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As a small business owner, it’s crucial for you to separate your personal finances from those of your business. One of the easiest ways to make this distinction is by opening a business bank account. A business checking account will serve as a dedicated place from which to pay your business’s expenses and where to save up for future costs as you continue to grow.
If you’re a business owner in Hawaii, one option to consider is Central Pacific Bank. The bank, which exclusively has locations in the Aloha State, has 35 branches on the four biggest of the islands: Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui, and Kauai. The largest concentration of branches is on Oahu, where the bank has its headquarters in Honolulu. You can view a full list of branch locations here on Central Pacific Bank’s website.
In this review, we’ll explore the four Central Pacific Bank business accounts that you can choose from. Because finding the right business checking account is all about exploring your options, we also included the top alternatives.
Trying to determine the best checking account for your small business? The answer boils down to your business’s spending habits and the purpose you want your account to serve. When examining your options, there are three key features that can help you decide whether the account will suit your needs:
The first of these features is transaction limit, or how many transactions you can make each month. Many accounts allow a set number of free transactions after which you’ll pay a set fee per transaction. Transaction limits for Central Pacific Bank business checking accounts range from 100 to 325 transactions per statement period, including deposited items, deposit slips, and checks paid.
The second feature to note is balance minimum, or the minimum amount of money you must have in your account at any given time. In certain cases, you must maintain the balance minimum to get the monthly maintenance fee waived. Two of the Central Pacific Bank account options don’t have a balance minimum. Performance Business Checking has a $1,500 minimum balance requirement, while Business Exceptional Checking has a much higher $30,000 minimum combined balance requirement. Certain Central Pacific Bank business accounts require a minimum opening deposit.
There are a number of fees that may be associated with your business checking account. One of the main fees to note is the monthly service charge. Three of the four Central Pacific Bank business accounts carry a monthly service charge, ranging in cost from $9 to $20. In two of these instances, the monthly service charge will be waived if a minimum balance is waived. The third offers an earnings credit allowance that can offset fees.
Aside from the monthly service charge, you may be subject to transaction fees and non-Central Pacific Bank ATM fees.
Central Pacific Bank offers four business accounts: Business Exceptional Checking, Totally Free Business Checking, Analyzed Business Checking, and Performance Business Checking. Each account has a different transaction limit, monthly service charge, and minimum balance requirement, making each account appropriate for different businesses’ banking needs.
All of the accounts, however, offer the following:
The first Central Pacific Bank business account we’ll cover is Business Exceptional Checking. This account is geared toward businesses that are small to medium in size and that have a high level of checking account activity. This account has a transaction limit of 325 items per statement period, which includes deposited items, deposit slips, and checks paid. This is the highest transaction limit of the four Central Pacific Bank accounts we’ll cover.
The account also has the highest minimum balance requirement of any of the accounts, with a $30,000 minimum combined balance in qualifying deposit and loan accounts required. If you don’t meet this combined balance minimum, a $20 monthly service charge will apply. You’ll need a minimum opening deposit of $500.
Notably, this account offers an ATM surcharge rebate when you use any ATM in Hawaii and on the mainland. It’s one of two accounts that has no incoming wire transfer fees.
Monthly fees and limits:
Totally Free Business Checking is recommended for small businesses that are just getting started or business that are established but have a moderate transaction volume. Unlike the previous account, this Central Pacific Bank business account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service charge. There is also no minimum opening deposit requirement.
Totally Free Business Checking has a moderate transaction limit, though it’s much lower than that of Business Exceptional Checking. The first 100 transactions are included, after which you’ll pay a fee per additional transaction. This is one of two accounts, alongside Business Exceptional Checking, that does not charge incoming wire transfer fees.
Analyzed Business Checking operates a bit differently than the other Central Pacific Bank business account options in that it does not have a set transaction limit. Instead, accountholders are offered an earnings credit allowance that’s calculated each statement period and can offset transaction fees. This setup is designed to minimize costs while maximizing potential account resources, making this account appropriate for larger companies that have a high transaction volume or that use cash management services. This is the only account option that includes iBusiness Central (commercial online banking).
There is no minimum balance requirement, though there is a variable minimum opening deposit. The account carries a $12.50 monthly maintenance fee, which account holders can offset using their earnings credit allowance.
Central Pacific Bank recommends its Performance Business Checking account for sole proprietors, fiduciaries, and certain nonprofit organizations. Notably, it’s the only one of the four business checking account options that’s interest earning. Interest is compounded on a daily basis and paid monthly.
Like Totally Free Business Checking, the account has a transaction limit of 100 items per statement period. However, it carries a $9 monthly fee, which is waived if the $1,500 minimum balance is maintained. This account requires the highest minimum opening deposit, at $750.
If none of the Central Pacific Bank business accounts seems right for your small business, or you simply want to explore more options before settling on one, there are a few solid alternatives to consider.
With Azlo Business Checking you don’t have to worry about branch locations, because this bank is entirely online. Although this allows for a lot of flexibility and ease, there are limitations to the complete lack of physical locations. Perhaps the most notable is that the bank can’t process cash deposits, which could be a big drawback for largely cash-based businesses. However, you can make cash withdrawals from the AllPoint ATM network. You also can’t send money wires with Azlo, though you can receive them at no cost.
On the upside, Azlo’s lack of physical locations makes it very affordable. There’s no service fee and no balance minimum associated with Azlo Business Checking.
Open an Azlo Account
If you don’t want an online-only bank or a bank with branches limited to Hawaii, Chase Total Business Checking may better suit your needs. Chase has 5,100 locations located across the U.S. Although, there are no branches in the state of Hawaii, Chase could be a good fit for business owners who travel frequently to the mainland and are looking for an account with widespread accessibility. In addition to a plethora of branches, you’ll also have access to Chase.com whenever you need it.
Unlike Azlo, Chase Total Business Checking does have a monthly service fee. However, it’s relatively low at $12 and can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of just $1,500. The account allows 100 free transactions per month and there are no fees associated with cash deposits.
However, this account is specifically intended for growing businesses. If your business is more established or has a higher level of account activity, it might not be right for you.
Open a Chase Total Account
If you’re interested in banking with Chase but you don’t have a growing business, then Chase Performance Business Checking is worth considering. This account option is designed for midsize businesses and allows for a higher level of checking account activity. The account allows 250 fee-free transactions per month, which includes all non-electronic deposits, income wires, and debits. Fee-free cash deposits are capped at $20,000 per month.
On the downside, this account has a higher monthly fee and balance minimum than any of the Central Pacific Bank business accounts or the previous two alternatives. You’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of $35,000 in order to waive the $30 monthly fee, which might not be attainable for smaller businesses that are just starting out.
Open a Chase Performance Account
Central Pacific Bank’s concentration of branches in Hawaii makes it fairly easy to determine if the bank is right for your business. If you won’t be able to access the 35 branch locations or ATMs in Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, then you may want to keep looking. If you are a small business owner based in Hawaii, however, this may be a good fit.
The four account options are designed to fit different types and sizes of businesses with varying banking needs. Business Exceptional Checking is best for small to midsize businesses with high transaction volumes and relatively high average account balances, whereas Totally Free Business Checking is better suited to small businesses that are just starting out and/or have a moderate transaction volume.
Analyzed Business Checking, which offers an earnings credit to offset transaction fees, will suit large businesses with high levels of account activity. Lastly, Performance Business Checking, the only interest-earning account offered, is recommended for proprietors, fiduciaries, and certain nonprofits that have a moderate transaction volume.
Remember, finding the right business checking account is all about identifying what your business truly needs. Ideally, you’ll find an account that suits your needs well now and facilities your future growth, as well.