The best banks for 2022

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You deserve the best in banking

Bankrate's Ana Staples introduces the Best in Banking for 2022

For consumers looking for a new bank or a new type of account, the choices are numerous and can seem overwhelming. Finding the right mix of high savings rates, low fees, state-of-the-art digital tools, branch availability (if that’s important to you) and other features may require more time than you’re willing to spend.
 
That’s where Bankrate can help. Our banking team compiled data from hundreds of banks and account types to help you find just the right ones for you. Whether you’re looking for a new checking, savings or money market account or a certificate of deposit — or looking for an entirely new bank — this list can arm you with the information you need to make the best decision.
 
Here are the winners of the 2022 Bankrate Awards for Best Banks and other types of accounts.
How we picked these banks
  • Bankrate evaluated the range of deposit products offered, along with fees, minimum balance requirements, extent of ATM network and the availability of smartphone apps and other digital features.
  • We assigned a score to each type of account and its features, weighted them based on importance to account holders and combined them to derive an overall score.
  • Bankrate compared each bank or credit union’s overall rating against the rating of all other banks/credit unions in the relevant Bankrate Awards category.

Best bank overall

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Ally Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights High APYs No balance requirements No fees

Ally Bank offers best-in-class products across the board, and they all pay competitive yields. Ally doesn’t charge any fees (it even waived overdraft fees in 2021), and there are no minimum deposit or balance requirements on its accounts. The bank’s 24/7 phone customer service and wait-time notification on its website exemplify its commitment to customer service.

  • Ally Bank offers competitive yields on its products, allowing customers to use the same bank to select different types of accounts without compromising returns. 
  • Ally also offers consistent and top-tier APYs on its savings and money market accounts.
  • Ally doesn’t charge any account fees, including overdraft fees.

Bankrate evaluated more than 160 banks across a range of categories (big banks, online banks, credit unions and regional banks). Factors included the range of deposit products offered, minimum balance requirements, service and overdraft fees and the availability of fee-free ATMs and digital banking features, among others.

Best big bank

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Capital One

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Competitive APYs No balance requirements No monthly fees

Capital One operates 755 branches and also provides online banking services. This full-service bank’s savings accounts and CDs earn competitive yields for a big bank. Customers can access more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs from the Capital One, Allpoint and MoneyPass networks. In December 2021, the bank announced plans to eliminate overdraft fees in early 2022. 

  • The Capital One 360 Performance Savings account and 360 CDs provide competitive APYs compared with other big banks.
  • Capital One’s deposit products do not charge monthly fees or require minimum balances. The bank plans to eliminate overdraft fees in early 2022.
  • Savers can access a network of fee-free ATMs nationwide.
  • The bank offers a full range of online banking services and also operates 755 branches, including cafe locations.
Bankrate evaluated big banks with more than 500 branches throughout multiple states and regions. Factors included the range of deposit products offered, minimum balance requirements, service and overdraft fees and the availability of fee-free ATMs and digital banking features, among others.

Best online bank

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Ally Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Large ATM footprint ATM fee reimbursements High-rated app

Ally Bank has become the gold standard of online banks. Ally offers savers nationwide competitive rates and supports a mobile banking app with useful features, like the ability to set up savings buckets. Ally doesn’t require minimum balances to open accounts nor does it charge overdraft fees, and its partnership with Allpoint provides customers with access to more than 43,000 free ATMs nationwide. Customers who use an out-of-network ATM are reimbursed up to $10 at the end of each statement cycle.

  • Ally is consistently competitive with deposit rates. The online bank’s savings account also connects to buckets that help account holders save for specific goals.
  • Savers won’t lose money on paying monthly fees — there are none. The same goes for its checking account. In fact, checking account customers don’t even have to worry about paying overdraft fees. In 2021, Ally Bank dropped them.
  • Ally offers a variety of CD terms, and more impressively, requires no minimum deposit to open any of them.
In scoring the best online bank, Bankrate evaluated the APYs paid on savings and money market accounts, the availability of low- or no-cost checking accounts, the minimum amount required to open these accounts and more. Online banks were those without branches or operating as digital financial institutions whose products are widely available online.

Best regional bank

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Spring Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Competitive APYs Low minimum balance requirements High-rated app

Spring Bank was established in 2007 and maintains two branches in New York. It pays competitive rates for its savings account, interest checking account and some CDs, with low minimum balances to open. Overdraft fees are low, and the Green Checking account carries no overdraft fees. The bank’s app is well rated in Google and Apple app stores. Customers won’t incur out-of-network fees when using Citibank or MoneyPass ATMs.

  • Spring Bank pays competitive yields on its savings account, money market account, interest checking and some CDs.
  • Minimum deposit requirements are low for all accounts. Only $25 is required to open a savings account.
  • A variety of CD terms are offered, and only $250 is required to open an account.
  • Customers have access to a wide network of fee-free Citibank and MoneyPass ATMs.
Bankrate evaluated dozens of banks, most of which had fewer than 500 branches in a state or region. Factors in the decision included the range of deposit products offered, minimum balance requirements, service and overdraft fees, digital banking options and the availability of fee-free ATMs.

Best credit union

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Alliant Credit Union

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Top savings APY Flexible membership requirements Large ATM footprint

Alliant Credit Union is based in Chicago and has more than 600,000 members nationwide. Membership is open to those who live in certain communities and work for Alliant partner companies. You can also become eligible for Alliant membership by joining Foster Care to Success (FC2S). Alliant will pay the $5 FC2S membership fee on your behalf.
 
Alliant is perhaps best known for its savings account that earns a top-notch rate and requires only $5 to open and $100 to earn interest. Its high-rate checking account and CDs also earn competitive APYs. Members have access to more than 80,000 fee-free ATMs and can receive up to $20 a month in ATM fee rebates. All of Alliant’s deposit products are insured by the NCUA.

  • Alliant Credit Union makes it easy to become a member.
  • It offers a range of high-yield deposit products with low or no minimum fees or balance requirements.
  • Members can access 80,000 free ATMs and receive up to $20 a month in ATM surcharge rebates when an Alliant Visa debit card is used.
Bankrate looked at membership-based organizations regulated by the National Credit Union Administration. Factors evaluated included the range of available deposit products, as well as fees, minimum balance requirements, digital features and fee-free ATM availability.

Best savings account

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Ally Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights High APY No fees No balance requirements

Ally Bank is known for offering a consistently high APY on its savings account. In addition, the account doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee or overdraft fees. Account holders can use the Buckets feature to allocate savings to specific goals — for example, you could have $10,000 in your savings account, with one $7,500 bucket for your emergency fund and one $2,500 bucket for an upcoming vacation.

  • Ally Bank offers a top-tier APY on its savings account.
  • The account has no minimum balance requirement and doesn’t charge a monthly fee.
  • The Buckets feature lets account holders save for different goals.
Bankrate assigned a score to savings accounts by evaluating APYs, monthly service fees, the minimum balance to avoid monthly service fees, minimum deposit requirements and minimum balance to earn interest.

Best money market account

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Ally Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights High APY Offers check-writing Free bank checks

Ally Bank’s money market account offers a competitive yield. It also comes with a debit card, and checks are available for order. Ally Bank is a part of the Allpoint ATM network, so finding a fee-free ATM is easy. But even if one isn’t available, customers are still reimbursed $10 each monthly statement cycle for fees assessed at ATMs outside the Allpoint network. Ally also has no minimum balance requirement for ATM reimbursement, unlike some brick-and-mortar banks that require a significant minimum monthly balance.

  • Ally’s money market account pays a competitive APY.
  • The account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly fee.
  • It offers check-writing privileges and a debit card. 
Bankrate assigned a score to money market accounts, looking at criteria including APYs, check-writing privileges, monthly service fees, minimum deposit requirements and minimum balance to earn interest. 

Best CD

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Ally Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights High APYs No minimum deposit Range of terms

Ally Bank offers a variety of CD terms and types, including seven terms of standard CDs, a no-penalty CD and two bump-up CDs. It also has no minimum opening deposit requirement, so nearly anyone can afford to open an account.

  • Ally Bank offers all standard terms of CDs. 
  • It offers top-tier yields on its standard CDs. 
  • Ally doesn’t require a minimum opening balance for its CDs. 
Bankrate assigned a score to CDs by evaluating APYs, minimum deposit requirements and available CD terms.

Best free checking account

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Discover Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights No fees No minimum balance ATM footprint

Discover is best known for its credit cards, but the national brand offers an impressive free checking account to consumers across the country. The Discover Cashback Debit account not only charges no fees, it also has no minimum balance requirement. Customers also have access to a bountiful network of 60,000 free ATMs nationwide. The online bank also supports a mobile app earning positive scores in Google and Apple app stores. The account doesn’t pay interest, but Discover sweetens the pot by offering customers 1 percent cash back on up to $3,000 in debit purchases each month.

  • The Discover checking account doesn’t charge fees or require a minimum balance.
  • Discover’s partnership with Allpoint and MoneyPass networks provide customers with access to 60,000 free ATMs nationwide.
  • Customers earn cash back on debit purchases.
Bankrate weighed numerous factors, including the amount required to open an account, monthly fees and minimum balance requirements, overdraft fees, size of ATM networks and any associated fees.

Best cash management account

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Wealthfront

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights No monthly fees $1 to open Early direct deposit

Wealthfront is a popular robo-advisor that also offers a compelling cash management account. The account, which pairs with a highly regarded mobile app, pays a bit of interest, and only $1 is needed to open it. There is no monthly fee, and customers have access to more than 19,000 free ATMs. Customers who set up direct deposit with Wealthfront also have access to their paychecks up to two days early. Deposits are protected by FDIC insurance through Wealthfront’s partner banks. Accounts are covered up to $1 million by spreading deposits across multiple banks. 

  • The account is easily accessible. Not only is it free, but you only need $1 to open the account. 
  • Customers earn a little bit of interest on their cash deposits.
  • Wealthfront offers a high-rated mobile app that can automatically move portions of customers’ paychecks to, say, an emergency fund or investing.
Bankrate assigned a score to money market accounts, looking at criteria including APYs, check-writing privileges, monthly service fees, minimum deposit requirements and minimum balance to earn interest.

Best socially responsible bank

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Spring Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights B. Corp Helps underserved communities Carbon-neutral workplaces

Established in 2007, Spring Bank operates branches in Manhattan and the Bronx and serves communities where many adults are unbanked and underbanked. It offers a fee-free personal checking account with a low minimum balance, as well as savings and money market accounts with competitive yields. Its mobile app is highly rated, and customers have access to a wide network of fee-free ATMs.
 
In 2016, Spring Bank became the first bank in New York state to become certified as a B corporation, which is defined as a company working toward a more sustainable and inclusive economy. The U.S. Treasury designated the bank as a CDFI, recognizing its investment in and services provided to low-income communities. It offers a Community Chest savings account, for which it matches a percentage of customer deposits and donates the money to charity.

  • Spring Bank provides customers in underserved areas with a full range of deposit products that include fee-free checking and savings accounts with competitive yields.
  • It matches some deposits and donates the money to charity.
  • It has been operating carbon-neutral workplaces since 2019.
Bankrate looked for banks with a strong commitment to social and environmental issues, including a broad range of factors, such as how well the bank serves its community, as well as its relations with employees, its charitable contributions and its general global impact.
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