Chase vs. Capital One Business Checking: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Choosing a business bank account might seem like just another item on a list of tasks you need to complete when you’re starting or growing your business—but the decision is actually much more important.

After all, you’ll use your bank account to store your business capital, pay your employees, and manage your day-to-day finances. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you’re choosing the right business bank account—and you might start with two of the most popular banks for small businesses, Chase and Capital One.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to compare Chase vs. Capital One business checking—and determine which (if any) of the accounts from these banks can meet your business’s needs.

How to Choose a Business Checking Account

Before you compare the details of Chase vs. Capital One business checking—or any business checking accounts from that matter—it’s helpful to determine exactly what you’re looking for in a business bank account.

As you might imagine, the features included in different business bank accounts accommodate different types of companies. For example, some accounts are better-suited for businesses that handle a lot of cash, whereas others are better suited for those that send a lot of wires.

Plus, certain features (e.g. cash deposits, transactions, wire transfers) can accrue fees if you exceed the monthly allowance that is included for free with a particular account.

With all of this in mind, therefore, you’ll want to know the following about your business:

  • Do you make a lot of transactions each month, or are you mostly looking for a place to house your funds until you need them?
  • Do you handle a lot of physical cash, or are you more frequently getting paid by checks or direct deposit?
  • Do you use wire transfers? Are they incoming or outgoing, domestic or international?
  • Are you comfortable with paying a monthly fee or would you prefer a free business checking account? Do you have other active accounts—or plan to open them—to help you waive the fee with combined balances?
  • Are you able to keep a minimum balance in your bank account, or are your cash margins pretty thin?
  • Are there additional tools that you’re looking for—such as mobile banking, ACH transfers, employee debit cards, etc.?

Of course, you can ask yourself an endless number of questions, but starting with these will provide a strong basis for you to evaluate the Chase vs. Capital One business checking account options (as well as any others) and determine which might be best for you.

Comparing Chase vs. Capital One Business Checking Accounts

Once you have a better sense of what you’re looking for in your business checking account, you’ll be ready to start comparing the Capital One vs. Chase business accounts.

This being said, there are two important points to keep in mind as you get started.

First and foremost, Capital One is not currently accepting new customers for either of their Spark Business Checking accounts and hasn’t been for the past few years. According to the Capital One website, they’re working on improving the online experience and making updates to their Spark checking account products.

In this way, if you’re looking to open a business checking account now, your decision might be made for you. Nevertheless, it’s still worth comparing Chase vs. Capital One business checking so that you have a sense of what these accounts have to offer and which may be right for your business when the time comes that Capital One is accepting new customers.

With this clarification out of the way, as you start to compare Capital One vs. Chase, you’ll also want to think about what “tier” of business checking account you’re looking for.

With business bank accounts from traditional brick-and-mortar banks, you’ll typically see checking accounts in a tiered format—in other words, there are entry-level accounts that offer certain features, and as you increase your “account level,” you’ll receive additional features (like an increased number of free transactions, or free cash deposits, for instance). Of course, the higher the tier of the account, the more expensive the annual fees are likely to be.

When comparing Chase vs. Capital One business checking, however, this point is particularly important—as Chase offers three tiers of accounts, whereas Capital One offers two.

Chase vs. Capital One Business Checking: Basic Accounts

With this in mind, let’s start by looking at the basic account levels for both Chase and Capital One. These accounts are both excellent entry-level options for new business owners.

Chase Total Business Checking

Chase’s entry-level account is the Chase Total Business Checking account. Features of this account include:

  • $0 minimum first deposit
  • 100 free transactions per month, $0.40 per transaction thereafter
  • $5,000 in free cash deposits each month (standard cash deposit fees apply after)
  • $12 monthly fee ($15 if you prefer paper statements), which can be waived with a $1,500 minimum balance or with active qualifying accounts at Chase
  • Chase business debit cards
  • Online and mobile banking including bill pay and mobile deposits
  • 24/7 customer service

Capital One Spark Business Checking

Capital One’s first business bank account option is the Spark Business Basic Checking account. Part of the Spark suite of business products—which includes Spark business credit cards—these accounts are designed to be digitally-focused and easy to use.

With the Spark Business Basic Checking account, features include:

  • $250 minimum first deposit
  • Unlimited transactions each month
  • $5,000 in free cash deposits and a nominal fee ($1 per every $1,000) after that
  • $15 monthly fee, which can be waived with a $2,000 minimum 30- or 90- day average balance
  • Free business debit cards
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Mobile deposits
  • Online bill pay

How They Compare

So, what stands out for each of these accounts?

For Chase, you’ll see a lower monthly fee with online statements, plus—a lower balance required to waive that monthly fee. In this way, compared to Capital One, Chase makes it easier for you to use this as a free business checking account.

With Capital One, on the other hand, you get unlimited transactions each month—which is not a common feature of basic business checking accounts, especially those from larger, more traditional business banks. This being said, however, Capital One does have a slightly higher monthly fee, as well as a decent opening deposit, which Chase doesn’t require.

Overall, though, comparing Capital One vs. Chase business accounts at this level, the options are very similar. Along these lines, it’s also worth mentioning that although both of these accounts allow you to send and receive wires, they also both charge standard wiring fees to do so.

Chase vs. Capital One Business Checking: Upgraded Accounts

If you’re looking for more than the Chase Total and Capital One Spark Basic business checking accounts can offer, you might consider the next tier level for both of these banks.

These accounts are a good fit for business owners who are dealing with quite a bit more cash than others, and who likely already have a solid foundation of recurring revenue. You certainly can use these options as starter accounts, however, you’ll want to be sure that you can meet the qualifications to waive the monthly fee if you don’t want to pay it.

Chase Performance Business Checking

The Chase Performance Business Checking account is a nice step up from the Chase Total account, especially if you perform wire transfers since those fees can quickly add up. This being said, however, you’ll need to meet a much larger minimum balance to waive the monthly fee—$35,000 from $1,500—so that’s something to keep in mind.

Features of the Chase Performance Business Checking account include:

  • $0 minimum first deposit
  • 250 free transactions per month with unlimited online deposits
  • No fees for incoming wire transfers, plus two free outgoing domestic wire transfers per month
  • $20,000 in free cash deposits each month
  • $30 monthly fee, which can be waived with a $35,000 minimum balance or with active qualifying accounts at Chase
  • Chase business debit cards
  • Online and mobile banking including bill pay and mobile deposits
  • 24/7 customer service

Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking

You still have that same great foundation of unlimited transactions with the second-tier Capital One business checking account. As with the Chase Performance account, however, the Capital One Spark Business Unlimited account significantly raises the threshold to waive the monthly fee—requiring a minimum account balance of $25,000 as opposed to $2,000.

This being said, features of the Spark Business Unlimited checking account includes:

  • $250 minimum opening deposit
  • Unlimited transactions each month
  • No fees for cash deposits
  • No fees for incoming domestic wires, plus five free outgoing domestic wires
  • $35 monthly fee, which can be waived with a minimum average balance of $25,000 over a 30- or 90- day period
  • Online and mobile banking including bill pay and mobile deposits
  • Free business debit cards
  • Up to two Spark Business Basic Checking accounts with monthly service fee waivers included
  • Next-day funds availability with deposits

How They Compare

If outgoing wire transfers are important to your business, then you’ll find a big advantage with Capital One vs. Chase here—as Capital One gives you three more free outgoing transfers than Chase. You’ll also appreciate the fact that this Capital One account also offers unlimited transactions and no fees for cash deposits.

On the other hand, Chase offers free incoming domestic and international wires, whereas Capital One charges for incoming international wires. Additionally, although the balance to waive your monthly fee is higher with Chase, their monthly fee is slightly cheaper than Capital One’s, to begin with.

Top-Tier Chase Business Checking Account

Although Capital One only offers the two business checking account options, as we mentioned above, Chase offers three. The top-tier Chase account, Chase Platinum Business Checking, is designed for larger businesses with greater transaction and cash management needs.

Chase Platinum Business Checking

When it comes down to it, it’s unlikely that the Chase Platinum Business Checking account will be suitable for newer, smaller businesses. This being said, however, you might consider upgrading your business checking account to the Platinum level as you grow and expand.

Features of the Chase Platinum Business Checking account include:

  • $0 minimum first deposit
  • 500 free transactions per month with unlimited online deposits
  • No fees for incoming wire transfers, plus fees waived on your four most expensive outgoing domestic wire transfers per month
  • $25,000 in free cash deposits each month
  • $95 monthly fee, which can be waived with a $100,000 minimum balance or with active qualifying accounts or investments at Chase
  • Chase business debit cards
  • Online and mobile banking including bill pay and mobile deposits
  • 24/7 customer service

When to Choose Chase Platinum Business Checking

As we’ve mentioned, it’s going to be difficult for most small business owners to reach the $100,000 minimum balance threshold to waive the monthly fee on the Chase Platinum Business Checking account. Along these lines, with a $95 monthly fee, paying for this Chase business checking account will require some serious budgeting.

Therefore, at the end of the day, although this top-tier Chase account has a number of benefits—500 free monthly transactions, $25,000 in monthly free cash deposits, free incoming wires, and more—it’s worth looking into the other accounts we’ve discussed if you’re not ready for this tier of business checking accounts.

Once again, however, if you do decide to opt for either the Chase Total or Chase Performance account, you’ll always have the option to upgrade to the Platinum level as your business grows—which is not an option you’ll have if you opt for the Capital One Spark Unlimited account.

Chase vs. Capital One Business Savings Accounts

Although we’ve focused our comparison here on Chase vs. Capital One business checking accounts, it’s worth mentioning that both of these banks also offer business savings accounts.

Chase offers two business savings account options, as well as a Certificate of Deposit option. Similarly, Capital One offers two traditional business savings accounts—Spark Business Savings and Business Advantage Savings—as well as a Certificate of Deposit.

It’s important to note that like the Spark checking accounts, however, Capital One is not currently accepting new customers for their Spark Business Savings account either. On the other hand, as long as their Advantage Savings and Certificate of Deposit options are available in your area, you can apply and open either of these accounts.

Overall, however, business savings accounts largely serve a different purpose—earning interest on your extra capital—compared to business checking accounts.

Nevertheless, if you’re interested in a business savings account from either of these financial institutions, you can learn more in our full reviews:

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, although they have their differences, both Capital One and Chase offer highly competitive business checking accounts that are well-suited for a variety of small business owners.

This being said, however, when comparing Chase vs. Capital One business checking accounts in detail, it seems that the Capital One accounts stand out with their unlimited transactions, whereas Chase stands out with their lack of minimum opening deposit requirements and three-tiered account options.

Moreover, both Chase and Capital One are known for their additional business products—including credit cards, loan products, and other banking accounts—which can be useful if you’re looking to consolidate services with one bank.

Once again, though, it’s important to remember that Capital One isn’t currently accepting new customers for their Spark products—so if you think one of these accounts is right for your business, you might actually turn to Chase as an alternative option—as opposed to waiting for Capital One to start taking customers.

On the other hand, of course, you might determine that neither of these banks offers the business checking account that meets your needs and you might continue your search by comparing business bank accounts from local community banks, online-based banks, or other large banks, like Bank of America.

Meredith Turits

Meredith is a writer and editor. Drawing on her background in small business and startups, she writes on business, finance, and entrepreneurship. Her writing has also appeared in the New Republic, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, ELLE, The Paris Review Daily, and more.
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