With so many financial institutions in Arkansas, choosing which bank account to open can be confusing. Whether you’re after comprehensive banking services, an account with no fees, or anything in between, you’ll find plenty of options.
This article will review the top ten best banks in Arkansas for 2023, looking at what they offer, their top accounts, and the major pros and cons.
10 Best Banks in Arkansas
Here are the best banks in Arkansas to open an account with today:
- U.S. Bank
- CIT Bank
- Axos Bank
- Regions Bank
- Bank of America
- First Arkansas Bank and Trust
- Bank OZK
- Centennial Bank
1. U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank is one of the nation’s oldest and largest banks. It operates 23 branches and ATMs in Arkansas, mostly in the Litter Rock metropolitan area.
U.S. Bank offers two checking accounts: Smartly Checking and Safe Debit.
The U.S. Bank Smartly Checking Account is ideal for consumers who want overdraft protection, paper checks, and the ability to earn interest. It requires a $6.95 monthly maintenance fee, but it can be waived for members of the military, students, seniors, anyone who receives more than $1,000 in monthly deposits, anyone who has an average balance of at least $1,500, and anyone who holds a U.S. Bank credit card.
The Safe Debit account is a basic checking account that accepts direct deposits, facilitates electronic bill pay, and helps consumers establish healthy money habits. It does not support check writing. Account holders can expect a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee, but U.S. Bank promises no other hidden fees.
U.S. Bank also offers a variety of savings products, including CDs and money market accounts. Customers can open a standard savings account or a more aggressive money market account for long-term financial goals and retirement.
If you’re looking to grow your savings in a safe and secure way, you can open a CD account with an initial deposit of between $25 and $3,000. U.S. Bank’s CD accounts currently offer a 4.70% APY. To put that in perspective, the current average APY for a savings account is 0.23%.
U.S. Bank also offers a variety of mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, lines of credit, and other compelling products that can help Americans take charge of their financial goals.
- 23 locations in AR
- Wide variety of personal, business, and wealth management products
- One of the six largest banks in the U.S.
- Low-interest rates
- $5 monthly maintenance fee
U.S. Bank’s Smartly Checking Account earns variable interest and comes with a wealth of benefits to help you manage, move, and spend your money wisely.
Ally is the digital financial services company behind Ally Bank. They do not operate any branches but offer some of the best accounts, consistently making it to lists of top banks.
Ally Bank offers one checking account called Interest Checking. It has no monthly fees and earns an APY interest rate of up to 0.25%. The account also has no overdraft fees and comes with free CoverDraft, which provides up to $250 in overdraft protection. You can also get paid up to two days earlier and withdraw from over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs for free.
Ally offers an Online Savings account with no monthly fees or minimum opening deposit and an APY interest rate of as high as 4.25%. While this rate is variable, it’s still over ten times the national average.
Aside from these accounts, Ally also offers self-directed and Robo trading, wealth management, forex trading, IRAs, mortgages, auto and personal loans, and investment options.
- High-interest rates
- low to no fees
- No credit cards
CIT Bank offers one checking account called eChecking. It has no monthly fees and earns interest in the form of APY that ranges between 0.10% and 0.25% – depending on your balance. The minimum opening deposit required for this account is $100.
Three different savings accounts are available:
- Savings Connect has the highest APY rate on offer, which currently stands at 4.65%.
- The Savings Builder has up to 1.00% APY and requires a monthly deposit of at least $100 or a balance of $25,000 or more to earn the advertised interest rate.
- Finally, CIT Bank’s Money Market account comes in with an interest rate of . All accounts have a minimum opening deposit of $100 and have no monthly fees.
CIT Bank offers several CDs, including a no-penalty CD and home loans.
- High-interest rates
- low to no fees
- A limited selection of banking products and services
4. Axos Bank
Axos Bank has a total of five checking accounts. There’s a teen checking account, a senior checking account, and three regular checking accounts. These accounts have no monthly maintenance fees, while opening deposit requirements top out at $50. Account features include cashback, rewards, and early direct deposit – depending on which account you choose.
Axos Bank offers a High Yield Savings Account. The account has no monthly fees and minimum balance requirements. However, you’ll need to deposit a minimum of $250 to open the account. The APY rate is set at 0.61% for balances up to $24,999.99, then drops to 0.25% for balances up to $99,999.99. Anything over and above this amount will earn an APY rate of 0.15%.
Alternatively, Axos offers a High Yield Money Market Account with an APY of 0.25%, irrespective of the account balance.
Axos Bank offers CDs, mortgages, personal and auto loans, and premier services.
- Accounts have no monthly fees
- A limited selection of products and services
Regions Bank offers three general checking accounts and three for specific needs.
The Regions Now Checking has a monthly fee of $5.00, which the bank will not waive. This account is primarily for those who need help managing their finances.
Alternatively, there’s LifeGreen Checking and LifeGreen Preferred Checking, which come with additional perks, including interest and others – depending on which account you choose.
Regions Bank also offers a selection of savings accounts with APY rates starting from 0.01%. If you have a Regions Now card, you can apply for the Regions Now Savings – which has no monthly fees and a minimum opening deposit of $10. Alternatively, there are a few other options available. Some savings accounts, including CDs, cannot be opened online and require a visit to your nearest branch.
Regions Bank also offers a selection of credit cards, investments, loans, lines of credit, and mortgages.
- Large selection of products and services
- physical branches to visit
- Low APY rate
6. Bank of America
Bank of America is the second-largest financial institution in the US and the second-largest bank globally by market capitalization.
BofA offers three checking accounts with monthly fees ranging between $4.95 and $25. All accounts can have their fee waived when meeting any of the requirements, which vary from maintaining a minimum daily balance to enrolling in their Preferred Rewards program.
Bank of America also offers an Advantage Savings account, with a required opening deposit of $100 and a monthly fee of $8.00. The bank will waive the fee when you meet at least one of the five requirements, while the APY rate is 0.01% across all balances.
Bank of America offers other savings products such as CDs and IRAs, credit cards, home loans, auto loans, and investment options through Merrill.
- Access to physical branches
- variety of products
- Account fees
- APY could be higher
Arvest Bank is a regional bank headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. It is the oldest bank in Arkansas and, despite its relatively small size, still makes its way onto the list of biggest banks in the US.
Arvest Bank offers six different checking accounts to choose from. Monthly fees range between $0 and $18. Perks and features vary from one account to another and can include free overdraft coverage, free AD&D insurance for your family, interest, ID protection, and many others.
Arvest also offers one savings account, which has a monthly fee of $2. The bank will waive this fee if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $100 or an average monthly balance of $500. The APY rate on offer is 0.25%, and you need to make a minimum deposit of $100 to open the account.
Arvest Bank offers alternative savings accounts such as MMAs and CDs, various loans, credit cards, and investment options.
- Range of perks on checking accounts
- APY rate on the savings account is relatively low
8. First Arkansas Bank and Trust
First Arkansas Bank and Trust, FAB&T for short, is a family-owned bank based in Jacksonville, Arkansas, with a credit card division located in Georgia. They have 22 locations peppered around Central and North Central Arkansas.
First Arkansas Bank and Trust offer four checking accounts to choose from.
- Their Basic Checking account comes with all the necessities and charges no monthly fees.
- Their Prime Checking Account offers an APY of 2.05%. To get this rate, you’ll need to meet the monthly qualification criteria – otherwise, the rate will drop to 0.01% for that month.
- Their Premier Checking account is an interest-bearing checking account that is available to those who maintain high balances (must maintain a balance of at least $1,000).
- Their Legacy Checking account is designed for seniors (55+). You will earn interest on balances of $500 or more.
The bank also offers numerous savings accounts, some of which have innovative features. One prime example is Plinqit – goals-based savings account with reminders to help you stay on track. If you’re looking for something more traditional, their Basic Savings and Prime Savings accounts might be a better fit.
The Prime Savings account has no minimum balance requirements, and withdrawals are limited to one a month. The Basic Savings account, on the other hand, will charge you $9.00 per quarter if you do not maintain a minimum balance of at least $100.
FAB&T also offers credit cards, personal loans, Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), and wealth management services.
- Innovative accounts
- high-APY checking account
- Most accounts require an opening deposit of $100
9. Bank OZK
Bank OZK is a regional bank and the overall winner of the Bank Director’s 2021 Performance Powerhouses Study. It is headquartered in Little Rock and operates more than 340 locations in eight states.
Bank OZK offers five checking accounts with monthly fees starting from $5.00 to $12.00. Depending on the account, the minimum opening deposit requirements range between $25 and $50.
While some perks change from one account to another, others, such as access to a Visa debit card, online banking, mobile banking, and financial guidance tools, are offered across the board.
Bank OZK also offers a range of savings accounts, including traditional accounts, CDs, IRAs, and Money Market accounts. The OZK Savings account has a minimum opening deposit requirement of $50 and a monthly fee of $3, which is automatically waived for the first two months. After that, you’ll need to maintain a daily balance of at least $100 to have the fee waived.
Bank OZK offers credit cards, mortgages, loans, wealth management, and trust and estate services.
- Low opening deposit requirement
- No APY rate listed
10. Centennial Bank
Centennial Bank has seven checking accounts, all of which require a minimum opening deposit of $100. Monthly service fees range between $0 and $12.95, depending on your account and options. While you can open most accounts online, some will require a branch visit. Most accounts have no minimum balance requirements.
Five savings accounts are also available, including specialized accounts such as Christmas Club Savings. Monthly service fees vary by account; however, none go above $10. Unfortunately, Centennial Bank does not disclose the APY rates on offer – you will need to contact one of their representatives to learn what rate applies to you.
Centennial Bank also offers credit cards, loans, insurance, and HSA (Health Savings Accounts).
- A large variety of accounts
- APY rate not published
Other Top Banks in Arkansas
While these banks did not make our top list, they are other good banking options to consider in Arkansas:
- Simmons Bank: A regional bank founded in Pine Bluff and listed in Forbes’ list of the World’s Best Banks in 2022.
- First Community Bank: A community bank with 30 locations across Arkansas and Missouri that places daily first.
- First National Bank: A community bank with 23 offices across Arkansas and Tennessee, including Fayetteville.
- First Security Bank: A privately-owned Arkansas bank headquartered in Searcy, offering a wide range of financial products and services.
- Bancorpsouth: A regional bank with operations in Arkansas where it operates some 47 locations.
How to Choose the Best Bank in Arkansas
Choosing the best bank in Arkansas will, more often than not, boil down to personal requirements and preferences. To help you make the best decision, here are some things to remember before choosing which bank to choose.
Many banks impose a minimum deposit amount, which you’ll need to transfer to your account upon opening. However, some banks don’t. Ensure you have the funds available if the bank you choose has a minimum opening deposit requirement.
Monthly Maintenance Fees
Many bank accounts come with a monthly charge, which you can often avoid if you meet certain requirements every month. Consider how achievable these requirements are and whether having to pay the monthly charge will set your budget back.
A mobile app with good functionality will help you avoid unnecessary trips to the bank. Alternatively, a solid internet banking experience might also be something to consider.
Choosing an FDIC-insured bank can help put your mind at ease that your money will be safe should something happen to the bank. Most banks are insured for up to $250,000 per depositor; however, some neo banks offer higher coverage.
If you often find yourself withdrawing money, a bank with a large ATM network can help you avoid paying unnecessary ATM fees every time you make a cash withdrawal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular bank in Arkansas?
Ally Bank, Regions Bank, and Arvest are some of the most popular banks in Arkansas.
Is Arvest a good bank?
Arvest is a good bank and often makes it to lists of top banks in Arkansas.