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'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
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
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 APY||Standard APY||APY with Rate Bump|
Best Bank for Small Business: Citizens Bank
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 Name||Monthly Fee|
|Free Checking||United Bank||$0.00|
|Checking & Branch Access||People's United Bank||$12.00|
|Student Checking||Chase Bank||$5.00|
|Small Business Checking||Citizens Bank||$0.00|