit union rating:
Ally Bank

at Ally Bank,

Member, FDIC

Ally Bank

Overall bank rating:
PenFed Credit Union

at PenFed Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Overall credit union rating:
Schwab Bank

at Schwab Bank,

Member, FDIC

Charles Schwab Bank

Overall bank rating:

 

Chase Bank

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Chase

at Chase,

Member, FDIC

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, including 0.01% (effective 6/15/18; rates are variable and subject to change) on the basic savings account, but the bank typically runs a generous sign-up promotion for new checking and savings customers.

Access: Chase stands out when it comes to access. It has more than 5,000 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

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

Accounts: If you want rewards for debit spending, you’re covered with Discover’s Cashback Debit1 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.)

M&T Bank

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
M&T Bank

at M&T Bank,

Member, FDIC

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

NerdWallet has rated this credit union:

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 1.80% on its High-Rate Savings account, and it will pay the $5 minimum deposit for you.

Access: Alliant has branches in only a few states, and none is in New York. 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

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Ally Bank

at Ally Bank,

Member, FDIC

Accounts: Ally’s checking and savings accounts don’t charge monthly fees, and both pay interest. Its 1.85% 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

NerdWallet has rated this credit union:
PenFed Credit Union

at PenFed Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Accounts: PenFed pays at least 0.20% 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 3.10%.

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

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Schwab Bank

at Schwab Bank,

Member, FDIC

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 institutionWhy we like it
Chase BankExcellent sign-up bonuses
Discover BankOnline bank with massive ATM network
M&T BankLots of branches throughout New York
Alliant Credit UnionLow fees and high rates on checking and savings
Ally BankOnline bank with market-leading rates
Pentagon Federal Credit UnionPays interest on checking accounts
Charles Schwab BankUnlimited fee rebates at any ATM in the world

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