A reader named Paul recently wrote in asking for recommendations for a good business checking account. He’s been dealing with Chase, which has recently instituted a $20 monthly fee for accounts with balances below $7500. Ouch!
My personal experience has been with a “Business Economy Checking Account” from Bank of America, which pays zero interest and has a $3k minimum to avoid a $15 monthly fee. Not as bad as Chase, but not good. The primary reason that I’ve been using BofA for this is convenience. We use them as our local brick and mortar bank so it’s easy to use them for business banking, too.
Unfortunately, the best business banking deals are typically fairly localized, making it difficult to make recommendations on a national basis. In fact, the minimum balance and fees listed above for the Business Economy checking account vary by state, and may or may not apply to your particular situation.
One intriguing option in the realm of online banking is the business savings account from ING Direct. There’s no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fees or service charges, and it pays 0.50% interest. The downside is that it requires a linked business checking account at an outside bank.
In other words, the ING option is really just a way of bumping up your interest rate if your business needs to keep cash on hand. It also provides a way to expand your FDIC protection, as separate coverage limits apply to different banks. But aside from those benefits, it doesn’t really solve the problem at hand.
Another option is the HSBC Business Direct account, which has no minimum balance requirement and offers free wire transfers (10 per month), ATM access, free online billpay, etc. While they don’t appear to pay interest, you can link your account to a business savings account to improve your returns.
And now, dear readers, I’ll turn it over to you… What are the best business banking deals that you’ve run across?