What constitutes the best banks in Pennsylvania can be subjective, as each one of us can have different preferences. We’ve compiled a list to help you decide which bank ticks all the boxes for you.
Whether you want more handy personal finance tools or amazing APY rates, the banks and credit unions on our list should meet your expectations. The list we came up with is based on specific criteria, which each bank or credit union outshines its competitors in one way or another.
This article will give you a list of the very best Pennsylvania banks and credit unions. We’ve highlighted their pros, cons, and main reasons to open an account with them.
8 Best Banks in Pennsylvania
Here are the 8 best banks and credit unions in PA that you can open an account with today:
- First National Bank: Best Overall Bank Account in PA
- Santander Bank: Best Free Checking Account in Pennsylvania
- TD Bank: Best Bank for Small Businesses
- Citizens Bank: Best Pennsylvania Bank for Financial Planning Tools
- CIT Bank: Best PA Bank to earn APY on Savings Accounts
- PNC: Best for Branch Accessibility
- PSECU Credit Union: Best Credit Union in PA
- Philadelphia Federal Credit Union: Runner-Up Best Credit Union in PA
1. First National Bank
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, First National Bank is a solid choice for personal or business banking with hundreds of branches and ATMs across Pennsylvania.
The bank offers personal checking and savings, loans and mortgages, investment planning, and insurance resources, along with a wealth of business products and services.
First National Bank Checking Accounts
First National Bank offers five checking accounts to meet a variety of user needs:
- Freestyle Checking
- Lifestyle Checking
- eStyle Checking
- eStyle Plus Checking
- Premierestyle Checking
Each of these accounts comes with a free Visa® debit card, access to 550 fee-free ATMs, and mobile check deposits. Users can also add their FNB debit or credit card to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Online Banking, Bill Pay, Mobile Banking, and Telephone Banking are free to customers with an eligible account; however, there may be a fee for certain optional services. Mobile data and carrier fees may apply.
Some accounts like Freestyle are designed to meet young bankers’ basic needs, while others like Premierstyle earn interest and have perks such as refunds on ATM fees from other institutions and a free first order of checks, subject to limitations.
With so many flexible account options, FNB is a sensible pick for bankers at every stage of life.
2. Santander Bank
If you are looking for a financial institution with a solid presence in Pennsylvania and nationwide with some of the best checking account options, Santander is worth considering.
Santander is one of the largest banks in PA, with 150 brick-and-mortar branches located all over the state.
It has 650 branches and 2,000 ATMs nationwide, so if you frequently travel outside of Pennsylvania, you will have plenty of options for withdrawing your money conveniently and for free.
Santander accommodates the needs of its more brick-and-mortar-oriented customers. We’ve already mentioned its many branches available, but it also thinks about its more digital-oriented account holders.
It offers an online portal, and mobile banking, including check deposits, online bill pay, and more.
The Simply Right Checking asks for a low minimum deposit of $25 to get started. It grants free checking on the condition that you make at least one deposit in the account every month.
If you don’t meet this requirement, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of $10. Keep an eye on your balance to avoid unnecessary expenses over time.
3. TD Bank
According to J.D. Power’s Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study, TD Bank is one of the best banks for small businesses.
TD Bank has been ranked very high more than once in this study, whose goal is to rate banks based on their customer service skills and the quality of their financial services.
Why is TD Bank such an excellent choice for small businesses financial needs?
TD Bank Business Convenience Checking Account
The business Convenience Checking Account from TD bank is dedicated to small business owners and has many benefits.
It has a highly convenient online banking and mobile app. It includes bill pay, a business debit card, small business loans, and home equity lines of credit, the possibility to schedule and manage online payments, account protection with 2-step verification, and access to all of your accounts with a single log-in.
Many other perks come with the Convenience Checking Account, such as TD Online Accounting and TD Merchant Solutions.
We’re not going to explore all of them here, but I suggest you go and check TD Bank’s website to get a complete picture of what this account can do for you.
It requires a minimum deposit of $100 to get started. It has a monthly maintenance fee of $25, which can be waived by keeping at least $1,500 of the combined balance between all accounts opened with TD Bank.
If you have an account with TD Bank, be careful about how many transactions per month you usually perform.
There is a limit of 500 transactions, including debits, checks, and deposits each month. After this amount, TD Bank will charge 50 cents per transaction. As fees can add up quickly, be sure to always keep an eye on the number of transactions you’ve done.
4. Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank is a great option both for online and offline banking services. It is a large national bank with 1,000 offices nationwide and 299 branch locations across the state of Pennsylvania.
Citizens National Bank offers a choice of 4 different checking accounts to its customers.
Citizens Bank Checking Accounts
One deposit is the most basic account. It has monthly maintenance fees, but it’s easy to avoid them by making at least one qualifying deposit per month and nothing more.
Students Checking is an account tailor-made for students, which waives all fees for students under the age of 25, and it also promises to reimburse ATM fees.
Citizens Bank Platinum Checking and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking are Citizens Bank premium checking accounts.
They are both interest-bearing accounts with exclusive benefits, such as discounts on a series of financial products, including money market accounts.
Citizens Bank Premium Checking APY is 0.2%, while the Platinum Plus Checking has a slightly higher APY of 0.03%.
Both accounts increase the interest rates earned while you grow the money kept in your account. Even though the interest earned isn’t as high as what you could earn with some online banks, you can avoid monthly fees, which is a big plus.
The premium accounts also give you a dedicated personal bank advisor you can consult with before making important decisions about your personal finances.
A great perk of opening an account with Citizens Bank is Citizens Checkup. This awesome financial planning tool offers each account holder personalized help with personal finance.
You can get help with evaluating your finances, planning for retirement, planning a financial strategy to reach a specific goal, and so on.
Citizens Checkup financial planner is available to every account holder for free.
5. CIT Bank
CIT Bank is an online-only bank, which offers an entire set of financial products and a great digital experience at the same time.
There are no branch locations in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else). Still, CIT Bank has remotely accessible customer service to stay close to its customers. It will give you all the digital tools you need for online and mobile banking.
If you are looking to open the best savings account and earn some interest in it, this bank is for you.
It has many different options to earn APY on different accounts, starting from the checking account to savings accounts and money market accounts.
CIT Bank Checking Account
CIT Bank’s e-Checking account is a digital checking account that earns a modest interest rate. There is the opportunity to earn more annual percentage yield, but you will have to keep at least $25,000 in the account to qualify.
This account is fee-free, and it reimburses some of the ATM fees you might incur.
CIT Bank Savings Accounts
There are two savings bank account options offered:
- Premium High Yield Savings is CIT Bank’s basic savings account. With a Premium High Yield Savings Account, you have the option of earning a competitive APY.
- Savings Builder is a little more complicated. It has three different tiers, based on which you will have the opportunity to earn more or less interest on your balance. This account also has some conditions to meet to keep it open, such as meeting minimum balance requirements or signing up for monthly direct deposits.
The interest earned on the savings bank accounts varies from 0.25% to 1.06%, depending on which tier you qualify for and the account you choose.
CIT money market account is another popular option for people wanting to earn a high-interest rate and have their money always accessible.
This account limits your free money transactions to 6 per month. After that, you will still be able to make more but for a fee of $10 every time. Fortunately, there is also a limit on the fees – you will never be charged more than $50 a month.
The money market account also charges you $25 if you overdraft. Other than that, it has no additional fees.
As you can see, there are many options, and you can take your pick when it comes to choosing an interest-bearing account at CIT Bank.
6. PNC Bank
PNC Bank is a local bank based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Since it started right in Pennsylvania, it makes sense that PNC has many branches in the state. Precisely, it has more than 400 locations across the state.
Among these branches, 95 are in Pittsburgh alone and 98 in Philadelphia.
If being able to go to a local branch and personally interact with a bank representative is something you value, then PNC is a good choice as a financial institution.
In addition to the many branches, PNC Bank also has a nice variety of financial products, including debit and credit cards, personal checking accounts, savings accounts, and Virtual Wallet Banking Packages.
PNC Bank Checking Accounts
The Standard Checking Account from PNC requires $25 as an opening balance.
It charges a monthly service fee of $7, which you can avoid the checking account fee if you maintain an average of $500 in the account each month or arrange monthly direct deposits of at least $500.
Some accounts include additional perks, like the Performance Select Account, which earns interest on balances above $2,000 if you meet the requirements.
All PNC accounts come with a full set of online tools plus mobile banking, Zelle for money transfers, bill pay, opportunities to earn cash back, free ATMs, and ATM fees reimbursements.
Best Credit Unions in Pennsylvania
Another option is to open your account with a credit union. Credit unions are an excellent alternative to banks as they offer many perks traditional banks don’t, like better rates and more personalized service.
However, keep in mind that many credit unions won’t accept just anyone as a member. They might check your credit score, but they usually have requirements based on your geographical location or job industry. Make sure you check these before applying.
There are more than 50 credit unions in Pennsylvania – but in this article, we’ve listed two that are considered the best credit unions for several reasons.
7. PSECU Credit Union
PSECU federal credit union was founded in 1933, and its main office is in Harrisburg, PA. It is the largest credit union in Pennsylvania, with $7.46 billion in assets and more than 481,000 members.
How To Become a Member
- Work for a company or be in an association that has PSECU membership as a benefit
- Went to a school that has a partnership with PSECU
- Live with someone who is a PSECU member
- Are an immediate family member of someone who has PSECU membership
If you don’t meet any of these requirements, but you are a PA resident, don’t worry – you can still become a member of PSECU.
All you need to do is enroll in Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society first, which costs about $5.
PSECU offers checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and many other financial services to its members.
This credit union has lower fees and higher interest rates than the average banks, so I’d recommend you to give it a try if you are eligible for membership.
8. Philadelphia Federal Credit Union
Philadelphia credit union was founded in 1951 in Philadelphia, and it has many branch locations in the city.
It’s the 8th largest credit union in Pennsylvania, with $1.5 billion in assets and more than 122,000 members.
Its members are primarily federal, state, and local government employees and their families.
This credit union offers a wide variety of financial products, such as checking, savings, CD, and money market accounts, plus personal loans, car/ truck/ SUV loans at competitive rates, bill pay, and much more.
In addition to the brick-and-mortar offices in Philadelphia, it offers mobile banking and a web portal. You can access their customer service online, in person, or by phone.
What Are The Best Banks in Pennsylvania?
The state of Pennsylvania has many banks to choose from, such as Santander, Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Penn Community Bank, plus many credit unions.
There are more than 200 banks available in PA – and some of the best ones you’ll find in the article above.