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Best Banks in California for 2024

We evaluated more than 100 banks in California on metrics including interest rates, product mix, online and mobile banking, and customer service quality. But only 10 earned a spot on our list of the best banks in California.

Whether you prefer an intimate community banking experience or the anytime, anywhere convenience of a major national bank, Californians can find the best match for their needs.

The Golden State has dozens of homegrown financial institutions, many serving only parts of this vast state. California also has a special connection to some of the biggest banks in the country.

Best Banks in California According to Customer Satisfaction

J.D. Power annually completes a U.S. retail banking satisfaction study, and according to the 2023 results, the four best banks in California for customer satisfaction are listed below.

BankCustomer Satisfaction Rating (1,000 Point Scale)
U.S. Bank667
Chase Bank646
Bank of America628

10 Best Banks in California

Here are the top banks in California.

1. U.S. Bank

  • Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Number of Branches in California: 594

U.S. Bank offers California residents more than hundreds of branches. It was awarded first place in the J.D.Powers U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study for 2023, and is the fifth largest bank in the U.S. according to total assets.

Offering various financial products from checking and savings accounts to home and car loans – U.S. Bank is sure to have what you are looking for.


  • Great customer service
  • Many branches available
  • Large selection of products


  • Low APY on savings
  • Most accounts have fees

2. Chase Bank

  • Headquarters: New York City, New York
  • Number of Branches in California: 904

Chase Bank offers over 900 branches for California residents and ranked second place in the J.D.Powers U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study for 2023. It is also the largest bank in the U.S,. with more than $3.395 trillion in assets.

Chase Bank offers pretty much any banking need you may have, including the following:

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • CD’s
  • Credit Cards


  • Large number of accounts
  • Offers an overdraft grace period
  • Largest number of branches in California


  • Many accounts have fees
  • Charges a non-network ATM fee

3. Citibank

  • Headquarters: New York City, New York
  • Number of Branches in California: 272

While Citibank does not have as large a physical branch presence in California as U.S. Bank and Chase, it ranked 3rd in the J.D. Powers U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study for 2023 for California — and we all know customer satisfaction goes a long way.

Their mobile app for online banking is highly rated, with 4.9 out of 5 stars in the App Store and 4.7 out of 5 in the Google Play Store. So, even if you are not near a branch,– you will still be able to easily access your account online.


  • Pays high APYs on CDs
  • Easy to waive monthly account fees
  • Offers wealth management solutions


  • Some products are limited in California
  • Must be a relationship tier to get no-fee non-network ATM withdrawals

4. Bank of America

  • Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Number of Branches in California: 736

Bank of America is a massive American bank with strong California roots. A century from its low-key origins in San Francisco, BofA has become the top banking choice.

As a full-service bank, Bank of America can handle just about all of your financial needs including:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Rewards credit cards with no annual fees
  • Mortgage or home equity loans
  • Auto loans
  • Investment products


  • Large presence in California
  • Large ATM network nationwide
  • AI assistant Erica helps with budgeting and other financial tasks


  • Low APYs on savings and CDs
  • High monthly fees on some accounts

5. Oak Valley Community Bank

  • Headquarters: Oakdale, California
  • Number of Branches in California: 19
  • Areas Served: Central Valley, Sacramento

Oak Valley Community Bank is California’s premier community bank, which is quite a distinction in a big state full of small hometown banks. As a smaller community institution, its greatest strength is its greatest weakness: If you don’t live between Sacramento and Modesto, you’re uncomfortably far from an Oak Valley branch.

But if you do live nearby, Oak Valley has everything you could want from a small bank:

  • Branches staffed by friendly industry veterans
  • Multiple checking accounts, some of which are high-interest accounts
  • Health savings accounts, which are uncommon in the community banking world
  • Mortgage loans and home equity products
  • An impressive lineup of commercial accounts and loans

And if life or business takes you outside Oak Valley Community Bank’s home territory, you can count on its mobile apps and mobile-responsive website to stay connected.


  • High CD rates
  • Personalized service
  • Most accounts have no monthly service charge


  • Low number of branches
  • Serves mostly the Sacramento area

6. Ally

  • Headquarters: Sandy, UT
  • Number of Branches in California: 0
  • Areas Served: Statewide

Ally Bank is a completely online bank with no branches, but don’t let that scare you. Their lack of brick-and-mortar locations, aka overhead, allows them to offer higher APYs and lower (or no) fees. Ally partners with the impressive Allpoint ATM network, with 43,000 fee-free ATMs to use, it’s easy to access your funds just as if you had a brick-and-mortar branch.

Just like the other banks on our list of the best banks in California, you can enjoy the following services:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Money market accounts and CDs
  • Cash-back credit cards
  • Mortgage, auto, and personal loans
  • Investing and retirement products


  • Large ATM network
  • Pays high interest rates
  • Doesn’t charge monthly fees


  • No physical branches
  • Hefty penalties for early CD withdrawals

7. Wells Fargo

  • Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
  • Number of Branches in California: 814
  • Areas Served: Statewide

Wells Fargo is the country’s third-largest bank and has some of the largest number of branches in California. The nice thing about banking at Wells Fargo is you can trust you’ll find a branch almost anywhere you travel, as they have 4,365 branches throughout the country.

Like most of the full-service banks on our list, they have a wide range of products, but lower APYs and higher fees than some of the smaller banks. They have a highly rated mobile app with 4.9 stars in the iOS store and 4.8 stars in the Google Play store.

One thing we love about Wells Fargo is the large number of promotions they run. If you’re new to Wells Fargo, chances are you’ll find a promotion to earn you a little extra money.


  • Easy to waive fees
  • Large number of branches in CA
  • No minimum balance requirements on checking accounts


  • Low APYs
  • High overdraft fees

Types of Banks in California

California residents have many options when choosing the best bank for themselves. Here are the options you should consider.

  • National banks: These banks are found throughout the country, making it easy to handle banking tasks even while traveling. Some of the more well-known names are national banks like Chase and Bank of America.
  • Regional banks: These midsize banks focus on a specific area, such as the West Coast or even California alone. They usually offer a wider range of products and more personalized service than a national bank.
  • Community banks: These banks serve a specific (and usually small) community. You’ll get the most personalized service at these types of banks, but they have limited branches and ATMs to use, especially while away from home.
  • Online banks: You probably don’t think of online banks when considering the best banks in California, but they operate everywhere. As long as the ATM network is convenient, there are many benefits to online banking, including higher rates and lower fees.

What banks have the most branches in California?

California is home to almost 130 banks, but some only have one or two branches. If you’re looking for a bank widespread throughout the state, consider the larger banks like Chase, U.S. Bank, and Bank of America.


More than 100 homegrown and national banks operate in California. This gives locals lots of choices, but it can be tough to decide which is truly the best.

To narrow this list, we evaluated California banks on quality factors like product mix, rates and yields, digital and real-world convenience, and customer service quality.

Product Lineup

While there’s no rule against having more than one bank, we understand that many consumers and small-business owners prefer to do all their banking in the same place. That’s why we give preference to California banks with comprehensive product and service lineups, regardless of size or branch count. You won’t find financial institutions focusing on just one or two account types on this list.

Rates and Yields

Few banks offer the best loan rates and account yields from top to bottom. Most excel in some areas and fall short in others. That being the case, all of the banks on this list offer competitive rates and terms on at least some of their deposit accounts and loan products.

Online and Mobile Banking Capabilities

Every bank on this list has a high-quality online banking interface that allows users to manage most of their daily money without walking into a branch or sidling up to an ATM. Most have mobile banking apps as well, and those that don’t at least have mobile-friendly websites.

Areas Served

All of the banks on this list meet at least one of two geographic criteria:

  • Comprehensiveness, meaning they serve several regions of California or have statewide branch coverage
  • Depth, meaning they have lots of branches and ATMs in narrower geographic areas

One isn’t necessarily better than the other. But if you value in-person financial services, it’s nice not to have to drive an hour each way to meet with your banker.

Customer Service Ratings

While we take user-generated reviews with a grain of salt, we give preference to banks that have clearly built up goodwill with the folks they serve. That’s true whether they’re thousand-branch behemoths or community institutions with just a few outposts in one corner of California or another.

ATM Access

Even the smaller banks on this list belong to larger ATM networks that offer low- or no-cost withdrawals at tens of thousands or more machines nationwide. That’s important for people whose work or leisure travels take them outside their banks’ home territories.

How to Choose a Bank in California

Overwhelmed by the sheer number of banks in California? Unsure how to narrow down your list of choices any further?

Take a step back and think about what you value most in a bank.

  • Coverage and Access: Unless you’re confident you’ll never need to walk into a branch or use an ATM, you want an accessible bank where (and how) you live. Look for banks with branches and ATMs in your neighborhood or hometown — or at least within easy reach.
  • Account and Service Fees: Look for banks that offer free checking accounts, no-annual-fee credit cards, and other low- or no-cost financial products for your everyday needs. If you must choose a bank that charges monthly maintenance fees, at least ensure you know how to get those fees waived. And avoid banks with complicated fee schedules that seem designed to squeeze you for more of your hard-earned money.
  • Personal Service (or Lack Thereof): If you value personalized, one-on-one service, choose your bank accordingly. Most banks pay lip service to the concept, but it shouldn’t take long to spot the ones that really just treat you like a number.
  • Deposit Account Options: Even if you have no problem maintaining accounts at multiple institutions, it’s nice to have the option to deepen your relationship with your hometown bank. So, choose one with a wide variety of deposit account options rather than just one or two.
  • Credit Options: Maybe you’re not in the market for a loan or credit card right now, but chances are you will be in the future. Choose a bank that offers a range of loans to save yourself the hassle of switching later — and ensure you qualify for existing-customer loan perks and rate or fee discounts when you’re ready.
  • Technology: No matter how much you love your bank, you don’t have time to visit in person every time you need to get cash or pay a bill. Ensure the banks on your shortlist have comprehensive online or mobile banking capabilities and can handle all your daily money management needs.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.