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All Contents © 2017The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By Lisa Gerstner, Contributing Editor
| From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2017
Thanks to their ability to raise money in capital markets, larger banks have a lot of resources at their disposal. As a result, national banks typically offer a wide range of services and tools, and they have the ability to present them to customers through strong websites and mobile applications.
Two banks rose to the top, and they were so close in total number of points that we declared a tie.
Here's a look at our top picks for national banks.
Canadian-owned TD Bank, whose network of U.S. branches extends down the East Coast, emphasizes convenience and customer service with its "Bank Human" campaign. Customers who want face-to-face interaction, for example, are well served by about 1,300 branches that are open more hours per week -- including Saturdays, Sundays and some holidays at many locations -- than any other national bank we surveyed.
TD is also friendly to customers who keep low balances on deposit. It offers a basic checking account that requires a minimum of just $100 to avoid a monthly fee, a basic savings account with a $300 minimum, and certificates of deposit with a minimum of $250. Or, with the Premier checking account, keep a $2,500 balance and you’ll pay no monthly fee and get refunds of all out-of-network fees. TD offers free checking for students and a low-minimum checking option if you’re age 60 or older. Customers who have $750,000 or more in investable assets or a net worth of at least $3 million (excluding a primary residence) can tap into TD’s private bank services for personalized wealth management and financial planning help.
U.S. Bank has an even bigger footprint than TD Bank, with more than 3,000 banking offices in 25 states. The Minneapolis-based bank has something for just about everyone. It offers several checking accounts, including the Silver package, with which you can open a money market savings account, too. If you have both accounts, you’ll avoid a monthly fee if you have a monthly direct deposit of $1,000 or a $1,500 combined account balance. (The Silver package also qualifies you for one year’s membership in the Start Smart program, through which you set up automatic transfers from checking to savings and earn bonuses.) The Gold package checking account is free if you have a qualifying U.S. Bank credit card, loan or line of credit. Savers can choose among money market deposit accounts, savings accounts and CDs with varying interest rates, including CDs with promotional interest rates that were recently as high as 2.05% on a 59-month term, depending on location ($1,000 minimum deposit).
U.S. Bank also caters to specific groups. Current and former members of the military can use any of the bank’s checking accounts with no monthly fee, and the bank also offers free accounts for students and seniors. And for 10 years running, U.S. Bank has been the most trusted bank for privacy and data security, according to surveys of bank customers from the Ponemon Institute, a research firm.
These stellar banks and credit unions are making all the right moves to win satisfied customers:
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