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Best Banks In Arkansas

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by Lauren Perez Updated

Finding the Best Banks in Arkansas

The best banks in Arkansas are, in part, the ones that provide the easiest branch access to its customers. In this case, Arkansasians will do better to look at smaller, more regional banks, rather than big bank names. We looked at the number of branches each bank owns in Arkansas as well as each bank’s account offerings to ensure Arkansas residents can get the best banking experience possible. 

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
Regions Bank Regions Bank logo Read More 0.01% $50
  • Best National Bank
  • 85 locations throughout Arkansas
Arvest Bank Arvest Bank logo Read More 0.3% $100
  • Best Regional Bank
  • Best Customer Service
  • 139 branches in Arkansas
Arvest Bank Arvest Bank logo Read More 0% $50
  • Best Free Checking Account
  • Overdraft protection available
First Arkansas Bank and Trust First Arkansas Bank and Trust logo Read More 1.50% $100
  • Best High-Yield Checking Account
  • ATM fee refunds up to $25
Arvest Bank Arvest Bank logo Read More 0.3% $100
  • Best Savings Account
  • Over 100 locations in Arkansas
Bank of America Bank of America logo Read More 0.03% $100
  • Best for Students
  • Locations throughout 36 states

How We Determined the Best Banks in Arkansas

To start, SmartAsset’s experts sorted through the banks in Arkansas with the largest number of branches. We found the top 15 of these banks, then delved into each bank’s account offerings. We looked at fee structures, interest rates, student options and more to find the best bank accounts in Arkansas. 

Best National Bank: Regions Bank

Regions Bank

Although fewer locations than the more regional Arvest Bank, Regions Bank offers customers wider national branch access. In addition to The Natural State, you can find Regions Bank in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. 

Regions Bank offers a great spread of bank accounts from a simple checking account to Promotional CDs to an interest-earning checking account. This variety offers the opportunity to find an account that actually fits with you and your finances. 

Unfortunately, Regions Bank doesn’t offer great interest rates on its bank accounts. So if you’re really looking to boost your savings by placing them in a savings account, you might want to look elsewhere. 

Best Regional Bank & Best Customer Service: Arvest Bank

Arvest Standard Savings Account

Arvest Bank is the best bank option for Arkansas residents in a number of ways. For starters, the bank offers a ton of different account options. Along with your own savings account, you can open a kids account, too. Its certificate of deposit (CD) accounts range from six months to five years giving plenty of opportunity to boost both short- and long-term savings. There are also four checking accounts with varying fee structures so you can choose the account that works best for you. 

Arvest Bank also offers some of the best customer service in the region, according to a J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey. Just keep in mind that even with its many locations in Arkansas, Arvest operates branches only in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The bank offers pretty standard customer service phone hours, but includes a separate line for Spanish-speaking customers and a 24-hour Account Information line. There are separate phone numbers for lost or stolen debit and credit cards. 

The bank also offers Arkansas residents two of the best bank accounts, detailed more below. 

Best Free Checking Account: Arvest Bank Free Blue Checking Account

Arvest Bank Free Blue Checking

For free and easy checking, look to Arvest Bank’s Free Blue Checking account. For starters, you will need at least $50 to open the account. There is no monthly fee to worry about nor any balance hoops to jump through. The account includes a free debit card, online banking, mobile banking, unlimited check writing, free notary services and free checks for customers 62 and over. The account does require e.Statements instead of paper statements. Plus, you can benefit from $400 overdraft protection if approved. 

Best High-Yield Checking Account: First Arkansas Bank and Trust Pure Checking Account

Pure Checking Account

First Arkansas Bank and Trust’s Pure Checking account earns at one of the best interest rates on a checking account. For starters, you’ll want to meet these requirements to snag the account’s best rates: have at least 10 debit card purchases post and clear; have at least one direct deposit, ACH automatic payment or online bill pay post and clear; and receive electronic statements. For each month you meet those requirements, you’ll earn 1.50% APY on balances of $15,000 and under. Any balances above that will earn 0.10% APY.

If you don’t meet the qualifications, you’ll earn 0.025% APY for that month, regardless of your balance. Plus, you’re not stuck with this low rate forever, since your eligibility depends on each month’s transactions.

The account does have a pretty high minimum deposit requirement at $100. 

Best Savings Account: Arvest Bank Savings Account

Arvest Savings Account

In addition to its great free checking account, Arvest Bank also offers a solid savings account option for Arkansas banking customers. You will need at least $100 to open the account. After that, you can start earning at 0.30% APY. There is a small $2 monthly fee on the account that you can easily waive with a $100 minimum daily balance or a $500 average daily balance. 

The Savings Account includes an Arvest ATM card if you maintain a checking account relationship. This offers more convenience in accessing your savings, especially on the go. Just don’t forget that as a savings account, you’re limited to six withdrawals per statement cycle. Each excessive withdrawal will cost an extra $5. 

Best for Students: Bank of America

Bank of America

Bank of America is the best choice for students, especially those going to school out of state. You can find the bank in 35 other states so whether you’re in Arkansas or traveling, you have a great chance of accessing your bank.

Bank of America® Student Banking offers students under the age of 24 a free Core Checking® Account. You’re eligible as a high school, college, university or vocational program student. Of course, students will also have convenient on-the-go access online and on mobile. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Bank

  • The first step to choosing the right bank is knowing exactly what you want and need in a bank. If you’re looking to switch banks, ask yourself what you dislike about t your current bank. Do you want to earn interest on your checking account balance? Do you want better CD rates? Answering these kinds of questions will help you narrow your search to the right bank. 
  • A big factor when shopping around for a new bank is each one’s fee structure. Fees can be tricky, and banks don’t always disclose them. Check whether the accounts you want to open charge a monthly fee and whether you can waive that fee. Also be sure to check for any out-of-network ATM fees. These could hurt your balances if you use too many foreign ATMs. 
  • Some banks can even offer the services of a personalized advisor. Whether that plays into your bank search or not, it may still help to have a financial advisor on your side. The right advisor can offer a comprehensive look at your finances to see where you may be spending too much and where you can boost your investments. Our advisor matching tool can quickly pair you with a qualified advisor in your area to get you started.
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Best Places to Save

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where people have the opportunity to save money. Zoom between states and the national map to see the best places to save.

Rank County Median Household Income Cost of Living Purchasing Power Estimated Tax Rate

Methodology Where you live can have a big impact on how easy it is to save money based on several regional factors. Our study aims to find the most suitable places for people to save based on median household income, average living expenses and income tax burden.

First, we calculated the average cost of living in each county for a household with two adults (one working). We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living.

To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for a family making $50,000 annual income in each location. Next, we created an effective tax rate index for each county, which reflects the counties with the lowest ratio of income taxes to the assumed $50,000 annual income.

Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall best places to save score. We used a three-fourths weighting for purchasing power and a one-fourth weighting for tax rates. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect places that are better to save.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study