Best Banks in Hawaii

Hawaii has fewer banking options than most states, making it more of a challenge to find the best bank. Knowing each bank and what they offer can help you make the right financial decision.

Before choosing a bank in Hawaii, check out this list of the best banks in Hawaii to get a clear idea of which financial institution is right for you.

7 Best Banks in Hawaii

1. Bank of Hawaii

Bank of Hawaii was named the ‘Best Big Bank in Hawaii’ by Newsweek in 2022, and since 1897, has helped the community in several key ways.

Bank of Hawaii is highly committed to serving the communities through volunteerism, sponsorships, and fundraising. Bank of Hawaii is also committed to helping local entrepreneurs build better businesses to fuel future generations.

Like most big banks, Bank of Hawaii offers the typical banking products, but they do their best to keep their fees low or to provide ways for customers to waive them. Customers can also get home and personal loans at the Bank of Hawaii and do all their banking in one place.

  • Has many branches throughout the Hawaiian islands
  • Offers full-service banking for consumers and businesses
  • You can earn Hawaiian Miles with the use of your Bank of Hawaii credit card

2. CIT Bank

CIT Bank is a branch of First Citizens bank that has been around for centuries. CIT is an online-only bank branch that offers many products and easy access to your funds. First Citizens Bank, the parent bank, is a top 20 financial institution with 600 branches across 22 states.

CIT Bank brings those benefits to the residents of Hawaii as an online-only bank offering high APYs, and little to no fees. Customers can access their funds via an ATM if they need to deposit or withdraw cash, or they can conduct all banking transactions electronically for free. CIT offers checking, savings, money markets, CDs, and mortgage loans.

  • Charges no monthly fees
  • Pays some of the highest APYs on CDs across most banks
  • It doesn’t require high minimum deposits to earn interest

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3. Central Pacific Bank

Central Pacific Bank was founded in 1954 to help immigrants build a safe life. Their mission may look different today, but they have the same values. Central Pacific Bank helps communities, families, and small businesses with their financial needs.

Central Pacific Bank offers deposit products, mortgages, loans, credit cards, and a whole suite of business banking services.

  • Pays some of the highest CD rates in Hawaii
  • Has a large selection of savings products
  • Has low minimum balance requirements

4. Hawaii National Bank

Hawaii National Bank has been around since 1960, helping customers with their personal and business banking needs. When it first opened, Hawaii National Bank was the only national bank in Hawaii. While it’s not the only bank in Hawaii today, they still have the same mission to help the people of Hawaii.

Hawaii National Bank is a locally owned and managed bank with 11 branches, and they’ve adopted today’s latest technology to provide customers with the banking services they need in today’s society.

  • Offers low introductory APRs on home equity lines of credit
  • Has a checking and debit card account for kids that’s managed by parents
  • Offers ways to waive the monthly service fees

5. First Hawaiian Bank

First Hawaiian Bank is the oldest and largest bank in Hawaii. They offer services for personal and business banking, including corporations. First Hawaiian bank originated in 1858 and has since grown to offer many banking products, from deposit products to investment services.

Customers can handle all their banking needs at First Hawaiian Bank, including wealth management services. In addition, each of their bank accounts includes unique benefits, whether it’s a way to waive the monthly service fee or savings on a personal or home line of credit.

  • All accounts have low minimum balance requirements
  • Has a large number of branches to make it easy to get your banking done
  • Most fees are low or can be waived

6. American Savings Bank

American Savings Bank is the third largest bank in Hawaii. While it wasn’t established until 1987, it has quickly grown to be one of the favorite banks in the state. The bank offers many checking, savings, CDs, and money market accounts.

American Savings Bank has a large ATM network throughout Hawaii, and most deposit accounts have low minimum balance requirements. While all of their accounts have fees that can be hard to waive, they offer many other benefits that make up for the fees.

  • Most deposit accounts include discounted rates on loans
  • Offers mobile banking
  • Offers investment services to help you plan your future

7. Territorial Savings Bank

Territorial Savings Bank has been around since 1921 and has grown considerably throughout those times. Territorial Savings Bank is a full-service bank that services consumers and small businesses.

Territorial Savings Bank offers all the services you’d expect at a bank, including deposit products, investment programs, credit cards, mortgage loans, and business banking accounts.

  • Checking accounts earn interest with only $100 deposited
  • Offers CDs with high-interest rates
  • Members get discounts and offers from local merchants

Types of Banking in HI

You have a few options for types of banking, including local and national banks. Both have pros and cons; here’s what you should know to decide what’s right for you.

Local Banks in Hawaii

Local banks are only found in Hawaii or a handful of states. They aren’t the ‘big name banks’ you find in all 50 states and can use wherever you travel. Local banks have their benefits and, of course, some downsides too.

Local banks typically give back to their community. They live and work in the same community as you, so they are vested in what’s important to you too. However, local banks usually have fewer branches and a smaller ATM network, which can be challenging if you travel often and need banking services.

When you choose local banking, you usually get more personalized service. You aren’t just a number in a sea of faces. Instead, the bankers get to know you and your banking preferences. They’ll ask questions about your finances and feel like a big part of your financial puzzle.

Local banks are more likely to approve your loans even if your qualifying requirements are unique, or they’ll figure out a way to help you. However, bigger banks have cut-and-dry requirements, and if you don’t meet them, they won’t approve your loan.

National Banks in Hawaii

National banks are banks you find in multiple states. The standard definition is if a bank is in at least 15 states, it’s a national bank. Like local banks, national banks have pros and cons.

National banks have more money because they are larger and operate in more states. Because of this, they can be more technology-forward, offering services like mobile and online banking. Many local banks offer these services, but national banks usually have more robust services.

National banks often have more products, too, giving customers more choices in managing their money and making it grow.

However, national banks have much higher costs than smaller ones, meaning they have less money to pay interest to customers or keep their fees low. As a result, they often charge much higher fees than local banks, making it harder to waive the fees because they require high balances or large direct deposits.

Online Banks in Hawaii

Online banks have no physical branches but offer many benefits. You can only bank online, so it’s important to be comfortable conducting all banking transactions online or through the network ATMs.

Online banks have obvious advantages and disadvantages. First, online banks have lower (or no) fees and often pay much higher interest rates. This is because they have much less overhead and can pass the savings to their customers.

However, it can be harder to manage your money since you don’t have a physical branch to visit. Depositing cash, for example, can be quite the endeavor since you must deposit it in another local account and then transfer the funds electronically to your online bank.

Big Banking vs. Online Banking

When choosing between big banking and online banking, think about the access you need to your funds. Online banking can be great when you are saving for something and don’t want easy access to the funds. It’s also good for people who get paid via direct deposit and handle most of their banking transactions electronically.

If you need access to cash or a physical branch, big banking is the better option, or you could always give a local bank a shot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Finding the right bank in Hawaii can be a big job. You need a bank that offers the required services but at fees that don’t eat up your profits.

How many branches does each bank have in Hawaii?

  • Bank of Hawaii: 67 branches
  • Central Pacific Bank: 31 branches
  • Hawaii National Bank: 11 branches
  • First Hawaiian Bank: 49 branches
  • American Savings Bank: 55 branches
  • Territorial Savings Bank: 29 branch
  • CIT Bank: 1 branch

What is the top-ranked bank in Hawaii?

First Hawaiian Bank is the top-ranked bank in terms of assets.

Which is the biggest bank in Hawaii?

First Hawaiian bank is not only the top-ranked bank but also the biggest bank in Hawaii.

Why are there no major banks in Hawaii?

There are many reasons big-name banks aren’t in Hawaii, but the most significant reasons are the cost of real estate, the small population, and the competition from local banks that most Hawaiians have historically used.

What should I consider when picking a checking account in Hawaii?

When choosing a checking account, look at the minimum required balance, monthly fees, and services offered. Make sure you can meet the monthly minimum balance to waive the fees and keep more of your money. Also, if you’ll keep a high balance in your checking account, look for accounts that pay interest.

What should I consider when picking a savings account in Hawaii?

Savings accounts should pay you interest for keeping your money in there. Most savings accounts don’t have monthly fees, but you’re limited on the number of withdrawals you can make. So look for a savings account with the best interest rates to make your money grow the fastest.

Should I consider a credit union in Hawaii?

Credit unions are only for people who qualify to join, so find a credit union you can join and evaluate its offerings, fees, and rates. Don’t assume all credit unions are better than banks. Instead, look at what they charge, their accounts, and what interest rates they pay.