We often associate Hawaii with tropical beaches, island life, and a laid-back lifestyle. Indeed, this tropical chain of over 132 islands is one of the more unique states in the nation.
Hawaii is a great tourist destination for sure, but how does it rank when it comes to banking? Because of their remoteness, Hawaiian residents may find banking even more important as there are only a few locations for physical locations.
Many of the best banks in Hawaii also offer residents a chance to manage their money through online or mobile banking. This type of access can help tremendously, especially with the number of people using credit cards climbing nearly 15% within the last five years.
Generally, the best bank accounts make sending and receiving money easier. They may also offer welcome bonuses and convenient perks for locals.
Our list includes several of the best banks in Hawaii. You can use these banks as you would on the mainland, just with the bonus that you don’t have to travel far (and you get to spend time on the beach afterward).
Are you ready to learn more about the best banks in Hawaii? Let’s get started!
Types of Banks in Hawaii
Due to the nature of Hawaii’s location, you’ll find the following types of banks on this beautiful island:
- Online-only banks: Online-only or digital banks forego physical locations to pass on the savings to their members. Banking is typically done over the internet or through a smartphone with online-only banks, making it difficult to deposit money. However, online-only banks do offer higher interest rates and lower fees across the board.
- Local banks: Hawaii is where many local banks shine. These banks integrate themselves into the community and offer support for small businesses and local entrepreneurs. In addition, you have a higher chance of approval for a loan with local banks as they don’t have to stick to strict requirements as national banks do.
- National banks: Banks located in 15 or more states are considered national banks. While it is much harder and more expensive to host a presence in Hawaii, many national banks cater to residents who want the flexibility of a national network and the chance to bank online or on their smartphones.
Most of the banks in Hawaii are regional. Real estate and living costs are much higher on the island than on the mainland, so national banks typically find opening a physical location in Hawaii cost-prohibitive.
7 Best Banks in Hawaii
Whether you love pineapples, tie-dye shirts, or the ocean breeze, banking in Hawaii can be refreshing. Keep reading to find out more about the best banks in Hawaii.
1. CIT Bank
CIT Bank is actually a branch of First Citizens Bank. This larger bank ranks as one of the top 20 financial institutions, with over 600 branches in nearly two dozen states.
You may be surprised to know that CIT Bank is actually an online-only bank. It offers checking and savings accounts with high-interest rates and little to no fees and plenty of promotional banking offers.
Many of the checking accounts from CIT Bank require a low or no minimum deposit to earn interest on the account. You don’t have to pay monthly maintenance fees either.
CIT Bank Savings Connect has an annual percentage yield of up to 4.50%, which is higher than the national average interest rate on savings accounts. This account does not charge a monthly Service Charge.
Experience a convenient and secure all-digital way to grow and access your money. Earn a competitive interest rate. Easily pay people and bills, with no monthly fees.
Interest that adds up in your family's best interest. Open an account today and start earning. Open an account with $100 to earn up to 1.00% APY.
Online and mobile banking is easy and convenient with an eChecking account. CIT customers can access checking accounts 24 hours a day online or through the mobile app. Checking accounts can be opened with a $100 minimum opening deposit.
CIT Bank CDs provide a safe, secure way to grow your savings. Choose from a selection of CD rates and terms to help you stay on target for your savings goals.
2. American Savings Bank
Ranked as the third-largest bank in Hawaii, American Savings Bank is also known for offering some of the best money market accounts. You can easily use American Savings Bank to manage your finances through checking and savings accounts.
American Savings Bank was established relatively recently in 1987. However, it continues to offer Hawaiian residents several perks, including an extensive network of ATMs.
If you live in Hawaii, American Savings Bank can offer you discounted rates on various loans. You can also use American Savings Bank to invest and bank on your smartphone.
Checking accounts from this regional bank come with low minimum balance requirements. You can also waive the monthly maintenance fees in several ways, some of which can be difficult to achieve.
Nonetheless, banking in Hawaii is easy with American Savings Bank. Then again, it’s not the only bank in Hawaii you can use to manage your money.
3. Bank of Hawaii
You’ll have to scroll back to 1897 to find the beginnings of the Bank of Hawaii. This historic regional bank continues serving customers from generation to generation.
Bank of Hawaii has made itself a name due to the best checking accounts it offers. These accounts typically support locals who want to better their finances for a more stable lifestyle.
In addition to personal loans and mortgages, the Bank of Hawaii fosters a network of volunteers with fundraising and sponsorships. You can also earn Hawaiian Miles with your Bank of Hawaii credit card.
You’ll find many branches throughout the Hawaiian islands, giving you the freedom to manage your money from practically any beach. Bank of Hawaii charges low or no fees and incorporates several ways to waive monthly maintenance fees.
4. Central Pacific Bank
Establishing a life on the Hawaiian islands can be difficult for many. After all, you don’t have the resources many of us take for granted on the mainland.
Central Pacific Bank recognized this struggle and opened in 1954 to help immigrants establish themselves on these beautiful islands. This regional bank continues to support the local community in making a better life for themselves and those surrounding them.
You’ll find some of the highest CD rates in Hawaii here at Central Pacific Bank. This bank also hosts savings accounts aplenty with low minimum balance requirements.
If it’s more traditional banking services you’re looking for, Central Pacific Bank offers mortgages, loans, business products, and credit cards. You may even find better rates or a higher rate of acceptance with Central Pacific Bank.
5. First Hawaiian Bank
You’ll come across quite a few old banks on our list, but First Hawaiian Bank earns that name. It’s the oldest and largest bank in Hawaii, founded in 1858.
First Hawaiian Bank has undoubtedly grown since the mid-1800s. In fact, there are quite a few branches scattered across Hawaii that you can use to manage your funds.
In addition to essential personal banking services, First Hawaiian Bank also offers the following:
- Business banking
- Wealth management
You can easily waive your monthly maintenance fee if you open a First Hawaiian Bank checking account. Low minimum balance requirements also make opening and funding an account easy.
6. Hawaii National Bank
Hawaii National Bank was opened in 1960 as the first national bank in Hawaii. It offers members several ways to waive their monthly fees to put more money back into their pockets.
Hawaii National Bank is also locally owned and operated. It has 11 branches you can visit if you’d like.
In addition to low interest rates on loans such as home equity lines of credit, Hawaii National Bank offers a checking and debit account for kids that parents can manage. This is a great way to get the conversation of bank accounts going if you’re a family looking for a new one.
7. Territorial Savings Bank
Opened in 1921, Territorial Savings Bank offers a complete selection of banking products, from basic checking and savings accounts to business banking accounts. This bank continues to flow with the times to bring more perks to its members.
You only need $100 to deposit into your new Territorial Savings Bank account to earn a competitive interest rate. You can also earn a high interest rate on certificates of deposit (CDs) from this Hawaii-based bank.
One of the best things about banking with Territorial Savings Bank is that you can access discounts from local merchants. This can be well worth it if you want to support local businesses and manage your finances, all in one place.
Different Types of Banks
It’s easy to think about banks in a general sense, but there are various types of banks you can work with to manage your money. Here are a few of the most basic types of banks:
- National banks: These banks offer several locations nationwide and practically any and every banking service you can think of. With the best national banks, you typically don’t have to worry about finding ATM locations because they are the most prevalent of all bank ATMs.
- Regional or community banks: Regional banks inhabit several major areas of the country, from the South and Midwest to the East. These banks are smaller than national banks but offer customers across several states competitive perks and a network of services.
- Credit unions: Unlike banks, credit unions require membership to gain access to banking services. Most membership fees are only a few dollars, though some credit unions have stricter requirements than others.
- Online-only banks: Many people are migrating to online-only banks because they offer better interest rates for both savings and loans. These banks don’t have to worry about physical locations, so they can share those savings with their customers.
- Private banks: Like credit unions, private banks restrict membership to high-net-worth individuals. Therefore, these banks are open to some but can offer more personalized service for those who qualify.
Chase and Wells Fargo are two of the most well-known and largest banks in the U.S. Several of the banks on our list qualify as regional or community banks within Hawaii.
Many states have credit unions that offer an alternative to banks. You can also privately bank if you have a high net worth.
What should you look for in a new bank account?
When looking for a new bank account, you should consider what type of bank you’re working with, what services it offers, and how well it serves its customers. You can find a list of a bank's services on its website and reviews of that bank with a simple internet search.
Are national or regional banks better?
Many people prefer national banks because they are widely available. This makes traveling easier without worrying about paying for out-of-network ATM transactions.
However, many people prefer regional banks because they offer physical locations and more perks for local customers. Some regional banks offer competitive interest rates and welcome bonuses as well.
Which banks in Hawaii offer fee-free checking?
The majority of banks in Hawaii offer free-free checking accounts. However, some require you to meet specific requirements to waive the monthly maintenance fees.
Are there any credit unions in Hawaii?
Yes, there are several credit unions in Hawaii, including Kamehameha Federal Credit, Navy Federal Credit Union, and HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union. Many of these credit unions offer members several benefits in exchange for membership.
Say “Aloha” to the Best Banks in Hawaii
Money may not be the first thing you consider when thinking of Hawaii. Then again, saving up for a tropical location can have you stressing about your finances.
Visiting the island does require an investment, similar to what you’d pay for living there. However, many banks in Hawaii can help you manage your funds and achieve your financial goals.
We hope this article has given you an idea of how many banks are available to Hawaiian residents. It can be expensive to live in Hawaii, but if it’s your port of call, you can use these banks to keep your money safe.
Whether you choose local or online-only banks, you can easily take advantage of several welcome offers and account perks. You can even open a few checking accounts to see who offers the best rates.
When will you visit Hawaii and open a new Hawaiian bank account?
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