Best Banks in Oregon 2019

Oregon has over 1,000 bank branches throughout the state. With many major banks to choose from, finding the right bank for you might be difficult. We looked at bank account fees, interest rates, and branch networks across the Beaver State to help you figure out which bank best suits your financial needs.

Best Free Checking: Umpqua Bank

Embark Checking
Embark Checking

Consider this if you want a free checking account with convenient bank access across the state.

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

As a bank founded in Oregon, Umpqua provides one of the best free checking accounts for Oregonians. There are over 100 branches across Oregon and more than 300 branches across the Pacific coast,providing convenient access wherever you are on the West Coast.

The Embark Checking Account only requires only $0.00 to open, has no monthly maintenance fees and offers all the standard features. Although the $25 opening requirement is standard across other major banks, the other banks require you to meet difficult requirements to waive monthly fees of $10 or more. This account further stands out due to benefits such as a free savings account if it is linked by deposit to your checking account or ATM fee rebates if your average account balance is over $2,500.

Best Branch Access: U.S. Bank

US Bank Silver Checking
US Bank Silver Checking

Consider this if you want to bank in person regardless of which city you're in.

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

U.S. Bank has almost 200 banks in Oregon, almost twice as many branches as Wells Fargo, the state's second-largest bank. Although most branches are centered around cities such as Portland, Salem and Eugene, there are a few branches in Eastern Oregon where no other major banks are located.

U.S. Bank offers a variety of financial products and services both individuals and businesses. The Silver Checking Account is a standard account that has a $6.95 monthly fee, which is waivable by opening a money market account and setting up a direct deposit of $1,000 a month. The monthly fee of $6.95 is lower than other major banks such as Chase Bank or Wells Fargo. U.S. Bank's checking accounts’ other requirements and features are very similar to the other major banks, so if you prefer the convenience of banking in person no matter which city you're in, U.S. Bank is your best choice.

Best Checking for Students: KeyBank

Key Student Checking
Key Student Checking

Consider this if you are a student under 24.

Monthly Fee $5.00
Balance to Waive Fee $0
Opening Deposit $50.00

KeyBank may not be the most accessible bank for people outside of Oregon's cities, but branches can be found close to Oregon's major colleges. KeyBank branches can be found close to Portland State University, University of Oregon and Oregon State University. On top of offering close branches, KeyBank reimburses up to $6 of non-KeyBank ATM surcharges, which provides the flexibility students need in their busy lives.

KeyBank's Student Checking Account has a minimum opening deposit of $50.00, which is higher than the $25 other major banks such as Chase require. On top of that, there is a monthly fee, which is rarely seen in student checking accounts. However, this fee can be easily waived by making at least five transactions a month. Debit card transactions, deposits, withdrawals and bill payments are all considered qualifying transactions.

Best Savings: CIT Bank

Consider this if you want the highest savings rate in the country.

APY 1.85%
Minimum Balance to Earn APY $100.00
Monthly Fee $0.00

Most banks in Oregon do not offer competitive savings rates, and money market accounts that do offer strong rates have high maintenance costs. As a result, we decided to look at online banks like CIT Bank, which lacks a physical brick-and-mortar presence but offers higher interest rates. By choosing an online bank, you sacrifice the ability to bank in person in exchange for fewer fees and higher interest rates. To learn more about online banks, read our article on online banks here.

CIT Bank offers one of the highest savings account interest rates of any bank in the nation, online or traditional. The money market account offers an interest rate of 1.85% across all balances, only requires $100.00 to open and has no monthly fees. The drawback to CIT Bank is the lack of a checking account option, which can be inconvenient if you're used to banking on a single platform or like to transfer money quickly. This is similar to other online banks with high-yield savings offers, such as Marcus and Synchrony. If you prefer banking in person, there are solid local options in banking unions and local banks.

Best for Small Businesses: Wells Fargo

Consider this if you need easy-to-access free business checking.

Monthly Fee $10.00
Balance to Waive Fee $500.00
Free Monthly Transactions 50
Excess Transaction Fee $0.50 per transaction
Free Cash Deposit Limit $3,000.00
Excess Cash Deposit Fee $0.50 per $100 deposited

We found Wells Fargo best for small businesses due to the variety of financial products it offers for small-business owners. This includes three different types of business checking accounts and many different types of loans across almost 120 locations throughout Oregon. Although Wells Fargo has recently made the news for a long list of questionable practices, the bank is currently going through substantial internal change and regulatory oversight to prevent future abuses.

Wells Fargo's Simple Business Checking account is easy to open—opening requirements and fee waivers are relatively low, but the number of free transactions and max cash deposit is low as well. Wells Fargo stands out for its large variety of loans and its branch presence, which gives small-business owners convenient access to deposit cash and conduct other banking services. This account requires a minimum deposit of $25 and a monthly fee of $10 that can be waived with an average balance of $500. This account includes 50 free transactions and $3,000.00 of cash deposits each month. Other major banks such as U.S. Bank offer as much as 150 free transactions and roughly the same amount of cash deposit for a similar account.

Summary of the Best Banks in Oregon

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.

Best For…Bank NameMonthly FeeFeatures
Free CheckingUmpqua Bank$0Opening deposit requirement is only $25
Branch AccessUS Bank$7-$18Most branches in Oregon
Checking for StudentsKeyBank$5Perks for students and easy-to-waive fee
SavingsCIT Bank$0Highest savings rate across all balances
Small BusinessWells Fargo$10Low monthly fee and comprehensive small business services
Richard Zhang

Junior Research Analyst

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