Best Banks in Illinois

The state of Illinois is home to some of the best banks and credit unions in the country.

Prospective account holders looking for a new bank account are in luck as the Prarie State offers a wide selection of quality financial institutions that span national banks, community banks, and Illinois credit unions.

In this article, we will look at the best banks in Illinois, as well as the top things you should be considering when choosing a bank.

8 Best Banks in Illinois

1. U.S. Bank

  • Account Offers: Checking, Savings, Debit Cards, CDs (Certificates of Deposit), Credit Cards, Loans
  • Savings monthly fee: $4.00
  • Checking monthly fee: Starting from $4.95
Pro:
  • Large selection of financial services and products
Con:
  • Low-interest rate

U.S. Bank is the fifth largest bank in the U.S. Its parent company is U.S. Bancorp, based in Minnesota and serves the West and Midwest. They have over 3,00 branches and almost 5,000 ATMs.

Checking Accounts

U.S. Bank offers five checking accounts, including one reserved for students. They also have a Safe Debit Account for those who do not want checks or overdrafts. The account costs $4.95 a month, and the fee cannot be waived.

The bank also has other checking accounts with fees ranging from $6.95 to $24.95. Features and benefits vary from one account to another and may include benefits for credit card and loan customers and interest.

Savings Accounts

U.S. Bank offers one traditional savings account and several MMAs (Money Market Accounts). The traditional savings account has a monthly fee of $4.00, which can be waived by either maintaining a minimum daily ledger balance of $300 or an average monthly collected balance of $1,000. The APY is 0.01%

Other Products and Services

U.S. Bank also offers many credit cards, debit cards, CDs, and loans – including home loans, vehicle loans, and personal loans.

2. BMO Harris Bank

  • Account Offers: Checking, Savings, Debit Cards, CDs, Credit Cards, Loans
  • Savings monthly fee: Starting from $0
  • Checking monthly fee: Starting from $0
Pro:
  • Free checking and free savings accounts
Con:
  • Low-interest rate

BMO Harris, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the largest banks in the U.S. It operates branches in many states, including Illinois. The bank has more than 600 branches and counts over 1,300 ATMs in its network.

Checking Accounts

BMO Harris has some of the best checking accounts in the state, with three checking accounts on offer. You can open all accounts online in just under five minutes.

Smart Advantage is the most basic account with no monthly fees or minimum balance. You can withdraw cash from over 40,000 ATMs nationwide. However, opt for the Premier account, and you will receive unlimited fee rebates when withdrawing from out-of-network ATMs.

Savings Accounts

BMO Harris offers one of each type of savings account – savings, money market, and CD. The Savings Builder account has no monthly fee but a minimum opening deposit of $25. For the first year, you’ll get a $5 reward each month if you save at least $200. The interest rate is 0.010%.

Other Products and Services

BMO Harris also offers a line of MasterCard credit cards, IRAs, mortgages, and lines of credit.

3. Fifth Third Bank

  • Account Offers: Traditional and specialized checking, Traditional and specialized savings, Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Loans
  • Savings monthly fee: Starting from $5
  • Checking monthly fee: Starting from $0
Pro:
  • Wide range of products and services
Con:
  • Low-interest rate

Fifth Third Bank is a regional bank operating throughout the Midwest with some 1,136 branches and just shy of 2,500 ATMs. Its name comes from a merger between Third National Bank and Fifth National Bank.

Checking Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers one traditional checking account and several specialized checking accounts. The traditional account, Fifth Third Momentum Checking, has no monthly fees or minimum deposit. You also get your paychecks up to two days earlier! Plus, you get extra time to settle overdrafts with no overdraft protection transfer fee.

Savings Accounts

Here, you’ll also find a wide range of savings accounts, including traditional savings and money market accounts and several specialized accounts. The traditional savings account has monthly maintenance fees of $5.00, which can be waived when meeting any of the set criteria – including having an eligible checking account. The APY interest rate is 0.01%

Other Products and Services

Fifth Third Bank carries many financial products and services, including credit cards, health and life insurance, investment options, and more.

4. Bank of America

  • Account Offers: Checking account with multiple settings, Savings, CDs, Money Market, Credit and debit cards, loans, investment options
  • Savings monthly fee: Starting from $8.00
  • Checking monthly fee: Starting from $4.95
Pro:
  • Can earn cash back on savings account
Con:
  • No free checking or savings account

Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the country, serving the entire U.S. and over 40 other countries. They operate 4,600 locations and almost 16,000 ATMs.

Checking Accounts

Bank of America offers one checking account with three different settings. The most basic setting is called SafeBalance. It costs $4.95 a month, which fee can be waived when meeting certain criteria, including enrolling in Preferred Rewards. It has no overdraft fees or checks – with a setting upgrade required to get these two perks.

Savings Accounts

Bank of America’s Advantage Savings Account has a monthly fee of $8 and a minimum opening deposit requirement of $100. The account has several perks and features, including up to 10% cash back from participating merchants and round-ups from your debit card. The standard APY rate is 0.01%, but it can go up to 0.04% if you’re a member of the bank’s Preferred Rewards program.

Other Products and Services

Bank of America is a full-service bank offering all banking products and services, including investing through Merrill.

5. PNC Bank

  • Offers: Virtual Wallet, Savings, Money Market, CDs, Loans, Credit and debit cards
  • Savings monthly fee: Starting from $5.00
  • Checking monthly fee: Starting from $7.00
Pro:
  • Welcome bonus
Con:
  • No free accounts

PNC Bank is one of the largest banks in America, measured by the number of branches and ATMs. Its retail operations mainly focus on the Western U.S., with over 2,500 bank branches and almost 10,000 ATMs.

Checking Accounts

PNC’s checking account works slightly differently than checking accounts at other banks. It’s called Virtual Wallet and allows you to combine checking, and savings account into one – virtual wallet. There are three virtual wallet checking accounts, with monthly service fees starting from $7.00. To waive the fee, you’ll need to meet one of the available criteria. You can also earn a welcome bonus of between $50 and $400 when opening a new account.

Savings Accounts

Regarding the savings account, you can opt for the Virtual Wallet savings or get a standard savings account. The standard savings account has a monthly fee of $5.00, which you can avoid if you meet any of the available criteria. APY rates vary between 0.01% and 0.03%.

Other Products and Services

PNC Bank also offers credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, and loans, including student loans, auto loans, and mortgages.

6. Regions Bank

  • Offers: Checking accounts, Savings accounts, Credit cards, Investments, and loans
  • Savings monthly fee: Starting from $0
  • Checking monthly fee: Starting from $5.00
Pro:
  • Free savings account
Con:
  • Higher opening deposit requirement when opening a savings account online

Regions Bank is a regional bank serving 16 states in the South and Midwest. It has 2,000 ATMs and almost 1,500 branches and was named the bank with the best overall reputation in a survey carried out in 2016.

Checking Accounts

Regions Bank offers a selection of checking accounts, including specialized accounts for seniors and students. Their Regions Now Checking Account comes with a monthly fee of $5.00, which the bank doesn’t waive. Alternatively, you can opt for LifeGreen Checking or Preferred Checking – both of which can have the monthly fee waived when meeting the set criteria.

Savings Accounts

Regions Bank also has a few savings accounts, with monthly fees starting from $0.00. There is a minimum account opening deposit set at $50 when opening the account online and $5.00 when opening the account in a branch – provided you also set a recurring monthly deposit into the account. The APY is set at 0.01% but may vary depending on where you live.

Other Products and Services

As a full-service bank, Regions Bank offers several other products and services, including credit cards, investment options, loans, and mortgages.

7. Bank & Trust Company

  • Offers: Checking accounts, savings accounts, Credit cards, Debit cards, and Loans
  • Savings monthly fee: Starting from $0.00
  • Checking monthly fee: Starting from $0.00
Pro:
  • Free checking and savings accounts
Con:
  • Missing some of the products and services offered by larger banks

Bank & Trust Company is a small bank based in Litchfield, Illinois. It has seven branches with a strong focus on the community.

Checking Accounts

Bank & Trust Company offers three different checking accounts. The most basic account is called DiamondBasic Checking and has no monthly fees. The minimum deposit required to open the account is $100. It includes a debit card and online and mobile banking. Alternatively, you can opt for DiamondNow, which offers interest, or DiamondPlus, which includes perks such as roadside assistance and insurance.

Savings Accounts

Bank & Trust Company also offers two savings accounts – a standard account and an account designed for kids. The standard account requires a $100 deposit to open with interest paid on balances of $100 and over.

Other Products and Services

Bank & Trust Company also offers debit and credit cards and loans.

8. Chase Bank

  • Offers: Checking accounts, Savings accounts, Credit and debit cards, Loans
  • Savings monthly fee: Starting from $5.00
  • Checking monthly fee:  Starting from $4.95
Pro:
  • Vast selection of products and services
Con:
  • Low APY

Chase Bank is the largest bank in the U.S., with operations in 100 countries as of 2022. It operates 4,700 branches and 17,000 ATMs in the U.S. alone.

Checking Accounts

Chase Bank offers a total of eight different checking accounts. There are no minimum deposit requirements to open the accounts. The most basic account is Chase Secure banking, with a fixed fee of $4.95. The other accounts come with a monthly fee ranging from $12 to $35, which are waived when meeting the set terms. At the moment, new Chase customers opening an eligible checking account can also get a $200 welcome bonus.

Savings Accounts

Chase Bank offers two checking accounts with monthly fees of $5 and $25, respectively. Regardless of which account you choose, you can have the fee waived when meeting the account conditions. Withdrawals are limited to six per month. Any withdrawals above this number incur a $5.00 charge per withdrawal. Unless you qualify for Premier Relationship Rates, the APY rate is 0.01% across the board. In this case, the rate goes up to 0.02%.

Other Products and Services

As the largest bank in the US, Chase Bank offers any banking financial product and service you might need. These include many credit cards, debit cards, loans, home equity, mortgages, etc.

Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for a Bank in Illinois

Banks, just like any other company in any other sector, like to differentiate themselves from the competition. It’s a rare occasion when two banks offer the same account.

With all of us having different financial requirements and goals, this should be good news as it gives us a better chance of finding the right fit.

To truly leverage this, however, we need to understand our preferences – what makes and breaks a deal and what is not so important. To this end, we have prepared a short list of things you should consider when looking for a new bank.

  • Products and Services: Banks offer a wide range of products and services such as free checking accounts, interest checking accounts, deposit accounts, loans, credit cards, or anything in between. Take the time to plan what you need and ensure that your chosen bank can service your current and future needs.
  • Fees: Most fees, such as monthly maintenance fees, are waived by meeting a minimum balance requirement – maintaining an account balance above a certain amount. The same applies to overdraft fees and others.
  • Interest: Most savings accounts earn an APY (Annual Percentage Yield) interest rate. Interest rates can help you grow your savings. Use an APY calculator to compare different rates.
  • Service: Many, if not all, banks offer a mobile banking app and online banking. These increasingly sophisticated apps may come with features like mobile check deposit and bill pay, allowing you to take care of banking tasks from the comfort of your home.
  • ATMs: If you withdraw money, a large ATM network allows you to make free ATM withdrawals from more locations. Some banks also offer rebates when using out-of-network ATMs.
  • Member FDIC: When banking with an FDIC-insured bank, you are insured up to $250,00 should something happen to the bank. Think of it as a free insurance policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the biggest bank in Illinois?

The biggest bank doing business in Illinois is Chase Bank. It has the most bank branches and is also the biggest bank in the U.S.

BMO Harris is the largest bank headquartered in Chicago.

What is the most popular bank in Chicago?

According to a study by Loyola University Chicago, BMO Harris is the most widely used bank in Chicago.

What is the best bank in the Midwest?

With so many banks and account options available comes the difficulty of choosing one. Many people often refer to rankings. However, this can be misleading as the best-ranking bank might not be the best fit for you if it doesn’t offer what you need.

There is no one best bank in the Midwest. Most banks aim to cater to different kinds of customers. As such, the best bank for you is the one that is best equipped to service your financial needs and requirements.