Business_news The best national banks of 2020

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Below you’ll find our picks for the best national banks in each region of the US: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West. We’ve also listed our choice for the best nationwide national bank (for travelers and people who frequently move), and our selection for the best online bank.

Each of these banks isinsured by the FDIC, makes it easy to access your money, has a good app, and provides a variety of products.

Branch and ATM locations:TD Bank has over 1,300 branch locations across 16 states, and there are roughly 1,900 ATMs.

Why it stands out:Many branch locations are open seven days per week, which is great if you struggle to make it to the bank during the workday. TD Bank also ranked first inJD Power’s 2019 US National Banking Satisfaction Study.

What to look out for:ATM fees. TD Bank’s ATM fees aren’t necessarily higher than other banks’ fees, but its fine print may affect which checking account you choose to open. Just be aware that theTD Bank Beyond Checking Account is the only TD Bank checking account that doesn’t charge a fee when you non-TD Bank ATMs — and in order for TD Bank to reimburse fees charged by out-of-network ATM operators, your balance must be at least $2,500.

Visit the TD Bank website »



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Branch and ATM locations:Regions has 1,392 branch locations in 15 states, and around 2,200 ATMs.

Why it stands out:Regions offers a variety of bank accounts, so you can likely find one that fits your needs. TheLifeGreen® Savingsaccount doesn’t charge monthly fees, and it pays an annual cash bonus.

What to look out for:Although Regions has a plethora of locations across the Southeast, there are no branches in Virginia, West Virginia, or Washington DC. People in those areas looking for a national bank could consider alternatives such as Chase, PNC Bank, or BB&T.

Visit the Regions website »



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Branch and ATM locations:US Bank has around 3,000 branch locations in 26 states, and roughly 5,000 ATMs.

Why it stands out:If you want to open a CD with a national bank, US Bank is a solid choice. The bank provides more types of CDs than most big banks, including Step Up CDs that increase your rate every seven months, and Trade Up CDs that increase your rate once during the term if US Bank rates go up.

What to look out for:Monthly fees. Although it’s possible to waive monthly maintenance fees, US Bank makes it a little harder than many competing national banks. There are also currently no branch locations in Michigan. Residents of Michigan might consider national banks such as Chase, Bank of America, or PNC Bank.

Visit the US Bank website »



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Branch and ATM locations:Bank of America has over 4,200 branch locations in 37 states, and 16,000 ATMs.

Why it stands out:Although Bank of America has fewer branch locations than Wells Fargo, it does have more ATMs — in fact, Bank of America is tied with Chase for the most ATMs by a national brick-and-mortar bank. It also has branches in more states than Chase.

What to look out for:Overdraft fees. You’ll pay a $35 overdraft fee if you overdraw from your checking account, and you can be charged up to four times per day. You can enroll in overdraft protection, but there’s a $12 fee every time you tap into the service.

Visit the Bank of America website »



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Branch and ATM locations:Wells Fargo has over 5,000 branch locations in 37 states, and 13,000 ATMs.

Why it stands out:Wells Fargo has the most branch locations of any national bank, spread all over the United States, which is convenient for people who frequently travel. It’s also convenient if you move or visit family who lives far away.

What to look out for:Wells Fargo doesn’t have branches in Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine.

Visit the Wells Fargo website »



Alyssa Powell/Business Insider


Branch and ATM locations:As an online-only bank, Ally doesn’t have any branch locations. Ally doesn’t have its own ATMs, but you can use over 43,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network in the US for free.

Why it stands out:Ally ranks as one of ourtop high-yield savings accounts. This bank has been a power player in the high-yield savings space for a few years now, and it consistently nabs top awards for online banking. Its mobile app has features many banking apps lack, such as mobile check deposit and an in-network ATM locator. Unlike many online banks, Ally has 24/7 customer service over the phone and via online chat.

What to look out for:No branch locations. If you prefer face-to-face banking, an online bank probably isn’t your best fit. Also keep in mind that Ally offers a wide range of CD types, so if you want to open a CD with this bank, be sure to choose the right one for your needs.

Learn more about Ally »

Other national banks we considered, and why they didn’t make the cut

  • If you’re interested in an online bank,read business Insider’s guide to the best online banks.
  • Chase Bank (Member FDIC): Chase has branches in 32 states (including plenty in Michigan, for any locals frustrated that there aren’t any US Bank locations in Michigan). You might like Chase if there’s a nearby branch, but Chase is still missing from states in each region.
  • Citizens Bank(Member FDIC): Citizens Bank is a solid option for people in the Northeast, but it isn’t as widespread as TD Bank.
  • Santander Bank(Member FDIC): As with Citizens Bank, Santander is a worthwhile choice for people in Northeast, but TD Bank has more locations.
  • Huntington Bank(Member FDIC): You can earn interest on your checking account balance at Huntington, but it’s only available in a few states.
  • SunTrust(Member FDIC): SunTrust has a strong presence in the Southeast, but Regions has more locations.
  • BB&T(Member FDIC): This bank has locations in parts of the Southeast, Northeast, and Midwest, but it doesn’t dominate one region.
  • Woodforest(Member FDIC): Woodforest has a lot of locations around the Northeast, Southeast, and parts of the Midwest, but keep in mind the mobile app isn’t as beloved as those of our top picks.
  • BBVA(Member FDIC): BBVA is a solid brick-and-mortar bank, but it only has branches in seven states.
  • PNC Bank(Member FDIC): You can find PNC Bank branches in chunks of the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest, but it doesn’t dominate a certain area.
  • Fifth Third Bank(Member FDIC): You might like Fifth Third Bank if you live in certain states in the Southeast and Midwest, but it only has branches in 10 states.
  • KeyBank(Member FDIC): You’ll find KeyBank branches sprinkled across the US, but it isn’t prevalent in a certain region.
  • Citibank(Member FDIC): This bank has free ATMs around the world, but branches are only located in 10 states, and its “package” system can be confusing.
  • M&T Bank(Member FDIC): M&T Bank is a good option for people living in one of the 10 states where it operates, but beware that its overdraft fee is higher than most banks’ fees.
  • BMO Harris(Member FDIC): BMO Harris only has branches in nine US states, but you might like the bank if you live near a branch.
  • Capital One(Member FDIC): Capital One is a worthwhile option if you’re looking for a hybrid brick-and-mortar/online bank, but its locations are limited and it doesn’t have 24/7 customer support over the phone like Ally.

What is a national bank?

Technically, a national bank is a bank chartered by the US Government. For the sake of our list, we considered a national bank to be one with an extensive network of bank branches and ATMs, or an online bank that’s available nationwide.

Which is better, a national bank or a smaller bank?

National banks have an edge over smaller banks because they have more locations, and they typically offer more products and have stronger technological resources.

You may prefer a smaller bank if you value personalized customer service, though. Many small banks also charge lower fees than big banks.

Which is better, a brick-and-mortar bank or an online bank?

It depends on your priorities. If you value face-to-face banking, you’ll want a brick-and-mortar bank. Physical banks are also better for anyone who needs to deposit cash regularly; with an online bank, you can usually deposit checks with your phone, but there’s no way to deposit cash.

Online banks are typically better for low fees and higher APYs, though. Because online banks don’t have to pay for physical branch locations, they can afford to charge less and pay more.

What is the No. 1 bank in America?

It’s hard to say, because banking needs vary from person to person. Wells Fargo has the most locations, making it good for access to your money and customer service. Bank of America and Chase aren’t far behind, though, and they have more ATMs than Wells Fargo (although Wells Fargo still has an impressive 13,000 ATMs). Wells Fargo also currently offers ahigher sign-up bonus for checking accountsthan Chase and Bank of America.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.


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