Colorado has dozens of homegrown banks serving every corner of the state. It also hosts hundreds of branches operated by regional and national banks, including many of the biggest banks in the United States.
So if you’re looking for a new bank in Colorado, you have plenty of choices.
Not that any Colorado bank will do, of course. We’ve made the task much easier by evaluating the top banks in the state and narrowing down our list of the very best. You can’t go wrong with any of the institutions in this lineup — bank on it.
The Best Banks in Colorado
These banks are the best FDIC-insured consumer and small-business financial institutions with operations in Colorado. Many are based in Colorado, and all have physical branches somewhere in the Centennial State.
Best Overall: U.S. Bank
- Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Number of Branches in Colorado: 90+
- Areas Served: Statewide
Yes, our pick for best bank in Colorado is not in fact based in Colorado. But it might as well be. With very few exceptions, U.S. Bank has more branch and ATM locations than any other bank in the state.
Even more important in a vast state like Colorado is how comprehensive its coverage is. While the majority of U.S. Bank branches cluster in Denver and the broader Front Range region, where most Coloradans live, U.S. Bank has many outposts in more sparsely populated mountain areas and in the agricultural Western Slope region centered on Grand Junction.
In terms of products and services, U.S. Bank is second to none. Major selling points include:
Best Bank in Denver: First Citizens Bank
- Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina
- Number of Branches in Colorado: 6
- Areas Served: Greater Denver
First Citizens Bank isn’t based in Colorado either, and its presence in the state is actually pretty small. But what presence it does have is laser-focused on Denver and its suburbs. And it couples a comprehensive product and service lineup (including extensive wealth management services) with a reputation for high-quality service that also earned it a spot on our list of the best banks in California.
Put it all together and it’s more than enough to make First Citizens our pick for best bank in Denver.
First Citizens’ Denver locations include:
- Denver proper (Cherry Creek neighborhood)
- Denver Technology Center (Greenwood Village)
- Westminster (120th Ave)
- Englewood (Zenith Meridian Drive)
- Boulder (28th Street & Arapahoe)
Best Bank in Colorado Springs: Bank of Colorado
- Headquarters: Fort Collins, Colorado
- Number of Branches in Colorado: 50+
- Areas Served: Statewide
Bank of Colorado lives up to its name. Its geographical coverage is second to none among homegrown Colorado banks, and though it’s headquartered in Fort Collins, it seems to have a soft spot in its heart for the Colorado Springs community and the tens of thousands of U.S. service members who call it home.
You can find Bank of Colorado branches and ATMs in downtown Colorado Springs (N Tejon Street), at UC Health Memorial Hospital, at Children’s Hospital Colorado, near the Colorado Springs Airport and Peterson Space Force Base (E Edison Avenue), and near the U.S. Air Force Academy (Interquest Parkway).
Like First Citizens, Bank of Colorado offers full-spectrum deposit and lending service: checking, savings, money markets, CDs, credit cards, real estate loans (including construction loans), auto loans, and more. Which makes it very attractive for the many out-of-state transplants who relocate to Colorado Springs — often in the course of military service — and need comprehensive in-state banking to make them feel at home.
Best Bank in the Front Range: FirstBank
- Headquarters: Lakewood, Colorado
- Number of Branches in Colorado: 87
- Areas Served: Front Range, northern mountain communities
FirstBank (often stylized as 1stBank) has a dense network of branches and ATMs in the populous Front Range region. From Denver to Boulder to Greeley to Fort Collins, you’re never more than a few miles from a FirstBank outpost. And if you’re among the many Front Rangers who escape to the mountains whenever you can, FirstBank has excellent coverage in high country communities like Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, and Avon.
Beyond its comprehensive coverage, FirstBank stands out with impressive yields on savings products, especially CDs. It also caters to real estate investors with a variety of less common real estate loans and hands-on service for 1031 exchanges, which can dramatically reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes on non-owner-occupied properties.
Best Community Bank: High Country Bank
- Headquarters: Salida, Colorado
- Number of Branches in Colorado: 5
- Areas Served: Salida, Canon City, Buena Vista, Longmont
High Country Bank is the smallest Colorado bank on this list, but its product and service lineup is impressive nonetheless.
High Country Bank’s personal banking division offers multiple free or low-cost checking and savings options, taxable and IRA CDs, credit cards, and real estate loans — including vacant land loans, which are in high demand in rural Colorado. Its business banking division offers commercial checking and savings accounts, commercial equipment loans, commercial real estate loans, and general commercial lines of credit.
But what really sets High Country apart is its involvement in the communities it serves. Most banks donate to charity; High Country actively involves each branch in local organizations that make a difference and encourages employees to get out and volunteer. Bottom line: It’s easy to feel good about doing business with High Country Bank.
Best Small-Business Bank: Alpine Bank
- Headquarters: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
- Number of Branches in Colorado: 39
- Areas Served: Statewide
Alpine Bank is another rural-focused Colorado Bank that’s deeply involved in the communities it serves and in tune with its customers’ needs (land loans are also a hot ticket here).
Alpine Bank has more branches than High Country Bank, covering vast swathes of the Rocky Mountains and Western Slope. It’s more focused on small-business clients as well, with an active business lending department that can accommodate:
- General small-business loans with custom repayment terms — for working capital, equipment, facility improvements, inventory, vehicle fleets, and industry-specific needs (such as medical equipment)
- SBA loans
- Commercial property loans (purchase, refinance, or construction)
- Business credit lines up to $50,000
- Business credit cards with flexible rewards and employee card controls
So if you run a Colorado-based business, or one planning an expansion into the Centennial State, make Alpine Bank your first call.
Best for Technology: Chase Bank
- Headquarters: New York, New York
- Number of Branches in Colorado: 130
- Areas Served: Mostly in the Front Range with scattered locations in the northern mountains
Chase Bank isn’t based in Colorado or anywhere near it, but it does have over 100 branches across the state — more than any other bank on this list. It also has the best technological footprint of any bank on this list (of just about any bank, actually), which means those branches are less and less important for most customers’ everyday banking needs.
It’s possible thanks to the Chase Mobile app, which enables super-fast mobile check deposit, person-to-person money transfers (through Zelle), and card management (including instant card locking and unlocking). Those capabilities pair with financial planning and wellness tools like:
- Budget Planner, a spend tracking and planning feature
- Credit Journey, which tracks your progress towards better credit and offers tips along the way
- My Chase Plan, a credit card pay-over-time plan with a fixed monthly fee rather than interest
Will you ever need to set foot in a bank branch again if you bank with Chase? Never say never. But you won’t have to drop by every week, that’s for sure.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Banks in Colorado
We consider six key factors when selecting the best banks in a particular state. For Colorado, we pay particular attention to technology, geographical coverage, access, customer service and satisfaction, product availability, and rates.
Customer Service and Satisfaction
Newsflash: You should like your bank. Maybe not love it, but you certainly shouldn’t dread walking into a branch or calling customer service. So we give preference to banks with high customer satisfaction ratings and robust customer service teams that operate in branch, online, and in local call centers.
Technology and Accessibility
Mountainous Colorado is famous for harsh winter weather that renders entire swathes of the state inaccessible for days or weeks at a time. Longtime Coloradans are used to the inconvenience, but that doesn’t mean they can avoid interacting with their banks through the long snow season.
That’s why we prefer Colorado banks with robust mobile and online banking interfaces. We believe you should be able to do just about anything bank-related online, and most of these institutions agree with us.
No matter where they’re located, great banks tend to be comprehensive. They don’t specialize in one or two products only, but in a wide variety of deposit accounts and loan types. Our list of the best banks in Colorado reflects this.
Rates and Yields
Loan interest rates and deposit account yields change all the time, as anyone who follows the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy knows. Still, banks tend to get into a groove where they’re either ahead of the pack — offering low interest rates and high savings yields — or behind.
We like banks that stay ahead of the pack — no surprise there. Our list reflects this.
Good banks have lots of their own fee-free ATMs scattered across their trade areas or belong to wider ATM networks with tens of thousands of machines across the United States. Generally, both. We compiled this list accordingly.
Colorado still has many small financial institutions that have only a few branches in one area or another. But all else being equal, broader coverage is better. So without totally writing off Colorado’s small community banks, we give preference to banks that operate across wider geographies (even if limited to Colorado).
Colorado Banking FAQs
If you still have questions about the banking industry in Colorado, we have (some) answers.
How Many Banks Are Based in Colorado?
There are 66 FDIC-insured banks based in Colorado, according to our count of the number of banks in each U.S. state. This is about average for a state of Colorado’s size.
The number of banks in Colorado used to be much higher. Like other states, particularly those with longstanding agricultural and extractive industries, Colorado’s banking industry has seen a lot of consolidation since the 1980s.
Most Colorado banks are headquartered in the Front Range region, centered on Denver. However, a number of community banks remain anchored in smaller towns in the Eastern Plains, central mountains, and Western Slope regions.
What Is the Best Bank for Savings in Colorado?
There’s no perfect answer to this question, unfortunately. Savings rates change all the time, and while some Colorado banks always seem to have better yields on savings and CDs than others, the precise order changes often.
For consistently high yields on your savings, look to online banks that serve customers in Colorado, whether or not they’re actually headquartered here. Because they have lower overhead expenses than traditional brick-and-mortar banks, they tend to pay better interest rates on savings accounts.
What Is the Best Bank for Mortgages in Colorado?
Again, there’s no clear winner here. And again, our possibly unsatisfying answer is going to be: Look online. Direct mortgage lenders without physical branch offices typically have the best mortgage rates, all else being equal.
There are exceptions to this rule, however. Many traditional banks (including community banks) offer significant rate discounts and closing cost discounts for customers with preexisting relationships. These benefits tend to get more generous as the relationship grows. Your bank can do a lot more for you if you have $500,000 with them than $500.
Likewise, national mortgage lenders that do have branch offices can still compete with online lenders. Whether they beat Colorado banks’ relationship offers is another question.
What Is the Best Bank for Free Checking in Colorado?
Most of the banks on this list offer at least one free checking account. Failing that, they make it easy to waive checking fees by meeting a minimum balance or direct deposit requirement each statement cycle.
So the answer to this question is “none, because there are so many that pass the free checking test.”
How to Choose a Bank in Colorado
Let’s put it all together and review what you should think about as you choose your new Colorado bank. In our opinion, the factors you absolutely must consider include:
- Account and Service Fees: Unless you love paying bank fees, look for Colorado banks that offer free deposit accounts and credit cards without annual fees. If the best banks for your needs don’t have free checking accounts, give preference to those with checking accounts that make it easy to waive maintenance fees by meeting minimum balance or direct deposit requirements.
- Coverage and Access: Never say never. Even if you do most of your banking on your phone and rarely if ever use cash, there could come a day when you need to hit the ATM or speak with a banker in person. When that happens, you’ll be grateful to have a nearby bank branch or ATM.
- Personal Service and Customer Satisfaction: Parse banks’ stated commitments to customer service very carefully. Everyone pays lip service to the idea, but relatively few Colorado banks actually follow through. If this is important to you, choose a bank that’s truly beloved by its customers, whether it’s a small community bank or a regional bank with a big heart.
- Deposit Account Options: Why juggle multiple banking relationships when you can have one for all your needs? Look for Colorado banks with extensive product lineups, from checking accounts to savings accounts to money market accounts to CDs and beyond.
- Credit Options: You’ll almost certainly need to apply for credit at some point in your life, whether it’s a credit card, car loan, or mortgage (or all of the above). Make your life easier when that time comes by choosing a bank with a nice credit product lineup now and establishing a relationship that could earn you favorable rates or perks on your loan or credit line.
- Technology: Mobile and online banking are no longer “nice to haves” for most banking customers. They’re essentials, especially if you live in far-flung mountain towns that get snowed in for weeks on end. Choose your bank accordingly.