California Bank and Trust Business Checking Review, Plus Top Alternatives

Sally Lauckner

Sally is the managing editor at Fundera. Previously, she was a senior editor at SmartAsset, a Y Combinator-backed personal finance startup. She has also held various editorial roles at the Huffington Post and AOL.com. She is passionate about financial literacy and educating small business owners.
Advertiser Disclosure

Finding the perfect business checking account is an important part of optimizing your finances for success as a business owner. As you would when shopping for a personal checking account, you’ll want to minimize fees and maximize the benefits of your business bank account. If you don’t pay attention to the fine print—or this review—you could find yourself paying pesky maintenance and other fees. Read on to find out more about the California Bank and Trust business checking accounts to see if any of them strike your fancy.

The California Bank and Trust Business Checking Accounts

Business Inspire Checking

First up is Business Inspire Checking from California Bank and Trust. If you’re just getting started as a business owner and funds are limited, the relatively low minimum balance (or transaction) requirement of $1,000 on this account might appeal to you. On the other hand, as you’ll see below, there are truly free business checking accounts out there if your business is new and you want to be sure you won’t incur any charges.

Monthly fees and limits:

  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $3,000 monthly cash deposit limit
  • 50-transaction monthly limit
  • $7 monthly maintenance fee unless you keep a minimum balance of $1,000 or conduct $1,000 or more in transactions (debit or credit) each month
  • $3 monthly paper statement fee

Best for:

  • Business owners who don’t deal in large amounts of cash or conduct a lot of transactions
  • Business owners who can maintain a $1,000 balance or conduct $1,000 or more in transactions monthly

All the accounts from California Bank and Trust have the usual online and mobile banking capability, plus free ATM withdrawals at any California Bank and Trust branch.

Business Growth Checking

Next up on our rundown of the California Bank and Trust business checking accounts is the Business Growth Checking account. This account has a higher cash deposit limit but requires a higher minimum balance if you want to go fee-free.

Monthly fees and limits:

  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $15,000 monthly cash deposit limit
  • 250-transaction monthly limit
  • $12 monthly maintenance fee unless you keep a minimum daily balance of $2,500 or $10,000 in business loan balances
  • $3 monthly paper statement fee

Best for:

  • Business owners who need a higher cash deposit limit
  • Business owners who can maintain a $2,500 balance or have at least $10,000 in business loans

california bank and trust business

Business Interest Checking

As the name implies, the Business Interest Checking account from California Bank and Trust lets you earn interest on your deposits with the bank. Plus, you’ll enjoy the same 250-transaction limit and $15,000 cash deposit limit that the Business Growth Checking account offers.

Monthly fees and limits:

  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $15,000 monthly cash deposit limit
  • 250-transaction monthly limit
  • $15 monthly maintenance fee unless you keep a minimum daily balance of $3,500
  • $3 monthly paper statement fee

Best for:

  • Business owners who want to earn interest on their checking account balance
  • Business owners who can maintain a $3,500 minimum daily balance

Business Connect Checking

With Business Connect Checking from California Bank and Trust, any money you spend on account analysis and other qualified banking services can help you avoid a monthly maintenance fee. Spend $150 on these services in a month and your fee is waived. The account also has a high transaction limit.

Monthly fees and limits:

  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $15,000 monthly cash deposit limit
  • 400-transaction monthly limit
  • $15 monthly maintenance fee unless you maintain a minimum daily balance of $3,500, a combined business deposit balance of $10,000, a business loan or credit card balance of $50,000, or pay at least $150 for other qualified banking services
  • $3 monthly paper statement fee

Best for:

  • Business owners who need a high transaction limit
  • Business owners who can comply with the requirements to waive the monthly fee

Business Community Checking

The Business Community Checking account from California Bank and Trust is geared specifically toward nonprofits, whether 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 organizations. The relatively low minimum balance requirement should make the account accessible to even small charitable organizations.

Monthly fees and limits:

  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $15,000 monthly cash deposit limit
  • 350-transaction monthly limit
  • $15 monthly maintenance fee unless you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,000, a combined business deposit balance of $10,000, a business loan or credit card balance of $10,000, or pay at least $150 for other qualified banking services
  • $3 monthly paper statement fee

Best for:

  • Nonprofits looking for an accessible business checking account

Business Analyzed Checking

The last California Bank and Trust business checking account on our roundup is the Business Analyzed Checking account. It’s an account designed to meet the needs of business that require significant treasury management and reporting services and have a high volume of transactions.

Monthly fees and limits:

  • $200 minimum opening deposit
  • Accommodates over 400 transactions per month with flexible cash-management options
  • Other fees are charged for each business services used
  • An account earnings credit can be used to offset fees
  • An itemized list of services is provided each month, along with the applicable charge

Best for:

  • Businesses that plan on turning to their bank for extensive reporting and treasury management services
  • Business owners who don’t mind if their account costs vary from month to month

Top Alternatives to the California Bank and Trust Business Checking Accounts

California Bank and Trust isn’t the only fish in the sea. Below are some alternatives that you might consider if you’re shopping for a business checking account.

Best for Internet-Savvy Business Owners: Azlo

Internet-savvy business owners may find Azlo intriguing. The minimum opening deposit, monthly maintenance fee, and minimum balance are all $0. It’s a truly free business checking option.

Of course, because it’s an online-only account you can’t go to a branch for in-person help. The account also doesn’t let you make cash deposits or send money wires. You can, however, use Azlo’s electronic payments system to transfer money.

Best for Small Businesses: Chase Total

Another alternative to the California Bank and Trust business checking accounts is the Chase Total account. The account comes with a $300 signup bonus. That’s the good news. The slightly less good news is that there’s a $25 minimum opening deposit, and a $15 monthly fee unless you maintain a $1,500 balance. You can shave $3 off the monthly fee by going paperless.

You’ll get 100 free deposits per month and unlimited free electronic deposits (not wires). Plus, you can make $5,000 in cash deposits each billing cycle at no charge.

If you don’t need a high volume of transactions or cash deposits, you might be intrigued by the welcome bonus that comes with the Chase Total account. Larger businesses might find themselves stifled by that 100-transaction limit.

Best for Business with a Higher Transaction Volume: Chase Performance

Midsize businesses and those that average a higher number of transactions per month may be better off considering the Chase Performance account. The Chase Performance account also comes with a $300 signup bonus. It has a $25 minimum first deposit, and a monthly fee of $30 unless you maintain a minimum balance of $35,000.

You’ll get 250 free transactions per month, and unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wires. You can make up to $20,000 in cash deposits per cycle without being charged a fee.

As you can see, this account is geared toward a business with a cash flow on a slightly grander scale. It’s not for the biggest of the big, who might have a higher transaction volume, but it’s a suitable account for a midsize business.

The Bottom Line on Finding the Right Business Checking Account

Finding a business checking account that gives you the freedom you need to make transactions but doesn’t leave you feeling like fees are eating into your bottom line? It can be tough. And with so many banks out there—both online and brick-and-mortar—business owners  might feel overwhelmed by choice.

That’s where business checking account reviews can come in handy, by breaking down product offerings and helping you compare features and costs. Remember, you don’t have to rush into a business checking account decision. It’s always a good idea to do your research before you take the plunge. Once you open a business checking account, inertia can set in, making it hard to switch to an account that’s a better fit for your needs.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Sally Lauckner

Sally is the managing editor at Fundera. Previously, she was a senior editor at SmartAsset, a Y Combinator-backed personal finance startup. She has also held various editorial roles at the Huffington Post and AOL.com. She is passionate about financial literacy and educating small business owners.

Our Picks