Banking is something Get Rich Slowly readers take very seriously.
While it can seem like a 0.85 percent to 0.90 percent APY isn’t anything to get excited over, that’s more than 4x the current national average of 0.18 percent APY (according to the MoneyRates Index, a sampling of 100 banks that includes the top 50 retail banks by total deposits and 50 smaller banks). Also if you’re putting your savings with a large bank in their basic savings account (think Chase, Bank of America or Citibank), chances are you’re earning close to 0.01 percent APY.
And we also know that you’re a proactive bunch and will vote with your feet. So how do you judge your bank?
Earlier this month Money magazine published their annual survey of “The Best Banks in America.” Of note, GE Capital Bank and Barclays tied for the Best Savings Account. Ally Bank took Best Online Bank, for the second year in a row.
In the survey, Money looked at the 40 largest retail banks by deposits and number of branches, the 15 largest online banks, and the three largest credit unions by deposit amount. A bank was considered mid-size if it had fewer than 1,000 branches. Reporters then weighted various aspects of the banks and came up with their ranking. Money concluded that 18 banks rose to the top in 15 categories. What are your thoughts, and did any of your favorites not make the cut?
Here, for your review, are the best banks of 2013 by category, according to Money:
- Best savings account: GE Capital Bank and Barclays.
- Best online bank: Ally Bank
- Best big bank: TD Bank
- Best customer experience: Citizens Bank
- Best mobile app: Chase
- Best midsize bank – part 1: Capital One
- Best midsize bank – part 2: Susquehanna Bank
- Best midsize bank – part 3: Zions Bank
- Best midsize bank – part 4: Bank of the West
- Best military bank: Navy Federal Credit Union
- Best checking account: Ally Bank
- Best teen and college student checking: Citibank and US Bank
- Best checking for established businesses: Capital One
- Best checking for start-ups: PNC
- Best 12-month CD: GE Capital Retail Bank and Ally Bank
[Editor's note: GE Capital Retail Bank is now Synchrony Bank.]
GE Capital Bank and Barclays tied for the best savings account because they offered the highest interest rates of all of the banks in the survey and neither has fees or a minimum deposit amount. In this low-interest era, a bank that is paying nearly one percentage point more than brick-and-mortar banks is worth considering.
Ally Bank was judged the top online bank because of its good rates on checking and savings accounts (their checking is truly free of fees). Plus customers can use any ATM without paying a fee. You can also check here for Ally CD rates.
Also many regional banks and credit unions are good options as well, and may offer rates higher than even these national advertisers.
So what are your criteria for the best bank: fees, customer service, rates, convenience? Have you switched banks for better interest rates? Do you use multiple financial institutions for different reasons? Tell us.
You can find the Money Magazine article at “The Best Banks in America.”