Best Banks 2011

Ready to switch banks? Start with Money's list of best banks. And don't forget to check out smaller banks and credit unions, as well.

Best national bank checking
Best national bank checking
Why it's tops: Its customers say so.

No big bank offers terrific terms, but if you prefer a behemoth with lots of branches, U.S. Bank -- which has a footprint in 25 states -- may be the best choice. Waiving the maintenance charge is easy ($500 of direct deposit does the trick).

And while its fees are neck and neck with those at runner-up Chase, U.S. Bank outshines for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's 2011 retail banking survey.

Ismat Sarah Mangla and Tali Yahalom - Last updated August 31 2011: 9:56 AM ET
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America's most loyal bank customers

Despite mergers and the rise of online banking, these customers have held onto the same account for at least 40 years.

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