Finding the Best Banks in Kansas City
Instead of housing hundreds of big bank branches, Kansas City is home to more regional and community banks. In fact, the city’s top 13 banks according to branch numbers is largely overrun by small banks, with the exception of U.S Bank, Bank of America and BMO Harris. Below, we selected the best banks in Kansas City not only for their branch access, but for their affordability, customer service and interest rates.
|U.S. Bank Compare Offers Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|Commerce Bank Compare Offers Read More||0.02%||$0|| |
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|BMO Harris Compare Offers Read More||0%||$0|| |
|Security Bank of Kansas City Compare Offers Read More||1.25%||$100|| |
|North American Savings Bank Compare Offers Read More||0.34%||$50|| |
|Bank of America Compare Offers Read More||0%||$25|| |
How We Determined the Best Banks in Kansas City
To find the best banks in Kansas City, SmartAsset’s personal finance experts rounded up the 13 banks with the top most branches in the area. We then took a look at each bank’s account offerings, fees, minimum requirements and interest rates. The best banks in Kansas City offer plentiful branch access, low fees and the best interest rates in the area.
Best National Bank: U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank offers Kansas City area residents the best access to physical locations with 59 branches in the area. The bank also operates branches in 27 other states which makes for easier access when traveling. This is in addition to the bank’s easily navigable online and mobile banking features.
You can have your pick of U.S. Bank accounts, from four CD account types to four money market accounts to seven different checking account options. This really allows you to find an account that’s right for you depending on your situation. You generally won’t face high fees or minimum requirements, especially on savings accounts. The bank’s checking accounts do allow you to waive the monthly fees by meeting certain account requirements like minimum balances.
The cost of maintaining thousands of branches means U.S. Bank doesn’t offer the best interest rates. Its two interest-earning checking accounts and two savings accounts all earn at the lowest APY of 0.01%. So if you’re looking for the highest rates to boost your savings, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Best Regional Bank: Commerce Bank
With 45 branches in Kansas City, Commerce Bank offers residents the second-most branches, just behind U.S. Bank. This means you can still benefit from convenient banking, but with a more regional banking feel. Plus, Commerce Bank provides online and mobile banking features so you can manage your money on the go.
Commerce Bank offers a range of different bank accounts. With four different checking accounts available, you can choose which one you want to open whether you want a basic account or one that offers added benefits for higher balances. You can even open a CommerceStudent Checking account for anyone 25 years and younger. The bank also offers two savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts and even a health savings account (HSA).
Commerce Bank doesn’t offer very high interest rates. Its basic savings accounts max out at a 0.02% APY and the CommerceRelationship Checking account only earns at a 0.05% APY. Other accounts like the bank’s CDs and money market accounts reserve the highest rates for the highest balances. It is worth noting, however, that these rates are higher than what a big bank can typically offer.
Best Customer Service: U.S. Bank
Not only does U.S. Bank have the most branches in the KC area, but it also offers the best customer service in the South Central United States according to a J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey. (The overall winner for the Midwest region was Wintrust Bank, which lacks a presence in Kansas City.) For starters, the bank provides a thorough FAQ section so you can first try to find an answer online. If your question isn’t addressed there, you then have various phone numbers to choose from, depending on your query and metro area. This prevents you from getting too lost in the midst of an automated phone tree. Of course, Kansas City residents also have the luxury of visiting one of 59 branches in the area, whether to open an account or seek financial guidance.
U.S. Bank’s customer service is more than accessibility, however. The bank seeks to extend its products to a variety of customers with its wide suite of bank accounts. For example, you could open its Easy Checking account with its low minimum deposit and low, waivable monthly fee if you just need a simple checking account to help you keep track of your money. On the other hand, you could open a Platinum Checking Package account, to earn top-tier interest and snag extra perks. With five other checking accounts, two savings accounts, four CD types and more, U.S. Bank has an account for just about everyone.
Best Free Checking Account: BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account
For the best free checking account in the area, Kansas City residents will want to head to BMO Harris to open a BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account. All you have to do is sign up for eStatements instead of paper statements. This may even already be your default in in today’s technological world. If you choose to stick to paper statements, the account will no longer be free and you’ll have to pay $2.
Along with the bank’s other checking accounts, the BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account includes a chip-enabled debit Mastercard® and access to over 40,000 Allpoint® network ATMs throughout the country. With this widespread ATM access, it should be easy to avoid the $3 BMO Harris fee for using an ATM out of its network.
Best High-Yield Checking Account: Security Bank of Kansas City High & Free Checking
If using a checking account to keep your money safe isn’t enough, Security Bank of Kansas City’s high-yield checking account should do the trick. For starters, you will need at least $100 to open the High & Free Checking account. However, this account earns at an impressive 1.25% APY on account balances up to $25,000.99. Any balances above this amount will have a 0.10% APY, which still outperforms many larger banks.
To earn any interest on this account, you will have to meet a few requirements each statement cycle. This includes 15 settled and posted debit card transactions (excluding ATM transactions), at least one ACH direct deposit or ACH debit transaction and Electronic Statements. Electronic Statements are free to sign up for, while paper statements will cost you an extra $3. Meeting these requirements also qualifies you for domestic ATM fee refunds of up to $25.
These requirements may seem like a lot to ask, but if you use this checking account as you would a normal checking account, you should be just fine. Plus, you get to grow your account balance at a rate usually reserved for premium savings or money market accounts.
Best Savings Account: North American Savings Bank Smart Savers Savings Account
North American Savings Bank bank offers five standard savings accounts, plus a kids savings account, but it’s the Smart Savers Savings account that’s the best savings account for Kansas City. For starters, the account requires the smallest minimum deposit of the five accounts, at $50. This makes it much more accessible to potential customers than, say, the Super Saver Account which requires at least $15,000 to open.
Once you’ve deposited at least $50 into a Smart Savers Savings Account, you can start growing your money at the solid APY of 0.34%. For the first six months of account ownership, you can avoid a monthly fee by simply setting up a recurring deposit of at least $25 to the account. After those six months, you’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of $200 to avoid the $7.50 monthly fee. As long as you don’t withdraw any money from your account, your initial and recurring deposits will keep you at the required balance.
Best for Students: Bank of America
From GPAs to getting to class on time, students have enough to worry about without the added stress that banking can carry. Banking with a big bank like Bank of America can take some of the stress out of banking due to its widespread presence. This means you can find a branch or ATM almost anywhere you go should you need one.
As a student under the age of 24, you can open a Bank of America Core Checking® account knowing you can avoid the usual monthly fee. Bank of America also makes banking easy with its online and mobile banking features. For one, you can easily send and receive money with Zelle app, as long as you have the other person’s email address and phone number.
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.
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.