Managing your finances with one of the nation’s most popular banks has its benefits. These banks can provide you with top-notch face-to-face customer service, extensive branch and ATM access, and a wide range of consumer banking products.
If you’re drawn to the idea of a popular bank with plenty of branches to visit, read on. We’ve compiled data on the biggest names in banking and rounded up the most popular banks in every state.
Most Popular Banks in the US
Before we look at the most popular banks in each state, here’s an overview of the banks with the most widespread availability nationwide.
According to a March 2023 report from the Federal Reserve, these commercial banks have the highest number of branches in the US:
|Bank||Number of branches|
|Bank of America||3,804|
|Fifth Third Bank||1,086|
|Bank of the West||9|
COVID-19 altered the way people bank, and it led lots of banks to downsize and close their local branches. Along with the pandemic, the rising popularity of online banking has led some commercial banks to shutter branches.
However, FDIC data suggests that the overall decline in bank branches in recent years has been pretty minimal.
Some of the largest banks in the US recently laid off employees, like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, but others have expanded in recent years.
Take JPMorgan Chase for example. Since 2019, Chase has grown from having branches in 27 states to all 48 contiguous states.
And in February of 2023, Chase announced plans to hire more than 500 small business bankers to mentor and aid small business owners across several major US cities by 2024.
Most Popular Banks by State
Here are the most popular banks in each of the 50 states, based on the number of branches they have there.
|State||Most Popular Bank|
|Kansas||Capitol Federal Savings|
|Maine||Bangor Savings Bank|
|Montana||First Interstate Bank|
|New Hampshire||Citizens Bank|
|New Jersey||Wells Fargo|
|New Mexico||Wells Fargo|
|North Dakota||Gate City Bank|
|Rhode Island||Citizens Bank|
|South Carolina||First Citizens Bank|
|South Dakota||First Interstate Bank|
|West Virginia||City National Bank|
|Wisconsin||BMO Harris Bank|
But just because a bank is among the most popular in the nation overall doesn’t mean it’s the most popular bank locally. As you can see from this list, many of the top banks in each state don’t come close to cracking the list of the nation’s most popular banks overall.
That’s because many of the best banks specialize in serving an individual state or region, with a lot of localized branches near their headquarters.
It’s also important to note that these rankings are constantly changing, with the number of banks in each state fluctuating from year to year.
Here are the biggest contributors:
- Bank mergers and acquisitions
- Bank expansions into new territory
- Branch closures
What Makes Banks Popular
The largest banks are popular for a reason. Institutions like Chase and Wells Fargo have some solid benefits that digital banks or small local banks don’t always offer.
Here are some of the biggest factors that make these banks so popular:
- ATM Access: If you choose a small local bank with three branches and fee-free ATMs, you can expect to pay ATM fees for every withdrawal when you’re out of town. On the opposite end of the spectrum, an institution like Bank of America has over 16,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.
- Branch Availability: Similarly, the most popular banks give you extensive access to local branches. If you move cross-country and have an account with a major bank, you might still have a local branch in your area.
- Expansive Products: The most popular banks tend to have a pretty impressive lineup of financial services and products, with checking and savings accounts, CDs, wealth management services, loans, and credit cards.
- Global Benefits: Some of the nation’s most popular banks can also benefit you abroad. For example, Bank of America and CitiBank have partnerships with international ATM networks so you can make fee-free withdrawals in several foreign countries.
- Reputation: The most popular banks in the country are household names. When you bank with a popular financial institution, you can trust that they’re legitimate and find plenty of customer reviews to vouch for their services.
The number of bank branches in the US has declined in recent years, and online banks have made it more challenging for traditional banks to compete, with their impressive high-yield savings and checking accounts and sleek online features.
But some traditional banks are making marked efforts to improve their mobile banking features and reduce fees.
If you frequently use ATMs and like visiting your local branch from time to time, then one of the banks in this guide could be a good match for your needs. However, if you’re open to doing all of your banking online, you can benefit from an intuitive mobile banking app with minimal fees and higher interest rates at an online bank.
Bottom line—there’s a lot more to consider when you choose a bank than the number of branches, but it’s certainly worth factoring in.
Take a look at banks’ features, fees, products, customer service, and reputation to choose the right one.