Finding the Best Banks in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon residents have a great range of options when it comes to banking. Major names in banking have a number of branches in the city, while smaller, more regional banks also populate the area. Each bank in Portland offers its own set of bank accounts and financial services, too, so Portland customers can certainly find the right kind of bank and accounts.
|Ally Bank Read More||1.70%||$0|| |
|U.S. Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|Umpqua Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|CIT Bank Read More||1.85%||$100|| |
|WaFd Bank Read More||0.10%||$100|| |
|Banner Bank Read More||0.05%||$25|| |
|Umpqua Bank Read More||0.00%||$25|| |
|HomeStreet Bank Read More||0.30%||$2,500|| |
|U.S. Bank Read More||0.00%||$25|| |
How We Determined the Best Banks in Portland, Oregon
For starters, SmartAsset looked at the top 15 banks in Portland by branch numbers. This ensures that you’ll have physical access to your accounts and customer service in Portland. From this list, we found the most convenient big bank and regional bank. We also explored each bank’s personal account offerings to find the best checking accounts and best savings accounts, depending on what Portland residents may be looking for.
Ally Bank: The Top Savings Account
The Ally Bank Online Savings Account boasts a 1.70% APY, which places it among the best rates on the market. To put things into perspective, a $10,000 deposit would grow by over $745 if it sat in this account for four years. You will not have to pay monthly fees to retain ownership of your account, which, in the end, can only help your balance grow. There’s no minimum deposit either, so feel free to open an account no matter what you currently have in savings.
Those who are new to online-only banks might be nervous about a complete lack of access to in-person customer service. However, Ally has online, chat and email help available 24/7, in addition to its Apple and Android mobile app. In fact, the bank’s app holds an average rating of 4.35 stars out of 5 between the two competing app stores. Through this platform, customers can take advantage of mobile check deposit, an ATM locator, 24/7 digital account statements and free money transfers via Zelle®.
According to federal law, savings account holders can only complete six transactions per statement cycle without incurring a fee. Because of this, most customers are forced to open a checking account. But at Ally, that doesn’t mean sacrificing your interest-earning potential. Along with a free debit card, Ally’s Interest Checking Account earns, well, interest. Accounts with a minimum daily balance below and above $15,000 receive a 0.10% and 0.50% APY, respectively.
Best National Bank With Branches in Portland: U.S. Bank
Banking with a big institution typically means you’ll have the easiest access to your accounts and the bank itself. U.S. Bank has 110 branches in the Portland area alone, with thousands more throughout 27 other states. U.S. Bank also has a wide variety of accounts to choose from, allowing you to keep all your money with the bank if you chose.
Unfortunately, banking with a big name also often means you won’t benefit from any great deposit account interest rates. Its savings accounts and interest-earning checking account earn at the lowest possible rate. You’d be best served looking at the certificate of deposit (CD) account options the bank has. The best savings come with the bank’s Special CDs.
Best Regional Bank: Umpqua Bank
If you don’t want to place your funds with a big bank, check out Umpqua Bank, the largest bank based in the state of Oregon. It has 40 branches in the Portland area, not quite reaching U.S. Bank’s 110 locations. Still, you’ll have online and mobile access to Umpqua Bank and your accounts. You’ll also find the bank in Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada.
Umpqua Bank offers a variety of accounts, both personal and business. On the personal side, you can open savings accounts, money market accounts (MMAs) and checking accounts. Depending on which accounts you look at, you might meet some high minimum deposit requirements, although the most basic accounts require only $25. You’ll also want to be careful of monthly fees, which you can often waive by meeting certain balance or transaction limits.
Best Savings Account Rate: CIT Bank Savings Builder Account
Saving money becomes a much more difficult task without robust interest rates helping you out. The Savings Builder account from CIT addresses this by offering a 1.85% APY to customers who deposit $100 a month or maintain a $25,000 balance. Additionally, the account calls for just a $100 initial investment, which puts it well within the grasp of even those new to saving. The only downside to this account is that your rate declines to 1.17% if the aforementioned requirements aren’t met.
As an online financial institution with no branches, it’s imperative that CIT has a well developed set of web-based and mobile services. The bank appears to have done this, as the Apple and Android versions of its app average out to a rating of 3.85 stars out of 5. Mobile check deposit, digital account statements and inter-account money transfers are the premier features CIT provides.
There’s plenty to gain by becoming a Savings Builder account holder, but CIT has a bunch of other options. Its wide range of savings products include:
- Money market account
- Premier High-Yield Savings account
- 6-month to 5-year term CDs
- 2-year to 5-year jumbo CDs
- No-Penalty/11-Month CD
- 1-year to 4-year “RampUp” CDs
Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate: WaFd Bank Statement Savings Account
Out of the top 15 banks in the Portland area, WaFd Bank offers the savings account with the highest APY. You can grow your balances of $100 and over at 0.10% APY. Any balances below that won’t earn any interest.
You’ll only need $25 to open this account. Be mindful that you’ll need a $200 balance to avoid a $4 monthly fee. Minors under age 18 can avoid the fee outright and only need $10 to start earning interest.
Best Customer Service: Banner Bank
Banner Bank operates more than 175 branches throughout California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. You can also access your accounts though the bank’s online and mobile offerings. Luckily, the bank has been named as the bank with the best customer service in the Northwest, according to a 2018 customer satisfaction survey. This does come in handy since the bank does not post its account rates online.
Banner Bank provides both a local and toll-free phone number for its customers to contact a representative. You can reach a representative in person Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PDT). Outside of these hours, you can still call at any time for automated account information and actions.
In terms of rates, you shouldn’t expect much savings out of Banner Bank. No account offers high rates, with only a couple earning higher than 1.00%. Your best bet for big savings with this bank is to have higher balances. Be sure to explore Banner Bank CD rates.
Best Free Checking Account: Umpqua Bank Embark Checking Account
Keeping your money safe and accessible really shouldn’t cost you anything extra. The Umpqua Bank Embark Checking account offers a solid checking account experience with no maintenance fee. There is a $3 monthly fee if you choose to get paper statements. You can easily waive that fee, however, by enrolling in paperless statements. You can also waive the paper statements fee by being 62 years or older.
This free checking account also includes $10 in ATM rebates per month if your average balance is at least $2,500. You can also open an Umpqua Bank Grow Savings account without a monthly fee when you set up monthly transfers from this checking account to the savings account.
Best High-Yield Checking Account: HomeStreet Premium Select Checking Account
If you’re looking to make your money work for you while it’s held in an account, an interest-earning checking account can do that for you. HomeStreet Bank’s Premium Select Checking account earns at some of the best checking account rates available to Portland residents. Account balances from $2,500 to $9,999 will earn at a 0.30% APY while any balances of $10,00 and over will earn at a 0.40% APY. Unfortunately, if you don’t meet the $2,500 balance, you won’t earn any interest. This minimum balance can also help you avoid the $10 monthly maintenance fee.
Best for Students: U.S. Bank
Whether you’re a student from Portland or just going to school there, U.S. Bank’s Student Checking Account could be the account for you. It’s free, unless you want to stick with paper statements which cost $2 per month. Plus, you can easily access your money with U.S. Bank branches spread throughout 26 U.S. states. Be sure to compare its offerings with the best student savings accounts out there.
The account includes check writing abilities and a U.S. Bank Visa® debit card. You can use your card at any U.S. Bank ATMs and at non-U.S. Bank ATMs up to four times without being charged a U.S. Bank fee.
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