Banking In The Lone Star State Made Easy
We hope you feel more informed about your banking options while living in the state of Texas after reading our guide. Continue keeping yourself informed on essential financial matters with our other guides at Benzinga. Make sure to consider varying aspects of banking such as fees and subsequent services before choosing your online or in-person institution.
What Is The Fastest Way To Transfer Money Internationally
Sending money internationally with your bank might not be the fastest option available. International bank transfers can take around 3 – 5 days to arrive in the destination account. Delays often occur when payments are processed via the SWIFT network. Specialist providers like Wise can often get your money where it needs to be faster. Infact, right now, 45% of Wises transfers are instant money transfers, with the vast majority arriving within 24 hours.
If you’re a business owner, then you can get a Wise Business account to manage your international finances with ease. Pay employees and suppliers around the world at the real mid-market rate, and save up to 19x compared to PayPal.
Potential Obstacles To Opening A Checking Account:
Checking accounts typically have some general requirements. And if you don’t meet them, it can be difficult to open an account.
It’s typically difficult to get a checking account under age 18. That said, opening a joint account or a custodial account can be an option for minors.
Most banks and credit unions require two forms of identification to open an account a Social Security card, passport, state ID or driver’s license.
The minimum deposit to open a checking account is typically around $25 or more, although there are some accounts that allow for less.
You’ll need to provide proof of address when opening an account. Utility bills, lease agreements and insurance cards can work well for this.
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Best Local Bank: Gecu
- 12 branches in El Paso, Texas, and part of the CO-OP Shared network
- To become a member, you or a family member need to work or live in El Paso County, Dona Ana County, or Hudspeth County
- To earn APY, you need to maintain $100 in your account daily
- Interest compounded and deposited quarterly
- Federally insured by the NCUA
Why it stands out: GECU is an excellent choice if you’re exploring local banking options.
GECU is a certified community development financial institution and . It’s been certified to ensure that it provides products and services that serve everyone in the community, regardless of immigration status or income.
The credit union lets you use a permanent resident card, foreign passport, or Matricula Consular as a photo ID. Instead of a social security number, you may share your ITIN number.
GECU offers free checking and savings accounts with low minimum opening deposits. Its CDs also pay high interest rates.
What to look out for: To be eligible for membership at GECU, you or a family member must live in an eligible county or work for a specific employer. If you’re searching for a high savings rate, other institutions may offer a better rate.
Wells Fargo: Best Bank For Teenagers
Teens are in a position to learn important lessons that can influence their long-term financial well-beingand it starts with learning how to responsibly use a bank account. That requires access to a bank branch, a big network of ATMs, and a good place to keep money from part-time jobs.
Wells Fargo has certainly found itself in the midst of multiple scandals recently, but it still stands out as the best bank for teens thanks to its 4,900 branches and 13,000 ATMs.
Their teen checking account requires a $25 opening deposit but has no monthly fee. However, beware of overdraft and other fees once you open the account. While it is a great account for new learners, it is still a real bank account with real fees.
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Best Free Checking Account: Texas First Bank
- Customers who dont need branches outside the Houston area
Many banks offer very low rates for their checking accounts. That makes Texas Fist Bank a standout with its 0.05% APY for checking accounts. Another thing that makes the bank stand out is the fact that you can get an interest-bearing checking account, the Kasasa Cash Checking account, with no monthly fee. The minimum to open an account is also just $50, so it is an option even if you dont have a lot in savings. If you meet certain criteria, you can also get a significantly higher APY of up to 2.01%. Again, this is all with a checking account that has no monthly fee.
You can also earn a high rate on a savings account if you open a Kasasa Saver account. Coupled with free access to online banking, a free debit card, and up to $42 in refunds on ATM fees, Texas First Bank provides an enticing free checking account.
What’s The Safest Bank To Put Money In
Financial institutions are safe if they are federally insured or National Credit Union Administration .
When a bank account is federally insured by one of these institutions, up to $250,000 is protected in individual bank accounts and up to $500,000 is secure in joint bank accounts. If a bank shuts down, you’ll still have your money.
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No Feesopens Modal Dialog Comparison Conducted By An Independent Research Firm And Based On Data Compiled In April 2022 From Company Websites Customer Service Agents And Consumer Checking Account Offers In Some Cases Competitors Assess And/or Waive Fees If Certain Criteria Are Met The Non
No monthly fee
No fee for insufficient funds
Opens modal dialog
Some competitors may have minimum thresholds before insufficient funds fees are applied and may have a cap on the number of insufficient funds fees charged in a timeframe.
No-fee for expedited delivery of your replacement debit card
No-fee outbound ACH transfers
Heritage Bank Ecentive Checking Account 102% Apy
Best checking account for overall rate
Balance to open: $100
Pros: The 1.02 percent APY on the eCentive checking account applies to qualifying balances up to $25,000. To earn the APY, spend at least $500 a month in debit card purchases , have at least one direct deposit or automatic payment per month and receive monthly e-statements.There are no monthly service charges and no minimum balance requirements. Customers can access information via the bank’s app, the mobile browser or through text inquiries and alerts. Online banking customers can also make person-to-person payments using Popmoney. The bank refunds up to $25 a month in ATM fees. The bank’s “hybrid” ATMs also let customers interact with live video tellers during certain hours.
Cons: Not making at least 10 debit card transactions per month means you’ll earn only 0.05 percent APY. You’ll also be charged $4 per month to have paper statements mailed to you. But you can avoid this by signing up for eStatements
Heritage Bank has locations in just seven cities across Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota. Overdrafts and non-sufficient funds cost $33 per paid item $36 per returned item. If you close the account within six months of opening it, you’ll pay a $30 exit fee. Qualifying balances of $25,000.01 and greater earn only 0.14 percent APY.
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An Alternative To Costly International Wires
One alternative to using a bank is Wise. Using its own system of linked local bank accounts in countries around the world, Wise can send your money abroad without going through the SWIFT system, with its multiple correspondent banks and unexpected delays and fees.
At Wise, we never hide extra fees and charges in the exchange rate. We just use the exchange rate independently provided by Reuters. That means fair, cheap money transfers, every time.
And because Wise always offers the real mid-market exchange rate, without a markup, more of your money is likely to make it through to its destination. So, to send money online with Wise, you will pay a small, flat fee and a percentage of the amount thats converted.
There wont be any correspondent bank fees, because correspondent banks wont be involved. You can even get yourself a Wise account, which – for no monthly fee – lets you hold money in multiple currencies, and use virtual account details for Australian dollars, UK pounds and euros. Something well worth considering if you often find yourself dealing with foreign transfers.
Ally Bank: Best Online Bank
Ally is an online-only bank, which means you will have to manage your finances entirely online or with the mobile app.
Features include mobile check deposits, direct deposits, an ATM locator, and your balance history. Theres also Zelle the person-to-person money transfer service weve mentioned previously.
Ally has excellent online and mobile banking solutions and excellent customer service with 24/7 phone and live chat. Its app averages a rating of 4.35 on five stars!
Ally is the best online bank because of its service and also because of its high interest-earning accounts.
The Interest Checking Account is a free checking account with a different yield depending on the balance you can maintain. It features a 0.10% APY with a minimum daily balance below $15,000 and 0.25% APY if you keep an average daily balance of $15,000+.
You can withdraw money from your checking account at any time and at no cost. Ally uses Allpoint ATM networks and reimburses up to $10 out-of-network ATM fees charged by other financial institutions per each statement cycle.
Allys savings account earns a 0.50% APY, which is 10x the national average! Interest is compounded daily, a fundamental feature to help you grow your future balance.
Ally promises no minimum balance and no fees. The trade-off is that you wont deposit cash Ally doesnt support this feature being online-only.
If you want to explore another good online bank for Texas, try Capital One.
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Best For International Students: Santander Bank
For students from abroad, it’s crucial that their accounts have a way to receive money from back home. Santander Bank’s Student Value Checking is the only student account we’ve found that charges no fees on incoming international wire transfers. With each incoming wire costing about $15 to receive, students who rely on regular financial support from home will see significant savings at Santander. This is especially relevant for international students, for whom wires may be the only transfer option available.
While the bank’s physical branches have a limited geographic reach, it’s the best bet for a cheap checking experience if you’re an international student in the Northeast. While many U.S. banks waive their monthly maintenance fees based on enrollment status or minimum balance, Santander’s Student Value Checking Account is one of the few that charges zero to begin with. The only fee you’ll need to manage is the monthly $3 paper statement fee, which can easily be avoided by opting into paperless electronic statements.
Best Free Checking Account & High
- One-stop retail banking customers who enjoy having the option to visit their bank in person
Although a household name, not everyone throughout the U.S. can benefit from Capital One branches in their state. Texas residents, however, have access to over 100 Capital One locations, including Capital One cafes. This means Texans can visit a Capital One Cafe to open an account, make deposits and more while enjoying a freshly made latte. Plus with its Kids Savings and MONEY teen checking account, Capital One opens its benefits to youngsters.
The Capital One 360 suite offers some of the best bank accounts in the industry. For starters, the Capital One 360 Checking® account is one of the best free checking accounts. It doesnt charge a monthly maintenance fee, nor is there a minimum balance requirement. This means you can use the account as you please without worrying about recurring charges.
Plus, the account earns interest at competitive rates, further boosting your savings. The rate at which your money will grow doens not depend on your account balance. All balances earn at a 0.10% APY. Even the Capital One MONEY checking account, tailored for teenage users, earns at a decent rate of 0.10%.
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Best Bank For Opening A Checking Account: Bank Of America
- Access to over 4,200 branches and 16,000 ATMs
- Earn the $100 sign-up bonus by receiving recurring direct deposits of at least $1,000 or more within 90 days of opening the account
- Waive $12 monthly service fee by doing one of the following: receive $250/month in direct deposits, keep $1,500 minimum daily balance, enroll in Preferred Rewards, or be a student under age 24
- If you use Balance Connect and link your checking account to a backup account, there’s a $0 overdraft protection transfer fee
- FDIC insured
Why it stands out: Bank of America nabbed a spot on our best national banks guide as the best national bank in the Southwest. It’s matched with Chase for having the largest ATM network by a brick-and-mortar bank and has one of the largest branch networks among US banks.
Bank of America has a variety of checking account options. With the Bank of America Advantage Plus Checking Account, there are several ways to waive the monthly service fee.
What to look for: Be careful of overdrawing from your account. Bank of America charges a $35 overdraft fee. While it offers overdraft protection, you’ll still pay a fee if you transfer money from a savings account.
Another fee to watch out for is out-of-network ATM fees. You’ll have to pay a $2.50 fee each time you use an ATM that’s not from Bank of America.
Best Banks In Texas That Offer Free Checking
- S.J. Jones
Finding the Best Banks in Texas is no easy task. Texas is a huge state, so needless to say, they have many banking options.
For most people, your checking and savings account is your financial focus where money comes in, goes out and gives you a safe place to stash extra cash.
Choosing a bank is different for everyone. What’s best for you may be different than what’s best for someone else. We started by looking at the Texas Department of Banking’s Top 100 Banks by Asset Size and narrowed it down to the 15 Best Banks in Texas based on several factors.
Bankiful evaluated the best banks in Texas by looking at four main factors:
- Free checking with no strings attached. Many banks charge monthly maintenance fees unless you meet specific minimum balance or activity requirements.
- Digital banking tools like bill pay, remote check deposits, instant transfer services, account management, free way to send and receive money, and basic self-service from your computer or a mobile app.
- Savings products like high-yield savings accounts and certificate of deposits.
- Financial products like credit cards, mortgage, personal and auto loans.
The following list represents the best banks in Texas in these categories. Use the list to help you choose the right bank for your needs.
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Best Banks Near Me: How Banks In Texas Made The List
It all started with the annual GOBankingRates Top 100 Banks. Once the banks were selected based on how they performed in categories such as customer service, interest rates, national branch availability, fees, market share and more, the list of 100 banks was narrowed down to a sampling of top banks in Texas.
Safest Place For Your Money
In the US, banks are one of the most regulated institutions due to their crucial role in the nations overall economy. As we learned from the 2008 financial crisis, the failure of only a couple of banks is enough for the whole countryand even the world at largeto fall into an economic depression.
With regards to everyday consumers and retail banks, the most important safeguard is undoubtedly the insurance provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation , an independent government agency created by Congress with the purpose of maintaining stability and public confidence in financial institutions. By virtue of this insurance, any money you have deposited in a bank will be available to you even if the bank goes completely bankrupt, up to specific limits: $250k for individuals and $500k for joint accounts.
National banks are also regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency , an independent bureau of the US Department of Treasury responsible for making sure all banks comply with the laws governing them.
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Best Bank For Opening A Savings Account: Ally
- Savings buckets help you save for different goals
- Surprise savings transfers help you save extra money from your checking account
- Create separate savings buckets in a savings account
- Link to your Ally checking account and enroll in surprise savings transfers to have extra money transferred to savings three times per week
- Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
- FDIC insured
Why it stands out: Ally is a solid contender if you’re looking for a savings account. It pays 1% APY, requires no minimum opening deposit, and doesn’t charge monthly fees. The Ally High Yield Savings Account has online tools that help you separate your money into savings buckets.
What to look out for: As an online-only bank, Ally doesn’t have a direct way to deposit cash. You’ll have to transfer your money from another account to deposit cash.