View Best Bank Past Winners for Q1 2016
Chase, the consumer banking subsidiary of multinational JPMorgan Chase boasting more than 5,600 branches, was selected as best national bank, and Ally, a unit of Ally Financial, boasting a raft of digital services but no branches, was judged the nation’s top online bank, MyBankTracker.com reported today.
The MyBankTracker Best Bank awards are released each quarter by the independent bank tracking site. More than 6,000 banks and credit unions are evaluated by size and specialty — all data provided by the FDIC. Check here for methodology:
“We really wanted to recognize traditional banks that had large reach or created products that didn’t tie consumers to a particular region due to the growth of mobile,” says Alex Matjanec, CEO and co-founder of MyBankTracker. “We also looked at how traditional and online banks improved their digital experiences.”
Other Best Bank winners:
- Best Midsize Bank: Northeast. Capital One
- Best Midsize Bank: Midwest. Huntington Bank
- Best Midsize Bank: South. First Citizens
- Best Midsize Bank: West. BBVA Compass
- Best Credit Union: Pentagon Federal Credit Union
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Best National Bank 2016 Q1
Winner: Chase Bank
5,655 branches, Financially Strong, Growing, Innovative
Best Feature: Mobile Banking & Strong Credit Cards
With more than 18,000 ATMs nationwide thanks to their partnership with Duane Read pharmacy and more than 5,655 branches, Chase doesn’t have the largest footprint, but it definitely is one of the most rounded of the large banks. In the past year, Chase has improved its mobile apps to increase protection with fingerprint recognition technology, introduced a new app for its Freedom card to maximize points as well as upgraded its Ultimate Rewards website to better manage points earned. The bank also just recently rolled out in-branch terminals that can handle pretty much all of your banking needs. Like many of the nation’s large banks, Chase fees can quickly eat into account savings, and if you care about interest rates, you should look elsewhere, but if you’re smart with your finances, the bank does offer a wide range of products giving you the ability to do all your banking in one place. The bank also has the best mix of credit cards available. Chase comes with a strong MyBankTracker Rating of a B+.
Honorable Mention: TD Bank
#1 in Convenience, Strong Rates Among Big Banks, Manageable Account Fees
Best Feature: Branch Hours
Operating along the East Coast, TD Bank and its 1,298 branches across 15 states stay true to the slogan of being “America’s Most Convenient Bank.” TD Bank is one of the only banks open on Sundays and boasts some of the longest hours. TD bank is great if you prefer to do in-person banking.
Honorable Mention: PNC Bank
2,841 branches, Financially Strong, Growing, Innovative
Best Feature: Unique Product Offerings
With higher-than-average yields on their CD accounts and an innovative checking product (Virtual Banking) and mobile offering, PNC is continuing to blur the lines between big, small and online banks.
Banks in the Running: Chase, TD Bank, BBVA Compass, Fifth Third Bank, KeyBank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Citibank, BB&T, Regions, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, PNC Bank
Best Online Bank 2016 Q1
Winner: Ally Bank
Consistent Competitive Rates, Minimal to No Fees, Reimburses Some ATMs, Checking, Savings and CDs
Best Feature: One Stop Banking
If you’re like many American’s and have seen your time standing in branches disappear, it may be time to go with an online bank. Ally Bank is a great do-it-all bank to make the switch. It is also a three-time winner of our Best Online Bank award. With strong online and mobile banking, along with consistent competitive rates when compared to other online banks, you can’t go wrong with making Ally your main day-to-day bank. Now it is worth pointing out that in the past year, Ally has been making a few changes to their perks, which do point to signs of this scrappy bank becoming more mainstream, from the elimination of the ability to use any ATM without paying fees to a more traditional reimbursement of up to $10 when ATMs are used outside the All Points Network and its 60,000+ ATMs. The bank also just introduced tiered rates to its Savings and CD products, which could be a sign of needing high balances to score those competitive rates. But even with these changes, Ally’s no maintenance fees, and $0 minimum balances have allowed it to keep its A+ rating with MyBankTracker and position as Best Online Bank.
Honorable Mention: Simple
Mobile First, Great Customer Service, Not Rate Focused
Best Feature: Mobile Banking
Those who use Simple absolutely love it. This mobile first bank is definitely for those who prefer a full digital experience. If you are expecting strong rates, Simple isn’t for you. They also hold your money a little longer than we would like when making transfers, and their purchase management features only work if you use their debit card. That said, if customer experience is a priority, you wouldn’t find a better online bank. Simple really is the banking relationship to manage your money thanks to their features to pause your debit card and in-app messaging. Additionally, now that they are backed by BBVA Compass, Simple no longer charges fees for overdraft, non-ATM when using BBVA ATMs domestic and international, card replacement among others.
Honorable Mention: MyCBB
Do It All Banking with Checking, Money Market and CDs
Best Feature: Absolutely No Fees
As a recent winner of best Money Market Account, MyCBB is a great alternative to Ally Bank. As a bank with competitive online rates and absolutely no fees, not even overdraft on their Checking, you can bank confidently with MyCBB, knowing your money is with a bank that wants you to earn, not lose. Their mobile and online banking could use an improvement, but they offer the necessary features to meet your day-to-day banking needs. This all-in-one bank is a great an option if earning money with your checking account is a main focus.
Banks in the Running: Nationwide Bank, Bank of Internet, Discover Bank, Capital One 360, UFB Direct, Sallie Bank, TIAA Direct, American Express, Synchrony Bank, GE Capital, EverBank, Incredible Bank, Barclays Bank, My Savings Direct
Best Midsize Bank: Northeast 2016 Q1
Winner: Capital One
878 Branches in 10 States, Mobile Banking, and Large Assortment of Product Options
Best Feature: High Rates & Quality Online Banking
It is Capital One’s ability to combine its offering with Capital One 360 that makes it our continued first choice for the best northeast regional midsize bank. Though Capital One’s rating is a C+, it’s caused by its limited branch options compared to its size and location. But if you are lucky enough to have a one of their 850 branches in your neighborhood, you would be hard pressed not to choose them. Their High-Yield Checking account offers a 0.40% APY on balances above $5,000 for the first 12 months and then 0.20% after that. Pair this with their zero ATM fees and $15 monthly reimbursement and you have one of the best checking accounts for a brick-and-mortar bank in the nation. Their Essential Savings also beats many of today’s leading online banks with a 1.10% APY for deposits over $10,000. If you are torn between choosing traditional or online, Capital One option to quickly switch to their online-only bank, Capital One 360 and its A+ rating, is a great alternative.
Honorable Mention: First Niagara
394 branches in 4 states, Financially Strong, Low Fees
Best Feature: Checking Options
While its footprint is relatively small with branches only available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, First Niagara has a strong mix of checking products that can eliminate ATMs fees (arguably the most common fee you will incur) with a balance of $5,000 or more. They also have a strong MyBankTracker Rating of B+.
724 branches, Great Checking Account, Manageable Account Fees
Best Feature: Extra $20 Checking
Santander is unique and cutting edge — they choose to do things a little differently. If you’re in search of your next checking account, look no further than Santander’s Extra $20 Checking. It’s an account that pays you $20 a month when you meet reasonable requirements.
States: New England, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
Banks in the Running: Rockland Trust, Eastern Bank, Popular Community Bank, Northwest Savings Bank, First Niagara, People’s United, Santander, Webster, Northwest Savings, Apple Bank, Astoria Bank, Community Bank, First Commonwealth, First National Bank of Pennsylvania, Fulton Bank, HSBC, Hudson City Savings, Bank United
Best Midsize Bank: Midwest 2016 Q1
Winner: Huntington Bank
924 Branches, Financially Strong, Mobile Banking
Best Feature: Well-Rounded Bank
If you live in the Midwest, you can’t go wrong with Huntington Bank. Financially healthy, strong number of locations and an up-to-date online banking experience are only a few of the benefits of this institution. If personalization matters, just check out their Rewards Credit Card “Voice” that lets you select the categories in which you choose to earn cash back. Additionally, with online banking growing, we really like banks that are putting a focus on branch hour availability and Huntington did just that. Huntington branches are typically open more than 12 hours per week day and 6 hours on Saturday and Sunday. They also have a popular policy of opening 10 minutes early and staying open 10 minutes late in case you’re running a little late. Earning its third Best Midsize Bank for the Midwest region in a row, this MyBankTracker B+ rated bank is ready to handle any of your banking needs from deposits, to loans and wealth management.
Honorable Mention: First Merit
347 Branches in 5 States, Mobile Banking, Low Fees, Above Average Rates
Best Feature: Checking & Loan Discounts
With a strong MyBankTracker Rating of B+, First Merit is a well-rounded small regional bank. With a footprint in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, First Merit does a great job of rewarding its members who do both standard and loan banking with them. Members who set up automatic payments between their checking and loans will earn as much as a 0.5% discount.
Honorable Mention: Comerica Bank
481 Branches, Mobile Banking, and Product Options
Best Feature: Lower-Than-Average Fees
Comerica is one of the only banks we surveyed whose fees were on par or below the national average. With a great assortment of product options, Comerica positions itself as a bank for all customers, without costing you money.
States: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
Banks in the Running: Umpqua Bank, Columbia State Bank, Sterling Bank, Huntington, 1st Source Bank, Chemical Bank, City National Bank (WV), Comerica, Community Trust, FirstMerit Bank, Flagstaff, Independent, Old Nation, TCF National Bank, United Bank, WesBanco Bank, First Midwest, Anchor Bank, Associated Bank, Bank Mutual, Bank of the West, BMO Harris Bank, Bremer, First Bank (MO), MB Financial, UMB Bank
Best Midsize Bank: South 2016 Q1
Winner: First Citizens
566 Branches in 20 States, Product Options
Best Feature: Large Footprint
As a first time winner, First Citizens perfectly reflects what we are looking for in a traditional bank thanks to its large footprint and wide range of product offerings. Offering over 566 branches across 20 states, members of the bank can feel confident they can do their banking throughout the South. With a MyBankTracker rating of a B, First Citizens offers perks for having multiple accounts wit them making them a perfect bank for those looking to do all their banking with one institution.
Honorable Mention: Woodforest National Bank
752 Branches, Financially Strong, Online and Mobile Banking
Best Feature: Convenience
Perfect for the customer who is looking for a regional size bank that has a large number of branches. Though their fees are generally higher than the national average, they make up for it with above average deposit rates and extremely competitive loan rates.
Honorable Mention: BankUnited
106 Branches, Relationship Accounts, Mobile Banking
Best Feature: High Rates
BankUnited’s Relationship Checking and Savings accounts can earn customers a rate as high as a 1 percent. It’s made for customers who are active with their debit card. They also have a 15-month CD that is better than all of the online banks we surveyed.
States: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas
Banks in the Running: Arrest Bank, BancorpSouth Bank, Trustmark National Bank, Whitney Bank, Frost Bank, Amegy Bank, Comerica Bank, First Financial Bank (TX), International Bank of Commerce, Prosperity Bank, Woodforest National Bank, United Community Bank, First Citizens Bancorp, Synovus
Best Midsize Bank: West 2016 Q1
Winner: BBVA Compass
672 Branches in 7 States, Mobile Banking, and Product Options
Best Feature: Well-Rounded Bank
As last quarter’s South region winner, BBVA Compass has earned the best West Regional Bank thanks to its large assortment of products and recent updates to its mobile banking apps. It is apparent that BBVA is focused on being a truly great well-rounded bank and its MyBankTracker rating of an A highlights this. Their wide range of products from credit cards to mortgage loans as well as a free checking account with more favorable rates than many of their larger competitors is complemented by an app that monitors your transactions to prompt you to make a transfer, deposit a check, or set an account alert behavior changes or fees are approaching. Also, their limited branch options seem to matter less now that you can schedule a call with customer service through their app.
Honorable Mention: Bank of the West
571 branches, Mobile Banking, Innovative
Best Feature: Debit Rewards
Last quarters West Region Winner saw a drop in the MyBankTracker rating to B (from B+), mostly due to others in the category making improvements to their tools, rates and most importantly fees. That said, Bank of the West is still the only bank on our rewards list that is currently offering a debit rewards program and rewards customers for having relationship more than its competitors.
Honorable Mention: Zions Bank
145 Branches, Mobile Banking, Hight Rates
Best Feature: Online Products
We’re big fans of traditional banks that offer online products and that’s exactly what Zions is doing. Having earned a B+ MyBankTracker rating, Zions offers a free checking option that carries no monthly fees, and a savings account rate of 0.45 percent APY.
States: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington
Banks in the running: Rabobank, Bank of the West, California Bank & Trust, Union Bank, Arrest Bank, BancFirst, Bank of Oklahoma, FirstBank (CO), MidFirst Bank, Nevada State Bank, Zions First National Bank
Best Credit Union 2016 Q1
Winner: Pentagon Federal Credit Union
31 branches, Third Largest Credit Union in Assets and Members
Best Feature: Strong Package of Products
With more than 1 million members, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (“PenFed”) is one of the largest credit unions in the nation. It also has one of the strongest packages of products with competitive rates on both checking and credit cards. With a deposit of $25 and a donation of $15 to the National Military Family Association, you can sign up for their AccessAmerica Checking account. The AccessAmerica account carries no minimum balance, a monthly fee that can be avoided with a balance of $500, an interest rate of 0.44% (depends on balance) and access to 56,000 Free ATMs. PenFed is a smart alternative to a traditional bank, as they also offer a competitive credit card with an APR of 9.99%, 5% back on gas and three points on groceries. PenFed also offers auto loans, mortgages and insurance. Although they have many solid products to choose from, their subpar mobile banking platform still has room for improvement. PenFed received a A+ MyBankTracker rating.
Honorable Mention: Alliant Credit Union
9 Branches, High Rates, Mobile Banking
Best Feature: Higher-Than-Average Interest Rates
For the customer who wants great rates and the option to bank with a credit union, Alliant’s checking and savings accounts offer extremely competitive rates — 0.65% and 0.95%, respectively. For CDs, they are on par with Ally Bank (winner for MyBankTracker’s Best Online Bank) and many of the other online banks surveyed. Alliant Credit Union is open to those who reside in Chicago, work at a qualifying company or are related to an existing Alliant member. All other prospective members nationwide can contribute $10 to “Foster Care to Success” (a nonprofit for college-bound foster youth) in order to join.
Honorable Mention: Navy Federal Credit Union
278 Branches, Mobile Banking, Largest Credit Union
Best Feature: Exceptional Mobile Banking, With Credit Union Perks
The nation’s largest credit union is also one of the most technologically savvy. If online and mobile banking are important to you, look no further than Navy Federal Credit Union. With a MyBankTracker rating of A+, the only reason it’s not our winner is because it’s only open to those who are affiliated with the Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Coast Guard or National Guard.
Banks in the running: Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Conexus Credit Union, Lake Michigan Credit Union, NASA Federal Credit Union