Less than a week after the Federal Reserve completed the second round of its annual stress tests for the country’s top 18 banks, Kiplinger Personal Finance unveiled its 2019 rankings of the nations’ ‘best banks’ Monday.
The rankings, in its third annual edition of its “The Best Bank for You”, identifies top picks among national, regional and internet banks, as well as credit unions, that offer the best combination of high rates, low fees, and a customer-friendly focus.
The magazine also selected other ‘standout institutions’ in five different categories aimed at specific audiences: ‘No-Fee, No-Fuss;’ ‘Retirees;’ ‘Families with Students,’ ‘High-Net-Worth Families’ and ‘Frequent Travelers.’
“We’ve crunched the data on interest rates, fees, minimum balance requirements, free perks and other features for a variety of deposit accounts to see which banks rise to the top,” said Mark Solheim, editor, Kiplinger’s.
FOX Business takes a look at the 2019 results.
Best National Bank
Winner: TD Bank
TD Bank won for the third year in a row as the best National Bank. It has more 1,400 branches in 15 eastern and southern states, as well as Washington, D.C. TD Bank offers low-minimum accounts ‘that should make any customer happy.’ According to Kiplinger, the company’s standout account is its Beyond Checking account, which offers an array of perks that can be especially appealing to travelers.
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PNC has nearly 2,400 branches in 21 states across the country, and Washington. D.C. It has accounts that allow customers to either stick to the basics or integrate budgeting into banking. Kiplinger ranks PNC’s Standard Checking account as the bank’s standout account. The Standard Checking offers free ATM usage, up to certain limits, and it’s easy to avoid minimum-balance fees. Promotional CD rates (you must have a linked checking account) recently included 2.25 percent on a 13-month term with a $25,000 minimum deposit. A perk as the Federal Reserve mulls an interest rate cut.
Best Internet Bank
Winner: Ally Bank
|ALLY||ALLY FINANCIAL INC.||31.36||+0.37||+1.19%|
Kiplinger dubbed Ally bank the winner of this category because customers earn interest on their accounts without paying monthly fees or having a particular balance. The standout account is its Interest Checking is fee-free and pays 0.1 percent on sums below $15,000, or 0.6 percent on balances of $15,000 or more. Online Savings pays a flat 2.2 percent on everything.
Runner-up: Capital One 360
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Capital One has nearly 500 branches across the country and a branch in Washington, D.C. With Capital One, customers can get the benefits of online banking while still having the option to get customer service at a branch. The bank’s standout account is its 360 Checking it returns 0.2 percent on amounts below $50,000, 0.75 percent on balances up to $100,000, and 1 percent on larger tallies. 360 Money Market pays 2 percent on balances of $10,000 and more (amounts less than $10,000 earn 0.85 percent).
Best Regional Banks
Fifth Third Bank
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There are nearly 1,200 branches across Midwestern and southern states. Fifth Third won this category because it offers customers various ways to avoid monthly fees under its basic checking account. The bank also has a good account for customers with bigger balances. The company’s standout account is it’s Preferred Checking which is free if your deposit and investment balance reaches $100,000 at least once in a month, and it’s packed with perks. Promotional CD rates are attractive—2 percenton CDs with a nine- or 15-month term ($5,000 minimum deposit).
People’s United Bank
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People’s United Bank has more than 400 branches across New England and New York. The bank has a wide variety of account options across income levels. Kiplinger picks the ePlus Checking account to be the bank’s standout account. If you make 10 or more electronic payment transactions monthly, ePlus Checking levies no service charge. Some recent rates on CDs opened online were compelling, such as 2.1 percent for a six-month-plus CD and 2.3 percent for an 11-month term ($500 minimum; checking account required).
Union Bank has nearly 330 branches in California, Oregon and Washington. The bank one in this category because of its new free checking account it offers. The standout accounts here is Union Bank’s Bank Freely. Bank Freely is a free, no-minimum checking account that offers two monthly rebates of out-of-network ATM surcharges.
Best Bank for No-Fee, No Fuss
Winner: Ally Bank
|ALLY||ALLY FINANCIAL INC.||31.36||+0.37||+1.19%|
Ally Bank won this category for the same reasons it won the best Internet Bank category.
Runner-up: Discover Bank
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Discover already offered a wide arrange of accounts, but after it eliminated a variety of fees, its accounts became even more appealing. Standout accounts: Cashback Debit pays 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in purchases each month Online Savings yields 2.1 percent on all balances.
Best Bank for Retirees
Winner: TD Bank
TD Bank offers a standout account for customers 60 and older. Standout account: 60 Plus Checking comes with complimentary services well-aimed at retirees. The six-month Choice Promotional CD recently offered a 2 percent rate on a deposit of at least $100,000 or 1.65 percent on $50,000 (you must have an active personal checking account).
Runner-up: Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is a good option for retirees who are comfortable with online banking. Customers can choose from an array of checking, investment and advisory services. According to Kiplinger, Fidelity Investments’ standout account is the Cash Management account. The no-fee Cash Management account holds a lot of appeal for retirees looking to earn respectable interest on big balances. Fidelity also offers brokered CDs with a $1,000 minimum deposit.
Best Bank for Families with Students
Winner: Capital One 360
Capital One offers several easy to-manage, no-fee accounts for family members of all ages. The various accounts allow teenagers to begin learning how to manage their finances, while parents can offer help and keep tabs as joint owners of accounts. After a customer turns 18, the account can easily be switched to a regular 360 checking account. Capital One’s standout account in this category is its Money Teen Checking yields 0.25 percent on all balances. Kids savings yields 1 percent on all balances.
Runner-up: Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union is primarily an online banking service with one branch in Chicago. It tailors accounts specifically to children and teenagers, meanwhile offering them the same high rates as adults. Teen Checking pays 0.65 percent on any balance. Kids Savings yields 2.1 percent on $100 or more.
Best Bank for High-Net-Worth Families
Citibank has nearly 700 branches across 10 states, primarily in larger cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as Washington, D.C. It also has more than 1,800 branches overseas. Citibank offers an abundance of perks for its customers who hold large amounts of cash in Citibank accounts. Standout account: The Citigold package, for those who keep at least $200,000 in deposit, retirement and investment accounts, is worth a look. And with a $25,000 minimum deposit, you could recently nab a 2.5 percent rate on a one-year CD.
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BBVA has 649 branches scattered across seven states, primarily located in the sunbelt. Kiplinger’s standout account for BBVA goes to the Premier Personal Banking account. The Premier Personal Banking program, for those who have a BBVA personal checking account and maintain at least $100,000 in deposits and investments, provides a well-rounded package of perks. The BBVA Money Market Account—free for Premier customers—recently yielded a healthy 2 percent on a balance of at least $10,000 (rates are for customers in Birmingham, Ala.).
Best Bank for Frequent Travelers
Winner: Charles Schwab Bank
While customers have to do their banking online at Charles Schwab Bank, customer’s will be delighted to find there are no strings attached to Schwab’s travel-friendly perks. The standout account is the High Yield Investor Checking which yields 0.4 percent with no minimum balances or monthly fees. High Yield Investor Savings returns 0.5 percent and is also free.
Runner-up: Radius Bank
Radius Bank has one branch in Boston, but consumers outside of the area can do their banking online. Several of Radius Bank’s accounts offer unlimited ATM rebates worldwide. The standout accounts here goes to Radius Bank’s Hybrid Checking which yields 1 percent on balances of $2,500 or more. High-Yield Savings returns a rate of 1.5 percent on holdings of $2,500 or more (2.05 percent once your balance hits $25,000).