Updated April 12, 2022

Safest Banks in the US

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When it comes to storing your money, you want the safest option. Keep reading to learn all about the safest banks in the U.S.

When it comes to your money, the importance of safety and security can't be overstated.

And banks face a variety of threats today: hackers, ransomware, data leaks, and even bank failure.

So, where's the safest bank to keep your money?

Find out which banks are the safest in the U.S. with this guide. Plus, learn what to look for in a bank and how to choose the right one for you.

How many banks have failed? Over 480 banks failed between 2008 and 2013, according to the FDIC.[1]

How to Know if a Bank Is Safe?

Every bank is going to tell you it's safe. After all, their business depends on having your trust, whether they've earned it or not.

But with a little research, you'll be able to judge for yourself.

Here are some things to look for to help you determine whether they're a good place to keep your money.

  • Size: Choosing a big bank will almost always be safer than choosing a smaller one. Bigger banks have more resources, more sources of income, larger reserves, and more options to recover from a loss.

    Most big banks are also older and have more experience in dealing with various challenges. And in the case of a financial crisis, since they serve more customers, they're probably more likely to receive government aid than smaller banks.

  • FDIC insurance: A quick indicator that you're dealing with a legitimate bank. FDIC insurance protects the money you've deposited if something happens to the bank. For credit unions, this role is filled by NCUA Insurance, rather than FDIC.

  • Reviews: While it's not a guarantee of quality, you might take some time to see what other customers are saying about the bank before joining. Check out the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot or similar sites to gauge the reception of the bank.

  • Customer service: Look for banks that are easy to get ahold of at any time of day. Your finances don't operate on a schedule, and they shouldn't make you wait to deal with emergencies. Open lines of communication are a good sign that they're trying to provide good service and not just wring you for every dollar with minimum effort.

  • The Safest Banks List from Global Finance: Global Finance has produced an annual list of the safest banks in the world for the past 30 years. Sadly, not many of them are from the U.S., and those that are don't exactly top the list.

  • Digital security features: The safest banks will employ digital security features like multi-factor authentication, data encryption, timed logout, and fraud notifications. Other valuable security measures that banks can take include:

    • Debit card blocking: This feature lets you remotely disable your debit card in case of fraudulent activity.

    • Guarantee against unauthorized access: The bank agrees to reimburse you for any funds lost to fraudulent activity in your account.

    • EMV chips: The little gold or silver chip you see on the face of most cards. This is safer than swiping, and your bank should offer them on their debit and credit cards.

    • Single-use card numbers: When shopping online, a single-use card number can be the difference between having your info leaked in a future hack or not.

Now that you know what to look for in a safe bank, let's take a look at the safest banks in the U.S.

Safest Banks in the U.S.

Below, review the safest banks in the U.S. Compare them on the metrics we mentioned above, and explore the security features they employ to keep your money safe.

1. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo, founded nearly 100 years ago in 1929, is a multinational bank based in the U.S., with headquarters in San Francisco, CA, and Manhattan, NY.

They operate over 4,900 branches and 12,000 ATMs, and as of 2021 that had $1.9 trillion in assets.

Wells Fargo is one of the "big four" banks in the U.S., which in 2018 held 45% of all consumer deposits.

FDIC Insured: Yes

Security FeaturesDescription
Account AlertsWells Fargo will send you transaction alerts to help you spot suspicious activity on your accounts. Includes purchases online, by phone, and by mail, ATM withdrawals or cash advances, and purchases over amounts you set.
Control TowerTurn on and off cards and digital card numbers, view recurring payments, control third-party access to financial statements, all in one place.
Travel PlansNotify your bank before traveling so they can monitor for suspicious activity.
Turn Your Card On/OffIn case your card is lost or stolen, you can turn off your card, and turn it on again if you recover it. The bank may still allow preset transactions.
Account Access Manager (Small Business)Small business owners can add or revoke access to their business banking accounts.
Two-Factor AuthenticationPrevents unwanted login to your accounts.
Biometric Sign On and Voice VerificationThese help the bank confirm you are who you say you are.

2. JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase, which many people think of simply as Chase, is a bank with a very long history in business, founded over 220 years ago in September 1799.

To date, they have over 4,700 branches, 16,000 ATMs, and $2.61 trillion in assets as of 2021.

Chase is another of the banking big four in the U.S.

FDIC Insured: Yes

Security FeaturesDescription
Account AlertsChase will send you transaction alerts to help you spot suspicious activity on your accounts. If they find you cannot be reached, they may put a temporary hold on your account.
Two-Factor AuthenticationPrevents unwanted login to your accounts. They will employ extra precautions for unrecognized devices.
Controlled AccessChase will require passwords whenever providing your banking information to third-party businesses.
Fraud Prevention ResourcesChase has support teams ready to help you in case you think you've been the victim of fraud.
Data Encryption128-bit encryption protects your banking data.

3. U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank, also referred to as U.S. Bancorp, is large bank based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and currently stands as the fifth-largest banking institution in the U.S. They have over 2,000 branches and operate over 4,800 ATMs across the country, with $558.886 billion in assets as of 2021.

FDIC Insured: Yes

Security FeaturesDescription
Identity AuthenticationU.S. Bank offers a range of methods for authenticating your identity, including one-time passcodes, biometrics, and visual patterns.
Fraud Prevention ResourcesU.S. Bank knows that customers educated on the many ways they might be defrauded are less likely to fall victim to it. They provide a variety of useful resources to help customers practice safe banking habits.
Report Suspicious ActivityCustomers can report suspicious activity on their accounts by phone or email.
Data EncryptionThis prevents unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.

4. PNC Bank

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., a fairly large U.S. bank headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, operates in 27 states across the country. Like many of the banks listed here, PNC has quite a long history, dating back to 1852 when it was founded.

PNC has over 2,600 branches, maintains over 9,500 ATMs, and has $560 billion in assets.

Security FeaturesDescription
Identity AuthenticationPNC offers a range of methods for authenticating your identity, including two-factor authentication and security questions.
Fraud Prevention ResourcesPNC Bank provide a variety of useful educational resources to help customers practice safe banking habits.
Report Suspicious ActivityCustomers can report suspicious activity on their accounts by phone or email.
Data EncryptionThis prevents unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.

5. Citibank

Citibank, a CreditDonkey partner, is the consumer-facing side of the multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, Citigroup, which is another of the big four banks in the U.S.

Citibank is relatively new compared to some of the other banks on this list, only forming in 1998 after a merger between Citicorp and Travelers Group.

Citibank is based in Manhattan, NY, and has over 700 branches in the U.S., with more abroad, and in 2021, Citigroup had $2.314 trillion in assets.

Security FeaturesDescription
Account AlertsCitibank will send you transaction alerts to help you spot suspicious activity on your accounts.
Liability ProtectionCustomers aren't liable for unauthorized transactions on their accounts.
Turn Your Card On/OffIn case your card is lost or stolen, you can turn off your card, and turn it on again if you recover it.
Two-Factor AuthenticationPrevents unwanted login to your accounts.
Data EncryptionThis prevents unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.

6. Capital One

Capital One is a newer bank that has grown immensely in the short time it's been around (it was founded in 1994). It's based in Richmond, VA, and in 2016, it came in fifth behind American Express, Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup as largest issuers of credit cards.

Capital One operates 322 branches and 70,000+ Capital One, Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs across the U.S., and had $381,295 billion in assets as of 2021.

FDIC Insured: Yes

Security FeaturesDescription
Account AlertsCapital One will send you transaction alerts to help you spot suspicious activity on your accounts. You can set up instant purchase alerts to be notified whenever money is spent.
Account MonitoringCapital One will automatically monitor your account for suspicious activity.
Turn Your Card On/OffIn case it's lost or stolen, you can lock your card.
Two-Factor AuthenticationPrevents unwanted login to your accounts.
Data EncryptionThis prevents unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.
Virtual CardsCapital One customers can set up virtual cards for online shopping to avoid using their real card numbers.

7. M&T Bank Corporation

Though M&T Bank Corporation is on the smaller end of the banks on this list, with only $155.1 billion in assets as of 2021. However, it's had an impressive track record since its founding over 150 years ago in 1856.

In every quarter since 1976, this NY-based bank has been profitable, and was one of only two U.S. banks in the S&P 500 Index that didn't lower its dividend during the 2007-08 financial crisis.

Operating primarily in eastern states, M&T has over 700 branches.

FDIC Insured: Yes

Security FeaturesDescription
Account AlertsM&T will send you transaction alerts to help you spot suspicious activity on your accounts.
Account MonitoringM&T will automatically monitor your account for suspicious activity.
Security QuestionsCustomers can set up personalized security questions to protect access to their accounts.
Data EncryptionM&T employs 256-bit encryption to prevent unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.
Report Suspicious ActivityCustomers can report suspicious activity on their accounts by phone.

8. AgriBank

As a member of the U.S. Farm Credit System, AgriBank offers wholesale lending to local farm credit associations across 15 states.

It was formed after the merger between Farm Credit Bank of Saint Louis and Farm Credit Bank of Saint Paul in 1992.

They had over $142 billion in assets in 2021, and AgriBank was ranked number 35 on the list of safest banks from Global Finance in 2021.

FDIC Insured: No. Members of the FCS are not insured by the FDIC.

Security FeaturesDescription
Biometric LoginThrough facial recognition, you can prevent unwanted access to your account.
Two-Factor AuthenticationPrevents unwanted login to your accounts.
Data EncryptionThis prevents unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.

What's the Farm Credit System? The Farm Credit System is a network of farming institutions that are owned by and governed by the customers they serve (in other words, cooperatives).

9. CoBank

CoBank is an agricultural credit bank and a member of the U.S. Farm Credit System, and is based in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Founded in 1989, this bank largely serves agricultural and farm-related businesses, cooperatives, and rural public utilities. They had $170 billion in assets as of 2021.

CoBank was ranked number 44 on the list of safest banks from Global Finance in 2021.

FDIC Insured: No. Members of the FCS are not insured by the FDIC.

Security FeaturesDescription
Two-Factor AuthenticationPrevents unwanted login to your accounts. They also have security questions.
Data EncryptionThis prevents unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.
Positive PayHelps prevent the use of altered or counterfeit checks for those who receive them.
Educational ResourcesCoBank provide a variety of useful educational resources to help customers practice safe banking habits.
Report Unauthorized TransactionsCustomers are able to report any unauthorized transactions by phone.
Fraud WiseThis monthly audio show helps customers learn how to avoid fraud.

10. AgFirst

AgFirst is another agriculturally focused bank, formed by the merger of the Farm Credit Bank of Baltimore and the Farm Credit Bank of Columbia in 1995.

It's a part of the U.S. Farm Credit System and is based in Columbia, South Carolina. They had $36.9 billion in assets in 2021, and AgFirst was ranked number 46 on the list of safest banks from Global Finance in 2021.

FDIC Insured: No. Members of the FCS are not insured by the FDIC.

Security FeaturesDescription
Two-Factor AuthenticationPrevents unwanted login to your accounts. They also have security questions.
Data EncryptionThis prevents unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.
Security TrainingAgFirst team members are provided with security awareness training.

11. Farm Credit Bank of Texas

Farm Credit Bank of Texas is the fourth member of the U.S. Farm Credit System, providing wholesale lending and business services in states like Texas, Alabama, and New Mexico.

As of 2021, they had $33.1 billion in assets, and Farm Credit Bank of Texas was ranked number 47 on the list of safest banks from Global Finance in 2021.

FDIC Insured: No. Members of the FCS are not insured by the FDIC.

Security FeaturesDescription
Data EncryptionThis prevents unwanted third parties from getting access to your information.
Report Unauthorized TransactionsCustomers are able to report any unauthorized transactions by email.

Bottom Line

Finding the right bank for you may seem like a challenging task, but armed with the right information, it doesn't have to be.

Depending on your banking needs, one or more of the banks on this list may be right for you. As some of the safest banks in the U.S., they'll take good care of your money while it's in their custody.

If you need to find a bank that isn't mentioned here, you can always refer back to the list of safest banks from Global Finance,[2] as mentioned towards the top of the article.

References

Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions expressed are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Citi.

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