Living in the smallest state in the U.S., you may not expect to have many choices when it comes to banking. But luckily, Rhode Island has plenty to offer, whether you’re a lifelong resident or just recently moved to the Ocean State.
Choosing the right bank can make a huge difference in your financial life. From minimal fees to high-interest rates, I compiled this list of the ten best banks in Rhode Island to help you find the one that best meets your needs.
From brick-and-mortar banks to online-only options, you’ll find the perfect fit for your finances.
10 Best Banks in Rhode Island
Here are the ten best banks in Rhode Island where you can open an account today:
- Citizens Bank
- Bank of America
- Washington Trust
- Bank Rhode Island
- HarborOne Bank
- Santander Bank
- Ally Bank
- Centreville Bank
- Chase Bank
- Axos Bank
1. Citizens Bank
At the top of the list and headquartered right in Providence, RI, Citizens Bank offers a range of financial products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, IRAs, certificates of deposit (CDs), and home loans.
One of its most popular products is the One Deposit checking account, which you can open with any amount. Also, if you want to waive the $9.99 monthly service fee, you only have to make one monthly deposit of any amount. There is no opening or monthly minimum balance required.
They also offer a One Deposit savings account that works similarly—make one deposit of any amount per statement period or maintain a $200 daily balance, and your monthly maintenance fee ($4.99) will be waived. This account earns interest; however, its annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.01% is well below the national average (0.35%).
With both brick-and-mortar and online mobile banking options, Citizens Bank offers its account holders a variety of unique features, including the following:
- Citizens Peace of Mind: Receive alerts if you overdraft your account and a grace period to get your balance back to $0 and reverse your overdraft fees.
- Citizens IQ: Offers personalized insights into your saving and spending habits and tips to reach your long-term savings goals.
- Citizens Paid Early: Get paid up to two days early if your checks are directly deposited into your Citizen account.
Citizens account holders can manage their accounts at any time via its highly-rated mobile app in both the App Store (4.7) and Google Play Store (4.3).
- HQ right in Providence
- Fifty-three convenient locations in Rhode Island
- Easily avoidable monthly fees
- Low APY for savings account
- Reviews cite poor customer service
2. Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the leading providers of banking and financial services to the residents of Rhode Island and the US. It offers an incredible number of services and products, including checking and savings accounts, personal and business loans, credit cards, retirement accounts, CDs, IRAs, 529 plans, and wealth management services (through Merill Edge).
Bank of America has 46 branch locations, ATMs across the state, and an easy-to-use mobile banking app so you can conveniently manage your account anytime, anywhere.
An Advantage Savings account requires a $100 initial deposit and a monthly maintenance fee of $8. The fee can be waived if you keep a minimum daily balance of $500 or become a Preferred Rewards Member. There is also a tiered APY based on how much you have in your account and your Preferred Rewards Member status; however, at the time of publishing, APYs start at 0.01% and top out at 0.04%.
Bank of America also offers three checking accounts, with the Advantage Plus option being the most common. It provides features such as check writing, extra security with a chipped debit card, overdraft protection, and cash-back deals with BankAmeriDeals. You can also avoid the $12 maintenance fee by making monthly direct deposits of at least $250 and maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,500.
Customers can also take advantage of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, which offers benefits like higher interest rates, cashback on retail and travel purchases, and waived or discounted fees. To qualify, you must have more than $20,000 in combined deposits across your Bank of America deposit accounts and Merrill investment accounts.
- Convenient mobile check deposit and bill pay
- User-friendly website and app
- Fee-free ATMs
- 24/7 customer service availability
- Low APY rates on savings and CDs
- Numerous fees
3. Washington Trust Bank
With 24 branches across the state, Washington Trust Bank has provided banking services to Rhode Island residents for over 220 years. It’s the oldest and most established bank in the state and the oldest community bank in the country.
Washington Trust has a strong presence in the local Rhode Island community, with branches and ATMs in Barrington, Cranston, East Greenwich, New Haven, Providence, South Kingstown, and Warwick. A handful of branches also extend into Massachusetts and Connecticut.
This local bank offers a full range of bank accounts and services, including three checking account options, a savings account, a money market account, a custodial savings account, and a savings club account to help you save for special occasions. (Some of these accounts must be opened in person at a local branch—check the website for details).
Accountholders have access to Washington Trust’s online money management features, which help you track your spending, highlight ways to save money and set financial goals for paying off debt or contributing to your savings or retirement accounts.
- Over 220+ years in the industry
- Fee-free ATMs (as long as it’s in-network)
- Lower fees compared to other national banks
- Savings, CD, and MMA APYs are much lower than the national average
- Does not offer 24/7 customer service access
4. Bank Rhode Island
Founded in 1996, Bank Rhode Island is a full-service bank headquartered in Providence. Offering in-person, online, and mobile banking, you can access three checking account options, two savings accounts, a money market, CD, IRAs, mortgage and home equity loans, and investment services. It also provides accounts for business or commercial banking.
Some of BankRI’s checking accounts allow for interest to accrue, but all of them provide ways to escape the monthly maintenance fee, which can depend on your daily balance or direct deposits. Its Premium Checking account comes with a free Premium Savings Account, preferred rates on CDs, free money orders, cashier’s checks, and stop payments.
Bank RI also offers Courtesy Coverage, their overdraft protection feature. If you write a check or make a purchase with your debit card that you don’t have the funds to cover, BankRI will cover you. (You do have to opt-in to access this service).
Additionally, BankRI’s website offers multiple calculators to assist you in your financial planning, including savings goals, loan repayment, and a 15-year vs. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage calculator.
With 20 branch locations and over 30 ATMs spread throughout the state, BankRI makes it easy for you to access your money wherever you are in Rhode Island.
- Multiple bank account options
- The mobile app is highly rated
- Helpful online calculators
- Hard to find info or reviews of BankRI outside of their own website
- Limited customer service hours
5. HarborOne Bank
While headquartered in Brockton, Massachusetts, HarborOne Bank has eight locations across Rhode Island.
HarborOne Bank has a variety of checking and savings accounts to fit your needs, from basic accounts with no monthly fees to those that earn interest, offering discounts on loan rates, and ATM fee refunds. They also offer multiple types of loans, including personal loans, home equity loans, auto loans, and mortgages.
HarborOne’s Statement Savings has a $5.00 minimum to open an account, a $25.00 minimum to start earning interest, and a $200 daily balance to avoid the monthly fee. Its i-Checking Account, designed for those who like to bank online, also earns interest, with a required $10.00 deposit to open the account and zero ATM fees.
Additionally, this bank offers a financial education program called HarborOneU to help customers make informed financial decisions. You’ll have access to digital tools, webinars, and other educational materials to help you with financial literacy and planning for your financial future.
- Some checking accounts earn interest
- Competitive CD and IRA APYs
- A vast number of personal, business, and commercial accounts
- Mobile apps don’t have great ratings, particularly in the App Store
- Low APYs for savings accounts
6. Santander Bank
With over 149 million customers worldwide, Santander Bank is a top financial competitor in the northeastern US. With 22 Rhode Island branches, customers can choose from checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment options.
One of Santander’s most popular accounts is the Simply Right Checking account. It has no minimum balance requirement, but you need at least $25 to open it. You can also waive your $10 monthly fee if you make at least one transaction every month (deposit, payment, transfer, or withdrawal). Simply Right Checking comes with online and mobile banking, mobile check deposits, online bill pay, Zell transfers, and a debit card.
When it comes to savings, Santander offers a savings account, a money market account, CD, and a youth savings account. Santander’s standard savings account has a minimum deposit of $25, but no minimum balance requirement. The monthly $1 maintenance fee can be waived if you also open a Santander checking account or maintain a $100 average daily balance.
Santander has a few special features for its account holders. Customers can find helpful financial resources and advice about how to save money, pay down debt, and live within a budget in the “Prosper and Thrive” section of Santander’s website. If you’ve lost your ATM, credit, or debit card, the Instant Card Hold feature, Santander will put a temporary hold on it to prevent any future transactions (until the hold is removed).
- Only charged an overdraft fee if your account is overdrawn by more than $100
- Multiple deposit account options
- Just $25 is needed to open a Santander Savings Account
- Out-of-network ATM fees
- Some products and services require you to visit your local branch in-person
7. Ally Bank
Ally Bank is a convenient online bank that offers a vast number of services that you can access from anywhere. Ally has no physical branches, but customers do have access to over 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs across the United States—of which 35 are in Rhode Island.
Ally offers one checking account—the Interest Checking account—which offers a 0.25% APY, no minimum balance, and no opening deposit requirements. Additionally, customers can take advantage of features like mobile check deposits, a free MasterCard debit card, and RoundUps (where your transactions are rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference is deposited into your savings).
Also, with no minimum balance requirement, Ally’s Online Savings Account offers a “savings bucket” feature to help you reach your financial goals. Unlike several other banks on this list, this account has no monthly maintenance fee, and an APY significantly higher than the national average.
Along with checking and savings accounts, Ally Bank offers other services such as money market accounts, CDs, IRAs, mortgages, loans, and investment and wealth management services. Ally Bank is FDIC insured, so you can rest easy knowing your deposits are safe.
- No monthly account maintenance fees
- Higher than average savings APY
- Get paid up to two days early if you have a direct deposit
- Uses savings buckets to organize your money
- No physical branch locations
- Cannot deposit cash into your accounts
8. Centreville Bank
Founded in 1828 (just 38 years after Rhode Island gained its statehood), Centreville Bank is a community bank that serves both Connecticut and Rhode Island. You can visit one of 11 local branches in Cranston, East Greenwich, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Providence (loan office), and Warwick—or you can bank online or through the mobile app.
Centreville Bank is a member FDIC bank and offers comprehensive financial products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, auto loans, mortgages, financial planning, wealth management, and credit cards.
There are three options for checking accounts, with the most popular being the Personal Checking account, as there is no monthly maintenance fee and only a $25 minimum to open.
The Personal Savings account has a $25 minimum to open, and you must maintain a minimum daily balance of $100 to earn interest.
With Centreville Bank, you have access to multiple unique offerings, including:
- Overdraft line of credit: This provides a credit line ranging between $500 and $2,500 to help you avoid declined debit card transactions or bounced checks.
- ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines): With ITMs, you can interact with a local, live banker after hours to assist you with your banking transactions.
- SavvyMoney: Get a free credit score report, free credit monitoring, and tips to help you bring your score up
- Fee-free ATMs (within the SUM network)
This local bank prides itself on giving back to its community. The Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation provides grants and donations to local community-based organizations that support students, low-income families, and non-profits.
- Will reimburse ATM fees
- Premium Checking Account earns interest
- Donated over $1.5 million to non-profit organizations in 2022
- Cashback rewards when you use Centreville’s Debit Mastercard
- Low 0.05% APY for savings account
- A poorly rated mobile app, particularly in the App Store
9. Chase Bank
Chase Bank, headquartered in New York City, is one of the largest banks in the U.S., with almost 5,000 branches across 48 states. Currently, there are 11 branches in Rhode Island, with plans to expand over the coming years.
With a full range of product offerings, Chase has everything you could need in a bank—whether you’re looking for personal banking, a business account, a credit card, loans, or wealth management. It offers multiple personal account options, including those for younger kids, high school, and college students so you can help teach them financial literacy at they grow.
Chase’s most basic (and most popular) account is Chase Total Checking, which comes with a free credit report, online bill pay, mobile check deposit, Zelle transfers, and account alerts. Alerts come in the form of an email or text to inform you of a low balance, large transaction, unusual account activity, and more. Additionally, Chase usually offers a sign-on bonus when you open an account.
Most Chase accounts come with overdraft protection, where you will not be charged an overdraft fee if your account is overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day. With Chase Savings, you can set up free overdraft protection transfers to cover you in case you don’t have enough money in your checking account.
Chase is also one of the leading providers of credit cards, offering something for everyone. Known for its generous rewards, low-interest rates, and flexible spending limits, Chase’s credit cards rank highly with users in terms of customer satisfaction. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, an introductory APR of 0%, and no annual fee.
- Checking sign-up bonus
- The mobile app has a high 4.8 rating (out of 5) in the App Store
- Chase’s credit card rewards program (Ultimate Rewards) offers extensive redemption options
- A large amount of fees
- Low APY rates for savings and CDs
10. Axos Bank
Founded in 1999 as Bank of Internet USA, Axos was one of the first online-only banking systems. Today, its commitment to personalized, technology-driven banking earns it a spot as one of the best in Rhode Island.
From rewards checking and savings accounts to flexible loans, competitive mortgage rates, and diverse investment products, Axos offers a comprehensive suite of financial products.
All five checking account options include free debit cards, account alerts, online bill pay, and direct peer-to-peer payments. Axos’s popular Rewards Checking offers a starting 0.40% APY, and with specific steps, account holders can work their way up to 1.25% APY. There’s a $50 minimum opening deposit, no monthly fee, no overdraft fees, and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.
Axos is also the only bank on this list to offer a high-yield savings account (HYSA). This account has a tiered interest rate structure that can earn up to 0.61% APY, a free ATM card, and no minimum balance requirement other than an initial opening deposit of $250.
Axos Bank customers can conveniently access their accounts via Axos’s website or mobile app (which is highly rated on Google Play and the App Store).
- Competitive checking rates and rewards
- 24/7 customer service
- No monthly fees
- ATM fee reimbursements
- No physical locations in Rhode Island
- Low CD and savings rates
Bonus: Navigant Credit Union
Established in 1915, Navigant Credit Union serves more than 135,000 members in Rhode Island and operates out of 24 branches across the state (particularly in the northeastern region).
Navigant Credit Union offers competitive rates for CDs, IRAs, and its Journey Rewards Checking account, which offers 2.50% APY (when certain criteria are met) and ATM fee refunds.
Customers also have access to Navigant’s online banking services, so you can manage your account online, through the app, with a mobile wallet (like Apple Pay), or over the phone.
Additionally, Navigant offers a range of other services, including mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and credit cards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best bank in Rhode Island?
The best bank in Rhode Island really depends on your personal financial needs. Every bank and credit union has its own advantages and disadvantages, and what works for one person may not work for you.
Citizens, Bank of America, and Washington Trust are good options if you want a convenient bank with many branches across the state. If you prefer a local bank with its roots in the community, consider Centreville Bank, HarborOne Bank, and, again, Washington Trust.
Before you choose a financial institution to bank with, identify the key features and services you’d like from a banking partner. Once you have a clear idea of what works best for you, you can make a more informed decision.
What is the best credit union in Rhode Island?
Similar to banks, the best credit union for you depends on what features you’re looking for, as well as your financial plans.
The largest credit union in Rhode Island is Navigant, with $3.3+ billion in assets, 24 branches, and over 135,000 members. A close second, headquartered in Pawtucket, is Coastal1 Credit Union, with $3 billion in assets, 17 branches, and 130,000 members.
How many banks are there in Rhode Island?
There are approximately 20 active bank providers in Rhode Island, with a combined total of over 240 banking locations. Citizens Bank, Bank of America, Washington Trust, and Santander Bank make up most of the brick-and-mortar locations.
As online banks have no physical location, don’t discount them from your list for consideration. Typically available nationwide, online banks offer perks and features sometimes not found in physical branches, including free checking and savings accounts, free overdraft protection, and higher interest rates.
Which bank has the most branches in Rhode Island?
Citizens Bank has the most branches in Rhode Island, with 55 brick-and-mortar locations.
Which of the Best Banks in Rhode Island Is for You?
Rhode Island lives up to its Ocean State nickname, as it is the home to a vast sea of banking options, many of which are the best-rated in the country.
Whether it’s great rates, a strong reputation, or excellent customer service, Rhode Island’s financial institutions have plenty to offer in terms of banking services and products to meet the needs of its residents.
While the options I’ve highlighted here are my overall picks, only you can determine the best option for your finances. Consider your financial goals and plans, research your options, and weigh out the fees and perks available to account holders.
Whether you open an account in-person or online, at a local bank, national franchise, or credit union, I wish you luck in this next step toward your financial security!