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Citibank Business Checking Accounts Reviewed for Your Small Business

Sally Lauckner

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

As a small business owner, it can be hard to separate work and your personal life. After all, your livelihood is dependent on your business. Keeping your finances separate with a business bank account can make the distinction much easier. If you’re not sure where to find the right business checking account, and you own a business in California, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, or Virginia, Citibank may be a good place to start. The bank offers four different business checking options.

For those who travel from big city to big city for work, Citibank could be the bank for you. The bank maintains nearly 700 branches in the U.S. and more than 1,800 around the world. The U.S. branches can be found in many major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, San Antonio, and D.C.

Choosing the Best Business Checking for Your Small Business

Choosing the right business checking account depends on your spending habits and business goals. For example, if you’re constantly making various purchases for your business, you’re going to want an account with more flexible transaction limits. Or perhaps you need to keep your spending down with a free account while you get your business started.

Fees

All four of the Citibank business checking accounts charge a monthly fee. The exact charge on the account varies from state to state, but runs from $15 to $30. You can also sometimes waive the fee by meeting certain balance or transaction requirements, depending on the account.

Transaction Limits

Unlike personal checking accounts, business accounts often place strict limits on the number of transactions you can make each month. This includes not only withdrawals, but purchases, payroll, deposits, and more. Citibank offers an account with 500 maximum transactions. If you make more than that, you can also consider another account that offers credits to offset your expenses.

Balance Minimums

For starters, maintaining a minimum balance in your business checking account can help you avoid overdrafts or declined transactions. Certain minimum balances can also help you waive an account’s monthly fee, as is the case with three out of the four Citibank business checking accounts below. You’ll typically need to keep a few thousand dollars in your Citibank account.

citibank business checking

Breakdown of Citibank Business Checking Accounts

The four Citibank business checking accounts vary in their specific features, from monthly fees to deposit limits. This offers an account opportunity to many kinds of business owners.

All Citibank business checking accounts include a free CitiBusiness® debit card, CitiBusiness® Checking Plus Overdraft Protection, CitiBusiness® Safety Check, and CitiBusiness® Preferred Banking. You’ll also have access to remote check deposit, cash management services, online banking, earnings credit, and up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance.

CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking Account

The simplest of the Citibank business checking accounts is the CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking Account, which includes 250 free transactions each month. While this low limit may work best for new business owners, watch out for the $15 fee. This is pretty high for a simple account, but it’s easy enough to waive the fee by keeping $5,000 in your account.

Monthly fees and limits:

  •      $15 monthly fee, waivable with $5,000 balance
  •      250 monthly transactions allowed
  •      $5,000-$10,000 in monthly currency deposits, depending on your state

Best for:

  •      New business owners with limited transactions

CitiBusiness Flexible Checking Account

If your business is growing, consider the CitiBusiness® Flexible Checking Account. It doubles the allowances of the first account with 500 transactions and $20,000 currency deposits per month. Unfortunately, the monthly fee and minimum balance requirement are also increased, making the account potentially less attractive to some small business owners. Be wary of the fee and how it can add up. You don’t want to waste money on steep account fees, especially when there are lower-fee accounts out there (see the Top Alternatives to Citibank Business Checking Accounts section below).

Monthly fees and limits:

  •      $22-$30 monthly fee, depending on your state, waivable with $10,000 balance
  •      500 included transactions per month
  •      $20,000 in currency deposits per month

Best for:

  •      Business owners with a growing business

CitiBusiness Checking Account

This account offers more flexibility for larger business with potentially thousands of transactions each month. The CitiBusiness Checking Account forgoes placing a concrete limit on your transactions each month. Instead, you’ll receive a monthly earnings credit on your average monthly combined balance. This is designed to help offset monthly maintenance charges, transaction service charges, and cash management fees on eligible accounts. To qualify for this benefit, you’ll need at least $5,000 in your linked eligible accounts.

Monthly fees and limits:

  •      $22 monthly fee
  •      No transaction limits

Best for:

  •      Business owners who make more than 500 transactions per month
  •      Unlimited check writing
  •      Account holders with another primary account

CitiBusiness Interest Checking Account

If you maintain a high business balance but don’t make too many transactions, this interest-earning checking account will work nicely for you. You’ll need to keep at least $10,000 in this account to waive the $30 fee. Plus, this balance will earn some interest to keep your account growing.

You’re allowed only 25 transactions per cycle, so don’t forget that this also includes check writing and payroll.

Monthly fees and limits:

  •      $22-$30 monthly fee, depending on your state, waivable with $10,000 minimum balance
  •      $5,000-$10,000 in currency deposits per month, depending on your state

Best for:

  •      Businesses that don’t need to make many transactions
  •      Limited payroll and costs

citibank business checking

Top Alternatives to Citibank Business Checking Accounts

If you’re not convinced that any of these Citibank business checking accounts are right for your small business, then it’s time to start considering some alternatives.

Chase Total Business Checking

If you’re drawn to Citibank because you travel a lot for business (the bank has many locations in big cities), but you’re not quite sold on any of the accounts above, then you should consider a Chase business checking account as an alternative. Chase has the second-most branches of any bank in the U.S. (after Wells Fargo).

Chase Total Business Checking could be the account for you. It allows 100 transactions per month, and it has a $5,000 deposit limit per month. The monthly fee is $12, but this can be waived by maintaining a daily minimum balance of $1,500. You’ll only need a $25 deposit to open this business checking account. If you’re looking for an affordable account, and you don’t need to make many transactions, this could be the right fit for your small business.

Azlo Business Checking

If you’re looking for the most affordable business checking account out there, it’s hard to beat Azlo Business Checking. The account has no monthly maintenance fee whatsoever, no minimum balance requirement, and offers flexibility with no deposit limit or transition limit. Wondering what’s the catch? Azlo Business Checking is an internet-only account (there are no physical locations), meaning you can open the account from your couch but also meaning that it comes with the limitations you’d expect with a digital-only account, namely you can’t make cash deposits.

If your small business primarily deals in cash, this will obviously be a deal-breaker for you. If it’s not, you should know that you will have access to the AllPoint ATM network, so you’ll be able to make cash withdrawals from your account at any of AllPoint’s 55,000 ATMs nationwide.

Who Are Citibank Business Checking Accounts Right For?

With four different options, Citibank business checking accounts can work for a variety of business owners. However, those who are a bit more strapped for cash may find the relatively high monthly fees on each account pretty cumbersome. If you easily meet the minimum balance requirements to waive the fees, owning these accounts may be more rewarding.

These Citibank business checking accounts offer relatively low monthly transaction limits with the highest allowance at 500. Other banks offer limits in the thousands. Plus, many other accounts at different banks charge much lower monthly fees or require much lower minimum balances to waive their fees.

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 personal finance startup, and has held various editorial roles at the Huffington Post and AOL.com. She is passionate about financial literacy and educating small business owners.

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