The Ascent's 2023 Bank and Bank Account Awards
How we chose the winners
To determine the Best Bank and Bank Accounts awards for 2023, The Ascent’s experts evaluated accounts focusing on industry factors and user benefits, including:
- Competitive APYs
- Account fees
- Minimum balance requirements
- Minimum opening deposit
Top-rated offerings were selected that we think represent the top pick for most people. Our final awards winners were determined by vote to ensure objectivity, with a final Golden Rule check: Would we recommend them to a family or friend? Special attention was also paid to:
- Tiered APY qualifications
- Introductory APYs
- App performance
- Funding and withdrawal options
We’ve also included some Editors’ Choice awards. These awards are favorites from our team, tailored to unique consumer needs, allowing us to explore a more diverse range of offerings and user experiences.
Best Online Savings Account
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
Marcus by Goldman Sachs shines with its high APY, no minimum balance requirement, absence of monthly fees, and fantastic customer service. Its consumer-centric approach distinguishes it from the rest.
Best High-Yield Savings Account
UFB Secure Savings Account
UFB has one of the highest APYs offered for any savings account right now along with no balance requirements. Although it’s a savings account, the easy ATM access is a nice benefit.
Best Checking Account
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Axos makes it easy to earn a high APY on your checking account balance. With zero to small fees and minimums, you can get started with not much in your account. And don’t worry about using ATMs where you need to!
To be eligible to earn all or a portion of the cash incentive as part of the "AXOS300" $300 promotion, an Axos Bank Rewards Checking account that includes the promotional code "AXOS300" must be opened between November 1, 2023, at 12:00 am PST and December 31, 2023, at 11:59 pm PST. Axos Bank reserves the right to limit each primary account holder to one (1) checking account promotional offer per year, and customers who have held primary ownership of an Axos Bank or Axos Bank for Nationwide checking account at any time in the past 12 months may be disqualified from the "AXOS300" offer. Promotional terms and conditions are subject to change or removal without notice. Bonus cash may be taxable and reported on IRS Form 1099-MISC. Consult your tax advisor. After meeting the initial requirements mentioned above, the amount of cash bonus earned will depend on meeting the additional requirements outlined below:
To earn up to a $300 bonus, you must be approved for your new Axos Bank Rewards Checking account, fund it within 30 days of account opening, and have qualifying direct deposits that total at least $5,000.00 each calendar month during the first seven (7) calendar months your account is open as well as maintain a minimum average daily balance of $7,000. The minimum balance must be achieved and maintained through the first seven (7) calendar months your account is open including the month in which your account was opened. A cash bonus of up to $300 can be earned in the following manner during the first seven (7) statement cycles. A statement cycle is a calendar month consisting of the days your account was open during that month. A maximum of six (6) payouts of $50 for each calendar month that the Rewards Checking account is receiving the direct deposit and maintain a minimum average daily balance of $7,000 can be earned during the seven (7) statement cycles, and the bonus will be deposited into your Axos Bank Rewards Checking account within 10 business days following the end of the statement cycle in which the direct deposit requirement was met. Your Axos Bank Rewards Checking account must be open and in good standing at the time the bonus is paid to be eligible to receive the bonus, and your Axos Bank Rewards Checking account must remain open for 210 days, or an early closure fee of up to $300 may apply, equal to the amount of the total bonus earned up to $300.
A direct deposit is an electronic deposit of your paycheck or government benefits, such as Social Security, Disability etc. Other deposits (i.e., online banking transfers, ATM and mobile check deposits, etc.) or person-to-person payments are not considered a direct deposit.
A statement cycle is defined as a period of time that starts on the first day of the calendar month and ends on the last day of the calendar month.
Best Money Market Account
Ally Money Market Account
Ally is a pretty clear winner here. It maintains a competitive APY along with being at the top of the industry when it comes to fees and balance requirements. And with ATM access and benefits of more traditional accounts, it reigns supreme.
Best CD Account
With competitive rates, the ability to ladder, and either no or low fees and deposit minimums, Barclays can take care of all of your CD needs in one place.
Best Checking Account for ATMs
Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking
With unlimited free ATM reimbursements worldwide, Schwab takes the cake here. Schwab is a great option domestic or abroad, comes with plenty of perks, and an APY that consistently beats the competition.
Best Bank for Branch Access
Chase doesn’t top the list with most locations nationwide, but it comes in second place and is in more states than any other challenger, giving it the edge here. Most people live close to a location and its ATM network spans the country as well.
Best Bank for Travelers
Charles Schwab Bank
Schwab is just the king here. With little to no fees and minimum balance, the terms don’t change when abroad. Feel free and confident to use any ATM you encounter and your debit card wherever you find yourself.
Best Bank App
Ally is extremely user friendly, has built-in payment options, bill pay tools, visual data and more. Whether you want to budget, save, invest, set goals or anything else, the Ally app is there to help!
Best Bank for Students
Chime offers a great variety for students. It can be easily managed on a phone on-the-go, allows access to fee-free ATMs, and has built in savings systems. Chime is convenient while helping establish great foundational financial habits.
Best Bank for Veterans
Navy Federal Credit Union
There are a handful of great options for Veterans, but Navy Federal stood out in a couple of areas. With a small minimum deposit requirement and an extremely competitive APY, you can’t go wrong with Navy Federal.
Best Digital-Only Bank
SoFi offers so many solutions in one that it can be some people’s digital one stop shop for everything personal finance. From bank accounts, to investing, to credit cards, and more it stays competitive in every area. Get the best of every world with SoFi.
Editors' Choice: Best Customer Loyalty Program
Bank of America
Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program is the top of the line. It allows users access to banking discounts, rewards and perks like bonuses on Bank of America credit cards, fee-free ATMs, and the ability to eliminate fees.
Editors' Choice: CD Laddering
Synchrony is a great spot for so many people to take advantage of CD laddering. With high, steady rates across the board, a variety of term lengths, and other top-tier banking offers, you can’t go wrong here. Be sure to check out Synchrony to see if it’s right for you.
Experts You Can Trust
Our financial experts are constantly testing products to bring you the best. With decades of industry experience, our experts provide honest first-person reviews whenever possible to inform our selections.
Jake FitzGerald | Editorial Strategist
Jake is an Editorial Strategist for The Ascent. He specializes in product ratings and all things credit cards, and wants to make sure each person has the best card for them!
Product ratings, credit cards, and content production.
Ashley Maready | Writer and Editor
Ashley Maready changed careers from museum operations and management to writing and editing in 2021. She has a passion for teaching others about better living through improving your finances.
Banks, Credit cards, Mortgages, Personal finance
- Bachelor of Arts, Hood College
- Master of Arts, Shippensburg University
- Appearing as a talking head historian on a nationally syndicated PBS program.
- Having an exhibit I created on display at the New York State Fair in 2018, where it was viewed by more than 500,000 fair attendees.
- Hearing from readers that my honest stories about my own financial successes and failures are both relatable and useful.
Kailey Hagen | Writer
Kailey Hagen has been covering personal finance topics, including banks, insurance, and retirement since 2013.
Retirement, investing, banks, insurance, taxes, personal finance
B.A. English, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Research Analyst
Has Written For
The Simple Dollar and Motley Fool syndication partners: USA Today, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance
- Growing a successful freelancing career
- Seeing her work published by major media outlets
- Being thanked by readers who have learned something valuable from her articles
Maurie Backman | Writer
Maurie Backman is a personal finance writer covering topics ranging from Social Security to credit cards to mortgages. She also has an editing background and has hosted personal finance podcasts.
Retirement, investing, commercial real estate, mortgages, credit cards, banks, insurance, taxes, general personal finance
B.A. Creative Writing
- Former hedge fund associate
- Online marketer
- Electronic toy designer
Has Written For
Motley Fool syndication partners: USA Today, Business Insider, CNN Business
- Seeing her work on CNN's home page
- Having people reach out to her saying her articles have changed their lives
- Seeing her toy designs on store shelves
Natasha Etzel | Writer
Natasha is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, credit card, credit card rewards, and travel hacking content.
Personal finance, credit cards, credit card rewards, travel rewards, travel hacking
B.A., Advertising and PR
- Marketing Associate
- English as a Foreign Language Instructor
Has Written For
NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Orbitz, FlyerTalk
- Getting the chance to travel to 30+ countries while being a freelance writer
- Transitioning from reader to writer for some of her favorite websites
- Writing content that helps others improve their finances
About the Author
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
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