Advertiser Disclosure

The Best Regional Banks of 2022

Best Regional Banks

How We Picked

We analyzed nearly 350 of the top regional banks uncover the ones that deliver the highest and most consistent rates, best customer service and low-fee accounts.

Best Regional Banks In Northeast Region

Citizens Bank: Best Northeastern Bank for a Large Branch Network

  • Strong financial health with a major physical presence
  • Best feature: Large branch network

Citizens Bank is one of the best banks in the Northeast because of the bank's expansive branch network of more than 1,000 branches and 2,700 ATMs, especially after acquiring locations from HSBC in the region. Notably, the bank offers a basic checking account with a monthly fee that can be waived easily with just one deposit.

Also, through its online division, Citizens Access, consumers can get an online savings account with a very high savings rate.

Santander Bank: Best Northeastern Bank with Largest Branch Network

  • Large branch network throughout the region
  • Best feature: More than 500 branches and 2,000 ATMs in the region

With one of the largest networks in the Northeast region, Santander Bank wins for offering extensive access to ATMs and branches. Santander Bank gives you get a community bank while also benefitting from a sizable branch network and a broad range of financial products and services.

The bank's basic checking account has an extremely simple fee-waiver: post a single account transaction. 

It's worth highlighting that customers can schedule branch appointments online to avoid wasting time waiting to speak to a banker.

KeyBank: Best Northeastern Bank for Great Products

  • Great selection of low-cost bank accounts
  • Best feature: Free checking account with widespread 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.

South

Fifth Third Bank: Best Southern Bank

  • Comprehensive, full-service banking
  • Best feature: Free checking with convenient options

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.

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), that is great for those who want to consolidate high-interest debt.

Synovus Bank: Best Southern Customer-Focused Bank

  • Many branches. Longer branch hours. High levels of transparency.
  • Best feature: Branches are open for extended hours

Synovus Bank lives by its customer-focused philosophy. Most Arvest Bank branches are open for 12 hours on weekdays and many locations are also open on Saturdays. This will be handy for busy people who cannot visit the bank during typical work hours.

With this convenience, you also get access to a variety of checking accounts, including one without a monthly fee. Some accounts also come with an identity theft resolution and credit monitoring service.

Prosperity Bank: Best Southern Bank with Large Branch Network

  • 740 branches. Financially strong. Financial literacy courses.
  • Best feature: Basic checking with a low monthly minimum balance requirement

Woodforest National Bank earns top awards for having a huge branch network in the South -- more than 700 branches. Woodforest National Bank has the physical presence of a national bank without the high fees.

Woodforest National Bank’s most noteworthy products include the basic checking account, which has a monthly fee that’s easy to avoid, and a secured line of credit specifically designed for rebuilding bad credit.

West

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 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.

Bank of the West: Best Western Bank for Customer Service

  • Customer Service Call Scheduling. Fingerprint Authentication. Apple & Android Pay
  • Best feature: Free checking with personalization options

Bank of the West continues to make our list of top banks in the West for a variety of reasons, but especially because of its extensive customer service offerings.

For example, you can video chat with a teller rather than stepping into a branch - or you can chat, email, call, or text a banking concierge to get answers to your questions. And all this comes with a free, customizable checking account option.

Umpqua Bank: Best Western Bank for Low-Cost Banking

  • Low fees. Large amount 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 for big spenders on gas and groceries, two of the most common daily expenses.

Midwest

Huntington Bank: Best Midwestern Bank for Low Fees

  • Competitive rewards. Long hours. Extensive product offerings.
  • 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.

To help you minimize fees, Huntington offers a 24-hour grace period to avoid overdraft fees. You have more time to bring your account back to the positive - and they accept all day deposits so you won’t be held back by branch closing times.

BMO Harris Bank: Best Midwestern Bank for Convenience

  • Access to more than 43,000 ATMs. Fee-free accounts.
  • Best feature: Access to more than 43,000 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 43,000 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
  • 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.

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), 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:

1. Location

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.

2. Availability

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.