Best Banks in Kentucky

Kentucky has some of the best banks in the country. Choosing a bank account, whether with a national or a local bank, can be more complicated than you think.

To help you make the best decision, we’ve listed the best banks in Kentucky. This post will look at the financial services and products they offer and review some of their substantial fees.

10 Best Banks in Kentucky

Here’s a list of the top 10 banks in Kentucky right now.

1. Fifth Third Bank fifth third bank logo

Fifth Third Bank is a community-focused bank based in Ohio serving customers in several states. In Kentucky, they operate 72 locations from Alexandria to Walton, with the highest concentration in Louisville and Lexington.

The bank offers three checking accounts: Momentum, Preferred, and Express. Momentum is a middle-of-the-road account with no monthly fees and minimum balance requirements. Preferred Checking is reserved for those with $100,000 or more in investable assets, while Express targets those who need help with their finances.

Fifth Third Bank also offers a savings account called Momentum Savings. It has a waivable monthly service charge of $5, while the APY is 0.01% across all balances. The account comes with features to help you reach your savings goals and can even help you automate savings.

Account Options: Checking accounts, savings accounts, C.D.s (Certificates of Deposit), credit cards, mortgages, auto financing, equity lines, personal loans, lines of credit, insurance, and investment options

  • Pros: Free checking account
  • Cons: Low APY rate

2. U.S. Bank US bank logo

U.S. Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. It takes the 5th overall place and mainly focuses on the West and Midwest. It has a sizeable presence in Kentucky, reaching 62 cities.

U.S. Bank offers two checking accounts – Bank Smartly and Safe Debit. Safe Debit comes with a fixed monthly fee of $4.95 (which you can’t waive), while Bank Smartly has a monthly maintenance fee of $6.95, which the bank will waive when you meet the account’s criteria. Available features include an overdraft paid fee waiver, access to branches in over 25 states, and many others.

U.S. Bank also offers one traditional savings account with a monthly fee of $4.00. The bank will waive the fee when you meet the set requirements, while the minimum opening deposit is $25. The current APY is 0.01%.

Account Options: Checking accounts, savings accounts, MMAs (Money Market Accounts), C.D.s, credit cards, personal loans and lines, home and vehicle loans, and investment and retirement options.

  • Pros: Good presence in Kentucky
  • Cons: Low APY rate

3. Community Trust Bank

Community Trust Bank is a community bank based in Pikeville. It serves customers in Kentucky as well as West Virginia and Tennessee. It currently operates 69 locations in Kentucky and a handful of locations in the other two states.

Community Trust Bank offers three checking accounts. Their basic account has no monthly maintenance fee and comes with a complimentary debit card. Alternatively, you can opt for Advantage Checking, which has a waivable monthly fee of $7.00.

This account has a few more perks, including IDProtect, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, Shopping Rewards, and many others. Both accounts have a minimum opening deposit of $100. You can also opt for Advantage Plus Interest Checking, which earns interest on balances of $1,000 and over.

Community Trust Bank offers one savings account with a minimum opening deposit requirement of $10. There is a quarterly maintenance fee, and interest is compounded and paid every quarter.

Account Options: Checking accounts, savings accounts, C.D.s, IRAs, MMAs, loans, and mortgages.

  • Pros: Good perks with higher-tier checking accounts
  • Cons: Interest compounded quarterly limits earnings

4. PNC PNC logo

PNC is one of the largest banks in the U.S. It operates in 29 states, including Kentucky, with 68 branches. The bank focuses extensively on community impact with programs such as PNC Grow Up Great and charitable giving.

While PNC offers separate checking and savings accounts, you can also opt for a Virtual Wallet, which combines the two. You can also earn a welcome bonus of between $50 and $400 – depending on which account combination you choose.

Monthly service charges range between $7 and $25 – which PNC will waive when you meet any of the three requirements. The standard APY rate is 0.01%; however, this can go up to 0.05% with relationship rates.

Account Options: Virtual wallets, checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, prepaid cards, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, student loans, and investment options.

  • Pros: Welcome bonus of up to $400
  • Cons: Low APY rate

5. Regions Bank regions bank logo

Regions Bank is a regional bank based in Alabama and serves customers in the Midwest, South, and Texas. It has a sizeable presence in Kentucky, making it a good option for those who prefer face-to-face banking.

Regions Bank offers six checking accounts – three are for general use and three for specific needs. Monthly fees start at $5.00 and top out at $18, while the minimum opening deposit ranges between $10 and $50. The top-tier account earns interest and can help you earn cash back.

Regions Bank also offers a good selection of savings accounts, with monthly fees starting from $0. Some accounts also offer a savings bonus over and above the interest rate paid, making it a good motivator to save some extra bucks.

Account Options: Checking accounts, savings accounts, MMAs, CDs, prepaid cards, credit cards, investment options, loans, lines of credit, and mortgages

  • Pros: Savings bonus
  • Cons: APYs only disclosed by bank representatives

6. Citizens Bank of Kentucky

Citizens Bank of Kentucky is a local Kentucky bank. It has a presence in eight counties where it operates a total of 12 branches.

Citizens Bank of Kentucky offers five different checking accounts with monthly charges starting from $0. Account features vary by account but typically include a free Visa debit card, unlimited check writing, and many others.

Citizens Bank of Kentucky also offers one traditional savings account called Keepsake Savings. It has no minimum deposit requirement – but you’ll pay $3 per statement cycle if you don’t meet the balance requirements. While the bank offers other savings accounts, you must visit a branch to open these.

Account Options: Checking accounts, savings accounts, HSA, CESA, C.D.s, IRAs,

  • Pros: Good selection of accounts
  • Cons: Some accounts require a branch visit to open

7. First State Bank

First State Bank, it turns out, is a very common name, with more than a handful of banks using it across the U.S. The one serving customers in Kentucky has three locations: Louisa, Inez, and Warfield.

First State Bank offers five checking accounts with monthly fees starting from $0. Checking accounts comes with various perks and features, including ATM fee refunds, cash backs, interest, and many others. The APY rate on interest-bearing accounts can go up to 2.0%

First State Bank also offers a good selection of savings accounts, including free savings accounts. Kasasa Saver is one such account. It has no monthly fees and a $50 minimum opening deposit requirement. The APY interest rate is tiered and can reach 1.01% when meeting requirements.

Account Options: Checking accounts, savings accounts, personal loans, credit cards

  • Pros: Good APY rates
  • Cons: Limited presence in Kentucky

8. Forcht Bank

Forcht Bank is a community bank that is part of the Forcht Group of Companies with headquarters in Lexington and Corbin. It operates 28 banking centers, all of which are in Kentucky.

The bank offers five checking accounts, two of which are not specialized. All accounts have a $50 minimum opening deposit, while monthly service charges range between $5 and $6. One difference is that the lower the monthly charge, the higher the balance requirement to avoid the fee, so be sure to read the fine print before committing to an account.

Forcht Bank also offers two traditional savings accounts. The minimum deposit requirement ranges between $100 and $500, while the waivable monthly service charge is $5 or $6, depending on the account. The APY interest rate ranges between 0,05% and 0.10% – depending on the account and balance.

Account Options: Checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards, and investment options

  • Pros: Good account selection
  • Cons: APY rate is relatively low

9. Republic Bank & Trust Company

Republic Bank and Trust Co. is the company that manages Republic Bank. The bank is based in Louiseville and serves customers in areas within Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, and Tennessee.

Republic Bank & Trust offers four checking accounts with monthly fees starting from $0. The minimum opening deposit requirement ranges between $10 and $50. Two of the accounts pay out interest. Those who served in the military have access to a tailored account.

The bank also offers two traditional savings accounts with an APY of 0.15% across all accounts and balances. Monthly fees range between $0 and $10. Depending on your chosen account, the opening deposit requirement varies between $10 and $5,000.

Account Options: checking accounts, savings accounts, MMAs, CDs, CDARS, IRAs, credit cards, mortgages, and loans.

  • Pros: Free checking account
  • Cons: Low APY rate

10. Kentucky Trust Co.

Kentucky Trust Company is a subsidiary of Whitaker Bank – a state bank with headquarters in Lexington. It was founded in 1995 following the bank’s acquisition by an out-of-state institution. Kentucky Trust Co. focuses on wealth management; however, you’ll find accounts offered by the parent bank – Whitaker Bank.

There are five checking accounts, with maintenance fees starting from $0. The bank will waive the monthly fee when you meet the set balance requirements. Top-tier accounts also pay interest. However, you’ll need to maintain a certain balance.

The bank also offers one traditional savings account with a monthly maintenance fee of $5. You can have the bank waive the fee, and the account earns interest when you maintain a minimum balance of $100. Free withdrawals are limited to 6 every three months, with a fee for any above this amount.

Account Options: Wealthy management, checking accounts, savings accounts, IRAs, HSAs, CDs, MMAs, personal loans, credit cards, and insurance.

  • Pros: Free checking account
  • Cons: Free savings withdrawals limited to 6 per quarter

Credit Unions in Kentucky

You may want to consider the following credit unions in Kentucky:

Credit unions work like banks in many ways; the main difference is that you become a member rather than a customer. Furthermore, since credit unions are not-for-profit institutions, they tend to offer better terms than many banks.

Membership is based on specific criteria such as working or living in Kentucky, making it relatively easy to join. Keep in mind that, in many cases, credit unions might not have the reach of big banks. Make sure you look for NCUA-insured credit unions since this provides an extra layer of protection.

How to Choose the Best Bank in Kentucky

Whether you choose a local or a national bank, there are several things you need to keep in mind that make your banking experience as good as possible. From the range of banking services and products on offer to the fees charges, make sure you consider everything before making your decision.

Here are a few things to remember when choosing a Kentucky bank.

  • Online banking: Online banking, also known as digital banking, allows you to take care of most banking matters from the comfort of your home, saving you many long trips to a branch.
  • Mobile banking: Mobile banking works similarly to online banking, except that you do it through a mobile app. It typically includes features such as online bill pay, remote check deposit, and many others.
  • Business banking: If you think you might open your own business, look for a bank with a reputable business division.
  • Account features: Features such as direct deposit, ATM withdrawals, and overdraft protection can help you make your banking experience smoother and more efficient.
  • Service fees: Banks charge all kinds of service fees, although not all of them may apply to you. Make sure you’re aware of any costs by looking up the schedule of fees.
  • FDIC insured: FDIC insurance insures depositors up to $250,000 against loss from bank failures – without having to pay any premium.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular bank in Kentucky?

Republic Bank and Trust was selected as the best bank in Kentucky by Newsweek. While this does not necessarily make it the most popular, it shows that this bank is a widely approved option.

What major banks are in Kentucky?

Many major banks have a presence in Kentucky. U.S. Bank, which we reviewed in this article, is one such bank and is considered to be a systematically important bank.

What is the largest credit union in Kentucky?

Abound Credit Union is the largest credit union in Kentucky. It has more than 100,000 members and operates 18 locations throughout the state.