If you’re looking for a new bank in Virginia, you’ll be glad to know several high-quality options are available.
Whether you’re looking for an account with no fees, a high APY, or anything in between, you’ll likely find a bank that ticks all the boxes.
In our best banks in Virginia review, we’ll look at the best banks available in VA, highlighting everything you need to know to make the best possible decision.
12 Best Banks in Virginia
When looking for the best banks in Virginia, there’s a lot to consider. Check out our list below.
- First Citizens Bank: Best for Free Checking & Savings
- Ally Bank: Best for High-Yield Checking & Savings
- Carter Bank & Trust: Best for Holiday Savings
- Truist: Best for Overdraft-Free Checking
- Chase: Best for Frequent Bank Promotions
- Chime: Best for No Balance Requirements
- Bank of America: Best for Mobile Banking
- Citizens Bank: Best Checking Account Selection
- PNC: Best for Combined Checking & Savings
- United Bank: Best for High CD Rates
- CIT Bank: Best for High Savings APY
- Wells Fargo: Best for Selection of Products
1. First Citizens Bank
Best For: Free checking or savings
First Citizens Bank is a family-controlled bank based in North Carolina, but it has branches in 23 U.S. states, including Virginia, with 76 physical locations.
The bank offers various services such as checking, savings, credit cards, loans, mortgages, insurance, retirement, and wealth management. Small businesses and commercial accounts are also available.
First Citizens Bank also has a highly rated mobile app where you can deposit checks, monitor your credit score, transfer funds, and handle regular banking tasks.
Members can enroll in a free checking account that doesn’t require a minimum balance and remains free if they elect paperless statements. First Citizens also has two interest-bearing checking accounts, which only require a $100 opening deposit; however, to remain free, they have higher minimum balance requirements of $5,000 and $25,000, respectively.
First Citizens Bank also offers several savings options, including an Online Savings account, money market, and CDs with various terms; however, the CD rates are lower than those offered by many online banks. The Online Savings and Free Checking Account don’t have minimum balance requirements, making it easy to open an account.
- No account fees when you meet certain requirements
- full-service online banking
- daily compounded interest
- Fee for overdraft protection
- Low-interest rates
2. Ally Bank
Best For: High-yield checking and savings
Ally Bank, also known as Ally, is an online bank. It does not have any branches in Virginia or any other state. Not having physical branches means it has lower overhead, so it can offer lower fees and higher rates than many other banks.
Ally offers checking, savings, CDs (Certificate of Deposit), MMAs (Money Market Accounts), mortgages, loans, and investment options. However, they don’t offer business or commercial accounts.
Ally offers an Online Savings Account with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit requirements and a 4.35% APY. It also provides tools to help with savings, including savings buckets and Surprise Savings with a linked Ally Checking Account. Surprise Savings automatically transfers money you don’t need in your checking account to savings.
Ally also offers an Interest Checking account with a 0.25% APY, early direct deposit, and access to over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs for fee-free withdrawals. Just like their savings account, there is no monthly fee.
- High APY rate
- Low fees
- No branches
- No commercial or business accounts
3. Carter Bank & Trust
Best For: Holiday savings
Carter Bank & Trust is a community bank based in Virginia. As a state-chartered bank, it serves communities in Virginia and North Carolina. It has won numerous awards, including Best Bank, as voted by Martinsville Bulletin Readers’ Choice in 2022. Carter Bank & Trust offers personal and business banking services.
Carter Bank & Trust offers three checking accounts, each requiring an opening deposit of $100. All checking accounts except their Premium Interest Checking don’t have a minimum balance requirement. However, you’ll need a Premium Checking or 50+ Interest Checking account to earn interest.
Carter Bank & Trust also offers savings opportunities, including a free basic savings account with a minimum balance of $100 and a Christmas Club savings account where you can withdraw funds on October 20th each year to cover holiday expenses.
Carter Bank & Trust offers other products, including money markets, CDs, IRAs, credit cards, mortgages, and loans.
- Low fees
- Many account options
- Offers ways to waive monthly fees
- APY rates are not listed
- Charges overdraft transfer fees
Best For: Overdraft-free checking
Truist is the product of a merger between BB&T and SunTrust, which took place in 2019. The bank serves a handful of states, including Virginia, with 163 branches. Truist offers various financial products and services for personal, small business, and commercial banking which is why it made our list of the best banks in Virginia.
Truist offers several checking account options, including Truist Confidence, which is the equivalent of a second-chance checking account for people who need help not spending more than they have and includes access to free financial education.
Truist also offers Truist One Checking with tiers that ensure you get the checking account benefits you deserve based on your account balance. There are five ways to waive the monthly maintenance fee, and the perks increase with your balance.
Truist also offers several savings account options. Monthly fees start from $0 for the Truist Confidence Savings or $5 monthly for the Truist One Savings account, but you can waive the fee if you meet specific criteria.
Truist also offers CDs (Certificate of Deposit), MMA (Money Market Accounts), credit cards, loans, mortgages, insurance, investment, and retirement options.
- Second-chance opportunities for checking and savings accounts
- Tiered system for more benefits on checking accounts
- Large selection of other banking products for personal and business banking
- Low APY rate
- Only has 3,000 ATMs
Best For: Frequent bank promotions
Chase is a national bank that needs no introduction. It is the largest bank in the U.S. and the fifth largest globally. Chase has 64 branches and ATM locations in Virginia alone, giving it a good reach should you prefer face-to-face banking. In addition to its robust physical locations, Chase has a powerful online and mobile banking platform that received high ratings in the app stores and they have financial products for personal, small business, and commercial operations.
Chase offers various financial services, including checking accounts, with Chase Total Checking stealing the spotlight with a robust welcome bonus and features like Zelle, online bill pay, and mobile deposits. Chase offers checking accounts for every type of customer, whether you carry a high or minimal balance.
Customers can also open one of two savings accounts, depending on how much they have to deposit, and have access to CDs (Certificate of Deposit), a wide variety of credit cards, loans, mortgages, and investment options.
- Large selection of products and services
- Many opportunities for bank bonuses
- Large number of branches
- Low APY rate
- Fees on most accounts
|Chase Chase Total Checking®
|April 17, 2024
Best For: No balance requirements
While Chime is technically not a bank, it offers bank accounts with great features that make it worth considering. Chime’s banking services are provided through The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, ensuring you don’t miss out on protections like FDIC insurance, and they have 60,000 fee-free ATMs across the country.
Chime offers a checking, savings, and credit builder account. Some features they offer include SpotMe, an overdraft protection plan, early access to direct deposit, and the ability to instantly pay anyone, even if they don’t use Chime. Their high-yield savings account pays a 2.0% APY.
If you’re looking for a way to build your credit, the Credit Builder account includes a Visa credit card with no monthly service fee or interest. You use the card for everyday purchases and pay them on time, and Chime reports the activity to all three credit bureaus.
Unfortunately, Chime only offers personal accounts; there aren’t options for small business or commercial accounts.
- Low to no fees
- SpotMe spots you up to $200
- No minimum balance requirements
- No branches
- No business accounts
7. Bank of America
Best For: Mobile banking
Bank of America is one of the biggest banks in the U.S. It has a sizable presence in Virginia, with 110 locations. It is currently offering welcome bonuses on several of its credit cards.
Bank of America offers many products, and its mobile banking has some of the highest ratings out of any bank on our list. They also have robust products for business and commercial accounts.
Bank of America offers three checking accounts with monthly maintenance fees ranging from $4.95 to $25. You can avoid all monthly fees if you meet the eligibility criteria. Minimum opening deposits start at $25 and max out at $100, depending on your chosen account. All accounts include a debit chip card, Zelle, and a Digital Wallet.
Bank of America has one savings account called Bank of America Advantage Savings. The APY rate is 0.01% across all account balances; however, this can increase to 0.04% if you enroll in their Preferred Rewards program and reach the platinum level.
Aside from the accounts mentioned above, Bank of America also offers CDs (Certificate of Deposit), IRAs, credit cards, home loans, auto loans, and investment options.
- Large selection of products and services
- Large number of branches
- Great mobile banking products
- Low APY rates
- Account fees on most accounts
8. Citizens Bank
Best For: Checking account selection
Citizens Bank is a regional bank operating in several states, including Virginia. In 2021 it reached an agreement with HSBC USA to purchase its East Coast operations, thus expanding its reach. Today, there are three branch locations in Virginia, but they offer robust digital solutions, making it easy to bank from home. Citizens Bank also offers small business banking in addition to its personal banking products.
Citizens Bank offers five checking accounts with monthly fees starting from $5.00. There are two options with no maintenance fees; however, you must be under 25 or have combined deposits of $200,000 to qualify. Account features and perks vary between accounts and include early pay and Citizens Peace of Mind® – which gives you extra time to refund overdrafts.
Citizens Bank also offers three savings accounts, two of which are only available with specific checking accounts and pay low APYs.
Citizens Bank also offers credit cards, home loans, student and auto loans, and investment and retirement options.
- Additional time to settle overdrafts through Citizens Peace of Mind®
- Easy to avoid monthly fees
- Offers Citizens Checkup®, personalized financial advice
- Low APY rate
- Only a few branches are available
Best For: Combined checking and savings
PNC has 55 branches in Virginia, giving it a substantial physical reach. It is currently the 6th largest bank in the U.S. Across the country, PNC has 2,300 ATMs, and they specialize in virtual banking, making it easy to bank from anywhere. PNC offers personal, small business, and corporate banking options.
While PNC offers traditional checking and savings accounts, it also provides a Virtual Wallet account. This account merges a checking and savings account into one, and, depending on which combination you choose, you can earn a bonus of up to $400.
Monthly service charges range between $7 and $25, waived when meeting any of the set requirements. You also get different savings accounts for short-term and long-term savings, two layers of overdraft protection, ATM fee reimbursements, and access to tools to help you keep tabs on your spending and savings.
PNC also offers dedicated student and military banking, credit cards, prepaid cards, and various loans.
- Welcome bonus of up to $400
- Robust digital banking features
- Virtual Wallet to make short and long-term savings simple
- No fee-free accounts
- Low APYs
10. United Bank
Best For: High CD rates
United Bank is a regional bank based in West Virginia. It operates in several states, including Virginia. It currently has 250 full-service locations. They offer one of the largest selections of checking accounts in Virginia and have robust business banking products available, too.
United Bank offers five checking accounts, each serving a particular purpose. The account options include completely free checking accounts with no minimum balance or rewards checking accounts that pay interest and have other benefits.
The United Bank savings options include a standard savings account with no minimum balance requirement, as well as money market accounts for those with a large amount to deposit, and various CDs.
United Bank also offers a credit card option, various loans, and investing solutions.
- Useful account perks
- High CD rates
- Large number of physical branches
- Does not disclose APY interest rates for checking and savings
- High minimum balance for money market accounts
11. CIT Bank
Best For: High savings APY
CIT Bank is a division of First Citizens Bank – the largest family-owned U.S. bank. It is an online-only bank with no branches to visit; however, it does shine in other ways, which is why it’s one of the best banks in Virginia. The bank has mixed reviews between iOS and Android users, but most users seem happy overall. CIT Bank only offers personal bank accounts; they don’t have business banking options.
CIT Bank offers one checking account called eChecking. This free checking account does away with most fees and offers an APY that ranges between 0.10% and 0.25% – depending on your balance. The account also offers ATM reimbursements of up to $30 per month, a debit card with chip technology, and many other features.
CIT Bank’s Savings Connect is a savings account with a whopping 4.65% APY. It has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements – and the minimum opening deposit amount is $100.
CIT Bank also offers a Savings Builder account, money market account, CDs, and home loans.
- High-yield interest rate on savings account
- Low minimum opening deposit requirements
- ATM fee reimbursement
- Does not offer credit cards
- No physical branches
12. Wells Fargo
Best For: Large selection of products
Wells Fargo is one of the biggest national banks in the U.S., with 900+ branches nationwide and hundreds in Virginia. Like most national banks, Wells Fargo offers a large number of products for personal, business, commercial, and corporate banking.
Wells Fargo offers five checking accounts. Monthly fees start at $5 and max out at $35, all of which the bank will waive when meeting the set requirements. All accounts have a minimum opening deposit of $25, while only their Prime Checking and Premier Checking earn interest.
Wells Fargo also has two savings accounts. The Way2Save savings account has a monthly fee of $5.00 and an APY rate of 0.01%. The Platinum savings account, on the other hand, has a monthly fee of $12 and an APY of 0.25%, which can go up to 0.26% through relationship interest rates.
Wells Fargo also offers CDs (Certificate of Deposit), a selection of credit cards that include cashback credit cards, and various types of loans.
- Large selection of products and services
- Large physical branch presence
- High interest rates on savings for national bank
- Low APY rate on most products
- Large number of fees
Credit Unions in Virginia
Credit unions are financial institutions that work similarly to a bank. The biggest difference is that the members own credit unions. When you open an account with a credit union, you become a member rather than just an account holder.
Credit unions are also managed differently than banks. They are not-for-profit and tend to invest any profit back into the credit union, which translates to lower fees and better interest rates.
As credit unions are membership-based, you must find one you qualify for to become a customer. Generally, membership depends on your place of residence, worship, or work. Credit unions can be state-chartered or federally chartered. State-chartered credit unions follow regulations specific to the state where they operate, in this case, Virginia. On the other hand, federally chartered credit unions are regulated by the NCUA, which also insures accounts.
Virginia has 138 credit unions at the time of writing, including two of the biggest ones in the US:
How To Choose The Best Banks In Virginia
At BankBonus.com, we’re committed to providing consumers with the resources they need to select a bank or credit union. Here’s an overview of the steps we recommend our readers take to choose the best banks in Virginia:
- Understand different types of banks: You have access to traditional banks, online banks, credit unions, and neobanks. Understanding their differences and determining which type of institution aligns best with your preferences is important.
- Choose the right account: Checking, savings, money market, and certificate of deposit accounts are the most common types of bank accounts. Understand what each offers and choose a bank with the type of account(s) you need.
- Look for low-fee banks: Account fees can add up quickly. As you compare bank accounts, look for an account that doesn’t charge unavoidable monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and ATM fees.
- Consider branch and ATM access: If having access to branches matters to you, choose a bank with physical locations. Regardless, you should prioritize banks that have a vast ATM network or reimburse ATM fees.
- Compare account features: Determine which features you’re looking for. A few common bank account features to consider are interest, cashback, mobile features, cash deposits, and minimum account balance requirements.
- Check out reviews and ratings: Picking a reputable bank is crucial. To get an idea of a bank’s customer experience, read expert reviews and look to sources like TrustPilot, the Better Business Bureau, and J.D. Power.
- Read the fine print: Don’t sign up for an account without understanding the terms and conditions. Ensure the account is FDIC or NCUA insured and understand its requirements, fees, and expiration dates for bank bonuses.
- Look at the bank’s additional products: If you want to manage your finances under one roof, look into each bank’s additional products. Many banks also offer credit cards, wealth management, investment accounts, and loans.
The BankBonus team has analyzed dozens of banks to provide our readers with thoroughly informed and accurate reviews.
We evaluated digital financial platforms, online banks, regional banks, and national banks with a presence in Virginia.
Our assessment of each bank factors in these considerations:
- Product lineup: We review the types of accounts, loans, and services offered by each bank, as well as the number of accounts.
- Fees and pricing: We also consider each institution’s fees, including monthly maintenance fees and other service charges.
- Account features: To compare banks, we take a close look at the features, limits, and capabilities each one has to offer.
- Interest: Along with these features, we consider whether or not the bank offers interest-bearing accounts and compare their rates to industry averages.
- Brand reputation: The bank accounts we recommend have been carefully vetted to ensure they are legitimate, secure, and backed by FDIC insurance.
- User experience: Additionally, we consider the ease of use and availability of resources on each bank’s website and factor in reviews of the mobile app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Branch and ATM access: To gauge convenience, we also look at each bank’s branch and ATM availability and consider their ATM reimbursement policies.
- Customer service: In our review process, we also explore their customer service channels, hours of availability, and third-party reviews.