14 Best Banks in Illinois for 2024

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Banking in the Land of Lincoln doesn’t have to change the course of history. Keep reading to learn more about the best banks in Illinois and what accounts they offer.

Illinois is known for several things, from Route 66 to the world’s largest catsup bottle. But if you’re looking to escape from mundane bank accounts and do more with your money, you can find some of the best banks in Illinois. 

These banks offer several perks, from checking and savings accounts to retirement accounts and wealth management. They also offer online and mobile banking. 

Did you know that even those who prefer to bank online or from their smartphone like to visit a bank now and again? Almost 80% of those who typically bank outside of a branch still visited one in 2019. 

It just goes to show you that banking is a personal thing. After all, it is your money and your financial future that these banks carry in your account. 

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

14 Best Banks in Illinois 

Some of the best bank accounts can be found in Illinois. As you look through the list below, write down your favorites and research more about how to open an account and what perks you can use to improve your finances. 

1. Archer Heights Credit Union 

If you’re looking for some of the best checking accounts with no minimum balance requirements or monthly services fees, Archer Heights Credit Union has several that only require a $25 initial deposit. Plus, this credit union uses your credit report to decide your eligibility rather than your ChexSystems report. 

Checking accounts come with unlimited check writing. You can also link your savings account for overdraft protection. 

Archer Heights Credit Union is based in Chicago. Membership eligibility depends on if you live or work in the following zip codes: 

  • 60632
  • 60638
  • 60629
  • 60652
  • 60501

You can also join if you’re employed by the Archer Heights SEG Group or have a family member who is already a member. 

2. Bank & Trust Company 

This Illinois-based bank offers several checking and savings accounts you can choose from. The three checking accounts include: 

  • DiamondBasic: A $100 deposit is all you need for a free debit card and mobile and online banking. This account has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. 
  • DiamondNow: Earn interest on this checking account, which otherwise mirrors the DiamondBasic account.
  • DiamondPlus: This checking account comes with insurance and roadside assistance. 

Bank & Trust Company also offers two savings accounts. One caters to kids specifically, while the other is your standard savings account. 

Both savings accounts require $100 to open. You’ll earn interest on your account balance if you have $100 or more, so earning a decent APY with these savings accounts is easy. 

Bank & Trust Company also offers credit cards and loans. While it may not provide the same services as larger banks, it covers the basics reasonably well. 

3. Catholic and Community Credit Union 

Those looking for a second-chance bank account can find a low-cost option with Catholic and Community Credit Union. This credit union has a Rebound Checking account that costs $7.50 monthly to maintain. 

Once you prove you can hold a positive balance over a year, Catholic and Community Credit Union lets you upgrade to a standard checking account. That’s less than a $100 investment to rebuild your banking history over a relatively short period. 

Catholic and Community Credit Union also participates in the Co-Op Shared Branch network. You can access your account at any participating credit union nationwide without excessive fees.

4. Central Federal Savings and Loan Association 

You can open a free checking account with Central Federal Savings and Loan Association. This bank offers a Totally Free checking account that only requires $50 to open. 

You can also open a Basic Checking with Interest account with a $200 minimum opening deposit. You must deposit at least $2,500 into the Super Checking with Interest account and $5,000 into the Preferred Checking with Interest account. 

You can access a vast network of convenient ATMs with any of these accounts. You also get a free debit card and unlimited checks with no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. 

5. Chester National Bank 

Chester National Bank uses the Telecheck system to qualify its account applicants. This means you can potentially open a standard checking account, even if you have a negative ChexSystems history. 

If you’ve never had a negative entry against you in any banking history system, you can still open up to four different checking accounts with Chester National Bank. The Regular checking account only requires $50 to open. 

You must have a minimum balance of $500 to waive the $5 monthly fee for these accounts. You can also waive the fee if you have a savings account with at least $1,000. 

Chester National Bank operates in Sparta, Perryville, and Chester, Illinois. 

6. First National Bank and Trust Company 

You’ll find First National Bank and Trust Company physical branches in the following Illinois cities: 

  • Clinton
  • Forest Park 
  • Winnebago
  • Rockton
  • Roscoe

First National Bank and Trust Company also offers a second-chance checking account called Renew Checking. This account requires $25 when you open the account and a one-time setup fee of $15. 

You can upgrade to a standard checking account one year after you open your second-chance checking account as long as you keep a positive balance. These accounts come with a free Visa debit card you can use. 

7. GN Bank 

Otherwise known as Illinois Service Federal, GN Bank offers four checking accounts. The following two checking accounts are the most popular: 

  • Absolutely Free Checking: This account requires $100 to open and comes with a free debit card. You can also access your account via the mobile app or online. 
  • Retail Checking: Open this account with a similar $100 deposit, and you can pay your bills online and download free statements. Keep that initial $100 in the account to waive the $15 monthly fee. 

GN Bank has two locations in Chicago, Illinois. It also partners with a network of 30,000 ATMs nationwide. 

8. Great Lakes Credit Union 

If you have a negative ChexSystems entry, you can take the Great Lakes Credit Union Checking Account Management course to earn the right to open an account with this credit union. The online course sets you up for a positive banking experience. 

The Fresh Start Checking account requires a $50 initial deposit to help you repair your checking history. The $10 monthly fee cannot be waived, and you must have a monthly direct deposit of at least $250 to keep the account. 

Great Lakes Credit Union operates several locations in the following cities: 

  • Crystal lake
  • Chicago
  • Bolingbrook
  • Gurnee
  • Zion
  • Waukegan 

9. Hanmi Bank 

You can find Hanmi Bank in Virginia, New York, Texas, New Jersey, California, and Illinois. Local physical branches can be found in Glenview, Chicago, and Naperville. 

Hanmi Bank offers several accounts, including CDs, savings, and money market accounts. This bank is a member-FDIC and compounds interest daily on its savings accounts. 

The Simple Savings account offers a competitive interest rate, but the Savings Account has a higher rate. You need $100 to open a Simple Savings account and $500 in your Savings Account to waive the $5 monthly fee. 

10. Marquette Bank

For $20 and a $5 monthly fee, you can repair your banking history with a Marquette Bank ReStart Checking account. This account has no minimum balance requirements and comes with a free debit card. 

You can transfer your balance to a standard Marquette Bank checking account after a year has passed and you’ve kept a positive balance. You can also enjoy free money orders for the first year. 

Marquette Bank operates 11 locations within Illinois. Marquette Bank can help you get back on your feet if you're looking for a second-chance bank account.  

11. PeopleFirst Bank 

PeopleFirst Bank is a member-FDIC financial institution offering a full banking service suite. You can open three savings accounts and even a high-yield checking account. 

The Target Savings Account has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. You’ll need $100 to open the account, which is the exact amount you need to open the Statement Savings account. 

However, you must have at least $500 in your Statement Savings account to waive the monthly fee. If you have $2,500, you can deposit into a savings account, you can open the Max Rate account, which requires a $10,000 daily balance to waive its monthly fees. 

You can also open a Minor Savings account for your child with $100. This savings account offers variable interest rates. 

PeopleFirst Bank has several locations in Joliet and Shorewood. It also offers a money market account to help you build your savings. 

12. Regions Bank 

Regions Bank vies for a spot among the largest banks in the U.S., but it continues to serve many communities nationwide. It’s available in 16 states and offers everything from checking and savings accounts to investment and loan services.

Savings accounts from Regions Bank have no monthly fees. In some circumstances, the $5 monthly fee for Regions Bank checking accounts can be waived. 

For example, you can waive the monthly fee if you open a LifeGreen or Preferred Checking account, you can waive the monthly fee. However, you cannot waive it for the Regions Now Checking account. 

If you open a Regions Bank savings account online, you must deposit a higher opening balance than if you were to open one in person. However, the savings accounts are free at Regions Bank. 

This full-service bank operates over 2,000 ATMs and 1,500 branches nationwide. Check it out if you’re looking for a bank account that offers the perks of a larger bank but the service of a local bank.

13. U.S. Bank 

U.S. Bank is known for competing against many other national banks that offer some of the best banking apps, financial services and products, and online banking platforms. This popular bank has a significant presence in Illinois and provides a mainstream experience some prefer over local and community banks. 

You can find the following at U.S. Bank physical locations, as well as online and through the U.S. Bank mobile app: 

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • CDs
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Loans 

The one area where U.S. Bank needs to improve is the APY it offers for its savings accounts. Some monthly account fees can be waived, while others are required. 

For example, many savings accounts come with a $4 monthly fee. You can only waive this if you have a $300 minimum daily balance or a balance of $1,000 for the month. 

It’s a similar situation for checking accounts. The $4.95 fee can’t be waived for the Safe Debit Account, which doesn’t allow you to write checks or make overdrafts. 

However, U.S. Bank does offer over 3,000 branches and 5,000 ATMs nationwide. If you’re looking for a large national bank to work with, U.S. Bank could be it.

For business accounts, U.S. Bank has three business checking accounts, Gold and Platinum — including a free option with its Silver Business Checking. You can apply for an account online, over the phone or in person at a branch (U.S. Bank has branches in 26 states).

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14. Vantage Credit Union

This Illinois credit union offers two checking accounts: the Vantage Basic Checking and Vantage Save.Think.Live. Checking. Both accounts have no monthly maintenance fees or minimum account balance requirements. 

You can open either of these accounts as long as you have a positive Telecheck history and a credit score of at least 499. If you open a Vantage Save.Think.Live. account, you can request a refund every six months on any overdraft fees ($35) you incur. 

FAQs

What are some of the best banks in Illinois?

Some of the best banks in Illinois include First National Bank and Trust Company, Hanmi Bank, Bank & Trust Company, and Chester National Bank. There are many other great banks in Illinois, some of which did not make our list. 

What do you need to open a bank account in Illinois?

Opening a bank account in Illinois requires some form of identification, a Social Security number, and a potential deposit. You may also need to show proof of address or complete an application. 

Which banks in Illinois don’t use ChexSystems?

Banks in Illinois that don’t use ChexSystems to verify your banking history include Great Lakes Credit Union, Marquette Bank, Vantage Credit Union, First National Bank and Trust Company, and Central Federal Savings and Loan Association. Other banks on our list may also use your credit report or Telecheck to verify your banking history. 

Which of the best banks in Illinois offer free checking accounts?

GN Bank, Bank & Trust Company, and Central Federal Savings and Loan Association offer free checking accounts. Other banks on our list may offer free checking accounts if you complete specific activities to waive the monthly fees. 

Your New Route to the Best Banks in Illinois

Some of the best banks in Illinois make it even more rewarding to live in this state. These banks offer a full suite of financial services and products, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, credit cards, and even business banking

We hope this list helps you find a bank in Illinois to work with to make your financial dreams possible. The best banks support your finances with helpful resources and products.

Though many of the banks on this list are smaller than national banks, they can offer personalized service and local perks that make banking locally well worth it. Plus, many provide higher APYs and lower fees than many national banks. 

Which of the best banks in Illinois will you choose? 

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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!