Best Banks in New Jersey

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 22, 2020

Your bank can do more for you than accept deposits and pay bills. Whether you’re working towards a savings goal, need a good lender or want to earn rewards when you spend, fierce competition among banks guarantees innovative offerings designed to benefit you. 

Find your match with Benzinga’s review of the best banks in New Jersey.

Best Banks in New Jersey Near You:

  • Best for Mobile Banking: BBVA
  • Best for Money Market Accounts: CIT Bank
  • Best Checking Accounts: Axos Bank
  • Best for Convenient Branch Access: PNC Bank
  • Best for Personal Loans: Wells Fargo

Best for Mobile Banking: BBVA

BBVA offers its customers a 6-time award-winning mobile banking app. The app scores major points for its ease of use and quick navigation. You’ll be consistently updated on the real-time state of your current financial situation. 

BBVA offers comprehensive financial products in the personal, small business, commercial, corporate and wealth management sectors. Consumer products such as checking accounts are offered regionally and nationally. For example, in New Jersey, you can choose between 2 checking accounts: Premium Checking and Online Checking.

Each of these accounts include free online and mobile banking, a relatively low opening deposit of $25, a debit card and fee-less transactions at more than 64,000 BBVA and co-op ATMs. Premium Checking earns interest and Online Checking comes with a cash back debit card.

While BBVA doesn’t operate any physical branches in New Jersey, its online and mobile banking does basically everything you would do at a branch short of accepting cash deposits. However, you can make cash deposits at a qualified ATM.

BBVA Premium Checking

CIT Bank
Best For
  • Business and Personal Checking
securely through CIT Bank's website

Best for Money Market Accounts: CIT Bank

CIT Bank has an online-only presence and offers several personal banking accounts that can help you build up your savings.

The CIT Bank Money Market account really shines. A money market account is a type of savings account that earns interest but gives you access to your funds if you need them. This is helpful if you’re committed to saving but on a tight budget and may have to dip into your nest egg from time to time. You can make up to 6 transactions per month with no penalties. 

A money market account often earns more interest than other types of savings accounts, so it's a good choice if you’re trying to beef up your balance as well. 

The CIT Bank Money Market account has a relatively high annual percentage rate (APY), and you only need $100 for your 1st deposit. Sign up is an easy 3-step process. You’ll need your standard identifying information and an external account to wire your 1st deposit. As soon as you get your confirmation email, your balance is earning interest and you’re on your way to meeting your savings goals.

Axos Bank Savings
Best For
  • No Maintenance Fees
securely through Axos Bank Savings's website

Best Checking Accounts: Axos Bank

Axos Bank is an online-only bank with a focus on bringing its customers the latest and most innovative banking products. Axos Bank has a solid roster of personal banking products, but its range of checking accounts really stands out. 

Rewards Checking is its most popular account. This is a tiered, interest-earning account. You earn interest by performing the following qualifying actions: 

  • Have at least $1,000 in direct deposits monthly
  • Use your Axos Visa Debit Card for at least 10 transactions monthly
  • Use your Axos Visa Debit Card for at least 5 more transactions for a total of 15

Each of these qualifying actions earns 1/3 of the total potential APY. Reward Checking is nearly fee-less — you won’t pay maintenance fees, overdraft or insufficient fund fees. Axos will also reimburse you for all domestic ATM fees. 

Other checking accounts from Axos include Essential Checking, a basic free checking account. CashBack Checking offers up to 1.00% cash back rewards. Golden Checking serves the needs of customers 55 and older while First Checking is for teens aged 13 to 17. Each of these accounts bear interest and have other features and perks.

PNC | banking
securely through PNC | banking's website

Best for Convenient Branch Access: PNC Bank

With close to 270 locations throughout New Jersey, PNC Bank is a great choice if you prefer to handle your finances at a branch. 

PNC lists a host of financial products, including personal, small business and corporate and institutional products. Personal banking products include checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans (home, auto, student and personal loans along with lines of credit and refinancing) and wealth management services. 

PNC’s Virtual Wallet is a checking-savings account hybrid. Within your Virtual Wallet, you’ll have 3 sub-accounts. Your Spend account is a basic deposit account that you can use to conduct transactions. It comes with financial tools like Free Balance, which shows you your surplus balance after your monthly budget has been met, ensuring you don’t overspend. 

The Reserve account is an interest-bearing checking account that also operates as overdraft protection for your Spend account. Use this account to save for financial goals and earn interest while retaining the freedom to easily transfer funds into your Spend account. 

The Growth account is a long-term savings account that operates at a secondary overdraft protection. You can earn relationship APY rates by making qualified transfers to this account from either Spend or Reserve and maintaining a certain balance.

Wells Fargo | banking
Best For
  • In-person service and support
securely through Wells Fargo | banking's website

Best for Personal Loans: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is another large brick-and-mortar financial institution with a large presence in New Jersey. Clocking in at 259 banks and 451 ATMs throughout the state, Wells Fargo makes it convenient and easy to bank both in-person and online.

Wells Fargo’s personal banking services including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, CDs, and loans. You can apply for home loans, student loans, auto loans, home equity lines of credit and personal loans from Wells Fargo.

Borrow anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000 with a personal loan with no collateral necessary. Personal loans with Wells Fargo offer fixed, low rates and flexible terms between 12 and 84 months. You can use this loan for whatever you’d like, like consolidating debts into 1 monthly payment at a lower interest rate.

You won’t pay origination fees or prepayment penalties. This means you’ll get the full amount you are approved for, and you can pay it off early without consequence and save money overall. You can apply online or visit a branch. Applying online is super easy, and you’ll receive funding as soon as the next day. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is my money safe in a bank account?

A: Yes, up to a certain amount. Individual deposit accounts with banks are insured up to $250,000 with the FDIC or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This means that if your financial institution goes under, you will be reimbursed up to $250,000 by the FDIC for any lost balances.

Q: What do I need to open a bank account?

A: Generally, you’ll need a government-issued photo ID and to provide basic information. You may also need other identifying documents like a Social Security card or proof of residence. Check with the bank you’d like to open an account with to find out specifics.

Switch to Your Best Bank Today

If you feel like your bank account could be doing more for you, it’s probably time to think about a switch. Your bank account can earn — and save — you more money. It can also be your lender or act as your personal financial management tool. 

Whether you’re opening your 1st bank account or have changing needs, find a bank that checks all the boxes on your list of must-haves. Our list of the best banks in New Jersey is a perfect place to start your search. 


To determine the best banks in New Jersey, Benzinga analyzed over 100 banks and financial institutions. We gave weight to banks in New Jersey with co-op ATMs and cash-back options. We also gave greater rankings to banks which offered the following: checking and savings accounts, online banking, personal loans, mortgages, educational resources, and a mobile app.

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