Every small-business owner knows the open secret about business banking: It’s just not as owner-friendly as consumer banking.
There’s a reason our roundup of the best online banks has few truly free business checking accounts — accounts with no monthly maintenance fees (and thus no overly burdensome monthly service fee waiver requirements) or monthly transaction limits. Unfortunately, monthly maintenance fees and transaction limits are par for the course in the business banking world.
That sets up a sharp contrast with the consumer banking space, where the free checking accounts and free high-yield savings accounts have proliferated since the global financial crisis of the late 2000s.
Free checking accounts aren’t entirely absent from business banking. They’re just more difficult to find — which means small-business owners and solopreneurs need to know where to look.
Best Free Business Checking Accounts
These FDIC-insured online banking accounts all waive monthly maintenance fees for all account holders, regardless of account balance, transaction volumes, or cash deposit requirements. They boast other user-friendly perks besides, such as mobile banking, bill pay capabilities, cash flow management tools, and ACH functionality. That puts them head and shoulders above your basic business checking account.
Here’s what you need to know about each.
1.00% on All Balances With Qualifying Minimum Balance
BlueVine Business Checking is a truly free business checking account that offers a nice yield for higher-balance account holders and waives transaction limits, nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees, and ATM fees within an expansive network. Every new account holder gets two free checkbooks to begin, which makes BlueVine Business Checking an excellent choice for businesses with vendors who don’t take electronic payments.
- Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum balance requirement and no ongoing monthly maintenance fee.
- Yield: Earn a 1.00% APY on all balances up to $100,000.
- Rewards and Incentives: BlueVine has no transaction limits, waives fees at about 38,000 in-network ATMs, and delivers two free checkbooks with every new account.
- Overdraft Options: BlueVine does not impose overdraft or NSF fees but may decline such transactions at its discretion.
- Possible Fees: BlueVine has virtually no fees.
Limited-Time Offer: $100 Account Opening Bonus
Axos Bank Basic Business Checking is a no-nonsense, maintenance-fee-free checking account that offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, a remote (mobile) deposit feature that’s perfect for business owners on the go, and a great welcome bonus offer.
For those keen on Axos Bank but hoping to avoid maintenance fees, Basic Business Checking is an excellent alternative to Axos Bank Business Interest Checking. And you can apply entirely online. Plus, Axos has multiple consumer bank accounts appropriate for business owners looking to manage their personal finances.
- Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum opening deposit is $1,000. There’s no monthly maintenance fee.
- Yield: None.
- Rewards and Incentives: To earn the limited-time welcome bonus, apply for a new Axos Bank Basic Business Checking account by Dec. 31, 2020. Then, maintain an average daily balance of at least $5,000 (new funds only) during the first three months your account is open.
- Overdraft Options: Axos Bank offers an opt-in overdraft line of credit that covers overdrafts that would otherwise be returned unpaid. This line of credit has a variable interest rate comparable to a high-interest credit card. Payment of at least 5% of the balance or $25, whichever is greater, is due each statement cycle.
- Possible Fees: $0.30 per item processed after the first 200 items each month.
Powerful Third-Party Integrations; Virtually No Fees
Azlo Business Banking has virtually no fees of any kind — including, of course, no monthly maintenance fees.
This is a branchless, free business checking account designed for sole proprietors, microbusiness owners, and owners of smaller businesses with full-time employees, including rapidly growing startups. You don’t need to have a small-business plan or even formally incorporate to open an Azlo Business Banking account, making this an ideal choice for freelancers who earn significant income from self-employment.
Among Azlo’s key selling points is an impressive lineup of third-party integrations to serve a variety of business needs. These external links seamlessly hook your business bank account with popular merchant services, such as accounting, payment processing, and credit solutions. Collectively, they could help turn your Azlo account into a hub for your entire business finance ecosystem. Other selling points include no transaction limits, no minimum balance requirements, and a user-friendly mobile check deposit feature.
- Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirement.
- Yield: None.
- Rewards and Incentives: Azlo stands out thanks to third-party integrations with vendors like Kabbage, PayPal, QuickBooks Online, Stripe, Square, Xero, and Wave. You can accept payments, borrow or send money, and drill down on your transaction history right from your Azlo account.
- Overdraft Options: Azlo never charges overdraft fees.
- Possible Fees: Instant money transfers may incur a small processing fee. However, Azlo does not charge a fee for incoming wire transactions.
4. Brex Cash
50,000 Bonus Points After Account Approval; No Fees or Minimums
Brex Cash is the perfect replacement for your old business bank account: an easy-to-use cash account with no fees or minimums. New Brex Cash companies enjoy a generous welcome offer and ongoing rewards program, plus value-added perks worth $150,000, a user-friendly mobile app with impressive capabilities, and advance payment scheduling tools built to help you avoid late vendor payments.
- Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Brex Cash has no account fees or minimums.
- Yield: None.
- Rewards and Incentives: After your account is approved and open, spend $1,000 to earn 50,000 bonus Brex Rewards points. You’ll earn points on every purchase, every day, too.
- Possible Fees: Brex Cash has no account fees.
*Brex Treasury LLC is not a bank; Brex Cash is not a bank account.
Opportunities to Earn Thousands in Free Perks
Novo’s Powerfully Simple Business Banking product is another branchless, free business checking option geared toward self-employed users and microbusiness owners. Its key selling points include an easy application process, opportunities to earn thousands in free perks with approved partner vendors, few if any fees, and a host of third-party integrations.
- Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The account opening minimum is $50. There’s no ongoing minimum bal
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