Review ratings methodology

For consumers looking to find the best bank or credit union for their individual banking needs, the choices are numerous and can seem overwhelming. Finding the right mix of high savings rates, low fees, robust digital tools, easy access to funds and other features may require more time than you’re willing to spend.

That’s where Bankrate can help. Our banking editorial team regularly evaluates data from more than a hundred of the top financial institutions across a range of categories (brick-and-mortar banks, online banks, credit unions and more) to help you find the options that work best for you. We analyze and review each bank or credit union across deposit products such as savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposits (CDs) and money market accounts (MMAs).

Institutions are rated by important factors such as:

  • Annual percentage yield (APY)
  • Monthly service fees
  • Minimum balance requirements
  • Access to funds
  • Overdraft fees
  • Digital banking features

After compiling the data, we assign a score to each type of account and its features, weigh them carefully based on importance to account holders and determine an overall score.

Bankrate typically conducts a comprehensive review of each bank or credit union at least once a year but some institutions may be updated on a quarterly or biannual basis instead to better highlight key feature changes or consumer-friendly moves, such as changes in fees or increasing/decreasing APYs.