There are over 5,000 FDIC-insured institutions in the United States.
Locally-owned banks and credit unions have their benefits, but most Americans choose a nationwide bank due to its convenience, high levels of customer service, and peace of mind.
The sheer number of options is overwhelming when you’re trying to choose the best bank for you.
What factors should you consider?
You want to choose a bank that best meets your current and future financial needs.
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Here are fifteen banks worth considering:
15 Best National Banks In America
Every bank is going to come with a set of benefits that suit a different type of customer, which will depend on what they need in banking.
The best bank for you may be different depending on your needs and goals.
The list below represents some of our top picks based on their merits and what they have going for them.
However, each person is different and has specific needs when looking for a financial institution so be sure to evaluate many options in order to find the right bank for your situation.
Here are the top national banks in 2021:
1. Chase Bank
Chase Bank is the largest bank in America and is a great choice for beginners looking to get into banking. They have over 4,000 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs available to customers and solid bank hours during COVID-19.
Their best products are their numerous credit cards and savings accounts. Chase also offers investment services as well as retirement planning for its customers.
This bank typically offers sign-up bonuses for new banking customers and is well known for offering dozens of credit card products, as well as possibly offering a sign-up bonus on your first purchase.
2. Wells Fargo
With 8,000 locations nationwide, Wells Fargo tops the list as the largest presence of brick and mortar banks in the country.
They have a popular, low-maintenance checking account that offers customers free ATMs and debit cards, as well as mobile app access to their accounts.
Wells Fargo also has one of the best credit card products, the Wells Fargo Cash Back Credit Card, which has the best in class for cash back rewards and customer support.
Wells Fargo offers a wide variety of financial products and services to meet your needs with their national bank, from simple to more complex.
The bank offers the standard account options and usually stands out for its customer experience.
Wells Fargo is one of the four top American banks. Banks that are national enterprises have an easier time attracting investors and managing more money than the average bank.
However, with branches in various states across America (and a branch abroad), Wells Fargo faces some of the same limitations as other large banks: higher account fees and interest rates.
3. Bank of America
Bank of America is the winner when it comes to ATM networks. BoA ATMs are available in most parts of North America, except for certain locations in the Southern and Midwest regions.
The bank is best known for its credit card products, with high customer satisfaction and rewards.
BoA also has a wide variety of investment services and retirement accounts available to help you preserve and grow your wealth.
If your goal is securing a checking account, saving account or credit card, Bank of America will likely be best for you.
However, their other services don’t rank quite as highly in the industry as they do with baby boomers (but aren’t too shabby either).
4. PNC Bank
PNC Bank, based out of Pittsburgh, PA operates in 21 states across 2,300+ locations – making it one of the largest national banks in the country. Known for personal banking as well as asset and corporate banking, PNC offers products to meet all your needs.
While best known for their short term account options, PNC also has a large variety of different products and services including some low-risk investment vehicles like Certificates of Deposits (CDs).
PNC is best known for customer satisfaction and excellent products. With a large presence, convenient locations and great service PNC is best suited for the average American looking to get into banking.
In addition, PNC has an excellent credit card products, checking, short-term savings, and long-term savings options with its Virtual Wallet product.
5. TD Bank
TD Bank can be America’s most convenient bank if you know how to make the system work for you. They have over 1,300 branches across 16 states and offer products for every stage of your life.
TD Bank branches are almost always located in shopping malls, making it convenient to walk in and start the process of opening an account or applying for a new account.
They also have many different types of accounts, from checking and savings accounts to certificates of deposits (CDs). In addition, TD Bank has a large variety of financial products and services to best meet your needs.
The best part is that they are best recognized for personal banking, with a large presence in North America mainly on the East Coast.
6. Ally Bank
Ally Bank is an online bank best known for its free checking, low-fee accounts and credit card products.
They offer best in class customer support across America with over 150,000 employees. In addition, they have best-in-class products and best-in-class rates when it comes to low-risk investment vehicles like CDs.
Ally is best known for providing free checking accounts to customers, but they also have best-in-class savings and best-in-class investment options.
Ally Bank is one of the best banks around, with a high yield savings account that offers an APY of 0.60% at the time of this writing. They have free access to over 43,000 ATM locations across the country.
7. US Bank
U.S. Bank is among the top five largest banks in the United States, has more than 600 locations in California, and offers 24/7 phone support.
It provides a wide range of services, such as online and mobile banking. It’s best known for its checking accounts, including the Gold Account and Silver Account that earns interest. The bank offers financial planning to help customers meet their long-term goals and retire comfortably.
In addition to the West Coast, U.S. Bank has locations throughout the Midwest and East coast of Florida.
U.S. Bank shares many of the characteristics and capabilities present in other big banks, such as Citibank or Wells Fargo.
8. Capital One
Capital One offers a variety of banking services, but they are primarily an online bank. They have one branch location in the Northeast and other areas of the South.
This bank has a lot of good features, such as free online bill pay and low fees.
Capital One offers many innovative products to their customers, including the Capital One credit card that allows you to earn rewards with every purchase.
They offer low fees and great customer service, as well as some additional features that may provide an added advantage. The best thing about this bank is its convenience, especially for those who want a simple online banking experience.
Regardless of the other country’s top performers, Citibank still stands out amongst the crowd with its high interest rates.
The Citi Accelerate Savings account offers a standard APY of 0.70%, but it’s only available in some markets.
If you’re in an area that offers this rate, then it’s a great option – especially since there are no monthly fees to worry about. If not, you might want to check out the best savings account options for your area.
Overall, BBVA does not have as many locations in the United States. In order to access all of its services, you’ll need to travel to one of its 600 U.S. branches.
BBVA is best known for its checking accounts, which offer a number of features such as no minimum balance requirements and unlimited check writing. Since 2002, it has been one of the best banks in the world.
But if you need access to local branches and want a standard deposit account then this might be a good option.
Also, as BBVA transitions to PNC, BBVA USA is no longer accepting online applications for savings products and services.
11. CIT Bank
CIT Bank also has high-interest rates, but it’s best known for its savings accounts.
Like best national banks, CIT Bank offers a wide variety of benefits for its customers.
If you’re looking for a better interest rate and want easy access to your money, then this is one of the best options available.
You can get an eChecking account with an APY of 0.25%, which is a really solid return on your money. The
The best part is that you can open this account online and have access to your money immediately. They also don’t charge any monthly fees for this account, which is a big plus.
Though they don’t offer checking accounts, Barclays is a unique member of this list in other ways. They are the only bank to be based outside the US and also don’t provide checking accounts.
What makes them best national banks is their credit card products.
The Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard offers one of the best travel benefits packages around, including a 60,000-point sign up bonus and double points on every purchase.
13. Huntington Bank
Huntington Bank may not be as well-known as large national banks like Chase or Wells Fargo, but their Midwest roots make them a good option for those in the region.
Huntington is best known for its customer service, which has been voted best in the U.S. 4 years running by J.D. Power and Associates.
In addition to its reputation for great customer service, Huntington also offers competitive APYs on its best national bank accounts.
The National Bank of Kansas City has only four branches in Kansas City and offers an excellent online platform.
Since the best national banks are mostly online, the best part of this bank is its excellent online presence. You can open an account online in less than 15 minutes and have full access to your account in as little as 24 hours.
In addition to its great digital offerings, National Bank also offers some unique features such as free checks and you can pay your bills online with free bill payment.
If you’re not in the Kansas City area, then this best national bank might not be right for you. But if you are, then it’s a great option.
15. Discover Bank
Discover Bank is not only a credit card company but also the foremost provider of fee-free banking.
Discover offers personal and business checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, best national bank certificates of deposit (CDs), best national bank IRA CDs, best national bank money market funds that are all fee-free.
With a Discover Online Banking account, you’ll never pay monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees or insufficient funds fees. Most banks can’t offer those same benefits.
They also have a great credit card, Discover IT, which was rated the best credit card by Money Magazine.
Pros and Cons of National Banks
- Easy access nationwide. National banks often have branches in many states, so no matter where we are there is a branch or ATM nearby.
- All services in one place. National banks offer a variety of services, but the best part is you get discounts if you sign up for more than one service at a time.
- Customer service. National banks have one advantage that many online banks can’t replicate–customer service. Regardless of how you communicate, the bank has a number of options to get back in touch with you and alleviate any issues or help find solutions to your banking needs.
- Lower interest rates. Most traditional national banks offer lower interest rates on savings than online banks. Chases, U.S. Banks, Bank of Americas and Wells Fargos all fall below the national average when it comes to savings APY–while most do not offer any interest on checking accounts.
- Monthly account fees. One disadvantage of using a national bank is that consumers typically must pay monthly service fees. This fee can often be waived if you meet criteria, like having checking or savings balances surpassing a certain amount, or meeting monthly direct deposit amount, but it’s still disappointing as these banks do not offer free basic checking and savings accounts.
- Hidden fees. Banks often charge hidden fees when customers overdraw their accounts, like monthly fees or ATM fees.
Best National Banks FAQs
So, who is the number 1 bank in the U.S.?
If you’re looking for the best bank for each category, then Chase is a good place to start. They are the largest bank in terms of assets under management and will have the most invested money when interest rates rise again. Ally is our favorite choice for online banking and has the highest APY at 0.60%.
Just like no one bank can claim to be the best for all potential customers, there isn’t a single banking service that would be good for all people.
Which national banks are the safest?
All of the banks in this list are FDIC-insured, meaning that you’re protected up to $250,000.
The bigger banks will allow you to replace any lost funds in the event that your account is hacked, and some institutions, such as Bank of America or Chase, will cover replacements the very next day while they investigate.
Which Of The Top National Banks Is Best For You?
Now that you are more familiar with the benefits of top national banks, it is time to pick one that would provide you with what best suits your needs.
You’ll want to find one that offers fee-free ATMs for account holders, FDIC insurance, a high annual percentage yield, lending options, and a low minimum opening deposit.
Be sure to check out our best bank rankings for all of the best solutions for your banking needs.
Good luck picking the best national banks for you.