Finding the Best Banks in Washington
Washington residents have access to a great selection of banks, both big and small. Big banks provide the largest number of branches while more regional banks can offer more account options and more community. Below, not only did we find the best banks for Washington residents, but we also found the best accounts including the best savings account, checking accounts and more.
|Ally Bank Read More||1.60%||$0|| |
|Chase Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|Umpqua Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|CIT Bank Read More||1.80%||$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||0.01%||$25|| |
How We Determined the Best Banks in Washington
To find the best banks in Washington, we started with the top 15 banks in the state based on number of branches. This ensures Washington residents will have easy access to our top picks whether a national or regional bank. We then examined each bank’s account offerings to find the best accounts available. We took into account fees, interest rates, minimum balances and more.
Ally Bank: The Top Savings Account
Saving money can sometimes be a struggle, as the banking industry often offers second-rate APYs that provide little long-term growth. Ally specifically addresses this issue via the 1.60% APY of its Online Savings Account. The bank claims this rate to be about 20x the national average. Ally has eliminated all minimums and monthly fees for this account, ensuring every cent you earn stays with you.
The Interest Checking Account from Ally looks to combine savings rates with readily available check deposits and cash withdrawals. While it cannot match the 1.60% APY of the Online Savings Account, checking account holders will be privy to a 0.10% APY if their minimum daily balance is below $15,000 or a 0.50% APY if they surpass the $15,000 mark. Just like its savings counterpart, the Interest Checking Account also has no monthly fees or minimums.
When it comes to ATM access, Ally customers can visit any one of the Allpoint ATM network’s 55,000 fee-free ATMs in the U.S. and around the world. If you can’t get to an Allpoint machine, Ally will reimburse up to $10 in out-of-network ATM fees per statement cycle. Finding a fee-free ATM shouldn’t be too difficult, though, as Ally’s Apple and Android mobile apps feature an ATM locator. Other perks customers can take advantage of include online account statements and transaction histories, mobile check deposit and a peer-to-peer money transfer program called Zelle®.
Best National Bank with Branches in Washington: Chase Bank
Chase Bank offers Washington residents access to a whopping 202 branches in the state. This is the most out of any bank in Washington. Plus, you can find Chase branches in 25 other states, making it pretty convenient for traveling. You’ll also have online and mobile access to your accounts wherever you are.
You can open a few different accounts with Chase. You can check out a couple savings accounts, a variety of certificates of deposit (CDs) and a few different checking accounts. Just be careful of each account’s monthly fees, ATM fees and more. Chase also does not have the best interest rates out there, with most accounts earning at the lowest possible rates.
Best Regional Bank: Umpqua Bank
Based in Oregon, Umpqua Bank maintains 83 branches in its neighboring state of Washington. You can visit the bank at any of these branches or online to open any of its accounts. The bank offers a simple savings account, two money market accounts (MMAs) and three checking accounts. Each account charges a monthly fee, although you can waive these fees by meeting transaction or balance requirements.
Unfortunately, Umpqua Bank offers some of the lowest rates in the industry. If you’re looking for the best CD rates or high-earning savings accounts, you won’t find that here.
Best Savings Account Rate: CIT Bank Savings Builder Account
If saving money is your principal concern, CIT’s Savings Builder account is a great choice. Those that can manage to deposit at least $100 a month or maintain a balance of $25,000 will earn a substantial 1.80% APY. Should you miss out on both of these prerequisites, CIT will drop your rate to a lower 1.16%. A $100 initial deposit is all that’s needed for the Savings Builder account, making it an extremely accessible choice for just about anyone.
CIT is a savings-centric bank led by its Savings Builder account. The bank provides plenty of other savings options too, though, including:
- Money market account
- Premier High-Yield Savings account
- 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
When you open a CIT bank account, you’ll be prompted to create a login for its online and mobile banking services. Apple and Android users alike can download the bank’s app, which is currently rated at 3.85 stars out of 5 across the two app stores. These platforms allow you to view your account statements and transaction histories, deposit checks remotely and complete inter-account transfers, all without having to visit a branch.
Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate: WaFd Bank Passbook & Statement Savings Account
The WaFd Bank Passbook & Statement Savings account earns 0.10% APY. You’ll need at least $25 to open the account or $10 to open it for minors. To earn interest, however, you need at least $100. There is a $4 monthly fee, waivable with a balance of $200 or greater.
Best Customer Service: Banner Bank
For the best banking customer service in the Northwest, head to Banner Bank. You can find the bank at any of its 82 Washington branches. The bank operates more branches in California, Idaho and Oregon. You can also reach customer service by mail, over the phone during business hours or through its 24/7 automated phone system. There are also a number of links found on the website to help you report fraudulent activity, report lost or stolen cards, add travel settings and more.
Banner Bank offers a variety of bank accounts from savings accounts to long-term CDs to interest-earning checking accounts. Most Banner Bank accounts charge a monthly fee, but if there is a fee, you can waive it with certain transactional or balance qualifications. You won’t find great interest rates here, though.
Best Free Checking Account: Umpqua Bank Embark Checking Account
The best regional bank in Washington offers its customers the best free checking account. The Embark Checking account doesn’t charge a monthly service fee. You could face a $3 fee if you choose to stick with paper statements. You can simply sign up for paperless statements or be 62 years or older to avoid that paper statement fee.
Umpqua will reimburse you up to $10 in ATM fee rebates as long as you have an account balance of at least $2,500. Still be wary of using out-of-network ATMs as Umpqua bank does charge a $2.50 fee per transaction.
You can also open an Umpqua Grow Savings account with no monthly service fee if you connect the two accounts and complete a monthly transfer from checking to savings.
Best High-Yield Checking Account: HomeStreet Bank Premium Select Checking Account
HomeStreet Bank Premium Select Checking Account earns interest according to balance tiers, with higher balances earning at a slightly higher interest rate. You’ll need at least $100 to open an account, but at least $2,500 to start earning interest at 0.30% APY. Balances of $10,000 will earn the higher rate of 0.40% APY.
The account charges a $10 monthly fee that you can avoid by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $2,500. You are allowed two fee-free transactions at non-HomeStreet Bank ATMs per statement cycle.
Best for Students: U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank’s Student Checking account is a great account option for students in Washington. There’s no monthly service fee to worry about, which is definitely helpful on a student budget. If you choose to go old school and still receive paper statements, there will be a $2 fee for each, while eStatements come at no extra cost.
The account also includes a helpful ATM feature. When you’re in a pinch and need cash, U.S. Bank will allow four fee-free ATM transactions per statement period at non-U.S. Bank ATMs. The ATM itself may charge you its own small fee, but U.S. Bank won’t charge you.
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