9 Best Banks in Pennsylvania for 2024

Pennsylvania has plenty to offer residents, including affordability and friendly neighbors. You’ll find small towns, big cities, and everything in between, and banks and credit unions to go with them.

But choosing a bank can be personal. You might prefer a local bank, where you can speak to a bank representative in person. For some, though, an online bank with premium high-yield savings account options works better. With so many Pennsylvania banks, it’s easy to find the option that meets your needs.

Welcome to Pennsylvania

9 Best Banks in Pennsylvania

Looking for banking services in Pennsylvania? Here’s a list of the best banks in Pennsylvania, each offering a unique mix of services, rates, and perks.

1. First National Bank

First National Bank is a regional bank with a presence not only in Pennsylvania but also in Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, and West Virginia.

It offers several checking accounts, including one that’s free and pays interest if you maintain a balance of at least $2,500.

When it comes to convenience, First National Bank makes it easy to open an account online. The bank uses a shopping cart model, allowing you to add the services you want and finalize your choices when you’re ready.

There are no monthly fees, and while the minimum deposit is $50, to open a checking account online, the bank will eliminate this requirement if you open the bank account in person at a branch.

The bank offers a modest rate on savings accounts, but their money market account boasts a 1.25% annual percentage yield (APY), and CDs can go as high as 5.00% APY.

2. SoFi

SoFi is an online-only bank that’s garnered attention for its high-interest Checking & Savings account. With the high-yield savings account, you can earn an impressive 4.60% APY, and the checking account isn’t too shabby either, offering 0.50% APY. Additionally, there are no monthly fees.

One convenient feature is the early direct deposit feature, which lets you access your paycheck up to two days sooner than usual.

Security is another strong suit for SoFi, as they provide FDIC insurance that covers up to $2 million.

They also provide a safety net with their overdraft protection, covering you for up to $50 if you’re eligible through direct deposits.

New customers get a warm welcome with a bonus ranging from $50 to $300, based on your initial deposit.

Additionally, you have the freedom to use any of the 55,000 Allpoint® ATMs globally, which is a handy feature for those who like to travel.

3. Upgrade

Upgrade makes a compelling case as one of the top online banks in Pennsylvania, particularly for those interested in innovative banking solutions.

As a fintech, Upgrade doesn’t operate as a traditional bank but offers its services through a partnership with Cross River Bank, which ensures that all accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account has no minimum deposit requirements, monthly fees, overdraft fees, or transfer fees.

Account holders can benefit significantly from features like early direct deposit, which allows them to access their paychecks up to two days earlier. Additionally, the account rewards everyday spending with up to 2% cash back on debit card purchases.

Furthermore, by signing up for the Upgrade Premier Savings account, you can take advantage of a competitive 5.21% APY on balances exceeding $1,000.

4. TD Bank

TD Bank is a national bank with an extensive footprint in Pennsylvania, boasting more than 180 locations across the state.

The bank also has branches in 15 other states, adding convenience for those who travel. Beyond the physical locations, TD Bank offers robust mobile banking features, allowing you to manage most of your financial tasks easily.

One standout checking option is the Convenience Checking account. This account lets you skip the $15 monthly fee with a modest daily balance of $100.

Plus, new customers can qualify for up to a $300 bonus by meeting certain criteria within the first 60 days. There’s no minimum initial deposit, and no minimum balance requirement going forward.

TD Bank offers up to 4.00% APY on savings accounts and up to 5.00% APY on CDs. Additional perks include a grace period for resolving overdrafts and 24/7 online customer service.

With its variety of account options, customer-friendly features, and widespread presence in the state, TD Bank solidifies its position among the best banks in Pennsylvania.

5. PNC Bank

PNC Bank is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has 273 branches in Pennsylvania. The bank offers multiple checking account options, including Standard Checking, which is fee-free if you maintain a daily balance of $500 or have at least $500 in monthly direct deposits.

The Performance Select Account, while requiring a higher balance to avoid fees, pays interest on your funds.

There’s a $7 monthly service fee, but they waive the fee if you meet certain criteria. Opening an account requires just a $25 deposit, and there is no minimum balance requirement. You can also use PNC Bank ATMs, as well as 60,000+ partner locations nationwide, without extra charges.

Savings account rates are on the lower side, but the money market accounts offer a competitive 1.25% APY. Additional features include a bonus of up to $200 for new Virtual Wallet accounts and financial management tools integrated into the bank’s app.

6. Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a regional institution with a substantial presence in Pennsylvania, where it has 248 branches. Whether you’re in a big city like Philadelphia or a smaller town like Stroudsburg, you’re likely to find a convenient location.

The bank offers several checking accounts to fit different needs. One attractive option allows you to avoid monthly fees just by receiving at least one deposit each month.

The $9.99 monthly maintenance fee can be waived by meeting this simple requirement, and there’s no minimum balance needed to keep the account open.

For those interested in saving, Citizens Bank also offers CDs with competitive rates, going up to 4.50% APY. This makes it an ideal spot for parking money you don’t need immediate access to, allowing it to grow at a healthy rate.

In addition to its banking products, Citizens Bank provides a credit card that offers cash back, adding another layer of value for its customers.

7. Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union

PSECU, short for Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, is the largest credit union in Pennsylvania. Membership is primarily open to state and local government employees, educators, students, select employers, and their families.

If you don’t fit into one of these categories, you can still join by paying a $20 fee, or just $10 if you apply online.

What sets PSECU apart are its competitive loan products. If you’re considering a home equity loan or an auto loan, it’s worth looking into what PSECU can offer. Small businesses might also find value in their business checking accounts and attractive terms on small business loans.

For checking accounts, there are no monthly maintenance fees or overdraft fees, and you can open an account without a minimum deposit or ongoing balance requirements.

The credit union also offers access to a vast network of fee-free ATMs, including its own, as well as those in the CO-OP and Allpoint networks. Plus, if you have direct deposit, PSECU will reimburse third-party ATM fees up to $20 per month.

In addition, PSECU offers 0.20% APY on the free checking account, 4.75% APY on CDs, and a rewards-earning debit card.

8. Philadelphia Federal Credit Union

Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, commonly known as PFCU, is a go-to option for those who live, work, study, or worship in Philadelphia or Columbia County.

Setting up a checking account with PFCU is straightforward. There’s no minimum deposit required to open an account, and you won’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees.

In addition, PFCU helps members avoid ATM fees by providing access to a wide network of ATMs that accept cards with various logos, including CO-OP, CU$, PLUS, and others.

You can earn up to 3.25% APY on savings accounts, and up to 4.40% APY on CDs. This gives you several opportunities to grow your money effectively.

But it’s not just about savings and checking. PFCU also offers various mortgages, business banking products, and reward-earning credit cards available for its members.

9. Santander Bank

Santander Bank has a strong presence in multiple states, including Pennsylvania. The bank’s Simply Right Checking Account comes with a $10 monthly fee, but they waive it if you make just one transaction per month.

With a modest minimum opening deposit of just $25, the checking account offers financial flexibility that many customers will find attractive.

Though the bank’s savings accounts pay less interest, it shines in the area of money market accounts and CDs, offering 4.25% and 5.50% APY, respectively. For those who want to grow their savings, these are excellent options.

Other services provided by Santander Bank include wealth management and a highly rated mobile banking app, adding an extra layer of convenience for its customers.

Considering its versatile financial products, reasonable fees, and competitive rates, Santander Bank easily ranks among the best banks in Pennsylvania.

How to Choose the Best Bank in Pennsylvania

Choosing the best bank in Pennsylvania is an important decision that can significantly impact your financial well-being. While there are numerous options available, understanding your needs and priorities will help you identify which banks align best with your financial goals. Below are some key considerations to help you select from the best banks in Pennsylvania.

  • Location and accessibility: The proximity of the bank’s branches and ATMs to your home or workplace is a crucial factor. If you often require in-person services, a bank with branches near you should be a priority. Additionally, consider a bank that has partnerships with widespread ATM networks for easy cash withdrawal.
  • Types of accounts offered: Banks and credit unions offer a range of accounts, including checking, savings, money market accounts, and CDs. Review the types of accounts you need and choose a bank that offers those specifically.
  • Fees and charges: Almost all banks charge some sort of fees, but the types and amounts can vary widely. Look for bank accounts with no or low monthly maintenance fees, and understand the conditions for waiving them. Be aware of other potential costs like overdraft fees, wire transfer charges, and ATM fees if you use a machine outside the bank’s network.
  • Interest rates: Interest rates can play a significant role in growing your savings. Some of the best banks in Pennsylvania offer competitive APYs on savings accounts, CDs, and even checking accounts. Always compare offers from multiple banks to get the best deal.
  • Online and mobile banking: In today’s digital age, a user-friendly online banking interface is essential. Make sure the bank offers a robust mobile app and online banking platform for easy account management, including services like bill pay, money transfers, and remote check deposit.
  • Customer service: Good customer service can be a lifesaver when you run into issues. Check reviews and consider banks that offer various channels for customer support, such as live chat, email, and a 24/7 hotline.
  • Additional services: Many banks offer additional services like credit cards, loans, and wealth management. If you anticipate needing these services, choose a bank that offers them with competitive interest rates and fees.
  • Special offers and promotions: Some banks offer bonuses and promotions for opening a new account, which can be an attractive incentive. However, make sure to read the fine print and understand any requirements you need to meet to qualify for these offers.
  • Security: Ensure that the bank you choose is federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit unions. This protects your deposits up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank.

Types of Banks in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you have numerous banking options to suit different financial needs and preferences. Here’s a quick overview of the types of banks you’ll encounter:

National banks: These financial giants operate branches and ATMs across the country, setting them apart from regional and local banks. In Pennsylvania, Bank of America, Chase Bank, and Wells Fargo are prominent examples of national banks.

Regional banks: These banks operate in specific regions and often have a significant presence in particular states. Citizens Bank and PNC Bank are examples of regional banks you’ll find mainly in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Community banks: These are smaller banks that focus on local areas. Fulton Bank and Beneficial Bank are examples of community banks serving specific communities in Pennsylvania.

Online banks: These are online-only banks with no physical branches. They typically have higher rates on savings accounts, and lower rates on loans compared to brick and mortar banks. Examples of online banks include SoFi, Ally Bank, and GO2bank, all of which offer services to Pennsylvania residents.

Credit unions: These are member-owned institutions that often offer competitive rates and community-focused services. Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) and Philadelphia Federal Credit Union are two of the best credit unions in the state.

Bottom Line

Pennsylvania offers a rich selection of financial institutions, each with its own set of features, advantages, and even drawbacks. From online banking options to traditional banks with physical branches in cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, and beyond, the best banks in Pennsylvania are designed to suit various lifestyles and financial objectives.

Assessing your individual needs is essential when striving to find the best bank in Pennsylvania. So, whether you’re seeking an everyday checking account or planning for long-term savings, you’re sure to find an option that aligns with your financial goals. Happy banking in the Keystone State!

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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.