Best National Banks

The United States has more banks than any other country, with over 5,000 FDIC-insured institutions.

Local banks and credit unions have their own benefits, but most Americans choose to go with a nationwide bank due to convenience, extensive customer service, and peace of mind.

Still, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which bank is best for you.

In This Article

15 Best National Banks in America

Every bank is going to come with pros and cons. Which is “best” for you really depends on your banking needs and financial goals.

We’ve selected our list based on several important features to help you find the best bank for your specific situation.

Here are the top national banks in 2021:

1. Chase Bank

Chase Bank is one of the largest banks in the U.S., and one of our top picks for national banks. You’ll have access to more than 4,700 physical branches, 16,000 ATMs, and a well-liked mobile app that makes it easy to skip both.

Like most of the national banks, their rates aren’t great, but their product breadth makes it easy to conveniently bank all at one place.

Plus, when it comes to bank bonuses and perks, no one can match Chase Bank.

They routinely offer nationally available sign-up bonuses for new banking customers.

Chase is also well known for its credit card sign-up bonuses and the dozens of credit card products they have to choose from.

Chase Bank Logo Chase Bank Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of Chase Bank U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 4,700+
Number of ATMs: 16,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: 684 (Second Place!)
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: 4.8 based on 3.6M ratings
Google Play: 4.4 based on 1.7M ratings
Chase Bank Logo

$300 bonus

Chase : Business Complete Banking℠
Available nationwide

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Chase Bank Logo

$225 bonus

Chase : Total Checking®
Available nationwide

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2. Discover Bank

Despite what you may think, Discover Bank is not just a credit card company.

Operating as an online bank, Discover offers a host of personal banking products, including checking and savings accounts, MMAs, CDs, retirement accounts, and loans.

What makes Discover particularly special is their fee structure.

With a Discover Online Banking account, you’ll never pay a monthly maintenance fee, overdraft fee, or insufficient funds fee.

Discover also has one of the only rewards-earning debit cards, which is a good option for those who would rather earn cash back on debit purchases as opposed to with a credit card. With it, you can earn up to $360 each year.

While Discover is an online bank, the company still owns and operates the original branch of The Greenwood Trust Company in Delaware (which they acquired in 2000), making it the bank’s only physical location.

Discover Bank Logo Discover Bank Overview
Number of Branches: 1
Number of ATMs: 60,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: N/A
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: 4.9 based on 3.2M ratings
Google Play: 4.6 based on 200k ratings

3. Bank of America

Bank of America was founded in 1998 from the merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica, and has since become the second-largest bank in the country, serving more than 10% of all American deposits.

BoA boasts more than 4,400 physical branches and over 17,000 ATMs. Like the rest of the Big Four, you can count on a holistic banking relationship that meets all of your basic banking needs.

BoA is increasingly moving into the online banking space and has one of the best financial mobile apps available. In fact, J.D. Power’s 2021 Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study ranked Bank of America highest, with a score of 871.

They also employ tons of customer service representatives. If you need help, their phone lines are open seven days a week. You can also get support via Twitter and online chat.

Bank of America Logo Bank of America Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of Bank of America U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 4,400+
Number of ATMs: 17,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: 663
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: 4.8 based on 3.2M ratings
Google Play: 4.6 based on 900k ratings

4. Citibank

Citibank, the last of the Big Four, holds the title for the highest APY on a personal savings account, making it a bit of an outlier from the rest of the group.

It’s only available in certain markets, but the Citi Accelerate Savings account claims a standard APY of 0.50%.

Citibank is based in New York City, and the majority of its branches are concentrated in major metropolitan areas across the country, making it a solid option for urban dwellers.

Like Chase, Citi is also known for offering nearly year-round sign up bonuses. What makes Citi promotions unique, however, is that they’re often tiered.

The low requirements make the offers accessible to most people, but even better, Citi will reward you big if you can meet the highest terms – which usually requires a large deposit.

Citibank Logo

up to $1500 bonus

Citi : Priority
Available nationwide

Details
Citibank Logo Citibank Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of Citibank U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 960
Number of ATMs: 60,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: 631
BBB Grade: F
Apple iOS: 4.9 based on 2.6M ratings
Google Play: 4.7 based on 730k ratings

A note on the F rating from the BBB: In September 2020, the U.S. CFTC fined Citibank $4.5M for “supervision failures that led to the deletion of subpoenaed audio recordings.” The government action is cited as the reason for the failing grade, along with 75 unresolved complaints.

5. PNC Bank

PNC Bank, based out of Pittsburgh, operates in 21 states across 2,300 locations — making it one of the biggest national banks in the country.

What’s more, in June 2021, PNC closed on a $11.5B acquisition of BBVA, which will extend its reach even further.

The 600 branches that BBVA operated will transition to PNC (even if it takes a while to rebrand them all!). That means PNC will now have a physical presence in markets it had previously underserved, particularly throughout the Southwest.

BBVA customers are being transitioned to PNC products in September and October 2021.

The most intriguing product that PNC offers is called Virtual Wallet, which is a bundle of accounts. Checking, short-term savings, and long-term savings accounts are all included in the same package.

Spend is PNC’s checking account and has no monthly fees or minimum deposit requirements.

Reserve is the short-term savings account and acts as a backup checking account. Reserve offers a low APY and is intended to be used for emergency funds, for setting money aside for future expenses.

Growth is the long-term savings account in the Virtual Wallet. It used to be a solid HYSA option with a very competitive rate, but now even after meeting the Relationship Rate requirements, balances over $2,500 will still only earn 0.03%.

On the bright side, PNC regularly offers sign up bonuses for opening a new Virtual Wallet account.

PNC Bank Logo PNC Bank Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of PNC Bank U.S. Locations By State

*includes both PNC and BBVA branches

Number of Branches: 2,300 + 600 BBVA
Number of ATMs: 18,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: 680 (Third Place!)
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: 4.8 based on 1.0M ratings
Google Play: 4.6 based on 200k ratings

6. Capital One

Capital One is mainly an online bank, but it does have some branch locations in the Northeast and parts of the South. They also have one of the best banking apps.

The Capital One mobile app is rated at 4.8 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and 4.7 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play store.

On a high level, Capital One offers a solid personal finance platform with numerous account options and a wide variety of credit cards and investment products.

In this year’s J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Study, Capital One came in first with a score of 688. Contributing factors were low fees that are structured clearly, high APYs, and a user-friendly online banking experience.

While it’s true that Capital One’s physical locations are limited, a few of them have a coffee shop built so you can grab some java when you stop in.

Capital One Logo Capital One Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of Capital One U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 340
Number of ATMs: 70,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: 688 (First Place!)
BBB Grade: A
Apple iOS: 4.8 based on 4.3M ratings
Google Play: 4.7 based on 1.2M ratings

7. TD Bank

TD Bank touts itself as “America’s Most Convenient Bank.” In many ways, it lives up to the tagline.

In J.D. Power’s comprehensive study of banking customer experiences, TD Bank was the highest-rated national bank in 2019 in terms of customer satisfaction. Within the study, TD Bank ranked highest in terms of convenience, branch service, and online banking satisfaction.

In the more recent 2020 study however, TD dropped a few slots – now in 4th – but still were rated favorably by the majority of their customers.

Most TD Bank locations are open seven days a week, and they tend to have more flexible hours than big national banks. While they have over 1,200 locations, TD Bank is exclusively East Coast based.

TD Bank Logo TD Bank Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of TD Bank U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 1,200+
Number of ATMs: 700
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: 674
BBB Grade: B+
Apple iOS: 4.8 based on 200k ratings
Google Play: 4.5 based on 71k ratings

8. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo used to take the crown for the largest presence of brick and mortar banks in the country.

If you were looking for a traditional banking experience with tellers, advisors, and free lollipops for your kids — Wells Fargo was hard to beat.

In recent years, however, they’ve been closing doors – hundreds each year, in fact.

Fortunately, they’ve built up an impressive mobile banking platform.

Wells Fargo’s offerings are comprehensive, covering everything from bank accounts, credit cards, loans, retirement planning, and wealth management services.

Account options are pretty standard for a big bank and don’t stand out one way or the other, but the bank has recently made strides to improve its customer experience with enhanced tech and new consumer-friendly policies.

Together with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Citibank, Wells Fargo is one of the “Big Four” American national banks.

This means that they manage more money than anyone else. However, this status isn’t without its drawbacks, and Wells Fargo is no exception. With all big national banks, you can expect higher than average account fees and suboptimal interest rates.

Wells Fargo Logo Wells Fargo Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of Wells Fargo U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 4,900+
Number of ATMs: 12,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: 612
BBB Grade: NR
Apple iOS: 4.8 based on 6.2M ratings
Google Play: 4.8 based on 1.2M ratings

9. CIT Bank

CIT Bank, headquartered in Southern California, is the online-only banking subsidiary of the CIT Group.

CIT Bank offers your standard checking accounts and savings accounts. The bank really shines when it comes to money market accounts and certificates of deposits (CDs).

With a CIT Money Market account, you’ll have access to one of the best interest rates available (which is currently over seven times the national average).

You can also open an eChecking account with CIT with as little as $100. This account will earn you up to 0.25% APY.

As far as ATM fees go, CIT doesn’t charge any, and they’ll reimburse up to $30 per month for fees charged by out-of-network ATMs.

CIT Bank Logo CIT Bank Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of CIT Bank U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 84
Number of ATMs: 0, but reimburses $30/mo in ATM fees
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: N/A
BBB Grade: A-
Apple iOS: 4.6 based on 6k ratings
Google Play: 4.3 based on 2k ratings

10. Ally Bank

Online banks have started to pop up more and more in recent years, and Ally Bank consistently ranks among the best. If you don’t feel the need for a physical location, an online-only bank could be a great fit.

The main benefit is that due to the lower overhead that online banks carry (no buildings, fewer employees, etc.), customers are usually rewarded with higher interest rates and low fees.

Ally Bank is no different and offers some of the highest APYs in the business. Ally’s high yield savings account comes with an 0.50% APY at the time of this writing. You also won’t see any monthly maintenance fees or get dinged for failing to meet a minimum balance.

As far as taking out cash goes, Ally doesn’t have their own ATMs. But, they do provide free access to over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs across the country. They also reimburse you up to $10 per statement period for any fees associated with out-of-network ATMs.

The only real downside with Ally is that making deposits can be a little tricky. There is no way to deposit cash, and checks need to be deposited through the app or the mail. If your employer doesn’t offer direct deposit, or if you get paid in cash, it might be worth looking into a more traditional option.

Ally Bank Logo Ally Bank Overview
Number of Branches: 0
Number of ATMs: 43,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: N/A
BBB Grade: C
Apple iOS: 4.7 based on 34k ratings
Google Play: 4.1 based on 20k ratings

11. US Bank

U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest bank in the United States and has nearly 500 locations in California. With access to 24/7 phone support, you’ll never have to worry about getting in contact with your bank if you have an issue.

U.S. Bank’s locations are mainly based in the West and Midwest. With the exception of Florida and North Carolina, US Bank has no East Coast presence.

However, their mobile app is rated well by users (and was in the top 10 in JD Power’s recent mobile app satisfaction study), so your day-to-day experience should be positive.

As far as big banks go, U.S. Bank fits right into the mix.

U.S. Bank Logo U.S. Bank Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of U.S. Bank U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 2,300+
Number of ATMs: 4,700
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: N/A
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: 4.8 based on 1.2M ratings
Google Play: 4.6 based on 300k ratings

12. Truist

SunTrust and BB&T merged in 2019 to form Truist, becoming the sixth-largest bank in the U.S. with more than 10 million customers.

They position themselves as being community-focused, pledging to “lend or invest $60 billion to low- and moderate-income and minority borrowers” from 2020-2022 alone.

New customers still cannot open an account under the Truist brand, but all SunTrust and BB&T accounts will eventually be folded in – so if you’re interested, stop by whichever brand is most readily available in your area.

Truist assures that most customers won’t need updated account numbers – and that they’re committed to making the process easy for those few customers that do – but, as with any merger, know that the risk of inconvenience in needing new checks, debit cards, or in updating bills that draw from the account is certainly a possibility once the transition is finalized.

Additionally, while we don’t yet know what their products or tools will look like, it’s safe to assume they’ll be in line with the other major national banks – IE, a wider breadth of options but lower interest rates than most credit unions or online-only banks.

Truist Bank Logo Truist Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of Truist Bank U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 2,500+
Number of ATMs: 2,100+
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: N/A
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: Suntrust: 4.1 based on 15k ratings
BB&T: 4.8 based on 420k ratings
Google Play: Suntrust: 4.2 based on 73k ratings
BB&T: 4.6 based on 75k ratings

13. Huntington Bank

Huntington Bank is probably one of the lesser-known banks on this list, but make no mistake; they’re a quality option, especially if you live in the Midwest.

Huntington’s Asterisk-Free Checking account is a no-frills account that makes checking simple. As an account holder, you’ll enjoy no monthly service fee and no minimum balance requirement.

The savings and CD rates here are relatively low, but customer service is excellent, and the mobile app is also well-liked.

One area where Huntington falls a bit short is when it comes to overdraft fees. They do give you a 24-hour overdraft protection window to get your account back in the positive before the fees come through. If you miss that window, Huntington’s overdraft fees are some of the highest around.

Huntington Bank Logo Huntington Bank Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of Huntington Bank U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 1,400+
Number of ATMs: 1,700
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: N/A
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: 4.8 based on 170k ratings
Google Play: 3.8 based on 31k ratings

14. nbkc

The National Bank of Kansas City (nbkc) is a top-ranking local bank with only four branches in Kansas City. But, the bank also offers a top-notch online platform.

nbkc takes a unique approach to personal banking by combining checking and savings into one account, which is called the nbkc Everything Account. Basically, you get all the practicality and flexibility of a checking account, coupled with the interest-earning potential of an HYSA.

The nbkc Everything Account has no minimum account balance, no overdraft fees, and no maintenance fees. What’s more, you’ll earn a 0.15% APY on deposits.

nbkc also offers options for business accounts and home loans. The bank’s website is super easy to use and features a tool that helps you manage your money and make sound financial decisions.

nbkc Logo nbkc Overview

U.S. Locations By State

Data Source: FDIC

Map of nbkc U.S. Locations By State

Number of Branches: 4
Number of ATMs: 37,000
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: N/A
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: 4.4 based on 250 ratings
Google Play: 3.9 based on 300 ratings

15. Barclays

Barclays Bank is a unique member of this list in a few ways. First, Barclay’s doesn’t offer checking accounts – just savings accounts, credit cards, and CDs. Second, the bank isn’t based in the US.

Headquartered in London, Barclays is the best option for international travelers that need to do some banking overseas.

Barclays has 12 stateside locations, but they’re dedicated to investment services.

Barclays Logo Barclays Overview
Number of Branches: 12 (Investment)
Number of ATMs: 0
J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Score: N/A
BBB Grade: A+
Apple iOS: N/A – Only for UK residents
Google Play: N/A – Only for UK residents

Best National Banks FAQs

What is a national bank?

Technically speaking, a national bank is a bank chartered by the U.S. government. For the sake of our list, we considered a national bank to be one that’s federally chartered, very well known, and/or with an extensive number of branches and ATMs.

Which is better, a national bank or a smaller bank?

A smaller bank will likely provide more personalized service. Many also charge lower fees and pay higher interest rates – this is particularly true of credit unions because of their not-for-profit model.

National banks, however, have more locations, stronger tech, offer higher bonuses and typically provide more products and services.

Which is better, an online bank or a brick-and-mortar bank?

It depends on what you want in a banking experience.

If you value face-to-face banking or if you deposit cash regularly, you’ll want a bank that has branches conveniently located to you.

Online banks, on the other hand, don’t have the overhead of physical locations and can typically afford then to pass on the savings to you – in the form of fewer fees and higher interest rates (though they don’t always!).

It used to be true that online banks had the leg-up in terms of technology and your online or mobile experience, but that’s no longer the case. Banks large and small have invested enough in technology that your day-to-day personal banking is hassle-free. Mobile check deposits, transferring money, checking balances, deposit alerts, debit card locking, bill pay – these are all standard features nowadays.

So, who is the number 1 bank in the U.S.?

If this were a clear-cut answer, we wouldn’t need to take the time to make a list of 15. Looking at the numbers: Chase is the biggest bank in terms of assets under management. Ally is the best online bank, and Citibank has the best APY.

At the end of the day, no bank can claim to be the outright number one bank. It all depends on what banking services you need and identifying the bank to best serve those needs.

Which national banks will pay me a bonus?

Chase Bank and Citi are known for running promotions nearly year round.

But most of the national banks will run bonuses periodically to attract new customers: you’ll be required to open a new account and meet certain requirements.

Check out all of the current bank promotions to see which banks are running deals right now.

Which national banks are the safest?

All of the banks on this list are FDIC-insured, which means that your deposits are protected up to $250,000 per person, per ownership category, per bank.

This should be a requirement for any bank that you’re considering.

Most of the bigger banks will also guarantee your money against unwanted access in the event that someone hacks your account, and some, such as Bank of America and Chase, will even reimburse you the next day while they look into it.

Is my money safer in a national bank versus a regional bank?

Nope. Your money is equally safe in any bank that’s insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (or any credit union that’s insured by the NCUA).

Which of the top national banks is best for you?

Like we said, the best bank for you really depends on what you want in a banking experience.

Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of the top national banks, the next step is picking the one that’s right for you, based on your individual needs.

Do your research and you’re bound to make a great choice.