The 31 Best Banks of 2016

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By Valencia Higuera, Contributor

Choosing your next bank is one of the most important financial decisions you'll ever make, but the search can be time-consuming and tedious. You want a bank that offers personable service, along with financial products that meet your ever-changing needs. The good news is that help is available.

GOBankingRates has ranked the best banks of 2016, which can help you narrow down the best institutions -- whether you're looking to open a savings account, checking account or certificate of deposit account. The best banks were selected based on various features, such as minimum deposit requirements, interest rates, account fees and more.

If you want to find a better bank, click through to see the 31 best banks to bank with in 2016.

1. Ally Bank

In the study, Ally Bank ranks in the top 10 for Best Checking, Best CD and Best Savings categories. However, this bank nabbed the No. 1 spot as the best online bank of 2016.

Ally Bank features:

  • 1.00% APY on online savings accounts and 1.05% APY on 12-month high-yield CDs
  • 10-day best rate guarantee on CDs
  • No monthly maintenance fees on online savings
  • 24/7 customer support

2. AloStar Bank of Commerce

AloStar Bank of Commerce ranks in the Best CD category, offering 1.26% APY for 12-month CDs with a minimum deposit of $1,000.

AloStar Bank of Commerce features:

  • Flexible CD terms between 90 days and 60 months
  • $50 minimum deposit requirement for savings accounts
  • 0.50% APY on savings account
  • 0.40% APY on interest checking for balances $500 or more

3. American Express Bank

American Express isn't just a credit card issuer; it also offers a high-yield savings option with an interest rate of 0.90% APY, which helped the bank make the top 10 in the Best Savings category of GOBankingRates' Best Banks for 2016 study.

American Express Bank features:

  • No monthly fees or minimums on Personal Savings High-Yield Savings Account
  • 24/7 access to your account
  • Ability to link up to three bank accounts with online Personal Savings account

4. Arvest Bank

With five personal checking account options, Arvest Bank is included on the list of the Best Checking Accounts of 2016.

Arvest Bank features:

  • $50 minimum deposit required for Free Blue Checking
  • 0.05% APY on Preferred Club Checking account
  • Monthly maintenance fees on checking accounts range between $0 and $18

5. Bank5 Connect

Bank5 Connect ranks No. 1 for best checking thanks to its high-interest checking account that offers a competitive interest rate of 0.76% APY and free ATMs anywhere, anytime. The bank is also a finalist in two additional categories: Best Savings and Best Online Bank.

Bank5 Connect features:

  • 0.90% APY on High-Interest Savings Account
  • 1.00% APY on 12-month CDs
  • $500 minimum opening deposit requirement for CDs
  • $10 minimum opening deposit for High-Interest Checking and Savings accounts
  • No monthly maintenance fees with checking accounts

6. Bank of America

With a global presence and a wide selection of financial products that range from credit cards to home loans, it's probably no surprise that Bank of America ranks among one of the 10 best national banks of 2016.

Bank of America features:

  • Preferred Rewards lets customers earn perks, including interest rate boosters, rewards boosters and more.
  • Keep the Change savings program lets you grow your savings with everyday purchases
  • Interest on CDs, savings accounts and checking accounts available

7. Bank of Internet USA

Bank of Internet USA is one of the best online banks of 2016 and also made the top 10 list of Best Checking Accounts. The bank offers different checking options, and account holders can earn up to 1.25% APY with interest checking.

Bank of Internet USA features:

  • Checking account options with no monthly maintenance fees
  • ATM fee reimbursements
  • Opportunity to earn cash back with CashBack Checking

8. Barclays Bank of Delaware

Barclays Bank of Delaware ranks as one of the best banks for savings accounts because of its award-winning savings account that boasts a competitive interest rate, no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirement to open. It's also a top choice for best CD, offering 2.25% APY on 60-month CDs.

Barclays Bank of Delaware features:

  • No monthly fees or minimum balance to open a CD
  • CD interest compounds daily
  • 1.00% APY online savings account rate

9. Capital One

With no fees or minimum requirements for its 360 savings account, Capital One made the top 10 in the Best Savings Account category. It also made the top 10 lists for the Best Checking Account and Best CD Account categories.

Capital One features:

  • 0.75% APY on 360 Savings account
  • 360 Checking account rates start at 0.20% APY
  • Over 40,000 free ATMs nationwide

10. Charles Schwab Bank

Charles Schwab Bank isn't only for wealth management and investing; the bank also offers a High Yield Investor Checking Account option with zero monthly fees and no account minimums, which helped the bank rank in the top 10 for Best Checking Accounts.

Charles Schwab Bank features:

  • 0.06% APY variable rate on interest checking
  • Unlimited, free rebates from ATMs around the world
  • FDIC insurance for funds deposited

11. Chase

Chase's savings accounts and CDs might not offer the highest yields, but the bank does offer several products such as credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, auto loans, student loans and mortgages, which is why Chase ranks as one of the best national banks of 2016.

Chase features:

  • Access to more than 15,000 ATMs
  • Financial advisors and investment products available
  • Business accounts, business loans and business credit cards available as well

12. Citibank

Ranked as one of the 10 best national banks, Citibank offers several ways to grow your money with CDs and savings accounts. Plus, you can use the bank for checking accounts, mortgage loans and more.

Citibank features:

  • CD terms from three months to five years
  • No minimum opening deposit requirement for checking accounts
  • Savings Plus Account earns interest

13. CIT Bank

CIT Bank ranks No. 1 for best CD in 2016. This bank is also among the top 10 best savings accounts.

CIT Bank features:

  • Six-month to five-year Term CDs available with a minimum deposit of $1,000
  • 2.20% APY on 5-year Term CDs
  • RampUp Plus CDs allow account holders to adjust their rate once if rates go up and add to their deposit once during the CD's term
  • 1.00% APY on High Yield Savings

14. Discover Bank

Discover Bank lets you conveniently and securely manage your checking and savings account. The bank ranks in the category for Best Online Bank and Best CD of 2016, with its competitive 1.30% APY on 24-month CDs.

Discover Bank features:

  • Flexible CD terms between three months and 10 years
  • Over 60,000 free ATMs
  • No monthly maintenance fees on checking and savings accounts
  • 0.95% APY on online savings accounts

15. EverBank

EverBank's high-yield checking account offers a bonus interest rate of 1.60% and a first-year APY of 0.95% for balances $9,999.99 and under, which helped the bank rank in the category for Best Checking 2016. The bank also ranks for Best Online Bank for its convenient online and mobile banking solutions, easy deposit options and zero EverBank ATM fees.

EverBank features:

  • Ongoing checking rate ranges 0.30% APY -- 0.61% APY after first year
  • Apple Pay-supported debit cards
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements if you maintain at least $5,000 in checking

16. FNBO Direct

FNBO Direct is among the top 10 best checking and best savings account providers, thanks to no monthly fees on checking and savings accounts. The bank is also a finalist in the Best Online Bank category.

FNBO Direct features:

  • 0.95% APY on online savings and 0.65% APY on online checking
  • $1 minimum opening deposit required for online savings
  • Access to more than 2 million ATM locations
  • One checking account overdraft forgiveness every 12 months

17. First Internet Bank

First Internet Bank is included in two categories: Best CD Accounts and Best Online Banks. The bank makes it easy to save for a rainy day since you can open a savings account with as little as $25 and a CD with as little as $1,000.

First Internet Bank features:

  • 1.11% APY on 12-month CDs
  • CD terms between three months and 60 months
  • 0.40% APY on Free Savings and 0.60% APY on Regular Savings
  • Mobile check deposit available

18. First Midwest Bank

First Midwest Bank is one of the top 10 best national banks. The bank's list of products and services include checking accounts, credit cards, savings accounts, CDs, mortgages, auto loans and investment options.

First Midwest Bank features:

  • Three checking account options, including student checking
  • Access to over 50,000 free ATMs worldwide
  • 0.01% APY -- 0.60% APY on savings accounts
  • 0.02% APY -- 0.82% APY on CDs

19. First Niagara Bank

Ranking as one of the top 10 best national banks, First Niagara Bank might be a right fit if you're looking to bank, borrow or invest.

First Niagara Bank features:

  • Five checking options, including student checking and two interest checking accounts
  • 0.10% APY on Companion Savings accounts
  • 0.05% APY -- 0.45% APY on CDs

20. Great Western Bank

Free and low-cost checking -- along with other services like basic savings accounts, CDs, mortgage loans and credit cards -- helped Great Western Bank rank as one of the best national banks of 2016.

Great Western Bank features:

  • Five checking account options with $50 minimum opening deposit requirements
  • $50 minimum opening deposit requirement for savings accounts
  • $500 minimum opening deposit requirement for CDs
  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit requirement for money market accounts

21. HSBC Bank USA

HSBC Bank USA offers banking products to help simplify your banking experience, which is why the bank ranks as one of the best national banks.

HSBC Bank USA features:

  • Checking accounts with monthly maintenance fees ranging between $3 and $50 per month
  • $1 minimum opening balance requirement for Premier Savings
  • 0.01% APY -- 0.10% APY on Premier Savings
  • 0.01% APY -- 0.15% APY on CDs

22. iGobanking.com

iGobanking.com is included in the Best Savings Accounts category because of its no-fee and no-minimum savings accounts. And, it's a finalist for best checking for 2016 because of its competitive checking account interest rate.

iGobanking.com features:

  • 1.00% APY on iGOsavings account
  • 0.25% APY on iGOchecking account
  • Over 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide

23. MySavingsDirect

MySavingsDirect ranks No. 1 for best savings account of 2016. This bank offers a high-yield savings account that earns 1.00% APY, as well as other saving solutions such as CDs.

MySavingsDirect features:

  • No minimum balance requirement with savings account
  • No monthly fees with savings account
  • $1,000 minimum deposit to open MyTerm CDs
  • 1.05% APY -- 1.65% APY on MyTerm CDs

24. Nationwide Bank

Nationwide Bank is a finalist for the best CD in 2016, partly because depositors can earn 1.05% APY on 12-month CDs up to $99,999.99. Nationwide is also one of the best online banks.

Nationwide Bank features:

  • $50 minimum opening deposit requirement for checking accounts
  • Up to 0.60% APY on E-checking
  • Up to 0.40% APY on Interest Checking
  • 0.30% APY on Regular Savings

25. PNC Bank

PNC Bank is among the best national banks for its wide variety of products and services, from checking accounts to educational loans.

PNC Bank features:

  • $25 minimum opening deposit requirement for Standard Savings account
  • Flexible CD terms with tiered interest rates
  • Over 2,600 branches and 9,000 ATM machines

26. Sallie Mae Bank

If you're searching for a competitive CD rate and no monthly maintenance fees, you can get an excellent rate with a CD from Sallie Mae Bank. In fact, it's the bank's competitive rate that helped it rank among the best CD accounts in 2016.

Sallie Mae Bank features:

  • 2.10% APY on 60-month CDs
  • 1.60% APY on 36-month CDs
  • 1.25% APY on 12-month CDs
  • $2,500 minimum opening deposit requirement for CDs

27. Simple Bank

Simple Bank puts the simplicity back into the banking experience, and for this reason, the bank is included in the Best Checking Accounts category. The financial institution is one-of-a-kind with its fee-free platform.

Simple Bank features:

  • No minimum balance, no monthly maintenance fee and no overdraft fees
  • 0.01% APY on Simple accounts
  • Option of photo check deposit
  • 55,000 fee-free ATMs

28. State Farm Bank

With State Farm Bank, you can manage your money from anywhere, any time of the day. The bank ranks as one of the best online banks of 2016 and offers tools to help you reach your financial goals.

State Farm Bank features:

  • Pocket Agent mobile app
  • $500 minimum opening deposit requirement for fixed-rate CDs
  • $100 minimum opening deposit requirement for savings accounts
  • 0.10% APY -- 0.30% APY on savings accounts
  • 0.03% APY -- 2.05% APY on fixed-rate CDs

29. Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank ranks as one of the best banks for savings with its 1.05% APY on High Yield Savings Accounts, no matter the balance. It also makes the list for best online bank and best CD for offering higher-than-average CD rates.

Synchrony Bank features:

  • $2,000 minimum opening deposit requirement for CDs
  • 1.25% APY on 12-month CDs
  • No monthly service fee if you maintain $30 in your online savings account

30. U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is one of the best national banks of 2016 because of its selection of deposit accounts, retirement planning solutions and lending products.

U.S. Bank features:

  • $25 minimum opening deposit requirement for standard savings account
  • 0.01% APY on standard savings accounts
  • 0.05% APY -- 0.75% APY on U.S. Bank CDs

31. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is the best national brick-and-mortar bank, which might come as no surprise given how the institution offers many products and services, including mortgages, auto loans, retirement planning and credit cards.

Wells Fargo features:

  • Approximately 6,200 retail banking stores and 12,500 ATMs
  • $50 minimum opening deposit requirement for checking accounts
  • Savings solutions with minimum deposits as low as $25 and low monthly fees

Full List of the Best Banks of 2016

This study surveyed data on banks to come up with a list of the best. Here are the 31 best banks of 2016, ranked in alphabetical order.
Ally Bank CIT BANK iGObanking.com
AloStar Bank of Commerce Citibank MySavingsDirect
American Express Bank Discover Bank Nationwide Bank
Arvest Bank EverBank PNC Bank
Bank of America First Internet Bank Sallie Mae Bank
Bank of Internet USA First Midwest Bank Simple Bank
Bank5 Connect First Niagara Bank State Farm Bank
Barclays Bank Delaware FNBO Direct Synchrony Bank
Capital One Great Western Bank U.S. Bank
Charles Schwab Bank HSBC Bank USA Wells Fargo Bank
Chase

This article, The 31 Best Banks of 2016, originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com.

More from GOBankingRates:

Methodologies

Best Bank Category Methodology:

To determine its Best Brick-and-Mortar Bank category ranking, GOBankingRates examined the top 90 banks by asset size according to the FDIC, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts.

Criteria for ranking: GOBankingRates scored the banks from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) checking account fee, (2) savings account annual percentage yield, (3) 12-month certificate of deposit APY and (4) BauerFinancial Star Ratings for overall financial strength. Banks were then scored according to whether they offered each of the following services, all of which contributed to a single weighting: (5) auto loans, (6) mortgage loans, (7) credit cards, (8) investment services and (9) insurance services. Next, banks were scored according to accessibility factors: (10) branch locations, (11) international ATM access and (12) 24/7 customer service with a live person. Banks were then ranked according to their total accessibility score, then by their service offering score and lastly by their overall score.

Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions' websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions.

Best Savings Account Category Methodology:

To compile its list of the top 120 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC's list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 120 banks includes 90 brick-and-mortar banks and 30 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.

Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best Savings Account category ranking, GOBankingRates scored each bank's basic, personal savings account from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open the savings account, (2) monthly maintenance fee, (3) minimum balance to avoid a fee and (4) annual percentage yield. APY was weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score. In the case of a 10th-place tie, GOBankingRates used the APY as the tiebreaker. 

Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions' websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

Best Checking Account Category Methodology:

To compile its list of the top 120 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC's list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 120 banks includes 90 brick-and-mortar banks and 30 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.

Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best Checking Account category ranking, GOBankingRates scored each bank's basic, personal checking account from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open the checking account, (2) monthly maintenance fee, (3) minimum balance to avoid a fee, (4) annual percentage yield and (5) non-sufficient funds fee. Minimum balance to avoid a fee and APY were weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score. In the case of a 10th-place tie, tiebreakers were used in the following order: APY, monthly maintenance fee and then minimum deposit required to open the account.

Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions' websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

Best CD Account Category Methodology:

To compile its list of the top 120 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC's list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 120 banks includes 90 brick-and-mortar banks and 30 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.

Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best CD Account category ranking, GOBankingRates evaluated each institution's 12-month certificate of deposit product and five-year CD product. If the bank did not offer a 12-month or five-year CD, then the next-closest CD term length was selected for evaluation. GOBankingRates scored the CD accounts from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open a 12-month CD, (2) annual percentage yield for a 12-month CD, (3) minimum deposit to open a five-year CD and (4) APY for a five-year CD. APY for a 12-month CD and APY for a five-year CD were weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score.

Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions' websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

Best Online Bank Category Methodology:

To determine its Best Online Bank ranking, GOBankingRates examined 30 online-only banks that offer products nationally according to the GOBankingRates and FDIC databases, excluding online products offered by institutions with a physical, retail banking presence. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks. 

Criteria for ranking: GOBankingRates scored each online-only bank from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) checking account fee, (2) savings account annual percentage yield, (3) 12-month certificate of deposit APY and (4) BauerFinancial Star Ratings for overall financial strength. Banks were then scored according to whether they offered the following services, all of which contributed to a single weighting: (5) 24/7 customer service available by phone, (6) live chat service via website with a person, (7) mobile app and (8) remote check deposit. Next, banks were ranked according to their services offered score and then by their overall score.

Data was compiled via BauerFinancial and the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions' websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. 

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some banks mentioned in the Best Banks of 2016 survey are clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement.