Bank of America Business Checking: 2021 Review

Bank of America offers comprehensive, digital-friendly business checking accounts from a brick-and-mortar bank.

Randa KrissMar 29, 2021
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Bank of America offers two small-business checking accounts: Business Advantage Fundamentals™ Banking and Business Advantage Relationship Banking (formerly Business Fundamentals Checking and Business Advantage Checking).

With 4,300 branch locations across 37 states, plus Washington, D.C., Bank of America’s business accounts are digital-friendly options for small-business owners who want some access to in-person banking.

Moreover, Bank of America business checking stands out among national and regional brick-and-mortar-based competitors by offering unlimited fee-free electronic transactions, high cash deposit limits and three different ways to open an account.

Bank of America business checking is best for small-business owners who:

  • Want to be able to do some of their business banking in person.

  • Don’t mind paying a monthly fee or can qualify to waive it.

  • Operate a cash-heavy business.

  • Would like to take advantage of additional banking or financial services from their bank in the future.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.

  • Access to 17,000 Bank of America ATMs and 4,300 branch locations across the U.S.

  • High cash deposit limits: $7,500 per month fee-free for Business Advantage Fundamentals and $20,000 per month fee-free for Business Advantage Relationship.

  • Includes Business Advantage 360 online banking platform, with mobile banking, integrated cash-flow monitoring tool, bill pay and mobile check deposit.

  • Three ways to apply for an account — online, over the phone or at a branch location.

Cons

  • No free business checking account option.

  • Fees for withdrawals at non-Bank of America ATMs: $2.50 for U.S. ATMs, $5 for international ATMs (ATM owner may charge an additional fee).

  • Fees for outgoing wire transfers not available online.

Bank of America business checking at a glance

Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking

Business Advantage Relationship Banking

Monthly fee:

$16 (waived with a $5,000 combined average monthly balance or by spending $250 in net new qualifying purchases on a business debit card)*

$29.95 (waived with a $15,000 combined average monthly balance)*

Minimum opening deposit requirement:

$100

$100

APY:

None

Rates vary based on your location.

Transactions:

Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions (ACH, debit card transactions, electronic debits, deposits made with mobile check deposit, remote deposit online or at a Bank of America ATM).

Up to 200 fee-free non-electronic transactions (checks paid, other debits, deposited items), then 45 cents per item.

Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.

Up to 500 fee-free non-electronic transactions, then 45 cents per item.

Cash deposits:

Up to $7,500 free, then 30 cents per $100 deposited.

Up to $20,000 free, then 30 cents per $100 deposited.

Waived additional fees:

None

No fees for stop payments, incoming wires, check image service, copies of checks and statements, ATM/debit card replacements.

No fee for online account management services.

No fee for introductory check package with checks, deposit slips and endorsement stamp.

One Business Advantage Relationship Account and one Business Advantage Savings account available for no additional monthly fees.

Bonus:

None

None

*You can also waive the monthly fees on either of these accounts by becoming a member of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards for Business program. To be eligible, you must have an active Bank of America business checking account and a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America business deposit accounts and/or Merrill business investment accounts.

Additionally, for both the Business Advantage Fundamentals and Business Advantage Relationship accounts, Bank of America will waive the monthly fee for the first three months after you open your account — assessing the fee once your third statement cycle closes.

How Bank of America business checking works

Account options: Bank of America offers the Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking and Business Advantage Relationship Banking accounts — formerly known as Business Fundamentals Checking and Business Advantage Checking, respectively.

In addition to these two core options, the bank offers the Full Analysis Business Checking account for businesses with high balances and greater cash management needs, as well as a Public Service Trust Account.

Location availability: Bank of America has 4,300 branch locations and 17,000 ATMs across 37 states, plus Washington, D.C. The bank does not have branches or ATMs in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Unlike some brick-and-mortar banks, however, your business does not have to be located in a state with a Bank of America branch in order to be eligible for a business checking account. In fact, you can use the Bank of America website to check fee and rate information for any of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.

How to apply: Apply for a Bank of America business checking account by completing and submitting an application online, over the phone with a small-business banking representative or in person at a branch location.

  • Required information:

    • Basic details about yourself and your business including your Social Security number, date of birth, legal business name, the date your business was formed, employer identification number and state of business formation.

    • Bank of America also requires basic personal information (including date of birth and Social Security number) for all owners with 25% or more ownership in the business, as well as any controlling managers (e.g., chief financial officer, managing member).

  • Required documentation:

    • Business formation document (varies based on your entity type) and one form of government-issued ID for you, all owners with 25% or more ownership in the business and any controlling managers.

    • If your business is operating using a DBA, or "doing business as," a fictitious name, trade name or assumed name, Bank of America requires that you provide the applicable certificate that shows your business’s adopted name.

    • If you apply for a Bank of America business checking account online, you will send your supplemental documents to the bank by fax or email after you’ve completed your application. You have 11 days after submitting your online application to send your documents before your application will be declined and you will need to resubmit. Once Bank of America has received both your application and supporting documents, your account could be approved and opened in as little as 24 hours.

Next steps: After your account has been approved, you can make your opening deposit by transferring money from an existing Bank of America account or from another bank, as well as by using a Visa or MasterCard debit card, check or money order. You also can sign up for online banking, download the Bank of America mobile app and start managing your account.

If you ordered a business debit card or checks with your initial application, you should expect to receive them within five to seven business days. Additionally, you can request a debit card for yourself, as well as your employees, by signing into online banking, calling Bank of America small-business customer service or by visiting a branch location.

Where Bank of America business checking stands out

Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions: Both of the Bank of America business checking accounts offer unlimited fee-free electronic transactions, including ACH transactions, debit card transactions, electronic debits and deposits made using mobile check deposit, remote deposit online or at a Bank of America ATM.

With this feature, Bank of America business checking stands out among brick-and-mortar competitors in particular, as most traditional banks have a set monthly limit that encompasses both electronic and non-electronic transactions.

Cash deposits: The Business Advantage Fundamentals account includes up to $7,500 in fee-free cash deposits, and the Business Advantage Relationship account includes up to $20,000 in fee-free cash deposits per month.

Compared to other base-tier business checking accounts, the $7,500 threshold of the Business Advantage Fundamentals account stands out among brick-and-mortar competitors. For example, the Chase Business Complete Checking℠ account, Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking account and Capital One Spark Basic Business Checking account each have a fee-free cash deposit limit of $5,000.

In addition, although the $20,000 threshold of the Business Advantage Relationship account matches that of second-tier business checking offerings from national brick-and-mortar competitors like Chase, Wells Fargo and Citibank, it exceeds that of other competitors such as U.S. Bank and Huntington Bank.

Digital tools: The Bank of America business checking accounts provide access to digital tools including Zelle, Cash Flow Monitor and Business Advantage 360 — Bank of America’s small-business online banking platform.

With Business Advantage 360, you can view and manage statements and transactions, pay bills, download activity to QuickBooks and customize account alerts. Additionally, enrolling in online banking grants you access to mobile banking, which includes the ability to deposit checks, request transfers, pay bills and monitor pending transactions.

Moreover, online banking comes fully integrated with the Cash Flow Monitor tool, which allows you to track credits and debits, get cash flow projections based on scheduled transactions and receive support from small-business specialists. You can also connect third-party apps to your Cash Flow Monitor dashboard, including ADP, QuickBooks Online, Google Workspace, Google Analytics, Expensify and TurboTax.

Suite of small-business services: If you’d prefer to use the same bank for your future financial needs, Bank of America provides a variety of additional products for small-business owners, including business savings accounts, payment processing, credit cards and business loans.

Moreover, if you join the Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business program, you can receive discounts on other services the bank offers, as well as waive the monthly fees for either the Business Advantage Fundamentals or Business Advantage Relationship account.

As an example, entry-level Preferred Rewards members can access a 25% rewards bonus on eligible business credit cards, a 5% interest rate booster on Business Advantage Savings accounts and a 0.25% interest rate discount on new Business Advantage credit lines, term loans and secured lending.

Where Bank of America business checking falls short

Monthly fees: Both Bank of America business checking accounts have monthly fees — $16 or $29.95 — for the Business Advantage Fundamentals and the Business Advantage Relationship accounts respectively.

Although each account provides a few ways to waive these fees, there are both online and brick-and-mortar competitors that offer free business checking accounts if you don’t want to meet those requirements or have to budget for these fees on an ongoing basis.

Additional fees: On top of monthly fees, there are certain instances where you’ll face additional fees with your Bank of America business checking account. Bank of America charges fees for withdrawals at non-Bank of America ATMs —$2.50 for U.S. ATMs and $5 for international ATMs — plus, the owner of the ATM may charge an additional fee.

Bank of America also charges a $35 fee for overdrafts, as well as varying fees for outgoing wires. It’s also important to note that while Bank of America waives fees for stop payments, incoming wires, check image service, copies of checks and statements and ATM and debit card replacements for Business Advantage Relationship account holders, these services all have associated fees for Business Advantage Fundamentals account holders.

Although these types of fees are not uncommon with business checking accounts, especially those from brick-and-mortar banks, you may be able to find alternative options with fewer fees.

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Monthly fee

$16 for Business Advantage Fundamentals, $29.95 for Business Advantage Relationship.

Monthly fee

$15 (multiple ways to waive)

Monthly fee

$10 (waived with balance of $5,000+)

Monthly fee

$0

Minimum opening deposit requirement

$100

Minimum opening deposit requirement

$0

Minimum opening deposit requirement

$100

Minimum opening deposit requirement

$0

APY

None

APY

None

APY

0.10% on balances of $5,000+

APY

1% on balances up to $100,000

Transactions

Business Advantage Fundamentals: Up to 200 fee-free transactions, then 45 cents per item.

Business Advantage Relationship: Up to 500 fee-free transactions, then 45 cents per item.

Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions for both accounts.

Transactions

Unlimited electronic deposits; 20 free teller and paper transactions per month.

Transactions

Unlimited fee-free transactions

Transactions

Unlimited fee-free transactions

Bonus

None

Bonus

$300 sign-up bonus (with qualifying activities)

Bonus

None

Bonus

None

Open account online

Yes

Open account online

Yes

Open account online

Yes

Open account online

Yes

Branch access

Yes

Branch access

Yes

Branch access

Boston only

Branch access 

No