Best Banks in Arkansas: Don’t Miss Our Top 4 Selections!

On the hunt for a new bank in Arkansas?

Look no further – we’ve done the homework and have our list of the top 4 best banks in Arkansas

Updated February 2024
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Fact checked by Cody Beecham

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Banks in Arkansas offer a wide range of services and products to meet the needs of residents – but with so many options available, just how do you go about choosing the right one?

If you are asking this question, you are in the perfect place – we have put together an in-depth article covering everything you need to know about which banks are best for you.

What Should Customers Consider When Selecting A Bank?

When selecting a bank, customers should consider a range of factors, but we think the most important four drivers are:

1. Types and Extent of Services Offered

One of the most important considerations when selecting a bank is the types of services offered. Customers should check to see if the bank offers the products and services they need, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, or other specialized banking services.

If you have a simple financial situation, that might be all you need, and a community or local bank might work ok for you.

But if you have a more complicated situation, and need health management or business services, you will often need to use a larger, nationwide bank, to get a robust and full suite of services.

2. Location & Accessibility

If customers need access to physical branches in order to conduct transactions or meet with representatives, they should consider banks with multiple branch locations throughout Arkansas.

While so much of banking has moved online, we see that many people don’t need an in-person branch, though. I personally haven’t visited a physical branch of my bank in over a decade.

If you’ve moved online too, you may still want to consider the extent of a bank’s ATM network. Many banks today are joining ATM networks that give you access to tens of thousands of ATMs across the nation and even internationally as well.

3. Fees & Rates

When selecting a bank, customers should also consider the fees and charges associated with the services they need. For example, some banks may charge monthly or annual fees for certain accounts, while others may offer free services.

It is important to read all the terms and conditions associated with any account before signing up.

I avoid any bank that charges me fees for basic banking services. It’s not hard to find this today, as banks have to compete hard for good customers. I currently even have free incoming and outgoing wire transfers.

4. Customer Service & Support

Good customer service is essential when selecting a bank. Customers should look for banks that offer quick response times to inquiries and complaints, as well as helpful and knowledgeable representatives.

Additionally, customers should also consider the online services offered by the bank, such as mobile banking applications or online chat support.

By taking the time to consider all of these factors, customers can find a bank that best meets their individual needs and financial goals.

What Are The Top Options For Banks In Arkansas?

Numerous banking options are available in Arkansas, with something to suit all customers. From small, local banks to large national institutions, here are some of the top options for banking in the state:

number of banks and credit unions in Arkansas

1. Best Local Bank – Bank Of Little Rock

Bank of Little Rock is an Arkansas-based bank that offers a wide range of banking products and services for both personal and business customers. Its business banking services include checking, savings, loans, and cash management solutions.

It also has a range of online banking tools to help streamline the day-to-day operations of small businesses.

Services Offered

The Bank of Little Rock offers a wide range of services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and loans. It also offers business banking solutions such as cash management services and merchant solutions.

Additionally, customers can take advantage of online banking tools such as mobile check deposit, bill pay, and mobile banking apps.

Location And Accessibility

Bank of Little Rock has 5 branches located throughout Arkansas, making it easy for customers to access their accounts and conduct transactions. Customers can also use its online banking portal to manage their accounts from anywhere, anytime.

Fees & Rates

We thought that they really differentiated themselves here.

We found that they had a checking account with an actually fairly high-interest rate. While we could still find better in a simple money market account and the Bank’s rate was still less than inflation, it was substantially higher than most other bank’s checking accounts rates (which are often 0% of <1%). So this was a nice stand-out find.

They also offer a debit card with a 1.5% flat cashback rate. Cash back on debit cards isn’t something we can recall seeing elsewhere. Unfortunately, the cashback here is capped at $45 per year, a tiny and irrelevant amount for most people. Nevertheless, this could be a good product for people just starting out or teens learning to manage money to get used to using a card to smartly earn rewards and cash back.

Customer Service & Support

The Bank of Little Rock provides excellent customer service and support, with knowledgeable staff that is available to help customers with any inquiries or issues they may have.

Customers can also access the bank’s online banking tools for easy account management.

The main issue is that support does not appear to be available 24/7 – customers are instead invited to complete a contact form or drop into their local branch for support and guidance.

Overall, we found the Bank of Little Rock to be a solid option for people looking for a local bank and only have simple and straightforward financial needs.

Summary

  • Fees: Zero with a minimum account balance
  • 24/7 customer service: No
  • Mobile banking: Yes
  • Online banking: Yes
  • Account types: Checking and saving
  • Interest-earning savings accounts?: Yes
  • Special notes: Offers some great cashback account options

2. Best Regional Bank: Arvest Bank – Best For Basic, Accessible Banking

The oldest bank in Arkansas, Arvest Bank is also one of the largest financial institutions in the state and offers a range of products and services for personal and business customers.

Arvest provides a robust suite of services including not only checking accounts, savings accounts, and mortgages, but also more complicated services like investing, business services, and more.

Services Offered

Arvest Bank offers basic banking services, including checking and savings accounts, mortgages, home equity loans, auto loans, and credit cards,

They also offer slightly more advanced products like investments, financial advisors, and insurance.

We liked their business services offerings which included things like corporate credit cards, treasury management, and a host of different types of business loans. They look like they can handle the business needs of small and regional businesses just fine.

They also provide online and mobile banking tools for customers to manage their accounts on the go.

Location & Accessibility

Arvest Bank has branches located throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, meaning that this is a bank with a solid regional presence.

Its online banking platform allows customers to access their accounts from anywhere with an internet connection, which makes this a super convenient option.

Fees & Rates

Arvest Bank does not charge monthly or annual fees for most of its accounts.

However, certain services may be subject to certain fees and charges, such as overdraft fees and foreign transaction fees. Generally, however, these tend to be lower than the fees charged by better-known national banks.

Unfortunately, one thing we weren’t as excited about was their current rate schedule. On both the deposit and lending side, the rates seemed to be consistently a bit worse than the current market rate from what we see elsewhere.

Customer Service & Support

Arvest Bank provides a range of customer service options, including telephone support, email support, and social media support.

We were impressed with their overall customer feedback across platforms, it was noticeably higher than what we typically see for a bank!

Customers can also access the bank’s online banking platform for easy account management, as well as its mobile banking apps.

Our overall feel here was that Arvest is a good option if you’re a small or medium size business owner in the greater Arkansas region. I suspect their sweet spot is businesses that are a bit too large for a local bank, but not so large that they need to use one of the nationwide players just yet. While their rates aren’t the best in many products, they’re still competitive and there could be benefits to being able to have all of your services concentrated with one institution.

Summary

  • Fees: Vary according to the account you select, but basic accounts do not have a monthly fee
  • 24/7 customer service: Yes
  • Mobile banking: Yes
  • Online banking: Yes
  • Account types: Checking, saving, investment, business
  • Interest-earning savings accounts?: Yes
  • Special notes: One of the widest ranges of checking account options
number of banks and credit unions in Arkansas

3. Best Family-Owned Bank: First Arkansas Bank And Trust

First Arkansas Bank and Trust is a family-owned bank located in Jacksonville, with 22 branches and ATMs throughout the state.

It offers a range of banking services, products, and programs designed to meet the needs of both individuals and businesses.

Services Offered

First Arkansas Bank and Trust offer checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit, business banking services, and more.

Customers can also access the bank’s online banking platform and mobile app for easy account management.

We found it to be a fairly limited product and service offering, just the basics here, but we are talking about a family-owned institution after all!

Location & Accessibility

First Arkansas Bank and Trust have 22 branches located throughout Central and North Central Arkansas, so customers don’t have to worry about traveling too far for banking services.

Its online banking platform and dedicated mobile app make it convenient for customers to manage their accounts from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Fees & Rates

First Arkansas Bank and Trust do not charge monthly or annual fees for most of its accounts, and those that do come with a fee can see this waived as long as a minimum account balance is maintained – this can be very useful for customers on a budget.

Frankly, most of the rates we checked were not too exciting. They were ok, but definitely, not the best you can get. For example, their cash-back credit card only had a rate of 1%. Right now it’s pretty straightforward to find a card with a 1.5-2.0% cash-back rate. 

We prefer banks that have at least one stand-out product or service or rate that you just can’t get anywhere else and we struggled to find that at First Arkansas. 

Customer Service & Support

First Arkansas Bank and Trust are fairly limited when it comes to customer service and support – the main point of contact appears to be a simple form on the website, or heading to your local branch. This may be an issue for customers who need more immediate assistance.

Summary

  • Fees: Varies according to the account you select, but basic accounts do not have a monthly fee
  • 24/7 customer service: No
  • Mobile banking: Yes
  • Online banking: Yes
  • Account types: Checking, savings, loans
  • Interest-earning savings accounts?: Yes
  • Special notes: Perfect for customers looking for a really personal, family experience from their bank.

4. Best For Ongoing Support: Regions Bank

If you are looking for a bank that can provide plenty of support when it comes to managing your finances, Regions Bank is a great option.

As the name suggests, this is a regional bank that serves Texas, the Midwest, and the Southern United States, with 82 branches in Arkansas – 25 of which are in Little Rock.

Services Offered

Regions Bank offers a fully comprehensive range of services and products, including three checking accounts, three savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and home equity loans, business banking services, and more.

They also offer not only small business solutions but also financing and banking solutions for larger companies. We noticed that they have several specialty departments for business as well, notably in the agriculture and real estate sectors. 

Customers can also access the bank’s online and mobile banking platforms for easy account management.

Location & Accessibility

As mentioned above, Regions Bank has 82 branches located throughout Arkansas – 25 of which are in Little Rock.

Its online and mobile banking platforms are easy to use and make it easy for customers to manage their accounts from anywhere with an Internet connection.

The main issue here is that many products cannot be accessed online – to open certain types of savings accounts, you will need to head to the nearest branch, which can be inconvenient for some customers.

Fees & Rates

There are fees associated with all accounts at Regions Bank, and one of these, the $5 monthly fee for the Regions Now Checking account, cannot be waived. Fees for the other two checking accounts can be waived or avoided provided that specific criteria are met.

Rates across products and services were generally competitive at about the going market rate. 

Customer Service & Support

Regions Bank offers a range of customer service and support options, including 24/7 telephone banking, email support, and numerous in-person branches concentrated in the Arkansas area. This allows customers to get the help they need no matter what time or day it is.

The bank also provides an online learning center where customers can access resources on topics such as budgeting, savings and investing, and more.

Summary 

  • Fees: Vary between accounts – some can be waived, but the Now Checking Account has a mandatory $5 monthly fee
  • 24/7 customer service: No
  • Mobile banking: Yes
  • Online banking: Yes
  • Account types: Checking, savings, loans, and more
  • Interest-earning savings accounts?: Yes
  • Special notes: Perfect for customers who need a little more support
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Wrapping up

No matter what kind of banking services you are looking for, you should be able to find something that suits your needs in Arkansas.

With over 90 banks and over 70 credit unions to choose from, there’s no shortage of options, but we’ve given you what we think are the best 4 to start looking at.

Editor's Note:

At Personal Finance Guru, we want to help you maximize your lifestyle through personal finance. You can trust the integrity of our independent financial advice. Our opinions are our own and have not been provided, reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any advertiser or financial product provider. To support and grow the site, however, we may receive compensation from the issuers of some products.

Meet the author:

Cathy Gresham

Cathy Gresham

Editor & Author

Cathy Gresham is a finance whiz. 

After earning her MBA from The Wharton School, she has worked in strategy at some of the world’s largest and most influential financial companies for 20+ years. Notably, she has worked for the biggest credit card issuers and networks and brings an insider’s perspective to how credit card products work behind the scenes.  

Cathy is passionate about personal finance and investing, and loves helping people learn about these complex topics. Her wit and humor make learning about money fun, and she’s always happy to share her knowledge with others.

Cathy enjoys spending time with her family and friends when she’s not crunching numbers or developing investment strategies. She’s also an avid runner, and can often be found pounding the pavement on her morning jog.