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Best Banks In Portland

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by Lauren Perez Updated

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. 

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best National Bank
  • 110 branches in the Portland area
Umpqua Bank Umpqua Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best Regional Bank
  • Variety of account options
Banner Bank Banner Bank logo Read More 0.05% $25
  • Best Customer Service
  • Full suite of personal bank accounts
Umpqua Bank Umpqua Bank logo Read More 0% $25
  • Best Free Checking Account
  • Complimentary Grow Savings account
HomeStreet Bank HomeStreet Bank logo Read More 0.30% $2,500
  • Best High-Yield Checking Account
  • ATM fee refunds
Washington Federal Bank Washington Federal Bank logo Read More 0.10% $100
  • Best Savings Account
  • Perks for minors 
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank logo Read More 0% $25
  • Best for Students
  • No monthly fee

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. 

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: U.S. Bank

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

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 Customer Service: Banner Bank

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%. 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

Umpqua Bank

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

HomeStreet Bank

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 Savings Account: Washington Federal Bank Statement Savings Account

Washington Federal

Out of the top 15 banks in the Portland area, Washington Federal 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 for Students: U.S. Bank

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.

Tips for Money Management 

  • SmartAsset’s list of the best banks and bank accounts in Portland has given you a better idea of which ones you should choose. Each one offers something different than the next so you can certainly find the accounts that fit best with you and your financial situation. This can help you manage your money much more efficiently. For example, opening a free checking account at the start means you won’t have to juggle your balances or transactions to try and waive the fee. 
  • If you need more help managing your finances, you might want to get a financial advisor who can take a more comprehensive approach to money management. This professional can look at all aspects of your finances instead of just which bank fees to avoid, helping you better invest and plan for your future. To find a financial advisor you’d like to work with, our SmartAdvisor matching tool is a good place to start. After a quiz to get to know you and your preferences, SmartAsset can connect you with advisors in your area to take out the stress and hassle of searching yourself.
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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