May 19, 2024

5 Best Banks and Credit Unions in Massachusetts of August 2023

Our experts answer readers’ banking questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess banking products). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

We selected Synchrony, Rockland Trust Bank, Salem Five Bank, Digital Federal Credit Union, and OneUnited Bank as the best banks and credit unions in Massachusetts.

These financial institutions were chosen because they offered bank accounts with distinct features and minimal bank fees. Learn more about our top picks below. 

The Best Banks in Massachusetts

  • Synchrony: Best bank for opening a savings account
  • Rockland Trust Bank: Best bank for opening a checking account
  • Salem Five Bank: Best bank for opening a savings and checking account
  • Digital Federal Credit Union: Best credit union
  • OneUnited Bank: Best local financial institution

All of the financial institutions on our list are protected by FDIC or NCUA insurance. Although First Republic Bank was recently shut down, bear in mind your money is safe at a federally insured financial institution. When a financial institution is federally insured, up to $250,000 per depositor is secure in a bank account.

Compare the Best Banks in Massachusetts

Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account

5/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

4.50%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account

5/5

A five pointed star

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

4.50%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Synchrony Bank, Member FDIC


Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account

The Synchrony high-yield savings account and CDs are some of the best savings accounts right now. They pay high rates with $0 minimum opening deposits. You’ll need to be comfortable banking digitally, though, because it’s an online-only bank.

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

4.50%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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Highlights
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Additional Reading
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Rockland Trust Free Checking Account

3.75/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees

Rockland Trust Free Checking Account

3.75/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees

Rockland Trust Bank, Member FDIC


Rockland Trust Free Checking Account

Details


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25

Pros & Cons
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Highlights
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Salem Five Open Account

4.25/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees

Salem Five Open Account

4.25/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees

SalemFive Bank, Member FDIC


Salem Five Open Account

Details


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10

Pros & Cons
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Highlights
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Salem Five Open Savings Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.05%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees

Salem Five Open Savings Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.05%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees

SalemFive Bank, Member FDIC


Salem Five Open Savings Account

Details


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.05%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10

Pros & Cons
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Highlights
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DCU Primary Savings Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.16% to 6.17%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees

DCU Primary Savings Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.16% to 6.17%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees


DCU Primary Savings Account

Details


Fees

No monthly maintenance fees


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.16% to 6.17%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5

Pros & Cons
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Highlights
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OneUnited Bank OneUnited Bank Black Wall Street Checking Account

OneUnited Bank Black Wall Street Checking Account

3.75/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25


Fees

No monthly service fees

OneUnited Bank OneUnited Bank Black Wall Street Checking Account

OneUnited Bank Black Wall Street Checking Account

3.75/5

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A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25


Fees

No monthly service fees

OneUnited Bank, Member FDIC


OneUnited Bank Black Wall Street Checking Account

Details


Fees

No monthly service fees


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25

Pros & Cons
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Highlights
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Why You Should Trust Us: Experts’ Advice on Choosing the Best Financial Institution

To learn more about what makes a good bank or credit union and how to choose the best fit, four experts weighed in:

PFI Banking Expert Panel that includes: Tania Brown, Roger Ma, Sophia Acevedo, and Mykail James

Insider



Our experts highlighted seven things to look for when you’re choosing a bank:

  1. What types of accounts are you planning to open?
  2. How can this bank grow with you, as your life and money priorities change?
  3. How important is ATM access? What are the fees and where are ATMs located?
  4. How secure and accessible is the bank’s website or app?
  5. If you want to bank in person, does it have a branch nearby?
  6. What are the customer service hours, and how do you get in touch?
  7. How much interest does the bank pay in savings? And does it matter to you?

Methodology: How Did We Choose the Best Banks in Massachusetts?

Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that “best” is often subjective, so under each section, we outline the advantages and limitations of each account or institution. We spent hours comparing and contrasting the features and fine print of various products so you don’t have to.

We reviewed the 15 biggest banks and credit unions in the state. We also looked to see if there were any CDFIs in the state that might be worth considering.

We compared bank account features and fees until we determined the top picks for our list. Institutions chosen for our list stood out from other options because they had minimal bank fees. Many of these accounts also offered perks. For example, some checking accounts come with early direct deposit or cash-back perks. In regards to our savings accounts, we chose picks with competitive interest rates. 

For our best credit union and best local bank, we selected financial institutions with easy membership requirements, low minimum opening deposits, and unique bank accounts.

See our full ratings methodology for checking, business checking, savings, and money market accounts »

Best Banks in Massachusetts: Frequently Asked Questions

Citizens Bank is probably the most common bank in Massachusetts, because it has the most branches in the most cities.

Citizens Bank is the largest bank in Massachusetts with over 200 branches in 135 cities. Bank of America and Santander are the next-largest banks in the state.

Bank of America is probably the most popular Boston bank, since it has the most locations in the city. Citizens Bank and Santander Bank aren’t far behind.

Best Bank for Opening a Savings Account

Synchrony

Why it stands out: Synchrony is an online bank. The Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account offers a competitive interest rate that’s higher than most other savings accounts at brick-and-mortar and online banks. 

You’ll also like Synchrony if you’d like to open a savings account with $0, or if you want to use an ATM card to make withdrawals from your account.

What to look out for: Synchrony doesn’t have checking accounts or money market accounts. If you plan to open one of these accounts, you might prefer banking with another financial institution.

Synchrony Bank Review

Best Bank for Opening a Checking Account

Rockland Trust Bank

Why it stands out: Rockland Trust Bank is one of the five largest financial institutions in the state. It also might be appealing if you’re specifically searching for a checking account. 

The Rockland Trust Free Checking Account has a $25 minimum opening deposit and no monthly service fees. 

You’ll have access to over 120 branches and 200 free ATMs in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

If you prioritize convenient customer support hours and availability, Rockland Trust also may be worthwhile. You may talk to a representative through live chat from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on weekdays or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Saturdays. You may also call the Customer Information Center from 7 pm. to 8 p.m. ET on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Saturdays, or 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Sundays.

What to look out for: Rockland Trust Bank charges a $35 overdraft fee if you have a negative balance on your account. You can get overdraft protection that lets you link your checking account to a savings account. But, there’s a $5 transfer fee if you utilize overdraft protection. 

Best Bank for Opening a Checking and Savings Account

Salem Five Bank

Why it stands out: Salem Five could be a good option if you like traditional banking — because there are branches in Massachusetts — but you still want to avoid monthly maintenance fees. 

The Salem Five Open Account is an overall solid checking account with a low minimum opening deposit and zero maintenance fees. You also have the option to open the Salem Five Open Savings Account alongside this checking account, which also doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees.

If you maintain a certain balance in your checking account, you may be eligible for Open Rewards. To get the most out of your checking account rewards, maintain an average daily balance of $5,000 or more to receive unlimited ATM fee reimbursements and earn $0.05 cash back on all debit card purchases.

What to look out for: With the Salem Five Open Account, you’ll want to be mindful of overdrawing from your account. The bank charges a $35 overdraft fee. You may get overdraft protection that lets you link your checking account to a savings account or apply for a line of credit, but you’ll still pay a fee when the negative balance is covered.

The Salem Five Open Savings Account also pays a low interest rate You can find other banks with higher savings rates available. 

Best Credit Union

Digital Federal Credit Union

Why it stands out: You’ll find Digital Federal Credit Union appealing if you favor credit unions instead of banks.

All members must open the DCU Primary Savings Account. This account doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees, and you can earn 6.17% APY on the first $1,000 in your account.

The interest rate will drop for account balances over $1,000. The account has a blended APY, which means the interest rate you’ll earn will be different for separate account balances. It’ll be anywhere from 0.16% to 6.17% APY, depending on how much money you have in your account.

Digital Federal Credit Union also offers free checking and money market accounts, and certificates with low minimum opening deposits. 

What to look out for: You’ll need to meet certain requirements to be able to join Digital Federal Credit Union. 

There are several ways to become a member. You’re automatically eligible if you live, work, worship, or go to school in select areas of Chelmsford, Lowell, Tewksbury, or Worcester county. You may also join if you or a family member are part of a company or organization on these lists

Best Local Bank

OneUnited Bank

Why it stands out: OneUnited Bank is a Black-owned bank with three branches in the Boston area (the Roxbury branch is temporarily closed). It also has branches in Miami and Los Angeles.

OneUnited Bank is certified as a community development financial institution (CDFI). To receive this designation, a financial institution must show it serves low-income and disadvantaged communities. 

OneUnited Bank offers a second chance checking account, which is a bank account you may use to build back your credibility if you can’t open a standard checking account at a bank. The second chance checking account has a $12 monthly maintenance fee and a $25 minimum opening deposit. 

OneUnited Bank also has a free checking account called the OneUnited Bank Black Wall Street Checking Account. This account has a low minimum opening deposit, no monthly fee, and two-day early direct deposit. 

What to look out for: The OneUnited Bank BankBlack Savings Account charges a $5 monthly maintenance fee. However, if you set up direct deposits, you can waive the monthly fee.

OneUnited Bank Review

Other Institutions That Didn’t Make Our List and Why

  • Citizens Bank: Citizens Bank has the most branches in the state, but its accounts do not stand out as much as our top picks. You’ll need to meet certain requirements each month to waive monthly service fees on checking and savings accounts. Read Insider’s Citizens Bank Review.
  • Bank of America: Bank of America has a variety of accounts and a large branch and ATM network, but you’ll need to meet specific requirements to waive monthly maintenance fees on accounts.  Read Insider’s Bank of America Review.
  • Santander Bank: The bank’s savings account pays a low interest rate, and its checking accounts have monthly service fees unless you qualify to waive them. Read Insider’s Santander Bank Review.
  • TD Bank: TD Bank might be worthwhile if you’re searching for accounts with low or no minimum opening deposits. However, both checking and savings accounts have monthly service fees unless you meet the criteria to waive the fee. Read Insider’s TD Bank Review
  • Eastern Bank: Eastern Bank checking and savings accounts do not charge monthly maintenance fees, but they lack distinguishing features. The bank also doesn’t have as many branches in the state as most of our brick-and-mortar picks.
  • M&T Bank: M&T Bank has a decent-sized branch and ATM network, but its savings accounts and checking account may entail monthly service fees. Read Insider’s M&T Bank Review.
  • Middlesex Savings Bank: Middlesex Savings Bank has a variety of accounts, but our top picks have more branches throughout the state or pay higher interest rates on savings accounts.
  • Chase: Chase has a substantial bank and ATM network throughout the US, but you’ll need to meet specific requirements each month to waive monthly service fees. Read Insider’s Chase Bank Review
  • Brookline Bank: Brookline Bank has free checking and savings accounts, but it has fewer branches than most of our brick-and-mortar picks. 
  • Rockland Federal Credit Union: Rockland Federal Credit Union savings accounts pay low interest rates, regardless of your account balance. Membership is also limited to residents who live or work in Barnstable, Bristol, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, or Suffolk counties.
  • Metro Credit Union: Metro Credit Union has a solid free checking account, but its savings account isn’t as strong.

Bank Trustworthiness and BBB Ratings

We include ratings from the Better Business Bureau to evaluate how financial institutions address customer issues and handle transparency. See each institution’s rating below:

All the banks on our list have an A+ rating from the BBB except for Rockland Trust Bank and Salem Five Bank. The BBB gave Rockland Trust Bank a B rating because it has received over 25 complaints on the BBB website. Salem Five Bank has an A- rating because it hasn’t responded to one customer complaint.

BBB ratings aren’t necessarily the be-all and end-all. To see if a bank might be right for you, you may also read online customer reviews or talk to current customers. 

Synchrony has been involved in some public controversies. In 2023, Synchrony was required to pay $2.6 million in a settlement when accused of calling customers about bank accounts they didn’t have. In 2021, the bank also was required to pay $3.5 million in a settlement when accused of making unreasonable phone calls to debtors living in California.

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