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.
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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.
Ally Bank: The Top Savings Account
The Ally Online Savings Account is a great way to jump-start your long-term savings, as it comes with a solid 0.50% APY. This rate applies to all balances, regardless of how small or large a deposit you decide to make. If you’re like most Americans and need a debit card and checkbook as well, Ally’s Interest Checking Account can offer you up to a 0.25% APY. There are no initial minimums or monthly maintenance fees for either of these accounts.
You might find yourself wondering how easy cash withdrawals could be with an online bank. In an effort to fix this possible issue, Ally has partnered with the Allpoint ATM network, which has 55,000 ATMs around the world. Although you can use your Ally debit card at other ATMs, Allpoint’s machines are offered to Ally customers for free. If you must use an out-of-network ATM, you’ll be reimbursed for up to $10 in ATM fees per statement cycle.
Given that Ally is one of the top online banks, it should come as no surprise that its mobile banking app is rated well. In fact, between the Apple and Android app stores, it has kept a 4.35-star rating out of 5 over 20,000 customer reviews. Free money transfers through Zelle®, an ATM locator, mobile check deposit and online/mobile account statements and transaction histories are just a few of the features you can take advantage of.
Best National Bank With Branches in New York City: Chase Bank
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 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 also 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 Savings Account Rate: CIT Bank Savings Builder Account
Although the Savings Builder account from CIT Bank holds a base APY of 0.29%, you can quickly boost that up to 0.45%. This can be done simply by depositing $100 or more each month or preserving an account balance of no less than $25,000. Just about anyone can become an account holder, as CIT has instituted a $100 minimum deposit.
Don’t overlook CIT’s other account options beyond the Savings Builder account, as diversifying your savings portfolio can only help you in the long run. Here’s a breakdown of what you can get:
- Money market account
- Premier High-Yield Savings account
- 6-month to 5-year term CDs
- 2-year to 5-year jumbo CDs
- 1-year to 4-year “RampUp” CDs
- No-Penalty/11-Month CD
CIT is an online- and mobile-only bank, so there are no branches for customers to visit. The bank has a wide range of digital services though, such as inter-account money transfers, online account statements and transaction histories and mobile check deposit. Both Apple and Android users can download CIT’s app.
Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate: Capital One
Capital One offers high APYs on a number of savings (and checking) accounts. That includes CDs. For example, the Capital One 360 Performance Savings Account has an APY of 0.40%. That’s high when you consider that large national banks (like Chase) have APYs as low as 0.01%. So plain and simple, you earn more money with 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 and CD without having to meet a minimum deposit requirement (though you can sometimes earn a better APY 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 Customer Service: New York Community Bank
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 Rewards Checking Account: Valley National Bank
Valley National Bank has a variety of account options available. One option to consider is the All Access Rewards Checking account. It has a relatively high minimum of $100 to open an account, but you can earn $20 a month in rewards for one year. That equals up to $240 in rewards. To receive the full amount, you must accrue a total of $750 in qualifying direct deposits a month. A direct deposit qualifies if it is either a recurring payroll deposit or an electronic deposit of government or pension benefits.
Valley National Bank also offers multiple savings accounts and money market accounts (MMAs) where you can park your money. The bank charges monthly fees with most accounts, but you can often waive them just by maintaining a specific account balance. If you want to keep your finances under one roof, Valley National also offers credit card options. There are secured credit cards for those just building credit, rewards cards and a few business options.
Best for Students: 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.
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