The Best Bank in Every U.S. State

Updated: Oct 23, 2017 3:50 PM ET

Could you walk away from bank branches completely? For most people, the answer is still no.

The way Americans bank has evolved dramatically in the past decade, with a combined two-thirds of consumers saying they prefer to manage their finances via phone or online banking, according to the American Bankers Association. Convenience is paramount for consumers, says Rob Rubin, director at bank consultancy firm Novantas, and that means constant access. "Mobility is where consumers are defining convenience today," he says. "Can I bank wherever I want? Can I have access to cash whenever I want?"

Yet most people still aren't ready to go without a physical outpost. More than 70% of consumers visit banks regularly, J.D. Power's most recent U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study found.

Notes: Based on the 90 brick-and-mortar banks, 50 credit unions, and 15 online banks in MONEY’s universe. Outside ATM fees are an average based on accounts that charged fees for using an out-of-network ATM; overdraft fees are also an average. Interest on savings is a median based on all accounts, including some that required a minimum balance. 

It turns out we're demanding bank customers: We want online banking capabilities to handle routine activities, but we also want at least occasional access to physical banks and human help. That's true even of 18- to 34-year-olds, who are less likely to go 100% online than their Gen X peers, Novantas finds.

That's why this year, with data from Bankrate.com, MONEY reinvented its Best Banks in America analysis. We identified the best online bank and best stand-alone CD, but we also chose the best local bank in every state. (Bankrate also picked a few winners of its own.)

To pick the champions below, we required minimum balances that were $1,500 or less, and we assumed that you could put up with online statements to avoid fees. You can see full methodology here, or scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Why bother switching banks? After all, unwinding direct deposits and online bill payments can be a real hassle. But the payoff is real. While some banks have reintroduced no-fee checking accounts, punitive fees—including for overdrafts and outside ATM use—continue to climb, on average. Interest payouts are rare for checking accounts and meager even on most savings accounts.

Those trends don't show any signs of reversing, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. So if you're paying a monthly service fee or storing a large balance in a no-interest checking account to avoid a fee, it's time to make a switch to a top bank, McBride says.

The good news: Some banks do buck the trend. And MONEY estimates that bank with no maintenance fees or ATM fees could save you $142 a year, vs. typical account fees. Add in a savings account with a leading interest rate and you could net another $25—or even more. Read on to find out the best banks in America, so you can put some extra money in your pocket.

Alabama

Redstone Federal Credit Union

Why It Wins: Redstone's fees are below average across the board, and its Share Savings Account pays an interest rate three times as high as the next highest rate on savings accounts available in the state.

Caveat: There is a $1 out-of-network ATM fee. To avoid that, use a Co-Op network, Presto, or Allpoint ATM, which together have more than 900 locations in the state.

Branches: 22

Eligibility: Open to members or employees of 1,500 organizations in Alabama

Key Terms
Share Savings Account
Monthly fee: $0
Interest: 0.45%

Alaska

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

Why It Wins: Broad membership rules and no ATM fees pushed Alaska USA far ahead of other big banks here.

Caveat: There are $5 fees on both basic checking and savings accounts, but both are easily waived.

Branches: 36

Eligibility: All state residents

Key Terms
Convenience Checking
Monthly fee: $5, waived with recurring direct deposits
Outside ATM fee: $0

Arizona

Washington Federal

Why It Wins: Washington Federal is the only bank MONEY surveyed in Arizona that offers basic checking without a monthly fee or an out-of-network ATM fee.

Caveat: If you write a lot of checks, note that Washington Federal's Basic Checking allows only 25 free checks a month. Beyond that, they're 15¢ each.

Branches: 31

Key Terms
Basic Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $0

Arkansas

Arvest Bank

Why It Wins: Arvest is a top bank for its low fees—including a $17 overdraft fee, roughly half the industry average—plus one of the highest J.D. Power scores in its region for customer satisfaction.

Caveat: You can't waive the $2 fee for out-of-network ATMs, so be careful where you withdraw cash.

Branches: 113

Key Terms
Free Blue
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $2

California (TIE)

OneWest Bank

Why It Wins: OneWest offers bank accounts without monthly fees and with free out-of-network ATM visits. The bank also has a broader network—especially in Southern California—than other banks or credit unions here with competitive account terms.

Caveat: OneWest's reputation has been marred by reports of aggressive reverse-mortgage and foreclosure practices.

Branches: 70

Key Terms
Personal Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $0

First Tech FCU

Why It Wins: First Tech's bank account terms are among the most impressive MONEY saw. Its rewards checking account, for example, pays 1.58% interest and gives you free out-of-network ATM use. To qualify, you need one direct deposit and 12 debit card purchases per month.

Caveat: There are only six branches, largely in Northern California. The credit union is part of the Co-Op branch network, but count on those only for routine needs, such as deposits or money orders.

Branches: 6

Eligibility: Work for one of 775-plus tech companies or join the Financial Fitness Association for $8 a year.

Key Terms
Dividend Rewards Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0 if rewards qualifications met, otherwise six free per month and then $2
Interest: 1.58% if rewards qualifications met, otherwise 0.05%

Colorado

First National Bank of Omaha

Why It Wins: First National is the only bank in Colorado whose basic checking account doesn't charge for out-of-network ATMs. More unusual is the bank's generous $20 threshold for overdrafts; it also forgives one per year.

Caveat: There are only 24 locations here. Denver and Boulder are covered, but some areas of the state have no physical branches.

Branches: 24

Key Terms
Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0

Connecticut

KeyBank

Why It Wins: KeyBank is the only bank with a broad presence here to offer an account with no monthly fee. Its Hassle-Free Checking also eliminates overdraft fees.

Caveat: With the Hassle-Free account, you'll still face out-of-network ATM fees, and you cannot write paper checks. Interest on savings is negligible.

Branches: 66

Key Terms
Hassle-Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $2.50

Delaware

Fulton Bank

Why It Wins: Fulton has both a free checking account and interest-bearing checking on which it's relatively easy to waive the monthly fee. The bank is also a top regional scorer in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction survey.

Caveat: Fulton charges out-of-network ATM fees and has an above-average overdraft fee.

Branches: 10

Key Terms
Interest Checking
Monthly fee: $10, waived with a recurring direct deposit or $1,000 minimum daily balance
Outside ATM fee: $2.50
Interest: 0.02%

District of Columbia

Alliant Credit Union

Why It Wins: The interest on Alliant's High Rate Checking account puts even most savings accounts to shame. And its 1.16% savings account rate is one of the highest among all the banks MONEY evaluated. Plus, the credit union reimburses $20 a month in outside ATM operators' surcharges.

Caveat: There's only one branch in the District, and just a dozen nationwide.

Branches: 1

Eligibility: Donate at least $10 to Foster Care for Success or work for one of 250 partner companies.

Key Terms
High Rate Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0
Interest: 0.65% if you receive e-statements and one electronic deposit (including direct, ATM, or mobile deposits) a month.

Florida

Suncoast Credit Union

Why It Wins: Suncoast pays a bit of interest on checking, and its ATM fee is easily avoided: Between the Co-Op network and Presto machines in Publix grocery stores, you have in-network access to more than 3,000 free ATMs in Florida.

Caveat: Live outside Suncoast's coverage area? Space Coast Credit Union, on Florida's east coast, is a solid choice, and Fifth Third Bank, with 150 branches statewide, is the J.D. Power customer satisfaction winner for the state.

Branches: 64

Eligibility: Live, work, attend school, or worship in one of 21 counties in southwestern Florida.

Key Terms
Smart Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $1.50
Interest: 0.05%

Georgia

Renasant Bank

Why It Wins: If you set up direct deposit and use your debit card 10 times a month, you can reap a pretty generous interest rate on checking—higher than what's paid on many of our winning banks' savings accounts. Renasant's 0.26% rate on savings—with no extra requirements—is also decent.

Caveat: No location near you? Bank of the Ozarks, with 71 branches, was also a strong contender here.

Branches: 41

Key Terms
Rewards Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $0
Interest: 0.76% if you meet requirements

Hawaii (TIE)

Bank of Hawaii

Why It Wins: There's no monthly fee for Bank of Hawaii's basic checking account, and its 0.04% rate on savings is double what First Hawaiian Bank pays.

Caveat: The out-of-network ATM fee is higher than the national average, so stick with one of the bank's 343 in-state machines.

Branches: 64

Key Terms
Convenience Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $2.75

First Hawaiian Bank

Why It Wins: Like its main competitor, First Hawaiian offers free checking; its outside ATM fee, meanwhile, is slightly lower. The $5 fee on its savings account can be waived with a $300 minimum balance.

Caveat: Withdraw cash from one of the bank's 284 ATMs or pay the $2.50 fee.

Branches: 57

Key Terms
Totally Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $2.50

Idaho

Washington Federal

Why It Wins: Washington Federal makes it easy to avoid both maintenance and out-of-network ATM fees on checking, and its basic savings pays far more interest than any other Idaho bank MONEY analyzed.

Caveat: Both iPhone and Android phone users give the mobile app below-average scores.

Branches: 24

Key Terms
Basic Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $0

Illinois

First Midwest Bank

Why It Wins: First Midwest wins with free checking, geographic reach, and above-average customer satisfaction, per J.D. Power. It charges above-average outside ATM fees but offers 1,300 free ATMs through the Allpoint Network.

Caveat: If you live near Chicago, consider Alliant Credit Union, which has outstanding interest rates and no ATM fees—but just three branches.

Branches: 104

Key Terms
Simply Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $3

Indiana

Huntington Bank

Why It Wins: Huntington's benefits help make it a regional winner in J.D. Power's customer service ratings. One rare perk: You get a 24-hour grace period to deposit money before being charged for an overdraft. The Huntington 5 account refunds some ATM fees and pays a bit of interest, but you need $5,000 in combined bank accounts to avoid a monthly fee.

Caveat: If you don't qualify for the Huntington 5, there's a high out-of-network ATM fee. Plan withdrawals accordingly.

Branches: 43

Key Terms
Asterisk Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $3

Iowa

University of Iowa Community Credit Union

Why It Wins: There's no monthly fee on this credit union's basic account, and you can easily avoid the outside ATM fee: All accounts have access to more than 200 ATMs in Iowa through the Allpoint network, and if you live outside Johnson County, you can get seven free out-of-network ATM transactions per month. The 0.1% interest rate on basic savings topped the other banks MONEY evaluated in Iowa.

Caveat: The savings account allows just three free withdrawals per month; after that, you'll pay $1.

Branches: 17

Eligibility: All Iowa residents

Key Terms
Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $1.75

Kansas

First National Bank of Omaha

Why It Wins: Free checking and savings accounts, free out-of-network ATMs, and one free overdraft a year: First National Bank has a lot to offer its clientele. The icing on the cake? Terrific customer service, according to J.D. Power's ratings.

Caveat: In many parts of the state, including Wichita and much of the west, you'll be hundreds of miles from a physical branch.

Branches: 7

Key Terms
Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0

Kentucky

WesBanco

Why It Wins: A below-average ATM fee and an easily waived monthly fee make WesBanco unique in Kentucky. The bank also ranks third in its region in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction study.

Caveat: Customers call the mobile app unreliable.

Branches: 19

Key Terms
Basic Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $1.50

Louisiana

Chase Bank

Why It Wins: Chase had by far the most branches of the banks MONEY looked at in Louisiana. That was especially important here, where every single bank charged out-of-network ATM fees of at least $2.

Caveat: Interest paid on savings is minimal—and if you miss the direct deposit or balance requirements for the basic Total Checking account, you'll face a steep $12 monthly fee.

Branches: 144

Key Terms
Total Checking
Monthly fee:$12, waived with $500 in direct deposits, $1,500 daily balance, or combined $5,000 in Chase accounts
Outside ATM fee: $2.50

Maine

TD Bank

Why It Wins: Most banks MONEY analyzed in Maine charge both monthly and out-of-network ATM fees on basic checking. TD Bank offered more branches (helping you stick to in-network ATMs), an easy way to waive monthly fees, and a reputation for great service.

Caveat: The $3 outside ATM fee and $15 monthly fee are both above national averages. If you live near Portland, consider NBT Bank's eChecking account.

Branches: 45

Key Terms
Convenience Checking
Monthly fee:$12, waived with $500 in direct deposits, $1,500 daily balance, or combined $5,000 in Chase accounts
Outside ATM fee: $2.50

Maryland

Capital One

Why It Wins: Capital One boasts a strong J.D. Power customer service score in the region, a large branch presence, and a decent 0.5% interest rate for its Essential Savings.

Caveat: Costs can add up if you don't use in-network ATMs or follow rules to waive the monthly fee.

Branches: 80

Key Terms
Essential Checking
Monthly fee: $8.95, waived with a $300 daily balance or $250 direct deposit
Outside ATM fee: $2

Massachusetts

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)

Why It Wins: ATM fees are low, and if you meet its requirements—including getting a credit card and setting up direct deposit—fees are waived altogether. The capper: 5.12% interest on the first $1,000 in a savings account, paying you more than $50 a year.

Caveat: Branches are limited. If you live in the Boston or Cape Cod area, Rockland State & Trust has accounts that are also impressive.

Branches: 18

Eligibility: Residents of Chelmsford, Lowell, Tewksbury, and Worcester; employees of over 700 local companies; and members of eight organizations—including one with low $10 dues.

Key Terms
Primary Savings
Monthly fee: $0
Interest: 5.12% on the first $1,000, then 0.05%

Michigan

Lake Michigan Credit Union

Why It Wins: This state offered a few strong options. Lake Michigan clinched it with remarkably high interest on its checking account and $15 a month in free ATM charges, if you meet its requirements (see below)—plus low ATM fees.

Caveat: If you don't set up direct deposit, make 10 debit card purchases a month, and use online banking, the checking account pays no interest—and you lose the $15 in ATM credits.

Branches: 39

Eligibility: Any resident of the Lower Peninsula, among other options.

Key Terms
Max Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $1
Interest: 3%

Minnesota

Wings Financial Credit Union

Why It Wins: Wings was the only bank MONEY considered in Minnesota to offer a checking account with no monthly fee and several free out-of-network ATM transactions. It also pays a bit of interest.

Caveat: There are few branches outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Branches: 18

Eligibility: Residents of 13 counties around Minneapolis/St. Paul, aviation workers or retirees, or via a $5 gift to the Wings Financial Foundation, among other options.

Key Terms
First Class Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $2
Interest: 0.05%

Mississippi

Renasant Bank

Why It Wins: If you can set up one direct deposit and make 10 debit card transactions a month, the Rewards Checking account pays sweet interest. You also get free out-of-network ATM use and $25 a month in refunds of other ATM operators' charges.

Caveat: If you don't meet the Rewards Checking requirements, you'll face outside ATM fees of $2.50. In that case, consider Trustmark Bank: It has similar fees but 111 branches, which may make it easier to find free ATMs.

Branches: 84

Key Terms
Rewards Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $0
Interest: 0.76% if you meet requirements

Missouri

Simmons Bank

Why It Wins: The ATM fee on Simmons's basic checking account is significantly lower than at any other Missouri bank MONEY evaluated, and the Simply Savings Account's interest rate (0.1%) is much higher than any other bank with a large presence here.

Caveat: The bank's Simply Checking account charges for paper checks. If you write a lot of these, you can upgrade to Classic Checking; you'll have to maintain a $500 daily minimum balance to avoid a $6 monthly fee.

Branches: 26

Key Terms
Simply Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $1

Montana

Glacier Bank

Why It Wins: Glacier is the only bank MONEY surveyed in Montana that offered free checking with some interest and low overdraft fees. The bank's $2 out-of-network ATM fee—which can't be waived—is also lower than those of in-state competitors we reviewed.

Caveat: There are fewer than 20 Glacier branches, largely in northwest Montana—although customers can also bank at 50 affiliated branches in the state.

Branches: 19

Key Terms
Easy Interest Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $2
Interest: 0.01%

Nebraska

First National Bank of Omaha

Why It Wins: First National Bank of Omaha was the only bank MONEY evaluated in Nebraska that had no monthly fee or outside ATM charges. Plus, you get one free overdraft per year, and it's a top performer in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction study.

Caveat: None

Branches: 47

Key Terms
Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0

Nevada

Washington Federal

Why It Wins: The Basic Checking account has no monthly fees, no outside ATM fees, and a $25 overdraft fee that is 24% below the Nevada average.

Caveat: There are relatively few branches here, although the bank offers free use of over 260 MoneyPass ATMs in Nevada.

Branches: 11

Key Terms
Basic Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $0

New Hampshire (TIE)

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)

Why It Wins: Sign up for direct deposit, e-statements, and a DCU credit card or loan, and you get a checking account with no monthly fee, no out-of-network ATM fees, and a $15 monthly rebate of other ATM operators' surcharges—plus generous interest on modest savings. Customers have access to the Co-Op network, with over 60 shared branches and 170 ATMs in the state.

Caveat: Without the Co-Op locations, DCU has only a few branches here.

Branches: 4

Eligibility: Employees of over 150 local companies, and members of eight organizations—including one with a low $10 annual fee.

Key Terms
Primary Savings
Monthly fee: $0
Interest: 5.12% on the first $1,000, then 0.05% on remaining balance

TD Bank

Why It Wins: With an above-average customer service score from J.D. Power, and higher rates on savings than other banks here, TD is a good choice for those looking for a bank with a wide network of branches.

Caveat: The only way to avoid ATM fees at TD is with an account that requires a $2,500 daily balance to waive a monthly fee—too high for our standards.

Branches: 64, and one drive-through location

Key Terms
Convenience Checking
Monthly fee: $15, waived with a $100 daily balance
Outside ATM fee: $3

New Jersey

Provident Bank

Why It Wins: Provident Bank stands out in a crowded market. Its Smart Checking account offers high interest rates and no out-of-network ATM fees—as long as you make 10 debit purchases, access your account online, and set up e-statements and one direct deposit per month. Even if you don't hit those marks, it's still a free checking account—and you can qualify again the following month.

Caveat: If you don't have a Provident near you—or just need more branch locations—check out TD Bank, a winner in other states, which has 250 New Jersey locations.

Key Terms
Smart Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0 when requirements met
Interest: 1.51% for balances up to $15,000

New Mexico

Washington Federal

Why It Wins: Washington Federal is the only bank MONEY analyzed in New Mexico that doesn't charge out-of-network ATM fees on basic checking; you also avoid a monthly fee.

Caveat: Washington Federal's app earns about two stars in iTunes and Google Play app stores.

Branches: 27

Key Terms
Basic Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $0

New York

Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Why It Wins: It's rare to find a fee-free checking account paying 1% interest. To earn that rate, you need to get e-statements, set up direct deposit, and make 10 monthly purchases on your debit card. (Even if you don't hit those marks, the account is still free.)

Caveat: Branches are limited to New York City and Long Island. If you don't want to rely on the 215 shared Co-Op branches and you live elsewhere in New York, check out Northwest Bank or NBT Bank.

Branches: 32

Eligibility: Anyone can join by opening a savings account with $5.

Key Terms
Bonus Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0
Interest: 1% if you meet the requirements

North Carolina

Bank of the Ozarks

Why It Wins: Bank of the Ozarks is the only bank we saw here offering free checking without forcing you to jump through hoops to duck a monthly fee. Plus, if you sign up for direct deposit on MyChoice Checking, you'll get four free out-of-network ATM transactions each month.

Caveat: The bank's Personal Savings account has a low 0.05% interest rate.

Branches: 24

Key Terms
MyChoice Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $1—but if you meet requirements, first four per month are free

North Dakota

U.S. Bank

Why It Wins: U.S. Bank topped the regional average on J.D. Power's regional customer satisfaction survey and has the most branches here of any bank MONEY surveyed.

Caveat: If you don't meet the requirements to waive the monthly fees, Bank of the West and Great Western Bank both have more flexible fee-free checking—but neither has more than a branch or two in-state.

Branches: 24

Key Terms
Easy Checking
Monthly fee: $6.95 with e-statements, waived with $1,000 in direct deposits a month or $1,500 monthly balance
Outside ATM fee: $2.50

Ohio

Wright-Patt Credit Union

Why It Wins: Wright-Patt tops Ohio rivals by offering a checking account with no monthly fee and a few free out-of-network ATM transactions a month; you also get access to about 340 Co-Op branches. Another plus: MagnifyMoney's 2017 Mobile Banking App Study ranked Wright-Patt's app in the top 10 nationally.

Caveat: Eligibility is limited, and most of Wright-Patt's branches are near Columbus and Dayton. If you live elsewhere in the state, check out Huntington, which also offers free checking and has over 500 branches throughout Ohio—and is a J.D. Power customer service winner.

Branches: 31

Eligibility: Those who live, work, worship, or attend school in most areas of Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati; current or former Wright State University employees and students; and military personnel, among other options.

Key Terms
Totally Fair Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: at least two free, then 60¢

Oklahoma

Tinker Federal Credit Union

Why It Wins: Tinker offers a checking account with no monthly or out-of-network ATM fees, as well as a savings account that pays 0.25% interest—higher than many in-state rivals.

Caveat: The whopping 1.49% rate on Click Checking has a few restrictions: You'll need to make 10 debit card purchases, pay at least one bill online, log in monthly, and get e-statements and a monthly direct deposit. Eligibility is also somewhat limited.

Branches: 32

Eligibility: Residents of three Oklahoma counties plus the Oklahoma City Empowerment Zone, and military personnel, among other options.

Key Terms
Click Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0
Interest: 1.49% on up to $30,000, if requirements met

Oregon

First Tech Federal Credit Union

Why It Wins: First Tech's signature account, Dividend Rewards Checking, pays 1.58%—the highest of any bank in Oregon that MONEY analyzed. Via the Co-Op network, you can bank at over 80 additional affiliates in Oregon, plus another 650 ATMs.

Caveat: Dividend Rewards has several restrictions. If you're not a debit card user, opt for the no-fee Checking Plus account.

Branches: 14

Eligibility: Employees of over 775 private companies and the state government, plus Lane County residents. Or join a participating nonprofit like the Financial Fitness Association ($8 a year).

Key Terms
Dividend Rewards Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0
Interest: 1.58% if requirements met

Pennsylvania

Northwest Bank

Why It Wins: Northwest wins for a checking account with neither monthly fees nor ATM fees, plus a broad branch footprint and a high customer service score from J.D. Power.

Caveat: While Northwest's terms are good, Philadelphia's Police & Fire Federal Credit Union is even better—albeit with far fewer branches. Its free checking pays 1% on your first $5,000—worth $50 a year.

Branches: 109, along with seven freestanding drive-through locations

Key Terms
MyNorthwest Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0

Rhode Island

Citizens Bank

Why It Wins: Waive the monthly fee with just one deposit (of any amount) during each statement period. That's one of the most flexible options among the Rhode Island banks MONEY surveyed, and Citizens also offers a broad branch footprint.

Caveat: The outside ATM fee is high. And Citizens' basic savings account pays only 0.01% on low balances. Do better on savings by adding a separate CD or online account.

Branches: 78

Key Terms
One Deposit Checking
Monthly fee: $9.99, waived with one deposit a month
Outside ATM fee: $3

South Carolina

Synovus

Why It Wins: Synovus wins with easy ways to waive monthly fees on both checking and savings accounts. The bank also gets a high customer service score from J.D. Power.

Caveat: You can't waive the outside ATM fee—although you get free ATMs in the state's 59 Publix stores.

Branches: 38

Key Terms
Access Checking
Monthly fee: $10, waived with $500 direct deposit or $1,000 daily balance
Outside ATM fee: $2.50

South Dakota

First National Bank of Omaha

Why It Wins: First National's Free Checking is easily the best account in South Dakota. There are no monthly or outside ATM fees, and no extra requirements. The bank ranks second regionally in J.D. Power customer service rankings.

Caveat: There are only four branches in the state.

Branches: 4

Key Terms
Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $0

Tennessee

First Tennessee Bank

Why It Wins: With plenty of branches and basic checking that makes it easy to waive a monthly fee, First Tennessee comes out ahead here. On its Select Checking, you even get one free overdraft per year.

Caveat: You'll earn a low 0.01% rate on savings.

Branches: 151

Key Terms
Express Checking
Monthly fee: $7, waived with direct deposit and e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $3

Texas

Frost Bank

Why It Wins: Frost has a checking account with an easily waived monthly fee and a broad physical footprint that includes 1,200 ATMs. It won top J.D. Power honors in Texas this year.

Caveat: San Antonio residents have one better option: Security Service Federal Credit Union, whose Power Checking has no monthly fee and a lower out-of-network ATM fee.

Branches: 136

Key Terms
Personal Account
Monthly fee: $8, waived with $100 direct deposit, $1,000 daily balance, or $5,000 in another account or loan
Outside ATM fee: $2

Utah

America First Federal Credit Union

Why It Wins: America First has a checking account that pays some interest with no monthly fees—and its Share Savings pays 0.1% interest on even minimal balances.

Caveat: The Co-Op network will give you access to over 500 free ATMs in Utah—but if you stray, you'll pay an outside ATM fee.

Branches: 107

Eligibility: Residents of or workers in five Utah counties, plus workers in Utah's food industry and employees of partner organizations.

Key Terms
Free Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $1.50
Interest: 0.05%

Vermont

NBT Bank

Why It Wins: NBT charges no monthly fee and has a low out-of-network ATM fee.

Caveat: If there's no NBT near you, check out TD Bank, a winner in other states that has 31 branches in Vermont.

Branches: 4

Key Terms
eChecking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $1.25
Interest: 0.01% starting with balances of $100

Virginia

Union Bank & Trust

Why It Wins: Union offers both free checking and interest-paying checking and savings accounts with easily waived fees. Its mobile apps get very high ratings of 4.6 from iPhone and Android phone users.

Caveat: Union has a high $36 overdraft fee.

Branches: 111

Key Terms
Interest Checking
Monthly fee: $10, waived with $750 daily balance
Outside ATM fee: First five free each month, then $2.50
Interest: 0.03%

Washington

Boeing Employees Credit Union

Why It Wins: BECU lets you avoid monthly and out-of-network fees on checking and savings, while paying incredible interest rates. On its Member Advantage Checking, you earn a whopping 4% on up to $500.

Caveat: BECU's locations are centered around Seattle. Elsewhere, consider Washington Federal, a multistate winner with over 82 branches here.

Branches: 46

Eligibility: Anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Washington.

Key Terms
Member Advantage Savings
Monthly fee: $0
Interest: 6% on up to $500, then 0.05%

West Virginia

WesBanco

Why It Wins: No monthly fees, low outside ATM fees, and high customer service scores from J.D. Power make WesBanco a winner.

Caveat: While the Statement Savings has an easily waived monthly fee, it pays just a 0.05% rate.

Branches: 47

Key Terms
Basic Checking
Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements
Outside ATM fee: $1.50

Wisconsin

Associated Bank

Why It Wins: Associated's checking and savings accounts both waive the monthly fee with a daily balance of less than $1,500—and the bank scores well in J.D. Power's customer service ranking.

Caveat: You can't waive the outside ATM fee—though you do get 250 free in-state Allpoint ATMs.

Branches: 151

Key Terms
Associated Checking
Monthly fee: $11, waived with either $500 in direct deposit, a $1,000 daily balance, or $2,500 in combined funds
Outside ATM fee: $2.50

Wyoming

Bank of the West

Why It Wins: Bank of the West offers an interest-paying account with an easily waived monthly fee—a rarity among the Wyoming banks MONEY analyzed. And a generous overdraft policy gives you one free overdraft per year.

Caveat: Bank of the West's Classic Savings pays just 0.02% interest on minimum balances; you'll do better by adding a separate CD or online account.

Branches: 24

Key Terms
Any Deposit Checking
Monthly fee: $10, waived with any deposit
Outside ATM fee: $2.50

This story has been updated to correct the spelling of America First Credit Union, the winner in Utah.

How MONEY Chose the Best Banks in America

MONEY evaluated the largest 90 brick-and-mortar banks, 50 credit unions, and 15 online banks, as identified by bank consultancy firm Novantas. Bankrate.com, MONEY's project partner, collected data on fees, interest rates, and account requirements for checking and savings accounts. Using Bankrate's data, MONEY compared more than 800 accounts and 18,000 data points.

Data was collected in July and August, and MONEY independently fact-checked information for each winner in September and early October.

When selecting the best bank winners by state, MONEY excluded checking accounts that required a minimum balance greater than $1,500 to either open the account or waive monthly fees. Priority was given to banks whose checking accounts had no (or easily waived) monthly fees and low or no ATM fees. MONEY also sought higher interest rates for checking and savings accounts. Additional factors included J.D. Power customer service ratings, when available, from the 2017 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, geographic reach within a state, recent enforcement actions, and mobile app ratings in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

MONEY may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

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