Safest Banks In the U.S. With the Best Security

Between March and May of 2023, three U.S. banks failed: Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank.

Bank failures are alarming, and the recent string of closures may have you feeling anxious about whether or not your money is safe with your current bank.

While most banks are generally reliable and unlikely to fail, it’s important to know what makes a bank safe. In the guide, we’ll highlight some key safety features to look for and provide you with an overview of the safest banks in the US.

What Makes Your Bank Safe?

The biggest safety feature to look for in a bank is FDIC insurance. In the aftermath of bank closing during the Great Depression, the FDIC was created to federally insure your bank accounts for $250,000 per depositor, bank, and account type.

If you use a credit union, your accounts should have similar coverage from the National Credit Union Share. And banks that are part of the IntraFi Network partner to offer even higher FDIC limits for high-net-worth individuals.

  • Size
  • Assets
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Ability to freeze your debit card
  • Data encryption
  • Suspicious activity alerts
  • 24/7 customer support

If your bank is FDIC-insured, everything from your online savings to checking, CDs, and money market accounts is protected. The other factors listed can bolster your account’s security and give you peace of mind.

7 Safest Banks in the U.S.

Our Methodology: We determined the seven banks below to be the safest in the U.S. based on their size and security features:

  1. U.S. Bank
  2. JP Morgan Chase
  3. PNC Bank
  4. Citibank
  5. Capital One
  6. M&T Bank Corporation
  7. Wells Fargo

1. U.S. Bank (U.S. Bancorp) US bank Logo

U.S. Bank’s parent company U.S. Bancorp is the 5th largest bank in the USA, according to the Federal Reserve with $590 billion in assets.

There are more than 2,000 U.S. Bank branch locations in the United States, most of them in the Midwest, and 469 are in California alone. With U.S. Bank, you can also count on 4,700 ATMs.

In addition to being one of the safest banks in America, U.S. Bank is dependable when you’re out of the country. If something happens to your cards (e.g., they get stolen or lost), you’ll be able to report the incident through your online banking account or U.S. Bank’s helpline.

This feature is convenient, especially if you’re abroad with limited access to cell service. The ability to report fraud through the web portal can be a lifesaver.

Security Features and Measures:

  • Authentication options–one-time passcode, fingerprint scan, visual pattern, and Face ID for mobile banking
  • Helpful resources to educate customers about fraud and account safety
  • Easily report suspicious activity to the bank by phone or email
  • Data encryption to keep your information safe and secure

2. J.P. Morgan Chase Chase bank Logo

J.P. Morgan Chase is the biggest bank in the U.S. Its headquarters are in Manhattan, New York City, and you may know it as just Chase for banking purposes.

J.P. Morgan Chase’s total assets amount to around $3.267 trillion.

Another great feature is Chase’s “money guarantee against unauthorized access.” This feature adds an extra layer of safety that makes Chase one of the best banks for fraud protection and gives account holders and depositors peace of mind.

And Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan Chase’s CEO once stated that the bank could only be at risk of failing in the rare event of a collision between the earth and the moon.

Security Features and Measures:

  • Encryption of data
  • Monitoring for suspicious activity
  • Secure Messaging
  • Resources on how to protect yourself from fraud
  • Toll-free number you can call to check if you’re dealing with a scam/ fraud

3. PNC Bank PNC bank Logo

PNC Bank has over 2,600 brick-and-mortar branch locations and an extensive network of around 60,000 partner ATMs. This bank is present in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

PNC Financial Services boasts $556 billion in assets. PNC also owns ¼ of the asset management from BlackRock Inc.

At the end of 2008, PNC successfully closed its National City acquisition, something even harder to do in 2008 when financial markets were at risk.

PNC Financial Services has several extra security layers in place to protect you from theft, fraud, and scams. From data encryption to security questions to ensure that only you can access your account, it’s doing a lot to keep you and your money safe.

Security Features and Measures:

  • Encryption of your personal information
  • Two-step verification and optional additional sign-on security
  • Security Questions
  • Quick and easy to report fraud by email or phone
  • Security tips and extensive resources on how to protect yourself from fraud

4. Citibank Citibank Logo

Citibank is a national bank that offers several account options—checking accounts, high-yield savings accounts, credit cards, CDs, and more with solid interest rates.

In terms of the bank’s security, Citibank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It has implemented a range of security measures to put your mind at ease.

Citibank has a dedicated Security Team to keep an eye on any suspicious new technologies and activity and immediately alert if anything looks unusual.

They provide a 2-way SMS service that allows the bank to alert account holders of any suspicious transactions.

It also utilizes 256-bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption to provide security and ensure your information can’t be read by anyone else. Overall, you can trust your data, and your money is safe with Citibank.

Security Features and Measures:

  • Encryption of your personal data
  • Lock Card feature to disable your card temporarily
  • Free, personalized support if your identity is stolen
  • $0 Liability on unauthorized transactions
  • Fraud detection and warning alerts

5. Capital One Capital one bank Logo

Capital One is one of the biggest U.S. national retail banks with a wide variety of financial services, from credit cards to deposit accounts. Capital One’s credit cards are known to offer fantastic rewards, perks, and sign-up bonuses.

As a major bank, it’s not surprising that Capital One takes security seriously. In addition to being FDIC-insured, Capital One also delivers several advanced security features, like SwiftID, Card Lock, and multi-factor authentication to keep your account and money safe.

Eno, a virtual assistant, watches over your account to spot any suspicious activity instantly. If it does, it’ll alert you on the Capital One mobile app immediately.

Security Features and Measures:

  • Data encryption
  • Multi-Factor authentication
  • Eno – Capital One virtual assistant that monitors your account 24/7
  • Fraud alerts when suspicious activity is recorded on your account
  • Instant purchase notifications to monitor your spending
  • Card lock feature
  • Virtual cards available

6. M&T Bank Corporation m&T bank Logo

Founded and headquartered in the state of New York (in the city of Buffalo), M&T Bank Corporation made the list of the most secure banks in the USA for multiple reasons.

This bank has a long history. It was first established as a “Manufacturers, and Traders Trust Company” by businessmen Pascal Pratt and Brownson Rumsey in 1856.

Today, it has a strong presence of more than 1,000 physical branch locations and over 2,000 in-network ATMs in 12 different states. Moreover, its assets are worth over $201 billion and its market cap is $22.87 billion.

In 2022, M&T acquired People’s United Bank, extending its reach and solidifying its financial strength even more.

Security Features and Measures:

  • 256-bit SSL data encryption
  • Real-time continuous monitoring to detect security incidents
  • Security alerts when suspicious activity is spotted
  • Personalized security questions
  • Easy to report security concerns by phone

7. Wells Fargo wells fargo bank Logo

Wells Fargo is often considered the most secure of the national banks in the US. Wells Fargo customers can count on 12,000 free ATMs in its network and 4,700 brick-and-mortar branches across the United States.

This financial institution has $1.886 trillion in assets and counting and it’s the fourth-largest commercial bank in the country.

Wells Fargo also has a “Zero Liability Protection” feature, which insures your money against a potential hack attack on your bank account. Other banks with this extra layer of safety are Ally Bank, HSBC, Charles Schwab, and First Tennessee Bank.

Wells Fargo primarily made our list based on its size and security features, which make it unlikely for the bank to fail. Although it met our criteria, it’s important to note that Wells Fargo’s reputation has been challenged due to its involvement in deceptive sales practices and fines paid to the government. While its financial stability is notable, you should do your due diligence and consider these issues as you decide if it’s the safest bank for your funds.

Security Features and Measures:

  • Account alerts that track your transactions and spot unusual activity
  • Control Tower–a secure place for your Wells Fargo cards and account information for easy monitoring
  • Ability to turn your cards on and off
  • Small businesses get an Account Access manager
  • Encryption and browser requirements
  • 2-step Verification, Voice Verification, Face ID, and Touch ID sign-on options

How to Choose One of the Safest Banks

Here are a few pointers to help choose one of the safest banks for your needs.

Whether you opt for a local bank, a fintech, a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, or a credit union, look out for some of the features below:

  • Focus on security features: Every good, safe bank should offer features like data encryption, multi-factor identification, automatic logout, and account monitoring for suspicious activity.
  • FDIC insurance: Once again, your bank must be FDIC insured, so you won’t incur the risk of losing your deposit accounts if something happens. If you are depositing at a credit union, then it must be NCUA-insured.
  • Pay attention to size: The largest banks are less likely to fail in most cases. For big banks with many assets, it should be easier to recover from a loss, even though that isn’t always true, as demonstrated by the financial crisis.
  • Look for guarantees: Some banks offer a guarantee against unauthorized access features. This guarantee means they will pay you back if somebody accesses your funds fraudulently.
  • Opt for debit card blocking: Can you easily block your card at short notice? The quicker you can do that, the better. Make sure the financial institution you go for makes it easy.
  • Ask about single-use card numbers: Some banks offer a single-use card number for you to use when purchasing online, for example, which makes for a safer experience.
  • Get an EMV chip card: Today, almost all debit cards use EMV chips, which are safer than sliding a card to buy something because they are better encrypted.
  • Look into liability: If you get charged for a purchase that has been made by someone else hacking your account, the bank usually covers it. That said, sometimes there are penalties for lost cards, so be aware of them.
  • Consider customer service: Avoid banks that make it hard to communicate with them, especially about security problems. The best customer services are helpful, can be reached in multiple ways, and are available 24/7. You can also read customer reviews to gauge how a bank actually interacts with its clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Credit Unions as Safe as Banks?

While it’s true that some credit unions can be safer than banks, it depends on what you need in terms of personal finance. There are safe banks and safe credit unions alike.

If you just want a place to store your money, a credit union might be a better option, and if you work in an industry served by a particular credit union, you’ll be able to get extra benefits.

On the other hand, credit unions are sometimes more localized, so if you’d like to transfer money abroad or travel frequently, you may be better off with a bank.

Are High-Yield Savings Accounts Safe?

While the banks in this review are among the safest and most reputable financial institutions in the country, they don’t necessarily offer the highest interest rates on their savings accounts.

High-yield savings accounts from online banks typically offer more competitive APY. The safety of these accounts lies in the fact that they’re FDIC or NCUA-insured, or they’re backed by banks that are.

If you’re seeking a safe place to park your money and earn a competitive interest rate, high-yield savings accounts can be a reliable option. There are several FDIC-insured savings accounts with 5% interest or higher.

Final Word

It’s crucial to choose a bank that prioritizes protecting your money and your personal information. That’s become even more evident with the recent failure of SVB and other banks.

Fortunately, most banks are unlikely to fail, and if yours does, you can trust the FDIC to keep its word. In every bank failure since 2000, the FDIC has paid out account owners quickly, giving them a new account at a secure bank.

With that peace of mind and an idea of the other safety features to look out for, you can focus on perks like APY, overdraft protection, and high withdrawal limits when you compare banks.

Our Methodology

At BankBonus, we’re dedicated to providing our readers with expert commentary and reliable banking recommendations. To that effect, we spent hours combing through financial performance data and security features of dozens of banks across the country.

To form our list of the nation’s safest banks, we primarily considered each bank’s assets under management and security features such as 256-bit SSL data encryption, two-factor authentication, and security alerts.

We also analyzed customer reviews and consulted third-party ratings to provide insight into each bank’s reputation and customer service.

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