New England Banks
The Northeast is one of the most densely populated regions in the country. Home to several of the nation’s largest cities, it bustles with business and commerce.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that many of the country’s largest financial institutions are well-represented in the Northeast, and that several are headquartered there. The region bristles with bank branches. But which of these credit unions and banks offer the strongest services? Here’s a look at five that stand out.
Bank of AmericaBank of America offers a solid lineup of checking and savings accounts. Its mobile apps, online tools and services like its Keep the Change program provide users with inventive ways to manage spending and saving. The bank also offers a free checking account for students under age 23.
You can also rest assured that your money and personal information is secure: Bank of America has been named “the best overall provider of protection against identity fraud” for nine straight years by Javelin Strategy & Research, a financial services consulting firm in Pleasanton, Calif.
Customers looking for strong annual percentage yields (APYs) on certificates of deposit (CDs) may be better served by an online bank, like Ally, or a credit union. Bank of America’s terms are flexible, though, ranging from four weeks to 10 years. Bank of America is worth a closer look if you live in the Northeast and often prefer to do your banking in person.
Although it’s based farther south in Charlotte, N.C., Bank of America has over 1, 100 branch offices in the Northeast, which — for the purposes of this roundup — includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England. Bank of America’s branches are spread out across the region, and the only state without at least one is Vermont.
Digital Federal Credit UnionAs well as looking at banks, we also evaluated the region’s six largest credit unions based on total assets. Of those institutions, Digital Federal Credit Union, known as DCU, distinguishes itself with a wide range of products and excellent savings certificate options, which come with APYs as high as 1.86%. Its Free Checking Account, as the name suggests, comes with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees.
DCU participates in Co-Op Shared Branching, meaning members of this Marlborough, Mass.-based not-for-profit company can take care of basic banking tasks at over 5, 000 credit unions around the U.S. Thanks to its mobile app and online banking capabilities, members can also use their laptops and smartphones to deposit checks and transfer funds between accounts.
M&T BankIt doesn’t take much to get monthly fees waived at this Buffalo-based bank. You can’t say that about many of the other large financial institutions in the region. To avoid the $6.95 maintenance fee on its EZChoice checking account, M&T customers simply have to make a deposit, withdraw cash or use their debit card once a month. By keeping at least $7, 500 in a MyChoice Premium checking account, customers can avoid a $24.95 monthly fee.
The rates on M&T Bank’s savings accounts aren’t much to write home about, although a three-month, introductory APY of around 1.30% is available for deposits of $10, 000 and above.
The majority of M&T Bank’s more than 600 Northeast branches are in Pennsylvania and New York.
PNC BankPNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet has already attracted some attention, and for good reason. This online bank account has an intuitive design that makes it easy for users to track their saving and spending habits, bringing some much-needed clarity to the entire process.
PNC’s ‘S’ is for Savings account serves as an interactive platform that parents can use to teach children basics about money and setting financial goals. The Pittsburgh-based bank is also home to all the other features you’d want to see in a big bank: standard and premium checking along with CDs and money market accounts.