Looking for the best banks in California? Check out our comprehensive list of the top 10 best banks in California, featuring both local and national financial institutions. Discover which banks made the cut and why they’re worth considering for your banking needs.
The state of California boasts over a hundred active financial institutions, excluding online-only banks. Although banking with online-only banks can offer lower fees and simpler transactions, there are advantages to banking with a financial institution that has a strong regional presence.
Having access to a local branch can be essential for cash deposits, identity verification, or in-person customer service. To assist in choosing from the vast array of options, we assessed California’s banking offerings and compiled a list of the best banks as of March 2023.
|Which are the 10 best banks in New Jersey?|
|Which are the 10 Best Banks in Arizona 2023?|
|Which are the top 10 banks in America?|
|Which are the Top 10 Banks in World?|
U.S. Bank stands as the fifth largest bank in the United States with an extensive network of branches and ATMs scattered throughout the country.
The bank’s exceptional customer service has earned it the fifth spot in JD Power’s 2022 satisfaction study, which evaluated factors such as the bank’s offerings, number of branches, and complaint management.
The bank provides a range of financial services, including standard checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, loans, and credit cards. Its checking accounts include an interest-bearing option, an essential account, and additional benefits for students, military personnel, and workplace banking.
Furthermore, U.S. Bank offers a standard savings account with a low Annual Percentage Yield (APY), but customers seeking higher interest can choose from two money market accounts and three flexible Certificate of Deposit (CD) options.
Although customers may incur some fees, the bank’s excellent customer service and in-person interactions make it a great option overall.
|They have a large branch and ATM presence||They charge monthly fees|
|They have many financial products||They have low APY when compared to online banks|
|They boast of the best customer service|
Bank of America
Bank of America provides excellent checking account options in California, in addition to credit cards, savings accounts, loans, and investment services. With its vast network of branches and ATMs across the state and the country, accessibility is one of its top features.
There are three different checking account options available from Bank of America, each with its own unique set of benefits. The BOA Advantage Plus Checking Account includes overdraft protection and check writing features for a $12 monthly fee that can easily be waived.
Meanwhile, the BOA Advantage SafeBalance Checking Account is designed to help young individuals manage their spending and avoid overdraft fees for a monthly fee of $4.95, which can be waived for eligible customers.
Lastly, the BOA Advantage Relationship Checking Account earns a small amount of interest and offers check writing and optional overdraft protection, but comes with a higher monthly fee of $25 that can be waived by maintaining a certain account balance or enrolling in Preferred Rewards.
|They give three checking accounts option||They charge monthly fees|
|They don’t offer any overdraft||They have low APY when compared to online banks|
|You get a $100 bonus on opening an account|
|They have a large branch presence|
First Citizens Bank
If you’re residing near First Citizens Bank’s West Coast branches in California, it can be a great choice for a one-stop shop for various financial products.
This bank offers a plethora of personal banking options such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, CDs, and Money Market Accounts, with easily waived fees and account requirements.
Managing multiple accounts is a breeze with their convenient digital banking features like Zelle compatibility and mobile check deposit.
Apart from personal banking, First Citizens Bank also provides small business and commercial banking services. In addition to this, they offer specialized loans for vehicles like RVs and boats, personal loans, auto loans, and mortgages.
The bank’s online platform and mobile app allow customers to invest, save for retirement, and secure insurance policies.
You can also access industry trends and valuable educational resources from the bank’s financial experts via their website and app.
|They give interest on both checking and saving account||They have a cap on free withdrawals from saving account|
|They give free checking and paperless billing||They have an average APY when compared to online banks|
|Some of their savings feature are automated|
|Their product lineup is excellent|
|Use their app and net banking as it is very user friendly|
Chase Bank is considered the best national bank and overall best bank due to its extensive network of local branches, ATMs, and diverse range of banking products such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and investment options.
California residents can benefit from its nearly 1,000 local branches throughout the state, and customers traveling can easily access their services with over 16,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches nationwide.
Additionally, Chase’s checking fees are affordable and simple to waive, and customers can enjoy perks like overdraft protection, Zelle payments, and ATM reimbursements.
One area where Chase truly stands out is in its bonus offers, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars for opening new accounts or credit cards.
Although online banks may offer better interest rates and lower fees, Chase’s in-person customer service and bonus incentives make it an excellent option for many customers. It is also worth noting that Chase is ranked second in customer satisfaction in the 2022 J.D. Power survey.
|They give excellent bonuses||They are charging an account fees|
|They boast of a large number of branches and ATMs||They have an average APY|
|They have several financial products for everyone|
|They got a very high JD power rating|
|They charge a service fee and have an average APY|
Wells Fargo is a prominent bank in the United States that provides a wide range of banking services to its customers.
With its extensive branch network and efficient ATM/branch locator, customers can conveniently access their accounts across the country. It’s a great option for individuals who prefer to keep their finances organized in one place.
Wells Fargo offers five different checking account options, ranging from standard accounts to premium accounts, and even accounts specifically designed for teenagers.
While the Everyday checking account comes with a $10 monthly maintenance fee, customers have various options to avoid this fee.
When it comes to savings accounts, customers can choose between the regular Way2Save account or the premium Platinum Savings Account, which offers a slightly higher Annual Percentage Yield (APY).
For those looking to earn more interest, Wells Fargo offers five different Certificate of Deposit (CD) account options, which are all FDIC-insured.
Additionally, Wells Fargo provides various online and offline banking services, including mobile banking, direct deposit, online bill payment, and money transfers using Zelle, as well as real-time updates on investment accounts.
|They have all their financial needs under one roof||They have a minimum account opening deposit.|
|They boast of a large number of branches||They charge service fee and have an average APY|
|They have many interest bearing premium accounts|
|They charge a service fee and have an average APY|
If you’re a student in California looking for a bank that offers excellent account options, you might want to consider East West Bank.
Among their impressive range of accounts, the student checking and savings accounts are particularly noteworthy. The Student Plus Checking account has zero monthly fees, and you’ll get a Visa debit card right away, along with useful budgeting tools.
Additionally, you won’t have to pay any charges for ATM withdrawals, and at the end of every month, East West Bank reimburses all out-of-network ATM fees.
On the other hand, the Student Plus Savings Account mandates a minimum deposit of $100, and there’s a monthly fee of $3, which can be waived if you set up a direct deposit on the account. However, the account does accrue a small amount of interest each month.
|They don’t have an interest giving checking accounts to students||They have a monthly fee on a savings account.|
|Multiple student accounts are possible||They don’t have an interest in giving checking accounts to students|
|They have many budgeting tools available||The minimum deposit is only $100|
|They reimburse ATM fees which is a plus|
Bank of the West
Bank of the West was established in Pasadena back in 1874 and has since expanded its operations throughout California, providing an array of personal banking services.
Customers can choose from various checking, savings, money market, and CD accounts, as well as credit cards, mortgages, and car loans. The bank’s checking accounts, including a unique one that donates 1% of account revenue to environmental causes, are particularly noteworthy.
The savings account requires a minimum $25 balance to waive the monthly fee, but its APY is comparatively lower than online banks. Bank of the West’s money market accounts pay more interest, but higher monthly fees apply, though they can be waived.
CD accounts offer the highest annual percentage yield. Bank of the West boasts highly-rated customer service, as recognized by J.D. Power’s award for the best in California.
Online and mobile banking options also receive positive feedback. Overall, Bank of the West is an easy and rewarding choice for those looking to visit a branch or operate an account in California.
|They boast of a great regional customer service||They have low APY|
|Good number of branches in California||Not present all over the US|
|They have good online and mobile banking service||They have some monthly fees|
|They have a choice of account|
Ally is an online bank that provides customers with the convenience of managing their finances via their website or mobile app.
The bank boasts excellent customer service, with round-the-clock phone and live chat support. Ally is highly regarded for its high-interest earning savings accounts and its Interest Checking Account, which comes with a free checking account and variable interest rates based on your account balance.
The savings account has an impressive 3.75% APY and daily compounded interest rates. The Ally app is user-friendly and offers convenient features such as mobile check deposits, direct deposits, an ATM locator, balance history, and Zelle for person-to-person money transfers.
Ally also reimburses up to $10 per statement cycle for out-of-network ATM fees charged by other financial institutions and uses the Allpoint ATM network, which has over 55,000 ATMs.
However, one drawback is that customers cannot deposit cash. If you prefer in-person interaction, you may want to consider U.S. Bank.
|They have high yield saving rates||No cash deposits are available|
|Very convenient online banking||No brick and mortar branches|
|They boast of a good customer service|
|Good access to All point ATM network|
|They have high-yield saving rates|
Golden1 Credit Union
Some individuals may prefer credit unions over traditional banks due to superior customer service and higher annual percentage yields.
Golden1 Credit Union is a popular option among California credit unions for several reasons. With over 700 branches and 240 ATMs throughout the state, members have easy access to their accounts.
Furthermore, Golden1 provides access to more than 30,000 CO-OP ATMs across the country, making it an excellent option for those who frequently travel. Golden1 offers a wide range of financial products and services, including checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and investment services.
While Golden1 pays competitive APY rates, they are generally lower than online-only banks but higher than most brick-and-mortar banks. Golden1 has minimal membership requirements, with the only stipulation being that you must live or work in California and make a minimum deposit of $1.
Alternatively, you may be able to join if you have a relative who is a member or if your employer partners with Golden1.
|They have many branches and have free ATMs||Interest is compounded monthly|
|They have only $1 opening deposit||They have moderate APY|
|ATMs are free to use|
Alliant Credit Union
Alliant, a credit union based in Chicago, offers online banking services throughout the country, including California.
Despite the absence of physical branches in the state, Alliant provides top-notch customer service, low fees, and high-yield accounts. Its transparent approach to fees is commendable, and members can conveniently withdraw money from any of the 80,000 free ATMs available nationwide.
Although Alliant imposes a daily withdrawal limit of $1,000 from ATMs, this may be reduced for individuals with a history of overdrafts.
|They have high APY on most accounts||Normal CD rates|
|They have a transparent fee structure||They have branches all over the nation|
|ATMs are free to use|
|They boast of a good customer service|
|THey have branches all over the nation|
|Very convenient online banking|
So which are the top 10 best banks in California
So which of the top 10 best banks in California is your favorite one? Do you have any incidence that you would like to tell about the banks in California? Let us know in the comments below.
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What Bank is most popular in California?
Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank Of America are one of the most popular banks in California.
What is the largest bank in California?
Chase Bank is one of the largest banks in California, with huge branch presence.
What is the oldest bank in California?
In 1864, Darius Ogden Mills, a prominent banker from Sacramento, and Wm. Chapman Ralston, a former steamship clerk turned banker known as the “Man who built San Francisco,” established the Bank of California, which remains the oldest incorporated commercial bank in California to this day.
Hi there, my name is Shivani and I’m the founder of Fuelcoin and co-founder of Thefinanceopedia. I created this blog to share my knowledge and experience in cryptocurrency, banking, personal finance, and the stock market, and to help others build wealth.