Finding the Best Banks in Houston
Houston is the most populous city in Texas, so it’s no surprise that residents have numerous banking options. Not every bank will offer the best account for your individual situation, though. That’s why SmartAsset created this list of the best banks in the city. Read on to see which banks are most accessible and which offer the top savings and checking accounts.
|Chase Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|BBVA Compass Read More||0.05%||$25|| |
|Woodforest National Bank Read More||0.05%||$25|| |
|Texas First Bank Read More||0.05%||$50|| |
|Capital One Read More||1.00%||$0|| |
|BB&T Bank Read More||0.00%||$0|| |
How We Determine the Best Banks in Houston
SmartAsset’s banking experts found the 15 most popular banks in Houston by number of branches in the city. From those banks, we selected the best national and regional banks and chose the best savings and checking accounts based on their minimum balance requirements, annual percentage yields (APYs), fee structures and overall ease of accessibility.
Best National Bank: Chase Bank
Chase is one of the largest banks in the U.S. In Houston alone, it has about 220 branch locations. That makes it a good option if you frequently need to bank in person. Chase is a national bank, so you can also find many branches if you’re travelling outside of Houston or Texas.
Beyond the number of locations, Chase also offers a wide range of financial products and services. You can find savings, checking and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. The bank has a number of credit cards and loan options.
As a part of JPMorgan Chase & Co., you can also use the company’s investment services. Balancing major life goals like buying a home and saving for retirement is a challenge, so it’s nice to have access to expert advice from a financial advisor.
The Chase website and mobile app are also easy to navigate. You can open and manage accounts in addition to learning more about Chase’s various products.
Runner-up: Wells Fargo
Best Regional Bank: BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass has its headquarters in Alabama, but half of its branch locations are in Texas. It has nearly 200 branches just in Houston. And even though the bank offers fewer locations across the country than national brands, it does have higher rates. For example, you can get a savings account with an APY of 0.05%, which is five times higher than with a savings account from Chase Bank.
Overall, there are three account options for building savings. The two standard savings accounts don’t offer particularly high APYs (0.05%) but you can get a very high rate if you open a money market account (MMA). The BBVA Compass ClearChoice Money Market Account offers an APY of 1.70% no matter your account balance. (The minimum for opening an account is $25.) There is a $15 monthly fee, but you can waive it by regularly transferring money in from a checking account.
BBVA Compass can also help you with your other financial needs. The bank offers loans, mortgages, retirement accounts, financial advisors and a range of business accounts.
Best Customer Service: Woodforest National Bank
With two standard savings accounts and five checking account options, Woodforest National Bank can appeal to multiple customers. While it doesn’t have the highest rates on the market, it does offer APYs above those of the large, national banks. There is also an account designed specifically for minors, so parents can help their children to build strong savings habits from a young age.
In addition to the banking products, you can expect to have a good experience. Woodforest National Bank. According to J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, Woodforest National Bank was third overall in the state of Texas. The study looks at a bank’s ability to handle customer issues in addition to the range and cost of its product offerings.
Best Free Checking Account: Texas First Bank
Many banks offer very low rates for their checking accounts. That makes Texas Fist Bank a standout with its 0.05% APY for checking (and savings) accounts. Another thing that makes the bank stand out is the fact that you can get an interest-bearing checking account, the Kasasa Cash Checking account, with no monthly fee. The minimum to open an account is also just $50, so it is an option even if you don’t have a lot in savings. If you meet certain criteria, you can also get a significantly higher APY of up to 2.01%. Again, this is all with a checking account that has no monthly fee.
You can also earn a high rate (currently 0.85%) on a savings account if you open a Kasasa Saver account. Coupled with free access to online banking, a free debit card and up to $42 in refunds on ATM fees, Texas First Bank provides an enticing free checking account.
Best Savings Accounts: Capital One
Capital One offers some of the highest rates around. This is true for all of its savings options: savings account, MMAs and CDs. For example, the standard savings account, the Capital One 360 Savings® Account, comes with an APY of 1.00% and has no minimum deposit requirements. Capital One CDs also have no minimum deposit with high APYs on all terms (particularly the one-year term and longer-term CDs).
If you want to pair your savings account with a checking account, you’ll also get some high rates there. The standard checking account has an APY of 0.20%, which is significantly higher than other large, national banks. There is also a checking account designed specifically for teenagers.
Another advantage in Houston is that there are actually Capital One branches. Most states only have access to Capital One via its online banking. Texas is one of the handful of states with physical branches. That means Houston customers get the best of both worlds: an online-focused bank with branches nearby just in case you need them.
Best for Students: BB&T Bank
One of the main things to consider when you’re just starting to save is what fees a bank will charge. Naturally, you want to limit fees and this is especially true for students because they often are just starting their savings journey. The Student Checking account from BB&T Bank allows you to open an account for free. There is no minimum to open and you don’t have to pay any monthly fees. This deal applies to customers up to age 24.
The student checking account does not earn interest, but you can also pair it with a free eSavings account. This account has no minimum or monthly fees. The interest rate is not the highest (currently 0.03%) but it is enough to get you started.
Overall, the student offering from BB&T Bank is a solid option that compares well to some of the great student savings accounts you find elsewhere.