We researched account fees, interest rates and branch accessibility across Hawaii's banks to find the most consumer-friendly institutions. We found a range of bank options that stand out in different areas so that you can find one that suits your financial needs.
Best Free Checking: Territorial Savings Bank
Our top bank for a free checking account, Territorial Savings Bank, has been in Hawaii since the early 1920s and has grown to 30 locations across Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. However, most of the branches are located Oahu, with only one branch on Kauai, three branches on Maui and two branches on the Big Island. Although the branch count is not as numerous as the Bank of Hawaii, Territorial Savings Bank offers a great checking account option through its aptly named Hawaii's Best Checking.
This account requires $50.00 to open and offers free checking, free checks, a rewards debit card, and it earns interest, all with a very easy-to-waive monthly fee of $4.00. This fee can be waived through maintaining a balance of $100. Other standard options such as online and mobile banking are also included in this account, but what makes it stand out is the fact that it earns interest, which no other bank in Hawaii offers on a free checking account.
Best Branch Access: Bank of Hawaii
Bank of Hawaii has the best branch presence out of any bank in Hawaii, with 64 branches across six of the eight main islands. It also has the most accounts, customers, branches and ATMs out of any financial institution in Hawaii. Not only does the Bank of Hawaii lead in most branches as a whole, but it has the most branches on each island it’s located on except for Kauai, where First Hawaiian Bank has more branches. Bank of Hawaii also offers the widest range of services from personal and private banking to small-business and commercial banking.
The Bank of Hawaii offers three checking accounts—two traditional checking accounts and an online-only checking account. Each of these checking accounts has its own pros and cons. The Convenience Checking account does not have a monthly fee but has a higher opening minimum of $100.00 and overdraft fees.
The other accounts include the online checking account called EASE, which offers a lower opening deposit requirement of only $25.00, no overdraft fees and no monthly fees, but it only offers banking through the bank’s "Bankoh" phone, online or mobile platforms. Lastly, the Personal Money Management Checking account also has an opening minimum of $100.00, but you need to maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 in order to waive the monthly fee of $8.00. However, this account offers interest on your balance.
Best for Students: Central Pacific Bank
Central Pacific Bank is the top bank for Hawaiian students for having the most branches near Hawaiian universities. Furthermore, this bank provides some solid perks like a Platinum Debit Mastercard, which offers travel assistance, medical assistance, roadside assistance and identity theft protection among other benefits. Not only is this great for adventurous students who may need assistance on their travels, but Central Pacific Bank also offers an optional package that allows for ATM-fee refunds on any out-of-network ATMs in the U.S.
The Value Checking account offered by Central Pacific Bank offers typical services, such as online and mobile banking, mobile deposits and online bill pay. This account has no opening deposit requirement, and there is no monthly fee unless you request paper statements, which are $3 a month. This is standard across banks in Hawaii, which only typically charge fees on premium accounts.
Best for Savings: Territorial Savings bank
The Territorial Savings Bank stands out for one of the highest APYs in the state, but also for its great checking account. Having your savings and checking account in the same bank is convenient for managing your multiple accounts. The bank offers an APY of 0.25% across all balances on most accounts but can reach as high as 0.50% on the Student Savings account when attached to a Student Checking account.
Territorial Savings Bank has a few savings accounts with high interest rates across all balances, low opening deposit requirements of $10.00, and low minimum balance requirements of $0.00 to waive the $4.00 monthly fee. Not only are the rates higher than other banks, but the requirements to open an account and waive fees are lower.
Best for Small Business: American Savings Bank
American Savings Bank is the best bank for small businesses through their wide range of products for small businesses at 60 branches across Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, Kauai and Molokai. Not only does American Savings Bank provide convenience in its branch access as the third largest bank in Hawaii, but it offers better terms on its Biz Classic Checking account than any other bank.
The Biz Classic Checking account offers a low opening deposit requirement of $100 and no monthly service fee. This account includes up to 25 free transactions and up to $10,000.00 in cash deposits a month for free. Any transactions after the initial 25 costs $0.50 per transaction, and any additional cash deposited after $10,000.00 costs $0.15 per $100 deposited. Although the 25 free transactions is low compared to other free business checking accounts across the nation, it is above average in Hawaii. If your business handles a higher amount of transactions, you may wish to look at the higher-tier accounts at American Savings Bank.
Summary of the Best Banks in Hawaii
Deciding on the right bank account will depend on your personal needs and preferences. There are quite a few banks to look through and even more bank account options, so we recommend that you do your own research to identify what you want in a bank. This list can provide you a baseline to compare any other competitive accounts you may find as you research. If banking in person is not a high priority for you, then you may wish to check options, which usually offer better terms at the expense of branch access convenience.
|Free Checking||Territorial Savings Bank||$6||Offers interest|
|Branch Access||Bank of Hawaii||$0 - $8||Most branches in Hawaii|
|Checking for Students||Central Pacific Bank||$0||Good branch access across Oahu|
|Savings||Territorial Savings Bank||$4||Earn interest on any balance|
|Small Business||American Savings Bank||$0||No monthly fee and comprehensive small business services|