Unlike the old days, today you have a wide variety of banks to choose from. All this variety means you can set up different accounts in different banks depending on their offers. The top banks have asset bases ranging in trillions of dollars across the world. They are not only based in the country but have branches globally. For a frequent traveler, this is music to your ears.
The best banks offer you much more than the rest. You get a bank with a wide network of branches and ATMs that don’t charge any withdrawal fees. They have numerous accounts types, giving you a wide variety depending on your needs. In the digital age, you can opt to bank at the branch or more conveniently online.
As much as they have numerous advantages, the best banks in the country share one common disadvantage of high fees. Most charge a monthly maintenance fee for different accounts. On the flip side, you can have this fee waived by maintaining a set monthly minimum balance in the account. Another option is authorizing a Direct Deposit.
Most offer customers current and savings accounts. Also, there are CDs, MMAs, and IRAs depending on which you want to open. It’s important to note that each bank has those types of accounts it offers and some that it does not.
How to Choose the Best Bank
i. Decide on the type of account to open
Before you settle on any bank, know beforehand the type of account you wish to open and its purpose. There are different types of accounts like current and savings accounts, CDs, MMAs, and IRAs.
ii. Additional Fees and Charges
Different banks charge fees and other charges that you must keep in mind while selecting one to open an account with. If you want one that has no charges, then search for that specifically. Ask for additional fees charged at each bank’s local branch or check on their website.
The best banks have branches across the country but are also online for convenience. You can visit any of the thousands of branches spread across the country, call or chat them online. Also, you have access to thousands of ATMs for convenience. These banks have an international presence in several foreign countries as well.
The Best Banks
|Name of the Bank||Min. Deposit||Maintenance Fee||ATM Fee||Online or Physical Branches|
|CIT Bank||CD accounts vary from $1000 to $100000 Savings account $100 MMA $100||$0||$0||Online|
|Wells Fargo||Current and Savings Accounts $25 IRA account $100||Ranges between $10 to $15 depending on type of account||$0||Both|
|Chase Bank||No minimum deposit for Savings Account No minimum deposit for Checking Accounts||Rages from $5 to $12||$0||Both|
1. CIT Bank
If you are looking for a bank with high-interest rates, then CIT is the one to choose. Not only does it have a high-yield savings account, but the same applies to its CD. The bank is available only online and has no physical branches for face to face transactions.
At the time it was founded 1908, St. Louis was an area that needed a financial institution. Since then it steadily built its reputation, becoming one of the most sought-after banks in the country. Its success is as a result of great offers that have customers flocking to use its numerous banking products.
CIT has dedicated itself to the growth of small and medium-sized companies across the country. It provides them with valuable financial advice while offering finance whenever they need it. There are numerous products you can opt to use from this bank. Apart from savings, you have CDs and checking accounts.
Opening an Account at CIT is done online. It’s a simple application process that doesn’t last for long. There are a few requirements you’ll need at hand as you sign-up. Have at hand your social security number, any valid form of identification, a routing account number to use to fund this CIT account, details of any other account holder in the case of a Joint account.
After you complete the application process, the bank moves on to confirm your routing account. Authorize two test deposits from it for CIT to confirm which is the final part of the process. The deposits are minimal and won’t affect your routing account but this is a necessary step. Wait for three days to verify the deposited amounts. This time is important for CIT to verify your identity and open a secure account for you.
Types of CIT Bank Accounts
a) Certificate of Deposit (CD)
CIT bank is renowned for its CDs that are competitive in the market. With this bank, you have access to 5 different types of CDs. These are:
- Term CDs that you open only with a minimum deposit of $1000 and are for custodial accounts. The APY rate varies depending on duration starting from as low as 0.72% to 1.70%.
- Jumbo CDs that require you to deposit $100000 as the least amount and are for custodial accounts only. You can expect an APY rate starting from 1.45% to 1.75% depending on the duration.
- RampUp CDs is the best in case you are seeking a secure and long term type of CD. It keeps your money secure against the constant whims of the market. It’s free to open and charges no maintenance fee. The APY rate starts from 1.20% to 1.38% with durations between 3 and 4 years.
- RampUp Plus CDs are flexible and also guard your money against the constant market whims. It’s free of accounts opening and maintenance fee which is a great advantage. Have at least $25000 as the minimum deposit ready when opening this type of CD. 1.20% is the least APY which can rise to as high as 1.38%.
- No Penalty CDs come with a high APY of 1.80% and are flexible. It’s one of the easiest in terms of access to your funds. To open it you need a minimum deposit of $1000 at hand. Don’t worry about any account opening or maintenance fees as none are charged.
b) Savings Accounts
Premier High-Yields Savings Account
To open this savings account from CIT Bank, have a minimum initial deposit of $100 at hand. You can maintain a low balance of up to $1 and mustn’t worry about any fees. You are not charged to open or maintain the account. Open the account easily online and start saving. You earn an APY of 1.55% from balances of $1 and above.
Savings Builder High-Yields Savings Account
The minimum deposit to open this account is $100 and you get a high APY. The APY is set at 1.75% though you must maintain a balance of $25000 to get it. The account is free to open and doesn’t charge any fee for maintenance.
c) Money Market Account
CIT Bank has an MMA that attracts a high APY of 1.75%. The account is easy to apply for online and needs a minimum deposit if $100.
CIT Bank Pros
- It’s MMA has a high APY set at 1.75%.
- The savings builder account yields an APY of 1.75%
- It charges no opening or maintenance fees on its accounts
- The No Penalty CD has a high APY of 1.80%
- Some of its CDs are flexible and protect your money against market fluctuations
CIT Bank Cons
- This bank doesn’t provide customers with ATMs
- It has no checking account and users should provide a transactional account from another bank
- It lacks a good IRA product for its customers
- CIT bank only operates online
2. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is one of the oldest banks in the country and has been operational for more than 100 years. It offers customers a wide range of other products apart from banking services. You can visit them for insurance and investments. The main headquarters of this national bank is in San Francisco but it has a presence in various countries across the world.
This is one of the most renowned banks. It boasts of assets that value at more than $1.8 trillion across the world. You can find this bank in over 42 different countries making it a favorite of many frequent travelers. Owing to this fact, the bank’s travel card stands out.
It has a rich history in the banking industry having been founded back in 1852. It started dominating the west coast banking industry back in 2008 after acquiring Wachovia. Since then, it’s been the largest bank in the region. The good news is it’s available both in physical banking halls and online. In the US you can get over 5000 branches and over 10000 ATMs from Wells Fargo.
Types of Accounts
You can open different types of accounts with this bank depending on your needs.
a) Checking Accounts
There are 5 different types of checking accounts one can open with Well Fargo. These are:
Everyday Checking Account
You require a minimum deposit of $25 to open this checking account. A monthly service fee of $10 applies but can be avoided if you post more than 10 debit transactions. The fee can also be waived by authorizing a Direct Deposit of $500 or maintaining a balance of $1500.
Preferred Checking Account
To open this type of account, have a minimum opening deposit of $25 at hand. You might incur a maintenance fee of $15 but it can be waived. One way to have it waived is by maintaining a minimum account balance of $10000. Another option is authorizing a Direct Deposit of $1000.
Opportunity Checking Account
This account has a similar opening minimum deposit of $25 as the other checking accounts above. The maintenance fee charged is $10 but it’s not permanent. You can have it waived by maintaining a minimum balance of $1500 or a Direct Deposit of $500.
Teen Checking Account
Set up an account for any teen aged between 13 and 17 with a minimum opening balance of $25. There are no maintenance fees charged on it. Each teen opening an account needs to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Portfolio Checking Account
If you know the balances you maintain in a checking account are large then this is the best checking account to open.
b) Savings Accounts
There are 2 types of savings accounts from Wells Fargo.
Platinum Savings Account
To open and maintain this account, ensure a balance of $3500 is available in your account daily. The pros of the account is that you can write checks, which is rare for savings accounts. Also, there is an overdraft facility available. The account charges a maintenance fee of $12. For a savings account, it has a low APY of 0.05%.
Way2Save Savings Account
The account requires a minimum deposit of $25 to set up. Maintain a balance of $300 and above to have the $10 maintenance fee waived by the bank.
c) Certificate of Deposit (CD)
Wells Fargo offers customers 6 different types of CDs depending on duration. The longest lasts one year and requires a minimum deposit of $10000. You get an APY of 0.15%. The shortest CD is 3 months which comes in two offers. You can open one with a minimum deposit of $2500 0r $10000. For both, the applicable APY is 0.05%.
d) IRA Accounts
Opening an IRA with Wells Fargo requires a minimum deposit of $100. This account doesn’t charge you any opening fee. You are charged a maintenance fee of $35 each month.
Pros of Wells Fargo
- Has many physical branches in the US and around the world
- Has a large network of ATMs
- Has a variety of accounts to choose from
- No fees are charged on the Teen checking account
Cons of Wells Fargo
- The APY yielded by saving accounts is low
- Has a standard minimum opening deposit of $25 for most types of accounts
- Charges a monthly maintenance fee for some accounts
3. Chase Bank
JP Morgan and Chase is the parent company of Chase Bank. Chase Bank is one of the largest and most popular banks in the country and has branches across the world. Many customers prefer it because it’s an industry giant. It has all the banking services you could need under one roof.
The number of branches this bank has in the US is rivaled by Wells Fargo only and it has over 15000 ATMs. Like other big banks, it has maintenance fees and other rates that are not as impressive to customers. It’s on a continuous expansion plan and always strives to open branches in various countries across the world.
Types of Accounts
a) Checking Accounts
Chase bank has 6 different types of checking accounts to choose from.
Chase High School Checking Account
This is a teen account for children aged 13 to 17. You can open it at any branch but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Once you turn 19, Chase Bank coverts it into a Total Checking account
College Checking Account
This is a student only checking account available for customers aged 17 to 24. It has a monthly maintenance fee of $6 that can be waived by maintaining a balance of $5000 monthly.
Secure Checking Account
This is a simple account for starting out in life maybe after college. It has no minimum deposit but requires you to pay a maintenance fee of $4.95 monthly.
Sapphire Checking Account
This account has numerous benefits like higher limits for the debit card and ATM. You get 24/7 customer support. Also, you have 4 free overdrafts annually. You must pay a $25 monthly maintenance fee but it can be waived by maintaining a balance of $75000.
Premier Plus Checking Account
You can earn an APY on your balance at a rate of 0.01%. A monthly fee of $25 is charged on the account but can be waived by maintaining a balance of $15000. You can withdraw up to 4 free times from any foreign ATM monthly.
Total Checking Account
There is no minimum deposit required to open this account. A monthly maintenance fee of $12 applies but can be waived if your monthly balance is $1500.
b) Savings Accounts
Chase Bank has one saving account that you can open and it has no minimum opening balance. A monthly maintenance fee of $5 applies but it can be waived. For this to happen, you must maintain a balance of $300 at the start of each day. Another way is to save at least $25 from your Total Checking Account. For this savings account, the APY is low set at 0.01%. You can only withdraw from it 6 times in a month.
c) Certificates of Deposit (CD)
To open a CD in the bank, be ready to deposit a minimum of $1000. There are 7 different terms to choose from ranging from 0 to 10 years.
Pros of Chase Bank
- Has a global presence
- Has a wide network of physical branches and ATMs
- Great reputation and large customer base
- Has no minimum deposit accounts
Cons of Chase Bank
- Charges a monthly maintenance fee on accounts
The best banks in the country listed here are the epitome of convenience to you as a customer. You can choose any depending on what features you are looking for and the type of account you want.