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The Best Big Banks and Credit Unions of 2020

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Big Banks

Choosing the right bank is getting more and more difficult every day as more options are released. Some banks are completely online—these can often be smaller banks. Some banks are traditional with brick and mortar locations that offer traditional loan products.

Big banks will have more to offer their customers, such as sign-up bonuses and partnerships with other businesses. However, large banks tend to charge higher fees to use their accounts.

Credit unions are unique because when you sign up for an account, you pay a one-time membership fee that names you part owner of the institution.

What are some of the best big banks and credit unions in the country? Each one will have different services and products that they offer, as well as different requirements for their accounts. Let’s take a look at a few and see what they can offer their customers.

Capital One

Capital One has been named the best big bank for the past three years. They offer products like checking and savings accounts, credit cards, car loans, and mortgages.

All of the checking and savings accounts offered by Capital One are free from fees, and they don’t require a minimum balance or deposit amount. Even better, checking accounts earn interest.

As for savings, they offer regular savings accounts and CD accounts, both of which have a much higher interest rate than what is offered by other large banks. There is also no minimum deposit requirement for either of these accounts.

For a one-year CD, the annual percentage yield (APY) is 0.20%. A three-year CD has an APY of 0.30%, and a five-year CD has a 0.40% APY. Their performance savings account has an APY of 0.40% no matter what your balance is. The checking account earns an APY of 0.10%.

Capital One is a hybrid bank, meaning they offer all of the services online that they do in their branches. They also have what they call cafes in select areas, which has the premise of an actual bank branch without the feel of a real bank. This makes it a more casual and comfortable banking environment.

Alliant Credit Union

Based out of Chicago, Alliant Credit Union has been the best credit union for two years. To become a member and open an account, you just need to pay a one-time fee of $5. This is standard across credit unions, and it just secures your account with their institution.

They offer a couple of different savings accounts, a CD, and a high-rate checking account, credit cards, auto and home loans, and personal loans. No matter what you are looking for, you will be able to find it with Alliant.

The APY of their high-rate savings account is 0.55% with an average daily balance of $100 or more. The checking account has an APY of 0.25%. None of their accounts have a monthly service fee, and the savings account has a minimum balance requirement of $5.

CDs have terms that range from one to five years, and the APY ranges from 0.50% to 0.65%. You do need a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open a CD.

Citibank

Citibank is the third-largest bank in America and services about 200 million customers. Products offered include banking, lending, investing, and credit cards. Citibank also has services exclusive to their bank that assists wealth management clients looking for personalized interactions.

Being one of the largest banks means they can pay a higher APY to their customers. You can get a rate of 0.70% APY with their high-yield savings account. There is no minimum deposit to open this account. Out of the six checking accounts, four of them allow you to earn interest on your balances at an APY of 0.01%.

They also offer extremely flexible terms for CDs, ranging from 3 months to 5 years. For a 3-month CD, the APY is 0.05%. 1-year offers an APY of 0.10%, and 5 years allows for a 0.15% APY. The minimum deposit to open a CD is $500.

Connexus Credit Union

Connexus is a great option if you are looking for a credit union to join. All of the checking and savings accounts are free and even offer extremely high interest rates.

They only have 11 branches across 4 states, but you can apply for their services online, too. In addition to checking and savings, they offer credit cards and loans.

The APY offered with their checking account is 1.75% on balances less than $25,000 and 0.25% for any amount higher than that. A one-year CD has an APY of 1.01%, and a five-year CD is 1.56%. The regular savings account offers an APY of 0.25%.

Connexus also has a really interesting program called Connexus Jr.

Here are some interesting takeaways from the program:

  • It is an app that is completely free and teaches kids about money management and why it is so important.
  • Your child will play interactive games that give them an understanding of how to set money goals, save their money, spend it, and how to earn it.
  • The best part about the Connexus Jr. program, parents get a separate login with the ability to create chore lists that will need to be completed for allowance money.
  • They also have a program called the Holiday Club Account that helps you save for holiday spending. You set the amount to save and the money will automatically be transferred each payday.

Chase Bank

Chase is the best big bank if you are interested in investing your money. You can make trades for free on more than 100 stocks and ETFs with the help of Chase, no minimum amount is required.

In addition to investing, Chase offers several different credit cards, checking accounts, and savings accounts.

While they do charge a monthly fee for their checking accounts, you can get the fee waived by adding a paycheck direct deposit to the account. The monthly fee amount varies based on the account, and so will the requirements necessary to waive the fees.

The APY of their savings account is only 0.01%, which is low compared to some of the other banks on this list. The monthly fee is $5 which can be waived as long as you have a balance higher than $300 each day or save at least $25 a month from a linked Chase checking account.

Chase offers the widest range of terms for CDs on this list. You can save for one month of ten years depending on what fits your needs. There is a minimum requirement of $1,000 to open a CD, and the APY ranges from 0.02% to 0.05% depending on the term and the balance.

Hiway Federal Credit Union

Hiway Federal Credit Union has been around since 1931 in Minnesota. To become a member, you need to either join the Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation for a $10 fee, or the Association of the US Army, which is $40 for a 2-year membership. Members also have to keep a minimum of $5 in a savings account.

If you open their high yield checking account, you will earn an APY of 2.22% on balances between $1,000 and $25,000. They have several savings options, regular savings, money market, CDs, even education and retirement savings.

The regular savings account has an APY of 0.10%, the money market APYs range from 0.10% to 0.30%, and the CDs have rates between 0.65% and 0.75%. These are some of the highest rates offered.

If you are saving for education, their dedicated education savings account provides an APY of 0.35%, the same as the retirement savings account. These accounts will help give you a solid financial future.

Discover

Discover is most commonly known for the credit cards they offer, but they also have personal banking products as well. They offer other products like checking and savings, personal loans, student loans, and mortgages. They also have different types of savings.

If you open a checking account with a debit card, you get the opportunity of 1% cashback on every purchase up to $3,000 of purchases per month. They don’t require you to pay any fees, and this includes insufficient funds fees.

The online savings account has an APY of 0.50%. The money market has a 0.35% for balances under $100,000, and 0.40% for balances of $100,000 or more. CDs come in terms of 12 months to 5 years, and APY ranges from 0.50% to 0.60%. The longer-term you choose, the more money you’ll earn back. The minimum deposit is $2,500.

Bank of America

Bank of America is huge, holding $1 of every $10 that is deposited into a bank in the United States. There are several branches and ATMs available across the country, which is super convenient for members. However, this bank comes with high fees, but low interest rates.

When it comes to products, Bank of America has checking accounts, savings, CDs, money markets, and credit cards. The Advantage Plus checking has a minimum deposit of $100 and a monthly fee of $12 unless you get it waived. This account doesn’t pay interest, and you can expect to pay a $35 overdraft fee even if your account is below $-1.00.

They have a standard savings account that has an APY of 0.01%. A standard CD account requires a minimum opening deposit of $1,000 with terms of 28 days to 10 years, with a 0.03% APY. They also have a featured CD account that requires a minimum deposit of $10,000 and has terms from 7 months to 37 months with a 0.05% APY.

Bank of America also has the option for minor savings accounts, allowing you to save for your child’s future. You can open a minor savings account for any child under the age of 18, or you can open a custodial savings account that reaches maturity at a certain date.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a new bank, you are probably wondering what kind of bank will give you the best features. Convenience is a huge factor to consider, which you will get with big banks and credit unions. You have the access to branches and ATMs around the country that will offer you access to your money with ease.

Each bank will offer different annual percentage yields for their savings accounts, and they will have different requirements for their accounts as well. Some banks offer interest checking accounts as well, giving you more opportunity to make money off of your own money.