Report: The #1 Bank for Customer Satisfaction

If you're thinking about opening a new bank account, money expert Clark Howard wants you to find a financial institution that offers no-fee checking and good customer service. These days, Team Clark recommends online banks for checking accounts. If you really want the brick-and-mortar experience, Clark points you toward credit unions. "Because they're owned by the membership, their whole structure is about serving the member instead of gouging the customer," Clark says.

Traditional banks still do big business, and the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has recently rated their performance. In its Finance, Insurance and Health Care Report, ACSI shows how customers feel about three categories of banks: regional, community and super regional.

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The report is based on interviews with 44,442 customers between October 9, 2019, and September 25, 2020.
Here are some key findings from the report, which scores the banks on a 100-point scale.
  • Citibank, last year's leader, tumbled 5% compared to last year, but still tied for first with Chase among national banks. Though they top the list, both scored only a 77.
  • Smaller regional and community banks scored an average of 81, but their scores have slipped an average of 2.4% compared to last year.
  • National banks have dropped 2.6% to 76, while super regionals experienced the biggest drop, falling 3.8% to a score of 75.
Let’s take a look at how the top national banks fared, then we’ll consider super regional banks.

Top Big Banks for Customer Satisfaction Right Now

Bank 2020 Score % Change From Last Year
Chase 77 -3%
Citibank 77 -5%
Bank of America 75 -3%
Wells Fargo 75 -1%
National Banks (Average) 76 -2.6%
Super regional banks performed worse than national banks “across nearly every element of the customer experience,” the report says. “Super regional banks now fall behind both national players and smaller banks on every element except ATMs or branches, where they surpass community banks.”
Let’s look at the top super regional banks according to customer satisfaction.

Here Are the Top Super Regional Banks

Bank 2020 Score % Change From Last Year
Capital One 77 -3%
BB&T (Truist) 76 -5%
PNC Bank 76 -4%
Regions Bank 76 -3%
TD Bank 76 -1%
Citizens Bank 75 -4%
SunTrust (Truist) 75 -1%
U.S. Bank 75 -5%
Fifth Third Bank 73 -6%
KeyBank 72 -5%
Super Regional Banks (Average) 75 -3.8%

See the full ACSI Finance, Insurance and Health Care Report.

Final Thought

Clark is not a fan of big national banks because of the many fees they charge. 

"Many big banks seem to pride themselves on what I call 'customer no service.' It's not a question of <em>if</em>, but <em>when</em> you'll get ripped off by your big bank," Clark says.

Want to know more about digital banking? Here are the best online banks.

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