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Apple Bank Free Business Checking Account Review, Plus Top Alternatives

Sally Lauckner

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Sally Lauckner is the editor-in-chief of the Fundera Ledger. Over the past decade she has held various editorial roles at SmartAsset—a Y Combinator-backed personal finance startup—the Huffington Post, AOL.com, and Glamour magazine. Her work has also appeared in Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. Sally has a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Columbia University.  Email: sally@fundera.com.

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Editorial Note: Fundera exists to help you make better business decisions. That’s why we make sure our editorial integrity isn’t influenced by our own business. The opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations in this article are those of our editorial team alone.

Whether you’re just starting your small business or you’ve been operating for some time, you might be in the market for a new bank. If you’re early into your entrepreneurial efforts, getting a business bank account is one of the first steps along your journey. If you’ve been in business for a while, you might be looking for a bank that better suits your needs. In either case, an Apple Bank Free Business Checking account might be just the thing you’re looking for.

There are a ton of small business banking accounts out there. You’re bound to find options with national banks, local banks, and even a few credit unions. If you’re in the New York metropolitan area, Apple Bank might be the one for you. Apple Bank offers the personal attention of a small bank, as well as many of the same features you’d expect from a bigger, national establishment.

But to make sure that an Apple Bank Free Business Checking account is right for you, let’s go over the basics. There are several things to look for in a great business checking account, and that holds true for an Apple Bank free business checking account, as well. We’ll also look at a few alternatives if you decide that Apple Bank’s business checking option isn’t the right fit for you.

What to Know About Apple Bank Free Business Checking

Apple Bank offers consumer and small business accounts throughout the greater New York City region. The bank has branches throughout New York City, as well as a few in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties. There are currently 79 Apple Bank branches in the region, each providing small business checking and business savings accounts. Each branch has dedicated small business banking personnel, as well as teller and ATM services on-site.

Apple Bank’s free business checking account, otherwise known as SimpleValue Business Checking, is Apple Bank’s only business checking account. Since the bank is somewhat small, there’s no tiered checking account system like you might find at other institutions. This means that you won’t be able to move up the ladder and opt for a more feature-packed account as your business expands. But, on the other hand, Apple Bank provides dedicated bankers for their business account holders, which means you’ll get personal attention that doesn’t always come with accounts at larger banks. If having more features—such as cash transactions and wire transfers—matters to you, you might want to consider another option.

Apple Bank SimpleValue Business Checking is a great option for businesses that are just starting out, or established companies that don’t need a ton of bells and whistles from their bank. You only need $500 to open a SimpleValue Business Checking account, which will get you 200 free transactions per month, a waived monthly maintenance fee with a $5,000 average monthly balance, and access to Apple Bank’s free online and mobile banking environment. Plus, Apple Bank is currently offering free checks, deposit checks, and a stamp for cashing checks. This is a great feature for new small businesses that are just getting their finances in order for the first time.

Other banks may offer more features to their account holders, such as free or discounted wire transfers and other free items throughout the month. But what sets Apple Bank apart is their size. Since the bank’s not too big, nor too small, they can offer clients much more personalized attention. Apple Bank branches are relatively small, and are interwoven into the neighborhoods they serve. This means that they’re connected to the community, which can come in handy for small businesses that could benefit from having a friendly face whenever they visit the bank.

Apple Bank Free Business Checking Alternatives

If you’re looking for a bank that offers a ton of bells and whistles, Apple Bank isn’t the right choice for you. You won’t find ATMs outside the New York City region, and Apple Bank’s mobile banking technology isn’t state-of-the-art. If you can’t make these trade-offs work, consider a few of these business checking account alternatives.

For Digital-Centric Small Businesses: Azlo Business Checking

Apple Bank isn’t at the cutting edge of digital banking. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, consider opening an Azlo Business Checking account. Azlo is an online-only bank that takes the entire account application and maintenance process online. You can do all of your business banking through the Azlo app, as well as monitor your balance through the bank’s website. Additionally, you’ll still get human support through Azlo’s hotline and email system. If you need a bank that offers the latest and greatest digital banking solutions, Azlo might be a perfect fit.

Bear in mind that Azlo Business Checking is not without its drawbacks. Namely, you can’t deposit cash. Since there are no physical branches or Azlo-specific ATMs, you can only deposit checks and wire transfers (both of which are 100% free and unlimited, so long as your checks are domestic). Azlo also doesn’t support physical checks for account holders, which means that you will have to pay vendors through wire transfers or cash. This means Azlo might not be right for you if you deal primarily in cash, or need access to a checkbook.

apple bank free business checking

For New Small Businesses That Want Room to Grow: Chase Total Business Checking

Chase Total Business Checking is similar to Apple Bank’s free business checking account in terms of size and minimum requirements. This is Chase’s introductory-level account, which means it offers fewer free services in exchange for a lower monthly balance requirement and initial deposit. You only need $25 to open an account, and have a modest $15 monthly fee to keep your account open. Better yet, you can waive the fee entirely with a minimum monthly balance of $1,500, which is a bargain compared to Apple Bank’s SimpleValue Business Checking account.

Right now, Chase is offering a $200 welcome bonus for signing up. Additionally, Chase Total Business Checking gives account holders the first 100 transactions for free every month, which includes debits and non-electronic deposits. After that, you’ll only have to pay $0.40 per additional transaction. You can make up to $5,000 in cash deposits every month for free, as well. You’ll have to pay for domestic and international wire transfers, however—so if that’s a big part of your business, you may want to opt for a more feature-rich option at Chase or elsewhere.  

For Small Businesses That Need a Little More from Their Bank: Chase Performance Business Checking

As we mentioned earlier, Apple Bank only provides one business checking account package. This is fine if you only need what Apple Bank provides business account holders, but not so much if you require more services. This is where Chase Performance Business Checking shines. Chase branches can be found throughout New York City and beyond, which makes life easier if you’re on the road and need to access your account. Plus, you’ll get all of Chase’s mobile banking features, which are more robust than what Apple Bank provides.

Chase Performance Business Checking only requires $25 to open an account. You can have the $30 monthly fee waived with a $35,000 balance, and can get a sign-up bonus of $200 just by applying through Fundera. In exchange, Chase offers 250 fee-free transactions every month, with additional transactions only costing $0.40 each. You can deposit up to $20,000 in cash every month, as well, with every additional $1,000 costing $2.50. Last but not least, you’ll get two free wire transfers every month as well. This is a great option for businesses with a bit more cash than the Apple Bank business checking account requires, even if you need to carry a higher balance to benefit from these perks.

Is Apple Bank Free Business Checking Right for You?

No matter which bank is right for you, you’ll want to make sure you’ve covered a few basics about your own business needs. First, make sure you understand exactly what you’ll require from your bank every month. Be it tons of free transactions, wire transfers, or a robust digital banking application. This should help define which bank you choose, and the account that’s right for you. Next, make sure you know how much you can expect to keep in the bank from month to month. You don’t want to pick an account that comes with a monthly minimum balance that’s too high for your business to afford—otherwise, you’ll risk paying for your account and losing money in the long term.

Lastly, consider whether you want your bank to grow with you: The best banks offer several accounts, each tailored to a different level of service. The more options your bank offers, the likelier you are to level up with the same bank and not need to move your money elsewhere. You can transfer business checking accounts to new banks, of course, but that process tends to be complicated. Better to avoid having to do so in the first place.

Sally Lauckner

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Sally Lauckner is the editor-in-chief of the Fundera Ledger. Over the past decade she has held various editorial roles at SmartAsset—a Y Combinator-backed personal finance startup—the Huffington Post, AOL.com, and Glamour magazine. Her work has also appeared in Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. Sally has a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Columbia University.  Email: sally@fundera.com.

Latest posts by Sally Lauckner (see all)

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