KeyBank Business Checking: 2021 Review

KeyBank’s business checking accounts include mobile banking and unlimited online bill pay.

Kelsey SheehyFeb 12, 2021
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KeyBank offers three small-business checking accounts with minimal frills, but also minimal fees, provided you’re able to avoid the bank’s hefty overdraft charges. The bank’s generous cash deposit limits — up to $25,000 at no cost, $50,000 in some locations — and strong brick-and-mortar presence make KeyBank an ideal option for cash-heavy business owners who want facetime with their banker.

KeyBank business checking is best for small-business owners who:

  • Prefer in-person banking with online conveniences like mobile banking and online bill pay.

  • Need to make regular cash deposits, up to $25,000.

  • Are able to meet balance requirements to have monthly fees waived.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Free online banking and bill pay.

  • Generous cash deposit allowance.

  • More than 1,000 branch locations across 15 states and over 40,000 KeyBank and AllPoint ATMs across the country.

Cons

  • Business checking accounts can be opened in person only.

  • All accounts have transaction limits.

  • Website issues make it difficult to access disclosures and rate information.

KeyBank business checking at a glance

KeyBank Basic Business Checking

KeyBank Business Interest Checking

KeyBank Business Reward Checking

Monthly fee:

$5, waived with $1,000 average monthly balance

$15, waived with $5,000 daily balance

$25, waived with $7,500 average balance

Minimum opening deposit requirement:

$25

$25

$25

APY:

None

0.01%

None

Transactions:

Up to 200 fee-free transactions, then 40 cents per item. Bill Pay and ACH transactions do not count toward total.

Up to 100 fee-free transactions, then 40 cents per item. Bill Pay and ACH transactions do not count toward total.

Up to 500 fee-free transactions, then 40 cents per item. Bill Pay and ACH transactions do not count toward total.

Bonus:

None

None

None

How KeyBank business checking works

Established nearly two centuries ago, KeyBank is based in Cleveland, and has more than 1,000 branches across 15 states: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

KeyBank offers three business checking accounts: Basic Business Checking, Business Interest Checking and Business Reward Checking. All three offer unlimited bill pay and free online banking, but you have to apply for an account at one of the bank’s brick-and-mortar locations only.

To open a business checking account, you’ll need your business formation papers, Social Security number or employer identification number, two valid forms of identification and your minimum deposit ($25).

All of KeyBank business checking accounts allow cash deposits up to $25,000 per statement cycle at no cost (and up to $50,000 in some locations), making the bank a solid option for small businesses that make regular cash drops. While the bank does limit free transactions, customers can effectively extend their limit by taking advantage of online bill pay and ACH transactions, both of which are unlimited on all business checking accounts.

Where KeyBank business checking stands out

Branch access: KeyBank has a strong presence in the areas it operates with more than 1,000 brick-and-mortar branches across 15 states. This is great news for business owners who prefer in-person banking and those who need to make frequent cash deposits.

Free online banking and bill pay: All business checking customers get online banking and bill pay at no additional cost. With KeyBank Business Online, customers can view statements, transfer funds between accounts and make mobile check deposits. Additional features are available for a fee.

Cash deposits: KeyBank allows business customers to deposit up to $25,000 per statement cycle at no cost. In some locations, the cash deposit limit is even higher at $50,000. Some larger banks limit free cash deposits to $5,000 per month.

Civic recognition: KeyBank consistently wins awards for diversity and inclusion. The bank’s accolades include the Human Rights Campaign’s Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality, National Organization on Disabilities’ Leading Disability Employer Seal and DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity. KeyBank was also named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index in 2020 and 2021.

Where KeyBank business checking falls short

No sign-up bonus: KeyBank occasionally offers incentives to new small-business customers but, as of this writing, there is no sign-up bonus to open a new business checking account.

Interest rates: While KeyBank does offer an interest-earning business checking account, the annual percentage yield is low compared with other similar accounts. Online banks like Axos typically offer higher interest rates, but there is a trade-off. Axos Business Interest Checking accounts, for example, can earn up to 0.81% APY, but customers receive 50 free transactions per month only, half as many as KeyBank’s Business Interest Checking account.

Transactions limits: KeyBank offers limited free transactions on all of its business checking accounts. This is common practice, and Key Bank’s limits are generous when compared with competitors. Still, transaction-heavy businesses may want to consider an online bank with unlimited transactions.

Overdraft charges: KeyBank assesses hefty fees if an account is overdrawn. Accounts are dinged up to $38.50 per overdraft and could be assessed a recurring overdraft fee of $28.50 if the account stays in the negative for five consecutive business days. Business customers can enroll in overdraft protection by linking a checking account to a KeyBank deposit or Business Cash Reserve Credit account.

Other fees: KeyBank business checking customers could be assessed additional fees, depending on their account activity. The bank charges $34 for stop payment requests and $3 per month for paper statements.

Business Basic and Business Interest Checking customers are also assessed $30 for each outgoing domestic wire transfer. Business Rewards Checking customers get three free per statement cycle, additional domestic wire transfers are $30 for each one sent. Incoming wire transfers are free with the Business Rewards Checking account and $20 each with the other two KeyBank business accounts.

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KeyBank Basic Business Checking
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Monthly fee $10 (waived with balance of $5,000+)

Monthly fee $15 (multiple ways to waive)

Monthly fee $0 for Basic Business Checking, $10 for Business Interest Checking (waived with balance of $5,000+).

Monthly fee $5-$25, depending on the account, waived with average balance minimums ($1,000 average monthly for Basic, $5,000 daily balance for Interest, $7,500 average balance for Reward)

Minimum opening deposit requirement $100

Minimum opening deposit requirement $0

Minimum opening deposit requirement $1,000 for Basic; $100 for Business Interest.

Minimum opening deposit requirement $25

APY 0.10% on balances of $5,000+

APY None

APY None for Basic; up to 0.81% for Business Interest.

APY 0.01% for Business Interest Checking

Transactions Unlimited

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

Transactions Up to 200 fee-free items per month, 30 cents per item after for Basic; up to 50 fee-free items per month, 50 cents per item after for Business Interest.

Transactions Up to 200 fee-free items per month for Basic; up to 100 fee-free items per month for Business Interest; up to 500 fee-free per month for Business Reward. Additional transactions are 40 cents per item.

Bonus None

Bonus $300 sign-up bonus

Bonus $100 welcome bonus for eligible business owners

Bonus None

Open account online Yes

Open account online Yes

Open account online Yes

Open account online No

Branch access Boston only

Branch access Yes

Branch access Three branches only (California, Ohio, Nevada)

Branch access Yes