Oklahoma has a long, proud agrarian tradition. Farming and ranching still dominate many of its far-flung rural communities, even as oil and gas extraction has become increasingly important to its hinterlands and more modern industries now dominate its two biggest cities, Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
These historic industries and the communities they serve have given rise to one of the country’s most active state-level community banking cultures. If you love banking on a first-name basis, you’ll have plenty of options in Oklahoma. Some made our list of the best banks in the state.
And if you prefer a big-bank experience, that’s fine too. Oklahoma is home to several large financial institutions covering the entire state and in some cases the surrounding region. Our “best banks in Oklahoma” list has a few of these as well. See which is right for you.
The Best Banks in Oklahoma
These are the best FDIC-insured consumer and small-business banks operating in Oklahoma now. All have physical branches somewhere in the state. That said, bank branch coverage is generally spotty in sparsely populated western Oklahoma, particularly in the far northwestern Panhandle region.
Best Overall: BOK Financial (Bank of Oklahoma)
- Headquarters: Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Number of Branches in Oklahoma: 50+
- Areas Served: Tulsa, Oklahoma City, much of eastern and central Oklahoma
The only reason we chose BOK Financial as the best overall bank in Oklahoma is because “BOK” stands for “Bank of Oklahoma.”
Just kidding — sort of. With dozens of branches across Oklahoma and deep ties to communities in every corner of the state, Tulsa-based BOK Financial lives up to its name. Its greatest strengths include:
- Hundreds of fee-free ATMs across Oklahoma (and many more out of state)
- Comprehensive personal deposit account lineup, including free or low-cost checking, savings, money market, and CD accounts with competitive rates
- Comprehensive banking services for small and midsize businesses, including business checking accounts, SBA loans, and treasury management services
- Multiple bank account options for minor children, including custodial accounts and UTMA/UGMA accounts
- Home purchase, refinance, and home equity loans, including less common loan types like new construction loans
- Award-winning customer service through BOK ExpressBank, a phone and digital support network
- Comprehensive investment management (lower net worth) and wealth management (higher net worth) services, including ESG investing
- Extensive support for charities based in or serving Oklahoma, including millions donated to United Way
BOK Financial does business in Oklahoma as the Bank of Oklahoma. Elsewhere, it uses different trade names, though the logo is similar across the system. If you’re looking for a one-stop financial institution that’s with you almost wherever you go in Oklahoma (and maybe beyond), it’s tough to do better.
Best Bank in Oklahoma City: City National Bank and Trust
- Headquarters: Lawton, Oklahoma
- Number of Branches in Oklahoma: 40
- Areas Served: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Lawton, rural central and eastern Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is the larger of Oklahoma’s two major population centers; its metropolitan area is home to about one in three Oklahomans. So it should come as no surprise that the best bank in Oklahoma City — OKC, for short — is one of the best banks in Oklahoma writ large.
That honor goes to OKC-based City National Bank and Trust — which is not to be confused with California-based City National Bank, West Virginia-based City National Bank, or Florida-based City National Bank. The Oklahoma version is focused almost entirely on serving its home state, with the single greatest concentration of branches and ATMs in greater Oklahoma City.
Like BOK Financial, City National Bank and Trust has a comprehensive product and service lineup. One highlight: A collection of less recreational property loans, including boat and RV loans. Some banks don’t bother with these.
Best Bank in Tulsa: MidFirst Bank
- Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Number of Branches in Oklahoma: 45
- Areas Served: Tulsa, Oklahoma City, rural central and western Oklahoma
As the state’s second-largest metropolitan area by a wide margin, what works in Tulsa carries a lot of weight across Oklahoma. Which is why MidFirst Bank, our top pick for banking customers in Tulsa, is one of the best banks in its home state too.
Like BOK Financial and City National Bank and Trust, MidFirst Bank has an exhaustive lineup of personal and small-business accounts and lending options. It has branches and ATMs throughout Oklahoma’s major population centers, though its rural coverage isn’t as great as some other “statewide” banks.
What really sets MidFirst Bank apart is its industry-specific commercial lending and deposit services. If you run a small or midsize healthcare or real estate business, MidFirst has customizable lending solutions that are hard to find at both smaller community banks and larger national banks. And MidFirst’s Company Club membership program goes the extra mile to reduce banking costs — and make life easier — for businesses and nonprofits serving Tulsa and surrounding areas.
Best Community Bank: Arvest Bank
- Headquarters: Lowell, Arkansas
- Number of Branches in Oklahoma: 75
- Areas Served: Statewide
Arvest Bank has the best product and service lineup of any community bank in Oklahoma, and the best geographical coverage as well. Even if you’re well outside Tulsa or Oklahoma City, you’re probably not more than an hour from the nearest Arvest Bank branch.
Despite its relationship-driven approach to banking, Arvest Bank has something many smaller community banks don’t: an excellent online and mobile banking experience. The latter runs through the Arvest Go app, which is powerful enough to handle most everyday banking activities, including debit and credit card management, mobile check deposit, and electronic transfers.
Best Native American-Owned Bank: F&M Bank
- Headquarters: Edmond, Oklahoma
- Number of Branches in Oklahoma: 8
- Areas Served: Oklahoma City, Edmond
Oklahoma has a long tradition of Native American-owned financial institutions, some of which date back to the pre-statehood era (before 1912). One of the longest-running and best-regarded of these is F&M Bank, whose owners (multiple generations of the Anderson family) trace their lineage back to the Citizens Potawatomi Nation.
Though it remains small, with fewer than 10 branches mainly in OKC and Edmond, F&M stands out thanks to:
- Very competitive savings and CD yields
- A variety of real estate loans — including jumbo loans, which aren’t common in Oklahoma due to relatively affordable housing prices
- A high-interest checking account with one of the best rates around (BonuSelect Checking)
- Business loans focusing on farming, ranching, and manufacturing businesses
Best Bank for Online Banking: Gateway First Bank
- Headquarters: Jenks, Oklahoma
- Number of Branches in Oklahoma: 6
- Areas Served: Tulsa, rural north-central Oklahoma
Despite having only a handful of branches in northern Oklahoma, Gateway First Bank is not your typical community bank. Future Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt founded Gateway as a direct mortgage lender back in 2000, then rapidly expanded across the United States amid the mid-2000s housing boom. Gateway weathered the storm and continued doing what it did best until 2019, when it merged with a small community bank and expanded its product and service portfolio.
Today, Gateway First offers checking, savings, CDs, and nonmortgage loans for consumers and a solid deposit account and loan lineup for businesses. It’s versatile enough to be a one-stop banking solution for anyone based in its trade area. And it benefits from a relic of its direct mortgage lending days: an impressive technology platform that arguably makes it the best choice for online banking in Oklahoma, at least among the state’s true community banks.
Best Branch and ATM Coverage: BancFirst
- Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Number of Branches in Oklahoma: 95
- Areas Served: Statewide
BancFirst has the most Oklahoma branches and ATMs of any bank on this list. And they’re not concentrated in one or two parts of the state — overall coverage is better even than Arvest Bank, whose reach is downright impressive. So if you value in-person banking or need cash regularly, BancFirst is hard to beat.
BancFirst has other advantages too, including a free checking account, a (very) high-yield savings account, and a unique “skip a loan payment” program that lets you put off one payment with no impact on your credit and just a one-time $50 fee (plus deferred interest) for the trouble. BancFirst does a lot for higher-net-worth clients as well, with active trust and wealth management departments and extensive private banking services.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Banks in Oklahoma
Oklahoma hosts nearly 200 homegrown and national banks, more than most other states. This is especially notable in light of the state’s relatively low population — and means Oklahomans have plenty of banking options to suit their needs.
Of course, so much choice can be a curse too. To help Oklahomans find the best banks for their needs, we evaluate key factors like rates, yields, digital convenience, branch availability, customer service, and product variety.
It’s not unusual for savvy consumers to have multiple banks, but we recognize that many people prefer to have one main financial institution to call their own. That’s why we’re fans of Oklahoma banks with broad product and service mixes — regardless of how many physical branches they have or how much customer money they hold. You won’t find any niche banks here specializing in just one or two product types.
Rates and Yields
We’ve selected these banks with an eye to the competitiveness of their loan and credit line interest rates and the yields they pay on deposits.
You might find higher interest rates in Oklahoma if you know where to look, especially if you expand your search to online banks based outside the state. But none of the banks on this list will shortchange you.
Online and Mobile Banking Capabilities
Most Oklahomans do at least some of their banking online, and many rarely if ever venture into a bank branch or use an ATM. That’s why we give preference to Oklahoma-based banks with robust digital interfaces, including mobile banking apps (or mobile-friendly websites) that allow users to complete most common banking actions on a smartphone.
From a geographic perspective, all of the banks on this list do one of the following, if not both:
- They serve the entire state of Oklahoma, from the remote western Panhandle to the eastern border
- They have lots of ATMs and branches in a particular geographic area or population center
Not everyone cares about being able to bank in person. But if you do, it’s important to have a bank that doesn’t ask you to spend all day in the car to visit.
Customer Service Ratings
We definitely take user-generated reviews with a grain of salt — sorting quality reviews from biased or outright fabricated ones is all but impossible. That said, we’re good at telling which banks have built up goodwill with their customers and which can’t get out of their own way. Naturally, we give preference to the former group.
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.
Oklahoma Banking FAQs
If you haven’t yet seen an answer to your question about banking in Oklahoma, we have them here. Some of them, at least.
How Many Banks Does Oklahoma Have?
There are nearly 200 FDIC-insured banking institutions based in Oklahoma. The exact number changes every year, usually downward — there were around 300 in the year 2000, for example. But given the state’s relatively low population, the per-capita bank count is quite high in Oklahoma, reflecting the state’s long history of community banking.
Dozens of other banks that do business in Oklahoma are headquartered elsewhere. Many have deep historical roots in the state, often tied to longstanding local industries like oil and gas extraction, ranching, and farming.
What Bank Has the Best CD Rates in Oklahoma?
We love community banks as much as anyone, but the fact of the matter is they generally don’t offer the most competitive CD rates in Oklahoma. They have higher overhead costs than branchless online banks like Synchrony Bank, Capital One Bank, and Ally Bank, which can pass their low internal costs on to their customers.
To take just one example, Ally Bank’s five-year CD currently yields 4.25%. That’s well higher than the typical Oklahoma community bank, for better or worse.
What Bank Has the Best Savings Rates in Oklahoma?
The logic above also applies to savings accounts, unfortunately. You might find an occasional new customer teaser rate at this or that Oklahoma-based bank, but the general rule is that online banks have the best high-yield savings accounts.
The silver lining, such as it is, is that big national brick-and-mortar banks — your Wells Fargos and Banks of America — have even worse savings account yields. So if you’re set on avoiding online banks, your hometown Oklahoma bank is definitely the second best option.
What’s the Best Bank for Mortgages in Oklahoma?
Mortgage rates tend to be competitive, which is good and bad news for Oklahoma-based banking customers.
The good news is that your hometown bank — or any of the best Oklahoma banks on this list — probably isn’t out of line with its competitors on the mortgage front. That said, if a plain vanilla conventional mortgage won’t do, they might not have the exact loan product you’re looking for.
The bad news is that smaller banks tend to have outdated underwriting processes, meaning it takes more work to apply for a mortgage with one. The gap is narrowing slowly but surely, but a big national bank or direct mortgage lender is still your best bet if you value a smooth application experience over all else. One possible exception involves community banks with deep mortgage lending experience, such as Gateway First Bank.
One more bit of advice: if you have a preexisting relationship with bank based in Oklahoma, ask them if they can cut you a break on your mortgage rate (or your loan’s closing costs). You might be surprised by how much this saves you over the life of the loan — like, thousands of dollars.
How to Choose a Bank in Oklahoma
Let’s take a step back and review what matters most when it comes to choosing a bank in Oklahoma. These are the most important factors, in no particular order:
- Coverage and Access: You might think you’ll never need in-branch or ATM service, but that’s risky. I’d recommend choosing a bank that’s accessible in your community, or at least not too far outside it.
- Account and Service Fees: Do you love bank fees? Didn’t think so. The best banks tend to offer free deposit accounts (especially free checking) and no-annual-fee credit cards, among other low- or no-cost financial products for your everyday needs. If you can’t find a bank that doesn’t charge maintenance fees or annual fees at all, look for one that offers easy ways to waive them.
- Personal Service (or Lack Thereof): Every bank claims to care about their customers. Few actually follow through. Community banks are more likely to do so, but they’re not all created equal either. choose wisely.
- Deposit Account Options: Checking accounts. Savings accounts. Money market accounts. Certificates of deposit. It’s nice to have the option to do all your spending and saving in one place, even if you’re comfortable having more than one active bank at a time.
- Credit Options: Most of us need to apply for a loan — or at least a credit card — at some point in our lives. Choosing a bank with a nice lineup of credit products now can save you some hassle down the road. Plus, by establishing your customer relationship early on, you’ll have plenty of time to qualify for money-saving relationship perks.
- Technology: Just as you want a bank that’s accessible where and how you live, even if you don’t bank in person every day, you want a bank with robust online and mobile technology even if you prefer in-person service.