North Carolina is known for many things, including the first flight by the Wright Brothers. Though not from North Carolina, these infamous brothers tested their first flight in Kitty Hawk.
If you’re an entrepreneur in North Carolina, the best banks support your efforts to make a better life, just like the Wright Brothers did back in the day. You might even be remembered for your efforts one day.
It doesn’t matter how much or how little money you have. A bank account can help you manage your finances for a better, more stable future.
Did you know that over 50% of unbanked people don’t have enough money to keep in their bank accounts? The good news is that you don’t need a lot of money with the best banks in North Carolina to enjoy the perks of these valuable bank accounts.
In fact, we’ll cover several accounts you can use to boost your finances and put your savings goals back on track. Our list also includes a few welcome bonuses you can take advantage of to earn even more.
Are you ready to learn more about the best banks in North Carolina? Let’s get started!
10 Best Banks in North Carolina
The banks below offer checking and savings accounts you can easily open if you live in North Carolina. Be sure to read the fine print on any deals you come across.
1. Chase Bank
Because it is one of the best national banks, Chase offers several promotions if you open a new account. For example, you can earn up to $200 with a new Chase Total Checking® account if you complete the requirements.
Chase is a member-FDIC bank that allows you to open most accounts online. You can also access Chase’s services nationwide through several thousand branches and ATMs.
Chase offers the High School Checking℠ account for teens aged 13 to 17. Parents or guardians can act as co-owners, but no monthly fees are attached to this account.
You can also open a Chase College Checking℠ account. This account caters to 17 to 24-year-olds who can show proof of student status.
You can easily waive the $6 monthly maintenance fee for up to five years if you’re in college. You can also waive the fee if you have a direct deposit set up or an average daily balance of $5,000 or more.
Earn $200 bonus
Earn $100 bonus
Earn $500 bonus
Earn $3,000 bonus
Earn $100 bonus
Earn $200 bonus
If you’re new to Chase and open a Chase Total Checking® account, you can earn up to a $200 welcome bonus. To complete the requirements for this consumer checking account, set up a direct deposit within 90 days. You’ll receive your bonus within 15 business days.
Earn $100 bonus
A $100 bonus is yours if you open a Chase Secure Banking℠ account and complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days. Once you complete the requirements, you should receive your Chase Secure Banking bonus within 15 days.
Earn $500 bonus
If it’s a business bank account you’re looking for, look no further than the Chase Business Complete Banking℠ account that allows you to earn up to $500 in free money for completing several key requirements.
Earn $3,000 bonus
The Chase Private Client experience unlocks access to lower rates when financing a big purchase and connects you with a private banker and investment advisor whenever you like. Save time and money with better banking benefits and special services, plus a $3,000 welcome bonus.
Earn $100 bonus
Open a Chase College Checking℠ account to earn a $100 bonus. To qualify for this promotion, you’ll need to make at least 10 transactions within the first 60 days between debit card transactions. You’ll receive your bonus within 15 business days.
3. First Citizens Bank
North Carolina hosts fewer than 10 First Citizens Bank branches and offers a free basic checking with its First Citizens Checking Account. This checking account requires a $50 deposit, but you don’t have to have a minimum balance.
You can also waive the monthly fee if you enroll in paperless billing. First Citizens Bank also offers many other checking and savings accounts.
First Citizens Bank was founded in 1898 and serves several North Carolinian communities. The mobile app lets you access this bank’s services and your accounts.
Choose from three checking and two savings accounts with First Citizens Bank. You can also open a money market account or choose from several CDs and credit cards.
Free checking account
Free checking account
Experience hassle-free banking with our free checking account. No fees, no minimum balance requirement, and the convenience of 24/7 digital banking, bill pay, and mobile deposits. Enroll in paperless statements to avoid the monthly fee. Make your life easier with better banking.
Open a First Citizens online savings account for easy access and mobility. Enjoy convenience with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service charges. Earn interest on your daily balance and receive monthly credits with competitive rates.
3. Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank is based in Ohio but has nearly 75 branches in North Carolina. It offers many financial services, including:
Open a Momentum Checking account, and you can get paid up to two days early. You also don’t have to worry about paying a monthly fee or coming up with a minimum balance.
The Express Checking shares this lack of fees. You can also cash your checks and set up direct deposit with this account.
Finally, the Preferred Checking account is geared toward those with $100,000 or more to put into an account. You must visit a physical Fifth Third Bank branch to open this account.
If it’s savings accounts you prefer, Fifth Third Bank’s Momentum Savings offers up to 0.01% APY. You can waive the $5 monthly fee in several ways.
Sign up bonus: $225
Fifth Third Momentum® Banking
Sign up for a Fifth Third Bank checking account to take advantage of their diverse range of products and top-performing mobile app. No hidden fees, No minimum balance. Simply boost your experience with their generous sign up bonus of $225, making Fifth Third a smart choice for your banking needs.
4. Mechanics & Farmers Bank
You can find some of the best checking accounts when you bank with Mechanics & Farmers Bank. This financial institution is historically African-American-owned and was founded in 1907.
Based in Durham, Mechanics & Farmers Bank offers several banking products, including:
- Money market accounts (MMAs)
- Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
- Certificates of deposit (CDs)
- Credit cards
- High-yield savings accounts (HYSAs)
- Financial planning tools
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
- Business banking
You can also use any Wells Fargo ATM for free if you bank with Mechanics & Farmers Bank. Rest assured that FDIC insurance protects your funds through this North Carolinian bank.
You can choose from several accounts when you open a Mechanics & Farmers Bank account. The Dash Checking account is popular because you can earn up to 3% APY on balances below $10,000.
This bank account also gives you up to $15 in out-of-network ATM reimbursements per statement period. However, you’ll need to use your debit card at least 15 times or have at least $350 in your account to earn this reimbursement.
You can also open a Prestige or Interest Account with only $100. These accounts let you earn interest on your checking account balance.
However, Mechanics & Farmers Bank offers several savings accounts targeted to specific groups. You can open a Golden Years savings account, an account geared towards youth, or a Holiday Savings Account.
Mechanic & Farmers Bank’s basic Statement Savings account comes with a $6 monthly fee. However, you can waive that fee if you have at least $200 in your account daily and make a $100 opening deposit.
5. First National Bank
Though First National Bank calls Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home, it has expanded to seven other states. You can open multiple types of accounts at First National Bank, from checking and savings to personal loans, lines of credit, and CDs.
First National Bank was founded in 1864. It offers nearly 90 branches for customers who prefer to visit a physical location.
You can also visit First National Bank online or through the mobile app. Its standard savings account has unlimited check writing and comes with a debit card, but you won’t pay a monthly maintenance fee or minimum deposit.
You can also open a First National Bank FirstRate Savings account. Keep at least $500 in the account to waive the $5 monthly fee.
You’ll only earn up to 0.05% APY with this savings account. However, First National Bank’s CDs offer 3.5% APY, and its money market accounts come in at around 0.4% APY.
6. Ally Bank
Online-only banks are taking the financial world by storm, and Ally Bank is no different. This bank has no physical branches but offers customers higher interest rates and other great perks.
Open a money market account, certificate of deposit, IRA, checking, or savings account with this online-only bank, and you won’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees or minimum opening deposits. You can also earn up to 4% APY on top savings accounts.
Ally Bank offers both a website and a mobile app you can download to access your financial accounts. You can also use Zelle and a network of 55,000 ATMs to manage your finances.
With Ally Bank, you can get up to $10 per statement period for out-of-network ATM costs. Plus, interest is compounded daily on all balances, which are FDIC-insured.
Ally Bank lets you earn 0.01% APY on its Interest Checking Account. You can also set up several savings “buckets” to achieve a savings goal.
7. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo might be one of the largest banks in the U.S., but it still offers perks that North Carolina inhabitants can use. There are 640 branches and 1,200 ATMs available, and you can use Zelle to send and receive money with your Wells Fargo account.
Most Wells Fargo accounts have a monthly maintenance fee you can waive by meeting specific criteria. Minimum deposit requirements vary, but they’re often around $25.
You can earn up to 0.15% APY with a long-term Wells Fargo CD. Savings accounts earn up to 0.01% APY, which may not be competitive with online-only banks.
8. Truist Bank
If you’re looking for some of the best money market accounts, Truist Bank offers several to choose from. This bank was formed in 2019 when SunTrust Bank and BB&T merged.
Headquartered in Charlotte, Truist Bank has almost 300 locations in North Carolina alone. However, you should note that this bank’s customer service is unavailable on Sundays.
Choose from two checking accounts with Truist Bank. The Truist One Checking Account doesn’t earn interest, but you can waive the $12 monthly fee if you have at least $550 direct deposited.
Truist also offers a Negative Balance Buffer that loans you up to $100 if you overdraft by that much. You can also open a Truist Bank savings account with a $50 minimum and waive the $5 monthly fee with a $300 daily balance or link it to your Truist checking account.
Truist Bank offers money market accounts, debit cards, CDs, credit cards, auto loans, investing, mortgages, financial planning, and personal loans. Some accounts may not have overdraft fees.
9. Bank of America
Bank of America (sometimes called “BofA”) runs several yearly promotions. You can make a lot of money from taking advantage of these Bank of America promotions, especially considering that most offers are easy to complete.
Opening an account with BofA is easy. Bank of America is one of several banks that don’t require Social Security numbers if you have another form of identification.
Most of BofA’s checking accounts bear the name “Advantage,” such as the Advantage Plus Banking account. Most accounts require $100 to deposit into the account immediately.
These checking accounts also offer up to $100 when you deposit $1,000 or more. Visit Bank of America’s website to learn more about these requirements.
BofA hosts several thousand branches and ATMs nationwide, including in North Carolina. You can also bank with BofA through your smartphone.
While Bank of America savings accounts don’t offer a competitive APY, the Keep the Change program lets you round up your purchases to increase your savings. You can also waive monthly maintenance fees with a $500 minimum balance.
10. PNC Bank
PNC Bank ranks sixth largest in North Carolina, behind a few other national banks. It offers low interest rates and Virtual Wallet accounts to help you manage the finances of life.
Most PNC Bank savings accounts require a $25 minimum deposit. You can waive the monthly fee if you:
- Are younger than 18 years old
- Connect your savings and checking accounts
- Maintain a $300 daily balance
With a PNC Bank Virtual Wallet account, you can pay your bills, receive notifications about pending overdrafts, and track your deposits. You can also earn several welcome bonuses, many of which are for the Performance Select Checking account.
For example, if you open an account by June 30, you can earn between $50 and $400. Just deposit $5,000 or more within 60 days of opening your account.
You can also use PNC Banks’ Growth account to earn up to 0.03% APY on your savings account balance. Use the Reserve checking account to earn interest as well, but only at 0.01% APY.
Which banks in North Carolina offer fee-free checking?
First Citizens Bank offers a fee-free checking account you can open. If you sign up for paperless billing, you can waive monthly maintenance fees.
What do you need to open a bank account in North Carolina?
You need proof of identification and potentially an opening deposit to open a bank account in North Carolina. Guidelines and requirements will vary depending on your chosen bank.
What are some of the best banks in North Carolina?
Some of the best banks in North Carolina include PNC Bank, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, Fifth Third Bank, and First National Bank. These banks offer several accounts to choose from, including checking, savings, and money market accounts.
Better Banking in the Southeast
Living in North Carolina can be a rewarding and memorable experience. The best banks support your financial dreams and help you accomplish your life goals.
We hope this article on the best banks in North Carolina helps you to find one that best suits your needs. When you have a solid bank behind you so you can better manage your money, there’s no telling what you can achieve.
Many banks on our list offer valuable accounts you can use daily to work toward a financial goal. You can also speak to several representatives for the advice you need moving forward.
The door is open wide to set up a new bank account and start fresh. Which of the best banks in North Carolina will you partner with?