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.
|Regions Bank Read More||0.01%||$50|| |
|Arvest Bank Read More||0.3%||$100|| |
|Arvest Bank Read More||0%||$50|| |
|First Arkansas Bank and Trust Read More||1.50%||$100|| |
|Arvest Bank Read More||0.3%||$100|| |
|Bank of America Read More||0.03%||$100|| |
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
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 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
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
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
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 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.