Best Banks in Ohio 2018

There are hundreds of local, regional and national banks that do business in Ohio, but only a select few provide consumers with excellent products and services. To find the best banks in Ohio, we looked at branch accessibility, account fees and interest rates. All of the banks on this list provide affordable accounts, minimal fees and excellent online banking services.

Best Banks for Checking Accounts

The banks with the best checking accounts in Ohio offer account options with low fees, convenient online banking systems and accessible branch locations. Most of these banks offer additional savings—such as fee waivers and interest on checking balances—to consumers who also open savings or money-market accounts.

Best Access to Branches: Huntington National Bank

Consider this if you prefer to do your banking in-person, or if you want free checking.

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

With a total of 511 branches in Ohio, Huntington National Bank provides the best checking account option for consumers who prefer to do their banking in person. The bank has basic, standard and premium checking accounts, and the options allow for online banking, mobile check deposit and online bill pay. The standard and premium accounts for higher net worth individuals earn interest on the account balance and include ATM fee reimbursement at non-Huntington ATMs. However, the one drawback of Huntington checking accounts is that the overdraft fee increases from $23 to $37.50 if you overdraw twice in a year.

Huntington's basic checking account, Asterisk Free Checking, has no monthly maintenance fee and is free to open. The standard account option, Huntington 5 Checking, yields 0.15% interest on all balances and has a $5 monthly fee, which is waived if you have a balance of over $5,000 across your open accounts at the bank. Huntington's premium checking account, Huntington 25 Checking, earns 0.25% interest on your balance and carries a $25 monthly fee that is waived if your balances in the bank's eligible deposit and investment accounts is over $25,000.

Huntington Checking AccountsAsterisk-Free CheckingHuntington 5Huntington 25
Monthly Fee$0$5$25
Min. Balance to Waive Fee$0$5,000$25,000
Daily ATM Limit$400$400$400

Best Checking for Students: Chase Bank

Consider this if you're a college student under 24 years old.

Monthly Fee $6.00
Balance to Waive Fee $5,000
Opening Deposit $25.00

With free checking, modern online banking and nearly 300 branches across Ohio, Chase provides the best checking experience 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 5 years while in college. Additionally, a Chase promotion running through April, 6, 2018 gifts $50 to students who open a new account and enroll in paperless statements.

After graduation, your Chase Student Checking Account will turn into a Chase Total Checking account and carry a $6 monthly fee—unless you have a balance over $5,000. If you're graduating soon and don't like the idea of paying monthly fees, consider a free checking option, such as Huntington's Asterisk-Free account. However, Chase remains a good option for graduates due to its national reach—since the bank has over 16,000 ATMs and 5,100 branches across the country.

Best for Joint Checking Accounts: U.S. Bank

Consider this if you want to open a checking account with your significant other.

Monthly Fee $6.95
Balance to Waive Fee $1,500
Opening Deposit $25.00

US Bank's Silver Checking account is the best option for Ohio couples or families who wish to open a shared checking account. The dual checking and savings account package earns interest, and has no maintenance fee so long as monthly direct deposits between all co-owners on the account are over $1,000, or if the account has an average daily balance over $1,500. US Bank also provides excellent online banking with mobile check deposit and bill pay.

For couples and families who don't want to open a new savings account or who have low direct deposit balances, the Silver Checking account package might not be the best option. Without the deposit or balance minimums, the monthly maintenance fee is $6.95. However, with mortgage discount benefits and savings rates between 0.04% to 0.07%, the Silver Checking account is a great option for financially sound couples looking to plan for their future.

US Bank Silver Checking – Key Features

  • Opening minimum balance: $25
  • Daily ATM limit: $500
  • Daily Debit limit: $1,000
  • Overdraft fee: $36

Best for Savings: PNC Bank

Consider this if if you want an account that rewards you for saving.

Monthly Fee $7.00
Balance to Waive Fee $500
Opening Deposit $25.00

In researching banks across numerous states, PNC Bank's Virtual Wallet consistently emerges as the top savings account option. With three accounts incorporated into one—the "Spend” checking account, the "Reserve” short-term savings account, and the "Growth” long-term savings account—the Virtual Wallet is an excellent money management tool for consumers who value simplicity and online banking. The Wallet also features performance tiers that reward you for growing your savings and building wealth.

In addition to the Virtual Wallet, PNC offers a singular purpose Standard Savings account. This account can be opened with $25 and has no monthly fee if you have a $300 average monthly balance or have $25 automatically transferred to the account every month. As the second largest bank in Ohio, with nearly 350 branches, PNC is a good savings option for those who want to maintain an in-person banking relationship.

Savings APYMonthly FeeFee Waivers
Virtual Wallet0.05%-0.10%$7$500 average monthly balance OR $500 direct deposits OR student status
Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend0.25%-0.35%$15$2,000 average monthly balance OR $2,000 direct deposits
Virtual Wallet with Performance Select0.60%-0.80%$25$5,000 average monthly balance OR $5,000 direct deposits

Best for Small Business: Fifth Third Bank

Consider this if if you're a small business owner in or around one of Ohio's major cities.

Monthly Fee $11.00
Balance to Waive Fee $3,500
Free Monthly Transactions 250
Excess Transaction Fee $0.50
Free Cash Deposit Limit $5,000
Excess Cash Deposit Fee $0.003 per dollar deposited

Fifth Third is a regional midwest bank that provides a full suite of business banking services, including business checking, savings, credit cards and loans. The bank offers three checking account options—Standard, Premium and Elite—all of which have no monthly maintenance fee so long as you maintain a certain balance. The Standard Checking account is the most affordable option for smaller businesses, since it waives the $11 monthly fee if you have $3,500 in deposits, spend $500 a month on your business card, or are a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

With 325 locations in Ohio, Fifth Third is a great option for small business owners in or around the state's big cities—100 branches are in Cincinnati, 40 are in Cleveland, 47 are in Columbus and 25 are in Cleveland. For those who prefer to bank remotely, Fifth Third offers its business customers the option to deposit checks and pay bills online.

Fifth Third Business Checking Accounts

Business StandardBusiness PremiumBusiness Elite
Monthly Fee$11$25$35
Min. Balance to Waive Fee$3,500$10,000$25,000
Monthly Transaction Limit250450650
Monthly Deposit Limit$5,000$10,000$25,000

Summary of Best Banks in Ohio

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 Ohio banks compare to the ones on our list.

Best For…Bank NameMonthly FeeFeatures
Checking & Branch AccessHuntington Bank$0 - $25Over 500 branches in OH
Checking for StudentsChase$0No monthly fee for students under 24
Joint CheckingUS Bank$0 - $8.950.04% APY on balances below $50,000; no monthly fee with direct deposits over $1,000
SavingsPNC Bank$70.01% - 0.80% APY with Virtual Wallet account package
Small BusinessFifth Third Bank$0 - $35Free or low-cost business checking with savings and loan options
Yowana Wamala

Yowana is a Junior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in travel and rewards programs. He previously covered mortgages and banking for the website before graduating from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.

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