10 Best Banks In California: An Ultimate Guide To Choose The Right Bank

Are you a resident of California? Do you want to secure your money or are you looking to get a loan for your new home? Here is the list of the best banks in California for you.

Keeping precious items including cash or jewelry at home is not safe enough. What if someone breaks into your house and takes everything? In such cases, it is necessary to have a secure place to keep your assets. But how would you know what place is best? Obviously, banks! There is no place other than banks where you can secure your assets or lend money from.

Banks have been in use forever. It began as a means of lending money to people. However, with time, it grew into a more accomplished organization. Banks of today’s time not only secure money but also give out loans for multiple purposes including houses, cars, education, medicine, and much more.

If you are looking for the best banks in California as a resident, you may not need to fatigue yourself anymore. Here is a list of the best banks in ca. Read ahead to get a better acquaintance.

History of banks

As aforementioned, banking has always been done among us. Since the origination of the first coin till the date, banks are present. Giving the exact date of the origin is impossible but it can be traced back to early 1800 BC. In the beginning, there was no exact name, however, everything was kept in religious temples as it was considered the most secure place.

With the passage of time and the industrial revolution, banks came into existence. In England, it started with the initiation of notes given by goldsmiths at high-interest rates. Early 2000 geared up the trend of banking with the formation of the world bank. While ancient banks only worked on providing loans and securing money, 21st-century banks provided numerous services like insurance, mortgage loan, pension, credits, hedge funds et cetera.

Although banks have not changed much since the ancient world’s temples, their basic business practices remain the same. No matter how the business model has changed, banks are still primarily responsible for making loans and protecting depositors’ money. Despite the trend toward digital banking, conventional banks still perform these basic functions.

Why do you need banks?

Although all banks have the same purpose, it is still not easy to find the best banks in ca. But what could be the purposes of banks, and why are they necessary? The answer is simple. They are to keep your precious things safe. Below are some of the services provided by a bank.

Secure money

The major issue arises when you need to keep your cash safe and no place at your home can be considered safe enough. This is where banks come in. Keeping a small amount of money at your home or in your pockets is understandable whereas keeping a thousand dollars in your pocket is mere stupidity. Thus, to keep that amount away from the sight of thieves, you need banks. Some of the banks offer a secure saving option with no charges at all but that has some terms and conditions applied.

Lend money

Do you want to secure your future? Do you want a better car to travel a long distance for work? Do you have enough money to get a house and a car? If not, you can consult banks. But how could they help? Banks not only secure and look after your money, but they also lend you a particular amount for a specific time.

For instance, you want to buy a property worth $20,000 but you don’t have enough. You can ask your bank to lend you some amount which will be called a loan or debt. It has to be repaid within the given time by the bank or otherwise, you will have to face consequences.

Pay for things

You might be familiar with the concept of a debit card and a credit card but do you know how they work? Let me explain! If you want to buy a watch but don’t have enough money, you can use your debit or credit card through which your bank will lend you the money.

Every card has a limit. It depends on the cash limit of your card according to the terms of the bank. It is more like a loan but for smaller things in chunks. you will have to pay the amount before it reaches a specific limit. Once it reaches its limit, it will not work until you pay the previous amount with the interest applied to it.

Offer financial services

Banks have multiple purposes from saving money to lending. It also provides some financial services like providing insurance. Whether you want insurance for yourself or your house, banks will be able to provide that. However, you must know that every bank has its terms for each insurance. Thus, to avoid trouble in the future, make yourself aware of all the trivial details regarding insurance.

Best banks in California

If you are looking for the best banks in California you might want to have a look at the list below. We have enlisted some of the best California banks to make work easier for you.

Chase bank

When considering the best California banks, Chase bank always falls at the top of the list. It is the most accomplished bank present in the US with over 47000 branches with about 16000 ATMs throughout the continent. Its major presence can be seen in the state of California.

Its high-end security system allows you to sign in through facial recognition as well as a fingerprint scan. You can access a 24 months transaction and a 7-year credit card with bank statements. Not only that, with active security you can instantly block the credit cards if you see any suspicious transaction.

Chase bank is responsible for providing multiple services like checking accounts, money market, savings account, home loans, CDs, and custodial accounts. It is the largest bank in the American state with over $ 3 trillion in assets and is best for checking accounts. You can send an invoice, pay bills, rent, mortgage, and much more.

As far as the state of California is concerned, Chase bank has over 900 branches in 395 cities in California. It can also be categorized as the bank with one of the best online banking systems. Besides the option of five different accounts, Chase bank also offers three additional accounts for students and kids.

Bank of America

One of many other regional banks in California, Bank of America stands in the second position on the list. It is one of the largest national banks with massive activity in California. You can consider Bank of America for Checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, home loans, car loans as well as investing.

Apart from that, it has more than 450 branches throughout California. It requires a minimum of $25 for a deposit and the customer can get up to a $100 sign-in bonus for a checking account. Furthermore, it does not require a monthly maintenance fee like many other regional banks in California.

Bank of America, provides fraud protection services in case you lose your card. Additionally, you can easily do mobile deposits, and control debit cards with fast and secure sign-in. Bank of America gives you three checking account options and the fee for some accounts can be waived. You can consider it the best bank in every aspect.

Bank of the West

Another of the many best banks in ca is the Bank of the West. It is not only a regional bank but a small community bank with over 200 branches throughout the state. They offer a range of services including checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, IRA CDs, credit cards, and loans. It gives you plenty of options to fulfill your banking requirements.

With an exceptional motive to provide environmentally friendly banking, the Bank of West provides convenience to smaller businesses. Serving for over a century, this bank allows you to open an account with no minimum requirement of a deposit. Here, the monthly maintenance fee can be waived easily. Furthermore, it allows you to open an account at a branch as well as online. As far as customer service is concerned, the Band of the West has a vigilant staff with active helplines. You can contact the team through the customer service page or the website.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has over 1000 branches spread throughout the state of California. Considering it is one of the best banks in California, it offers home loans, savings accounts, money market accounts, checking accounts, CDs, and custodial accounts services. It can also be categorized as the best bank for small businesses. It not only has a strong physical presence but also a more advanced online existence.

Moreover, it possesses Foreign currency at branches so you can send and receive money abroad. With 24/7 monitoring services, Wells Fargo keeps a check of all transactions and takes immediate action when notified of any unknown action. It has advanced technology which provides a unique debit card chip to generate a unique security code. This is the best way to prevent fraud.

With transparent interest rates, Wells Fargo lends loans to numerous small businesses. No matter what type of service you are looking for, you can find it online thus, no more waiting in line.

US bank

Being the fifth largest bank in the US, the US bank promises to provide exceptional customer services and high-end security to its clients. For those who are looking for a bank with good customer service, the US Bank has its representatives available 24/7.

It has over 450 branches in California thus, it is easily approachable by customers. With thousands of branches and ATMs across the country, US Bank is one of the most recognizable national banks in the country. The checking accounts offered by US Bank are flexible enough to meet your needs, with five options available.

US Bank also offers loans of different kinds and a variety of banking products. It offers a very low annual percentage yield on its savings account, which has a minimum deposit rate of $25. Unlike other banks, you will have to pay a monthly maintenance fee which might be a con of this bank.

Union bank

Union bank is one of the most renowned regional banks. With a Union Bank checking account, you can get up to 0.01% interest and this rate is not dependent on your account balance. Additionally, Union Bank offers a checking account to only those who do not earn interest or those who have a high balance. If you want to save your money, consider applying for a checking account.

In addition to its free checking account, Union Bank offers an interest-bearing checking account, two business accounts, and a teen checking account. You can withdraw cash on the go with most savings accounts due to the ATM card that comes with them. Fees for ATMs are never charged and operator fees are reimbursed. Union Bank customers have access to ATMs worldwide through its checking account, not just in California. If you have an account balance of $2500, the interest rate also rises to 0.05%.

Axos bank

The next bank on our list of best banks in California is Axos Bank. Axos is an FDIC-insured bank and has branches in the state of California and Nevada. With low fee options, it allows you to open a checking account with ease. Whether you require personal or business banking services, loans, and mortgages, Axos bank is the jack of all trades.

Looking further into the services provided by Axos Bank, we can see that it does not have a physical presence in California. However, it is one of the widest-used online banking options for the citizens of the US. Checking accounts can be opened for multiple customers, according to the company’s offerings which can be broadly classified into Standard checking accounts and specialized checking accounts.

Standard accounts include Rewards Checking, Essential Checking, and Cashback Checking whereas Specialized accounts include Golden Checking and First Checking. Personal checking accounts do not need a monthly fee however if you have a business account, that will cost you from $15 to $20.

Ally bank

Ally is another online bank that provides the highest APY rate of 0.50% in California. However, the interest rate of checking accounts is variable if your account balance is above $15000. If your account has more than the defined limit, the APY will be 0.25%. Meanwhile, a balance below the range will have 0.10% APY.

As far as the digital app is concerned, it has almost all options which a physical bank could offer. From ATM locator to automatic bill payment, all with the click of a single button. It is one of the best online savings banks in California offering minimal fees.

Besides banking services, it provides exceptional customer service and charges no monthly fee. It has over 38000 ATMs accessible to customers. Ally is a full-time banking service that is online which is giving convenient banking to its users.


In the state of California, BBVA has 61 branches which spread around 49 cities of the state. In addition to that, it has over 500 offices in 6 states other than California. It has a massive engagement of 2.2 million customers in the US.

As far as the services are concerned, BBVA’s online checking allows you to add to your savings. It offers cash-back rewards with free visa debit cards to its customers. The majority of BBVA U.S. ATMs and participating non-bank ATMs will not charge you for ATM transactions.

Most of your daily financial tasks can be handled seamlessly with the bank’s award-winning mobile banking app. Additionally, you will be able to access online banking, mobile deposit, and bill payment services.

East West bank

There is no better bank for students in California than the East-West Bank. A student can waive the $3 monthly maintenance fee from East West Bank’s savings account by making at least one monthly deposit each month. An interest-bearing Student Plus Savings account can be opened for just $100.

In addition to a Visa debit card, you will receive an account opening package. All out-of-network ATM fees will be reimbursed each month by East West Bank as long as you use that debit card to withdraw cash. There is one downside to Student Plus Checking: it does not earn interest. To better meet your banking needs, you might want to combine it with a savings account.

Choosing the right bank

Once you have become familiar with some of the best banks in California, you must know how you would choose the best among them. Mentioned below is a guide to the best bans in ca.

Interest rate

Savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificate of deposit accounts are still the most popular at online banks. A bank that adjusts its APY to keep up with other market options can be very beneficial in today’s rate environment due to its competitive rates.

When you save money for an emergency fund or short-term savings goal, you can earn a small, but not insignificant, passive income.


You should also keep an eye on fees. If you fall below a minimum balance requirement, you can incur penalties as a result of overdraft fees, monthly management fees, and overdraft fees. If you fulfill certain requirements, such as adding direct deposit to your account, banks may waive those fees or minimums. In other words, just having an account will cost you money.

Loan process

A small business loan may not be necessary at this time. A business loan might be needed as your business grows in the future.

Having an existing relationship and understanding of the bank’s regulations is helpful if you’re looking to finance your business.

There is also a reputation for banks offering some of the best rates and longest repayment terms for SBA loans. It’s best to look for lenders that specialize in SBA loans if you plan to apply for one.


Best banks in California do not only mean ones providing exceptional services. It also includes the location. When you are choosing a bank to open an account make sure that the bank is near you or in the surrounding area.

Traveling long distances just to have access to the ATM is not a clever thing. This is to save time, make sure to choose the bank which does not require much traveling.

Customer service

Do you want to open a bank account? Are you looking for the best banks in California? Have you checked the customer service of the bank you are choosing? If not then you should!

You might face problems regarding your account in the future thus to have access to the information and to sort out those issues you would need help from the customer service team. But what if the team is not responding?

Before choosing a bank, make sure to check the review on their website regarding their customer services. If they are not available for the majority of people, you should not take risks. Select a bank with 24/7 available representatives.


Why do you want to put your money in the bank? Obviously to secure the amount! But what if you are choosing a bank with traditional security, it might pose a risk to your funds. Therefore, you should never deposit money into a bank that is not protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

What if you choose a wrong bank

Choosing the right bank is a hard nut to crack. It might take you ages to know what is suitable for you. However, if you choose the wrong bank for your deposit amount or to take out a loan, you will suffer in the long term.

First of all, if you have chosen a bank with a bad interest rate, you will suffer badly. Furthermore, if you are choosing a bank which is farther away from your location, it will cost you more to reach the place.

In addition, your bank might not have a high profile security system. There are chances that your amount might not be safe. Meanwhile, if you are applying for a loan or mortgage, the wrong bank will have more interest rate on return than other banks.

Considering  these red flags, you must know when to back off and relocate your focus to the list of other banks with a good record.


Keeping amounts secure and having safe transactions require a good bank. However, it is not easy to choose what bank is right for you. It is recommended to enlist your requirements and shortlist some of the banks with good interest rates. Match your requirements with the services offered by the bank. In this way, you will be easily able to select the right one.

There are many best banks in California, some of which are mentioned above. You can easily match your requirements with the services of the banks mentioned above and either apply for a mortgage or deposit your amount there.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.

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