12 Best Banks in Hawaii for 2023

Banking

Hawaii is an exciting place to call home. It offers incredible weather, scenic views, friendly people, and a slow-paced lifestyle. If you’re lucky enough to live or work in Hawaii, you might be looking for the best banks in the state.

While the Aloha State has fewer banks than other states, there are still plenty of reputable, member FDIC options available to you.

Hawaii map postcard

12 Best Banks in Hawaii

To make your search for a bank a bit easier, we’ve done some research and compiled this list of the best banks in Hawaii.

1. First Hawaiian Bank

First Hawaiian Bank, the oldest and largest bank in the state, holds the distinction of having the most branches in Hawaii. This makes it a convenient choice for many people looking to open a checking account, as it provides three different options.

Their first option, Pure Checking, offers a straightforward, fee-free experience, complete with a complimentary debit card. The second, Priority Banking Gold, expands on these features by offering free checks and online bill pay, as well as discounts on loans.

For those seeking the most benefits, the Priority Banking Platinum provides an extensive list of perks, including a credit card with unlimited rewards and cash back, travel points, and no restrictions on redemption dates.

Beyond checking accounts, First Hawaiian Bank also caters to various other personal banking needs. They have several savings options, mortgage services, wealth management services, personal loans, and auto loans.

2. SoFi

SoFi serves as a top-notch alternative to traditional banking, catering to individuals seeking the convenience and flexibility of online banking. The SoFi Checking & Savings account offers a unique combination of checking account accessibility and high-yield savings account returns in a single, streamlined account.

There is no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fees, and no overdraft fees, positioning SoFi as a cost-effective solution for a broad spectrum of users. You can also earn a bonus of up to $250 with qualifying direct deposits.

One of the most compelling aspects of SoFi is the impressive interest rates it offers. The savings account yields a 4.50% APY, while checking account balances earn 0.50% APY, both rates far outpacing those offered by most traditional banks. Additionally, deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $2 million.

With SoFi Checking & Savings, accessing your money is both straightforward and convenient. With over 55,000 Allpoint® Network ATMs worldwide, you can easily access your money whenever you need it. You can also get your paycheck up to two days early when you set up direct deposit.

3. Current

Current is a popular fintech company in the U.S., bringing easy online banking solutions to over a million people. It stands out because it doesn’t use ChexSystems or check your credit report, making it easier to start an account if you have a low credit score or no credit history.

Just by using your Current debit card for daily buys, you can build your credit score — no need to borrow money or pass a credit check. You can also enjoy free overdraft up to $100, get access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs, and even get your paycheck up to two days early.

Current works with reliable banks and is protected by the FDIC. It offers a safe way to manage your money, making it a good choice for people in Hawaii looking for a hassle-free banking option.

4. Central Pacific Bank

Central Pacific Bank has been around since 1954 and has physical locations in Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, and Kauai as well as mobile banking services. It was originally founded to help immigrants build a safe life.

The Shaka checking account has no monthly service fee, offers a 1.00% APY, and refunds ATM surcharge fees up to $20/month. With direct deposit, you can also get paid up to two days early.

Today, the Hawaii bank offers a wide range of products and services to individuals and small businesses in Hawaii. Central Pacific Bank stands out for its diverse savings account options, high rates on CDs, and low minimum balance requirements.

Central Pacific Bank also provides personalized, high quality wealth management services from a team of advisors. You can download the bank’s mobile banking app to pay bills, send money through Zelle, check your online statements, set notifications, track your budget, and keep tabs on your account activity.

5. Bank of Hawaii

Headquartered in Honolulu, Bank of Hawaii is a regional bank and the second-oldest bank in the state. It serves local communities with a comprehensive suite of products and services as well as sponsorships and volunteerism. The bank’s lineup of personal banking products includes checking, savings, CDs, credit cards, personal loans, and insurance.

In addition, it supports small business owners with business banking accounts, business credit cards, merchant services, and small business loans. The bank also specializes in investment services to help you meet your personal finance goals. If you’re interested in Bank of Hawaii, you can chat with a banker online or in-person at a local branch.

6. Hawaii National Bank

Hawaii National Bank is a local bank that made its debut in 1960 and has branch locations in Oahu, Maui, and Hilo. It offers several checking accounts, including the Household Checking, Personal Checking, 55+ Checking, Super NOW, and VIP Money Market Deposit. Even though some checking accounts come with monthly fees, the bank may waive them if you maintain a certain balance.

Savings account options include the traditional Personal Savings with a variable, competitive interest rate, Kids’ Savings for kids ages 5 to 17, and Christmas Savings that can help you save for the holiday season.

In addition, you can turn to Hawaii National Bank for personal loans, credit cards, home loans, CDs, and retirement accounts. The bank also serves small business owners with deposit accounts, business loans, and commercial mortgages.

7. American Savings Bank

As the third-largest bank in Hawaii, American Savings Bank serves the Aloha State with a variety of products and services. You can choose from three checking accounts, six savings accounts, and several credit cards with cash back rewards or points. American Savings Bank also offers CDs, student loans, mortgages, and credit cards.

If you open a checking account, you’ll reap the benefits of Overdraft Courtesy, which protects you from overdrafts that may occur from checks and electronic payments. One of the checking accounts has no monthly maintenance fee. Additionally, the bank’s advisors can assist you with investments and insurance.

If you become an American Savings Bank customer, you can take advantage of online banking, which allows for mobile check deposit, automatic bill pay, Zelle payments, eStatements, and more.

8. CIT Bank

CIT Bank is a branch of First Citizens Bank that offers several attractive products for Hawaii residents. Savings Connect is a savings account that offers a competitive interest rate you might not be able to find elsewhere.

Another savings account you may want to consider at CIT Bank is the Savings Builder. While the Savings Builder has a lower annual percentage yield or APY than Savings Connect, it can encourage you to save as you must direct deposit at least $100 per month to secure the highest APY.

Unlike many brick-and-mortar financial institutions, CIT Bank doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, ATM fees, or excessive transaction fees. You can open a new account and manage it via the online portal or mobile app. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact phone support on weekdays and Saturdays during select hours.

9. Ally Bank

Ally Bank is an online bank that serves residents in every state, including Hawaii. It’s worth considering if you’re seeking an interest bearing checking account or competitive rates on high yield savings accounts, CDs, and money market accounts.

While deposit accounts are Ally’s bread and butter, the bank also offers mortgages, auto refinancing, and investment products. As an Ally account holder, you won’t have to worry about any monthly fees or minimum opening deposits.

Since Ally is an online-only bank, there are no local branches in Hawaii. Fortunately, it’s part of the Allpoint ATM network that will give you free access to more than 43,000 Allpoint ATMs. If you do use an out-of-network ATM, the bank will reimburse you up to $10 per month.

10. First American Trust

Located in Honolulu, First American Trust stands out for its detailed wealth planning services, designed for individuals and families aiming to secure their financial future. While they operate only one branch, their personalized approach to service is a standout feature, offering clients detailed attention to their unique objectives.

The financial advisors at First American Trust assist in building resilient investment portfolios aligned with clients’ aspirations and risk tolerance. They also specialize in establishing trusts to protect significant assets, facilitating a smooth asset transfer process to secure one’s legacy for future generations.

11. Territorial Savings Bank

Territorial Savings Bank has served Hawaii customers since its inception in 1921. If you open a checking account, you’ll be able to earn interest as long as you deposit $100. You’ll have to maintain a $100 daily balance to avoid the minimum balance fee.

Additionally, Territorial Savings Bank offers numerous CDs with competitive interest rates, special mortgage rates for first-time homeowners, and discounts from local merchants, like hotels, car rental companies, and restaurants. The bank also offers personal loans and credit cards.

If you’re a small business owner, you may select from a number of business checking accounts, business credit cards, and business loan products.

12. Finance Factors

Headquartered in Honolulu, Finance Factors has 13 branches throughout Hawaii. The bank’s deposit products are savings, CDs, and retirement accounts. However, it does not offer checking accounts.

It also specializes in a wide selection of home loans like conventional mortgages, government-backed mortgages, jumbo mortgages, and investor mortgages. You can stop into a local branch or log into the online portal to manage your account.

How to Choose the Best Bank in Hawaii

Choosing the best bank in Hawaii involves careful consideration of your needs, preferences, and the features of various banks and credit unions in the region. Whether you are a resident or planning to move to the picturesque islands, here is a guide to help you make an informed decision:

Scope of services: Banking services vary from bank to bank. Some focus on basic banking solutions such as checking and savings accounts. Others provide a comprehensive suite of financial services including loans, mortgages, and investment products. Consider the services you anticipate requiring and choose a bank or credit union that caters to those needs.

Fee structure: A critical aspect to scrutinize is the fee structure of different bank accounts. Consider elements such as monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, and overdraft charges. Aim to select a bank that offers a fee structure that aligns with your lifestyle to avoid unnecessary charges.

Accessibility: Check out the availability of the bank’s branches and ATMs in Hawaii. Consider whether the financial institution has a sufficient number of branches near your home or workplace. In addition, check whether they provide online and mobile banking options for easy access to your funds from anywhere.

Customer service: Quality customer service can significantly enhance your banking experience. Look for banks known for their excellent customer support, both in their branch operations and online.

Community engagement: For those who prefer banking with institutions that invest in the local community, research the bank’s community engagement initiatives. Many banks and credit unions in Hawaii take part in community development programs and offer financial education to the locals, fostering a stronger community bond.

Reviews and recommendations: Consider seeking recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews to gather insights on the reputation of various banks in Hawaii. Understanding other customers’ experiences can give you a realistic perspective on what to expect.

Security: Ensure that the bank uses stringent security measures to safeguard your sensitive information. Reputable banks invest heavily in securing their online platforms and provide protections such as fraud monitoring and alert services to keep your funds safe.

Types of Banks in Hawaii

In Hawaii, you have a wide variety of banking institutions to choose from. These include:

National Banks

First, we should note that there are actually no national banks in Hawaii due to its small population and the high cost of real estate. However, you may still be able to open an account online at a national bank. You’ll also find many local banks in Hawaii that offer just as many products and services as big banks.

National banks are large banks that have branches and ATMs across the country, possibly even internationally. They tend to offer a wide range of services, including sophisticated online and mobile banking platforms.

Regional Banks

These institutions operate in specific regions, providing a broad range of services while maintaining a closer connection to local communities than national banks. Regional banks may offer more localized products and understand the unique conditions of the Hawaiian market.

Examples of regional banks in Hawaii include First Hawaiian Bank, Central Pacific Bank, Bank of Hawaii, and American Savings Bank.

Community Banks

Focused on serving the local populace, community banks are smaller local banks, often centered around a specific community. They are known for offering personalized services and fostering close-knit relationships with their customers, understanding and catering to local interests effectively.

Examples of community banks in Hawaii include Hawaii National Bank, First American Trust, Territorial Savings Bank, and Finance Factors.

Online Banks

These are digital-centric banks providing services primarily or exclusively through online platforms and mobile apps. Online banks typically offer competitive interest rates on savings and lower fees due to reduced overheads associated with physical infrastructure. It is a go-to option for tech-savvy customers looking for convenience and better rates.

Examples of online banks available to Hawaiians include SoFi, Current, CIT Bank, and Ally Bank.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are member-owned entities emphasizing service over profit. They often provide more favorable interest rates and lower fees compared to other banking institutions. Being community-focused, they work toward the betterment of their members and the local communities they serve.

There are 48 credit unions headquartered in Hawaii with more than 150 branch locations.

Each type of bank comes with its own set of advantages, so consider your individual needs and preferences when choosing.

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are a variety of banks in Hawaii. Before you move forward with one, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of all your options. Factors like your particular banking needs and whether you prefer an online or in-person banking experience will help you make the best choice for your unique situation. Good luck with your search for the best bank in Hawaii.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the largest bank in Hawaii?

First Hawaiian Bank holds the title as the largest bank in Hawaii, establishing a significant presence with a total of 49 branches scattered across the state. Founded in 1858, it boasts a long history and deep roots in the local community.

Should I choose an online bank or a traditional bank in Hawaii?

An online bank is your best bet if your goal is to land the best interest rate and lowest fees. However, if personalized service is important to you, you’d likely be better off with a traditional bank. Fortunately, most traditional banks offer mobile apps and online portals.

What are the best credit unions in Hawaii?

Some of the best credit unions in Hawaii based on customer reviews, services offered, and community reputation are:

  1. Hawaii State Federal Credit Union
  2. HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union
  3. Hawaiian Financial Federal Credit Union (HiTel)
  4. Kauai Government Employees Federal Credit Union
  5. Maui County Federal Credit Union

Remember to consider factors such as location, fees, services, and customer reviews when choosing a credit union.

Anna Baluch
Meet the author

Anna Baluch is a freelance personal finance writer from Cleveland, OH. She enjoys helping people make smart financial decisions.