Best Banks in Minnesota 2019

The Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota could also be called the land of 1,000 banks. With over 1,000 different bank locations throughout the state, deciding on the right bank for you might be difficult. We've looked over the terms and conditions at dozens of different institutions to determine which banks in Minnesota provide the most convenient branch access, favorable fees and the strongest interest rates.

Best Free Checking: TCF Bank

Consider this if you want a no-fee checking account with great branch access.
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TCF Bank's Free Checking account is the top free checking account as it is only truly free checking account available from a major Minnesota bank. This account offers no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirements and a low minimum opening deposit of $25.00. This account has all the standard features, such as online and mobile banking, online bill pay and even has an advanced RFID, chip-enabled debit card that is secure and allows for contactless payments.

Although TCF Bank has more than 90 branches across Minnesota, most of the branches are around the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, with only five branches outside of the Twin Cities.

Best Access to Branches: Wells Fargo

Consider this if you want to bank in person.
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As one of the largest banks in the nation, Wells Fargo's reach is unparalleled in many states—Minnesota included. Although US Bank has only a few less branches, Wells Fargo is more dispersed with a greater number of branches in northern and western Minnesota. Wells Fargo offers a variety of financial products for individuals and small businesses.

The Everyday Checking Account is a solid choice, with features such as 24/7 customer service, online and mobile banking, and budgeting tools. In order to open the account, you need an initial deposit of at least $25.00 and you’ll need to maintain a $1,500 daily minimum balance, have direct deposits totaling over $500 or use your debit card at least 10 times per month in order to waive the monthly fee of $10.00.

Best Checking for Students: TCF Bank

Consider this if you're a college student under 25.
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TCF Bank is a top tier bank for Minnesotans of all ages with its Teen Checking and Free Student Checking accounts. Teens as young as 14 are covered under the Teen Checking account, while college students have a feature-rich free checking option with the Free Student Checking account. The Teen Checking account has great features for educating teens on their personal finances, with online courses and parental monitoring, in addition to more standard options such as digital banking and mobile payment options.

TCF Bank is perfectly located for college students in Minnesota, with branches on or near most major campuses. The Free Student Checking account has all the same features as the Free Checking account, it but also comes with the option to receive free paper statements and discounts on check orders.

For both accounts, there is a $25.00 minimum opening deposit requirement but no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirements. Also, if you overdraft by $5 or less, an overdraft fee will not be charged. All in all, these accounts are a great first step toward financial independence.

Best Banks for Savings in Northern Minnesota: American Bank of the North

Consider this if you're looking for a savings account with a high interest rate.
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American Bank of the North stands out as one of the best banks for savings in Northern Minnesota, offering a combination of decent branch coverage alongside some of the highest interest rates in the region. The All American Savings account offers an interest rate of 0.25% APY across all balances, but the $10.00 monthly fee is waived if your account's average daily balance is $50 or more.

Best Banks for Savings in Southern Minnesota: Minnwest Bank

Consider this if you're looking for a savings account with a high interest rate.
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Located in many regions throughout southern Minnesota, Minnwest Bank offers more branches than American Bank of the North, with 25 brick-and-mortar branches. Minnwest also offers a high APY of 0.10% across all balances on its Thrift Savings account and an APY of up to 0.15% on balances over $30,000 on its Automatic Savings account.

The Thrift Savings account has a $50.00 opening minimum deposit and a $5.00 service fee, which is waived by maintaining a $50 average daily balance. Although there are no monthly fees, no opening minimum and no minimum balance requirements for the Automatic Savings account, you do need to set up an automatic transfer with a minimum of $25 per month.

Best Banks for Small Business: US Bank

Consider this if you need easy-to-access free business checking.
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US Bank is a leading bank for its physical branch presence that small-business owners need, with over 140 branches throughout Minnesota. With three different tiers of business checking options, a greater selection of loan types than Wells Fargo and a wide range of financial products, US Bank stands out from the rest of the banks in Minnesota in providing a comprehensive set of small-business checking accounts.

The Silver Business Package has no monthly fee or a minimum balance but only allows 150 free transactions per month and a max cash deposit of $2,500.00. Any additional transactions cost $0.50 per transaction per transaction or $100 deposited. This is solid for a free business checking account, but if you're looking for a higher transaction and deposit limit, US Bank also offers a Platinum Business Package that allows up to 500 free transactions and $20,000 in deposits. For this account, the excess transaction and deposit fee is only $0.40, but there is a $25 monthly fee that can be waived by maintaining an average checking balance of $25,000.

Summary of Best Banks in Minnesota

When researching the right bank for you, you may have to make trade-offs to suit your banking preferences. You can use this guide as a reference point as you continue researching the right bank for you. If banking in person is not a high priority for you, then you may wish to check options such as online banks.

Best For…Bank NameMonthly FeeFeatures
Free CheckingTCF Bank$0Opening deposit requirement is only $25
Branch AccessWells Fargo$0 - $30Most branches in Minnesota
Checking for StudentsTCF Bank$0No monthly fee for students under 25
Savings in the NorthAmerican Bank of the North$10Earn interest on any balance
Savings in the SouthMinnwest Bank$5Earn interest on any balance
Small BusinessUS Bank$0No monthly fee and comprehensive small business services

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.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.