Bank of the West Business Checking: 2021 Review

A small overdraft buffer is a nice bonus, but it likely won’t counteract the bank's meager transaction allowance.

Kelsey SheehyApr 7, 2021
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Bank of the West offers a slate of business checking accounts with standard features like online bill pay and mobile deposit, plus a standout feature: a $5 buffer to guard against the occasional overdraft.

Beyond that, Bank of the West’s business accounts don’t have a lot of bells and whistles. But the base checking account, Any Deposit Checking for Business, will get the job done for no monthly fee, provided you make at least one deposit per month.

Just be mindful of the transaction limits, which trend conservative compared with other business checking accounts. Any Deposit Checking for Business includes just 50 free transactions per month. You might be better served at another bank if your business needs more than that.

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

  • Operate a business in the bank’s service area, which spans 19 states.

  • Won’t exceed 50 banking transactions per month or are willing to pay a monthly fee for a higher allowance.

  • Don’t deposit more than $2,500 in cash per month or are OK with a higher monthly fee.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Monthly fee on Any Deposit Checking waived with just one deposit.

  • Overdraft fees are not assessed until the account is overdrawn by more than $5.

Cons

  • Low transaction allowance for the bank’s entry-level and mid-tier business checking accounts.

  • Out-of-network ATM fees could prove costly.

Bank of the West business checking at a glance

Any Deposit Checking for Business

Classic Business Checking

Choice Business Checking

Monthly fee:

$10 (waived with one deposit each month)

$25 (multiple ways to waive)

$40 (two ways to waive)

Minimum opening deposit requirement:

$100

$100

$100

APY:

None

None

None

Transactions:

50 free transactions per month; 50 cents for each additional transaction

150 free transactions per month; 50 cents for each additional transaction

500 free transactions per statement cycle; 50 cents for each additional transaction

Bonus:

None

None

None

How Bank of the West business checking works

Account options: Bank of the West offers three main business checking accounts: Any Deposit Checking for Business, Classic Business Checking and Choice Business Checking. All three require a $100 opening deposit.

Free transactions are limited to either 50, 150 or 500 transactions per month, depending on the account. Additional transactions are 50 cents each. Transactions include all withdrawals, transfers, debit card purchases, paid checks and deposited items.

Cash deposits are also capped; an “excess cash fee” of 25 cents per $100 applies to deposits beyond your account limit.

  • Any Deposit Checking for Business: $2,500.

  • Classic Business Checking: $5,000.

  • Choice Business Checking: $20,000.

Location availability: Bank of the West has more than 550 brick-and-mortar branches across 19 states. Nearly half of those locations (230+) are in California. The bank services the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

How to apply: Small-business owners can open an account at a Bank of the West branch, or speak with a business banker by phone Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time.

  • Required information: You need to provide basic personal and business information, including name and address, as well as that of your business. A tax identification number (Social Security number or employer identification number) is also required.

  • Required documentation: You’ll need a government-issued photo ID and any relevant business documents, including articles of incorporation, partnership agreements and fictitious business name statements.

Where Bank of the West business checking stands out

Basically free business checking: Bank of the West’s Any Deposit Checking for Business technically isn’t free — the account carries a $10 monthly service fee. But that fee is waived as long as you make one deposit per month. That’s a low bar to clear, even for businesses on a shoestring budget.

Small overdraft buffer: No need to panic if your balance briefly dips into the red. Bank of the West business checking accounts include a $5 overdraft buffer. Beyond that amount, you’re hit with a $35 overdraft fee for each item paid or returned.

Where Bank of the West business checking falls short

Transaction limits: Bank of the West is a bit stingy with its fee-free transactions. The bank’s base account, Any Deposit Checking for Business, allows just 50 free transactions (withdrawals, deposits, transfers, debit card transactions and paid checks).

For comparison: U.S. Bank’s Silver Business Checking Account ($0 per month) includes 125 fee-free transactions per statement period. Bank of America’s Business Advantage Fundamentals account ($16 per month) includes 200 fee-free transactions and unlimited electronic transactions. And Wells Fargo’s Initiate Business Checking account ($10 per month) allows 100 fee-free transactions.

ATM fees and access: Bank of the West charges $3 for every withdrawal, transfer and balance inquiry completed at an out-of-network ATM. While the bank has approximately 900 ATMs across its 19-state service area, it doesn't participate in a nationwide network like Allpoint or MoneyPass. That means customers who conduct business outside of the bank’s hubs could rack up some costly ATM fees. In Missouri, for example, Bank of the West has just six ATMs, primarily in the Kansas City area.

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Monthly fee $15 (multiple ways to waive)

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

Monthly fee Any Deposit Checking for Business: $10 (waived with one deposit each month) Classic Business Checking: $25 (multiple ways to waive) Choice Business Checking: $40 (two ways to waive)

Monthly fee $0 for Silver, $20 for Gold, $30 for Platinum

Minimum opening deposit requirement $0

Minimum opening deposit requirement $100

Minimum opening deposit requirement $100

Minimum opening deposit requirement $100

APY None

APY 0.10% on balances of $5,000+

APY None

APY Gold Business Checking: 0.01% on balances of $20,000 or more

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

Transactions Unlimited

Transactions Any Deposit Checking for Business: 50 free transactions per month Classic Business Checking: 150 free transactions per month Choice Business Checking: 500 free transactions per month

Transactions Silver: Up to 125 free; 50 cents for each additional transaction Gold: Up to 300 free; 45 cents for each additional transaction Platinum: Up to 500 free; 40 cents for each additional transaction

Bonus $300 sign-up bonus

Bonus None

Bonus None

Bonus None

Open account online Yes

Open account online Yes

Open account online No

Open account online Yes

Branch access Yes

Branch access  Boston only

Branch access Yes

Branch access Yes