Best Small Banks by State 2022

America's Best Banks 2022

Over the past 18 months, COVID has upended all aspects of American life, including how we bank. And that, in turn, has shifted what we look for in the place where we park our money and which institutions serve us best.

Take savings, for instance. While the personal savings rate is down from the stratospheric high of 33.8 percent recorded early in lockdown last year, Americans are still setting aside cash at historically high rates: nearly 10 percent recently. But just as our need to earn a decent return on our savings has rarely been higher, many banks have slashed rates; the average savings account pays out just 0.06 percent now, and many of the largest banks pay nothing at all.

"Interest rates are even lower than in the seven years following the Great Recession when the Federal Reserve also dropped rates to around zero," says Ken Tumin, founder of the bank comparison site

That makes it all the more important to seek out institutions that pay a decent rate, while also keeping fees to a minimum, so you keep more of what you earn. In that respect, there's a silver lining to current low-rate conditions as banks look for other ways to woo new customers. "Some are lowering fees, eliminating maintenance fees or offering better overdraft policies," Tumin says.

Also in demand these days: institutions that make it easy to bank remotely. Nationwide, 41 percent of Americans are now digital-only bank customers, J.D. Power reports, up from a third pre-COVID. About four in 10 who made the switch during the pandemic say they won't go back, says Paul McAdam, senior director of banking intelligence at J.D. Power.

To keep online users happy, banks are improving apps and adding features, like budgeting tools, options to round up debit card transactions to the nearest dollar to boost balances, and offering advice to help you reach financial goals like improving your credit score. "Banks are focusing on digital tools that help customers improve their financial wellness," says McAdam. "A lot of this work began before the pandemic, but over the past year or so, the industry has accelerated their efforts."

To help you make sense of the new banking environment and find an institution that best suits your needs, Newsweek has partnered with LendingTree, the online marketplace and comparison site for financial services, for our annual Best Banks rankings. We assessed thousands of FDIC-insured banks and credit unions, and the savings and checking accounts they offer, based on more than 50 different factors to land on best-in-class options in 26 different categories. One or more of these winning banks may be the perfect choice for you.

Kerri Anne Renzulli, Senior Reporter

AwardDescriptionMetroStateWinnerBranchesMore Info
N/AAlabamaUnited Bank18
N/AAlaskaNorthrim Bank17
N/AArizonaMission Bank3
N/AArkansasFirst Security Bank78
N/ACaliforniaFarmers & Merchants Bank of Central California31
N/AColoradoBank of Colorado43
N/AConnecticutIon Bank20
N/ADelawareCommunity Bank Delaware2
N/ADistrict of ColumbiaCity First Bank of D.C.1
N/AFloridaFirst Federal Bank23
N/AGeorgiaPinnacle Bank24
N/AHawaiiCentral Pacific Bank31
N/AIdahoFirst Federal Savings Bank of Twin Falls13
N/AIllinoisMorton Community Bank43
N/AIndianaGerman American Bank50
N/AIowaMidWestOne Bank32
N/AKansasEmprise Bank33
N/AKentuckyRepublic Bank & Trust Company28
N/ALouisianaFirst Guaranty Bank27
N/AMaineBar Harbor Bank & Trust22
N/AMarylandHebron Savings Bank13
N/AMassachusettsBrookline Bank30
N/AMichiganChoiceOne Bank31
N/AMinnesotaDeerwood Bank13
N/AMississippiThe Citizens National Bank24
N/AMissouriSouthern Bank37
N/AMontanaTrailWest Bank14
N/ANebraskaUnion Bank & Trust Company31
N/ANevadaValley Bank of Nevada2
N/ANew HampshireBank of New Hampshire22
N/ANew Jersey1st Constitution Bank26
N/ANew MexicoFirst American Bank15
N/ANew YorkTrustco Bank88
N/ANorth CarolinaHomeTrust Bank20
N/ANorth DakotaAmerican Bank Center16
N/AOhioThe Farmers National Bank36
N/AOklahomaArmstrong Bank22
N/AOregonCitizens Bank15
N/APennsylvaniaMid Penn Bank39
N/ARhode IslandThe Washington Trust Company22
N/ASouth CarolinaFirst Palmetto Bank23
N/ASouth DakotaFirst Dakota National Bank18
N/ATennesseeReliant Bank27
N/ATexasHappy State Bank60
N/AUtahCache Valley Bank20
N/AVermontUnion Bank14
N/AVirginiaBlue Ridge Bank31
N/AWashingtonHomeStreet Bank36
N/AWest VirginiaClear Mountain Bank10
N/AWisconsinNorth Shore Bank44
N/AWyomingBank of Jackson Hole10


To identify America's Best Banks and Bank Accounts, Newsweek worked in partnership with LendingTree, which culled candidates from an initial universe of more than 2,625 FDIC-insured financial institutions (credit unions were excluded from consideration for overall bank winner categories but included for individual account winner categories). LendingTree applied filters to create a short list of candidates in each category, based on the most salient features for each bank type or account, supplied the data and made recommendations for scoring. The final proprietary ranking system was developed by Newsweek, based on the factors that would be most important to consumers. Data sources for the project included:, information published by each bank or credit union, quarterly call reports filed with the FDIC by banks or NCUA by credit unions, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints and mobile app reviews.

Best Bank winners were selected from among 2,508 financial institutions and assessed on more than 30 separate factors, covering the overall health of the bank, customer service performance and features, digital and branch presence, account and loan options, interest rate offerings and fees. Among the specific data collected: the average service charges collected on deposit accounts during the first quarter of 2021; average interest paid on deposit accounts during the first quarter of 2021; the number of complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and how quickly the bank responded, the kinds of loan and account products offered; mobile app scores; the kinds of customer service features offered; overall health of the bank as determined by; and, depending on the Best Bank accolade, branch presence.

For Best Bank state winners, the Best Big Bank in each state needed to have at least one branch per 100,000 residents and at least $10 billion in assets, while the Best Small Bank in each state needed less than $10 billion in assets and had to be among the five banks with the most branches in the state. For Best Big Bank in Every Major Metro area, a bank must have at least one branch per 100,000 residents in the analyzed location. Financial institutions needed at least one branch to win for best checking, savings and traditional checking accounts. Only banks without a single physical branch were considered for the online bank categories. For Best Customer Service, a bank needed to have responded to at least 97 percent of complaints filed with the CFPB in a timely fashion to be considered; other features such as languages provided on the bank's website and app as well as banking and credit card service lines were also evaluated.

Individual Best Bank account winners were selected from a pool of more than 2,625 financial institutions that included 125 credit unions open to anyone to join. Criteria included: current interest rate; average interest rate over the past year; minimum deposit required to open an account, the monthly service fee charged to maintain the account and how easily it could be avoided; fees charged for nonsufficient funds, overdraft, or/and overdraft protection; amount charged to use an out-of-network ATM; amount refunded for out-of-network ATM usage; cost to replace a debit card; whether requirements like online banking or debit card usage must be met to get top rates; the bank's average mobile app score; branch presence; the bank's financial strength; and, for CD accounts, number of days of interest lost for withdrawing early. For all categories, no accounts were considered if they required you to also have another existing account with the financial institution.

The weighting given to each factor varied depending on the Best Bank accolade; Newsweek exercised final editorial judgment when selecting winners. The complete data set was last updated by LendingTree on July 28, 2021. Current interest rate information is accurate as of September 9, 2021 and represents the highest possible rate a customer could earn, if all qualifications are met.