9 Best Banks in Alaska for 2024

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Banking in Alaska may look a bit different than driving down to your local bank branch. But the best banks in Alaska easily mesh with the snowy wilderness.

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Did you know that the first bank to open in Alaska was the First National Bank Alaska? Candymaker Winfield Ervin Sr. founded the first branch in Anchorage in 1922 after moving there with his family in 1915. 

While most of us consider Alaska to be too cold and unfriendly, many people seek Alaska for its beauty and wonder. But even the most adventurous of us all still require a bank account to make ends meet. 

Banking in Alaska isn’t much different than in the lower 48. These financial institutions can still help you manage your finances, obtain business accounts and loans, and transact with the outside world. 

Our list below includes several of the best banks in Alaska. We’ll cover what type of accounts these banks offer, what perks they provide Alaska residents directly, and how you can open an account. 

It may be surprising to know that there are more banks in Alaska than you think. You can also take advantage of online-only banks in this frozen wilderness. 

Are you ready to learn more about the best banks in Alaska? Let’s get started!

9 Best Banks in Alaska 

The Alaskan banks on our list below include several that offer welcome bonuses. Take advantage of the best bank account bonuses to maximize your earnings and capitalize on the chance to manage your money better. 

1. Axos Bank 

As an online-only bank, Axos offers above-average annual percentage yield (APY) rates compared to what you’d find at other banks. For example, you can earn up to 3.30% APY with Axos Bank’s Rewards Checking account. 

Axos Bank is also one of a handful of banks that let you overdraft. This option can make it easier to juggle your finances when money is tight and you need extra leeway. 

With Axos Bank, you can open a checking, savings, or money market account. You also have access to CDs, loans, and mortgages. 

If you’re worried about accessing your money through ATMs, Axos Bank partners with over 91,000 ATMs nationwide. Each of the five checking accounts this bank offers also comes without monthly fees. 

To open Axos Bank’s high-yield savings account, you’ll need at least $250. However, you can earn up to 0.61% APY and at times grab a lucrative Axos bank promotion for opening a new account.

$300 new account bonus
 
 
Best for teens
$200 bonus

A free account with unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. You don't have to worry about keeping a minimum balance with Axos' Rewards Checking. As with the bank's other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees, and all fees charged by domestic ATM operators are reimbursed. Axos doesn't charge any ATM fees itself.

This account offers you the chance to earn up to 1.00% cash back on all your signature-based purchases. Earn up to $2,000 in cash back each month, deposited directly into your checking account. All you need to get started is a minimum balance of $50.00 to open the account.

Open a free account and get paid two days earlier with direct deposit. You don't have to worry about keeping a minimum balance. As with the bank's other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees, and all fees charged by domestic ATM operators are reimbursed. Axos doesn't charge any ATM fees itself.

Ready to teach your child money management? First Checking offers financial freedom with the security of a joint checking account. No fees, plus essential skills to last a lifetime.

AXOS is an online bank that focuses on simple business banking online. It's free, and you get no monthly maintenance fees, a low minimum deposit requirement, and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

$300 new account bonus

A free account with unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. You don't have to worry about keeping a minimum balance with Axos' Rewards Checking. As with the bank's other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees, and all fees charged by domestic ATM operators are reimbursed. Axos doesn't charge any ATM fees itself.

This account offers you the chance to earn up to 1.00% cash back on all your signature-based purchases. Earn up to $2,000 in cash back each month, deposited directly into your checking account. All you need to get started is a minimum balance of $50.00 to open the account.

Open a free account and get paid two days earlier with direct deposit. You don't have to worry about keeping a minimum balance. As with the bank's other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees, and all fees charged by domestic ATM operators are reimbursed. Axos doesn't charge any ATM fees itself.

Best for teens

Ready to teach your child money management? First Checking offers financial freedom with the security of a joint checking account. No fees, plus essential skills to last a lifetime.

$200 bonus

AXOS is an online bank that focuses on simple business banking online. It's free, and you get no monthly maintenance fees, a low minimum deposit requirement, and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

2. Credit Union 1

Did you know that Credit Union 1 has been open since 1952? This credit union offers checking and savings accounts on top of IRAs, credit cards, and loans. 

Credit Union 1’s network of 12 branches serves over 100,000 Alaskan residents. There are three options for checking and savings accounts as well. 

Many Alaskans find that Credit Union 1 offers better rates on loans and deposits than national banks and even some online-only banks. Members can access community outreach programs, personalized support, and financial education resources. 

3. Denali State Bank 

Even though Denali State Bank only has five locations, those offer Alaskan residents a powerhouse of financial services. Choose from seven checking accounts, four savings accounts, a money market account, CDs, and IRAs. 

You can also link your Kasasa checking and savings accounts to make transferring money that much easier. Denali State Bank offers a high APY on its savings account balances compared to the national average. 

You will need $100 to open the Denali State Bank checking account. However, there are no monthly fees to worry about. 

Denali State Bank also offers credit and debit cards, personal and auto loans, and mortgages. You can access 24/7 customer service if you ever need assistance. 

4. First Bank 

First Bank was opened in 1924 and is headquartered in Ketchikan. It offers Alaskan residents nearly 10 locations, with four checking accounts and three savings accounts. 

All checking accounts come with a free Mastercard debit card. You can waive the monthly fees ranging from $0 to $10 by maintaining a minimum balance or setting up a direct deposit. 

First Bank offers 0.1% to 0.35% APY on its savings accounts. Overdraft protection automatically transfers money between your savings and checking account to avoid overdraft fees. 

5. First National Bank Alaska

We mentioned First National Bank Alaska at the beginning of this article, but it’s time now to look at what this bank can offer you. First National Bank Alaska is locally-owned and provides many personal and business banking products. 

Nearly 30 First National Bank Alaska branches are found in 19 Alaskan cities. Choose from checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, debit and credit cards, loans, and IRAs. 

The six checking accounts that First National Bank Alaska offers don’t require a minimum deposit. The same goes for the three savings accounts you can open. 

You get three free monthly withdrawals if you open a Regular Savings account. You can also avoid the monthly fees by maintaining a $300 balance. 

First National Bank also partners with Zelle to offer transfers between you and a third party. The mobile app also lets you bank on the go. 

6. KeyBank

KeyBank is one of the best national banks available to Alaska residents. This bank offers personal accounts, money market accounts, home loans, lines of credit, investment accounts, credit cards, and CDs. 

Member-FDIC, KeyBank offers five checking accounts, most of which are interest-bearing. You can also waive the monthly maintenance fees if you maintain a minimum balance specific to each account. 

You can also open a Key Active Saver account with only $10. This account has a $4 monthly fee but earns you 0.015% APY. 

KeyBank offers live chat seven days a week. It’s also available in 14 states to help you bank if you travel. 

7. Mt. McKinley Bank 

Established in 1965, Mt. McKinley Bank offers five branches and twice the ATMs in Alaska. This community bank offers five checking accounts with a Visa debit card, free in-network ATM withdrawals, and no monthly fees. 

You can also pick from five savings accounts, one of which is specifically tailored to teens. Access your accounts anytime from the mobile app, where you can transfer money between accounts, set up direct deposit, and sign up for eStatements. 

Mt. McKinley Bank also offers CDs, loans, IRAs, and business banking products. 

8. Northrim Bank 

With nearly 20 branches across Alaska, Northrim Bank has a strong presence in this northern state. Northrim offers several checking and savings accounts, health savings accounts, money market accounts, credit cards, CDs, IRAs, and personal loans. 

Northrim Bank’s Flex Checking accounts have four tiers: Simple, Direct, Power, and Presidents. The proprietary banking software will automatically evaluate your account to place it in the correct tier. 

You can earn up to 0.09% APY on your balance within the top three tiers. You can also pick from four savings accounts that earn up to 0.25% APY when you deposit a minimum of $100 into the account. 

9. Wells Fargo 

Wells Fargo is one of the largest banks in the U.S., but many people don’t know that it is also one of a select few banks that don’t require Social Security numbers to open an account. For many Alaska residents, this could unlock the chance to open a bank account with an alternate form of identification. 

Alaska has over 40 Wells Fargo branches and twice as many ATMs. You can open several checking accounts, including Teen Checking and Opportunity Checking.

Wells Fargo’s two savings accounts come with a $5 waivable monthly fee. While the APY rate is low, you can still earn at least something on your savings balance. 

Additional Wells Fargo services include personal and auto loans, investment banking, credit cards, mortgages, wealth management, and retirement planning. You can access your Wells Fargo account online or through the mobile app or by contacting customer support that’s available 24/7.  

Remote Banking Alternatives: Online-Only Banks

Some of the best checking accounts don’t correlate to a physical location. With online-only banks, you can bank from wherever you are in Alaska, as long as you get cell phone service.  

Discover 

Though it might be an online-only bank, Discover offers a full suite of financial products, from checking and savings accounts to CDs and credit cards. You can also contact Discover customer support 24/7, even from Alaska. 

While Discover doesn’t offer interest-bearing checking accounts, you can earn a high, competitive APY for its savings accounts. Discover also works with a network of 60,000 ATMs available nationwide. 

Most Discover accounts come without monthly, overdraft, or ATM fees. You can also earn 1% cashback on your Discover checking account when you spend up to $3,000 in monthly purchases. 

Ally Bank 

This bank is another popular option for those who want to manage their finances digitally. Ally Bank offers no monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees, and no ATM fees for all its accounts. 

If you use an out-of-network ATM, Ally Bank pays you up to $10 per statement cycle to cover costs. You can also set up 10 savings “buckets” to achieve your savings goals. 

Ally Bank’s Surprise Savings feature also calculates when you can skim a few dollars off the top of your checking account to put into savings automatically. However, you cannot directly deposit cash into your Ally Bank account. 

nbkc bank 

Don’t let the small letters fool you. This bank offers a full suite of financial services and products, from checking and savings accounts to CDs and money market accounts. 

nbkc bank also works with a network of 37,000 ATMs and reimburses you up to $12 per statement cycle if you go out of network. Most accounts come with low or no fees, but you are limited to the Everything Account, a combination of a checking and savings account. 

Synchrony Bank 

If no minimum deposit and no monthly fees sound like a great start, check out Synchrony Bank. This online-only bank can serve Alaskan residents with up to 4.3% APY on savings accounts. 

Unfortunately, Synchrony Bank doesn’t offer a checking account, though the savings account does come with an ATM card. In addition, you can get up to $5 per statement cycle for out-of-network ATM fees. 

FAQs

What banks and credit unions are available in Alaska? 

Besides online-only banks, the following banks and credit unions exist in Alaska: 

  • Wells Fargo
  • Denali State bank
  • First Bank
  • KeyBank
  • Alaska USA Federal Credit Union 
  • Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union 
  • Tongass Federal Credit Union 
  • Northrim Bank
  • Credit Union 1
  • First National Bank Alaska 
  • McKinley Bank 
  • Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union 

Which of the best national banks are available in Alaska?

National banks in Alaska include Wells Fargo and KeyBank. Chase and Bank of America do not have physical branches located in Alaska. 

What unique challenges do Alaskan residents face when banking? 

Due to the Alaskan climate, traveling to a physical bank isn’t always possible or as convenient as in the lower 48. While some Alaskan towns in more temperate climates may resemble those many of us are used to, more remote locations can make it difficult to travel to a bank for a simple task. 

Banking Among the Stunning Alaskan Wilderness

Living in Alaska isn’t for the weak. The banks we’ve highlighted above recognize and support this lifestyle, giving Alaskan residents the financial means they need to achieve their dreams. 

We hope this article helps you to see what banks are available to Alaskans. You might have been surprised to find out that Alaska has more banks than you first thought. 

While banking in Alaska certainly has its advantages and disadvantages, it’s nice to know that Alaskan residents can also reach out to online-only banks. These digital banks make banking even easier for those in remote locations. 

Which banks in Alaska will you work with? 

Earn $300 bonus
Axos Bank® Rewards Checking
5.0

A free account with unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. You don't have to worry about keeping a minimum balance with Axos' Rewards Checking. As with the bank's other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees, and all fees charged by domestic ATM operators are reimbursed. Axos doesn't charge any ATM fees itself.

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Hi, I'm Brian Meiggs! A personal finance expert, entrepreneur, and the founder of My Millennial Guide. My drive is to help others unlock the wealth of freedom and pave the path to financial success. With my bachelor's degree in finance, I help millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. I write regularly about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. I have been quoted in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, GoDaddy, BiggerPockets, Fox News, Debt.com, Quick Sprout, Money Geek, MSN Money and many more!