If you’re a small business owner, you need a place to house your finances—which means you need a business bank account. Not only does a business bank account give you a secure place to store your capital, but it also helps you separate your personal and business finances, which will be essential when it comes to taxes. Luckily, there are a variety of business bank account options out there, each with their own set of specific and benefits to business owners. If you’re exploring different business checking accounts, you may be considering working with a nationwide bank that you know well, like Chase or Bank of America (BofA).
Whether you already work with one of these banks, or are simply interested in a bank account provider with physical locations as well as online and mobile banking interfaces, you’ll want to compare the Chase vs. Bank of America business account options—what are the pros and cons of each? With all of the components involved in business checking accounts, this may seem like a difficult feat, but we’re here to help. We’ll break down the Chase vs. Bank of America business account debate, discussing their respective account types, fees, transaction allowances, and more, so that you’ll have a better idea of which account might be right for your business.
Chase vs. Bank of America Business Account: An Overview
Before we dive deep into the specifics of the Chase vs. Bank of America business account options, let’s briefly go through the important features to look for when choosing a business checking account. Ultimately, the factors that you prioritize are going to depend on your business’ needs—and you may have already thought this process out—however, here are some considerations to keep in mind:
First, you’ll want to think about how you’re going to open you account—do you want to be able to open your business bank account online or would you rather go to a branch location to open it? Similarly, consider how much physical branch and ATM access you need? If your business deals mostly in cash, you’ll want a business checking account that has easy ATM access.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider the fees associated with the account you choose. Some accounts have larger monthly service fees than others, and some have a variety of ways in which you can get your fee waived. Furthermore, you’ll want to know how many transactions are included with your checking account (and what the associated transaction fees may be), what the deposit and wiring allowances are, and if there are any perks you can receive for signing up.
Keeping these factors in mind will help you as you compare the Chase vs. Bank of America business account options. That being said, both Chase and Bank of America have multiple business checking account offerings with unique features, generally designed for businesses of different sizes. Chase has three business checking account offerings:
- Chase Total Business Checking
- Chase Performance Business Checking
- Chase Platinum Business Checking
Bank of America, on the other hand, only has two options:
- Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking
- Bank of America Business Advantage Checking
Both the Chase Total Business Checking and Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking accounts are designed for small and growing businesses, whereas the Chase Performance and Bank of America Advantage are both a level up—for businesses that need a little more and can afford higher monthly fees. Finally, the Chase Platinum account is made for larger businesses that make a significant number of transactions and deposits each month.
Chase vs. Bank of America Business Account: Basic Checking Accounts
Now that we’ve gone through what to keep in mind when comparing the Bank of America vs. Chase business account offerings, let’s break down the specifics of their checking account options and how they compare against one another.
As we mentioned, the business checking accounts geared toward smaller and growing businesses are the Chase Total Business Checking account and the Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking account. Both of these options are the most basic bank accounts that these financial institutions offer for small businesses.
Chase Total Business Checking
The Chase Total Business Checking account is the most popular Chase business banking product, and with low fees and great transaction options, we can easily see why. Although you can start your application online, to be approved for a Chase Total Business checking account, you’ll have to visit one of the nearly 5,000 Chase branches across the country.
You do not need a minimum deposit to open your account, however, and once you’re approved you’ll have access to Chase’s network of 16,000 ATMs as well as 24/7 access to your business bank account with chase.com or the Chase mobile app. Chase charges a monthly fee of $12 if you enroll in paperless statements or $15 for paper statements—you can get this fee waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500.
Your Chase Total account will give you unlimited electronic deposits plus 100 free transactions (debits and non-electronic deposits)—after these, you’ll have to pay $0.40 per transaction. You’ll also be able to make up to $5,000 in cash deposits each month without paying a standard cash deposit fee. Additionally, if you want to use wire payments with this account, you’ll be able to do so, but you will have to pay a standard wiring fee for any wire you send or receive. Your Chase Total Business checking account will also allow you to write checks and obtain Chase Business Debit Cards, for both you and for your employees.
Furthermore, Chase offers a $200 cash welcome bonus for qualified business owners who sign up for the Total Business Checking account. To receive this bonus, all you have to do is deposit $1,000 of new money within the first 20 business days of your account opening and maintain that balance for 60 days and complete five qualifying transactions within 60 days.
Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking
Like the Chase Total account, the Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking account is very popular, especially with business owners who already bank with BofA. To open a Business Fundamentals Checking account, you can apply online, call Bank of America’s service line, or visit one of the 4,600 BofA financial centers around the U.S.
Like Chase Total, there is no minimum deposit required to open this Bank of America business checking account, but there is a monthly service fee of $15. There are four different ways, however, that you can have this fee waived:
- Spend $250 in net new purchases on a business debit or credit card
- Maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000 or more
- Maintain a daily minimum balance of $3,000
- Maintain a combined average monthly balance of $15,000 or more in linked BofA accounts
Additionally, the Business Fundamentals Checking account gives you 200 free transactions per month, as well as up to $7,500 in cash deposits. After your free transactions, you’ll pay $0.45 per transaction and $0.30 for every $100 for cash deposits. Bank of America does not charge a fee for electronic deposits. Like with the Chase Total account, this BofA account will allow you to send and receive wire transfers, but again, you’ll have to pay a standard wiring fee ($15 incoming, $30 outgoing for domestic transfers). Furthermore, the Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking account will grant you access to over 16,000 ATMs nationwide, as well as online and mobile banking. You will also be able to write checks and get business and employee chip-enabled debit cards.
As you can see, there are many similarities between these two basic business checking accounts. Although Chase stands out with their $200 cash bonus, Bank of America offers more free transactions (2x the amount of Chase) and cash deposits—even though their post-free transaction fee is slightly higher. Additionally, although Bank of America’s monthly fee is higher than Chase’s monthly fee with paperless statements, BofA offers not one, but four different ways to have the fee waived. Bank of America also lets you completely apply for their Business Fundamentals Checking account online. This being said, either of these business checking accounts make a great option for small businesses that want low fees, accessibility, and flexibility with their bank account.
Chase vs. Bank of America Business Account: Performance and Advantage Accounts
The Chase Performance Business Checking account and the Bank of America Business Advantage account are the “mid-level” accounts in the Chase vs. Bank of America business account battle. In comparison to the previous accounts, these business checking options offer higher monthly allowances for transactions and deposits, but also have higher monthly service fees. If you have a small business that’s growing quickly, or need more than the Total or Fundamentals accounts include, you might consider these two.
Chase Performance Business Checking
As we mentioned, the Chase Performance Business Checking account offers a little more than the Total Checking account, and therefore might be a better fit for certain businesses—especially those that want higher activity allowances and free wiring capabilities. This Chase account includes 250 fee-free transactions every month, as well as fee-free cash deposits of up to $20,000 monthly. After these thresholds have been reached, you’ll pay $0.40 per transaction and $2.50 for every $1,000 deposited in cash. Additionally, with the Performance account, unlike the Total account, you’ll be able to accept unlimited incoming wires (domestic or international) with no associated fees. If you want to send outgoing wires, you’ll have two free every month, and then you’ll pay a standard wiring fee depending on how and where you send the wire.
With these expanded capabilities, however, you’ll face a higher monthly service fee: $30. Whereas it only takes a $1,500 daily balance to waive the Total Business Checking account fee, it will take a minimum daily balance of $35,000 to waive the Performance account service fee. Other than these differences, the remainder of the Performance account features are the same as the Chase Total account. Just as you get with the Total checking account, the Performance checking account gives you access to: Chase ATMs, online and mobile banking, free business debit cards, and the $200 sign-up bonus (qualifications are also the same).
Bank of America Business Advantage Checking
Just like the Chase Performance Business Checking account, the BofA Business Advantage Checking account might better suit the needs of businesses that need more monthly allowances as well as included wiring capabilities.
Just like the Chase Performance account, the Bank of America Advantage account has more free transactions and a greater cash deposit allowance than the Fundamentals account. With Advantage Checking, you receive 500 free transactions per month and up to $20,000 in cash deposits. The post-free transaction fees are the same as the Fundamentals account: $0.45 per transaction and $0.30 per $100 cash deposit. Additionally, the BofA Advantage account will give you the ability to accept incoming wires (domestic and international) at no cost. Outgoing wires, on the other hand, will cost $35 for domestic and $45 for international.
For these functionalities, Bank of America will charge you a $29.95 monthly service fee. However, just like with the Fundamentals account, BofA offers you four ways to waive this fee:
- Spend $2,500 in net new purchases on a business credit card
- Maintain an average monthly balance of $15,000 or more
- Maintain a combined average monthly balance of $35,000 or more in linked BofA accounts
- Actively use either (or both) Bank of America’s Merchant Services or Payroll Services
The Bank of America Advantage Checking account also gives you access to BofA ATMs, online and mobile banking, business and employee debit cards, as well as seamless QuickBooks integration at no extra cost. Furthermore, if you want to open a Bank of America Business Advantage Savings account or second checking account, you can do both with no additional monthly fee.
Once again, there are many comparable features when considering these two Bank of America vs. Chase business checking account options. As we observed with the Total and Fundamentals accounts, Chase continues to make an impact with their $200 cash bonus. Along the same lines though, Bank of America still offers 2x the amount of free transactions. Additionally, although both Chase and Bank of America have essentially the same service fee for these accounts, BofA offers four ways to waive the fee, compared to Chase’s one.
However, with the Performance and Advantage accounts, Chase and BofA have the same free cash deposit threshold as well as incoming wire policy. In terms of outgoing wires, Chase provides Performance account holders with two free per month, whereas Bank of America does not. Moreover, Chase’s transaction and cash deposit fees after you’ve used your free allowances are both lower than Bank of America’s. All things considered, however, Chase Performance Business Checking and Bank of America Advantage Checking are both viable bank account options for businesses that require more transaction allowances than the Total and Fundamentals accounts.
Chase vs. Bank of America Business Account: Chase Platinum Business Checking
As we mentioned earlier, Bank of America only has two checking account offerings whereas Chase has three. Therefore, when comparing Chase vs. Bank of America Business account options, the Chase Platinum Business Checking account stands alone.
The Chase Platinum Business Checking account is designed for larger businesses that need an even higher monthly allowance of transactions and deposits. The service fee for this account is the highest out of all of these checking accounts: $95. To waive this fee, you’ll have to maintain an average daily balance of $100,000 or more. With this higher service fee, however, you’ll receive 500 free monthly transactions and up to $25,000 per month for cash deposits. The fees you’ll incur for transactions or deposits over your free monthly allowance will be the same as the other two Chase accounts.
Additionally, the Chase Platinum account gives you more flexibility with wire transactions. Not only will you be able to receive an unlimited amount of domestic wires (as you can with the Performance account), but you’ll be able to receive free unlimited international wires as well. This checking account will also allow you to send four free wires every month. Once again, the remaining features of the Chase Platinum account are the same as the Total and Performance accounts—including the $200 sign-up bonus.
Although Bank of America does not have a third business checking account that lines up with the Chase Platinum account, it’s worth making an important comparison between the Chase Platinum account and the Bank of America Advantage account. The Chase Platinum account offers lower post-allowance fees, more wire capabilities, the $200 cash bonus, and more overall allowances—except when it comes to free transactions. The BofA Advantage account gives you 500 free transactions, the same as the Chase Platinum account, for a much lower service fee (with more available options to waive). Depending on the size of your business and your specific bank account need then, you might actually consider the Bank of America Advantage Checking account as an alternative to the Chase Platinum Business Checking account.
Chase vs. Bank of America Business Account: The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, it’s difficult to make a decision when comparing the Chase vs. Bank of America Business account options because they’re incredibly similar. Even when breaking down the individual offerings from each financial institution and comparing them directly, each pair has balancing pros and cons. This being said, however, here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Chase has three checking account options and Bank of America only has two.
- Chase has a sign-up bonus for all three of their accounts while BofA does not offer one for either of their accounts.
- Bank of America has four ways to waive the service fee for their two accounts, whereas Chase only offers one way for all three of their accounts.
- Bank of America consistently offers more free transactions than Chase, however, Chase has smaller lower fees for transactions and deposits over the monthly allowance.
- Bank of America allows you to completely apply for and open their checking accounts online.
All things considered then, the right business checking account will depend on the size of your business, what particular capabilities you need, and what bank account features you value most. Luckily, when considering the Chase vs. Bank of America Business account offerings, you have five great business checking account options that could each provide a substantial benefit to your business.
Randa has a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Iona College. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.