While Chase offers three potential business checking accounts, the Chase Total Business Checking option is best suited for a small business. It’s the most affordable of the three, with lower fees and transaction caps.
At a glance: With a minimum first deposit of $25 and a $200 sign-up bonus, Chase Total Business Checking involves a $15 monthly fee (dropped to $12 if you opt for paperless statements). The fee can be waived if you maintain a $1,500 minimum balance or you link a Chase Private Client Checking or Chase Sapphire Checking personal account. Benefits include:
• Free cash deposits totaling $5,000 each month
• Free non-wire electronic deposits
• Up to 100 free transactions per month
• Domestic and international wiring with a standard wiring fee
Chase is ubiquitous, with branches on every other city corner and ATMs at thousands of convenient locations. The ease of use in person and online would likely hit home with a small business owner. But Chase might not be the right bank for you if you plan to do many transactions per month and/or are dealing mainly in cash (Chase offers the fewest free transactions and one of the lowest caps on cash deposits of the banks on our list).
4. PNC Bank
As a small business owner, you might prefer a smaller regional bank to one of the big guys. If so, PNC Bank is a great one to consider. PNC affords several lending options from $10,000 up to $100,000, as well as two business checking account types for you to choose from, depending on your company’s needs.
At a glance: A PNC Bank business checking account requires an initial deposit of $100, as well as a $12 monthly maintenance fee, waived by maintaining a balance of at least $1,500 or making $1,000 of eligible purchases on your card monthly. Other features and services include:
• 150 free transactions per month
• Up to $5,000 in no-fee deposits each month
• Free online and mobile banking as well as BillPay
• Overdraft protection
• Integration with QuickBooks (for $15 per month)
PNC’s Business Plus account differs from the basic account in that it has higher limits—no charge for up to 500 transactions per month, up to $10,000 in free cash deposits. It requires $250 to open an account, and it charges a higher monthly maintenance fee ($20), but there are more opportunities to waive the fee. Currently, the bank features a $100 incentive to open a Business Checking account or $200 for a Business Checking Plus account before the end of the year.
Citi provides specialized small business solutions for the health care, legal, property management, and accounting industries. Unfortunately, there are no specialized programs for the A&D industry. But what the nation’s fourth-largest bank does offer is multiple options for financing small businesses in the form of a Citibank Business Credit account, Business Installment Loan, and business credit card, as well as four types of checking accounts—two of which would likely be well-suited to your small design business.
At a glance: CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking Account is the bank’s most basic business checking account, for a $15–$17 maintenance fee per month (depending on the location of your company, and waive-able with a $5,000 balance). It includes:
• 250 free transactions per month
• A business debit card
• Overdraft protection
• Online banking and remote check deposit
• Cash management services
• Integration with QuickBooks for a $15 fee
CitiBusiness Flexible Checking account differs in that the monthly maintenance fee is higher (it varies by state), but it can be waived with a minimum balance of $10,000. Plus, you can make up to 500 no-fee transactions per month and up to $20,000 in cash deposits.
Azlo beat out Axos on our list as the best online bank for small businesses because it is entirely no-fee. Since it has no brick-and-mortar locations, Azlo is able to offer traditional banking experiences in a most nontraditional way—all digitally, which eliminates fees. Backed by BBVA Compass Bank, which holds the accounts on its platform and confirms that all deposits are FDIC-insured, Azlo’s checking account may seem no-frills. However, it might be just enough for your small business—that is, if you’re only looking for a checking account and no additional financing (such as loans or credit lines), as that is its only financing product.