How FinanceBuzz Rates Deposit Accounts

FinanceBuzz rates bank and credit union accounts on various criteria based on the account type.

Bank accounts fall into a few categories:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings and money market accounts
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs) or the equivalent at credit unions

We also rank banks and credit unions overall based on their account offerings as well as other essential factors such as customer service and ethics.

Our deposit account ratings range from one to five stars — five being the highest score. Exact star ratings are the product of our proprietary calculations.

Our rating criteria

For all accounts, we consider customer service and experience, the quality of the bank’s mobile app, and whether there are any ethical issues with the bank, such as a recent settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

We also consider features specific to each type of bank account.

Checking accounts

Fees and accessibility are important features for checking accounts. Because of this, we rate checking accounts on factors including their monthly fees, the extent of their ATM networks, whether they offer an APY, and their minimum balance requirements to avoid fees.

We also consider their overdraft policies and whether there is an account opening bonus.

Savings accounts

For savings and money market accounts, we pay close attention to the APY and potential monthly fees that could eat into your savings. We also look at minimum balance requirements and whether there was a bonus for opening an account.

For money market accounts, we also consider how accessible funds are to account holders.


Like savings, we strongly consider APYs when rating accounts. We look at short-, medium-, and long-term CDs, minimum opening deposits, and how many CD options are available.

We also consider early withdrawal penalties.

Banks and credit unions overall

For our overall scores, we consider the quality of the checking, savings, and/or CD accounts held at the financial institution.

We also consider the institution’s mobile app, customer support options and availability, and ethics.

How ratings influence our content

Ratings influence the products and companies we choose to feature in our content. We’re more likely to include those with high scores, but our editorial team also considers topic-specific features and drawbacks to prioritize the needs of our audience. Products and companies with below-average scores may still be featured if their offerings fit a particular topic and could be valuable to readers.

As detailed in our editorial policy and advertiser disclosure, we receive compensation from companies featured in our content. However, while compensation may influence the order in which products or companies appear on a page, it does not in any way affect our star rating calculations or editorial opinions and recommendations.