Citizens Bank Business Checking: 2021 Review

Citizens Bank operates in 11 states and offers a free business checking account.
Kelsey SheehyMar 20, 2021

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Citizens Bank’s Clearly Better Business Checking has no monthly service fee or minimum opening deposit, making it an appealing option for small-business owners who live in the bank’s service area. Citizens Bank operates in 11 states throughout New England, the mid-Atlantic and the Midwest.

Pros

Cons

Account options: Citizens Bank offers two primary business checking accounts — Clearly Better Business Checking and Business Advisor Checking — as well as Citizens Analysis Business Checking, which is geared toward high-volume businesses. Citizens also offers two specialty checking accounts: a trust account for law firms and Association Checking with Interest I, an interest-bearing option for nonprofit organizations.

Citizens Bank caps cash and currency deposits at $5,000 per statement cycle for Clearly Better Business Checking and Association Checking with Interest I, and $20,000 per statement cycle for Business Advisor Checking. Beyond that, there's a fee of $2.50 per $1,000. These limits aren’t unusual for business checking accounts but can prove inconvenient for some businesses.

Location availability: Citizens Bank has nearly 1,000 branches across 11 states:  Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Citizens Bank also operates roughly 2,700 ATMs in its service area.

How to apply: You can schedule an appointment with a banker via Citizens Bank’s website, but ultimately will need to visit a branch to open a business checking account.

Next steps: Once you’ve opened a business account, you can use your business debit card, sign up for online banking, download the Citizens Bank mobile app and order business checks. Citizens Bank’s digital banking platforms allow you to pay bills and transfer funds from your computer or smartphone. You can also deposit checks via the mobile app.

Free checking: Citizens Bank’s Clearly Better Business has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement, which means more of your money stays with your business. Consider how many transactions you’ll execute each month before enrolling, as exceeding the account limit (200 per statement cycle) will result in additional fees.

High transaction limits: Transaction limits are commonplace among business checking accounts. But Citizens Bank stands out because it allows a greater number of free transactions than many of its competitors, even on its free business checking account.

Clearly Better Business Checking has no monthly service fee and includes up to 200 fee-free transactions. By comparison, U.S. Bank’s free business checking account allows 125 fee-free transactions and PNC Business Checking ($10 per month) includes 150 free transactions.

If you want a bank with no transaction limits, consider a free online business account like those offered by or .

ATM network and fees: Customers have free access to roughly 2,700 Citizens Bank ATMs, but that’s a fraction of what other banks offer, particularly those that are part of the MoneyPass or AllPoint ATM network. Citizens Bank charges $3 for out-of-network ATMs.

Overdraft fees: Draw your account negative and you’ll be hit with a $39 fee for each item paid. You may also be subject to a sustained overdraft fee of $30, which is assessed at intervals if your account remains in the red. That fee applies on days four, seven and 10 of a sustained negative balance.

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