The Best Regional Banks of 2023
How We Picked
We analyzed nearly 350 of the top regional banks to uncover the ones that deliver the highest and most consistent rates, best customer service and low-fee accounts.
KeyBank: Best Northeastern Bank with Convenient Access
- Strong financial health with a major physical presence
- Best feature: Expanded surcharge-free ATM access
KeyBank is a top-notch regional bank in the Northeast with a product suite that is very consumer-friendly.
Notably, the Key Smart Checking account has no monthly fees and it offers fee-free access to 40,000+ KeyBank and Allpoint ATMs. Paired with a Key Cashback Credit Card, customers can earn up to 2% cash back on all spending and no annual fee-- a very competitive offering even against the biggest credit card issuers.
KeyBank is recognized as a financial institution with strong financial health. And, customers can live chat with customer representatives by logging into their online accounts.
M&T Bank: Best Northeastern Bank with Comprehensive Products
- Convenient digital tools to help customers manage finances
- Best feature: M&T Money Smart tool for easy money management
With one of the largest networks in the Northeast region, M&T Bank wins for offering convenient access to more than 700 branches and 1,800 ATMs. M&T Bank offers a basic checking account with no monthly fee at all. Also, many M&T credit cards offer attractive introductory balance transfer offers and fee waivers.
The M&T Money Smart tools allow customers to see the balances from M&T and non-M&T accounts in one place--making it easier to analyze spending and track savings goals.
Valley National Bank: Best Northeastern Bank for Low Fees
- Great selection of low-cost bank accounts
- Best feature: Free checking and savings accounts available
Valley National Bank is a trusted banking institution that provides fees and services tailored to its customers’ needs. For individuals and businesses, Valley National Bank offers various accounts, including personal checking and savings accounts, online banking services, and credit cards.
Basic savings and checking accounts from Valley National Bank do not have any monthly service fees. Furthermore, their credit card lineup is quite comprehensive--including rewards, cash back, and secured options.
Fifth Third Bank: Best Southern Bank with Low-Cost, Comprehensive Banking
- Comprehensive, full-service banking. Nifty account features.
- Best feature: Free checking with expanded ATM access
Fifth Third Bank is one of the top choices for banking in the South because of its wide array of banking services and financial products, in addition to convenient access to branches and ATMs.
For example, the Fifth Third Momentum Checking account has no monthly service fee, offers free access to more than 50,000 ATMs nationwide, and additional time to correct an overdrawn balance before an overdraft fee is charged.
Another example is the bank's unsecured personal loan, which has no origination fees and very low interest rates (for qualifying borrowers)--great for those who want to consolidate high-interest debt.
Synovus Bank: Best Southern Bank for Credit Card Rewards
- Many branches. Surcharge-free access to Publix Presto! ATMs.
- Best feature: Customizable, no-annual-fee cash back credit card
Alongside a robust branch network in the South, Synovus Bank touts full-service banking to consumers, businesses, and corporations.
The Synovus Free Checking account has no monthly service charge and customers gain additional surcharge-free ATM access at Publix Presto! ATMs. A notable Synovus credit card option offers generous cash back rewards on dining and an additional, customizable category (e.g., gas, groceries, utilities, entertainment, etc.) with no annual fee.
Prosperity Bank: Best Southern Bank with Large Branch Network
- 280 branches in Texas. Free checking account.
- Best feature: Automatic savings program with bonuses
With a heavy branch network in Texas, Prosperity Bank provides an extensive lineup of financial products and services.
Notably, the Prosperity Simply Free Checking account has no monthly fee. An optional automatic savings program will round up debit card purchases to the nearest whole dollar and transfer that difference to a linked Prosperity Savings account. Even better, Prosperity Bank will match 2% of the transferred amount per month (up to $50).
Union Bank: Best Western Bank for Convenience
- 300+ branches. Mobile banking. Free basic checking and cash back credit card.
- Best feature: Union Bank does not charge ATM fees
Union Bank shines because of the combination of its large network throughout the West and attractive consumer accounts.
Union Bank doesn't charge fees at all for using any ATM (most other banks charge an out-of-network ATM fee). To sweeten the deal, basic checking accounts get two rebates of non-Union Bank ATM fees per statement period; the premium checking option offers unlimited ATM fee rebates. And, the bank offers a simple cash back credit card with no annual fee.
Note: Union Bank has been acquired by U.S. Bank and the transition of Union Bank accounts to U.S. Bank is expected from May 2023 to July 2023--your Union Bank account terms may change.
KeyBank: Best Western Bank for Branch & ATM Access
- Automatic savings program. Competitive cash back credit card. Flexible personal loan options
- Best feature: Free checking with widespread ATM access
KeyBank shines with its comprehensive list of financial products that are very consumer-friendly, especially the basic checking account, cash back credit card, and personal loans.
Don't forget the bank's strong physical presence that includes more than 1,0000 KeyBank branches and expanded ATM access through a partnership with the Allpoint ATM network, which provides surcharge-free transactions at more than 40,000 ATMs nationwide.
Umpqua Bank: Best Western Bank for Low-Cost Banking
- Low fees. Large number of branches with longer hours. Digital banking features.
- Best feature: ATM refunds on its low-cost basic checking account
Umpqua Bank is a great choice thanks to its low-cost checking account and ATM refunds. Besides that, it provides a comprehensive suite of accounts and services along with a large branch network in the West.
Umpqua also offers a great cash back credit card with a program that can be customized to maximize cash back earnings on specific categories such as home utilities, telecom services, gas, restaurants, and groceries--with no annual fee.
Huntington Bank: Best Midwestern Bank for Low Fees
- Competitive rewards. Long hours. Helpful account features and financial tools.
- Best feature: Extra business day to avoid overdraft fees
Huntington Bank is a top bank in the Midwest because of its well-rounded list of great products and services, large physical presence, and intuitive mobile apps. Two noteworthy products include a free checking account and a credit card that lets you choose the bonus rewards category.
Huntington Bank has interesting programs and features that can help customers in unexpected circumstances. One notable program is Standby Cash, which is a small credit line that can come in handy for minor financial emergencies.
BMO Harris Bank: Best Midwestern Bank for Convenience
- Account and fee transparency. Free basic checking and savings. Money management tool
- Best feature: Access to more than 40,000 surcharge-free ATMs
BMO Harris Bank offers a free checking account and outstanding ATM access, thanks in part to its partnership with the Allpoint ATM network of more than 40,000 ATMs in the U.S.
The bank also helps consumers establish better credit with the credit builder loan program, which uses a CD as collateral for a small loan to help build positive credit history.
Fifth Third Bank: Best Midwestern Bank for Low-Cost, Comprehensive Banking
- Comprehensive, full-service banking. Early direct deposit. Automatic savings program.
- Best feature: Free checking with convenient options
Fifth Third Bank is one of the top choices for banking in the Midwest because of its wide array of banking services and financial products.
The Fifth Third Momentum Checking account has no monthly service fee, offers free access to more than 50,000 ATMs nationwide, and additional time to correct an overdrawn balance before an overdraft fee is charged.
Notably, Fifth Third Bank offers useful account features such as early direct deposit (up to 2 days) and an automatic savings program that will move money into savings based on your spending patterns.
Another example is the bank's unsecured personal loan, which has no origination fees and very low interest rates (for qualifying borrowers), that is great for those who want to consolidate high-interest debt.
How to Choose a Regional Bank
Choosing a new bank is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Think about it: the financial institution you choose will be responsible for taking care of your money and providing your services that could save — or cost — you money in the long run.
So don’t cut your bank shopping short. In today’s wired world, you have plenty of options, including national banks, community banks, brick-and-mortar institutions and online banks.
The good news is plenty of resources exist to assist your search.
Here are a few steps to take and things to think about before taking the plunge into an account with a new bank:
It’s more difficult to conduct transactions if visiting your bank is a hassle. If you live in a big city and are looking for a bank you can easily and consistently access you might want to consider banking with a large, national chain.
If you live in a more remote area, you might have convenient access to a community bank.
Community banks are typically smaller than national banks and have one or only a few physical locations.
The downside to using a community bank: ATM fees when you travel. The upside to using a community bank: the potential for better rewards and interest rates.
The convenience factor of a bank stretches beyond its physical location. Even if your bank branch is situated just down the street from your home, that location won’t be open overnight and on holidays.
For that reason, the availability of decent online banking services is nearly as important as a bank’s physical location. Mobile banking is also a perk to look for.
Most nationwide banks — as well as online banks - are on a similar level in terms of mobile and online banking offerings.
If the bank you’re considering doesn’t offer online bill pay or electronic statements, you might want to look elsewhere.
Many banks have iPhone and Android apps that allow you to locate branches, transfer funds and check up on your balances.
If you are an active banking customer, taking the time to find a bank with a solid online presence could be worthwhile.
3. Bank Health
You wouldn’t loan your money to a less-than-trustworthy acquaintance, so why would you let a struggling bank hold onto your life savings?
As long as your balance at any one bank doesn’t exceed $250,000, your money will be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation no matter what happens to your bank.
But, when a bank fails you’ll either become a customer of the bank that purchased your institution or be left to find a new bank altogether.
4. Rewards and Bank Deals
If all banks offered were plain old accounts, it’d be tough for any one institution to separate it from its competition. That’s why banks offer deals and special rates from time to time.
Institutions figure it’s worth taking a slight hit in the pocketbook with every new account if they are gaining more new members.
From cash back on purchases to interest checking and CD accounts to free gifts and rewards programs, banks offer a variety of ways for new members to earn.
It’s important to evaluate as many bank deals as possible to find a deal that doesn’t require unattainable account activity levels and won’t expire soon after you open an account.
5. Diversity of Account Offerings
Before you choose a bank, make sure it’s a bank you’ll be able to use in the future.
You might want to open only a savings account right now, but in five years you might want a CD for better savings or a home loan for the purchase of your first house.
If you can find one institution that satisfies all of your current and future banking needs, that bank might be one to consider no matter where you are in your financial life. Big banks are often the best in terms of account diversity.