Understanding that some people prefer a physical institution with a wide national presence, MONEY looked for a pick among the 13 banks with more than 1,000 branches. It was tough going since these big banks were still the worst of the worst in terms of account terms. Only 2% of checking accounts were free, and hurdles to waive fees were high compared with all banks: a median minimum balance of $5,000 or direct deposit of $500 a month. On savings, the average yield on $20,000 was a grim 0.07% -- 14 bucks a year.
Why TD Bank is a winner
Good perks on high-balance accounts, decent lower-balance options, and an impressive commitment to customer service.
The simplest checking account, TD Convenience Checking, makes it easy to skirt maintenance fees: Just keep a very low $100 daily minimum. Simple Savings requires only a $300 balance and earns a flat 0.05% -- not jaw dropping, but it is the median rate for balances below $15,000 across all surveyed.
For those who stash more -- at least $2,500 -- the perks on checking are among the best from large banks. You get ATM surcharge reimbursements and a bit of interest. With $10,000 in savings, you get better-than-average interest. In addition, TD has 24/7 customer service on the phone and extended branch hours that include evenings and weekends (70 hours total a week, vs. 47 on average among banks we surveyed).
TD Relationship Savings requires linked checking, credit card, or mortgage.
TD Premier Checking
• Maintenance fee: $25 ($24 if paperless)
• Minimum balance to avoid maintenance fee: $2,500 daily
• Out-of-network ATM fee: $0, plus reimburses unlimited surcharges with a $2,500 balance
• Interest on $3,000: 0.05%
TD Relationship Savings
• Maintenance fee: $15 ($14 if paperless)
• Minimum balance to avoid maintenance fee: $10,000 daily
• Interest rate on...