Did you know that Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state by area? At only 48 miles long and 37 miles wide, it hosts over 1 million residents who don’t actually live on an island.
Rhode Island is known for several things, including fine jewelry. If you’ve never had coffee milk before, it’s definitely worth doing as the Romans (or the Rhode Islanders) do.
This small state is also home to Brown University and the oldest bar in the nation. The White Horse Tavern opened in 1673 and continues to serve Rhode Island residents.
Just because Rhode Island has a long history doesn’t mean you have to bank like they did in the old days. Instead, you can do like 78% of American adults do and bank online or through a mobile app.
In fact, the best banks in Rhode Island offer in-person, online, and mobile banking. They also offer superior products and services that make banking this century a breeze.
Our list below includes several Rhode Island banks that have made their mark in the history books. These banks offer everything from personal and business accounts to retirement and investment accounts you can use to improve your financial situation.
Are you ready to learn more about the best banks in Rhode Island? Let’s get started!
12 Best Banks in Rhode Island
You’ll see a few of the best national banks on this list, but the majority of the best banks in Rhode Island are regional. They offer some of the best accounts Rhode Islanders can open if they want to manage their money better.
Chase offers several promotions you can take advantage of throughout the year. With the Chase Total Checking® account, you can earn up to $200 just for signing up for an account and setting up direct deposit.
This account offers access to more than 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. You can also manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer funds, plan a budget and more — all from your device.
Earn $200 bonus
Many people recognize Chase as a national bank that rivals Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Chase offers various financial products and services, as well as online and mobile banking.
In addition to checking and savings accounts, Chase offers payment processing, credit cards, business accounts, and lines of credit. It’s also known for superior customer service and innovation.
Earn $200 bonus
Earn $100 bonus
Earn $500 bonus
Earn $3,000 bonus
2. Axos Bank
This online-only bank offers everything from checking and savings accounts to money market accounts and CDs. If you’re looking for the best CD rates, online-only banks often reward you with higher rates than traditional banks.
Most Axos Bank accounts come with low to no monthly maintenance fees. You’ll need a minimum opening deposit for most accounts, but the amounts are easily achievable.
The Standard Checking account from Axos Bank doesn’t charge you for overdrafts or non-sufficient funds. You also get a decent APY on your checking account balance and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.
Open an Essential Checking account, and you can get paid up to two days early. The CashBack Checking account lets you earn 1% cash back on select purchases, but you’ll need at least $1,500 in your account to qualify.
Axos Bank also offers checking accounts for teens aged 13 to 17 and seniors over 55. Additional products and services include home loans, personal loans, auto loan refinancing, and business accounts and plenty of Axos Bank promotions to choose from.
$100 new account bonus
A free account with unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. You don’t have to worry about keeping a minimum balance with Axos’ Rewards Checking. As with the bank’s other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees, and all fees charged by domestic ATM operators are reimbursed. Axos doesn’t charge any ATM fees itself.
Open a free account and get paid two days earlier with direct deposit. You don’t have to worry about keeping a minimum balance. As with the bank’s other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees, and all fees charged by domestic ATM operators are reimbursed. Axos doesn’t charge any ATM fees itself.
Best for teens
BN Free Checking from BankNewport is a free checking account you can open with only $5. The account comes without monthly fees and three free months of BN Perks.
BN Perks typically costs $6.95. This service includes free checks, special offers, cashback rewards, free money orders, bill pay, a debit card, and unlimited check writing.
BankNewport also offers two other checking accounts you can open. If you’re looking for a local bank to work with in Rhode Island, BankNewport can be your go-to.
4. BankRI (Bank Rhode Island)
This full-service bank is headquartered in Providence and was founded in 1996. It offers mobile and online banking for three checking accounts, two savings accounts, a money market account, CDs, IRAs, and investment accounts.
Open a Premium Checking account, and you’ll get a Premium Savings account for free. This account includes free money orders, stop payments, and cashier’s checks.
BankRI’s Courtesy Coverage is the equivalent of overdraft protection. If you opt in, the bank will cover your overdrafts, even when you don’t have funds.
You can also use several financial planning calculators on BankRI’s website. This bank offers 20 locations in and around Rhode Island, with 30 ATMs.
5. Bank of America
You don’t need a lot of Bank of America promotions to know that this bank offers a full suite of services you can take advantage of. From checking and savings accounts to money market accounts, business accounts, credit cards, and lines of credit, Bank of America covers nearly every financial product or service.
Bank of America has 27 locations in Rhode Island. Its Advantage savings accounts offer respectable rates, and you can use Zelle to send and receive money.
Many people bank with BofA because it offers so many credit cards. There are 22 to choose from, each with its own perks and rewards.
6. Centreville Bank
Looking for some of the best checking accounts in Rhode Island? Check out Centreville Bank.
This bank has nine locations in Rhode Island and offers many financial services. These include:
- Commercial lines of credit
- Business loans
- Money market accounts
- Secured and unsecured loans
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
Centreville Bank also offers webinars, guides, and calculators you can use to keep your finances on track. It also supports the community with various sponsorships and scholarships.
7. HarborOne Bank
Basic accounts at HarborOne Bank come with no monthly fees and ATM fee refunds. You can also earn interest on your account balance at any one of eight locations in Rhode Island.
HarborOne Bank is headquartered in Massachusetts but offers Rhode Island residents several perks. You can take advantage of several loan opportunities, including:
- Home equity
The Statement Savings account from HarborOne Bank requires $5 to open and a $25 balance to start earning interest. You must have a balance of $200 or more to avoid the monthly fee.
Open an i-Checking account, and you can earn interest if you make the $10 opening deposit. This bank account is specifically designed for online banking.
HarborOneU is a financial education program members can take advantage of. This program offers educational material, webinars, and digital tools to improve your financial education.
While HarborOne Bank offers competitive rates for CDs and IRAs, its savings accounts suffer. However, you can also get discounts on loans if you’re a HarborOne Bank member.
8. Ocean State Credit Union
Formerly known as Coventry Credit Union, Ocean State Credit Union is based in Coventry, Rhode Island. This bank owns four branches in the state and was established in 1950.
With over 23,000 members, it’s easy to see that Ocean State Credit Union is a favorite among Rhode Islanders. Becoming a member is easier than you might think, especially since you only need $5 to open the required Member Share account.
However, you’ll need at least $10 in your account to earn an APY on your balance. Dividends pay quarterly.
This credit union offers a multitude of products and services, including:
- Personal accounts
- Business accounts
- Youth and teen accounts
- Student checking accounts
- Money market accounts
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
- Student loans
- Investment accounts
Ocean State Credit Union includes several financial calculators on its website. From there, you can also access your accounts.
9. PNC Bank
Most banks won’t let you overdraft your account without slapping you with hefty fees. However, PNC Bank is one of a select few banks that let you overdraft.
Many customers find this handy, especially in emergencies. It’s much easier to cover a transaction at the moment and deal with the consequences later than risk having that transaction fall through.
Much of PNC Bank’s physical locations and ATMs are sequestered within the Northeast, which is perfect for Rhode Island residents. You can also use online and mobile banking if you are away from a computer.
PNC Bank focuses on the community with various year-round efforts. Support your local bank by opening an account in Rhode Island.
10. Santander Bank
Santander Bank offers several noteworthy checking accounts. The Student Value Checking account requires $10 to open, but Santander Bank also lets you waive the monthly fees for any savings and money market accounts you open.
Did we mention there’s no minimum balance required? This same lack of a requirement also applies to the Simply Right Checking account.
When you open a Simply Right Checking account, you can waive the $10 monthly fee if you have a qualifying transaction that posts during that statement period. These transactions include:
Basically, as long as you use your Santander account, you don’t have to worry about monthly fees. You can also waive the monthly fees associated with savings and money market accounts if you have a checking account open.
Santander Bank operates over 1,500 branches in the Northeast, with many ATMs in CVS locations. While savings accounts offer low APYs, you can also open various CDs.
11. The Washington Trust Company
In Rhode Island, The Washington Trust Company operates 24 physical locations. The Washington Trust Company offers several services you can use if you’re looking for a new bank.
If you open a free checking account with The Washington Trust Company, you can earn $200 by setting up a direct deposit. Visit this bank’s website for more information.
The Washington Trust Company is also part of the RI Community Lending Program, which deals in mortgages. In addition to giving back to the community, The Washington Trust Company offers money market accounts, loans, credit cards, and wealth management.
When you open a Freedom Checking account, you never have to pay a monthly fee. You can also waive the annual fee for this account in the first year.
Link your new debit card from The Washington Trust Company to your Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, or Google Pay account. This bank also offers peer-to-peer transactions and commercial financial products.
12. Wells Fargo
As one of the largest banks in the U.S., Wells Fargo offers numerous financial products and services. These include:
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Credit cards
- Lines of credit
- Small business loans
- Merchant services
You can access a vast network of branches and ATMs nationwide. Wells Fargo also offers online and mobile banking so you can manage your accounts on the go.
In addition to convenience and accessibility, Wells Fargo also incorporates financial education and resources on its website. You can also contact customer service through various channels to resolve any issues.
How to Choose the Right Rhode Island Bank For You
When choosing the right bank, many people default to the largest banks in the U.S. However, you can find several of the best bank account bonuses and perks at regional and community banks scattered throughout the country.
If you’re unsure which Rhode Island bank to use for your money management, here are a few tips:
- Before looking at features, bonuses, and interest rates, consider what you want in a bank account. Take the time to write down what you want from your new bank and what kind(s) of account(s) you’re looking for.
- As you write down banks on your shortlist, compare fees and interest rates. Note any perks you can potentially earn or receive when opening an account with that bank.
- Research customer reviews. Every business, including banks, has a handful of dissatisfied customers. But if there’s a reoccurring thread, take heed.
- Figure out how convenient and accessible each bank is to you. This includes your current location and any travels you may take nationwide. Online and mobile banking can make a bank more convenient as well.
- Check out any other features a bank might offer, including business accounts, IRAs, and CDs. For example, you should find a bank that offers the best money market accounts to try out this feature specifically.
The good news is that you can easily open another checking account if you aren’t satisfied with your first choice. Keeping multiple checking accounts can be difficult if you’ve got more than a few, but two should help you keep track of your funds without issue.
Providence Bank is considered the oldest bank in Rhode Island. It was established in 1791 and was the fifth bank in the United States.
The Washington Trust Company and BankNewport offer free checking accounts. Many other banks on our list also offer free checking accounts, but you may have to complete activities to waive the monthly fees.
Navigant Credit Union, PGE Federal Credit Union, and Greenwood Credit Union are among some of the best credit unions in Rhode Island. Other superior credit unions in this eastern state include Coastal1 Credit Union and Peoples Credit Union.
The largest bank in Rhode Island is Citizens Bank. This bank has 55 physical locations in Rhode Island alone.
Avoid Becoming a Financial Island With the Best Banks in RI
Living in Rhode Island may feel like you’re secluded in a small space. But that doesn’t mean your banking experience has to mirror being deserted on an island.
We hope this article helped you to see that banking in Rhode Island is easier than you think with the best banks on your side. Choose any banks above, and you’ll find a superior banking experience that lights your financial path.
Some of the best banks in Rhode Island are those you can’t find anywhere else. They bring the perks and services you need to manage your finances well in the state of Rhode Island.
Where in Rhode Island will you open a bank account?