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Best Banks in Sacramento

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by Rickie Houston Updated

Finding the Best Banks in Sacramento

Sacramento is one of the largest cities in the state of California. The capital of the Golden State offers its residents a wide range of banking options to choose from. Below, we’ve identified the top national and regional banks the city has to offer.

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
Wells Fargo Wells Fargo logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best National Bank
  • Extensive access with physical branches, online and mobile banking
El Dorado Savings Bank El Dorado Savings Bank logo Read More 0.03% $100
  • Best Regional Bank
  • Widespread access to branches and ATMs in Sacramento
Bank of the West Bank of the West logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best Bank for Customer Service
  • Excellent online and in-person banking experience
Farmers & Merchants Bank Farmers & Merchants Bank logo Read More 0.15% $100
  • Best Low-Cost & High Yield Checking Accounts
  • Range of checking account options 
Banner Bank Banner Bank logo Read More 0.05% $25
  • Best Savings Account
  • Decent APYs
Union Bank Union Bank logo Read More 0.01% $50
  • Best Bank for Students
  • Offers a variety of checking and savings accounts for students and children

How We Determine the Best Banks in Sacramento

For this study, SmartAsset's researchers analyzed data to determine Sacramento's top 15 banks. We based our rankings off the number of branches each bank has in the area. We then determined the top national and regional banks by comparing the annual percentage yields (APYs), minimum deposit requirements and account features each offers.

Best National Bank: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

With more than 70 branches in the Sacramento area, Wells Fargo maintains a noteworthy physical presence both in California and the 38 other states in which it offers banking. In addition to physical branches, Wells Fargo also provides an extensive range of ATMs in Sacramento and nationally. It outnumbered its closest national competitor’s, U.S. Bank branch count by 20.

Some of the bank's basic products include checking and savings accounts, certificate of deposit (CD) accounts and IRAs. When it comes to rates, however, the bank doesn't offer competitive APYs for its savings accounts. Its CDs, on the other hand, generate higher rates with higher account balances.

Wells Fargo also provides more convenient banking through its online and mobile features. The mobile app gives users secure and easy access to its accounts. In addition, it enables users to make deposits and transfers, pay bills and monitor transactions. Furthermore, Wells Fargo's online banking also allows you to fulfill many of the same banking actions its mobile app does. No matter where you are, you'll have direct acccesss to all of your accounts

Runner up: U.S. Bank

Best Regional Bank: El Dorado Savings Bank

El Dorado Savings Bank

Founded in 1958, El Dorado Savings Bank currently operates around 19 branches in the Sacramento area. In addition, their branches also accompany their far-reaching ATM services. However, while the bank primarily functions in California, it also has a physical presence in Nevada.

The primary account options El Dorado offers include checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs and IRAs. It also offers five different checking accounts that come with nonexistent or waivable monthly fees.

As with most financial institutions, El Dorado also provides mobile and online banking options. Therefore, if you don't feel like leaving your cozy living room, you can still directly access and manage your finances.

Best Customer Service: Bank of the West

Bank of the West

Bank of the West ranked as a top bank for customer service in Sacramento, according to the most recent J.D. Power U.S. Banking Satisfaction study. Factors including “product offerings,” “fees” and “account activities” ultimately influenced the study’s final findings. Additionally, Bank of the West’s customer service ratings exceeded those of other competitors like Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America.

One key feature Bank of the West provides is its online live chat option. This built-in feature allows company representatives to communicate directly with users. Therefore, if you need help or have questions, a representative will be there to assist you immediately. Although the bank only offers around 14 branches in the Sacramento area, it also offers exceptional online and mobile banking services. This way, you'll be able to manage your finances wherever you are. Another perk of Bank of the West is that you'll have access to its 18-hour customer service hotline. The bank's website is also highly thorough, and it makes for easy navigation.

When it comes to checking and savings accounts, Bank of the West doesn't offer the most competitive interest rates. For instance, the bank's Classic Savings account offers a 0.01% interest rate. However, while the rates are generally low, you'll be able to open accounts with a low minimum deposit. You also won't have to pay fees for deposits or withdrawals at branches or ATMs.

Best Low-Cost & High Yield Checking Accounts: Farmers & Merchants Bank

Farmers & Merchants Bank

Farmers & Merchants Bank’s most basic checking account, Bronze Checking, requires a $100 minimum deposit to open. But it also offers five other checking accounts for the same minimum deposit requirement. However, the rates at which you can earn vary for each. For starters, you’ll be responsible for an $8 monthly charge for the bank’s Bronze account. But don’t worry. You can knock off the monthly fee through two different ways. You must either maintain a $500 minimum or $1,000 average daily balance to waive the monthly costs.

While you'll likely save the most when it comes to Bronze checking, you'll earn at higher APYs by opening a Platinum checking account. This account similarly requires a $100 minimum deposit, but it also requires a service fee of $50. However, you'll be able to earn at a 0.15% max APY. But higher account balances will allow you to earn at higher rates. For instance, the balances below secure the following APYs:

APY Starting At Ending At
0.10% $0.01 $9,999.99
0.15% $10,000 $49,999.99
0.15% $50,000  

Farmers and Merchants users will also be able to select among its Silver, Gold, College and Senior checking accounts. The Silver, Gold and Senior accounts, like the Bronze and Platinum accounts, also require a $100 minimum deposit. The College account, on the other hand, only requires $25. However, the monthly fees for each account vary.   

Best Savings Account: Banner Bank

Banner Bank

Headquartered in Washington, Banner Bank offers a variety of banking services in several states, including California. For its most basic savings account, Banner Bank only offers a single APY for its low minimum deposit requirement. This account, called Connected Savings, allows you to earn at 0.05% APY for any deposits of at least $25. However, if you’re looking to open a money market account, you’ll be able to earn at greater rates. For instance, you’ll earn at a 0.10% APY with a minimum deposit of $100. In addition, higher deposits will earn you greater rates. Banner Bank’s highest money market rate, for example, grows your money at a 0.30% APY.

APY Starting At Ending At
0.10% $0 $24,999.99
0.20% $25,000 $99,999.99
0.30% $100,000  

In addition to its Connected Savings and Money Market accounts, Banner also offers users its Best Savings account. The account also requires a $100 minimum deposit, but it allows you to earn at higher rates. Furthermore, its retirement accounts allow you to choose among traditional, Roth or Education IRAs.

Best for Students: Union Bank

Union Bank

Whether your child is between the ages of 8 and 17 or just starting college, Union Bank provides a variety of checking and savings accounts specifically tailored to helping students save more that can compete with the best savings accounts for students out there. It’s primary college-based checking accounts include many features with a low minimum deposit and nonexistent monthly fee. Some of the features your student may benefit from include unlimited check supply, online banking and bill pay and a mobile app that lets you transfer money. However, Union Bank also provides alternative savings and checking accounts for students under 18 years old. These are there Kidz Savings, Teen Savings and Teen Access Checking accounts.

Union Bank's Kidz Savings account serves as a low-cost savings account for kids between the ages of 8 and 12. For a minimum deposit of just $1, you'll be able to open this account to boost your child's savings. Another perk about this account is that it earns interest. Union's Teen Savings account, on the other hand, also allows teens (ages 13 to 17) to build their savings for the same minimum deposit requirement of $1. The account also doesn't require a monthly fee. In addition, it requires a joint adult owner and includes access to online and mobile checking. Contrary to the two previous youth accounts, you'll have to pay a $100 minimum to open the Teen Access Checking account. It does come without a monthly service charge, but the account doesn't earn interest. If you've got a child between the ages 8 and 17, or a college student looking to enhance their savings, Union provides a variety of accounts tailored for his or her financial goals. Ultimately, each account includes a range of features that'll help your child gain financial independence.

Runner Up: Tri Counties Bank

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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