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Best Banks in Rhode Island

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Finding the Best Banks in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is home to many banks from well-known financial institutions to regional banks. So it can be difficult to find the right bank to work with. But to make the process easier, we did the homework and published a report on the best banks in Rhode Island.

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
Ally Bank Ally Bank logo Read More 2.20% $0
  • The Top Savings Account
  • High APY
Bank of America Bank of America logo Read More 0.03% $100
  • Best National Bank With Branches in Rhode Island
  • Thousands of branches nationwide
Citizens Bank Citizens Bank logo Read More 0.01% $0
  • Best Regional Bank
  • Wide range of services including student loan refinancing
CIT Bank CIT Bank logo Read More 2.45% $100
  • Best Savings Account Rate
  • One of the best APYs on the market
Synchrony Synchrony logo Read More 2.25% $0
  • Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate
  • APY that beats the national average
Citizens Bank Citizens Bank logo Read More 0.01% $0
  • Best Customer Service
  • Multiple customer service channels including online chat
Santander Bank Santander Bank logo Read More 0.00% $25
  • Best Free Checking Account
  • Many opportunities to waive fees on several accounts
Bank of America Bank of America logo Read More 0.03% $100
  • Best Mobile Banking App
  • Certified mobile banking experience
Santander Bank Santander Bank logo Read More 0.00% $25
  • Best for Students
  • No monthly service fee on checking account for students between age of 16 and 25

How We Determine the Best Banks in Rhode Island

We started out by collecting data on the banks that hold the largest foot prints in Rhode Island. We then dug deeper into these banks. We examined factors like overall fee structure, the best savings accounts and customer service quality. The result was a definitive list of the best banks in Rhode Island. So read on to see who made the cut and why.

Ally Bank: The Top Savings Account

Ally Online Savings
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Our Rating: 5/5
How we calculated this rating

Although Ally doesn’t have the same large scale notoriety as Bank of America, Chase and other traditional, branch-based banks, its interest rates far outearn much of the competition. For example, Ally’s Online Savings Account comes with a 2.20% APY. In practice, this rate, over four years, would increase a $10,000 balance by more than $900. To make things even better, Ally has no minimums or monthly fees for this account.

Savings accounts are great for long-term growth, but checking accounts are much better suited to aid with day-to-day money management. Ally’s Interest Checking Account lets you earn a 0.60% APY if your account’s minimum daily balance is above $15,000. If not, your rate will shrink to 0.10%. Furthermore, every account comes with a free debit card and fee-free access to the Allpoint ATM network, which has 55,000 machines around the world.

Few mobile banking apps can maintain the 4.35-star rating out of 5 that the Ally mobile app does. This grade was earned based on more than 22,000 customer reviews throughout the Apple and Android app stores. As far as features go, Ally customers can use mobile check deposit, an ATM locator, a peer-to-peer money transfer program called Zelle® and more.

Best National Bank With Branches in Rhode Island: Bank of America

Bank of America

Those looking to work with a well-established financial institution in Rhode Island would do well to consider Bank of America. While Rhode Islanders can visit only about 32 state branches, they can access their money at thousands of Bank of America offices and fee-free ATMs throughout the country. 

And at any one of these, you can find about any financial product you can think of. The bank provides everything from checking accounts to mutual funds through its partnership with Merrill Edge. You can also apply for auto loans and home loans. 

One of its most popular options is the Core Checking account. You can avoid its $12 monthly service fee by setting up a recurring direct deposit of at least $250. In addition, the bank can set you up with a Merrill Edge advisor who can guide you through every aspect of your financial life.

Best Regional Bank: Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank Savings Account

Citizens Bank calls Rhode Island home, and it also operates out of 10 more states. But despite its small geographic footprint, the bank offers everything you’d expect from a national bank and then some. For instance, you can refinance your student loans with Citizens bank. The institution claims it can drop your rate by 2% and help you save an average of $3,252. 

Plus, you can open a variety of banking products. These include checking accounts, money market accounts (MMAs), individual retirement accounts (IRA) and certificate of deposit (CD) options. In fact, its longer term CDs can generate some the best CD rates if you link them to other Citizens Bank products. 

One of its most popular products is the One Deposit Checking account. You can open one with any amount you wish. Citizens Bank will even waive the $9.99 monthly service fee if you make at least one deposit per statement period.

Best Savings Account Rate: CIT Bank Savings Builder Account

CIT Savings Builder

If you’re on the prowl for high-end interest rates, the 2.45% APY associated with the CIT Savings Builder account is well worth your attention. A manageable $100 opening deposit gets you in the door, but there are a couple of other prerequisites for this rate: maintain a $25,000 balance or make monthly deposits of at least $100. All other accounts receive a 1.17% APY.

Besides the Savings Builder account, CIT Bank offers the Premier High-Yield Savings account and a money market account (MMA). The bank has more than a dozen certificates of deposit (CDs), including:

  • 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

Apple and Android users alike can manage their CIT bank accounts through their mobile devices. The app includes all the standard features, such as digital account statements, the ability to transfer money between your accounts and more. However, only CIT money market account holders can send money directly to friends and family using the bank’s proprietary “People Pay” program.

Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate: Synchrony

High Yield Savings
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Our Rating: 5/5
How we calculated this rating

The best banks in Rhode Island stand out for several reasons. But as with many traditional brick-and-mortar banks these days, they are not offering the best rates on their savings accounts unless you maintain a large minimum balance. On the other hand, online banks are offering high-yield savings options without requiring you to make a large deposit or keep a huge balance in your account. 

One example is Synchrony bank. This online-only entity offers a High Yield Savings account that generates an APY of 2.25%. That rate towers over the national average. Plus, you can open an account with any amount you’d like. You also don’t need to maintain a minimum balance. 

And to give you easier access to your funds, Synchrony Bank will hook you up with an ATM card. You can also withdraw money by transferring cash to another bank account through the web or by phone. You can also request that a check be mailed to you. Synchrony also gives you several ways to deposit money. Your options include the following:

  • Transfer from another bank account
  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile check deposit
  • ATM deposit through deposit-accepting machine with an ACCEL logo

Best for Customer Service: Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank

Rhode Islanders who open an account with Citizens Bank have access to more than 70 branches in the state as well as more than 1,000 locations nationwide. But if you want to reach out to a customer service representative for any reason, you don’t have to visit any branch. 

The bank offers a useful online chat feature where you can ask questions to a customer service professional from the comfort of your own home or wherever you are. And the time of day doesn’t matter. Citizens Bank runs a 24/7 customer contact center. 

In addition, you can contact the bank via Facebook or Twitter.

Best Free Checking Account: Santander Bank

Santander Simply Right Checking

The Simply Right Checking account from Santander Bank offers a great option for personal banking. For starters, you can avoid the $10 monthly service fee by making any financial transaction that posts during the statement period. These include deposits, withdrawals, transfers or payments. Santander Bank will even waive the fee on its savings or money market account if you open a Simply Right Checking account. 

Furthermore, you don’t have to maintain any minimum balance on your checking account. And you get free eStatements. You’d also get fee-free access to more than 1,500 branches in the Northeast as well as ATMs in several CVS pharmacy locations.

Best Mobile Banking App: Bank of America


Rhode Islanders looking for a bank with a solid app need look no farther than Bank of America. In fact, J.D. Power in 2018 certified the Bank of America app for providing an outstanding mobile banking customer experience. 

From the app, you can monitor all your finances with Bank of America including your auto loans and mortgages. In addition, you can easily transfer money through Zelle. This service helps you pay someone using only his or her email address or phone number. So you won’t have to exchange sensitive bank information. 

And if you lose your card, you can replace and activate it directly from the app. Plus, the app provides the following features: 

  • Mobile check deposit
  • Mobile bill pay
  • Locate ATMs
  • Schedule appointment with bank representative
  • Redeem cash back from eligible Bank of America cards

Best for Students: Santander Bank

Santander Student Value Checking

Santander Bank offers one of the most beneficial student checking accounts we’ve examined. Several banks limit their student-focused options to college kids. But Santander opens their Student Value Checking account to customers between the ages of 16 to 25. 

In addition, the bank will waive the monthly service fee for these clients. They also don’t need to maintain a minimum balance and they get access to all of Santander’s mobile and online banking features. These include mobile deposit, money transfer and customizable alerts. 

And to help students develop a good savings habit as early as possible, Santander will waive the savings and money market account monthly service fees for Student Value Checking account holders. A student can open this account with a $10 minimum deposit.

Save more with these rates that beat the National Average
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