What are the best online banks for small business firms? Here we compare online banking options to help you find what’s right for you.
We’ll compare online banks by considering factors such as checking and savings services, interest, minimum balances and monthly and ATM fees. Use this information to help you find the best online business bank account for you.
One of today’s leading small business online banking solutions is LendingClub. It is a business online banking provider which uses financial services technology (fintech) to offer consumers and businesses a range of products and services from their own company and from partner providers, a business model known as marketplace banking.
Founded as First Trade Union Bank to serve as a community bank for carpenters union members in Boston in 1987, it was renamed Radius Bank in 2014 and agreed to be acquired by peer-to-peer lending company LendingClub in 2020. It operates under parent company LendingClub Corp., which has offices in San Francisco, as LendingClub Bank, National Association, based in Lehi, Utah.
LendingClub’s services for businesses span a wide range of options, including:
- Operating account services (accounts used to deposit payments from customers and pay vendors), including checking accounts that earn interest
- Savings accounts
- Lending solutions, including Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, commercial real estate loans, equipment financing and credit cards
- Mobile wallets
- Cash management services such as business automated teller machine (ATM) and debit card services, merchant services and payroll services
- Specialty services such as escrow services, unions and benefit funds and banking for nonprofits
All packages in the LendingClub Bank business suite include a checking account. Accounts can be managed online from anywhere 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) up to the legal limit of $250,000.
LendingClub Tailored Checking Accounts
Some of the bank’s products are geared toward larger companies. LendingClub’s tailored checking account product serves the needs of smaller companies and represents a contender for the best online bank account for small businesses.
Tailored checking accounts feature unlimited cash back at 1% on qualified online and signature-based credit purchases made with a debit card by eligible account holders provided the account holder meets requirements and keeps an average balance of $5,000 or more that month.
There are no fees or penalties on ATM deposits, debit transactions or checks. Unlimited automatic ATM surcharge rebates are provided for ATM fees charged by other banks.
Accounts earn 0.10% annual percentage yield (APY) on balances of $5,000 or more.
Accounts can be managed online or from mobile devices 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The LendingClub Bank is available for iOS and Android devices. It includes real-time transaction updates, the ability to make deposits and pay bills, digital funds transfer and wire capability and digital invoicing and accounting features. Deposits can be synced to data from Mint, QuickBooks and Quicken. Customer support is available online or 7 days a week by secure message or phone.
Additional services are available with tailored checking accounts. Business bill pay lets account holders send both one-time and recurring payments and checks to either individuals or companies. Automated clearing house (ACH) origination lets account holders manage online payments to employees and contractors. Remote deposit capture saves time recording deposits. Business checks are available upon request.
Tailored checking accounts may be opened online in 10 minutes or less. A minimum deposit of $100 is required to open an account, but there are no minimum balance requirements after opening. Balances under $5,000 incur monthly maintenance fees of $10. The fees are waived for balances of $5,000 and more.
To open an account, applicants must be U.S. residents or resident aliens. The applicant must provide their company’s legal name or doing business as (DBA) name, employer identification number (EIN) or tax identification number, company headquarter address and mailing address. Each person owning 20% or more of the company must provide their email, mobile phone number, address, date of birth and Social Security number. A company web presence such as a website or social media account is required.
Another candidate for best online business checking is Chase’s Business Complete Checking account. Chase is the consumer and business banking arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a leading international financing services provider with roots dating back to New York City in 1799, currently holding $2.6 trillion in assets.
The bank has thousands of branches and ATMs across the country, making them one of the best online business banking solutions for business owners who want both digital and physical support options.
Chase Business Complete Checking Accounts
Business Complete Checking accounts allow unlimited deposits made electronically, through ACH, or through Chase QuickDeposit, available for select mobile devices through the Chase mobile app.
Accounts come with the QuickAccept smartphone card reader, which allows businesses to process all major debit and credit cards. Fees are 2.6% plus 10 cents for tap, dip and swipe payments and 3.5% plus 10 cents for manual payments. QuickAccept helps support small business cash flow by allowing same-day deposits for no additional fee.
Accounts incur a monthly service fee of $15, but this can be waived in a variety of ways, including:
- Maintaining a minimum daily balance of $2,000
- Depositing at least $2,000 with transactions from QuickAccept or other eligible merchant solutions
- Spending at least $2,000 with the Chase Ink business credit card
- Linking to a Chase Private Client Checking account
- Providing proof of active or veteran military status
Chase periodically offers $300 to new business customers with qualifying activities who open a Business Complete Checking account. To earn the bonus, customers must:
- Enter an offer code
- Deposit $2,000 or more in new money within 30 days of coupon enrollment
- Maintain a $2,000 balance for 60 days
- Complete 5 qualifying transactions within 90 days of coupon enrollment
Qualifying actions can be Chase QuickAccept deposits, Chase QuickDeposit deposits, ACH credits, debit card purchases, credit wires, debit wires or bill payments. The bonus amount is deducted if the customer closes the account within 6 months of enrollment.
Online account management is available through Chase Business Online and the Chase Mobile app. Alerts keep users updated on account activity for no fee, although message and data rates may apply. Check Monitoring Services are available to track check payments and returns for fraud.
Chase Business Credit Cards
In addition to business checking services, Chase provides business credit card services. The Ink Business credit card comes in several varieties:
- Ink Business Unlimited: 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) for the first 12 months, increasing afterward to 13.24% to 19.24% variable APR. No annual fee, with unlimited 1.5% cash-back rewards on business purchases and a $750 bonus cash back with $7,500 spent on purchases within the first 3 months after the account is opened.
- Ink Business Cash: 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months, increasing afterward to 13.24% to 19.24% variable APR. No annual fee, with 5% cash back on select business purchases, rewards on every business purchase and a $750 bonus cash back with $7,500 spent on purchases within the first 3 months after the account is opened.
- Ink Business Preferred: 15.99% to 20.99% variable APR. $95 annual fee, with rewards including triple points on shipping and other select business categories and 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months after the account is opened, equivalent to $1,000 cash back or $1,250 through travel rewards redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
Chase’s combination of both digital and physical service options, business checking services and business credit cards make it one of the top online bank accounts for small businesses.
3. Bank of America
Another leader among the best online bank options for small businesses is Bank of America. Currently based in Charlotte, N.C., Bank of America emerged from a San Francisco branch of the Bank of Italy founded in 1906 after the great earthquake of that year. Following a national expansion and several name changes, the bank merged with Charlotte’s NationsBank to become Bank of America in 1998. They have thousands of branch locations and ATMs throughout the country.
Bank of America Business Advantage Banking Checking Accounts
Bank of America offers a Business Advantage Banking checking account with 2 settings: Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking and Business Advantage Relationship Banking. Account holders can switch between settings at any time.
The Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking includes:
- Bank of America’s cash-flow management online and mobile dashboard for monitoring transactions and cash flow projections
- Voice assistance from Bank of America’s Erica
- Mobile check deposit for depositing checks by taking pictures with your mobile phone
- 200 teller transactions and checks per month with no fee
- Zelle for sending and receiving business payments
- Incoming wires and stop payments for varying fees
- Fraud protection and security
- Support from dedicated small business specialists
- Additional accounts are available for $16 a month
- Savings accounts for $10 a month
- Account management integration with QuickBooks for $15 a month
The Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking account costs a monthly fee of $16. This can be waived by maintaining an average monthly balance of $5,000 combining amounts from a Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking account and other eligible accounts or spending at least $250 in new net qualified debit purchases.
The Business Advantage Relationship Banking account includes all the features of the Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking account plus:
- 500 teller transactions and checks per month with no fee
- QuickBooks integration
- An extra Business Advantage Relationship Banking Account and a Business Advantage savings account for no fee
- No fees for certain services, including electronic deposits, incoming wires and stop payments
- Customized account access for employees
The Business Advantage Relationship Banking account costs a monthly fee of $29.95. This can be waived by maintaining a combined average monthly balance of $15,000.
Bank of America Business Credit Cards
In addition to these checking account services, Bank of America provides business credit cards for small businesses, including:
- Customized cash rewards: 3% back in cash on gas stations or other select categories, 2% back on dining purchases (up to an annual limit) and 1% back on all other purchases, with up to 75% more back for business checking account holders, a 0% introductory APR for the first 9 months and a variable APR of 12.24% to 22.24% afterward and a $300 online statement credit bonus offer
- Unlimited cash rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with up to 75% more back for business checking account holders, a 0% introductory APR for the first 9 months and a $300 online statement credit bonus offer
- Travel rewards: 1.5 points for every dollar spent and 3 points for every travel dollar spent, with up to 75% more back for business checking account holders, a 0% introductory APR for the first 9 months and a variable APR of 12.24% to 22.24% afterward and a 30,000 bonus points online offer
Bank of America’s combination of both digital and physical access, business checking services and business credit cards help rank them among the best online business banking options.
Find the Best Online Bank Option for You
We’ve identified LendingClub Bank as a top choice for small businesses that need exclusive online access and Chase and Bank of America as leading options for companies that prefer both digital and physical access.
There are many other online banking options available. Some are good, while others fall short on customer service, which is one reason we haven’t included some names here.
We advise you to do due diligence before entrusting your money to an online banking company, including reading reviews by the Better Business Bureau and online review sites. Take the time to compare your options and find the solution that’s right for your needs.