The best big banks of 2021

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The biggest banks typically provide customers with almost everything they need to bank in the branch, at home or on the road. That includes access to ATMs and branches, flexible customer service hours, highly ranked mobile apps and other resources to help customers handle nearly every banking situation.

The banks that made Bankate’s best big banks of 2021 all had a mobile app rating on iOS of 4.8 or higher. That’s really important as big banks compete with online banks and mobile apps become even more popular.

Bankrate analyzed minimum deposit requirements, monthly service fees, overdraft fees, CD offerings, savings yields, ATM access and many other criteria to determine the best big banks.


  • Bankrate’s best big banks of 2021



BEST BIG BANK

Capital One

Capital One is Bankrate’s best big bank for the fourth straight year. Capital One’s competitive yields can compete with some online savings accounts and CDs. For a big bank, its 360 Checking Account has many features that we look for: It doesn’t require a minimum to open the account, doesn’t charge a maintenance fee, pays a higher yield than the typical big bank and offers customers ample ATM access.

Accessible accounts: Capital One accounts (checking, savings and CDs) don’t require a minimum opening deposit, making them accessible to a range of savers. The checking and savings accounts don’t charge a monthly service fee either.

High-rated app: Capital One’s mobile app receives strong ratings on both iOS and Android devices.

ATM access: Customers have free access to thousands of Allpoint and Capital One ATMs.

 
TOP BIG BANK

Citibank

Citibank, the fourth-largest bank in the U.S. based on assets, offers a competitive yield on its Citi Accelerate High Yield Savings account, though the account isn’t available nationwide. There’s no minimum opening deposit required to open the Citi Accelerate High Yield Savings. More standout features include a high-rated mobile app, ample branch access and 24/7 customer service.

Digital leader: Citi’s mobile app receives strong ratings from users of both iOS and Android devices. Customers can also use the app to pay friends with Zelle and even lock or unlock a card.

Branch access: There are around 700 Citibank branches in the U.S. and more than 1,800 overseas.

24/7 customer service: Need some banking help? Customers can call a human customer service agent 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 
TOP BIG BANK

PNC Bank

PNC’s agreement to purchase BBVA USA last year will give it a presence in 29 of the top 30 markets in the U.S. But even without those additional branches, PNC earned the third-highest score for big banks. PNC stands out for its digital tools, high-yield savings account and avoidable fees.

Digital tools: PNC’s Virtual Wallet offers a number of financial health features, including warnings about “danger days,” or times when you may run out of money. PNC customers can also pay people with Zelle and find ATMs with the app.

High-yield savings account: PNC’s high-yield savings account offers a competitive APY and doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement. The account is available to residents of 31 states, so confirm whether you’re eligible.

Low fees: The high-yield savings account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee. There’s a checking account option that also doesn’t charge a monthly fee. Other products, however, such as the money market account, do charge a fee.

 
TOP BIG BANK

TD Bank

TD Bank stands out for its 24/7 customer service, helpful digital tools and large branch footprint. Its Convenience Checking account only requires that you keep $100 in the account. That gives some people who don’t have a direct deposit a chance to have an account at a big bank without paying a monthly service fee.

24/7 customer service: Customers can reach a representative by phone 24/7. Additionally, TD Bank is known for having Saturday and Sunday hours at most locations.

Digital tools: Customers have access to an impressive set of digital banking features, including Zelle, remote check deposit and online bill pay.

Branch access: TD Bank has more than 1,200 locations up and down the East Coast.

 
TOP BIG BANK

Chase Bank

Chase is the largest bank in the U.S. based on assets and has the second-most branches in the country. The big bank offers a massive branch footprint, 24/7 customer service and top-notch digital tools. Chase also won our Readers’ Choice award for the best big bank, as voted on by Bankrate readers.

Branch footprint: Chase has over 5,000 branches in the country, so customers might have convenient ATM and branch locations nearby.

24/7 customer service: For those who want to receive help over the phone, customers can speak with a Chase representative 24/7.

Digital tools: The Chase app receives strong ratings on iOS and Android devices. Customers can send and receive money from others through Chase Quickpay with Zelle.

Written by
Matthew Goldberg
Consumer banking reporter
Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. Matthew has been in financial services for more than a decade, in banking and insurance.