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Review of the Albert Money Management App

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Albert is a money management app that acts as a concierge for your finances. Unlike other apps that solely focus on one specific money management tool, like building a budget or ramping up savings, Albert takes a more holistic approach.

Not all apps are worth the download, though. While Albert can certainly be a useful money management tool, it does have its drawbacks.

Albert

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on Albert’s secure website

The bottom line: Albert offers a comprehensive view of your finances, helping to save3 with access to actual financial advisors. However, it doles out a dismal APY when compared with other online savings accounts.

  • Includes features such as automatic savings, instant cash advances and cash bonuses
  • Features an annual bonus of up to 0.25% on savings funds
  • Includes a micro-investing account option
Best for ...Consumers who want to automate their savings and build healthy financial habits
Minimum balanceNone; $1 for Albert Investing
Monthly fee Minimum of $4 for Genius subscription
Annual bonus Up to 0.25% on savings funds
Accounts offered Savings account, individual brokerage account
Access to human financial advisors Yes

What is the Albert app?

Albert offers three core money management features in its free version: savings automation, budgeting and the chance to lower your bills.

Albert automates savings

With its Smart Savings tool, Albert analyzes your income and spending habits over time, and finds dollars you can afford to save here and there. It moves money for you gradually, stashing it in a digital wallet account included in the app.

With the free subscription to Albert, you’ll get one free Smart Savings deposit in Albert’s digital wallet per week. If you want more control, Albert also enables you to save a set amount on a weekly basis. Funds in your Albert savings are available for withdrawal at no cost at any time.

While Albert’s digital wallet does not pay any interest, the app will reward you with an annual bonus of up to 0.25% for Genius subscribers and 0.10% for regular Albert users. The bonus is paid out as 25 cents per every $100 (or 10 cents per every $100) you have saved over the course of a year, and it is paid at the beginning of each month. If your bonus is less than 5 cents, it will roll over that bonus to the next month until you reach a bonus amount over 5 cents.

The funds in your Albert savings account are held at accounts at partner banks, which provide Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) insurance up to the legal limit.

Albert helps you budget

Albert has a budgeting feature that automatically generates a personalized monthly budget made up of four components: income, recurring bills, savings and everything else. You can track your budget on Albert with visuals like pie charts, and the app will send you push notifications to alert you to excessive spending or bill due dates.

Within the budgeting feature is a financial health checkup score to help you gauge how you’re doing financially overall, taking into consideration aspects of your financial life. The score ranges from 0 to 100, and is calculated by examining your account data across four categories:

  • Savings and investments: The score takes into account your balances in the savings and investing portions of the Albert app, as well as your linked checking account.
  • Debt burden: This is determined by your ratio of total credit card debt to income.
  • Insurance: This takes into account the insurance policies you own.
  • Fees and rewards: These factor in what you pay in banking and credit card fees.

Albert can negotiate lower bills for you

Through a partnership with bill negotiating company Billshark, Albert also gives you the option to negotiate lower monthly bills for expenses like cable, phone and internet. When Albert identifies a bill it might be able to lower, it will alert you to it. From there, you can sign in, provide a few details about the bill and then negotiations will start.

It is worth noting that if Billshark successfully lowers your bill, it takes 40% of your savings as a fee.

Albert’s fees and additional features

Albert Instant: Albert can provide you with an instant cash advance up to $100 straight from your bank account, with no interest charged or late fees. The fee for this service ranges from $3.99 to $4.99, depending on whether you subscribe to Albert’s premium service (discussed in more detail below).

Albert Planning: This feature allows you to sign up for insurance policies directly from the app. Insurance types offered include life insurance, home insurance, renters insurance and car insurance. There is no stated fee for this service, but you will have to pay for the insurance policy.

Albert Genius: Albert’s premium service, Albert Genius, offers numerous added features, as well as guidance from financial experts. Albert charges fees under a “pay what you think is fair” model, although there is a minimum of $4 per month. You get access to a micro-investing account (more on that below), plus these three account enhancements:

  • Ask for advice: You can ask Genius for tailored advice on a number of financial topics, like credit card debt, student loans, travel rewards, insurance, savings and investing.
  • Smart Savings: Instead of being limited to one Smart Savings transaction a week, you’ll get access to multiple Smart Savings transactions per week.
  • Increased savings bonus: You’ll receive an increased annual bonus of 1% on your savings.

Albert Investments: For those who get the Genius upgrade, the true highlight is the micro-investing account, Albert Investments. You get a custom investment portfolio crafted by Albert’s financial analysts, as well as guidance from its team of financial advisors. Albert Investments requires a minimum investment of $1, and features commission-free trades and automatic investing. Self-managed investing is also an available option.

Advantages of the Albert app

  • Provides numerous features: Albert provides a full toolbox of features to help you manage almost every aspect of your financial life, from saving and budgeting to investing and lowering bills.
  • Simplifies money management: Albert’s savings, budgeting and investing algorithms can take much of the grunt work out of money management.
  • Provides a holistic financial view: The financial health checkup score provides a simple, top-level view of your finances.

Downsides of the Albert app

  • Offers a minimal savings bonus: The 0.25% annual bonus added to your savings is minimal compared with the interest you can earn on savings in many other online savings accounts listed on our site.
  • Limits savings transactions for some users: For non-Genius users, the Smart Savings tool that automatically saves money for you based on your spending habits is limited to just one savings transaction per week.

Albert vs. other money management apps

Albert vs. Other Money Management Apps
Albert Cleo MintQapital
Monthly feeMinimum of $4 for Genius$5.99 for Cleo PlusFree for its budgeting features$3 to $12 per month
APY N/A, but up to 0.25% annual bonusUp to 1.50% N/A0.10%

Albert operates in the same vein as many other budgeting and money management apps, like Cleo, Mint and Qapital. Compared with these competitors, Albert falls somewhere in the middle. Mint’s robust budgeting features, which are free, arguably outshine Albert’s budgeting offerings. Meanwhile, Cleo’s offerings fall short when compared with Albert as it doesn’t offer an investment feature. Qapital comes with a noticeably steeper price tag for providing a very similar service as Albert.

Where Albert stands out is its offering a number of features that provide value. This includes its Investments tool, automatic Smart Savings feature, partnership with BillShark, added savings bonus and financial checkup score. By incorporating financial wellness scores with the ability to ask real financial experts for guidance on a range of topics, Albert seems committed to actually helping you learn the skills associated with money management, while also offering a holistic view of your finances.

All fees and rates mentioned in this article are accurate as of publishing.

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Best Free Checking Accounts 2021

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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While they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, many banks and credit unions offer nearly free checking accounts — whether it’s by having no monthly maintenance fee or no minimum deposit requirement, which makes them free to sign up for. Having a fee-free checking account is essential to maximizing your money.

To determine which checking accounts made the cut, we combed through our library of checking account roundups and selected accounts that met the requirements for each category. Below, we detail the best accounts with no minimum deposit, no monthly fees and no minimum balance, as well as the best free online checking accounts, for those who prefer to bank online.

Why trust us: At MagnifyMoney, it’s our mission to inform our readers about the best financial opportunities out there. Our insights have been cited by top financial publications including Marketwatch, CNBC and The Wall Street Journal. We ensure our list is updated every month as new banks are added to our database, and we update information as banks change their terms.

Checking accounts with no minimum deposit

One of the many versions of “free” that consumers look for in a checking account is whether the account is free to open — meaning there’s no required minimum deposit. For these consumers, rest assured there are a number of checking accounts with no minimum opening deposit required. Our choices also require no minimum balance. The table below features our top picks in this category.

Keep in mind that while these checking accounts may be “free” to open, they may charge monthly service fees to maintain. And though these accounts were not required to offer an APY, interest offered was considered an added bonus in our evaluation of accounts.

T-Mobile Money

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • APY: Up to 4.00%
  • Requirements to earn APY: To earn the full 4.00% APY, you will need to 1) be enrolled in a qualifying T-Mobile postpaid wireless plan, 2) be registered for perks with your T-Mobile ID and 3) have at least $200 deposited per month into your account.
T-Mobile Money is a free checking account with no minimum opening deposit required. You can earn up to 4.00% APY on balances up to $3,000 as long as you meet a few simple requirements, which are outlined above. Other perks of this account include receiving direct deposits up to two days in advance and no overdraft fees.

Empower Interest Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee: $8
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • APY: 0.20%
  • Requirements to earn APY: None
Empower Interest Checking is a feature-rich checking account that rewards 0.20% APY on all funds, and doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open. This account is free for the first 30 days, but after that, it will cost you $8 per month (note that there’s no option to waive this fee). Empower Interest Checking also features perks such as up to three ATM fee reimbursements per month, cash advances and no overdraft fees.

Capital One 360 Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • APY: 0.10%
  • Requirements to earn APY: None
Capital One offers a standout checking account with its 360 Checking product, which doesn’t require any opening deposits, charges no monthly service fees and has no minimum balance requirements. It also doles out 0.10% APY on all balances. While you will face a fee in some cases — such as those for wire transfers or stop payments — when it comes to checking accounts, this is pretty much as close to free as you can get.

Axos Bank Essential Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee $0
  • Minimum opening deposit $0
  • Minimum balance $0
  • APY None
  • Requirements to earn APY N/A
If you’re looking for a no-frills checking account, Axos Bank’s Essential Checking account could be a good fit for you. While this account doesn’t earn interest, it also doesn’t require any minimum opening deposit and has no balance requirements, no monthly service fee and no overdraft fees. For the cherry on top, Essential Checking also includes unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

Checking accounts with no monthly fees

For many consumers, the most valuable type of “free” checking account is one that doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees. That’s because, in many cases, that means you are saving more money over the long-term.

The table below outlines the best checking accounts with no monthly maintenance fees. To make the cut, these accounts had to charge $0 per month in monthly maintenance fees or monthly service charges. Offering an APY on funds was not a requirement, but it was considered as an added bonus when developing this list.

Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee $0
  • Minimum opening deposit $5
  • Minimum balance $0
  • APY Up to 4.09%
  • Requirements to earn APY To earn the full 4.09% APY, you must 1) Make at least 12 debit card purchases per month, 2) Have direct deposits, mobile check deposits or ACH transfers of at least $500 monthly, 3) Receive eDocuments and 4) Spend $1,000 or more per month in CCU Visa credit card purchases.
The Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking account doles out a very high APY and generous benefits — such as unlimited ATM fee reimbursements — for no monthly maintenance fee. You will have to jump through a few hoops to score the 4.09% APY and the the unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, but even if you don’t meet all the monthly requirements, you can still earn interest ranging from 2.09% APY to 3.09% APY on balances up to $10,000. Consumers Credit Union is open to anyone who joins and makes a one-time membership payment to the Consumers Cooperative Association.

Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union Vertical Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee $0
  • Minimum opening deposit $25
  • Minimum balance $0
  • APY 3.30%
  • Requirements to earn APY To earn the 3.30% APY, you will need to 1) Make a minimum of 15 debit card purchases per month, 2) Receive at least one direct deposit per month, 3) Log in to online or mobile banking at least once per month and 4) Be signed up for electronic statements.
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s Vertical Checking account is one of the most competitive free checking accounts out there, as it offers a high APY and up to $15 in ATM fee reimbursements per month — all without charging a monthly maintenance fee. Membership to Evansville Teachers Credit Union is open to anyone who makes a $5 donation to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association.

Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee $0
  • Minimum opening deposit $50
  • Minimum balance $0
  • APY 1.25%
  • Requirements to earn APY To earn the full 1.25% APY, you must 1) Receive monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more and 2) Use your Axos Visa debit card at least 15 times per month (minimum of $3 per transaction).
The Axos Bank Rewards Checking account is a great option for those who don’t want to pay monthly maintenance fees or meet minimum balance requirements — although you will have to provide a $50 deposit to open an account. In addition to offering a competitive APY, this account also features unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements and no overdraft fees.

Radius Bank Rewards Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee $0
  • Minimum opening deposit $100
  • Minimum balance $0
  • APY 0.10% on balances of $2,500 to $99,999.99; 0.15% on balances of $100,000 and up
  • Requirements to earn APY None
Radius Bank’s Rewards Checking account is a standout account in terms of fees and rewards. It doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees, provides a solid APY on certain balances, offers cash back when certain requirements are met and gives unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. However, there is a $100 minimum opening deposit required for this account.

Free online checking accounts

Online-only banks offer a slew of benefits that many brick-and-mortar banks simply can’t compete with. Because online banks don’t have as many overhead operating costs, they’re able to offer their customers lower fees and higher interest rates.

The checking accounts below are available at online-only banks and offer the best of both worlds — they don’t require a minimum opening deposit and they don’t charge any monthly service fees. In order to be considered for this list, the checking account must be offered by an online-only bank, without any monthly service fee charges or minimum opening deposit requirements. While offering an APY on funds was not required, it was considered an added bonus when determining this list.

Ally Bank Interest Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee $0
  • Minimum opening deposit $0
  • Minimum balance $0
  • APY 0.10% on balances less than $15,000; 0.25% on balances of at least $15,000
  • Requirements to earn APY None
Ally Bank’s Interest Checking account is a competitive account that charges no monthly service fee and also doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open. In addition, there are no strings attached to the account’s 0.10% to 0.25% APY, and it offers up to $10 per month in ATM fee reimbursements, making it a solid choice for consumers looking to save on fees.

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • APY: None
  • Requirements to earn APY: N/A
Online-only bank Discover’s Cashback Debit checking account touts minimal fees — there are no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum opening deposit requirements, no minimum balance requirements and no insufficient funds fees. And while this account doesn’t offer interest, it does offer 1% cash back on up to $3,000 of your debit card purchases per month.

Simple Online Checking

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • APY: None
  • Requirements to earn APY: N/A
Simple’s Online Checking account is a solid, standard checking account that features no minimum opening deposit, no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirement. While it doesn’t offer an APY on money in its checking account, if you transfer your money over to the connected Protected Goals account, you can earn up to 0.50% APY — this could be a good idea, as you’ll receive unlimited free transfers between the two accounts. Since Simple is not an actual bank but a fintech company, its banking services are provided through its partner bank, BBVA USA.

Chime Spending Account

Highlights:

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • APY: None
  • Requirements to earn APY: N/A
Online-only bank Chime’s Spending Account serves as a standout checking product, as it requires no opening deposit, charges no monthly maintenance fees and has no minimum balance requirements. While this account doesn’t offer interest, it is rich in features — including fee-free overdraft protection, early direct deposit and an automatic savings tool, in which it will automatically round up your purchases and deposit the difference in your linked Chime Savings account, where it earns 0.50% APY.

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Best Business Checking Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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If you’re starting a business, one of the first steps to take is opening a business checking account. Being able to make transactions and deposit funds is an essential component of actually doing business, after all.

Every business owner will need different things from their checking account, based on factors like how many transactions you make per month and what kind of minimum balance you can manage. However, these are the basic business checking account features you need to look for:

  • Low transaction fees
  • Low minimum opening deposit and minimum balance requirements
  • High interest rates
  • Access to physical bank branches
  • Extensive ATM network

Since finding the right account can be a chore, we’ve compiled a round-up of the best business checking accounts that are currently available. Every month, we review business checking account rates using data from another LendingTree company, DepositAccounts.com, a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions. We sorted the products by APY, then eliminated institutions that were not available nationwide and did not meet the five criteria above.

To make the cut, the account needed to have minimal fees, a minimum of 50 transactions per month and the option to waive monthly fees if certain requirements are met. While offering an APY wasn’t a requirement, it was taken into consideration when developing this list.

Best Business Checking Accounts of January 2021

Account NameMinimum Balance to Waive Monthly Fee Number of Transactions Per Month with No ChargeAPY

BlueVine Business Checking

N/A

Unlimited1.00%

Axos Bank Business Interest Checking

Average daily balance of $5,000

Up to 500.81%

Radius Bank Tailored Checking

Average monthly balance of $5,000

Unlimited0.10%

TIAA Bank Business Checking

Daily balance of $5,000

First 200 itemsNone

First Citizens Bank Basic Business Checking

None, but must enroll in paperless statements

Up to 175 itemsNone

Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking

Prior 30- or 90-day average account balance of $25,000

UnlimitedNone

nbkc Bank Business Account

N/A

UnlimitedNone

Bank of America Business Advantage Checking

Average monthly balance of $15,000

500None

PNC Bank Business Checking

Average monthly collected balance of $500

Up to 150 transactionsNone

BlueVine Business Checking

BlueVine Business Checking

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on BlueVine’s secure website

Internet-based BlueVine is currently offering the most competitive business checking account out there, with a generous APY and no fees. Currently, BlueVine’s Business Checking account doles out an APY of 1.00% on balances up to $100,000.

Customers of BlueVine’s Business Checking account will also enjoy the account’s minimal fee model, which features no monthly service fees, unlimited transactions with no monthly balance required, no ATM fees at MoneyPass ATMs nationwide and no NSF fees. BlueVine’s banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank.

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited free transactions
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None at MoneyPass ATMs nationwide
  • Number of physical branches: None

Axos Bank Business Interest Checking

Business Interest Checking

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on Axos Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Axos Bank offers one of the few business checking accounts with minimal fees and a competitive APY, making it one of the best choices out there. Axos Bank’s Business Interest Checking account features an APY on account balances ranging from $0 to $5 million, with balances up to $50,000 earning our listed rate.

There is a $100 minimum required to open an account, and although the bank does charge a monthly maintenance fee of $10, you can waive the fee if you maintain a minimum average daily balance of $5,000. Other attractive features of the Axos Bank Business Interest Checking account are:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 50 items per month, $0.50 after that
  • Monthly fee: $10, can be we waived with minimum average daily balance of $5,000
  • ATM fees: Unlimited domestic reimbursements
  • Number of physical branches: Online only

Radius Bank Tailored Checking

Tailored Checking

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on Radius Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Radius Bank is another online option that offers a great business checking account. Radius Bank’s Tailored Checking account features an APY of 0.10% on balances over $5,000. Like Axos, there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $5,000. There is a minimum deposit of $100 required to open an account, but no minimum balance requirement after that.

In addition to earning interest, other features of the Radius Bank Tailored Checking account worth noting are:

  • Cash back: Receive up to 1% cash back when you shop in certain categories
  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: $10, but can be waived with average monthly balance of $5,000
  • ATM fees: Unlimited ATM reimbursements, excluding international exchange fees)
  • Number of physical branches: One in Boston, otherwise it’s all online

TIAA Bank Business Checking

Small Business Checking - 1st Year Intro Rate

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on TIAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

TIAA Bank offers a number of business checking accounts, ranging from options geared specifically to small businesses, to others tailored for non-profits. The standard Business Checking account is a solid product that ticks a number of boxes for a great, low-fee account. It’s worth noting that there’s a minimum deposit of $1,500 required to open an account, relatively higher than other business checking accounts out there.

It’s worth noting that there’s a minimum deposit of $1,500 required to open an account, relatively higher than other business checking accounts out there. Other business checking accounts offered by TIAA Bank that are worth exploring, depending on your business’s needs, include the Small Business Checking account, which is made for sole proprietors and single owner LLCs and earns a modest APY, and the Business Analysis Checking account.

The TIAA Bank Business Checking account features the following:

  • Transaction fees: First 200 items per month, $0.25 each after that
  • Monthly fee: $14.95, but can be waived with balance of $5,000
  • Number of physical branches: 144

First Citizens Basic Business Checking

Basic Business Checking

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on First Citizens Bank (NC)’s secure website

First Citizens Bank, which has a branch network sprawling across the Southeast and Southwest, and also offers online banking services. First Citizens promotes its Basic Business Checking account as a “favorite starter account” for businesses because of its simplicity and affordability. It’s one of the few banks on this list that doesn’t have any monthly maintenance fees, regardless of the account’s balance, as long as you opt out of paper statements.

With a low minimum deposit requirement of just $100 to open an account and no minimum balance requirements after that, it’s also one of the more accessible checking accounts for businesses that are not flush with cash from the get-go. While the First Citizens Basic Business Checking account doesn’t offer many bells and whistles, it’s a low-fee account with attractive features similar to those offered at big financial institutions:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 175 free transactions per month, $0.50 each after that
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free access to First Citizens Bank ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: Over 1,000 branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wisconsin

Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking

Spark Business Unlimited Checking

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on Capital One’s secure website

The standout feature of Capital One’s Spark Business Unlimited Checking account is its unlimited transactions, a relatively rare feature for business checking accounts at the other big banks.

The Spark Business Unlimited Checking account requires a pretty hefty balance to waive the monthly service fee of $35. Capital One, however, does offer free overdraft protection with a linked small business deposit account. Other noteworthy features offered by the Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking account include:

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: $35, can be waived with prior 30- or 90-day average account balance of $25,000
  • ATM fees: Free access to 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: More than 400

nbkc bank Business Account

Business Account

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on nbkc bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

The nbkc bank Business Account is a no-frills business checking account with competitive incentives, including unlimited transactions. There is no minimum required to open an account, and with no minimum balance requirements, this is a checking account that’s especially accessible for businesses just starting out.

For those who want more from their nbkc bank Business Account services, the bank also offers add-on options for an additional cost, like the Desktop Deposit, which gives you unlimited deposits from your office and unlimited account support. Drawbacks of the nbkc bank Business account include only having a handful of physical bank branches in Kansas and Missouri. However, nbkc primarily presents itself as an online-only bank.

Other standout features of the nbkc bank Business account include:

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free access to 34,000 MoneyPass ATMs and up to $12 monthly refunds for any ATM’s fees
  • Number of physical branches: 4 total in Kansas and Missouri (it positions itself as an online bank)

Bank of America Business Advantage Checking

 Business Advantage Checking

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on Bank Of America’s secure website

Bank of America (BoA) offers a number of business checking accounts, but its Business Advantage Checking account in particular has a number of competitive features. This account does have a relatively steep monthly fee of $29.95, but it gives you several options to avoid that fee. There is a minimum deposit of $100 required to open the account.

One perk worth highlighting is that you’ll also receive an additional Business Advantage Checking account and an additional Business Advantage Savings account at no extra charge.

Other standout features of the Bank of America Business Advantage Checking account include:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 500 free transactions per month, $0.45 after that
  • Monthly fee: $29.95, which can be waived in several ways, including maintaining an average monthly balance of at least $15,000, maintaining a combined average monthly balance in linked BoA accounts of $35,000, or spending $2,500 in net new purchases on a BoA business credit card
  • ATM fees: Free access to Bank of America ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: Over 4,000

PNC Bank Business Checking

Business Checking Plus

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on PNC Bank’s secure website

PNC Bank’s Business Checking account is great for budding businesses interested in the checking essentials with minimal fees. There is a minimum deposit of just $100 required to open an account, and the $10 monthly maintenance fee is waived by meeting certain requirements, including maintaining an average, monthly collected balance of just $500.

There are drawbacks of the PNC Bank Business Checking account, though. PNC itself has a relatively nonexistent footprint in the Western region of the U.S., so if you live in that region and want the convenience of a bank with brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll want to take that into consideration.

Other noteworthy features of the PNC Bank Business Checking account are:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 150 free transactions monthly, $0.50 each after that
  • Monthly fee: $10, waived if you maintain a balance of $500, use a linked PNC business credit card to make a minimum of $500 in eligible purchases or Maintain a linked PNC Merchant Services account and generate a minimum of $500 in qualifying monthly processing deposits
  • ATM fees: Free access to 18,000 PNC and partner ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: 2,300 in Alabama, Delaware, Washington, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin

Business checking accounts vs. personal checking accounts

At first glance, business checking accounts versus personal checking accounts might seem fairly similar. But if you take a closer look, you can understand the key differences. While every account has its differing features, personal checking accounts usually have:

Meanwhile, business checking accounts often have:

  • Monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements to waive them
  • Lower APYs
  • Extra fees for actions ranging from having an excess of transactions to depositing cash
  • More documentation required to open an account
  • The option to order employee debit cards

Why you need a business checking account

If you’re a business owner, you might be wondering why you even have to open a checking account separate from your personal one. After all, personal checking accounts tend to have lower fees, higher APYs and better features. Why not just skip opening one and — when it comes to your checking accounts — mix business with pleasure?

There are several reasons why you should keep your work and personal checking accounts from co-mingling. First and foremost: If you operate your business as a legal entity that is separate from you – say, as an LLC – you’re legally required to keep your personal and business finances separate. Opening a business checking account is the simplest way to do that.

Another reason why you need a checking account for your business is to protect yourself. If you have structured your business entity as a corporation or an LLC, and you have a separate checking account for your business, you and other shareholders’ personal assets are not likely to be seized for damages your company is obligated to pay when filing for bankruptcy.

Benefits of a business checking account

There are a number of other benefits associated with maintaining a business checking account, aside from the obvious ones of following the law and protecting your personal assets. Those benefits can include:

  • Keeping your business records organized. This will make it easier to track your business’s profitability and assess its performance.
  • Simplifying your taxes. By keeping your personal and business checking accounts separate, it will be easier for you to file your taxes accurately and avoid penalties from the IRS. Also, it will make it easier for you to deduct business expenses from your taxes.
  • Being able to accept credit cards as a form of payment, either by setting up a merchant system or credit acceptance system.
  • Being able to allow your employees to use the business checking account.

What you need to open a business checking account

When opening a business checking account, you need more than just a spiffy company name and logo. You’ll typically be required to present the following documents:

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security number if it’s a sole proprietorship
  • Your business’s formation documents
  • Ownership agreements
  • Business license

Opening a business checking account might be one of the first, big business decisions you will make as an entrepreneur. Make sure it’s an informed decision: Do your research, come with questions and be confident about the account you are opening before signing on the dotted line.