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Selecting a business bank account is an important decision for any small business owner. This account is where you’ll pay your expenses and save up for your business’s future. Because it serves such a key role in your business’s finances, it’s important to find a business checking account that fully aligns with your business’s needs and can help rather than hamper its growth.
As you weigh your options, one thing to keep in mind is accessibility. Many business owners want to find a bank with branches near either their home or their office. If your business is located in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, one option to consider is Eastern Bank. Founded in 1818, it is the oldest mutual bank in the U.S. It has more than 120 locations across eastern Massachusetts and in southern and coastal New Hampshire. You can find out if there’s a branch or ATM near you with Eastern Bank’s online locator.
In this review, we’ll delve into the five business checking accounts that Eastern Bank offers so you can get a better idea of whether Eastern Bank business checking is right for your small business. Because it’s important to consider all of your options when making such a crucial choice, we’ve also included top alternatives.
It’s important to think carefully about your business’s needs as you consider your checking account options. What works well for one business may not work well for another. You’ll want to evaluate your business’s spending habits, expected level of account activity, and the purpose you ultimately want your account to serve. Considering the following three features in particular can help you narrow down your options:
An account’s transaction limit is how many transactions you are permitted to make each month. Many business checking accounts allow a set number of fee-free transactions per statement period, after which you’ll pay a fee per additional transaction beyond the limit.
Two Eastern Business Checking accounts (Free Business Checking and Select I Business Checking) are designed for businesses with low transaction volumes, as they have a limit of 100 fee-free transactions per statement period. Select II Business Checking has a somewhat higher transaction volume of 200 items per month, while Premier Business Checking has a much higher 500 item transaction limit. Cash Management Checking, designed for larger companies with multiple checking accounts, does not have a set transaction limit.
The balance minimum is the least amount of money you are required to have in the account at any given time. Many accounts require you to maintain this minimum in order to waive the account’s monthly maintenance fee. Avoiding this fee on a monthly basis can add up to significant savings for your business.
There is a wide range of balance minimums across Eastern Bank Business accounts. The bank’s most basic business checking account, Free Business Checking, does not have a balance minimum. Select I Business Checking requires a minimum combined balance of $10,000 to waive the monthly fee, while Select II Business Checking requires a $20,000 minimum balance, and Premier Business Checking requires a $40,000 minimum balance to do so. Cash Management has no minimum balance requirement, as the monthly fee associated with this account is instead offset by an earnings credit.
As indicated above, many business checking accounts charge a monthly maintenance fee. Often banks will offer a basic business checking account option with a lower transaction limit with no monthly fee, but accounts with more features and higher transaction limits typically carry a monthly fee.
Eastern Bank Free Business Checking has no monthly fee, while Premier Business Checking carries a $50 charge that’s waivable if you maintain a minimum average daily balance. The other accounts’ monthly service charges fall somewhere in the middle: Select Business I Checking has an $11 monthly fee, Select Business II has an $18 monthly fee, and Cash Management Checking has a $21 monthly fee.
There are five Eastern Bank business accounts that small business owners can choose from. Each account option is designed to serve a specific type of business with particular business checking needs.
The Eastern Bank business account options all offer:
Select Business I Checking, Select Business II Checking and Premier Business Checking also include:
Monthly fees and limits:
As its name suggests, Eastern Bank Free Business Checking carries no monthly maintenance fee. It is the only Eastern Bank business account with no monthly service charge and no minimum balance required to waive the fee. However, a $50 minimum deposit is required to open an account.
Eastern Bank recommends this business account for startups, sole proprietorships, or not-for-profits. It allows up to 100 fee-free transactions each month, after which you’ll pay a $0.50 fee per excess transaction. This is one of the lower transaction limits across Eastern Bank checking accounts and one of the higher transaction fees. Although this account allows free use of Eastern Bank ATMs, unlike a few of the other Eastern Bank business accounts, it does not also include free use of non-Eastern Bank ATMs.
The next Eastern Bank business account we’ll cover is Select I Business Checking. This option is recommended for businesses that have a low monthly transaction volume but maintain a balance of at least $10,000 in their checking and money market accounts. This $10,000 minimum must be met in order to waive the $11 monthly service charge associated with the account.
Like Free Business Checking, Eastern Bank Select I Business Checking has a limit of 100 monthly transactions. The fee for excess transactions is lower for this account than it is for Free Business Checking though. You’ll pay a $0.30 for each transaction beyond the limit.
Eastern Bank Select II Business Checking is recommended for small to midsize businesses with moderate monthly transaction volumes, as it includes up to 200 fee-free transactions per statement period. A $0.30 fee applies for excess transactions.
Eastern Bank Select II Business Checking requires a higher minimum balance than Select I Business Checking. Businesses must maintain combined checking and money market account balances of at least $20,000 to waive the higher $18 fee associated with the account.
Eastern Bank Premier Business Checking is one of two Eastern Bank business accounts that is designed for businesses with higher transaction volumes and average account balances. This account option requires combined business deposit balances of at least $40,000 to waive the $50 monthly service charge, which is the highest monthly fee associated with any of the five accounts offered.
However, Eastern Bank Premier Checking has a much higher transaction limit than the previous three accounts. This account includes 500 monthly transactions. A $0.50 fee applies for excess transactions. Other perks of the account include the ability to link a savings account and make fund transfers, as well as free account access with QuickBooks. A discount on payroll services is also offered.
The final Eastern Bank business account we’ll cover is Cash Management Checking. This account is best for larger companies that have multiple checking accounts. It’s also recommended for businesses that need treasury management services, as it offers an array of cash management services.
Cash Management Checking carries a monthly service charge of $21. Unlike some of the other Eastern Bank account options, this fee cannot be waived by meeting a balance minimum but it can be offset by an earnings credit.
Another distinction between Cash Management Checking and other Eastern Bank business checking options is that it does not have a set transaction limit. Instead, account holders will pay per transaction. The associated fee varies depending on the type of transaction.
If your business is not located in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, then Eastern Bank may not be the most convenient for your small business. Azlo Bank is an online-only bank, making it easily accessible no matter where your business is headquartered. The bank’s lack of physical locations keeps costs low, and there is no monthly fee, balance minimum, or transaction limit associated with Azlo Business Checking.
There are downsides to the lack of physical locations though. Because it is not attached to a bank that has branched, Azlo can’t process cash deposits. If you need to withdraw cash, you can use the AllPoint ATM network of 55,000 ATMs for no fee. You also won’t be able to send money wires with Azlo Business Checking, though you can send electronic payments for free.
Open an Azlo Account
Another alternative to Eastern Bank’s business checking accounts is Axos Business Interest Checking. What really differentiates this account from the five Eastern Bank business accounts is that it is interest-bearing. Rates are tiered and variable, and set at Axos Bank’s discretion. You could earn up to 0.80% APY on your account balance.
Unlike the other two online only banks mentioned here, Axos Business Interest Checking does have a monthly maintenance fee of $10. It’s necessary to maintain an average daily balance of at least $5,000 to waive this fee, which is a lower balance minimum than those associated with three of the five Eastern Bank accounts. The account includes 50 fee-free transactions (debits, credits, and deposits) per month. You’ll also get unlimited withdrawals and transfers, plus 60 free remote deposits.
With this digital bank, you’ll also have access to a nationwide ATM network. As an added bonus, Axos offers unlimited reimbursements for ATM fees.
Open an Axos Account Now
Like Azlo Bank and Axos Bank, Novo Bank is online-only. Novo Business Checking doesn’t charge a monthly fee, require a minimum balance or limit your monthly transactions. However, it will charge fees for insufficient and uncollected funds. These fees, which both run $27, are easily avoidable if you monitor your transactions though.
Due to its online-only nature, Novo, like Azlo, is not able to process cash deposits. Unlike Azlo, it doesn’t have an ATM network available, which means you also can’t make cash withdrawals.
Open a Novo Account Now
Unlike the other three alternatives we mentioned, Chase Bank has physical locations. In fact, Chase has 5,100 branches located across the country, making this a great option for business owners who value accessibility.
Chase Total Business Checking account carries a $12 monthly maintenance fee, and you’ll pay an additional $3 per month if you want paper statements. There is a transaction limit of 100 items per statement period, which is on par with Eastern Bank Free Business Checking and Eastern Bank Select I Business Checking.
Open a Chase Total Account
Eastern Bank business checking is likely best for small business located in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. All of the bank’s 120 branches are concentrated in eastern Massachusetts and in southern and coastal New Hampshire.
If your home or office is near one of Eastern Bank’s branches, you’ll next want to consider the different business account option. Eastern Bank offers five different business checking accounts, each designed for different types of businesses with varying needs. Both Free Business Checking and are good for businesses that have a low transaction volume. Although Free Business Checking does not have a monthly fee or balance minimum, it charges a higher excess transaction fee than Select I Business Checking. Select II Business Checking could be suitable for businesses that are either small or midsize, have a moderate transaction volume and can maintain an average combined daily balance of at least $20,000.
In addition to those three options, Eastern Bank also offers two business accounts that are better for businesses with higher volume and balances. Premier Business Checking has a 500 item transaction limit and requires a minimum combined balance of $40,000 to waive the $50 service charge. Eastern Bank Cash Management Checking, meanwhile, is best for larger companies that have multiple checking accounts and need treasury management services. It doesn’t have a set transaction limit but rather charges a fee per transaction.
All in all, Eastern Bank business accounts can meet a wide range of needs when it comes to transaction volume. If you’re worried about accessibility outside of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, though, you might be better served by one of the four alternatives we mention. Ultimately, choosing a business checking account is about determining your business’s unique needs.