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Picking a business bank account should be more involved than simply walking into the bank closest to you and opening an account. (To be fair, the bank closest to you could be your best fit—but location shouldn’t be your only criteria.) Comparing business bank accounts is a major part of finding the best match for your business needs, which is why we’re putting U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking head to head.
Looking at these two popular business banks close up can help you decide which of the two is a better fit for your business both now and in the long term. We’ll go through all of the features of their major business checking accounts and also clue you in on how to choose the best account for your business.
U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking: Basic accounts
We’ll begin with U.S. Bank and Chase business checking’s basic accounts. These are often a fit for businesses in nascent days, or that are steady and not expecting a great deal of growth. Remember that you can always upgrade from a base-level account if you find it’s no longer right for you.
General banking services
Chase’s Business Complete Banking is Chase’s base-level account. With Chase Business Complete Banking, you’ll receive 100 free transactions per month, unlimited electronic deposits (like checks) and $5,000 worth of cash deposits per billing statement. There’s no minimum deposit to open the account. There’s a $15 monthly fee ($12 if you go paperless) for this account, but if you’re able to keep a $1,500 minimum balance, you can waive the fee.
Compared to Chase, U.S. Bank’s Silver Business Checking, their base-level account, offers 150 free transactions per month, free mobile check deposit and 25 cash deposits per month. If you go over the 100 transactions per month, you’ll incur a $0.50 fee per transaction. This account is completely free and requires no minimum balance to maintain; but if you want to receive paper statements, you’ll incur a $5 fee.
With Chase Business Complete Banking, you’ll get access to their network of 16,000 ATMs and about 5,00 branches across the country. Chase also provides mobile banking access with this account.
U.S. Bank’s Silver Business Checking offers access to many small business tools including payment processing, plus online and mobile banking. U.S. Bank has 3,000-plus branches and 4,500-plus ATMs to use.
U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking: Mid-tier accounts
Mid-tier business bank accounts are great for businesses that are a bit more established than startups and have already kicked into a growth phase. One of the nice things about these mid-level accounts is that they often both support businesses where they are and where they are going.
General banking services
Chase’s mid-tier account is called Performance Business Checking. This account from Chase enables entrepreneurs to have 250 free transactions per month, unlimited electronic deposits and even incoming wire transfers. You can also deposit $20,000 of cash monthly with no additional fee. As a bonus for this level, you’ll get two outgoing domestic wire transfers per statement cycle, too.
There is no minimum first deposit for Chase Performance Business Checking. This account has a slightly higher maintenance fee of $30 per month. But if you’re able to keep a daily balance of $35,000 or more, you can get the fee waived. Yes, it’s quite a step up from the $1,500 daily balance of Chase’s basic plan—so have a sense of what kind of liquidity you have before signing up.
U.S. Bank’s mid-tier account, Gold Business Banking, offers 300 free transactions each month and $0.45 per transaction if you go over. You’ll get 100 free deposits per month as well as free mobile check deposit.
If you can maintain a $10,000 balance in the account (or $25,000 on the interest-bearing option), U.S. Bank will waive the $20 account fee. There’s also no fee for paper statements if you’d like to receive them.
With Chase Performance Checking, you’ll get all mobile banking options and access to their network of ATMs and branches. You’ll also get access to Positive Pay and Reverse Positive Pay fraud protection services as well as the potential to waive a monthly service fee if you opt into a linked Chase Business Premier Savings account.
The Gold Business Checking account from U.S. Bank will give you a discount for your monthly fee on a Gold Personal Account. You’ll also get overdraft protection, fraud protection and credit card payment processing. Of course, you’ll have access to their network of ATMs and branches, as well.
Both accounts also offer an interest-bearing option; you can find out more by contacting your local branch.
U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking: Premium accounts
Many major banks offer large-scale checking accounts for big businesses. You’ll find that those balance requirements are quite a bit higher, along with the fees attached. But for businesses that need the services, the requirements are worth it.
General banking services
Chase’s top-level account is called Chase Platinum Business Checking. With this account, you’ll receive 500 fee-free transactions. Additionally, business owners get unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wires. For outgoing wires, your four most expensive outgoing wires per statement cycle are covered. Finally, you’ll get $25,000 of monthly cash deposits without any additional fees.
Maintaining this account is a bit more of an expensive proposition. It’s a $95 monthly fee for the account and to waive it you’ll have to maintain a balance of $100,000. It’s certainly not for the startup!
U.S. Bank offers their Platinum Business Checking, which is different than Chase’s Platinum account. With this account, you’ll get 500 free monthly transactions; going over that will only cost you $0.40 per additional transaction. Next, you’ll get 200 cash deposits per month.
The biggest difference between U.S. Bank vs. Chase premium accounts is the fee. U.S. Bank’s minimum balance requirement is just $25,000—quite a bit lower than what Chase requires.
It’s worth noting here that U.S. Bank also offers a Premium Business Checking account, which is for true power users. If none of these options fit your business, you may want to consult a U.S. Bank representative to see if an extra-high-tier account is right for you.
The perks of these two accounts aren’t too different than their predecessors: You still get business services as well as personal account discounts for each. For Chase, you may also want to know that you can get your balance requirement reduced if you are a Chase Private Client customer.
How to choose a business checking account 101
We’ll say it again: It’s important to strategically choose your business checking account. In a way, a bank is a partner for your company, especially as a small business owner. That’s because the services they provide you can make your life easier (or harder with the wrong bank), help you avoid unnecessary fees and even partner with you down the line for business loans.
Understanding what you need in a business checking account
The first thing to do is understand what it is you need in a business checking account. When comparing U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking, it’s important to actually understand how all of those features are relevant to your business.
The easiest and most effective way to understand what you need in a business checking account is to think about the way you do business. If you’re a business that handles cash, for instance, you’ll want to think about choosing between U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking based on which bank has branches near where you do business. If you use wire transfers often, you’ll want to look for an account that gives you a certain number of free wire transfers each month.
You’ll want to look at the way money comes and goes from your business in order to match yourself with the important features. If you’re not comfortable with this, or confident that you know your financial comings and goings well enough, you may want to consult a bookkeeper who can look at your records and give you a sense of your priorities.
The questions to ask yourself before choosing an account
Before you dive into choosing a business checking account, you’ll want to ask yourself these questions. They’ll help you more clearly see which features are right for you.
Do I handle cash often? Will I need a brick-and-mortar branch for deposits?
Do I need to be able to access physical branches when I travel?
Do I wire transfer domestically? What about internationally?
Am I able to keep a minimum balance in my account monthly? What’s the highest I can maintain?
Am I okay with paying a fee for certain services, or is a free account my biggest priority?
How often am I making transactions such as paying bills, employees, or vendors; receiving payments; and more?
Are services such as small business tools important for me to be able to access?
Do I have other accounts at that bank that could count toward combined minimum balances?
Tiered checking account options
Both U.S. Bank and Chase business checking offer tiered checking options. What that means is that they have many different levels of business checking accounts, each with different features and fees.
One important thing to know is that you’re not “supposed” to choose one tier over the other. The reason that these options exist is so you can find the best fit for you. It’s not like buying a soda, for instance, where you get a large because you might drink the whole thing or want some for later. Instead, it’s the Goldilocks approach: You want to find the account that’s just right.
U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking: Which is right for you?
So, when looking at U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking accounts, which is better? There may not be an objective winner—because what’s better for your business isn’t necessarily the same for another.
The best thing you can do is decide which account tier is best for your business needs (basic, mid-tier or premium), and then decide between U.S. Bank vs. Chase business checking.
And while you want to choose the best checking account for your business right off the bat, don’t stress too much. After all, a business bank account isn’t permanent and you can switch business banks if you find another option that works better.
This article originally appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.