Best Free Small Business Checking Account in 2018

Are you trying to find the best small business checking account in 2018? We reviewed a wide range of options and selected the three we believe meet most small business needs.  In this article, review Capital One Spark Business, Chase Bank Total Business and Bank of America Business Fundamentals. All three are smart options for your small business depending on your priorities.

We aim to provide you with the relevant facts and the key questions you should ask to make the right decision for your business.

Bank of America Business Fundamentals: Best Small Business Checking Account for Fast Growth Businesses

If you’re a fast growth business, you need efficient and effective support on and offline. If you’re looking for the tried and tested best small business checking account experience, BoA Business Fundamentals is a popular choice costing $18/month in fees.

This is because the online user-experience is a breeze to use and it also has arguably the best in branch customer service experience. It’s more expensive than Chase Bank Total Business, but free if you maintain more than $3,000 in your checking account. Like with Chase Bank, you’ll also get 200 free transactions and thereafter they’ll cost $0.45 per transaction.

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Chase Bank Total Business: Best Small Business Checking Account for Early Stage Businesses

If you are a little more established and looking for the best low cost small business checking account, Chase Bank Total Business is an excellent choice costing $12 a month in fees.

This is because unlike Capital Capital One Spark Business it will support support your business in a physical network of over 5,000 branches and 40,000 ATMs. And you can bank for free if you maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 in your checking account. You’ll also get 200 free transactions each month, thereafter transactions cost $0.40 per transaction.

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Capital One Spark Business: Best Free Small Business Checking Account for Lean Startups

If you’re starting-up and looking for the best free small business checking account, Capital One Spark Business is a great choice. Unlike its competitors, a Spark Business checking account charges no monthly fees, there’s no minimum deposit required and you can make unlimited free transactions.

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Best Small Business Checking Account Summary Table

Visit Capital OneVisit Chase BankVisit Bank of America
New customer offerFree account$200 bonus for depositing $500 within 10-days of opening$350 bonus for depositing $1,000 within 60-days of opening
Monthly feesNo fees at all$12/month and free if $1,500 minimum balance maintained$18/month and free if $3,500 minimum balance maintained
Transaction feesUnlimited transactions for free200/month for free
$0.40 per transaction thereafter
200/month for free
$0.45 per transaction thereafter
Cash deposit fees$5,000 for free$7,500 for free$7,500 for free
Free for out-of-network transactions
$2.50 for out-of-network transactions
$2.50 for out-of-network transactions

Questions to Consider

Above, we provided you with a skinny review to help you make a simple choice matching your business needs. Below we unpack the key questions you’ll need to answer to make the right choice for your business.

1. How Much Can You Deposit to Open Your Account?

If you’re looking to open a checking account without laying-down an opening deposit, Capital One Spark Business is the obvious choice.

However, if you can afford to lay-down an opening deposit of $500, you could open an account with Chase Bank and get a bonus of $200. Similarly, with Bank of America, if you can deposit $3,000 in the first 60-days, they are paying out bonuses of up to $350.

2. How Many Transactions will You Make Each Month?

A bank transaction occurs when you deposit cash or a cheque or withdraw cash. It also includes payments you make online or via check.

If you are going to make a high volume of transactions, Capital One is the best option because you get unlimited transactions for free.. However, if your transactions and limited to a couple of hundred a month, Chase Bank and Bank of America are an equally cost-effective solution.

3. What Minimum and Average Monthly Balance Can You Maintain?

If your finances are very tight and you can complete all of your business transactions online, Capital One Sparks Business is the obvious choice. This is because they will provide you with free banking whatever your minimum or average monthly balance. You just need to stay in credit to avoid incurring overdraft costs.

However, if you can maintain a healthy minimum and average monthly balance then Chase Bank ($1,500 minimum) and Bank of America ($3,500 minimum, $5,000 average monthly) become cost-effective options.

5. What Other Services do You Need?

If you want your bank to support a range of other needs, you may find that it is worth paying more in bank costs to access these services.

Capital One is designed for online businesses. Because of this it’s easy to integrate with popular small business accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero and FreshBooks. You also get an excellent mobile app, which is rated very highly. Finally, you get 24/7 online customer service support.

Whereas Chase Bank and Bank of America designed for online and merchant businesses. And if you own a merchant business, there may be some services you cannot do without.  This may ultimately determine your choice of bank. For instance, if you own a restaurant and you need to be able to make remote deposits late at night, your choice is effectively down to Chase and Bank of America.

Visit Chase BankVisit Bank of America
Payroll solutionsYesYes
Merchant servicesYesYes
Tax servicesYesYes
Cash servicesYesYes
Remote depositYesYes
Lockbox servicesYesNo
Account permissionsNoYes
Invoices and paymentsNoYes
Health savings accountsNoYes
Retirement accountsNoYes

6. How Far Away is Your Local Branch?

Finally, you may need a local branch because you need to make regular cash deposits. For example, if you run a restaurant or a retail operation. If this is the case, you’re more likely to be near a branch of Chase Bank or Bank of America. Given how similar their service is, I would personally go with the bank that has a branch closest to my location!

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In this article, we’ve shared three of the best small business checking account options. Each of these provides a great service depending on your business priorities and financial position.

If you’re looking for free banking, Capital One Business Sparks is the obvious choice. Then again, if you need a cost-effective local branch with merchant services, we would opt for Chase Bank Total Business Checking.

But if you are planning fast growth and need a great online/offline experience and business service support then Bank of America Business Fundamentals would be our choice.

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