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Best Banks in Phoenix

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by Lauren Perez Updated

Finding the Best Banks in Phoenix

Phoenix residents have a number of solid bank and bank account options at their disposal. Whether you want a big bank for its widespread reach or a regional bank for its higher rates, Phoenix will have the bank for you. By looking at the banks with the most branches in the area, we were able to find the banks that will work best for you. 

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
Chase Bank Chase Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best National Bank
  • Almost 200 branches in Phoenix area
MidFirst Bank MidFirst Bank logo Read More 0.10% $100
  • Best Regional Bank
  • Best Customer Service
  • Full suite of bank accounts
Arizona Bank & Trust Arizona Bank & Trust logo Read More 1.51% $25
  • Best Free Checking Account
  • High interest rate when requirements are met
Parkway Bank Parkway Bank logo Read More 2.65% $100
  • Best High-Yield Checking Account
  • Competitive interest rates
Parkway Bank Parkway Bank logo Read More 1.00% $100
  • Best Savings Account
  • Lower balances earn higher rates
  • No monthly fee
Chase Bank Chase Bank logo Read More 0% $25
  • Best for Students
  • Two different accounts for college and high school students

How We Determined the Best Banks in Phoenix

To determine the best banks in Phoenix, we started with the 15 banks in the area with the most locations. Then SmartAsset’s personal finance experts delved into each bank’s offerings, including the types of accounts, various fees, interest rates and more. Looking at these factors allowed us to really find the best banks and accounts for Phoenix residents. 

Best National Bank: Chase

Chase

The biggest perk of working with a national bank is the widespread access you have to the bank, not only in your city, but across the country, too. Chase Bank has thousands of branches and ATMs in 26 states. This makes visiting a branch or ATM much more convenient in your own city and while traveling. 

Chase also offers a wide range of accounts, from personal bank accounts to credit cards to loans. This spread allows you to keep your money and accounts all in one place, if you so choose.

The downside of big banks is that the costs of location upkeep detracts from high-yield savings. Chase’s deposit interest rates are some of the lowest in the industry. You won’t be able to snag big savings from Chase savings accounts, unfortunately. 

Best Regional Bank & Best Customer Service: MidFirst Bank

MidFirst Bank

MidFirst Bank offers Phoenix residents a more regional, community-like feel to banking. You can find 25 branches in the Phoenix area which you can visit to open a number of the bank’s available accounts. This includes five different checking accounts and two savings accounts, allowing you to find an account that fits best with what you’re looking for. Many accounts do have high minimums to open or waive a monthly fee, however, so be careful of those when opening an account. 

MidFirst Bank was also found to be the bank with the best customer service in the Southwest in 2018. The bank conveniently offers different phone numbers for various branches or support teams you might need to contact. That way, you don’t need to wade through levels of an automated phone tree to try to speak to someone. There are also various contact forms in case you need to reach human resources, the president’s office, customer service and more. 

Best Free Checking Account: Arizona Bank & Trust Cash Rewards Checking Account

Arizona Bank & Trust

Unless you want to maintain a paper trail, this is the best free checking account Phoenix residents have available. Sign up for eStatements, which is often the default nowadays, so you can benefit from this high-yield interest rate at no cost. Otherwise, paper statements cost $2.50. You’ll need at least $25 to open the account, which is a pretty standard, low deposit amount. 

The Cash Rewards Checking account earns at a 1.51% APY on balances of $20,000 and below, giving customers with lower balances the chance to really grow their balance. Larger balances maintain an APY of 0.01%. To earn at these rates, you’ll need to stay signed up for eStatements, post a direct deposit and post 15 debit card purchases. Otherwise, you’ll earn at 0.01% APY regardless of your balance. Still, this will earn more than many other free checking accounts out there. 

Runner-up: BMO Harris Smart Advantage Account

Best High-Yield Checking Account: Parkway Bank Free Kasasa Cash Account

Parkway Bank

What’s better than a checking account that earns big savings? An interest-earning checking account that’s free certainly makes it easier to grow your savings. Parkway Bank’s Free Kasasa Cash Account doesn’t charge a monthly fee, no strings attached. You’ll need at least $100 to open the account.

This account earns at a 2.45% APY on balances up to $20,000. Any balances above that will earn between 2.45% and 0.62%, depending on the exact balance. To earn at these rates, you’ll need to make at least 12 debit card purchases each statement cycle, be enrolled in eStatement notices and be enrolled in online banking. If you don’t meet these qualifications, your balance will earn at 0.05% APY. 

Best Savings Account: Parkway Bank Free Kasasa Saver Account

Parkway Bank

For some of the best savings, Phoenix residents can turn to local Parkway Bank for its Free Kasasa Saver account. You’ll need at least $100 to open the account, which may be a bit high for a number of customers. However, banks with lower savings account minimums offer savings at much lower rates.

This free account comes linked to a free Kasasa Cash® or Kasasa Cash Back® account. You’ll want to make these accounts your primary accounts to snag the best rates and benefits. By making at least 12 debit card purchases, enrolling in eStatements and enrolling in online banking, you’ll be able to start earning at a 1.00% APY on all balances up to $20,000. Balances higher than that will earn somewhere between 1.00% and 0.38% depending on your exact balance. Still, without meeting these requirements, your balance will earn at a 0.05% APY. 

Best for Students: Chase Bank

Chase

Chase offers a great opportunity for students who need a checking account. For starters, young high school students from 13 to 17 years old can open the Chase High School Checking account with a parent or guardian. This accompanying adult must also have a qualifying Chase checking account of their own. This account can help you teach your child about money management, especially keeping up with fees since this account charges a $6 monthly fee which you can waive in a number of ways. When the student turns 19, the account can convert to a Chase Total Checking® account. 

However, if you’re heading to college, you can have a Chase College Checking account instead if you’re from 17 to 24 years of age. It also comes with a $6 monthly fee, but you can waive that fee as well. Banking with Chase as a college student is incredibly handy for those students going to school out of state, whether you’re from Phoenix or attending school there, due to the thousands of Chase branches and ATMs throughout the country. 

Tips for Saving Money

  • While we’ve given the highest-earning and most affordable accounts in Phoenix, there are still a ton of other options out there. Online banks can offer even better interest rates on both savings and checking accounts. Online banks (and credit unions) can also typically offer some of the best CD rates out there, offering a stricter and better way to grow your funds. 
  • Perhaps a financial advisor could help you out when it comes to really optimizing your savings. The right advisor can get to know you and your financial situation to better help you create a financial plan. They can help you prepare for retirement or for sending your children to college. The process of finding a qualified advisor is easy to start with our financial advisor matching tool, SmartAdvisor. We’ll connect you with advisors in your area to get you started on the path to better savings. 
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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