The Best Banks for Your Money

Photo by tanja-vashchuk /

If you’re still earning next to nothing in your savings account or unaware that interest-bearing checking accounts exist, it’s probably time to consider switching banks.

Money magazine and’s latest analysis of various type of banks offers a starting place for your research.

The publications evaluated 75 brick-and-mortar banks, 50 credit unions and 15 online banks in search of what Bankrate describes as “the ideal combination of accounts — a free checking account (or one as cheap as possible) and a savings account that pays a high interest rate (or at least keeps the monthly fees at bay).”

The winners in the main categories are:

  • Best online bank: Bank of Internet USA
  • Best credit union: Alliant Credit Union
  • Best big bank: Capital One
  • Best regional bank: Banner Bank (which has locations in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington)

Using banks that offer competitive interest rates is especially important as the Federal Reserve continues to hike its federal funds rate. Customers of such banks stand to see their interest rates inch higher with future Fed rate hikes.

Why these banks are best

Bank of Internet USA’s Rewards Checking account stood out for its annual percentage yield, or APY, of as much as 1.25 percent. That’s compared with a current national average of only 0.04 percent APY on interest checking accounts.

To get that rate, however, you must receive direct deposits totaling more than $1,000 each month and make at least 15 debit card transactions totaling at least $3 each month. This caveat illustrates the importance of comparing bank account terms in addition to rates.

One noteworthy term Bank of Internet USA offers is a refund of all domestic ATM surcharges. Bankrate describes the institution, founded in 1999, as a pioneer in online banking that has long been regarded as a deposit rate leader.

However, the honor of having one of the highest interest rates for a savings account goes to another online bank. Ally Bank’s Online Savings account pays 1.2 percent APY — which compares with a current national average of 0.06 percent.

Money magazine also named the best bank in each state. Two banks stood out, with each named No. 1 in four different states:

  • Washington Federal — named the best bank in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico
  • First National Bank of Omaha — named the best bank in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota

For more help comparing bank accounts, check out Money Talks News’ bank account search tool. It allows you to search for savings and money market accounts, certificates of deposits (CDs) and checking accounts. Just check the boxes for the account types that interest you.

If you find an account that makes it worth switching banks, check out “5 Simple Steps to Painlessly Switch Banks.”

Do you have a favorite bank? Let us know why by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 8 Steps
How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 8 Steps

Does it feel like your paycheck is gone the moment you get it? Here’s how to break that vicious cycle.

12 Easy Ways To Make Make Money Online Without Leaving Home
12 Easy Ways To Make Make Money Online Without Leaving Home

If you’re hanging around the house a lot these days — and who isn’t? — use your time to make some extra cash.

10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

Sometimes, clever shoppers can save money without sacrificing quality. Here are some great examples of how to do it.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started


Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.

Trending Stories