10 Best Banks in Louisiana for 2024

Louisiana is a unique state, packed with interesting attractions, delicious food, and beautiful landscapes. But the state is also home to millions of residents in need of banking services. The best banks in Louisiana offer plenty of amenities, including low-fee checking accounts and access to ATMs where you need it.

Welcome to Louisiana

10 Best Banks in Louisiana

Whether you’re looking for a national bank or a small regional bank, the best banks depend on the features that matter most to you. Here are some of the top banks in Louisiana to help you narrow down your options.

1. Hancock Whitney Bank

With its roots in Gulfport, Mississippi, Hancock Whitney Bank stands as a formidable option among the best banks in Louisiana, extending its services across several states, including Alabama, Florida, and Texas.

It presents a spectrum of checking account alternatives, one of which is the Assure Checking account enriched with IDProtect ScoreTracker — a tool designed to assist you in keeping a vigilant eye on your monthly credit score.

Despite the imposition of monthly maintenance fees and a necessity for a minimum deposit, the bank attracts customers with its competitive CD rates and attentive customer service.

Moreover, small business owners might find Hancock Whitney Bank to be a favorable choice, thanks to its commendable rates on business loans.

2. SoFi

SoFi stands out as one of the premier online banks for Louisiana residents, especially noted for its impressive Checking & Savings account offerings.

Customers can reap the benefits of a high 4.60% APY on savings and a 0.50% APY on the checking account, with the added advantage of having no monthly fees to worry about.

The online bank offers an early direct deposit feature, allowing you to receive your paycheck up to two days earlier than usual.

SoFi prioritizes the security of your funds, with FDIC insurance covering up to a generous $2 million. Moreover, the bank offers a helping hand by covering up to $50 in overdraft with no fees, a service accessible for those receiving qualifying direct deposits.

For those considering making a switch, SoFi greets new customers with a welcome bonus ranging from $50 to $300, dependent on the direct deposit amount. In addition, the bank facilitates easy access with over 55,000 ATMs available in the Allpoint® Network.

3. Gulf Coast Bank

Gulf Coast Bank is a community bank with branches in Baton Rouge and New Orleans that offers a range of personalized financial services. Their checking accounts come with no monthly fees, no minimum balance, and free online banking.

The bank’s services extend beyond checking accounts to include specialized savings accounts such as a Christmas Club Savings Account and a Health Savings Account, as well as money market accounts, CDs, and IRAs.

Gulf Coast Bank also offers a Nearly Virtual Mortgage service, enabling a mostly paperless lending process. Additionally, customers can check their credit scores at any time via the Gulf Coast Bank dashboard.

4. Upgrade

Upgrade is a standout choice among online banks in Louisiana, especially attractive to those interested in innovative banking solutions.

As a fintech company, Upgrade collaborates with Cross River Bank to ensure that all accounts are backed by FDIC insurance up to $250,000.

The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account removes common banking obstacles such as minimum deposits, monthly fees, ATM fees, and transfer fees.

Louisiana customers enjoy benefits such as early direct deposit, allowing them to access their paychecks up to two days earlier. The account also rewards regular spending with up to 2% cash back on debit card purchases.

For those who occasionally use out-of-network ATMs, Upgrade provides a solution by reimbursing up to five ATM fees each month, subject to certain conditions.

5. Red River Bank

Red River Bank is a prominent local bank with branches throughout Louisiana, known for its excellent customer service and extensive network of branches. Their Totally Free Checking account is especially noteworthy, as it offers the freedom of no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

For added convenience, the bank is also affiliated with Hancock Whitney ATMs, making withdrawals easy locally and nationally.

On the savings front, Red River Bank offers Penny RoundUP. It allows you to automatically round up each debit card purchase to the nearest dollar and deposits the change into your savings account.

Besides these features, the bank provides a broad array of personal loans, adding another layer of flexibility to their services.

6. First Horizon Bank

Originally known as First Tennessee Bank, First Horizon Bank has grown to become a nationwide presence, with a strong footprint in Louisiana and local branches across 12 states.

This makes it an ideal choice for anyone in Louisiana seeking a free checking account coupled with the convenience of physical locations.

First Horizon Bank offers several checking accounts. The basic checking account, called FirstView, has no monthly maintenance fees, and a low minimum deposit of $50.

They also offer a personal savings account, a money market account, CDs, credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, and home loans. Additionally, for those looking to grow and manage their wealth, the bank offers specialized wealth management services.

7. Chase Bank

Chase Bank exemplifies the advantages of banking with a national bank. They offer a comprehensive suite of services, from multiple checking account options to a free debit card usable at over 16,000 ATMs nationwide.

Moreover, for those who value face-to-face interactions, Chase maintains more than 4,700 branches nationwide.

The checking account carries a $12 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived with a $1,500 balance or at least $500 in direct deposits. Additionally, there’s no minimum opening deposit required, and no minimum balance requirements.

New customers can earn a $200 bonus when opening a new checking account. Additionally, Chase’s Overdraft Assist option provides account holders with extra time to address overdraft issues.

Chase Bank also offers several products for business owners, such as a business checking account, business credit cards, and payment solutions.

8. Neighbors Federal Credit Union

If you’re located in one of nine participating parishes in Louisiana, Neighbors Federal Credit Union presents a solid banking alternative. Membership is available to individuals who reside, work, attend school, or engage in religious activities in areas such as East Baton Rouge, Livingston, and several others.

With 12 branches, Neighbors Federal Credit Union ensures easy access to its suite of services. Moreover, customers can take advantage of additional locations in Baton Rouge, West Denham Springs, Port Allen, Prairieville, Zachary, and Walker through a shared branch network.

The credit union features five distinct checking account choices. Four of these options come with no monthly fees, while one account imposes a modest $4.95 monthly fee. Their Free Cash Back Checking account is particularly enticing, as it has no monthly fee and allows you to earn rewards on debit card purchases.

9. Regions Bank

Regions Bank is one of the best regional banks in Louisiana. The bank offers a basic checking account with fairly straightforward requirements to sidestep the monthly fee: either maintain an average monthly balance of $1,500 or ensure direct deposits of at least $500 each month.

On top of these features, Regions Bank provides additional incentives such as a $50 Visa Reward Card for successful customer referrals.

Also, noteworthy is their 1% annual savings bonus for those who link a savings account, which can act as a small but impactful boost to your savings efforts.

Regions Bank also offers savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, debit and prepaid cards, credit cards, personal loans, lines of credit, and much more.

10. Ally Bank

Ally Bank serves as a robust option for those who favor online and mobile banking solutions. You can open a free checking account that accrues interest, a feature extended to their online savings account as well. It also comes with no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum deposit.

While mobile banking with Ally does have its limitations, the bank mitigates this by offering free use of over 43,000 ATMs, both in Louisiana and across the nation.

The main drawback is the absence of cash deposit options at retail partners, an option available with many competing online-only banks.

Another benefit of banking with Ally Bank is early pay, which allows you to receive your salary up to two days early. Aside from checking and savings accounts, Ally also offers money market accounts, CDs, credit cards, personal, mortgage, and auto loans, and more.

How to Choose the Best Bank in Louisiana

After going through our rankings of the best banks in Louisiana, you may still wonder which financial institution is the right match for your needs. While our list offers a solid starting point, choosing a bank involves multiple considerations beyond rankings alone. Here are some guidelines to help you make an informed choice.

  • Evaluate your needs: Before you decide on a bank or credit union, know what you’re looking for. Are you interested in high-yield savings accounts, or is a robust suite of online services more your focus? Maybe you want a bank with physical branches nearby. Your specific needs will guide you toward the best bank for your situation.
  • Locations and ATM access: While online banking is increasingly popular, having access to a physical branch can still be valuable. Consider the proximity of branches and ATMs to your home or workplace. Some banks also partner with ATM networks that allow free withdrawals nationwide.
  • Account features: Look at the specific features of checking and savings accounts. Examine interest rates, fees, and minimum balance requirements. Make sure the bank offers the kinds of bank accounts that align with your objectives.
  • Online banking: Online and mobile banking features are crucial for many people. Assess the usability of a bank’s digital platforms, paying attention to ease of use, security features, and what services can be carried out online or via mobile banking app.
  • Customer service: Research how easy it is to get in touch with customer support, as well as the quality of the support provided. Read customer reviews or ask for recommendations from family and friends. The experience of existing members can provide valuable insights into what you can expect.
  • Reviews and ratings: Financial health ratings and customer reviews can help confirm the reliability of a bank. Websites and consumer reports often publish ratings and reviews that can give you a better idea of a bank’s reputation and stability.
  • Special perks and benefits: Some banks offer perks like welcome bonuses, free checks, overdraft forgiveness, safe deposit boxes, or rewards programs. Consider these extra features as a tiebreaker if you’re torn between a few good options.

Types of Banks to Consider in Louisiana

When it comes to analyzing the best banks in Louisiana, you’ll find that there are several types of financial institutions to consider. Each comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks, and the best choice will depend on your specific needs and financial goals. Below is an overview of the different kinds of banks you might encounter.

National Banks

National banks are comprehensive financial institutions offering a broad range of banking services like checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and more. They often have multiple branch locations, making them convenient for in-person services. However, they may also come with higher fees and lower rates on savings accounts compared to other options.

Regional Banks

These are larger than community banks but smaller than national banks. They operate in specific geographic areas and aim to balance the personal service of a community bank with the resources and technology of a larger institution.

Community Banks

Community banks focus on the local markets and provide personalized attention. They are more likely to consider your whole financial picture and not just your credit score when you apply for loans. Their smaller size often means fewer services and technology options, but many people value the relationship-oriented approach.

Online Banks

Online-only banks operate entirely over the internet, which often allows them to offer higher interest rates and lower fees. These banks are ideal for those who are comfortable managing their finances digitally. However, the lack of physical branches can be a drawback for those who prefer in-person services.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are member-owned, non-profit institutions that often offer competitive interest rates on savings accounts and loans. Membership might be based on your employer, place of residence, or other affiliations. Credit unions are known for their member-friendly services, but may have fewer locations and technological offerings.

Bottom Line

Choosing from the best banks in Louisiana involves considering various factors, including interest rates, bonus offerings, and customer service. Whether you prefer a bank with physical branches such as Chase Bank or Hancock Whitney Bank, or prefer online alternatives like SoFi and GO2bank, Louisiana caters to a wide range of financial needs.

Take time to assess the unique offerings of each bank to find the one that aligns perfectly with your financial goals. Remember, a well-chosen bank can be a powerful ally in securing a robust financial future.

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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.