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Best Banks In Baltimore

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by Lauren Perez Updated

Finding the Best Banks in Baltimore

Baltimore offers a great mix of both national and regional banks to its residents. Each bank offers its own great variety of bank accounts, too. This allows you to choose the bank with the best checking accounts, saving accounts and more for your particular financial situation. So whether you want a local feel when you visit a branch or you just want high earnings, you can find the bank for you. 

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
PNC Bank PNC Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best National Bank
  • 94 locations in the Baltimore area
M&T Bank M&T Bank logo Read More 0.02% $25
  • Best Regional Bank
  • Hundreds of branches 
Capital One Capital One logo Read More 1.00% $0
  • Best Customer Service
  • Online bank with branches in Baltimore
  • Competitive interest rates
Capital One Capital One logo Read More 0.20% $0
  • Best Free Checking Account
  • Best High-Yield Checking Account
Capital One Capital One logo Read More 1.00% $0
  • Best Savings Account
  • No monthly fee
BB&T Bank BB&T Bank logo Read More 0.01% $0
  • Best for Students
  • No monthly fee
  • Two free non-BB&T ATM transactions per statement cycle

How We Determined the Best Banks in Baltimore

We found the best banks in Baltimore by looking at the banks with the 15 most branches in the area. This ensures you’ll have convenient access to a branch and ATM. From there, SmartAsset’s experts collected each bank’s account information including interest rates, fees, minimum deposits and more. 

Best National Bank: PNC Bank

PNC Bank

With 94 locations in Baltimore, PNC Bank can offer the easiest physical access to your money and the resources of a big bank. The bank also has location in 18 other states and the District of Columbia. PNC Bank’s offerings include a wide variety of accounts and services that fit a number of different financial situations whether you’re a student or a high spender. 

PNC doesn’t offer the best rates available in the industry. This is because online banks, without the costs of physical locations, maintain the most competitive deposit rates. However, you might find that PNC’s rates are still better than a number of other big banks. 

Best Regional Bank: M&T Bank

M&T Bank Savings Account

For Baltimore residents, the more regional M&T Bank can provide a few more branches than PNC Bank. M&T Bank maintains 99 branches in the Baltimore area and almost 600 more branches throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia and Florida. The bank also maintains about 1,500 ATMs for more convenient account access. 

M&T Bank has a great variety of account offerings. You can choose from five checking accounts, two savings accounts, two money market accounts (MMAs) and multiple certificates of deposit (CDs). Its interest rates aren’t the most remarkable, however. So if you’re looking for big savings, this won’t be the bank for you. 

Best Customer Service: Capital One 360

Capital One 360

The Mid-Atlantic region has its share of more local banks which means not every bank that ranks well for customer service reaches every Mid-Atlantic state. For Baltimore residents, Capital One offers some of the best service according to overall customer satisfaction.

Largely online, Capital One does benefit the Baltimore area a bit more with 17 locations. Outside of Maryland, you can find Capital One branches in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. Customers can also access over 39,000 free Capital One® or Allpoint® ATMs. Capital One still won’t charge you for using another bank’s ATM. 

To contact a customer service representative, you can easily reach the bank over the phone, via social media, online or at a branch.

Best Free & Best High-Yield Checking Account: Capital One 360 Checking

Capital One 360

Baltimore residents don’t have to look too far for the best free and high-yield checking account since they’re one and the same here. The Capital One 360 Checking account is completely free with no hidden fees. There are just the standard fees for transactions like overdrafts, cashier’s checks and the like. 

This free account also earns at great interest rates. Balances below $50,000 earn at 0.20% APY, balances between $50,000 and $100,000 earn at 0.75% APY and any balances over that amount earn at 1.00% APY. 

Best Savings Account: Capital One 360 Savings Account

Capital One 360

When Capital One 360 accounts are an option, both big and regional banks with the best savings accounts around don’t often stand a chance as you can see here. The Capital One 360 savings account blows all other Baltimore competition out of the water. Not only does it earn at the highest APY of 1.00%, but the account is free, too, as are ATM transactions. 

Best for Students: BB&T Student Checking

BB&T Bank

With 78 branches in Baltimore, students in the area will have easy access to their accounts. Plus, the bank has hundreds more branches throughout 15 states and DC for further physical access. This can really benefit students traveling to and from school whether in Baltimore or elsewhere. 

This Student Checking account is for students 23 and younger. There is no minimum opening deposit required, nor is there a monthly service fee. BB&T will also waive the fee for two non-BB&T ATM transactions each statement cycle. Along with this account, be sure to consider the best savings accounts for students out there.

Tips for Saving Money 

  • Sometimes, saving money is as easy as stashing it away in a jar or under your mattress. But to save money in a significant way, you should ensure that money grows while it’s kept safe. A good savings account can do that for you, keeping your money safe, FDIC-insured and growing according to its interest rate. 
  • Keep in mind that savings account rates are variable, meaning they can change with the market. They also allow you pretty easy access to the funds within. If you want your rate locked in or more structured savings, you could look into certificates of deposit, or CDs. CD rates often climb higher than your typical savings account rate and stay at that rate until the end of the CD’s term. CDs typically don’t allow withdrawals during the term’s length without a penalty. That prevents you from spending too much of your savings on the wrong things. 
  • Once you’ve grown your savings, or even if you need help managing your money in the most efficient way, you could seek the help of a financial advisor. The right financial advisor can help you maximize your savings not only through simple savings accounts, but through investing as well. Plus, the expert can help you prepare for future expenses, especially retirement. Our financial advisor matching tool can connect you with the best qualified financial advisors in your area. We’ll help you find your advisor according to your preferences and needs so you can get started right away. 
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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