Best Banks in Houston 2019

There are over 800 major and local banks across the city of Houston, which can make it difficult to find the best bank for you. We studied bank account fees, interest rates and branch accessibility across Houston and found a number of strong options for you to consider based on your financial needs.

Compare Bank Account Rates and Features

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Best for Checking: BBVA Compass Bank

BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking
BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking

Consider this if you prefer no monthly fees over lots of functions.

Monthly Fee $0.00
Balance to Waive Fee $0
Opening Deposit $25.00

Our top choice for the best checking account in Houston is Compass Bank's Free Checking, which is ideal for consumers looking for a free no-frills checking account. There are no monthly fees, and the bank only requires a $25 minimum deposit to open the account. The opening minimum requirement is similar across the major banks, but Compass Bank is the only bank with a checking account with no monthly fee.

Not only does Compass Bank have a great free checking account with features such as unlimited check writing and free paper statements that often cost extra, but it is also convenient to access, with over 40 branches throughout Houston. Further convenience comes from its award-winning mobile banking app, which allows you to do most banking functions from your phone.

Best Branch Access: Chase Bank

Chase Total Checking
Chase Total Checking

Consider this if having convenient branch access is important to your banking.

Monthly Fee $12.00
Balance to Waive Fee $1,500
Opening Deposit $0.00
More Details
  • Enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit.
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches.
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Apply online in minutes.
  • Open your account online now.
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.

Chase Bank makes the cut as one of the most convenient banks in Houston with over 140 branch locations, Chase Bank offers many financial products, such as the Chase Total Checking account. This account has an easy-to-waive monthly fee relative to other national banks. Another unique advantage of Chase Bank is its current bonus offer for new first-time customers, who can earn $200 for opening a Total Checking account and have direct deposits of over $500 or more, and they can earn $350 when opening a savings account with a minimum balance of $10,000 as well.

There is a monthly fee of $12.00, which can be waived by maintaining a minimum balance of $1,500 or by making direct deposits of at least $500 each month. This monthly fee is standard across most major banks, as are the waiver requirements.

Best for Students: Chase Bank

Chase College Checking
Chase College Checking

Consider this if you need a student account that's accessible and easy to convert into a full checking account later on.

Monthly Fee $6.00
Balance to Waive Fee $5,000
Opening Deposit $0.00
More Details
  • Get $100 as a new Chase checking customer when you open a Chase College Checking(SM) account, enroll in paperless statements and complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of account opening.
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches
  • No Monthly Service Fee for up to 5 years if you're a student between the ages of 17-24.
  • Deposit checks from virtually anywhere, anytime, just by taking a photo with the Chase Mobile® app.
  • Send and receive money in moments using Chase QuickPay® with Zelle®

Chase Bank also provides convenient access for most university students studying in Houston, with numerous ATMs and branches near campuses like the University of Houston and Rice University, and over 140 branches throughout Houston. The Chase College Checking account is limited to students who are 17- to 24-years-old, and it provides five years worth of monthly fee waivers while students attend college.

What makes this account stand out is the lower monthly fee, which can also be waived completely after you graduate from college.

Best for Savings: Prosperity Bank

Consider this if you want a no-frills savings account.

APY 0.25%
Minimum Balance to Earn APY $0
Monthly Fee $3.00

Prosperity Bank has the highest savings rate out of any bank in the Houston area. The Prosperity Savings account has an APY of 0.25%, which is higher than the 0.01% major banks such as Chase offer on their savings accounts. The monthly fee of $3 for a Prosperity Savings account is lower than the typical $5 charged by other banks for similar accounts. However, you'll need to deposit at least $200.00 both to open the account and to avoid the monthly fee. Prosperity Bank may offer a strong savings rate, but earning that rate requires a relatively high balance.

In addition, there are actually many credit unions and online banks that offer much higher APYs. Such options offer much more limited branch access but better rates and lower fees. Prosperity Bank has 30 branches throughout Houston, but if there is a nearby credit union where you qualify for membership, it may be the better choice for your savings.

Best for Small Businesses: Comerica Bank

Consider this if you're a small business owner in Houston looking for banking services.

Monthly Fee $0.00
Balance to Waive Fee $0.00
Free Monthly Transactions 75
Excess Transaction Fee Depends on type of transaction
Free Cash Deposit Limit $2,500.00
Excess Cash Deposit Fee $0.18 per $100 deposited

Comerica Bank really stands out by offering a great free Basic Business Checking account. This account has no monthly fee, has up to 75 free transactions and a max cash deposit of $2,500.00. Although the max cash deposit is average, the 75 free monthly transactions certainly beats out the 50 transactions offered by banks like Wells Fargo.

Comerica Bank provides the convenience small-business owners need, with almost 40 branches spread across Houston for local customers to access. Comerica Bank offers three different tiers of business checking for various business sizes and financial products, such as merchant services and loans.

Finding the Right Bank for You

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 online bank options, which usually offer better terms at the expense of branch-access convenience. Finally, take notice of the fine print, which includes a lot of information about fees on services such as overdraft protection and wire transfers, which may make a "free" account more expensive than a premium account that includes those features.

Richard Zhang

Richard is a research analyst who recently graduated from New York University's Stern School of Business with a B.S. in Finance and Sustainable business. During his time at school, he enjoyed learning how business and society intersects. Since graduating, he has enjoyed traveling, cooking, and learning about retirement accounts.

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