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Best Banks in Kentucky

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by Javier Simon Updated

Finding the Best Banks in Kentucky 

If you’re looking for a bank to work with a high-quality bank in Kentucky, you’re in luck. The state houses thousands of banks, from household names to regional financial institutions. But the sheer number of options can make it difficult to choose the right one to manage your finances. So to make it easier for you, we’ve written up a report on the best banks in Kentucky. 

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best National Bank
  • More than 100 branches in Kentucky
Fifth Third Bank Fifth Third Bank logo Read More 0.01% $0
  • Best Regional Bank
  • Nearly 100 branches in Kentucky 
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best Customer Service
  • Several inexpensive checking options
Fifth Third Bank Fifth Third Bank logo Read More 0% $0
  • Best Free Checking Account
  • Student loan assistance services
PNC Bank PNC Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best in tech
  • Wide array of banking and investing options
Synchrony Synchrony logo Read More 2.05% $0
  • Best online high yield savings account
  • Mobile and online banking features

 

How We Determined the Best Banks in Kentucky 

The banking experts at SmartAsset started out by examining some raw data behind the largest banks in the state based on number of branches. We then took a closer look to see which offered the best savings accounts, largest availability of products, most reasonable fee structures and more. The result was a list of the best banks in Kentucky. So read on to see why these made the cut.

Best National Bank: U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank Standard Savings

Established in 1863, U.S. Bank has grown to a major financial institution. And Kentucky is home to nearly 130 branches. Plus, you can find just about any banking product you can think of here. The bank offers everything from basic checking accounts to individual retirement accounts (IRAs). In addition, the bank offers wealth management services and business banking options. You can also invest in securities ranging from stocks to mutual funds. 

You can still manage your accounts while traveling as the bank runs thousands of branches in 28 states. But no matter where you are, you’d have access to advanced online and mobile banking features that allow you do deposit checks, monitor account activity, pay bills and more.

Best Regional Bank: Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank

With nearly 100 branches in Kentucky, Fifth Third Bank has remained committed to serving the people in its communities. For starters, you can open a checking account with no minimum deposit or balance requirement. In addition, you can open checking accounts that earn interest. The bank also offers investment products and various loan options. And if you’re traveling, you can find branches throughout Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Best for Customer Service: U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank

Following a study by J.D. Power, U.S. Bank emerged as one of the best banks when it comes to customer satisfaction. The study examined key factors like problem resolution, products and fees. And Kentucky residents have access to more than 100 local branches, where they can find expert customer service. But even though you won’t find best CD rates here, you’re likely to snag an inexpensive account that’s easy to manage as well as more advanced ones with more features and benefits. 

But regardless of what account you open, you’d get access to all of the bank’s online and mobile banking features.

Best Free Checking Account: Fifth Third Bank Free Checking Account

Fifth Third Bank Free Checking Account

In most Kentucky markets, you can open a free checking account through Fifth Third Bank with any amount of money you’d like. Plus, the bank won’t make you keep a minimum balance. But don’t fret if your nearest branch doesn’t offer one, you can still find several good checking accounts including one that earns interest. The bank also has an option designed for students and another for members of the military. 

Furthermore, you can combine your checking account with a savings or money market account to start getting your finances in check as soon as possible.

Best in Tech: PNC Bank

PNC Bank

The world of mobile banking continues to expand with new products and tools to make managing your finances easier. And some of the best banks are leading the charge. Among them is PNC Bank, which offers a range of digital options. For instance, you’d get the following free of charge. 

  • Mobile deposit
  • Online bill pay
  • Money transfer
  • Text banking
  • PNC locator 

In addition, you’d get free access to Popmoney. Similar to services like Venmo, you can use this to pay friends using only their email addresses or phone numbers. So you don’t need to exchange sensitive bank information.

Best Online Savings Account: Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings Account

Synchrony Bank
CIT Savings 2.25% APY
Our Rating: 5/5
How we calculated this rating

When it comes to interest rates, brick-and-mortar banks don’t traditionally offer the best options. However, you can open an online savings account from wherever you are. And one of the best online high-yield savings accounts you can open today is the one Synchrony offers. This online financial institution currently offers one with a yield of 1.90%. That rate stands a head and shoulders above the national average. 

In addition, the bank makes it quite easy to access your funds and deposit money into the account. For instance, you can get an optional debit card, which you can use fee-free at ATMS with the Plus or ACCEL logo. And you have the following options to put money into the account: 

  • Electronic transfer from another bank account
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Direct deposit
  • Wire transfer
  • Mail cashier's check with deposit slip

Tips 

  • Oftentimes, money market accounts tend to generate better interest rates than savings accounts. And at most banks, you can open one with just a small minimum deposit, or none at all. To help you narrow down your choices, we developed a study on the best money market accounts in the industry today. 
  • Most banks today allow you to open individual retirement accounts (IRA). Nonetheless, it helps to seek assistance from a financial advisor whenever you’re considering serious retirement planning. If you’ve never worked with one, you can use our SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool. It links you with up to three local advisors who can help. You can then review their credentials and even set up interviews before deciding if you want to work with one.
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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.

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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