10 Best Banks in Wisconsin for 2024

Banking

The state of Wisconsin, known for its rich natural beauty and bustling cities, is home to an array of financial institutions that cater to various needs. Whether you’re saving for a new home in Madison or seeking retirement security near Lake Michigan, finding the right bank can make a difference in achieving your financial goals.

Welcome to Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s banking options range from large national banks offering comprehensive services to local community banks that specialize in personalized support. Let’s explore the best banks that the state has to offer, covering both large-scale institutions and regional favorites.

10 Best Banks in Wisconsin

When selecting the best banks in Wisconsin, we considered a broad range of factors. These include the quality of customer service, diverse financial products, competitive interest rates, and access to modern digital banking tools.

Whether you’re a longtime Wisconsin resident or new to the state, this list will help you identify the bank that best suits your unique financial needs.

1. U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is a top contender for those looking for comprehensive banking services in Wisconsin. It strikes a balance between the attentive service found at community banks and the expansive product offerings typical of larger, national institutions.

Currently, U.S. Bank is offering an exclusive online promotion:

  • Earn up to $700 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account, and complete qualifying activities.
  • Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through June 27, 2024. Member FDIC.
  • Offer may not be available if you live outside of the U.S. Bank footprint or are not an existing client of U.S. Bank or State Farm.

The account includes a free debit card that can be locked or unlocked if ever misplaced or stolen. There are no ATM transaction fees at U.S. Bank ATMs and no surcharge fees at over 40,000 MoneyPass® Network ATMs.

The checking account requires a $25 opening deposit and a $6.95 monthly fee. This fee can be waived for those 24 and under, 65 and over, or military members (must self-disclose).

Additionally, the fee can be waived with monthly deposits of $1,000+, an average balance of $1,500+, or holding an eligible U.S. Bank credit card. Qualifying for any Smart Rewards® tier (Primary, Plus, Premium, or Pinnacle) also waives the fee.

2. SoFi

SoFi is known in Wisconsin as an innovative online bank known for offering competitive interest rates. It provides an attractive 4.60% APY on savings accounts and 0.50% APY on checking accounts, all without monthly fees.

One of its exceptional features is early direct deposit, allowing customers to receive their paychecks up to two days ahead of the standard payday.

SoFi protects your deposits with FDIC insurance up to $2 million and also provides overdraft coverage of up to $50 for those who meet the eligibility criteria.

New customers are welcomed with a bonus ranging from $50 to $300, depending on the amount of the initial deposit.

Convenience is also a significant benefit, as SoFi customers can access over 55,000 Allpoint® Network ATMs globally, ensuring that finding fee-free ATM access is easy.

3. Community First Bank

Community First Bank is a respected regional bank based in Wisconsin. With branches across the state in cities like Baraboo, Boscobel, Fennimore, Livingston, Muscoda, Platteville, Prairie du Chien, Reedsburg, and Richland Center, it has served Wisconsin communities since 1851.

Locally owned and managed, the bank offers a comprehensive range of services, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, personal and business loans, and financial advice. They also offer health savings accounts and retirement accounts.

Its long history of service, coupled with deep local roots, has earned Community First Bank a reputation for reliability and personalized attention.

The bank remains focused on providing flexible financial solutions that accommodate the diverse needs of individuals and businesses across Wisconsin.

4. Upgrade

Upgrade is an excellent choice for those seeking innovative online banking solutions in Wisconsin.

With the Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account, customers can sidestep common banking hurdles like minimum deposit requirements, monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and transfer fees.

Wisconsin residents can benefit from early direct deposit, gaining access to paychecks up to two days ahead of time. Additionally, the account provides up to 2% cash back on daily debit card transactions.

Opting for the Upgrade Premier Savings account gives customers a competitive 5.21% APY on balances over $1,000.

Partnered with Cross River Bank, Upgrade ensures that all accounts are safeguarded by FDIC insurance up to $250,000.

5. PNC Bank

PNC Bank has a strong presence in Wisconsin, with 26 branches throughout the state, including locations in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Greendale, and New Berlin.

Their Virtual Wallet® Checking Pro – Growth savings account stands out for its competitive 4.65% APY on balances above $1. Customers can qualify for a $200 bonus when meeting certain criteria.

This account bundle isn’t available nationwide, but customers in states without PNC branches (and select states with branches) have access. The Growth account within this package offers an attractive interest rate, while customers in regions without access to the Checking Pro option receive a lower rate.

The Virtual Wallet® Checking Pro – Spend checking account features a $0 monthly fee, no minimum deposit requirement to open, and a $200 bonus for qualifying customers. This account provides a network of 60,000 ATMs across the country and includes tools to schedule bill reminders, track balances, and set budgets and alerts.

Additionally, the Spend account comes with a secondary checking account called Reserve, which is designed for setting aside funds for future expenses but does not earn interest.

6. Landmark Credit Union

Landmark Credit Union is a leading not-for-profit financial cooperative based in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Founded in 1933 by employees of the Rex Chainbelt Company in Milwaukee, it now provides banking services across southern and northeastern Wisconsin, and Lake and McHenry Counties in Illinois.

The credit union operates on a member-owned model, offering a wide array of banking services, including savings and checking accounts, mortgages, loans, and investment products.

As a cooperative, Landmark Credit Union prioritizes delivering value to members through competitive interest rates and a customer-focused approach.

It emphasizes community engagement, providing financial literacy programs and resources for members to make informed decisions.

Additionally, members benefit from a comprehensive digital banking platform, making it easy to manage their finances, transfer funds, and access their accounts anytime. The credit union remains committed to serving the evolving needs of its members with reliable, tailored solutions.

7. North Shore Bank

North Shore Bank is headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, and has 43 branches across eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

It is a community-focused bank that provides a full suite of personal and business banking services, which include checking and savings accounts, mortgages, auto loans, boat and RV loans, credit cards, and more.

The bank was founded in 1923 and has built a reputation for excellent customer care and a commitment to innovative financial solutions.

It has an active financial literacy program that educates individuals and businesses about making sound financial decisions. Customers can access their accounts through online and mobile banking services, allowing them to easily manage their money and apply for loans.

North Shore Bank’s dedication to customer service and its variety of product offerings have made it a trusted financial institution in Wisconsin.

8. BMO Bank

BMO Bank is one of the largest banks in Wisconsin, with a wide network of branches across the state, including locations in Milwaukee and Madison. It offers an extensive range of financial products for both personal and business banking.

For personal accounts, customers can choose from several checking and savings options tailored to different needs.

BMO Bank’s checking accounts include basic, interest-bearing, and premium packages, all designed to suit varying preferences. Its savings products feature high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs, providing customers with competitive interest rates to grow their money.

BMO Bank also offers a comprehensive suite of loan products, including mortgages, home equity loans, auto loans, and personal loans. In addition, it has a selection of credit cards that offer rewards and benefits.

On the business side, BMO Bank provides checking and savings accounts for businesses of all sizes, along with lending solutions like business credit lines, commercial real estate loans, and equipment financing. Treasury and cash management services help businesses optimize their financial operations.

With a broad network of branches and digital banking tools, BMO Bank provides convenient access to its full range of financial services, making it a strong choice for both individuals and businesses in Wisconsin.

9. Town Bank

Town Bank is a community bank with a solid presence in Wisconsin. Founded to offer an alternative to large national banks, it combines the extensive resources of a big bank with the personalized service typical of local institutions.

Town Bank provides a comprehensive range of banking services. Its personal banking options include checking and savings accounts, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), insurance policy loans, and mortgage lending.

For businesses, the bank offers commercial banking resources such as business checking and savings accounts, commercial lending, and treasury management services.

Additionally, Town Bank provides private banking and wealth management solutions to help clients grow and preserve their wealth.

It maintains a customer-focused approach that emphasizes strong relationships with individuals and businesses, ensuring personalized and responsive financial services.

10. Nicolet National Bank

Nicolet National Bank is headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with 52 branches across the state in cities like Appleton, Green Bay, De Pere, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Wausau.

It offers several checking and savings accounts with no minimum balance requirements, making them accessible and attractive to Wisconsin residents.

For checking accounts, Nicolet National Bank provides the popular Value Checking, a simple option with no monthly maintenance fee.

Real Rewards Checking offers 3.00% APY on balances up to $15,000 each month, without requiring a monthly fee or minimum balance. Student Checking caters to students aged 15 to 25 who prefer a straightforward account.

Nicolet’s savings account lineup includes High-Interest Savings for high-net-worth individuals seeking maximum interest rates, Cash Back Savings for those wanting to earn cash back on their savings, and Rewards Savings, which provides competitive interest rates on both checking and savings balances.

All these accounts come with no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements, giving Wisconsin residents simple banking solutions with competitive interest rates from a local community bank.

How to Choose the Best Bank in Wisconsin

Selecting the best bank in Wisconsin requires careful consideration of your financial needs and the features that each institution offers. Here are some important factors to weigh while evaluating your options:

  • Account types and services: Determine the types of accounts and services you require, such as checking, savings, loans, and investment products. Different banks cater to varying preferences and offer unique combinations of services.
  • Fees and charges: Review the fee structures for accounts. Many of the best banks in Wisconsin provide low or no fees for basic services, but be mindful of fees for overdrafts, wire transfers, and account maintenance. Make sure to choose a bank with fee policies that align with your financial habits.
  • Interest rates and rewards: Compare interest rates on deposit accounts, including savings accounts, CDs, and high-yield checking accounts. Some banks offer additional rewards or cash-back programs that can enhance the value of your deposits.
  • Branch and ATM availability: Consider the convenience of branch and ATM locations, especially if you prefer in-person banking. Look for banks with branches near your home or workplace, and confirm that the bank has an extensive network of fee-free ATMs.
  • Digital banking features: Review online and mobile banking tools, such as bill pay, mobile deposits, and budgeting features. A strong digital platform is essential if you prefer managing your finances online.
  • Customer service quality: Research customer reviews and ratings to gauge the level of service a bank provides. A bank with highly rated customer service can significantly impact your overall experience.
  • Special offers and promotions: Some banks have promotional offers, such as sign-up bonuses or introductory interest rates. These can be attractive incentives for choosing a bank, but ensure that the underlying terms align with your long-term needs.
  • Local community engagement: If supporting local communities matters to you, consider regional or community banks that actively participate in local development initiatives. These banks often have a more personalized approach and may prioritize customer relationships.

Bottom Line

With a diverse array of options ranging from large, nationally recognized institutions to community-focused credit unions, Wisconsin offers banking solutions that can meet any need. By considering key factors like account types, fees, interest rates, branch availability, digital banking tools, and customer service, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals.

Whether you’re seeking to open a basic checking account, find the best rates on a savings account, or secure a business loan, Wisconsin’s financial institutions are equipped to provide the services and support you need. Carefully evaluating your choices will help you identify the best bank in Wisconsin to establish a solid foundation for your financial future.

Crediful
Meet the author

Crediful is your go-to destination for all things related to personal finance. We're dedicated to helping you achieve financial freedom and make informed financial decisions. Our team of financial experts and enthusiasts brings you articles and resources on topics like budgeting, credit, saving, investing, and more.