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Choosing where to store your money can be challenging. On the one hand, you want to shop around for the best interest rates and lowest fees. Yet on the other hand, you may want to consider customer service, branch locations and reputation.
The best banks offer desirable account features and top-notch customer service, but many of those banks exclusively operate online. If you’re after a bank with a large footprint and established reputation in your region, you may want to consider the most popular bank in your state. Here’s a list of the most popular banks by state plus tips on how to compare them.
Most Popular Banks in Each State
We determined the most popular bank in each state by looking at branch and ATM access as well as search trends. Not surprisingly, many of these institutions are some of the largest banks in the country by asset size. Others might be less familiar, but their regional footprints and perks boost their popularity with locals.
Here are the most popular banks by state:
|Bank of America
|Bank of America
|Washington D.C. (DC)
|Bank of America
|New Hampshire (NH)
|New Jersey (NJ)
|New Mexico (NM)
|New York (NY)
|North Carolina (NC)
|North Dakota (ND)
|Rhode Island (RI)
|South Carolina (SC)
|South Dakota (SD)
|Bank of America
|West Virginia (WV)
In order to identify the most popular banks in each state, our data team reviewed 169 financial institutions across all 50 states and Washington D.C. and ranked them based on branch access, ATM access and Google Search trends.
The following weights were assigned to each category:
- Branch access: 37.50%
- ATM access: 37.50%
- Google Trends searches in that state: 25%
Based on these factors, we ranked the banks in each state from most to least popular. Banks with the highest number of branches and ATMs in the state rose to the top of that state’s list. Banks with the most Google Search queries originating from that state were also given preference.
To learn more about our rating and review methodology and editorial process, check out our guide on How Forbes Advisor Reviews Banks.
What Makes Banks Popular
Several factors play into a bank’s popularity, but local presence is often chief among them. For customers used to banking in person, having access to several nearby branches and ATMs can be a deciding factor. That’s likely why national giants like Wells Fargo are popular across a wide range of states, while institutions like Huntington Bank, with a regional focus in the Midwest, are popular in Ohio and Michigan.
In addition to local presence, a long history and recognizable name help make national banks more popular than small regional banks and credit unions. While bigger isn’t necessarily better, many consumers do see national banks as more trustworthy. Forbes Advisor’s recent consumer banking survey shows that almost half of all consumers are willing to pay higher fees for accounts at more established banks.
While many consumers still choose the convenience and perceived safety of large national banks over the perks offered by online banks, online banks are growing in popularity. Brick-and-mortar banks may have secured the No. 1 spot in every state, but digital-forward banks fared well.
Quontic Bank, an online bank, ranked in the top 10 most popular banks in a number of states despite having zero branch locations. The bank offers 90,000 fee-free ATMs and is considered one of the best online banks when it comes to low fees and competitive rates. Capital One—a hybrid bank offering both low-fee online accounts and select branch locations—also made the top 10 in many places, even ranking second and third in several states.
How To Compare the Most Popular Banks
The most popular bank in your state can be a great place to start your research. But when deciding where to open an account, also consider the following questions:
- Do the bank’s account offerings match your needs? Every bank has its own unique slate of products ranging from checking and savings accounts to certificates of deposit (CDs) to mortgages and more. Make sure the bank offers accounts that are right for you, and pay attention to account fees and balance requirements.
- Is there a fee-free ATM nearby? If you use ATMs to withdraw cash, make sure the bank has in-network ATMs near you. Remember, many online banks do offer ATM access, so if branch access isn’t important to you, consider those as well.
- Are interest rates competitive? This is an especially important question if you’re planning to open a high-yield savings account or CD, as rates can vary significantly by institution. Often, credit unions and online banks have more favorable rates.
- Does the bank offer any relationship bonuses? Many institutions offer premium accounts and perks for customers who open multiple types of accounts with the bank, making it favorable to do all your banking at that institution. This could include waived account fees, higher savings rates, discounted loan rates and more.
- Is the online portal easy to navigate? It’s likely you’ll handle most of your banking online, from transferring funds to depositing checks. Make sure your bank’s mobile app and online banking portal are easy to navigate and offer all of the features you need.
- How is customer service? A good customer service department can help you make smart financial decisions and take care of banking issues quickly. Read reviews of the banks you’re comparing, check bank hours and look for 24/7 customer service options like live chat.
Find The Best Banks Of 2024
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What bank operates in all 50 states?
No bank currently operates a branch location in all 50 states, though several of the nation’s largest institutions come close. Chase Bank, for one, has over 4,700 branch locations in 49 states and Washington D.C. Wells Fargo also offers around 4,600 branches in 36 states.
What bank has the most branches in the most states?
Chase offers both the highest number of branches in the country and the most states with a branch location, per data from the Federal Reserve.
Why are online banks becoming more popular?
Online banking is a secure and convenient way to store your money, and it is becoming more popular. This is likely because online banks offer some of the most competitive rates and lowest fees, on top of making it easy to access your money from anywhere in the world.
I'm a seasoned banking expert with extensive knowledge in financial institutions, banking trends, and consumer preferences. I've delved into the intricacies of the banking industry, keeping abreast of the latest developments, and my expertise is rooted in both quantitative and qualitative analysis.
Now, let's dissect the key concepts discussed in the Forbes Advisor article on the most popular banks by state and the factors influencing their popularity.
1. Most Popular Banks by State:
- The article presents a list of the most popular banks in each state, based on branch and ATM access as well as search trends. It identifies national giants like Wells Fargo and Bank of America, as well as regional players such as Regions Bank and Huntington Bank, depending on the state.
- The methodology involves a comprehensive review of 169 financial institutions across all 50 states and Washington D.C. The ranking is determined by assigning weights to factors like branch access, ATM access, and Google Search trends. This data-driven approach gives a holistic view of the popularity of banks in each state.
3. Factors Influencing Bank Popularity:
- Local presence is a crucial factor in a bank's popularity, with customers valuing access to nearby branches and ATMs. Recognizable names and a long history contribute to the popularity of national banks, as consumers often perceive them as more trustworthy.
4. Online Banking Trends:
- The article acknowledges the growing popularity of online banks, even though brick-and-mortar banks dominate. Online banks like Quontic Bank and Capital One are recognized for their popularity despite having no or limited physical branches. Online banks are noted for offering competitive rates, low fees, and convenient digital services.
5. How To Compare Banks:
- The article provides a guide on how to choose a bank by considering factors such as account offerings, ATM accessibility, interest rates, relationship bonuses, ease of online navigation, and customer service. It emphasizes the importance of aligning a bank's offerings with individual needs.
6. Future Trends:
- The article hints at the evolving landscape where online banks are gaining traction, reflecting consumer preferences for secure and convenient banking with competitive rates and low fees. This shift suggests a growing acceptance of digital-forward banking solutions.
- The FAQs section addresses common queries such as which bank operates in all 50 states (none currently) and why online banks are becoming more popular. It provides insights into the geographical reach of major banks like Chase and Wells Fargo.
In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive overview of the banking landscape, considering both traditional and online banking trends, and offers valuable insights for individuals seeking the best banking options based on their preferences and needs.