The Best National Banks of 2023
What to Consider?
Both big and small banks provide the same essential services of holding your money and allowing you to incur interest through various savings accounts. However, in other areas, some of the differences are stark.
We analyzed the 20 largest national banks (based on deposits) and their accounts to uncover the ones that deliver the best banking experience to customers.
Chase Bank Website
Chase Bank is the big winner in the best national bank category. Chase stands out because of its full range of deposit accounts, lucrative credit cards, and extensive financial services and investment offerings.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
- More than 5,300 branches and 15,000 ATMs
- Financially Strong
- Focused on innovation
The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is arguably the most popular travel rewards credit card right now.
When it comes to convenience, Chase has a large branch and ATM network, highly rated customer service, and an intuitive mobile app. Chase even offers a program that provides free credit scores to everyone.
Chase Bank Accounts Reviews
PNC Bank Website
PNC Bank is a strong national bank that offers “Virtual Wallet” accounts for a smarter way to manage money. You can divide your account into separate funds for spending, saving, and growing. This allows you to plan how you use your money and save for financial goals.
- Virtual Wallet Account
- High-yield free checking
- Free ATM access worldwide
Even better, the account doesn’t have a monthly fee. If you don’t make withdrawals and transfers at a branch, your monthly fee is waived. With PNC’s strong online and mobile options, this is shouldn’t be a problem.
PNC Bank Accounts Reviews
TD Bank Website
TD Bank stands out of the crowd for their extended branch hours -- allowing more customers to visit a branch for banking needs outside of typical business hours. Many branches are open during weekends. They’re even open on some major U.S. holidays.
- Basic checking with low $100 minimum balance
- Extended business for convenient branch access
Also, TD Bank offers a basic checking account that requires a low $100 minimum balance to avoid the monthly fee. Many of its other checking accounts will waive and refund out-of-network ATM fees. The bank also offers attractive sign-up bonuses on its checking accounts and credit cards.
TD Bank Accounts Reviews
How We Picked
This is a prime factor to think about when deciding on a bank. Big banks have the advantage here because they have many locations, nationwide and worldwide.
Some of them, for instance, have “sister banks” in other countries where you can withdraw money without racking up ATM fees. If you are a student, this aspect is not to be taken lightly, since you will likely be traveling between home, school, and other various places.
On the flip side, if you are established and settled in a small town or city, a community bank may be more convenient. The bank will be well known by others in your neighborhood and will be able to provide you with friendlier customer support.
Community banks and online banks also tend to have lower fees on checking accounts than bigger banks, which is a great trade-off.
As mentioned, community banks tend to offer better personal customer service.
For example, community members sit on the board of directors of these banks and act with the community’s best interest in mind.
If you or someone in the community wants to take out a mortgage to buy a house, or want a loan for a community garden, there is room for conversation when it comes to fees.
Big banks, on the other hand, are standard across the board and tend to be much more inflexible in terms of negotiating loan fees, overdraft fees, etc.
Furthermore, most big banks have cut back on providing their customers with access to bank tellers for regular transactions such as deposits and withdrawals.
In evaluating which banking experience is better for you, think about your preferences.
For example, if you're content mainly interacting with machines, then the lack of face time won’t affect you much.
Compared to big banks, community banks are likely to offer higher rates on savings, certificates of deposit (CDs), and interest checking accounts.
However, these rates may not be as high as online banks because they do not have to deal with the costs of operating physical branches.
Community banks are also more likely to offer rewards checking accounts, which are interest-bearing accounts with the certain requirements to earn an attractive rate.
Serving local businesses
Are you looking to start up a small business?
The primary lenders to farmers and small businesses are community banks. This lending relationship goes all the way back to the beginning of banking in the United States.
Many community banks are small businesses themselves, and as such are more understanding of the needs of those who live in places where farms and small businesses flourish.
Don't be surprised that small-business loans through community banks come with lower interest rates.
These are just some of the many aspects of banking to consider when deciding between a large or small institution.
If you're not sure whether a big bank or a community bank fits your financial habits, consider trying both out (make sure that you'll be able to avoid any fees).
When you're confident that you'll be able to stick with one bank, then close the accounts at the other bank.