Finding the Best Banks in Alabama
If you live in Alabama and are looking for a great bank, you’re in luck. Alabama residents have a wide range of options from which to choose when it comes to financial institutions that offer fantastic account options and an extensive physical presence throughout the state. In the case of choosing where to bank, finding the “best” bank depends what you’re looking for. Ample account options? Round-the-clock customer service? Several local branches? High interest rates? Wherever your priorities lie, take a look at the selection of banks below to find the best savings and checking accounts and most accessible banks in the state of Alabama.
|Ally Bank Read More||1.60%||$0|| |
|Regions Bank Read More||0.01%||$50|| |
|BBVA Read More||0.05%||$25|| |
|CIT Bank Read More||1.80%||$100|| |
|Peoples Bank of Alabama Read More||0.60%||$50|| |
|PNC Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
How We Determine the Best Banks in Alabama
SmartAsset’s banking experts found the 15 most popular banks in Alabama. They compiled this list based on which have the most branches within state lines, especially in the most popular cities of Jackson, Hunstville, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile. Among those banks, we then narrowed down the selection to the very best national and regional banks and chose the best savings and checking accounts based on their their minimum balance requirements, annual percentage yields (APYs), fee structures and customer accessibility.
Ally Bank: The Top Savings Account
The Online Savings Account from Ally Bank offers a 1.60% APY, which the bank claims is about 20x the national average. This rate also compounds on a daily basis, which will help your account accrue interest as fast as possible. As an example, a $10,000 balance at this interest rate would earn $782 over a four-year span. There are no fees or minimums attached to this account either.
If you’re looking for a checking counterpart to pair with your Online Savings Account, the Ally Interest Checking Account is a solid choice. Not only is it completely devoid of all fees and minimums, but it earns interest as well. Accounts with a minimum daily balance of less than $15,000 receive a 0.10% APY, while anyone above that threshold secures a 0.50% APY.
Being that Ally is strictly an online/mobile bank, its mobile services are highly-rated. In fact, between its Apple and Android offerings, Ally’s app holds a 4.35-star rating out of 5. Although cash withdrawals may be difficult with a bank like Ally, it’s part of the Allpoint ATM network which has 55,000 fee-free ATMs around the world. If you encounter out-of-network ATM fees, Ally will reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle.
Best National Bank With Branches in Alabama & Best Customer Service: Regions Bank
With almost 1,500 branches around the country and 221 in Alabama, Regions Bank has perhaps its most significant presence in the state of its headquarters. Regions alone controls nearly 23% of the wealth in Alabama, far outranking its runner-up, Wells Fargo. With nearly 2,000 ATM locations in operation—a large portion of which is in Alabama—banking with Regions is particularly easy in the Yellowhammer state.
If you’re looking to put all your assets under one roof, Regions is a strong choice. It doesn’t just feature multiple checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgage loan plans, IRAs and CDs. On top of all of those account options, Regions also provides its customers with access to frequent rewards, secured credit cards, home and auto loans and top-of-the-line financial advisors.
If you’re looking for mobile or online banking, Regions has you covered there, too. With the Regions Mobile App for iPhone, iPad, and Android, you can make a deposit, send money using Personal Pay, access your rewards, locate ATMs and branches, check your account balances and transaction history, transfer funds, pay bills and even search for your recent transactions.
For customer service rankings of banks with physical locations in Alabama, Regions topped the J.D. Power list. Regions boasts a full-fledged electronic customer service set-up, coupled with an enormous presence statewide. Customer service is never difficult to access, and even if you’re not looking for help with a certain dilemma, the ability to take your banking operations into your own hands is easy, especially with your smartphone.
Checking and savings accounts, additionally, are a huge selling point for Regions. Its accounts are known for coming with opening deposits 10 to 20 times lower than most national banks, coupled with easy-to-meet monthly fee waiver requirements. In short, those qualities make Regions a quality choice for your banking needs.
Best Regional Bank: BBVA
BBVA, a subsidiary of Spanish multinational Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria since 2007, is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.
BBVA’s interest rates are low, especially given its small size and local presence. But its redeeming qualities lie mostly in its highly accessible and straightforward deposit accounts. Additionally, BBVA’s website, mobile apps and phone and email customer service are well-regarded by its customers, ensuring quality consumer experiences.
Another BBVA perk that earns its title as Best Local Bank: the low minimum deposit required to open a checking account. In addition, it doesn’t charge a monthly service fee for the checking account. This feature makes entering business with BBVA easy. To open a fee-free checking account, you are only required to deposit a reasonable payment of $25. If you’re looking for a more specific service, such as a loan, you can begin an application online—and possibly get approval within within hours.
The bank’s number of fee-free ATMs tops 50,000 nationwide. BBVA is the 30th-largest bank in the country.
Best Savings Account Rate: CIT Bank Savings Builder Account
Interest rates are notoriously low at traditional, branch-based banks. At CIT Bank, though, the Savings Builder account comes with a 1.80% APY. To put things into perspective, five years of this rate on a $10,000 deposit would garner almost $1,300 in interest earnings. If you want to take full advantage of this, all you need to do is deposit at least $100 monthly or keep your account balance at or above $25,000. Failure to meet these requirements will result in your APY falling to 1.16%.
CIT Bank has a solid mobile app that holds a 3.85-star rating out of 5 based on over 2,500 Apple and Android customer reviews. Through these platforms you can view your account statements and up-to-date transaction histories, deposit checks remotely and move money between your CIT accounts.
Conscientious savers have more than just one savings account to their name. CIT can aid you in this venture with the following accounts:
- Money market account
- Premier High-Yield Savings account
- 6-month to 5-year term CDs
- 2-year to 5-year jumbo CDs
- No-Penalty/11-Month CD
- 1-year to 4-year “RampUp” CDs
Best Free Checking Account: Peoples Bank of Alabama
People’s Bank of Alabama’s eCheckingPlus account has no fees, nor minimum balances, to open—not to mention, it’s free. The only requirement is a $50 down payment to open the account. What’s more, with the eCheckingPlus checking account, customers are eligible to receive extra interest once the balance reaches $25,000. Additionally, customers can receive a monthly refund of up to $6 worth of ATM fees, should they elect to receive e-statements or make 10 or more debit card purchases during the statement period. Only residents of the state of Alabama are able to open an account account with People’s Bank. You can apply online and the process take less than an hour.
True to its winning title, People’s Bank of Alabama does indeed offer a free checking option to customers, as well as a long list of different checking and savings account plans that can cater to your particular needs. But perhaps its best asset is its myEasyAdvisor program, which is a personalized, automated financial advising tool, where customers can receive free financial advice about their accounts and savings.
Its eCheckingPlus account has no fee or minimum balance and requires just $50 to open.
The Basic Checking account from Bank of Hope is an account that really doesn’t require much to open. All you need is $25 ready to deposit and the ability to pay a $3 monthly fee. That fee does not have to stick around, though, as simply making five monthly purchases with your debit card or electing to receive e-Statements will completely eliminate it.
If earning interest is high on your list, People’s Bank’s Interest Checking accounts have some of the most impressive rates in the country. On its eCheckingPlus account specifically, the following balances will earn you impressive upgraded APYs: 0.60% on balances below $25,000 and 0.25% on balances of $25,000 and over.
Best for Students: PNC Bank
PNC Bank, which has several locations in Alabama, is among the best national banks you could ask for in terms of sheer number of options for students. Regardless of what state you reside in—or where you choose to go for school—PNC likely has you covered.
PNC excels in offering a set of services for students and families preparing to leave for college. One of its most popular account plans is their Virtual Student Wallet® account, which is comprised of three different accounts working as one online money management tool. Any kind of pre-professional student can use this account, but it’s most popular among undergraduates.
Beyond just students working toward their bachelor’s degree, PNC offers personalized accounts for a vast array of people enrolled in school, including:
- Graduate or professional students who are enrolled at least half time in a degree or certificate program.
- Undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at least half time in an accelerated program for a degree in a PNC-approved health-related field of study
- MD, DDS, DO and DVM residents needing funds to cover interview, relocation and living expenses.
- Law students within six months of taking the BAR exam
PNC doesn’t stop just at countless offers at varying terms and specifications. It also has created an exhaustive list of resources for individuals looking to take out the loans listed above. This is called the ELLC, or Education Lending Learning Center, and it serves to help customers make the most out of their financial decisions as they pertain to education spending and saving.
Additional SmartAsset Bank Reviews in Alabama
Didn't find the best bank for you? Consider the following banks in your area.