Finest North Carolina Financial Institutions for March 2023
When you have a question about banking, one of our experts will provide a thorough and objective response (here's how we evaluate banking products). Although we may earn a commission from our affiliates, we always give our honest opinion. Prices and availability subject to change.
Banks and credit unions in North Carolina that we recommend include Ally, First Citizens Bank, First National Bank, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, and State Employees Credit Union.
Checking accounts of today vs.
These financial institutions stand out from the rest due to their low banking costs and convenient extras. These financial institutions have remained at the top of our recommendations list for the past few months due to their low banking costs and other noteworthy features.
Read on to find out why the following options made our list.
Savings Rates at the Largest Banks in North Carolina
The top North Carolina banks' savings rates are listed below. No savings account in the United States will earn interest in March 2023. According to the FDIC, 35% APY is a good rate of return
Our research revealed that none of these financial institutions provided a particularly attractive interest rate on savings accounts, so we didn't end up selecting any of them as the best overall. Nonetheless, you might find that one of these financial institutions is ideal for your needs.
Ally is the best place to start a savings account.
- Make use of a savings account's multiple subaccounts.
- To automatically put aside money from your Ally checking account three times a week, sign up for surprise savings transfers.
- Daily interest compounded, interest paid once per month
- Insured by the FDIC
One reason it stands out is because North Carolina's traditional banks offer below-average interest rates. Ally is a great online choice for those seeking a high-yield savings account. It offers a rate comparable to that of major banks and does not impose any of the usual banking fees.
If you're looking for a savings account that also includes helpful financial management tools, the Ally High Yield Savings Account might be a good option for you. You can use the account's "savings buckets" to keep track of your money and allocate it to various objectives.
Ally offers around-the-clock phone and online chat support for customers.
One thing to keep in mind is that, because this bank is only accessible online, you will need to make a transfer from another account if you want to deposit cash.
First National Bank is the Top Choice for a New Checking Account.
- With over 800 ATMs and 339 retail locations across 7 eastern states.
- Affiliate of the FDIC
This bank stands out because it provides a great free checking account and it is owned by a reputable national institution. No minimum deposit is required to open a First National Bank Freestyle Checking Account at a local branch. You'll need to deposit at least $50 to open one online. The bank has an extensive network of automated teller machines (ATMs), with 800 locations across seven East Coast states.
Review Insider's top-recommended US checking accounts »
Caution: if you withdraw too much money from your account, you may incur fees. If you overdraw your account, you'll be charged $37. If you go over your limit, you can transfer money to another bank account through the bank's overdraft protection system; however, doing so will cost you $10.
First Citizens Bank is the best bank in which to open a checking and savings account.
- We have over 550 locations in 22 different states: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HA, KS, MD, MI, NE, NV, NC, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, WI
- There are over 600 no-fee ATMs.
- Several choices exist for covering unexpectedly large purchases: either linking to a savings account or applying for a revolving line of credit.
- With overdraft protection, a $10 transfer fee is applied.
- Affiliated with the FDIC
- Over 550 locations in 22 different states (AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HA, KS, MD, MI, NE, NV, NC, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, WI).
- There are more than 600 free ATMs available.
- When you make more than two withdrawals from your bank account per month, a $3 fee will be assessed.
- Daily interest deposited once per month with a compounding schedule
- FDIC Participant
The First Citizens Bank stands out because it is an excellent option for those who value the classic style of banking. It's the third-largest bank in the state, and its checking and savings accounts are completely free.
One of First Citizens Bank's best features is their free checking account. It has a budgeting feature that can be used to keep tabs on spending, set financial goals, and track debt.
There is no minimum balance requirement for the First Citizens Bank Online Savings Account, and the opening deposit is only $50.
To avoid overdraft fees, be wary of making withdrawals from your checking account when there is insufficient funds. If you go over your limit at First Citizens Bank, you can pay a $10 transfer fee.
If you make more than two withdrawals from your savings account each month, you'll be charged $3.
- 273 locations in the Tar Heel State.
- North Carolina has 1,100 ATMs for your convenience.
- Monthly interest compounding and deposit
- NCUA-insured, which means it has federal backing.
This credit union stands out because it caters to people who would rather bank with a cooperative than a traditional bank. It is one of the most widespread financial institutions in the state, with more than 273 branches and 1,100 free ATMs.
Compared to traditional savings accounts, the rate paid on a Share Account at the State Employees Credit Union is slightly more attractive. CDs can be opened with as little as $250, and the rate it offers is respectable.
The credit union's checking account has a low initial deposit requirement but comes with a fixed monthly service fee of $1.
What to watch out for: SECU membership requires current or former employment with one of the following companies or organizations for you or a family member to qualify.
- Geographical region encompassing the state of North Carolina
- Authority within North Carolina's state government
- North Carolina's State Board of Education
- For the North Carolina National Guard
- Counties in North Carolina's social services, health care, mental health, and emergency preparedness
- Any State Department or Agency under the North Carolina State Personnel Act
Opening a share account with a minimum of $25 is required for membership.
Mechanics and Farmers Bank is the Finest Regional Bank.
- Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem-based bank that is majority-owned by people of color.
- You'll get a better interest rate and up to $15 back in ATM fees every month if you make 15 purchases totaling at least $350 using your debit card, use mobile/online banking at least once, get an e-statement, and receive at least $500 in direct deposits. The annual percentage yield (APY) on the entire balance is 0.05%.
- Earn 3 (if conditions are met) APR of 0% on balances over $10,000; 0% on balances under $10 000 55% to 0 There will be a 56% annual percentage rate applied to any funds left over.
- Daily accumulating interest
- FDIC Participant
Mechanics & Farms Bank is notable because it is a Black-owned bank with locations in the five major North Carolina cities of Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem.
If you want a financial institution that has deep roots in the neighborhood, look no further than a community bank. Each branch location of Mechanics & Farmers Bank offers free financial education classes to the local community. Around eighty community events per year are also attended by employees and management.
One of the best accounts offered by Mechanics & Farmers Bank is the Dash Checking Account. There are no maintenance fees charged on a monthly basis, and the account's initial deposit requirement is modest. You can potentially gain 3 0% APY on balances under $10,000 if you meet the monthly requirements listed below:
- Participate in 15 debit transactions with a combined minimum of $350
- Do your banking from your phone or computer.
- Convert your paper statement into an electronic one.
- Get a direct deposit of at least $500
You can get up to $15 back from ATMs that aren't part of your network if you meet these criteria.
Be aware that the bank's savings account has a $100 minimum opening deposit requirement and a monthly service fee if you don't maintain a daily balance of $200 or more.
Additional Educational Facilities That Didn't Make the Cut and Their Justification
- Truist Bank (Member FDIC): With the most locations throughout the state, Truist Bank is a popular option, but its accounts don't compare favorably to those of our other top picks. The interest rates on savings accounts are low, and checking accounts charge fees on a regular basis. The full Truist Bank review is available here.
- (Insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) Wells Fargo has a widespread branch and ATM presence across the United States. However, it has a low rating from the Better Business Bureau and has been at the center of numerous scandals, such as payouts related to claims of racial discrimination and improper account opening. Here's the full Wells Fargo review.
- Bank of America (Member FDIC) offers a wide range of accounts and a comprehensive branch and ATM network, but there are conditions that must be met in order to avoid paying the bank's standard monthly maintenance fee. Check out this detailed analysis of Bank of America.
- PNC Bank (Member FDIC): Unfortunately, North Carolina residents cannot open a PNC high-yield savings account, the bank's most competitive offering. Learn More About PNC Bank Here.
- First Bank (Member FDIC): First Bank provides a number of different accounts, including those tailored to younger and older customers. The monthly service fees that come with most checking and savings accounts are not free unless you meet certain requirements.
- If you're looking for a bank with low minimum opening deposits, Woodforest National Bank (Member FDIC) might be a good choice. For those who rely on their mobile banking apps, this is not the best option. Check out the complete report on Woodforest National Bank here.
- Southern Bank (Member FDIC) has a sizable branch and ATM network but offers a pitiful interest rate on savings accounts and potentially charges monthly maintenance fees.
- Free checking accounts are available at Fifth Third Bank (Member FDIC), but the bank's savings accounts aren't as secure. Check out our in-depth analysis of Fifth Third Bank.
- National Credit Union Administration-insured Coastal Federal Credit Union offers free checking and competitive savings accounts, but it may be more difficult to join than some of our other top picks.
- Even though Truliant Federal Credit Union (NCUA-insured) offers free checking and savings accounts, the options we've highlighted above provide better interest rates and more enticing extras. Here is the full Truliant review for your perusal.
- Consider the Latino Community Credit Union (NCUA-insured), a Hispanic American-led financial institution, if you're looking for financial literacy services tailored to the needs of newcomers and those with modest incomes. The best bank accounts, on the other hand, have more interesting features and better interest rates than the rest. Find out everything there is to know about Latino Community Credit Union in our in-depth review!
BBB Trusted Ratings and the Reliability of Banks and Credit Unions
To determine how well banks and other financial institutions respond to consumer complaints and maintain open communication, we consult BBB ratings.
Except for Ally and SEU, all of our top picks have an A+ rating from the BBB. The BBB gave Ally and SECU failing grades because of the number of customer complaints they received and the number of complaints that were never resolved.
Even if a company has an A+ rating with the BBB, that doesn't mean your experience with them will be problem-free. Think about getting feedback from existing customers or reading reviews posted by previous clients.
Fortunately, no featured financial institutions have been the subject of any high-profile scandals recently.
How Did We Determine Which North Carolina Financial Institutions Are the Best?
The goal of Personal Finance Insider is to educate its readers so that they can make sound financial decisions. Since "best" is often a matter of opinion, we've included a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of each account and financial institution under its respective heading. We researched the products' features and fine print for hours so you wouldn't have to.
We looked at the top 10 financial institutions in the state, as well as those listed in our guides on Black-owned and Hispanic-owned financial institutions.
We looked for accounts that had few or no banks and some sort of interesting feature. Some of the accounts highlighted, for instance, offer an enticing interest rate while others provide convenient budgeting features for keeping tabs on your cash flow.
We looked for credit unions and community banks with friendly staff, low entry barriers to membership, and reasonable opening deposit requirements when selecting our top picks.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Finest Financial Institutions in North Carolina
Is there a No.1 U.S. financial institution
You have to be specific about your needs. The three largest American financial institutions, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Bank of America, all have numerous locations across the country. An online bank is a good option if you're looking for a place to save money that offers competitive interest rates and few fees. To find out which online financial institutions made our top picks, click here. )
Should you put your money in this bank or that bank?
Your funds ought to be secure in a financial institution so long as it has federal insurance. The FDIC's insurance is mandatory for banks. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) provides insurance for credit unions.
Accounts held jointly are insured up to $500,000 and those held individually up to $250,000. If the bank fails, you won't lose everything.
How to Find the Finest Financial Institution, According to the Experts
The following are the opinions of four industry professionals on what makes a good bank or credit union, and how to go about finding the right one for you:
The most important aspects of a bank to us are customer service, fees, rates, and more. Take a look at what they had to say about selecting a bank below. (For readability, some minor textual changes may be made. )
Is there a way to evaluate a bank's suitability to one's needs?
To quote Mykail James, CFEI:
"The No Know which bank issues your debit card before opening a checking account. Many people overlook the fact that some businesses refuse to accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express cards. "
Finance expert Laura Grace Tarpley:
A bank with low fees is the one I would recommend. This either means that there are no monthly fees or that you are exempt from paying them. There is no point in worrying about a bank's overdraft fees if you never go over your limit. However, if you regularly go over your withdrawal limit, you may want to investigate overdraft fees and protection plans. "
Inquiring minds want to know, what qualities does a good traditional bank
The Hon. Tania Brown, CFP
"How can that financial institution expand alongside your needs?" The needs of a 25-year-old who is either newly married or has never been employed will be vastly different from those of a person who has been in the workforce for 15 years and has multiple jobs, an IRA, and a desire to consult with a financial advisor. "
The CFEI's Mykail James:
Affordability and ease of use Which begs the question, "Where are the Branches?" How easily can I get my hands on my money if I need to leave town for a while? "
When choosing an online bank, what features are most important?
CFP Tania Brown:
Since you can't benefit from walking into a branch and speaking with a real person, "with an online bank, absolutely online customer service." How frequently do you manage to obtain them When are they open/closed "
To the CFP, Roger Ma:
How difficult it is to put money in and take money out of the system Is it today, tomorrow, or later? Is it simple to link a traditional bank account with this high-interest savings account? "
The CFEI's Mykail James:
It's important to be especially careful about the interest rates offered by online banks. That's the most important part, as conventional wisdom holds that online banks offer a superior rate of interest due to their lower operating costs. In general, you want it to be significantly higher than the average in the rest of the country. Just what sort of safety measures do they implement How about two-factor authentication? You want to be a little more hypersensitive about the cyber security for a strictly online bank, so they should at least make it easy to change your password using a combination of a username and a special code sent to your phone. "
Setting Up Your PayPal AccountIf you already possess a PayPal account, you may bypass the following instructions.Step 1. Start by navigating to the paypal.com website. Alternatively, you can create an account using the app available for download from your App Store.Step 2. Once you arrive at the PayPal
In order to establish automatic payments, it is necessary for you to be enrolled in eBills, which serve as digital versions of your credit card statement. To confirm this, please check if eBills is activated in the Bill Pay section. If it is not, kindly select the option to Request eBills and follow the
It's always important to have a bank at your disposal because you never know when you might require assistance with your banking activities. This is especially true if you have a personal, business, or international banking plan with a banking chain like IBC. IBC Bank, which is supported by
Services Available at This LocationWe gladly accept appointments, provide drive-thru services, and offer a convenient night drop option.Highlighted ProductsAuto Financing SolutionsWith an approved auto loan, you can easily purchase your vehicle with the assistance of a reliable bank. Apply conveniently