Best Banks and Credit Unions in Florida for November 2023 – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Best Banks and Credit Unions in Florida for November 2023

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Bank of America, Ally, and VyStar Credit Union are our picks for the best banks if you live in Florida.

Below you’ll find more information about our top picks.

To determine the best banks in Florida, we reviewed the biggest banks and credit unions in the state. We also considered online banks regarding our top pick for savings accounts.

Best Banks and Credit Unions in Florida

Bank of America: Best bank for opening a checking accountAlly: Best bank for opening a savings accountVyStar Credit Union: Best credit union

These institutions have stayed as our top picks for the last few months because they offer a variety of bank products with notable features. All of the financial institutions on our list are protected by FDIC or NCUA insurance. Although First Republic Bank was recently shut down, bear in mind your money is safe at a federally insured financial institution. When a financial institution is federally insured, up to $250,000 per depositor is secure in a bank account.

Compare Financial Institutions in Florida

Best Banks in Florida FAQs

What is the most popular bank in Florida?

The most popular bank in Florida is probably either Wells Fargo, which has the most branches — or Truist, which doesn’t have quite as many branches but has locations in more cities around the state.

What is the most convenient bank in Florida?

The most convenient bank in Florida is probably Wells Fargo, because it has the most locations.

What is the main bank in Florida?

The three main banks in Florida are Wells Fargo, Truist, and Bank of America, because they have the most branches in the most cities.

Best Banks in Florida Reviews

Best Bank for Opening a Checking Account

Bank of America

Bank of America has nearly 450 branches around Florida and a $100 sign-up bonus offer.

Checking accounts aren’t known for paying interest, and if they do, then the rate is often pretty low. Cash sign-up bonuses can be good tools to earn money even if a checking account doesn’t pay a good rate.

You may qualify for the $100 bonus when you open a Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance, Plus, or Relationship Banking Checking Account through the bank’s promotional page. To earn the bonus, you must receive at least two recurring direct deposits of at least $250 within 90 days of opening the account.

Depending on which checking account you open, you could pay $4.95, $12, or $25 per month. There are several ways to waive the monthly fee, though. 

Best Bank for Opening a Savings Account

Ally

Ally pays 1% APY APY, which is one of the highest rates out there right now among national brands. The bank also doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees or require a minimum opening deposit.

When it comes to savings accounts, you probably want a bank that is going to pay a high interest so that you can earn more than a couple hundred dollars in the long run. This means an online bank like Ally is probably going to be your best bet.

The Ally High Yield Savings Account has been a power player in the high-yield savings space for a few years now, and it consistently nabs top awards for online banking. Although it’s an online bank, you can use over 40,000 Allpoint ATMs for free around the US. 

Ally makes it easy to save for specific goals. You may decide to open a separate account for each goal, but Ally has a bucket feature that allows you save for multiple goals in one account. Assign each one a nickname, like “Emergency Fund” or “Travel Account” to track your progress and stay motivated. 

While Ally is extremely competitive, other banks offer similar online high-yield savings accounts. Ally is certainly one of the best out there, but depending on your needs and your existing banking, you may find you prefer a different bank, such as Capital One 360, Varo, or Discover.

Best Credit Union

VyStar Credit Union

VyStar is a good choice if you’re looking for a credit union in Florida. It’s available in over 20 cities, and you contact customer service seven days per week. SunCoast Credit Union is another good choice if you live in certain parts of Florida, but VyStar still pays higher rates on checking and savings.

There are more than 50 branch locations around Florida, and you have free access to over 20,000 ATMs around the US, Mexico, and Canada. 

VyStar pays lower rates on some accounts than online banks, but higher than many brick-and-mortar banks.

Like most credit unions, VyStar compounds interest monthly rather than daily, which will affect how much money you earn in the long run. VyStar is one of the largest credit unions in Florida, but branches are lacking from certain regions of the state. If you don’t have a branch nearby, then you may want to go with a local credit union.

Bank Trustworthiness and BBB Ratings

The Better Business Bureau grades companies based on customer complaints, advertising, and transparency about business practices. Here are the BBB scores for our favorite banks and credit unions in Florida:

InstitutionBBB gradeBank of AmericaA-AllyAVyStar Credit UnionA+

Bank of America received an A- Rating because of government action taken against the bank.

A strong BBB grade doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a smooth relationship with a bank, though. You may want to read online reviews or ask family and friends about their experiences. You also might want to consider any recent scandals — Bank of America has had some issues in the past few years.

The Department of Justice charged Bank of America for unfairly denying home loans to adults with disabilities, even though they qualified for loans. Bank of America paid around $300,000 total to people who were refused loans. The Department of Labor required Bank of America to pay $4.2 million to people who claimed the bank discriminated against women, Black, and Hispanic applicants in the hiring process. In 2023, Bank of America also paid over $100 million to customers in a settlement when accused of repeatedly charging a $35 overdraft fee for the same transaction, withholding credit card rewards, and enrolling customers in credit card accounts without them knowing or authorizing it.

You may prefer to use Ally or VyStar if any of these scandals worry you, or bank with another institution in Florida.

Why You Should Trust Us: Experts’ Advice on Choosing the Best Financial Institution

We consulted banking and financial planning experts to inform these picks and provide their advice on finding the best financial institution in Florida for your needs.

Insider

When asked what someone should be looking for in a bank, these experts shared the following:

“The No. 1 thing about a checking account,” says Mykail James, MBA, certified financial education instructor, BoujieBudgets.com, is being clear on which provider issues your debit card. MasterCard and Amex aren’t universally accepted.

“I would create a list of what I prioritize most in a bank account,” says Sophia Acevedo, certified educator in personal finance, banking reporter, Personal Finance Insider. That will be different for everyone; perhaps it’s the ability to waive fees, or maybe you want to earn significant interest on your savings.

“How can that bank grow with you?” asks Tania Brown, certified financial planner at SaverLife. A single 25-year-old has very different needs from a 40-something who does an IRA rollover or wants professional help with their money.

Make sure you know “how onerous the transfer process is,” to transfer money in and out of your account, says Roger Ma, certified financial planner with lifelaidout® and author of “Work Your Money, Not Your Life”. How long does it take? How easy is it to sync with your other accounts?

Methodology: How Did We Choose the Best Banks in Florida?

Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that “best” is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the clear benefits of a financial product or account — a high APY, for example — we outline the limitations, too. We spent hours comparing and contrasting the features and fine print of various products so you don’t have to.

We looked at the banks and credit unions with the most branches in the state. Then we zeroed in on those that offered appealing features, like sign-up bonuses or high interest rates. None of the biggest banks in Florida paid high rates on savings accounts, so we chose an online bank, Ally, as our top choice for a savings account.

For the best credit union, we chose one that is easy for Florida residents to join and has branches in multiple parts of the state.

See our full ratings methodology for checking, business checking, savings, and money market accounts »

Read the original article on Business Insider
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