If you’re based in Wisconsin and are looking for a bank to open an account with, look no further. This article will cover all the best banks in Wisconsin, including their best features, pros and cons, interest rates, account options, and more.
So, whether you’re looking for a bank in Milwaukee or Madison, Wisconsin has plenty of regional banks, national banks, community banks, and other financial institutions to choose from.
Of course, the best bank for you will depend on what you’re looking for in a bank.
If you’re a small business owner looking for business banking services, your financial needs and requirements will differ from someone looking for a personal loan or a high-interest savings account.
10 Best Banks in Wisconsin
Here are the best banks in Wisconsin you can open an account with today:
- Frist Citizens Bank
- US Bank
- Ally Bank
- Chase Bank
- BMO Bank
- Associated Bank
- Old National Bank
- Town Bank
- Tri City National Bank
- North Shore Bank
1. First Citizens Bank
First Citizens Bank is a North Carolina-based financial institution with branches in 21 U.S. states, including Wisconsin. It has more than 4,187 branches and ATM locations nationwide, which may give it a competitive advantage against online-only banks.
Its offerings include the typical checking and savings account options as well as credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, insurance, retirement, and investments.
Both checking and savings accounts offer competitive rate options with low or no monthly fees.
It also offers small business, commercial, and wealth management products. You can even keep abreast of recent insights from the bank’s leading financial experts through frequently published explainer articles live on the site.
Bank members can access their accounts online, in person, or through the user-friendly mobile app on Android and iPhone.
If you use an iPhone, your account is protected by Face ID, Touch ID, or a 4-digit code selected by you. Like many mobile banking apps, you’ll be able to deposit checks with a simple photo.
You’ll also be able to check the status of your deposit, review your transaction history, consult your latest FICO score, send money through Zelle, and manage your cards.
- Free checking account when you enroll in paperless statements
- Mobile banking offers all the features of online banking
- Set up automatic monthly savings contributions
- Higher interest rates on CDs when you choose Premier or Prestige account options
- In the top 20 banks based on asset size
- Currently only available in 21 states
- Low-interest rates compared to other institutions
2. U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank is a national bank with a presence across the United States. With 108 branch locations in Wisconsin, it’s a great bank option if you want to bank in person. The bank is, of course, FDIC-insured, so you know your money is safe.
While many people prefer to bank using banking apps from the comfort of their homes, others may prefer to pop into a bank branch and speak to the bank personnel. If that’s you, choosing a bank with plenty of branch locations in Wisconsin will make things easier.
With U.S. Bank, you get both options: plenty of bank branches in the state and mobile banking that allows you to complete many banking transactions online.
There’s a 24/7 hotline you can call from home if you’ve encountered a problem.
U.S. Bank offers personal and business banking services. You’ll find many personal checking accounts, credit cards, savings accounts, personal loans, and lines of credit.
The checking account (SmartlyTM Checking) comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $6.95 — but you can waive it in several ways:
- Making monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more.
- Maintaining an account balance of $1,500 or more.
- Getting an eligible credit card).
The bank has many learning resources available for those who want to take their personal finance further and improve their financial situation.
Several savings account options are available, too — many of which don’t have monthly maintenance fees (or offer easy ways to waive them). However, U.S. Bank’s savings and CD rates are relatively low — so it’s worth checking out other options if you want the best savings rates.
Business owners can use U.S. Bank for savings, checking, money market accounts, business borrowing, and more. The bank also offers other financial services like wealth management and investment advice.
- Large ATM and branch network
- Variety of services — from personal to business
- 24/7 support
- Fairly low-interest rates on savings accounts
- Monthly service fees
U.S. Bank’s Smartly Checking Account earns variable interest and comes with a wealth of benefits to help you manage, move, and spend your money wisely.
3. Ally Bank
It is one of the top-rated online banks offering various banking services, competitive rates, and low to no fees plus a selection of loans, including mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, and other financing options, to qualifying customers.
Ally’s list of financial services includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit.
Ally Bank has a highly-rated banking app for Android and Apple devices that offers all banking transactions you may need, from bill pay to wire transfers.
As a lender, Ally Bank has relatively few fees — and even gives customers access to interest-free financing with certain providers.
Of course, because it is online only, it won’t be great for those expecting in-person visits to the bank to be possible.
You can get everything done using the bank’s mobile app or contact the bank by phone.
- Great rates on banking products (especially savings accounts)
- Accessible from anywhere with mobile banking
- No minimum deposit requirements
- No monthly maintenance fees
- 24/7 customer service via live chat, phone, or email
- No physical branches
- No cash deposits
4. Chase Bank
Chase is a national bank and the largest bank in the U.S. It has a variety of financial services, including the basics (checking and savings accounts) and loans (mortgages, personal loans, etc.).
Chase Bank has over 55+ branches in Wisconsin and is great if you’re looking for a national bank in Wisconsin. The bank often offers bonuses for opening accounts and has a large ATM network (over 15,000 ATMs).
For example, you can earn a $200 bonus right now for opening a Chase Total Checking account. This account has a monthly fee of $12, which you can avoid if you make a direct deposit or maintain a $1,500 minimum balance.
Chase Bank does have some monthly maintenance fees, but it is possible to avoid them.
- Large national bank
- A large selection of accounts and products
- Large ATM network
- Fees are quite high
- Rates on some accounts could be better
5. BMO Bank
BMO Bank (formerly BMO Harris Bank) is a regional bank offering fairly competitive rates on higher balances.
The fees are also relatively easy to waive. You can open a basic checking account with no monthly fee if you sign up for e-statements.
Several other checking accounts don’t have any fees for overdrafts and reimburse you for outside-network ATMs.
BMO Bank has a savings account that’ll cost you $5 a month, but you can waive this fee if you maintain a minimum balance of $100.
The checking accounts are easy to open with low minimum deposits (as little as $25). You get a few good debit card options and perks, including purchase protection, extended warranties, and return protection.
The downside is that you’ll need higher balances to earn higher interest. You can open a savings account with as little as $25, but you’ll need a much higher balance to earn a competitive interest rate (at least $1,000).
BMO Bank has fewer branches than a big national bank, mainly focusing on eight states in the South, Southwest, and Midwest. If you’re looking for a bank to visit in person, you might consider a larger national bank with more bank branches.
- Low to no monthly service fees
- Overdraft protection
- Low-interest rates
6. Associated Bank
Associated Bank is a regional bank with branches in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, with an extended network of free ATMs nationwide.
It is a great option for in-person banking because it has hundreds of branch locations in Wisconsin.
Associated Bank’s basic accounts have fees, but you can waive them if you meet the qualifying criteria. You can open a bank account online in a few steps — or schedule an appointment with a bank representative.
Associated Bank also has a mobile app, Associated Bank Digital — where you can complete most banking transactions without leaving your house.
While its savings account and Certificate of Deposit interest rates could be better, it does have several promotional CDs with higher APY.
- A wide selection of services
- Allows you to each cash back
- 24/7 customer service
- Not a national bank, so there is limited availability
- Monthly service fee (unless you meet minimum balance requirements)
7. Old National Bank
Old National Bank is another regional bank to consider. It is headquartered in Indiana but has plenty of branch locations in Wisconsin.
The bank has an A+ rating from Better Business Bureau and offers various financial services in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Old National Bank has recently completed a merger with First Midwest, meaning customers of the bank will have 250 more bank branch locations available.
The bank is much smaller than a national bank like U.S. Bank, but it still offers various banking services. There’s also online banking if visiting a branch isn’t something you want to do.
Old National Bank is a good option for borrowers because it offers a range of loans, mortgages, and home equity lines of credit. You can borrow line amounts from $10,000 to $1,000,000 to use on various projects — and get an introductory APR for the first 12 months.
The bank is also known for its decent Certificate of Deposit rates compared to other brick-and-mortar banks.
The downside is that Old National Bank was recently involved in a controversy. In 2021, the Southern Indiana District Court ordered Old National Bank to originate $27 million in loans to Black borrowers due to a settlement that accused the bank of discrimination against Black applicants.
- Solid interest rates on CDs
- Variety of CD terms
- Customers can waive monthly maintenance fees
- Recently involved in a controversy
- Limited regional availability
8. Town Bank
If you’re looking for a smaller bank with a community feel, look no further than Town Bank. It offers excellent ATM-related advantages, with 20 Town Bank ATMs in the state.
As a Town Bank customer, you can also withdraw from Allpoint, MoneyPass, Sum, and ATM Access ATM networks making your withdrawals easy without any ATM fees.
The bank doesn’t have a big presence in Wisconsin, with 21 branch locations. However, it is part of the Wintrust Community Bank network, meaning you can access your banking services in around 150 family branches.
Town Bank offers credit cards, mortgages, credit repair services, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), and even mobile banking.
It also has a decent junior account, Junior Savers Club, which could be great if you have kids and want to start saving for their future as early as possible.
- Great ATM-related perks
- Wide variety of services
- Not that many branch locations
9. Tri City National Bank
According to the Forbes Best-In-State-Banks list, Tri City National Bank is one of the best small banks in Wisconsin.
Despite its name, Tri City National Bank is a small community bank focusing on South East Wisconsin.
With 30+ locations in Milwaukee and beyond, the bank has enough bank branch locations to make it easy to pop down to the bank. And if you don’t fancy a trip to the bank, online banking, and a mobile app is available 24/7.
The bank offers a free checking account you can apply for online, savings accounts, business loans, and more. You can also send and receive money through Zelle, which you’ll find in the Tri City National Bank banking app.
- Low fees
- A big selection of account choices
- Interest rates are not as competitive as some other banks’
- Limited branch locations
10. North Shore Bank
North Shore Bank, headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, was named the best bank in Wisconsin by Forbes in 2021.
North Shore Bank is a small local bank with 43 branches in eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. If you’re in eastern Wisconsin and are looking for an easily accessible bank, then North Shore Bank might be a good option. However, it doesn’t have as many branch locations as other contenders.
This bank offers personal and business banking services, with checking accounts, savings accounts, and mortgages.
You can get up to $500 for referring friends and family to open a new checking account with North Shore Bank.
The bank also has a variety of cash back credit and debit cards, letting you earn money for everyday spending. If you’re spending money on things like gas, groceries, and similar things, why not earn money?
As with every bank, you might have to pay some fees — like a foreign ATM withdrawal fee ($1.75) or an insufficient funds fee (from $5 to $33). Ensure you review the bank’s fee schedule to familiarize yourself with the charges you may incur to avoid surprises.
- No monthly maintenance fees
- 24/7 customer service
- Rates are not as competitive
- Fewer locations than national banks offer
Alternative to Banks: Consider Credit Unions in Wisconsin
You may also benefit from choosing to bank with a credit union in Wisconsin.
Of course, credit unions are generally more difficult to qualify for because they typically have stricter eligibility requirements. However, if you are eligible, joining a credit union offers great perks, such as exceptional customer service, competitive borrowing rates, and a community feel.
While there are many credit unions to consider in Wisconsin, here are some worth checking out:
- Landmark Credit Union
- Arcadia Credit Union
- Avestar Credit Union
- Athens Area Credit Union
- Badger-Globe Credit Union
- Bay Shore Credit Union
- Baxter Credit Union (BCU)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the largest bank in Wisconsin?
The largest Wisconsin-based bank is Associated Bank. It started as a small institution in 1861 — and now has more than 200 banking locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Texas.
What major banks are in Wisconsin?
Several major banks in Wisconsin include U.S. Bank, First American Bank, CIT Bank, and Chase Bank.
What is the largest credit union in Wisconsin?
Landmark Credit Union is the largest credit union in Wisconsin.
Which credit union is the best in Wisconsin?
While there are many great credit unions in Wisconsin, choosing one is difficult because it all depends on what you’re looking for and whether you meet the eligibility criteria.
Landmark Credit Union, the largest credit union in Wisconsin, offers excellent rates for checking accounts, CDs, and mortgages.
The best thing is that anyone living in Wisconsin can become a member.