Overall bank rating
The bottom line:
If you live in California, Golden 1 Credit Union may shine as a solid place to do your banking. In addition to having branches across the state, its extensive CO-OP ATM and shared branching networks and extended phone service hours make it easy to get help even out of state.
You’ll see your money grow more quickly at competitors that offer higher interest rates (be sure to explore the best savings account options as well as higher CD rates), but Golden 1 doesn’t charge monthly fees on basic accounts, and all accounts have low or no minimum opening deposits. Just watch out for overdraft fees — or sign up for free overdraft protection transfers to save money.
Best for: Californians who are interested in an in-person banking experience, don’t care about maximizing interest and are unlikely to overdraft.
Easy-to-meet membership requirements for Californians: live or work in the state.
No monthly fees for basic accounts.
$0 required to open a basic checking account; $1 required for basic savings.
Low or no interest on basic accounts.
Overdraft fees charged up to six times per day.
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, banking 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.