When you start a business, a key step is to open a business bank account. Aside from bolstering your credibility as an established business, it will simplify tracking your expenses and income and, in turn, make tax season easier. You’ll want to find an account that’s right for you though. It’s important to choose a business account that’s easily accessible and that has features and services that fully align with your business’ needs.
If you’re located in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, one option worth considering is First Financial Bank. The bank, which has been in business for over 150 years, has more than 100 locations across these three states. It offers a range of services to business owners, including business accounts, lending solutions, treasury management, employee services and transition and succession services.
The bank offers three business accounts to choose from, each designed to meet different levels of banking needs. Before settling on an account, you’ll want to make sure you’ve thoroughly considered your options. To help you find an account that’s truly right for you, we also included a few First Financial Bank competitors worth considering.
Choosing the Best Business Checking Account for Your Small Business
When you’re trying to determine the best business checking account option for your small business, there are a few key factors to take into consideration: namely transaction limits, balance minimums, and fees. Before you start comparison shopping, you’ll want to consider what your business needs in a checking account, whether that’s a basic, low-fee account or an account with a high transaction volume and a number of extra features.
One of the biggest differentiators between business checking account options is transaction limits. An account’s transaction limit lets you know how many transactions you can make in a statement period at no additional fee. Some accounts offer unlimited transactions at no cost, whereas other accounts set limits. You’ll have to pay a fee for each transaction you make beyond that limit. Before picking a business bank account, you’ll want to have an idea of your business’s expected level of banking activity so you can choose an account with a suitable transaction limit.
Notably, all of the First Financial Bank business accounts offer unlimited cash deposits. There are varying transaction limits for deposit tickets, deposit items, paid checks, and ACH transfers.
Business accounts may require a minimum opening deposit or account balance. Particularly for accounts that do have monthly service charges, it’s often necessary to maintain a certain account balance in order to waive that charge. You may have the option of maintaining this balance within your checking account or throughout a combination of accounts. For First Financial Bank Premium Business Checking, for instance, you must maintain either a $5,000 collected monthly balance in combined checking accounts or $25,000 in combined checking, savings, CDs, and loans.
Many business accounts require you to pay a monthly fee. Accounts with higher transaction limits and more additional services and features will typically have a higher fee. However, these fees are often waivable if you meet a certain account balance requirement.
Beyond monthly fees, you may also incur transaction fees for transactions made beyond your monthly limit, as well as out-of-network ATM fees.
The 3 First Financial Bank Business Accounts Reviewed
First Financial Bank offers businesses three checking account options to choose from: Basic Business Checking, Premium Business Checking, and Ultimate Business Checking. We delve into the differences between each First Financial Bank business account below, but there are also some commonalities across the three accounts.
Each First Financial Bank business account offers the following complimentary features:
- Electronic statements
- Online banking
- Online bill pay
- Unlimited cash deposits
- Visa® Debit Card
Across all accounts, a $3 monthly statement fee will apply for customers who are not enrolled in electronic statements.
First Financial Bank Basic Business Checking
First Financial Bank Basic Business Checking is best for businesses with light to moderate checking activity. It is the only business checking account option at First Financial Bank that does not have a monthly service fee. Additionally, it allows for unlimited deposit tickets, deposit items, paid checks, and ACH credits/debits. The other two First Financial bank business account cap transactions at 500 and 750 items, respectively.
If you want treasury management products, however, this may not be the right account option. Those are only included with First Financial Bank Ultimate Business Checking.
Monthly fees and limits:
- No monthly service fee
- Unlimited deposit tickets, deposit items, paid checks and ACH credits/debits
- Businesses with low to moderate account activity
First Financial Bank Premium Business Checking
First Financial Bank Premium Business Checking can meet the needs of businesses that have moderate transaction volumes and want access to tools that can help manage cash flow. Unlike Basic Business Checking, First Financial Premium Business Checking does have a monthly service fee. However, this fee is waived for customers who either maintain a $5,000 collected monthly balance in combined checking accounts or $25,000 in combined checking, savings, CDs, and loans.
Like all First Financial business accounts, this account offers unlimited cash deposits. However, for deposit tickets, deposit items, paid checks, and ACH credits/debits, there is a limit of 500 transactions.
Monthly fees and limits:
- Monthly fee waived if a $5,000 collected monthly balance in combined checking accounts or a $25,000 in combined checking, savings, CDs, and loans is maintained
- 500 transactions per statement period (includes deposit tickets, deposit items, paid checks, and ACH credits/debits)
- Businesses with moderate transaction volume
First Financial Bank Ultimate Business Checking
As we mentioned earlier, First Financial Bank Ultimate Business Checking is the only First Financial Bank business account that includes treasury management products. The full-service account has a higher minimum threshold to meet in order to waive the monthly service fee. You must maintain either a $50,000 average collected balance in combined checking accounts or $100,000 in combined checking, savings, CDs, and loans to waive the service charge.
Although there’s no cap on complimentary unlimited cash deposits, this account caps unlimited deposit tickets, paid checks, and ACH credits/debits at 750 transactions.
Monthly fees and limits:
- Monthly fee waived if a $50,000 average collected balance in combined checking accounts or a $100,000 in combined checking, savings, CDs, and loans is maintained
- 750 transactions per statement period (includes deposit tickets, deposit items, paid checks, and ACH credits/debits)
- Businesses that want a full-service account, including treasury management products
Top Alternatives to Bank of the First Financial Bank Business Accounts
If none of the First Financial Bank business account options seem right for you or you simply want to continue exploring your options, there are plenty of other business accounts to consider. While there are more than 100 locations of First Financial Bank across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, this bank might not be right for you if you aren’t located in one of those three states. An online-only bank like Azlo Business Checking or a bank with easy accessibility like Chase Total Business Checking might be a good alternative. And if you’re after a more personalized feel than a regional, national or online bank offers, a credit union might be a good choice.
For Businesses That Want Online-Only Banking: Azlo Business Checking
- Signup bonus: $0
- Minimum first deposit: $0
- Monthly fee: $0
- Balance to waive fee: $0
Unlike First Financial Bank, Azlo does not have any physical locations. With Azlo Business Checking you’ll still be able to withdraw money from ATMs (there are 55,000 available in Azlo’s network), however, you can’t get physical checks or deposit cash into your account, both of which may be drawbacks, or even deal-breakers, for some businesses.
On the upside, Azlo Business Checking doesn’t have any minimum balance requirements or a monthly fee, and it allows an unlimited number of transactions each statement period. If you travel frequently, you’ll enjoy the fact that this account has no international transaction fees. Other perks include Square and Stripe integrations and the ability to send digital invoices straight from your account.
- Digital-savvy business owners who are looking for a no-fee account
For Businesses That Value Accessibility and Have Smaller Transaction Volume: Chase Total Business Checking
- Minimum first deposit: $25
- Monthly fee: $12-$15
- Balance to waive fee: $1,500
If accessibility is what you’re after, Chase Total Business Checking can certainly deliver. Chase has 5,100 locations across the country, unlike First Financial Bank, which has locations concentrated in just three states.
Chase Total Business Checking is a good option for businesses with lower transaction volumes. The account offers 100 free transactions per month, after which you’ll pay a $0.40 fee per transaction. Free cash deposits are capped at $5,000.
You will pay a monthly fee with this account, unlike with First Financial Bank’s Basic Business Checking, but it’s a relatively low monthly fee of $15. If you opt for paperless statements, that fee drops to just $12. Moreover, the bank will waive this fee if you maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, an attainable minimum for even smaller businesses.
- Business owners looking for an account with widespread availability and low fees
For Businesses That Want to Bank Local: Credit Unions
If the online-only set-up of Azlo or the big name and national presence of Chase don’t seem right for you, consider credit unions. Because credit unions tend to focus more on particular communities, you may get a more personalized feel. Because of their size, however, credit unions tend to have a more limited range of services and products than banks, especially a national bank like Chase. You might not be able to easily access as many ATMs or physical branches or enjoy as many online banking offerings, especially compared to an online-only bank like Azlo.
Another point in credit unions favor, however, comes out of the fact that they are not-for-profit organizations. This means that their fees and penalties may be lower than they would be at a bank. However, not just anyone can open a credit union business checking account, you must meet certain requirements.
- Business owners who value personalized customer service and want to keep their banking local
Are First Financial Bank Business Accounts Right for You?
First Financial Bank has a selection of business banking options that can suit various needs. Although all of the accounts offer a number of the same complimentary services and features as well as unlimited cash deposits, the accounts have different transaction limits for other types of transactions, varying monthly services charges and distinct additional features.
Basic Business Checking is best for businesses with light to moderate checking activity, while Premium Business Checking is recommended for businesses that have moderate transaction volume and want access to tools that can help them better manage cash flow. Premium Business Checking, unlike Basic Business Checking, does have a monthly service charge.
However, the minimum balance required to waive that fee is lower than it is for Ultimate Business Checking. This option, the only of the three accounts that includes treasury management products, is recommended for businesses that want a full-service account.
If none of the First Financial Bank business accounts seems quite right for your business, consider one of the top alternatives highlighted above, or check out our comprehensive list of the best free business checking accounts.