We’ve analyzed a list of the best credit unions and banks in Florida so that you don’t have to – and narrowed it down to the top 7.
Finding the right financial institution to bank with isn’t always easy, mainly because of the abundance of options out there right now. But don’t worry – we’ve got your back.
You’ll find a good mix of options on this list – going from the largest banks in America to community banks and credit unions.
8 Best Banks and Credit Unions in Florida
Here are the best banks and credit unions in Florida that you can open an account with today:
- First Citizens Bank: Best Family-Controlled Bank
- Wells Fargo: Best Bank for Branch Accessibility in Florida
- Chase: Most ATMs and Most Variety
- Fifth Third Bank: Best Customer Service
- PNC Bank: Best for Students
- Ally Bank: Best APY on Online Savings
- VyStar Credit Union: Largest Credit Union in Florida
- Suncoast Credit Union: Great Local Rewards Program
1. First Citizens Bank
🏆 Best Family-Controlled Bank
First Citizens Bank was founded in North Carolina in 1889 and since its 2022 merger with CIT Bank, it has grown into one of the nation’s top 20 banks with more than $100 billion in assets. This longevity and long-term stability should give customers peace of mind that they’ve trusted the right institution with their hard-earned funds.
First Citizens Bank has 31 branches––mostly on the Florida coast. You’ll find physical locations and ATMs in towns such as Tampa, Jacksonville, Naples, and Coconut Grove. You can use First Citizens Bank’s branch locator to find the brick-and-mortar location nearest to you.
First Citizens Bank offers a variety of personal, business, commercial, and wealth management products, including, but not limited to savings, checking, credit cards, mortgages, loans, insurance, retirement, and investments.
You can review some of the standard offerings below:
- Checking Accounts: First Citizens Bank has three tiers of checking accounts. The free account is free when you enroll in paperless statements and make the minimum $50 deposit. The Premier and Prestige account options cost $18–$25 per month, but this fee can be waived if you have combined assets of at least $5,000 or have a loan of more than $10,000 financed by the bank.
- Savings Accounts: First Citizens Bank offers a standard online savings account that doesn’t require a minimum balance. For folks looking for more aggressive interest rates, you can choose a Money Market account or a CD account. Both options require a $500 minimum deposit.
First Citizens Bank offers a robust online banking service. You can access mobile banking via the smartphone app or use your default browser on any device.
- 31 branches across Florida
- Regularly publishes insights designed to support your goals
- Free checking and savings accounts when you enroll in paperless statements
- Family-controlled for 3 generations
- Can be difficult to meet the minimum requirements to waive monthly fees for upper-level accounts
- Low APY compared to competitors
2. Wells Fargo
🏆 Best Bank for Branch Accessibility in Florida
Wells Fargo wins first place for the most accessible national bank in Florida. It has 608 branches and 1,128 ATMs distributed across the state. The only other national bank with a similar level of accessibility is Bank of America, which has 510 Florida branches.
Wells Fargo is at hand in major cities such as Miami or Jacksonville and many smaller towns, like White Springs and Lake Placid.
If you are traveling, you won’t have to worry either! There are only ten states in the USA that don’t have a Wells Fargo branch, so you will be covered wherever you go.
If you are looking for a branch/ATM near you, Wells Fargo has a dedicated ATM and branch locator, which helps you do just that.
- Checking Accounts: Wells Fargo offers many options when it comes to opening a checking account. The minimum opening deposit is $25. You can opt for a regular one, a premium interest-bearing version, or a teen checking account for teenagers between 13 and 17.
- Savings Accounts: Savings account options include the regular goal-based Way2Save account or the premium Platinum Savings Account with higher APY (Annual Percentage Yield). These accounts don’t really earn an impressive interest rate. So, if you want to get higher interest, opt for a CD account.
- Certificates of Deposit: CD accounts are notoriously safe FDIC-insured investments. They’re an excellent opportunity to earn higher APY on your money saved. Keep in mind that a CD account is for keeping your money “out of sight, out of mind,” so if you withdraw your budget in a CD account earlier than planned, you will end up losing money. You can only open CD accounts at Wells Fargo brick-and-mortar locations. That shouldn’t be a problem because Wells Fargo has plenty of branches everywhere in the country.
Wells Fargo offers a positive banking experience both online and offline. It has mobile banking, online bill pay, and Zelle – a money transfer service, plus real-time updates on your investments.
- Many branches in Florida
- Wide choice of accounts
- Interest-bearing premium accounts
- Customer service
- Minimum opening deposits
- Low APY on most accounts
|Citi® Citi Priority Relationship Tier||up to $2000 w/activities||January 9, 2024||
|U.S. Bank Business Checking||up to $800||January 8, 2024||
|Chase Chase Private Client Checking℠||up to $3000||October 18, 2023||
|Discover Online Savings Account||up to $200||December 14, 2023||
🏆 Most ATMs and Most Variety
Chase has over 400 branches in Florida, and more than 15,000 ATMs in the nation, granting good coverage even if you are traveling out of state. Chase bank offers several checking options. All of them give access to mobile banking + mobile pay and a secure debit card.
Chase Total Checking® is the most basic checking account. It has a monthly fee that you can avoid in several ways – and a pretty sweet bonus offer!
Chase Savings℠ is Chase’s basic savings account. It has a $5 monthly fee, which you can easily avoid by maintaining a minimum balance of $300. Though its APY is low with just 0.01%.
Chase offers a varied customer service experience appreciated by account holders. You can talk to a Chase representative in person at a branch, by phone, email, regular mail, or even Twitter. Its online options are also very well designed, both online banking and the mobile app.
Variety is a word that is very important to describe Chase’s banking services. Are you looking for an all-in-one financial institution that offers everything from checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and mortgages to investing options? Well, then, Chase could be the one.
- Easy to waive fees
- Great bonus offer
- Many locations and even more ATMs
- Monthly fee
- Low APY
4. Fifth Third Bank
🏆 Best Customer Service
The study analyzed customer satisfaction by looking at bank reviews in Florida specifically. It considered factors such as the number of branch locations and ATMs, how well the bank answered customer inquiries, banks’ fees, and checking/savings account offers.
Fifth Third Bank has many options when it comes to checking accounts. There is the regular low-fee account, a bank account reserved for people in the military, and one only for students.
This bank’s strength is the mobile app, one of the most appreciated in today’s market. It allows for mobile check deposits, ATM/branch finder, account history, and Zelle, a person-to-person direct deposit service.
- Customer service
- Mobile App
- Many account options
- Not as many locations and ATMs as larger banks
5. PNC Bank
🏆 Best for Students
PNC holds the complete student-centric offer there is in Florida. It established a relationship with 50 major universities in the Sunshine State, including the Florida Institute of Technology.
A major perk offered by the student checking account is free ATMs everywhere on campus. Students can also request a convenient ID/ATM combination card and personalize their debit card.
PNC offers many intelligent ways to track your balance and manage your savings and checking accounts in ways that help students learn about personal finances as well.
There is an option for them to send an alert to their parents when the balance in their account gets low and hopefully get some funds.
To open this low-interest rate account, you will need proof that you are a student and a minimum starting balance of $25. There are no service fees – it’s a free checking account.
With PNC, it is also possible to open a money market account, save for retirement, invest, get a loan, and much more.
- Great for students
- Easy to keep your money organized
- Wide range of services
- No maintenance fees
- Need proof that you’re a student for certain extra benefits
- Low-interest rates
6. Ally Bank
🏆 Best APY on Online Savings
Ally is an online-only bank, which means no brick-and-mortar location in the sunshine state or anywhere else.
To have an account with online banks, you should be pretty comfortable with basic technology, especially online and mobile banking solutions.
The good news is that it’s not that complicated, and Ally has excellent customer service with a 24/7 phone line and a live chat.
Some features of Ally’s app include mobile check deposits, a handy ATM locator, a balance history archive, and Zelle, a person-to-person money transfer service.
Checking Account: Ally’s most recommended checking account is the Interest Checking Account, which earns 0.10% APY with a minimum daily balance below $15,000. The interest earned goes up to 0.25% APY if you manage to keep an average daily balance of $15,000 or above.
You can withdraw money from your checking account at any time and at no cost. Ally uses Allpoint ATM networks (55,000 ATMs) and reimburses up to $10 out-of-network ATM fees charged by other financial institutions per each statement cycle.
Savings Account: Talking about the savings account, Ally doesn’t disappoint. It has a 0.50% APY on its online savings account. This account compounds interest daily, which is very important to help you grow your future balance. This bank account has no minimum balance to get started and no fees to keep it going. It’s, without a doubt, one of the best savings account deals in Florida!
- High yield savings account
- Convenient online only
- Customer service
- No brick-and-mortar branches
7. VyStar Credit Union
🏆 Largest Credit Union in Florida
It asks for no monthly maintenance fees and pays higher rates on checking and savings than most brick-and-mortar banks and many other credit unions. In addition, with VyStar, you’ll have access to 20,000 ATMs all over Florida, Mexico, and Canada!
Customer service is available seven days a week, and it has an excellent reputation.
Vystar compounds interest monthly rather than daily like most other credit unions. Always pay attention to compound interest when it comes to credit unions. If possible, calculate how it can affect your earnings in the long run.
- Higher APY than brick-and-mortar banks
- No maintenance fees
- Not many locations everywhere
- Compounds interest monthly
8. Suncoast Credit Union
🏆 Great Local Rewards Program
Suncoast is another credit union worth checking out if you are located in Florida, although VyStar generally pays higher APY.
Suncoast’s basic checking account has no monthly fees and pays some interest. In addition to that, it has a pretty cool rewards program that benefits local schools.
This credit union has many offices throughout Florida and gives you access to plenty of ATMs (1000+) for free.
To become a Suncoast member, you will have to fulfill some requirements: you have to be a resident of Florida, in a Florida county near the state’s Gulf of Mexico shoreline, be an alumnus of Florida College, or at least be related to a Suncoast member.
- No service fees
- Pays interest
- Many free ATMs
- Rewards benefit local schools
- Requirements to be a member
- Not present everywhere
- Less APY than VyStar
Choosing the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Florida for Your Needs
To help you decide which bank or credit union to go for, we’ve put together a list of eight things to consider.
They’ll help you evaluate your preferences so that you can pick the financial institution that ticks all the boxes for you.
- Do you prefer a bank or credit union? Typically, banks have more branch locations and could be more likely to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. However, credit unions usually have better customer service and pay higher APYs. So, you’ve got to think about what matters to you.
- Monthly service and overdraft fees. You shouldn’t pay for a service that could be free elsewhere. If there is a service fee or overdraft fee, check if you can easily waive it. If not, is it worth the price?
- Credit and debit card providers. Does the bank or credit union provide a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express? Some credit cards are more widely accepted than others.
- Your customer service preferences. If you have a question or run into a problem, how easy will it be to get help? Can you help yourself through their Help Centre – or can you quickly reach someone? Thinking about how you’ll get help beforehand is important for your relationship with the bank – so do check that customer service ratings are high.
- Branch and ATM accessibility. Driving around looking for a bank branch or a free ATM can be frustrating – so make sure you don’t end up in this position. Opt for a financial institution that has a branch within a reasonable distance if you think you might need to visit a branch at some point.
- Online banking and mobile app. With more of our life management moving online, financial institutions need a user-friendly app and mobile banking. Being able to check your balance or make a quick transfer is essential – so do check if the financial institution you’re considering offers that.
- Annual interest rates. Look for the best deal out there – interest rates can help you grow your money without you having to move a finger.
- Security. Does your bank offer security and fraud protection features like two-factor authentication? Does it go the extra step to verify your identity – and can you freeze your card easily if it goes missing? All these things are crucial – as well as knowing your money is insured. Ideally, opt for a bank that’s member-FDIC or is insured by NCUSIF.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best bank to use in Florida?
The answer here is – it depends. The best bank will depend on what you are looking for in a bank and your individual preference.
- PNC Bank is an excellent choice for a student.
- Does having outstanding customer service matter to you? If yes, then go for Fifth Third Bank.
- If you want a bank with many branches close to where you live, I’d recommend one of the major banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, or Chase.
What bank has the most branches in Florida?
The winner for most branches in Florida is Wells Fargo! With its 608 branches, Wells Fargo is the US bank with most branches in Florida.
Here is the whole chart of the banks with the largest number of Florida locations:
- Wells Fargo: 608
- Bank of America: 510
- Chase: 411
- SunTrust: 400
- Regions Bank: 307
- BB&T: 258
- PNC Bank: 173
- TD Bank: 157
- Fifth Third Bank: 153
*Exact numbers may vary slightly over time.
What is the best credit union in Florida?
The best credit union in Florida, according to our research, is VyStar Federal Credit Union, followed by SunCoast.
How We Chose the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Florida
Each bank and credit union on this list delivers an excellent banking experience – but we’ve also looked at their cons so that you can make an informed choice.
We looked at things like:
- Checking and savings account interest rates
- Minimum balances
- Low fees
- Customer service
- Online experience
…to provide you with the best options for financial institutions in Florida.