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The 8 Safest Banks With an Extra Account Protection

The most secure big banks that offer extra layers of protection from fraud, theft, and hackers. Here are the 8 safest banks in the U.S.

money vault

All banks offer some form of protection against theft. However, some banks have more security features than others, and there are several ways you can verify just how secure your bank really is when it comes to your money.

Here is a list of big banks that provide two or more extra security features, with data provided by Lifehacker. 

Additional details, definitions, and banks will be discussed below.

Bank Security Features

Banks Money Guaranteed Against Unauthorized Access Next-Day Cash Reimbursement Single Use Card Numbers
Ally Bank x
Bank of America x x x
Capital One x
Chase x x
Charles Schwab x
Citibank x x
HSBC Bank x
Wells Fargo x

The Verdict

Citibank and Bank of America offer the most protection for their customers, each providing three additional dimensions of security.

The following are explanations of the additional features card issuers offer.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication requires an individual to provide two dimensions of identification when logging into an account in order to verify their authenticity.

For instance, when logging into your account from a new computer, you might be required to enter your password as well as paste in a time-sensitive code the bank system sends to your email address.

Only after that will you be able to access your account.

Guarantee Against Unauthorized Access

Some banks guarantee your money, should someone hack into your account. These institutions include Charles Schwab, SunTrust, First Tennessee Bank, HSBC, and Ally Bank. 

Next-Day Cash Reimbursement

When disputes are being settled (such as fraud), some banks offer next-day cash reimbursement so their customers have that money in the meantime, instead of waiting months before they get their cash back.

Bank of America and Chase are two big banks that do this, and Discover and Citibank send their customers emergency money if customers' cards are lost or stolen while traveling.

Debit Card Blocking

This nifty feature allows you to halt all activity on your debit card, in case it's lost or stolen.

Your bank's mobile app or website will allow you to deactivate the card and reactivate the card as well. Simple and Capital One banks offer this.

Single-Use Card Numbers

One-time use virtual account numbers allow you to shop online, fraud-free, and keep your actual card number free of risk.

Citibank and Bank of America offer this service, as well as MasterCard.

Customers who sign up for free trials in addition to the general online protection may be able to experience shopping with these virtual accounts.

EMV Chip Cards

EMV chip cards are the standard in credit cards.

Essentially, these cards, known as chip-and-pin or chip-and-signature cards differ from the typical magnetic swipe cards because they encrypt the account information and change it with each transaction.

They're also more difficult to clone.

Liability

In the U.S., fraudulent credit card charges are covered by banks, and can be phoned in or addressed via customer service online. 

If the card is used physically, you could be liable for up to $50 of the purchase, but issuers tend to waive that charge.

As for debit cards, customers that report a lost debit card before charges are incurred aren't liable for purchases.

Within two business days of getting one's monthly statement, customers who notify the bank are liable for up to $50.

After that you could lose up to $500, and if the bank isn't notified for 60 days, you might be liable for all the charges.

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Ask a Question

mike_guilmette
Monday, 24 May 2021 1:23 PM
<p>Credit cards only. No longer use any debit card or bank card online any more. Some cards are locked to prevent use, the rest all have transaction alerts that get sent to my phone, which in practice is never more than 60 seconds of delay. Thinking about transitioning to OTU cards but I haven't vetted that solution yet.</p>
chinookisaacs
Monday, 24 May 2021 3:13 AM
<p>WE use Citibank through our Costco membership and they handle every dispute and make sure I get the money back. You might want to try them. Their service for me has been outsta<br>ending Sorry about Bof A.</p><p>What kind of security do you have for your online buying?</p>
mike_guilmette
Sunday, 23 May 2021 9:05 PM
<p>Yep, been there too! Triple charged once and they said there wasn't anything they could do. Left them right away. A decade at my new bank and no issues.</p>
disqus_B4jf5T3Gvr
Friday, 30 Apr 2021 6:17 AM
<p>No Bank of America is one of the better banks when it comes to unauthorized transactions. The only better bank is Discover Bank, easily the bank bank I've ever used in my life, with the nicest customer service in Salt Lake City. <br>But BoA. I've had to file many disputes because I lose my card a lot, have bad luck, order from places that are scams and they give me temporary credit right away and are usually pretty nice. At one point I had over 20 disputes going and only then did they delay my temp. credit 10 business days. I even lost a $1000 Amazon dispute, filed an appeal and won that. I've won about 20 disputes so far and have not lost one totally yet.</p><p>Chase and Citibank won't let me open an account with them so I have no idea how they are but they must be trash if they won't even give you a chance to open a simple checking account.</p><p>There are so many terrible banks that make you fill out paperwork, offer no temp credit and you lose the dispute in 2 weeks.</p>
pearlized
Saturday, 02 Jan 2021 10:41 PM
<p>you had way better luck than myself. they reversed my charges then 6 weeks later put them back on my card. they are part of the scam at this point. So much for online buying. That is officially over for the foreseeable future.</p>
pearlized
Saturday, 02 Jan 2021 10:39 PM
<p>I can not believe that BofA is on this list. They are the absolute worst bank in this country. I have now had my credit card # stolen online 5 times in the last 5 month and they will not reverse any of the charges. NONE. I have been with Bof A for over 25 years and I am officially done. Here I am researching bank and this foolish article thinks BofA is secure. What a joke. I am cutting my cards right now and will move all my money from BofA within the next two months. And I will encourage anyone and everyone to stop banking with them.</p>
debahamas
Sunday, 27 Sep 2020 4:13 AM
<p>I've read the remarks about the service and security at BOA and I really beg the differ. I can only speak from my experience recently when my bank card was somehow hacked and used all over the place. I contacted the support line of the bank and immediately they assisted in shutting down the card and in a few days I had a new card. All the fraudulent uses were deposited back to my account within two weeks. <br> Their customer services was impressive when I had to deal with them concerning the matter.</p>
disqus_OcILAk8jt3
Sunday, 23 Aug 2020 2:04 PM
<p>Does that include the FRAUDULENT accounts they create in your name in order to launder cartel money??</p>
cemego
Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020 5:38 PM
<p>A bank's primary purpose is to SECURE YOUR MONEY. If a bank cannot SECURE YOUR MONEY they should be fined. The Monopoly board said it best, "Bank error in your favor. Collect $200." They put this rule back in place, I bet banking security would improve. It would never happen as our current administration doesn't care about people and their money.</p><p>I had an account with PNC bank for 3 years and my account security was violated 4 times in 3 years. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE and a simple reversing of the charges is NOT ACCEPTABLE.</p><p>I am now shopping for a bank that provides better security. But how do we know? How can we tell which bank secures money for people? It doesn't seem like ANY. :(</p>
Friday, 13 Mar 2020 1:53 PM
<p>It's not next day reimbursement against unauthorized access. It's 60 business days. I know.</p><p>A complete stranger walked into a Bank of America in Spartanburg, SC and emptied my bank account of a big chunk of change recently. The bank teller just handed it right over.</p><p>Fake checks scams often entail using an out of state business check with a value between $1200 - $2000. Bank tellers should know this. This person deposited two of them into my account and withdrew several thousands. Both checks were from small businesses in New York City. I feel like this might have been a red flag.</p><p>What's even scarier is Bank of America's appalling lack of the use of ArtificiaI Intelligence and Machine Learning. A simple AI rule could have thrown up about 20 red flags. Let's see, I never go into banks. Ever. I never go to banks in Spartanburg, SC. I live in a completely different part of the US. I never deposit checks in person. It's always through the mobile app. I never withdraw cash in large amounts. I have no reason to be in SC, depositing checks from NYC.</p><p>Let me reiterate. If you bank with Bank of America, this could happen to you. They lack modern AI security controls and do not properly train their tellers.</p>
chazpadalino
Sunday, 15 Dec 2019 10:41 PM
<p>Katherine, you article is a LIE. My checking and savings accounts with Bank of America were hacked and ALL my money was used to pay an American Express account in a foreign country. Bank of America DID NOTHING!!! Do some research before writing an article that will mislead hard working Americans to do business with these blood suckers. I am sure you will have no reply to this.</p>
Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 9:26 AM
<p>My friend card wasn't stolen but a about 295 was taking off her account and they knew since September but didn't notify her at all. What can she do about that?</p>
disqus_SuKaz8YJlO
Tuesday, 15 Oct 2019 3:38 AM
<p>BBVA has the best, the will send you a security token</p>
awknstar
Monday, 26 Aug 2019 10:26 PM
<p>Wells Fargo has Two-Factor Authentication. So you obviously made a mistake.</p>
Friday, 18 Aug 2017 4:50 AM
<p>I have been hacked twice at BankAmerica in the last 6 weeks. The problem is their own employees don't enforce their security procedures. If they did, there wouldn't be an issue. My money is moving elsewhere.</p>
SimonMBT
Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 10:31 PM
<p>Cody, do you know if Bank of America ever figured out what happened to allow the breach to happen to your uncle's account?</p>
Cryo7c1
Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 8:37 PM
<p>My uncle was using Bank of America recently when someone stole $250K+ from a settlement from his account. They didn't give it all back to him.. I'd stay away from BofA if you expect security. His account was easily breached.</p>
ClaireMBT
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 7:38 PM
<p>Hey Sven, thanks for the info! I tested out the top link for myself and typed in the following banks. I thought Ally would rank higher than Chase or BofA, since they're an online-only bank.</p><p>Here are the grades they received: <br>1. Chase - B<br>2. Bank of America - B<br>3. U.S. Bank - B<br>4. Ally Bank - B</p>

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