Best Banks in the Southwest 2024

Regional banks in the Southwest can offer friendly, community-based customer service alongside a comprehensive line-up of financial products and banking services.

This review article will explore the best banks in the Southwest region of the United States, honing in on banks headquartered in the Southwest and/or with a significant presence in one or more states in the region.

When making our selections, we looked at convenience, range of products, interest rates, monthly service fees, fee-free checking account options, availability of free ATMs, customer perks, J.D. Power rankings, and overall customer satisfaction.

5 Best Regional Banks in the Southwest

Here are our top picks for the best banks in the Southwest:

  1. FirstBank – Best Customer Service
  2. Frost Bank – Best Transparency
  3. MidFirst Bank – Best Checking Account Variety
  4. BOK Financial – Best Product Range
  5. Texas Capital Bank – Best APY Rates

1. FirstBank

🏆Best Customer Service
📍State availability:
 Colorado, Arizona, California

FirstBank (one word) is a Colorado-based bank that was founded in Lakewood in 1963. Its headquarters remain there today and it operates over 100 brick-and-mortar bank locations in the Southwest region.

The bank has an excellent website with all of the information laid out in an intuitive, easy-to-find way. We especially appreciate the bank’s transparency. Interest rates and APYs for savings products are published alongside different product and account types. The schedule of fees is easy to locate.

Four (4) checking accounts are offered. Three (3) of these accounts are free and there is an interest-bearing option. Interest is 0.04% to 1.00% depending on balance. Money market accounts and savings accounts paid a tiered rate of interest, with APYs up to 4.60%.


  • Top marks for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Survey for the bank’s region
  • Excellent banking app with an average 4.8-star store rating in both Apple and Google Play stores
  • Competitive interest rates for savings deposit accounts and money market accounts
  • Belongs to the MoneyPass ATM network, giving customers nationwide access to thousands of free ATMs


  • No fee-free overdraft protection; there are fees to have funds in linked accounts cover any NSFs
  • High minimum balance (minimum of $10K) required to get a competitive CD rate

2. Frost Bank

🏆Best Transparency
📍State Availability:

Founded in San Antonio, Texas in 1899, Frost Bank is the state’s fourth-largest bank. It has over 160 branches throughout Texas and offers a large in-state network of free ATMs. Customers can access free ATMs at all Circle K and H-E-B stores in Texas. There are also free ATMs at all Walgreens and CVS stores in Northern Texas.

Frost offers an exceptional banking experience, including 24/7 customer service, early pay-day for direct deposit customers, and a $100 overdraft grace for Frost Personal (basic tier) checking.

Terms and APYs for CDs are outstanding, and it offers competitive rates for savings and money market accounts.

Frost offers a good line-up of products overall. However, the variety may be a bit limited for some (i.e., three checking account options instead of 10), but we like the bank’s thoughtful and carefully curated options.

  • CD APYs: 2.35% to 5.20% — 5.20% bonus option for 91-day CD
  • MMAs (how many): 1
  • MMA rates: Tiered based on balance: 2.15% to 3.75%


  • 24/7 customer service
  • 9-star average rating in both Apple and Google Play stores
  • Free overdraft protection — no fee to cover NSFs with funds in a linked account
  • Outstanding CDs — high APYs and shorter terms ranging from 14 days to 24 months


  • No locations outside of Texas
  • Low checking interest rates — 0.08% to 0.10%

3. MidFirst Bank

🏆Best Checking Account Variety
📍State Availability: California, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., MidFirst Bank operates over 80 locations throughout the Southwest region and California. Customers can access free ATMs nationwide, with no fees or fee reimbursement for ATMs.

MidFirst offers an extensive range of different CDs, checking, and savings account products. This includes four (4) savings accounts, five (5) checking accounts, and three (3) different types of CDs.

Four (4) of the checking accounts are free and three (3) of them earn interest, with the Boost account paying a 5.00% APY at its highest balance tier.


  • Wide variety of account options
  • Student checking accounts
  • Boost Checking pays a 5.00% APY at its top balance tier
  • Free ATMs nationwide
  • Mobile banking app
  • High APYs for CDs, checking, and savings accounts (at the top savings balance tier)


  • Android app has a 3.4-star rating (Google Play)
  • High NSF fees
  • Money market interest rates are low

4. Bok Financial

🏆Best Product Range
📍State Availability:
New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Missouri

Founded in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1910, Bok Financial is a regional bank with over 100 locations in the Southwest, Arkansas, and Missouri. Customers can use free MoneyPass ATMs nationwide.

We like the bank’s flexible CD products with terms from seven (7) days to 17 months, including APYs up to 5.15% and no-penalty CDs with high APYs.

Bok Financial has five (5) checking account options, including four (4) that are free and two (2) that bear interest.


  • Highly rated mobile app — average 4.8 stars (Apple and Google Play stores)
  • Free overdraft protection — no charge to transfer funds from a linked account to cover NSFs
  • $50 grace amount for overdrafts — no fee if the daily balance is overdrawn by less than $50
  • Variety of checking accounts, including options for students and Opportunity (second-chance) checking
  • Large network of free ATMs


  • Low APYs for savings, checking, and money market accounts

5. Texas Capital Bank

🏆Best APY Rates
📍State Availability:
Texas, New York

Known as a commercial bank and subsidiary of Texas Capital Bancshares, Texas Capital Bank also offers personal banking services to customers in the Lonestar State.

Many banks boast competitive rates that aren’t very good and/or out of reach — like money market accounts that pay a 0.50% APY if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of at least $500,000.

Texas Capital has competitive rates that actually are very good, and that can be unlocked with relatively low minimum deposits and daily balances.

You’ll find excellent APYs and flexible terms for CDs, money market accounts, and high-yield savings accounts. CD terms range from 30 days to 24 months, with APYs up to 5.00%. We especially like the bank’s Star Money Market Account and savings accounts.

The money market account offers APY rates up to 4.08%. Balances as low as $500 can earn an APY of 3.25%. For deposit savings, Texas residents can earn an APY of up to 5.00% for balances up to $1 million — funds beyond that earn a 2.12% APY.


  • Excellent APY rates for everyday people
  • 30-day CD options
  • Lenient NSF fees — $15 per item (no more than $45 per day total) and a $50 overdraft cushion
  • Free ATMs through the AllPoint ATM network


  • Average 4.15-star rating for the app (4.1 on Apple and 4.2 on Google Play)
  • Limited branch locations
  • Best savings APY is for Texas residents only

How to Choose a Bank in Your Region

When choosing the best regional bank, here are some of the features that you should consider:

  • Locations: Regional banks by definition are only in select regional areas, so make sure that there is a branch and/or ATM near you — or that you are comfortable doing all of your banking digitally.
  • Mobile app: An easy-to-navigate app is a must if you’re considering a regional bank. With fewer branch locations, the ability to complete banking transactions from your phone is all the more important. Make sure the bank has an app for your device type and then read through the ratings and reviews.
  • ATM network: If you regularly withdraw cash, make sure that your bank has in-network ATMs in areas where you live, or that it will reimburse out-of-network fees.
  • Zelle: If you use cash-free ways to pay friends and family, look for a bank that offers integration with Zelle or other similar apps. Increasingly, Zelle is becoming the most popular virtual wallet option for banks and credit unions.
  • Interest rates: APY rates can vary greatly from one bank to the next, or even from product to product within the same financial institution. Make sure to compare all relevant product rates.
  • Service charges and monthly fees: Review fees for paper statements, account research, coin counting, debit card or credit card replacement, cashier’s checks, wire transfers, safety deposit boxes, and other common charges. Pay close attention to NSF fees. The same $32 fee may mean different things at different banks. One bank may have no daily fee limits, another may charge no more than three and offer free overdraft coverage from a linked coverage.
  • Total assets: When considering community, regional, or state banks, make sure they have a solid position by looking at total assets, liabilities, Texas Ratio, and overall financial health.
  • FDIC insurance: Ensure that the bank you’re considering is a member FDIC institution so that your deposits, up to $250K per account, are safe. For state and federal credit unions, make sure they are NCUA-insured — the FDIC equivalent for credit union account balances up to $250K.

Compare the Best Banks in the Southwest

Bank Monthly Fees Accounts Offers Bonuses State Availability
FirstBank $0 – $20 a month, *can be waived Checking, savings, money market, CD, etc. Yes Colorado, Arizona, California
Frost Bank $0 – $30 a month, can be waived Checking, savings, money market, CD, etc. No Texas
MidFirst Bank $0 – $25 a month, can be waived Checking, savings, money market, CD, etc. **Yes California, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas
BOK Financial $0-$25 a month, ^can be waived Checking, savings, money market, CD, etc. Yes New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Missouri
Texas Capital Bank $0-$12 a month, can be waived Checking, savings, money market, CD, etc. Yes Texas, New York

*$5 monthly fee cannot be waived for Climb account.
**MidFirst Bank does periodically offer bonuses, but there are no current promotions running.
^$5 monthly fee cannot be waived for Opportunity Banking

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that readers have about banks in the Southwest and regional or community banking in general.

What is the Best Regional Bank?

Broadly speaking, our editorial team considers these banks to be the nation’s best regional banks in terms of products, service, convenience, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

Note that while U.S. Bank does have a large national presence, you’ll find its locations are primarily concentrated throughout the West and the Midwest.

Why Do People Bank with Regional Banks?

Regional banks can provide more customized, personalized service than large retail chains like U.S. Bank or PNC. They have a deep understanding of the local community — culture, values, and economic needs — and have curated services to meet these needs.

Many regional banks in the Southeast region, for example, cater to military personnel and their needs for international customer phone support, a variety of free ways to transfer funds, and additional financial literacy resources.

Is Wells Fargo Considered a Regional Bank?

No, far from it. Wells Fargo is a multi-national bank with locations throughout the United States and around the globe with offices in London, Dublin, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing, and many other large financial centers.

Some consumers have that perception of Wells Fargo, associating the bank name with Fargo, North Dakota.

Our Methodology

The BankBonus team has analyzed hundreds of banks and financial institutions to provide our readers with a thoroughly informed and accurate review.

We evaluated digital financial platforms, online banks, credit unions, regional banks, and national banks with a strong presence throughout the New England and Middle Atlantic regions.

Our assessment of the best regional banks took into account these key considerations:

  • Product lineup: We review the types of accounts, loans, and services offered by each bank, as well as the number of account options.
  • Fees and pricing: We also consider each bank’s service fees, including monthly maintenance fees, NSF or overdraft fees, and other service charges.
  • Account features: To compare financial institutions, we take a close look at the banking features, limits, and capabilities each one has to offer.
  • Interest: Along with these features, we examined whether or not the banks offered any interest-bearing accounts. We compared any rates of interest to industry averages.
  • Brand reputation: The bank accounts we recommend have been scrupulously vetted to ensure they are legitimate, secure, and backed by FDIC insurance. We also considered D. Power’s U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study and Better Business Bureau (BBB) scores, along with other indicators of customer satisfaction (Trustpilot and app store reviews).
  • User experience: Additionally, we evaluate the ease of navigation and the availability of resources on each bank’s website, and factor in the reviews of the bank’s mobile app on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Branch and ATM access: To assess convenience, we also examine each bank’s branch and ATM availability and consider ATM fees and any ATM reimbursement policies.
  • Customer service: In our review process, we also explore available customer service channels, hours of availability, and third-party review forums like TrustPilot and Deposit Accounts.

Ultimately, the financial institution for you is based on your personal finances, short-term and long-term financial goals, digital proficiency, and preferences for customer service and bank access.

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