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Best Banks New York City

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by Derek Silva Updated

Finding the Best Banks in New York City

New York City is the most populous city in the United States. With so many people living in a place that never sleeps, it’s important to have a bank that can keep up with the various needs of different customers. To help you decide which banks offer the features and benefits that you need, SmartAsset created this list of the best banks in the city. Continue reading to see the most accessible banks and to see which banks offer the best accounts.

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
Chase Bank Chase Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best National Bank
  • Nearly 900 branches in the city
M&T Bank M&T Bank logo Read More 0.02% $25
  • Best Regional Bank
New York Community Bank New York Community Bank logo Read More 0.05% $100
  • Best Customer Service
  • Growing network of banks
Valley National Bank Valley National Bank logo Read More 0.05% $100
  • Best Low-Cost & High-Yield Checking Account
Capital One Capital One logo Read More 1.00% $0
  • Best Savings Account
  • Low or no fees and minimums
Bank of America Bank of America logo Read More 0% $25
  • Best Bank for Students
  • Variety of banking products

How We Determine the Best Banks in New York City

SmartAsset’s banking experts found the 15 most popular banks in New York City based on the number of branches in the city. From those banks we then selected the best national and regional banks, as well as the best savings and checking accounts based on minimum balance requirements, annual percentage yields (APYs), fee structures and overall accessibility.

If you're interested in saving money, consider opening up a CIT Savings Account. Earn over 8 times the national average with a 2.25% APY on balances of at least $25,000 OR monthly deposits of $100 or more with an initial $100 minimum deposit.

Best National Bank: Chase Bank

Chase

Chase bank has just under 900 branches in New York City. That means there’s a good chance you can find a branch near you. Chase is also one of the largest banks in the country. There’s a good chance you find a branch even if you travel outside of New York.

More than just branch accessibility, Chase bank provides access to a wide range of banking products and services. You can get standard checking and saving accounts in addition to money market accounts (MMAs) and certificates of deposit (CDs). Chase has credit cards and gives multiple types of loans. Another feature from Chase bank is help with investments and expert advice from a financial advisor.

Even though there are so many branch locations, customers can also use the website and mobile app for managing money and accounts.

Best Regional Bank: M&T Bank

M&T Bank Savings Account

M&T Bank has more than 750 branches across eight states and Washington, D.C. However, its focus (and the location of its headquarters) is New York State. That means M&T Bank could be a good choice for a New York City resident who wants to work with a regional bank.

As far as the actual account offerings, they are pretty standard. For example, you can get an interest-bearing checking account with an APY of 0.01%. You can get a checking account with an APY of 0.02%. While these rates aren’t particularly high, they are in line with other large banks. If you’re looking to boost your savings, you may want to consider a CD from M&T Bank. Not all the rates are high but the terms between one and two years are competitive.

Best Customer Service: New York Community Bank

My Community Savings

With about 150 locations in the city, New York Community Bank is a great local banking option. Through acquisitions of other small banks, the network also continues to grow. That means more ATMs and locations for customers. However, the bank will operate under different brand names in different areas of the city.

According to J.D. Power’s U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, New York Community Bank has better customer satisfaction than most banks and it has one of the highest satisfaction levels in the entire Mid-Atlantic region. This study takes multiple factors into account, like a bank's ability to handle customer issues, the frequency of its branches, its fee schedules and its product offerings.

Aside from being a pleasure to work with, M&T Bank offers a range of checking and savings options. The rates are not the highest but they are on par with other large banks. You can earn more than a standard savings account by going with a money market account. You can also earn higher APYs by going with some of the New York Community Bank CDs.

Best Low-Cost & High-Yield Checking Account: Valley National Bank

Rewards Checking

Valley National Bank has a variety of account options available. One checking account to consider is the Rewards Checking account. It has a relatively high minimum of $100 to open an account, but the relatively high APY could make up for it. The base APY is 0.05%. That’s already above other big banks. However, you can also get a much higher rate by meeting certain criteria (like making a certain number of transactions per month). At its best, the account’s APY could be over 2.00%.

That rate is better than you’ll get with a savings account, but Valley National Bank also offers multiple savings accounts and MMAs where you can park your money. The bank charges monthly fees with every account but you can waive most just by having a balance of $100 or $300 ($1,000 for the MMA).

If you want to keep your banking under one roof, there are also credit cards options. There are secured credit cards for those just building credit, rewards cards and a few business options.

Best Savings Accounts: Capital One

Capital One 360

Capital One offers high APYs on a number of savings (and checking) accounts. That includes MMAs and CDs. For example, the Capital One 360 Savings® Account has an APY of 1.00%. That’s high when you consider that large national banks (like Chase) have APYs of as low as 0.01%. So plain and simple, you earn more money in a Capital One account.

One common feature for Capital One accounts is the lack of fees and minimums. You can open a checking account, savings account, MMA and CD without having to meet a minimum deposit requirement (though you can sometimes earn more by depositing more).

Another advantage specifically for New York City is the presence of physical branches. Capital One is an online-focused bank and only has physical branches in a handful of cities and states. That short list includes New York. That gives customers in the city a chance to visit a branch when they want to talk to a person, while also being able to handle the bulk of account management online.

Best for Students: Bank of America

Bank of America

Choosing a bank is even more challenging when you don’t have a lot of money to deposit. This is particularly a challenge for young savers and students who are only starting to save. Bank of America solves that problem with Bank of America® Student Banking.

This student account waives monthly fees for high school and college students. That allows you to focus on building your money. The bank’s mobile app allows you to handle your accounts easily, no matter where you are. If you need to send someone money, the app also allows you to do that.

The other advantage of an account with Bank of America is that you’re working with a large, national brand. The bank offers a variety of accounts, products and services. Realistically, you could open an account with Bank of America in high school and then use the bank for rest of your life. You can also find credit cards, auto loans, home loans and help with investing.

Tips for Finding the Best Bank Accounts

  • The best bank account is the one that best helps you to meet your financial goals. If you aren't sure which bank account (or which bank in general) is right for you, consider talking with a financial advisor. An advisor is an expert who can give you guidance based on your specific financial situation.
  • Sometimes, your bank doesn't have the highest rates. That makes it a good idea to really shop around before opening any accounts. Regardless of where you live, here are some of the best high-interest savings accounts.
Save more with these rates that beat the National Average
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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