11 Best Banks in Alaska for 2024

With a thriving oil industry and bustling tourist population, Alaska is a great place to live and work. As with most states, you’ll find a combination of banking options in Alaska, from national banks to local banks and credit unions.

Alaska welcome sign

But finding the right bank can take time. The list below combines local banks, online banks, national banks, and credit unions.

11 Best Banks in Alaska

When it comes to banking in the Last Frontier, there are plenty of options to choose from. Discover the best banks in Alaska with our comprehensive list.

1. First National Bank Alaska

First National Bank Alaska, with over a century of history serving Alaskans, has grown from its first branch in Anchorage to a widespread network across the state, reaching communities in Kodiak, Fairbanks, Wasilla, and beyond.

It offers various checking accounts to cater to diverse groups including teens and military personnel, alongside an impressive selection of savings and money market accounts to suit different financial objectives.

Customers opening a Direct Deposit Checking account can enjoy the waiver of the $7 monthly service fee with qualifying direct deposits, a feature enhancing the bank’s commitment to accessible banking with no minimum opening deposit or daily balance requirements.

First National Bank Alaska further enriches its banking experience with additional perks such as a complimentary checkbook and Health Savings Accounts.

2. SoFi

Alaska’s residents find a powerful ally in SoFi’s online banking offerings, highlighted by its Checking & Savings account. This account boasts a notable 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings and a 0.50% APY on checking accounts, without imposing any monthly fees.

SoFi’s early direct deposit feature stands out, offering the chance to access your paycheck up to two days earlier, which can be a significant advantage for many.

Security is top-notch with FDIC insurance up to $2 million, ensuring your funds are safe. For those worried about overdrafts, SoFi provides up to $50 coverage without extra fees for accounts receiving direct deposits.

New users are greeted with a welcome bonus between $50 to $300, based on the initial deposit, making it more appealing for first-timers.

SoFi ensures convenience is at the forefront, giving users access to over 55,000 Allpoint® ATMs nationwide, making it simple to withdraw cash as needed.

3. Northrim Bank

Northrim Bank is a community-based bank with branches only in Alaska. With 17 branches spanning Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Nome, Sitka, Soldotna, and Wasilla, accessibility for Alaskans is ensured.

The standout feature of Northrim’s checking account is its ability to adjust with balance changes. Those with direct paycheck deposits reap the benefits of a free account and the potential to earn money. In South Central Alaska, you can earn up to 0.11% APY on checking accounts, but it’s important to check region-specific rates.

Additionally, Northrim Bank offers a diverse range of financial services. From debit and credit cards to education savings accounts (ESAs) and a health savings account (HSA), they cater to varied needs. They also provide money market accounts, CDs, IRAs, tailored investment portfolios, mortgages, and personal loans, ensuring a well-rounded banking experience for Alaskans.

4. GO2bank

GO2bank, backed by Green Dot, is a user-friendly digital bank. Users can open a checking account and also set up “vaults” for savings without any minimum balance. They offer a solid 4.50% APY for savings up to $5,000.

With 90,000 retail locations for cash deposits and 55,000 free ATMs, it’s easy for customers to handle their money. You can also transfer money from a bank account for free.

Using direct deposit, you can get your salary up to two days early or government benefits up to four days early. If you get a direct deposit from work or benefits in a month, the $5 monthly fee is dropped. They also offer optional overdraft cover up to $200.

GO2bank also offers a GO2bank Secured Visa Credit Card, an excellent tool for customers aiming to improve their credit scores.

5. Denali State Bank

Denali State Bank is a favored option for Fairbanks residents seeking a community-focused local bank. While the majority of its branches are stationed in Fairbanks, customers are not confined to the region thanks to online banking services available through its mobile baking app. The bank further facilitates easy cash access by offering refunds on up to $25 in ATM withdrawal fees each month.

One of Denali’s standout features is its highly competitive rates; the Free Kasasa Cash Checking account grants an impressive 2.00% APY, while the savings accounts can earn up to a 0.50% APY.

To open a checking account, a minimum deposit of $100 is required, with the added advantage of no recurring maintenance fees, epitomizing a blend of value and convenience for its account holders.

6. Global Credit Union

Global Credit Union, formerly Alaska Federal Credit Union, stands as a prime choice for frequent travelers in North America due to its extensive branch network and two flexible checking accounts: Core Checking and Latitude Checking.

Joining is straightforward with a $5 membership fee and residence in specified areas, including Alaska. Members enjoy the absence of monthly maintenance fees and no minimum deposit.

Customers can benefit from no-fee withdrawals at both Global Credit Union and 55,000 Allpoint ATMs. Additional advantages include competitive auto loan rates and handy mobile tools for effortless money management, marking it as a user-friendly choice for a wide array of banking consumers.

7. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo, a fixture in the banking landscape since 1852, is a top choice for those seeking a large national bank, with locations spanning from Barrow to Anchorage, AK. New customers can capitalize on a $300 opening bonus currently on offer.

The bank presents a comprehensive array of services beyond basic banking, including mortgages and small business solutions. While the checking account has a monthly maintenance fee, it can be waived by meeting certain criteria, such as maintaining a $500 daily balance or receiving $500 in qualifying income monthly.

Starting with a $25 opening deposit, customers can access a range of checking accounts, including ones tailored for teens and students, making it a flexible option for various banking consumers.

8. Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union

Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union (MVFCU) is a not-for-profit cooperative serving members in Alaska and Hawaii. For those able to maintain a checking balance of $2,000 or more, it offers favorable conditions including no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. Additionally, savings accounts with MVFCU can fetch high yields, with rates reaching up to a substantial 4.32% APY depending on the balance maintained.

The credit union provides a wide array of services, including life insurance and small business accounts. It also offers special savings options like Christmas clubs and New Child accounts. However, it might not be ideal for frequent cash users due to its limited ATM network in Alaska and Hawaii.

9. First Bank of Alaska

First Bank of Alaska stands as a viable choice for small businesses, offering 150 free transactions monthly and a complimentary checking account facilitated by a free Mastercard debit card, conditional to maintaining a $2,500 balance.

Aside from catering to businesses, the bank offers affordable personal checking, inclusive of three main account types and an option for teens. While these entail maintenance fees, they can be waived through meeting minimum balance requirements and arranging direct deposits.

Clients enjoy fee-free ATM access at numerous Alaskan locations and can choose from a range of checking and savings accounts, in addition to personal loans and mortgages.

10. Northern Skies Federal Credit Union

All Alaska residents are eligible for membership in Northern Skies Federal Credit Union. You’ll get savings rates above the national average and flexible overdraft fees.

Northern Skies Federal Credit Union opens its membership to all Alaska residents, promising savings rates that surpass the national average and accommodating overdraft fee policies.

The credit union brings forth two distinct checking account options that allow earnings through dividends, aiding in retirement planning. A minimal hurdle of a $5 monthly fee is effortlessly waived with either a $100 minimum balance or setting up direct deposits.

With a modest $5 as the initial deposit requirement, members can leverage a vast network of 30,000 fee-free ATMs globally. The checking accounts stand out with a remarkable up to 5.00% APY. Moreover, clients have access to competitive loan rates and tools for adept management of both personal and business assets.

11. Mt. McKinley Bank

Residents in Fairbanks and Delta Junction can opt for Mt. McKinley Bank, with its five branches and 10 specialized ATMs in the area.

The bank offers a wide spectrum of services for both personal and business needs, including a health savings account and money market account, as well as loans and IRAs. Customers can manage their finances round the clock through online banking, facilitated by a complimentary Visa debit card accompanying every checking account.

Additionally, clients benefit from automatic overdraft transfers between linked accounts and e-Statements. Free ATM withdrawals at all the bank’s ATMs, coupled with no monthly checking account fees, further enhance the banking experience. The availability of safe deposit boxes and IRA options add to the portfolio of perks offered.

How to Choose the Best Bank in Alaska

When it comes to finding the best banks in Alaska, understanding your unique needs and preferences can make the process smoother. Think about the services you want, how much you want to pay in fees, and where you need bank branches to be. Here are some other factors to consider:

  • Minimum balance: Check to see if a bank requires you to maintain a certain balance in your account. Some banks don’t have such requirements. This can affect your flexibility in managing your money.
  • Opening deposit: Determine the initial deposit required to open a bank account, as some financial institutions may require a larger sum to get started.
  • Fees: Be aware of any monthly maintenance fees associated with checking accounts, and understand the terms and conditions to avoid these charges.
  • Mobile banking: Whether you go with an online bank or a brick-and-mortar bank with a branch down the street, conveniences like mobile check deposit and bill pay can save time.
  • Interest rates: Compare the annual percentage yield (APY) offered by different banks on checking and savings accounts to maximize your returns.
  • Cash accessibility: Ensure that your chosen bank provides convenient options for depositing and withdrawing cash when necessary.
  • Extras: Consider if a bank offers additional banking services, such as investment accounts, wealth management services, or certificates of deposit (CDs), to meet your future financial needs.

Bottom Line

The best banks in Alaska stand out by offering not only modern digital tools, such as online banking and mobile apps, but also by prioritizing the financial well-being of their customers. It’s essential to look beyond just convenience.

A standout bank in Alaska provides advantageous features like competitive interest rates and low fees, while also deeply embedding itself in the community. As you evaluate banking options in the state, seek a financial institution that meets your everyday banking needs, aligns with your goals, and understands the true Alaskan spirit.

Stephanie Faris
Meet the author

Stephanie Faris is a professional finance writer with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured on a variety of top finance sites, including Money Under 30, GoBankingRates, Retirable, Sapling, and Benzinga.