Finding the Best Banks in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has tons of different banking options for residents to choose from. In an effort to simplify your search for a bank, we’ve selected the top options in the state depending on what you find the most important, such as savings or ATMs.
|Ally Bank Read More||2.20%||$0|| |
|U.S. Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|Old National Bank Read More||0.04 - 0.06%||$50|| |
|CIT Bank Read More||2.40%||$100|| |
|Nicolet National Bank Read More||0.10%||$100|| |
|Chase Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|Town Bank Read More||0.01%||$100|| |
|PNC Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
How We Determine the Best Banks in Wisconsin
The 15 largest banks in Wisconsin were researched by SmartAsset’s banking experts in order to come up with this list. They were ranked by the number of branches in the state, but also much more. Other considerations include minimum balance requirements, interest rates, overall ease of accessibility, ATM networks and fees schedules.
Ally Bank: The Top Savings Account
The 2.20% APY associated with the Ally Online Savings Account has strong potential to grow your account balance, especially since it compounds on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, at this rate a $10,000 deposit would garner $909 in interest over four years. Factor into everything that you won’t encounter any fees or minimums, and Ally’s savings option looks pretty formidable.
The Interest Checking Account from Ally Bank allows you to combine the benefits of a savings and checking account. You’ll get all the standard features, including a free debit card and access to 55,000 fee-free ATMs through the Allpoint network. On top of these perks, there are no fees or minimums and you will earn an APY of up to 0.60%.
Mobile banking apps are becoming increasingly important financial management tools for traditional and new-age bankers alike. Ally has put ample resources into its app, to the tune of a 4.35-star rating out of 5 throughout 20,000 Apple and Android customer reviews. Some of its premier services are digital account statements, a money transfer program called Zelle®, an ATM locator and mobile check deposit.
Best National Bank With Branches in Wisconsin: U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank boasts 134 branches in Wisconsin, placing it third in that category of our study of the best banks in the Badger State. However, although it doesn’t feature the most locations, it holds nearly a quarter of the states market share in terms of customer deposits. Customers will find hundreds of fee-free ATMs across the state, as U.S. Bank has machines at each of its branches. What’s even better is that it also belongs to the MoneyPass network, with thousands of ATMs throughout the states and Puerto Rico, including numerous options in Wisconsin.
Customers at U.S. Bank will find a tier-based account structure, specifically when it comes to checking accounts. In fact, depending on the benefits you’re looking for and if you want to earn interest, you’ll choose between a silver, gold, platinum or premium account. These are then paired with various savings accounts that match the above tiers. But for those that are looking for other options, the Elite Money Market account and Standard Saving account are also viable standalone choices. Credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, vehicle loans and retirement/investing services are available here as well.
Over recent years, U.S. Bank has built one of the top mobile apps of any national bank. Consumers apparently agree with this, as Android users have the rated the app a hair over 4-stars and Apple users giving it a nearly 5-star ranking. You can do just about anything through this, including monitor your account balances and transaction histories, set up online bill pay and mobile check deposit, find ATMs and branches and send travel notifications up to 90 days ahead of time. Money transfer service Zelle® is incorporated into the app too, allowing you to send and receive payments from anyone at the touch of a screen.
Runner-up: Chase Bank (see below)
Best Regional Bank: Old National Bank
Nearly a third of Old National Bank’s 149 branches are located in Wisconsin, although it’s headquartered in Indiana. Even at its smaller size, Old National matches its national counterparts when it comes to its more than $17 billion in deposits and large ATM network. Along with its branch ATMs, customers can visit any one of the Allpoint Network’s 55,000 ATMs in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and the U.K. If you can’t make it to an in-network ATM, though, this bank will waive fees for the first five cash withdrawals per statement cycle from other banks' U.S. ATMs.
The various checking and savings accounts at Old National Bank present a few themes, with perhaps the most important being forgiving monthly service fees. Although virtually all account options have some sort of charge that accompanies them, the bank offers reasonable ways to get out of them as long as you meet certain stipulations. These are most commonly minimum balance requirements, though these numbers are tiered based on whether the account is interest-bearing or not.
Old National is a perfect option for any prospective customers who want to consolidate all of their finances at one bank. Aside from the accounts mentioned above, you can also get the following financial services here: mortgages, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), auto, boat and RV loans, personal and student loans, credit cards, investment and wealth management and business banking.
Best Savings Account Rate: CIT Bank Savings Builder Account
$100 is all you need to become the proud owner of a CIT Bank Savings Builder account. To get the most out of it, though, you’ll have to either preserve a balance of no less than $25,000 or deposit $100 a month. Those who can pull this off will earn themselves a significant 2.40% APY, while everyone else gets a meager 1.28% APY. For reference, a $10,000 account balance would, over five years, garner about $1,300 in interest.
Like investing, diversification within your savings portfolio is vital to your long-term financial success. CIT has lots of savings products to pick from, such as:
- 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
Although CIT Bank does have phone and email support, the vast majority of your account management will occur online or on your phone. This includes depositing checks remotely, completing inter-account money transfers and viewing your personal account statements and transaction histories. As of right now, CIT’s mobile app holds an average rating of 3.85 stars out of 5 based on more than 2,500 customer reviews.
Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate: Nicolet National Bank
In a day and age where interest rates at banks are declining and becoming less and less impressive, Nicolet National Bank is breaking the mold. If you can get over the $5,000 balance threshold with standard savings account, a solid 0.25% APY is waiting for you, though the Junior Savings account has 0.50% APY for anyone 20 years old or younger. If you’re interested in saving for retirement, the IRA savings account features a 0.25% APY.
Although they’re sometimes not included with traditional savings options, money market accounts (MMAs) and certificates of deposit (CDs) are also available. The traditional MMA calls for a $1,000 initial deposit and comes with as high as a 0.35% APY. But if you can muster up a $10,000 deposit, a 0.65% to 0.85% is available with the MVP MMA. The various CDs at Nicolet offer equally as desirable interest rates, with relationship rates starting at 0.90% for a 3-month CD all the way up to 3.20% for a 60-month CD. Non-relationship APYs are slightly lower, but are still above average.
Nicolet has about 40 branches in Wisconsin and has been a staple in the state’s banking industry since 2000. Aside from personal banking services, you’ll also find business banking, wealth management, financial planning, credit cards and mortgages at Nicolet.
Best Online/Mobile Experience: Chase Bank
At almost three million customer reviews between the Apple and Android app stores, Chase Bank’s mobile app has held an almost perfect 5-star rating for some time. There are a number of different features available through the app, allowing customers to just about anything that could be done in-person. If you do need the help of Chase directly, though, you can always use the branch and ATM locator.
Touch ID and other alternative ways of logging in are supported through the app, and once you’re in, there’s plenty of perks to take advantage of. Feel free to check your account balances and transaction histories at any time or complete an inter-account money transfer. The Zelle® and Chase QuickPay® programs give you the capability to send money to the accounts of friends and family, even if they’re not at Chase. Customer can also utilize online bill pay, mobile check deposit, send wire transfers or talk to a representative over the phone 24/7.
Chase has about 70 branch locations in Wisconsin, and has around 7% of the market share in terms of resident deposits. It offers an extensive selection of low-cost and interest-earning checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and other financial services, like credit cards and mortgages.
Runner-up: U.S. Bank (see above)
Best Bank for ATMs: Town Bank
Although it’s a small financial institution, Town Bank’s phenomenal ATM-related perks make it the top choice in Wisconsin for checking account customers who use ATMs often. For starters, aside from the about 20 Town Bank brand ATMs in the state, it’s also part of the Allpoint, MoneyPass, Sum and ATM Access ATM networks. This easily affords it the largest set of fee-free machines of any of its nearby peers.
As if the above benefits weren’t enough, Town Bank also employs a forgiving out-of-network ATM fee reimbursement program. More specifically, Total Access Checking and Premier Checking account holders receive unlimited reimbursements for fees charged by unincluded ATM companies. Those who own an Access Plus Checking account are limited to just five refunds per statement cycle, though.
Town Bank doesn’t have a massive presence in Wisconsin, with just 19 locations to its name. However, it is part of the Wintrust Community Bank network, affording you access to around 150 family branches. Savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards, credit repair services, home equity lines of credit (HELOC) and mobile banking are available at Town too. Its Junior Savers Club® can also be a valuable option for families with children who are looking to get their savings off the ground as early as possible.
Runner-up: U.S. Bank (see above)
Best Bank for College Students: PNC Bank
PNC Bank has a unique approach to banking, as it builds packages with multiple sets of benefits for specific types of customers. In this case, PNC’s Virtual Wallet Student® is the best option for college students in Wisconsin looking to bank. This account most closely resembles a checking account, though it has many more student-centric services that make it what it is.
So long as you can prove that you’re an active student, PNC Bank will waive its monthly service fee. This can last for up to six years, leaving a window of opportunity for both bachelor’s and master’s degree students. The “Spending Zone” is an online tool PNC created to help account holders keep track of both how much money they’re spending and where through purchase category designations. Parents can also choose to receive alerts if the account’s balance is running low.
All account holders receive a free Visa® debit card and access to PNC’s online banking website and Apple/Android mobile apps. You’ll also find 9,000 ATMs around the country that you can use for free if the need for cash arises. There is also a number of financial education resources online, including ones for budgeting, financial planning for college, identity protection, the banking industry and more.
Additional SmartAsset Bank Reviews in Wisconsin
Didn't find the best bank for you? Consider the following banks in your area.