Best Banks in Connecticut 2019

Connecticut residents can choose from more than 50 banks, but only a few provide excellent service and products. We compared fees, interest rates, branch locations, and small business services across the state's largest banks to find which banks offer the best service in the Nutmeg State.

Best Banks for Checking Accounts

The best checking accounts are offered by banks with low fees, convenient online banking systems and accessible branch locations. These banks also tend to offer solid savings accounts and other consumer banking services, such as personal loans and credit cards.

Best for Free Checking: United Bank

United Bank Simple Checking
United Bank Simple Checking

Consider this if your top banking priority is free checking.

Monthly Fee $0.00
Balance to Waive Fee $0.00
Opening Deposit $1.00

United Bank's Simple Checking is the best no-fee checking option for Connecticut residents. The account can be opened with as little as $1, and it charges no monthly maintenance fee. The bank, a regional institution operating in southern New England, also has decent branch accessibility in Connecticut, with 33 branches operating across the state.

United Bank also offers interest-bearing checking accounts, which can be a good option if you carry a high balance. With the Benefits Checking account, you can earn up to 0.03% APY on balances lower than $500, and 0.05% on higher balances. The account can be opened with $50, and the monthly maintenance fee is $15—unless your account balance is more than $2,500 at the end of your statement cycle or you have monthly direct deposits totaling more than $500.

Best Access to Branches: People's United Bank

People's United Bank Plus Checking
People's United Bank Plus Checking

Consider this if you want access to brick-and-mortar locations.

Monthly Fee $12.00
Balance to Waive Fee $1,000
Opening Deposit $25.00

With 150 locations in Connecticut, People's United Bank is the state's most accessible bank for checking accounts. The bank caters to a wide variety of consumers, featuring accounts at the basic, standard and premier levels. All People's United checking accounts include mobile banking, online bill pay and mobile check deposit.

You can open an account with an initial deposit of just $25 with People United's basic checking option, Plus Checking. The account has a monthly service charge of $12—or $10 if you enroll in e-statements—that can be waived if you receive at least one direct deposit into your account each month. With the People's United Premier Advantage Checking account—which has a $30 monthly fee, waived if you have more than $75,000 in total deposits at the bank—you can earn interest on your checking account if you carry a high balance.

Best Checking for Students: Chase Bank

With free student checking and around 50 branches across Connecticut, Chase provides the best checking account for college students in the state. Students aged 17 to 24 can open a Chase checking account with as little as $25 and will not face any monthly fees for five years while in college. Those who open a new Chase College Checking account, make 10 debit transactions and enroll in paperless statements will get $50.

After graduation, Chase charges a $6 monthly fee—unless you make one direct deposit into the account every statement or have a balance of more than $5,000. If you're graduating soon and don't like the idea of paying monthly fees, consider another free checking option, such as United Bank's Simple Checking account. However, Chase remains a good option for graduates due to its national reach—the bank has over 16,000 ATMs and 5,100 branches across the country.

Best Bank for Savings Rates: TD Bank

Consider this if you're just beginning to build savings, or if you want a high yield for a high balance.

APY 0.05%
Minimum Balance to Earn APY $0
Monthly Fee $5.00

TD Bank's two savings accounts cater to Connecticut residents across all income brackets. The TD Bank Simple Savings account has a 0.05% APY and has no opening minimum balance. The account's $5 monthly maintenance fee can be waived if you maintain a $300 minimum daily balance. For higher net worth consumers, the Preferred Savings account yields between 0.10% and 1.00% APY, and its $15 monthly fee can be waived if you maintain a $20,000 minimum balance.

To receive APY rates higher than 0.45%, TD Bank has an incentive program called Rate Bump, which raises the APY when you link a mortgage, home equity loan or credit card to your savings account. While other banks may offer more account options, we recommend TD for its accessibility and its commitment to customer loyalty. And as the fifth largest bank in Connecticut, TD Bank excels in convenient branch access with more than 70 locations in the state.

Minimum Daily Balance to Earn APYStandard APYAPY with Rate Bump
$0.01–$19,999.990.05%0.10%
$20,000–$49,999.990.20%0.50%
$50,000–$99,999.990.35%0.75%
$100,000–$9,999,999.990.50%1.00%
$10,000,000+0.45%0.95%

Best Bank for Small Business: Citizens Bank

Consider this if you want simple business checking, or if you make fewer than 500 transactions per month.

Monthly Fee $0
Balance to Waive Fee $0
Free Monthly Transactions 200
Excess Transaction Fee $0.50
Free Cash Deposit Limit Individual deposits are counted towards 500 transaction limit
Excess Cash Deposit Fee $0.50 per excess transaction

Citizen Bank's free business checking is the best option for Connecticut small business owners. The Clearly Better Business Checking account allows you to make up to 200 monthly transactions without paying a monthly maintenance fee. The account has no minimum balance requirement, opening balance requirement or other service fees. For businesses that make a higher number of monthly transactions, Citizens also offers a Business Advisor Checking package, which includes 500 transactions per month and a $25 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived with a $10,000 balance. Both business checking accounts charge penalty fees for each transaction you make above the monthly limit—50 cents per transaction for Clearly Better Business Checking, and 30 cents per transaction for Business Advisor Checking.

Summary of Best Banks in Connecticut

When you're looking to open a new account, the best option for you will vary according to your needs. There are thousands of account options available on the market today, so we recommend that you do your own research to identify what you want in a bank. As you move through this process, use this guide and the table below to see how other Connecticut banks compare to the ones on our list.

Best For …Bank NameMonthly Fee
Free CheckingUnited Bank$0.00
Checking & Branch AccessPeople's United Bank$12.00
Student CheckingChase Bank$5.00
SavingsTD Bank$15.00
Small Business CheckingCitizens Bank$0.00
Yowana Wamala

Yowana is a product analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in credit cards, rewards programs and travel. He previously covered mortgages, banking and insurance for the website. Yowana graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.

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