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Best Big Banks for May 2024

Big banks offer a range of financial products and services, though some fall short of providing competitive APYs.

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Not all big banks are created equal. They can offer a different range of products, services and fee structures. If you’re thinking about opening an account at a bank with one of the most recognized names in the financial world, CNET can help you select the best option.

As you start your search, be sure to put these big banks on your list. Keep in mind that product offerings may vary by geographic location.

Why trust CNET: CNET’s list of the best big banks includes some of the most popular banks nationwide. Our editorial team provides an unbiased analysis of top banks and credit unions. The banks included in this list are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, for up to $250,000 per individual.

Best big banks of 2023

Capital One

Capital One

Products offered: Capital One offers one checking account, one savings account and one type of CD account with terms ranging from six months to five years. It also has a checking and savings account option for young people. 

Details: Capital One, ninth largest bank in the US, combines the best of physical locations with digital features. The competitive yields offered on deposit accounts consistently rival online banks. Capital One doesn’t charge any fees to open or maintain accounts and there are no minimum balances to maintain. The competitive yields apply to the entire balance. Customers have access to 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.

Why we picked it: Capital One is a hybrid bank that provides the high APYs of an online bank with the benefits and services of a large bank. Plus, there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements to worry about. The Capital One Cafés, large network of ATMs and $350 new checking account bonus are additional perks that make this big bank worth considering. The bank also ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s recent banking satisfaction study.


  • Fee-free network of 70,000 ATMs
  • Competitive APYs on savings account, checking account, and CDs
  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements on savings or checking accounts


  • Physical branches only available in seven states
  • No money market accounts
Chase Bank

Chase Bank

Products offered: Chase offers eight types of checking accounts including three youth accounts, two savings accounts and certificate of deposit accounts with terms ranging from one month to 10 years. 

Details: Chase is the largest US bank with the second largest number of physical branches. There are branches or ATMs in every state except Alaska. Chase offers a full suite of deposit accounts, digital banking service with a mobile app and online banking tools. However, account fees can be excessive if minimum balances drop below a certain threshold and the annual percentage yield, or APY, on savings accounts and most certificates of deposit are below national averages. 

Why we picked it: Chase offers more branch locations than any other bank in the US and an ATM network with more than 16,000 kiosks. Its new account bonus is fairly generous and the expiration date is continually extended. The bank also finished just behind Capital One in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study.


  • More than 16,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches nationwide
  • Wide variety of account types and financial products
  • Well-designed and user-friendly online and mobile banking platforms


  • Low rates on savings accounts
  • High fees with high minimum balance requirements to waive fees
Ally Bank

Ally Bank

Products offered: Ally offers an interest-bearing checking, savings and money market accounts, as well as three types of CD accounts. 

Details: Ally technically fits in the online bank category, but it’s also the 22nd-largest bank in the country with a solid set of financial products that help it earn a spot on this list. Customers interested in mortgages, loans and investing have access to those services. Savers looking for high rates, low fees and no minimum deposit requirements will appreciate the variety of options available. 

The bank’s CD accounts are especially attractive with a no-penalty and raise-your-rate option that offer increased flexibility. The mobile app and online banking technology allow customers to accomplish all their banking needs without visiting a physical location. There are no minimum balances to maintain. The competitive yields apply to the entire balance. Customers have access to 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the Allpoint network.

Why we picked it: Ally is a full-featured online bank with consistently high yields on deposit accounts. Its new account bonus is also an attractive perk that is easy to earn.


  • Access to fee-free network of 43,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements on deposit accounts
  • Competitive rates on savings accounts, checking accounts and CDs
  • 24/7 customer service


  • No physical branches
  • No cash deposits accepted
U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank

Products offered: Two checking accounts, standard savings account, money market account and CDs.

Details: U.S. Bank offers a few promotional rates on CDs that outshine most big banks. The bank currently pays a promotional APY starting at 4.00% on certain term lengths, and there is a minimum deposit requirement of just $1,000. Plus, step-up and trade-up CD options are worth considering. When it comes to checking and savings accounts, the bank’s maintenance fees never stretch above $10, and they’re relatively easy to avoid with the exception of the $10,000 balance requirement for elite money market account holders.

Why we picked it: U.S. Bank offers competitive CD rates and a customer satisfaction rating above the industry average.


  • Competitive APYs on some CD terms
  • More than 2,000 branches in 26 states
  • Alternative CD types for extra flexibility


  • Monthly account fees
  • Low APYs for standard savings accounts


Products offered: Citibank offers a range of Everyday and Premium checking and savings accounts. The Premium tier is reserved for customers who have sizable account balances. The bank also offers competitive CD accounts.

Details: Citibank, the third largest bank based on consolidated assets, offers an ample number of checking accounts but requires a high minimum balance to avoid monthly fees. However, the bank’s CD offerings are excellent, including a no-penalty CD that offers a 4.30% APY on a one-year CD term. There are a large number of physical branches available nationwide, with 65,000 surcharge-free ATMs that make banking access convenient. Plus, if you travel overseas, Citi’s international presence will make accessing your accounts convenient. And no matter where you are, the mobile app also brings innovative technology to your fingertips.

Why we picked it: Citibank offers a competitive yield on its savings account (available in select locations) and CDs. Its wide network of branches and ATMs, both in the US and abroad, make it a good option for avid travelers.


  • Competitive CD rates on certain terms
  • Competitive APY on high-yield savings account (limited availability)
  • Large number of ATMs and branches abroad
  • Fee-free network of more than 65,000 ATMs


  • High fees on checking and high minimum balances required to waive fees
  • High-yield savings account is only available in certain zip codes

Rates mentioned above are accurate as of Sept. 27, 2023.

Big banks vs. online banks

As you compare big banks and online banks, keep in mind that each institution has its own fees, rates and other nuances. In general, big banks offer the upsides of more locations and more potential for an upfront new account bonus, but their main drawbacks are higher fees and lower interest-earning potential.

Online banks, on the other hand, offer the attractiveness of lower fees and higher APYs -- but the drawback of having to do all your money management without a chance to talk to anyone face to face or access banking services at a physical branch.

Big banks


  • Massive network of physical locations and ATMs

  • Wide range of financial products

  • Access to in-person customer service


  • Higher fees

  • Lower APYs

  • Maze of requirements to avoid fees

Online banks


  • Higher APYs

  • Fewer fees

  • Robust digital banking platform


  • No physical locations

  • Limited product offerings

  • May not offer paper checks, cash deposits and other features

How to choose a bank

As you search for an FDIC-insured bank that can meet your needs, it’s important to think about how each stacks up in these categories.

  • Fees: Monthly maintenance fees can sometimes be avoided if you can meet certain account balance or activity requirements, but you should make sure you can consistently meet the requirements before opening an account. 
  • APY: Many of the best high-yield savings accounts are paying upwards of 5.00% APY, which could earn you $500 on a $10,000 deposit over the course of a year. 
  • Bonus opportunities: Banks want your business, and a lot of them are willing to give you a cash bonus if you sign up for a new account. But you should think carefully about signing up for the sake of a bonus if you don’t plan to keep the account open for the long run. Often, banks will charge early termination fees or claw back a bonus if you close your account too quickly.
  • Locations and physical branch access: Big banks tout their huge networks of locations, which can be convenient. However, confirm that a bank’s locations are convenient for your needs.
  • Customer service availability: It’s important to know that if you encounter an emergency -- like having your debit card stolen -- you will be able to get someone who can help you find a solution.
  • Reputation: Take a look at reviews on TrustPilot and complaints submitted to the Better Business Bureau to get a sense of how the bank does business.
  • Other product offerings: While you may just be opening your first checking or savings account, you’ll likely need more personal finance products down the road. Take a look at whether the bank offers discounts for existing customers on mortgages or loans. 
  • Extra perks: Consider whether the bank offers features such as free checkbooks, out-of-network ATM fee rebates or extra discounts with certain retailers when comparing financial service options. While these features and conveniences shouldn’t be the sole reason for choosing one bank over another, they are important to think about as you shop.

Who should use a big bank?

Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to choosing a bank. There are plenty of reasons, however, why a big bank might be a great option. If you regularly deal with cash -- collecting tips at a restaurant, for example -- a network of free ATMs and branch locations is essential for depositing those dollars and keeping them safe. 

If you prefer to keep all your finances under one roof, big banks can offer the convenience of a one-stop shop for deposit accounts, loans, credit cards and investing services. Some smaller banks might not be able to offer everything you need as you grow. If you don’t want a maze of accounts and passwords, you can just stick with one large operation.

On the other hand, you’ll likely find better savings rates and fewer fees with online banks, as long as you’re willing to sacrifice access to in-person branches. Think about your regular money management habits. How often do you really need to talk to someone in person? Have you shifted to a mostly cashless lifestyle? If you’re comfortable doing just about everything from a screen, an online bank can provide almost everything you need.


If banks don’t need to attract new customers, they may not raise interest rates on savings accounts to bring in new business. Other banks may offer incentives such as new account bonuses to attract new customers instead of raising interest rates. Online banks, on the other hand, have less overhead and are able to pass on their savings to customers in the form of elevated savings rates.

Chase leads the way with nearly 4,800 branches in 48 states. Wells Fargo trails just behind with 4,670 branches in 37 states.

JPMorgan Chase is the biggest bank in the country with more than $3.2 trillion worth of consolidated assets. In addition to the most assets, the bank has the most branches of any bank.


To determine the best big banks, we took a look at the largest financial institutions by assets, according to the Federal Reserve’s annual list. For this selection, we considered brick-and-mortar, hybrid and online banks with at least one deposit account (including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts or CDs) offering an annual percentage yield above the national average.

Toni Husbands is a staff writer with CNET Money who enjoys exploring topics that promote financial wellness. She began writing about personal finance to document her experience paying off $107,000 of debt, which is detailed in her book, The Great Debt Dump. Previously, she contributed as a freelance writer for websites, including, Centsai and Wisebread. She was also a regular contributor to Business AM TV, and her work has been featured on Yahoo News. Being a part-time real estate investor and amateur gardener also brings her joy.
David McMillin writes about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. Based in Chicago, he writes with one objective in mind: Help readers figure out how to save more and stress less. He is also a musician, which means he has spent a lot of time worrying about money. He applies the lessons he's learned from that financial balancing act to offer practical advice for personal spending decisions.
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