What are the Best National Banks in America?

We dive into significant detail on each national bank in our list. But to save time, these are the 10 banks that comprised our list of the best national banks in America:

  • Ally Bank
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One Bank
  • Chase Bank
  • Citibank
  • First Republic Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • TD Bank
  • Truist Bank
  • Wells Fargo

This list and the post the follows, is the product of weeks of research into the national banks in the United States. As we’ve discussed on many occasions the list of banks currently operating in the country extends well into the the thousands. Even within this figure there are hundreds of national banks that maintain a presence in states that collectively make up the majority of the country. In fact many of the financial institutions in our list have more than 10 million customers!

We focused on figuring out the best national banks because these financial institutions offer unique products and services. The fact that many of them have brick and mortar locations across most of the country is an added advantage. But the simple fact is that scale matters in financial services and allows the banks that possess national scale to provide some of the most compelling and holistic product and service options available.

As a quick sanity check this is how our selection of the top national banks compares when it comes to bank fees:

best-national-banks-account-fees

On balance these banks have the same or lower account fees than 50% of the banks operating in the United States. Of course that wasn’t all we were solving for. Below we have summarized our conclusion on each of the banks and highlighted important features offered by each that we believe are especially attractive.

 

Best National Banks in 2022

Chase Bank (Best Overall)

By essentially all financial measures Chase Bank is the largest national bank in the United States and one of the most important banks in the country. The bank currently has more than 4,800 branches in the United States with a significant presence in several of the largest states including New York (its home state and where it remains the largest of the banks in NYC), California, Florida and Texas. Chase Bank is our pick for the best overall national bank because of the breadth and quality of its financial products and its best in class technology which is rated very highly.

The bank offers checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, certificate of deposits, brokerage services, auto loans, mortgages and credit cards.  

Summary Statistics on Chase Bank

  • Total Branches: 4,822 (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Total ATMs: more than 16,000 ATMs
  • Digital Penetration: High (more than 60 million active digital customers)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 0.01%
  • Overdraft Fee: $34 (threshold is $50, maximum of 3 charges per day)
  • Credit Card Offerings: 35 options
  • Technology: Excellent
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.8/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 4.4/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of Chase Bank: Chase Private Client

Chase Private Client is a unique offering for premium customers with perks that are unmatched even when compared to other national banks. In addition to having access to a Private Client Banker, Private Client customers don’t have to pay any ATM fees no matter where they are in the world. That’s right, any fees you incur for using an out of network ATM (i.e. the ATM of another financial institution) will get refunded, and there are no limits to this per year.

Private Client customers also enjoy a refund of 4 overdraft fees per year and won’t have to pay any fees for wire transfers, cashiers checks and money orders. Chase Private Client customers also enjoy much higher ATM withdrawal and money transfer limits. For example, for Zelle the daily limit increases to $5,000 per day (from $2,000) and $40,000 every 30 days (from $16,000). You can become a Chase Private Client customer by paying a $35 monthly service fee or maintaining a daily balance of $150,000 or more in the account or in linked qualifying deposits.

Admittedly the most significant downside to the bank is that the interest rates offered on the bank’s savings products are relatively low. We’d argue that this bank more than makes up for it with its great products, perks and online banking capability. This is why we believe it is the best bank overall out of the national banks.

You can learn more about the bank’s offerings by visiting their website.

Truist Bank (Best for Overdrafts)

Truist Bank is the product of the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Bank in the final months of 2019 which made it one of the largest national banks in the country, and one of the largest commercial banks in the United States. The bank currently has more than 2,000 branches and $540 billion of assets. It serves more than 15 million customers across the United States with a presence in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

In addition to having a complete set of products to cover everyday banking needs, Truist Bank is the first national bank to launch a no overdraft fee checking account: Truist One Banking. The bank offers a full suite of products including checking and savings accounts, certificate of deposits, brokerage services, auto loans, mortgages and credit cards.  

Summary Statistics on Truist Bank

  • Total Branches: 2,117 (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Total ATMs: 3,194 (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Digital Penetration: High (more than 4 million active mobile digital customers)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 0.01%
  • Overdraft Fee: $36 (threshold is $5, maximum of 6 charges per day)
  • Credit Card Offerings: 5 options
  • Technology: Very Good
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.6/5.0
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 4.2/5.0
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of Truist Bank: Truist One Checking

Truist One Checking was launched in July 2022 and is a checking account with no overdraft fees and that comes with a $100 buffer to protect account holders from overspending. While the account has a $12 monthly maintenance fee, customers can avoid the fee by setting up a direct deposit of $500 or more each statement cycle or by maintaining a balance of $500 in the account or across Truist Bank related accounts.

If customers have other Truist Bank products such as a credit card, mortgage or consumer loan or have a linked Small Business Checking Account, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived. In addition, Truist One Checking customers can enjoy 10-50% more loyalty points from Truist credit cards depending on the average balance they maintain in the account.

Learn more about Truist Bank’s offerings by visiting their website.

Ally Bank (Best Free Interest Checking)

Ally Bank is one of the most exciting of the national banks. While the bank’s brand is historically associated with auto loans, over the past 5 years Ally Bank has established a significant presence in traditional banking services. The bank has 2.5 million retail depositors that have collectively deposited $131 billion with the bank. Ally Bank is a truly online bank and has no brick and mortar locations. The bank estimates that 95% of its account openings over the last 12 months were completed digitally. The bank offers checking and savings, certificates of deposit, money market, investing services, auto loans and mortgages.  

Summary Statistics on Ally Bank

  • Total Branches: None
  • Total ATMs: 43,000+ Allpoint
  • Digital Penetration: High (fully online bank)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 1.40%
  • Overdraft Fee: $0
  • Credit Card Offerings: limited
  • Technology: Good
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.7/5.0
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 3.8/5.0
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of Ally Bank: Interest Checking Account

Ally Bank offers one of the best free checking accounts available. As we discussed previously Ally Bank’s checking account has no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirement and has up to $10 of ATM reimbursements per cycle. The account also has no overdraft fees and will provide up to $100 of buffer to protect account holders from over spending. The account pays an interest rate of 0.25% if consumers maintain a balance of $15,000 or more in their accounts, which is 2.5 times the national average interest rate.

Learn more about Ally Bank’s offerings by visiting their website.

PNC Bank (Best Combined Checking and Savings)

PNC Bank is one of the largest banks in the United States and while it services millions of consumers, the bank’s lending activities is primarily for commercial purposes. The bank currently has more than 2,500 branches in the country with a significant presence in several of the largest states including: Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. PNC Bank acquired BBVA USA in 2021, which significantly increased the banks exposure to states in the southern and western portions of the country including Texas (BBVA was as top 4 depositor in the state), Alabama, Arizona and California. The acquisition made PNC a national bank. Today, the combined bank offers checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, brokerage services, mortgages and credit cards.

Summary Statistics on PNC Bank

  • Total Branches: 2,535 (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Total ATMs: 60,000+ fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • Digital Penetration: High (78% of customers are digital)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 0.01%
  • Overdraft Fee: $36 (threshold is $5, maximum of 4 charges per day)
  • Credit Card Offerings: 5 options
  • Technology: Excellent
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.8/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 4.2/5.0
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of PNC Bank: Virtual Wallet

PNC Bank offers an account with combined checking and savings account feature under the brand Virtual Wallet. Customers can opt to bundle a Spend with Reserve or Growth feature with their Virtual Wallet account for short or long-term planning. The Virtual Wallet account has no monthly fee once account holders setup a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more. Account holders also receive 2 ATM fee reimbursements and up to $5 in ATM surcharges will be reimbursed each statement cycle.

Learn more about PNC Bank’s offerings by visiting their website.

Bank of America (Best Rewards)

Bank of America is one of the most recognizable brands in the country in addition to being one of the best national banks. The bank currently has almost 4,000 branches in the United States with a significant presence in several of the largest states including Texas (130 branches), New York (154 branches), Florida (211 branches) and California (506 branches). Bank of America is also the largest national bank to date that’s announced a significant reduction in the fees it charges for overdrafts. Starting in May 2022 the bank reduced its overdraft fees from $35 to $10 per item and eliminated its overdraft protection transfer fee. The bank offers checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, brokerage services, auto loans, mortgages and credit card products.  

Summary Statistics on Bank of America

  • Total Branches: 3,984 (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Total ATMs: 15,730 (Bank of America branded ATMs only)
  • Digital Penetration: High (more than 80% of customers are active digital customers)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 0.01%
  • Overdraft Fee: $10 (threshold is $1, maximum of 4 charges per day)
  • Credit Card Offerings: 19 options
  • Technology: Excellent
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.8/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 4.6/5.0 (almost 1 million reviews)
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of Bank of America: Preferred Rewards

The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program offers a tiered approach to earning benefits and rewards for its customers. The distinguishing characteristic of the program is the fact that participants get to take advantage of the breadth of Bank of America’s product offerings. Specifically, regardless of the tier with Preferred Rewards customers enjoy higher savings interest rates, higher credit card rewards, priority service with Merrill Investing, mortgage origination fee discounts, home equity and auto loan discounts, and much more.

For customers that are able to maintain a balance of $100,000 or more with the bank, which classifies them as Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards customers, they can earn 75% higher rewards bonuses on Bank of America credit cards, pay no domestic ATM fees and save $600 on mortgage origination fees. In addition customers receive a 0.375% and 0.50% reduction in home equity loan rates and auto loan rates, respectively.

Learn more about Bank of America’s offerings by visiting their website.

TD Bank (Best Cash Back Rewards)

TD Bank is a national bank that has a concentrated presence in the North Eastern portions of the United States. TD Bank has more than 1,000 branches and serves 9.6 million customers in the country. The bank is in the process of acquiring First Horizon Bank, which will extend its branch network into the southern states including Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, while also expanding its presence in Florida. After the transaction, TD Bank will have a presence in 22 states in the country (including the District of Columbia). The bank offers checking and savings accounts, CDs, brokerage services, auto loans, mortgages and credit cards.  

Summary Statistics on TD Bank

  • Total Branches: 1,156 (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Total ATMs: 2,700 (TD Bank branded ATMs only)
  • Digital Penetration: Medium (53% of customers are active digital customers)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 0.02%
  • Overdraft Fee: $35 (threshold is $0, maximum of 3 charges per day)
  • Credit Card Offerings: 5 options
  • Technology: Excellent
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.8/5.0
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 4.3/5.0
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of TD Bank: TD Cash Credit Card

TD Bank has a more limited number of credit card options compared to its larger competitors. That said, we think the TD Cash Credit Card is notable mainly because of its cashback feature. For starters, cardholders can get $150 cash back after spending just $500 within 90 days of opening the account. Cardholders also earn 2% cashback on grocery store purchases and 3% cashback on dining which includes takeout and delivery. Most importantly there are no caps on how much cashback you can receive and the card has no annual fee!

For illustrative purposes if you spend $1,000 a month on groceries and $1,000 a month on dining out, takeout and delivery, you can earn $600 in cash back after a year, or $50 a month. The card currently has a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles if you transfer your balance.

Learn more about TD Bank’s offerings by visiting their website.

Wells Fargo Bank (Best Accessibility)

When it comes to traditional banking services there’s only one other national bank that rivals Wells Fargo Bank. Although Wells Fargo Bank has a similar number of branches as Chase, its presence across the United States is more evenly distributed and there are only a handful of states (we estimate 12) where you won’t find a Wells Fargo branch location. The bank currently has more than 4,600 branches in the United States and has a significant presence in California, Texas and Florida, where collectively the bank has 1,900 branches and almost 6,000 ATMs. The bank has a complete offering of banking products including checking and savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, brokerage services, personal loans, mortgages and credit cards.  

Summary Statistics on Wells Fargo Bank

  • Total Branches: 4,660 (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Total ATMs: 13,000 (Wells Fargo branded ATMs)
  • Digital Penetration: Average (approximately 50%)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 0.01%
  • Overdraft Fee: $35 (threshold is $5, maximum of 3 charges per day)
  • Credit Card Offerings: 5 options
  • Technology: Excellent
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.8/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 4.7/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of Wells Fargo Bank: Most Accessible

There are many things to like about Wells Fargo Bank’s product offerings, specifically the fact that it has one of the most comprehensive set of options for customers, great sign up bonuses and in our opinion one of the best entry level checking accounts available. That said, we think the banks accessibility, not just its branch footprint but the ubiquity of its footprint, is the best in the country. As our March Survey clearly showed, bank customers still care very much about accessibility. This statistic really sums up the widespread nature of Wells Fargo’s operations across the country: the bank had a top 2 market share of deposits in 17 out of 52 states and territories according to data from the FDIC, tying Bank of America and almost double Chase Bank.

Learn more about Wells Fargo Bank’s offerings by visiting their website.

First Republic Bank (Best Personal Line of Credit)

First Republic Bank is one of the smaller national banks operating in the country but does maintain a presence in California, New York and Florida. The bank currently has only 85 branches in the United States but has more than $150 billion in deposits. The bank prides itself on providing service to its consumers with a personal thought and its marketing materials contains countless examples of customer experiences with the bank. First Republic Bank offers checking, savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, mortgages and personal loan options.

Summary Statistics on First Republic Bank

  • Total Branches: 85
  • Digital Penetration: High (more than 75% of customers use their mobile app)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 0.75% (one of the best starting interest rates)
  • Overdraft Fee: $30 (threshold is $3, maximum of 4 charges per day)
  • Technology: Good
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.8/5.0
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 3.6/5.0
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: No

Highlight of First Republic Bank: Personal Line of Credit

First Republic Bank has a more limited set of product offerings but we believe its personal line of credit stands out. This is a personal loan the bank provides to its customers with amounts between $65,000 and $350,000 and with interest rates that could be as low as 2.95-4.25% APR. Customers also receive a 2 year interest-only period and loan terms between 7 and 15 years. Both the size of the personal loan and the interest rates are noteworthy. Typical personal loans have interest rates that are several times higher than First Republic Bank’s advertised rates. That being said, you will have to have a good credit score to qualify for the personal line of credit.

The bank also has an ATM Rebate Checking account that provides unlimited rebates of ATM fees its customers are charged after using an out of network ATM.

Learn more about First Republic Bank’s offerings by visiting their website.

Capital One Bank (Best Savings Rate)

Capital One is one of the largest online banks in the United States with consumer deposits exceeding $250 billion as of June 2022. The bank’s brand is better known for its credit card business where Capital One remains one of the largest credit card issuers in the country. Because it is an online bank, Capital One Bank does not have traditional brick and mortar branch locations but does maintain a network of Cafe’s in select cities in the U.S. The bank offers checking accounts, savings account, certificates of deposit, auto loans and one of the largest selections of credit cards of all the national banks.  

Summary Statistics on Capital One

  • Total Branches: N/A
  • Total ATMs: 70,000+ between MoneyPass and Allpoint ATMs
  • Digital Penetration: High (100% online bank)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 1.30%
  • Overdraft Fee: None
  • Credit Card Offerings: 30 options
  • Technology: Excellent
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.9/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 4.6/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of Capital One Bank: 360 Performance Savings Account

Capital One Bank’s 360 Performance Savings Account has one of the highest baseline interest rates on savings accounts. While it is 0.10% below Ally Bank’s interest rate, our understanding is that customers need to maintain a balance of $5,000 or more to earn the 1.40% rate at Ally Bank. With the 360 Performance Savings Account there is no minimum balance required to earn the advertised rate. Whether you have $10 or $100 or $1,000 you can earn the 1.30% interest rate, which is 13 times the national average. While this is admittedly below the high yield interest rates offered by some banks and credit unions, as far as national banks goes this is almost as good as its going to get. The below chart summarizes the standard rates for the big 5 banks:

big-5-banks-standard-savings-account-rates

Capital One Bank’s 360 Performance Savings Account also has no monthly or maintenance fees and comes with the bank’s market leading mobile application.

Learn more about Capital One Bank’s offerings by visiting their website.

Citibank (Best Bonuses)

Citibank is one of the top 5 largest national banks in the country but a lot of its size stems from its asset management, corporate and investment banking businesses. Compared to peers, Citibank’s traditional U.S. consumer banking business is actually moderately sized. It is still however one of the largest national banks providing consumer financial services and boasts a customer base of more than 70 million consumers.

Citibank currently has more than 650 branches in the United States concentrated in 6 urban centers: New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The bank also had total deposits of $435 billion as of June 2022. The bank offers the checking accounts, savings accounts, money market products certificates of deposits, brokerage services, wealth management services, mortgages and credit cards.  

Summary Statistics on Citibank

  • Total Branches: 658 (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Total ATMs: 70,000+
  • Digital Penetration: Low (less than 50%)
  • Baseline Interest Rate on Savings: 0.05% (highest of the big 5 banks)
  • Overdraft Fee: $0 (Eliminated overdraft fees in 2022)
  • Credit Card Offerings: 12 options
  • Technology: Excellent
    • Mobile App iOS Reviews: 4.9/5.0 (more than 1 million reviews)
    • Mobile App Google Play Reviews: 4.7/5.0 (almost 1 million reviews)
    • Zelle Availability: Yes
    • Apple Pay Availability: Yes
    • Google Pay Availability: Yes

Highlight of Citibank: Account Sign Up Bonus

Aside from its technology platform which is the highest rated we have encountered to date, Citibank also has some of the most aggressive sign-up bonuses for new banking customers. Currently if you sign up for a new checking account with Citibank you can earn up to $2,000 depending on what account you sign up for and what balance you maintain.

For example, if you maintain a balance of $10,000 after opening a Citibank Checking Account, your monthly service fee will be waived and after 81 days you will have earned $200. If you maintain a $30,000 balance the bonus increases to $500 and if you maintain $75,000 the bonus increases to $1,000. The maximum bonus of $2,000 is for customers that maintain a balance of $300,000 or more. The starting bonus of $200 works out to an APR of 9% which is better than all the available high yield interest accounts currently available.

Learn more about Citibank’s offerings by visiting their website.

How We Selected The Best National Banks

Each of the banks discussed today are FDIC insured, which shouldn’t be surprising given their size. Our starting point for formulating this list was revisiting the feedback we got from bank and credit union customers during our March 2022 Survey.

best-free-checking-accounts-what-customers-care-about

The survey results indicated that customers cared most about four areas when selecting banks for their financial services:

  • Customer Service – this is not just phone banking but also branch accessibility.
  • Fee Transparency – this refers to the ease with which one can understand the fees associated with the services offered.
  • Interest Rates Offered – both in terms of rates offered for loan products and rates offered on checking and savings products.
  • Technology – this is not just the online bank capabilities of the bank but also refers to the services the bank provides such as whether the bank is compatible with Zelle, Apple Pay, Google Pay and other technologies.

We evaluated each of the national banks and rated them on these four areas. Next we analyzed the products and services offered by the banks and compared them to each other to find distinguishing features. As we’ve noted several times elsewhere, we think all consumers should prioritize paying as little as possible for their financial services. This is not just about minimizing bank fees but also maximizing account perks and promotions. We assessed each of these banks through lens of an average consumer and banks that offer the best products which cost the least (again after factoring in all the benefits) where ranked the highest. The 10 best banks that had the highest rankings were then presented.