Ratings Methodology for Business Bank Accounts

NerdWallet rates two types of business bank accounts: checking and savings. Ratings for both types of accounts consider the weighted averages of the following categories:

  • Banking experience and access.
  • Overdraft fees and policies (checking accounts only).
  • Account fundamentals.
Within each category, we score accounts for several factors (detailed below).

Accounts can also gain points for perks that go above and beyond the norm, such as cash back on debit card purchases or expanded FDIC insurance protection via sweep accounts.

On the flip side, we deduct points when business checking accounts lack standard banking features, such as wire transfers, or when the account isn’t available to a specific business entity type (sole proprietors or LLCs, for example). Business savings accounts can lose points if the balance needed to hit the top-tier APY is above the FDIC-insured limit or the account does not offer a mobile app, among other things.

Business checking accounts

Checking account fundamentals (66.1%)

  • Monthly fees.
  • APY, if any.
  • Fee-free transactions.
  • Free access to U.S. ATMs.
  • Monthly cash deposit allowance.
  • Minimum opening deposit.
  • Availability of physical checks.
  • Sign-up bonus.

  • The best business checking accounts make it easy for business owners to run their businesses. That means no monthly fee (or one that can easily be waived), no minimum opening deposit, an extensive fee-free ATM network and few, if any, caps on monthly deposits and transactions. In addition, accounts get extra points for perks such as interest or a sign-up bonus.

    Banking experience (26.4%)

  • Availability of phone support and live chat support.
  • App store rating.
  • Ease of finding important information on the financial institution’s website.
  • Account availability.
  • Multiple ways to open an account.
  • Availability of physical checks.
  • Access to a branch network.

  • Business accounts that earn high marks for banking experience offer multiple channels for live customer support beyond 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. They are also widely accessible; provide numerous options for opening an account (online, over the phone or in person); make it easy to find important information on fees, rates, terms, etc.; and receive better than 4.5 stars for iOS and Android app store ratings..

    Overdraft fees and policies (7.5%)

  • Overdraft or nonsufficient funds fee (or lack of fee).
  • Daily limit on overdraft or NSF fees.
  • Grace period policy/no-fee overdraft coverage up to a fixed amount.

  • Business accounts earn high marks for their overdraft policy if they charge no overdraft fee or offer a grace period for businesses to cover small overdrafts. Most online business checking accounts don’t charge overdraft fees because customers are not allowed to overdraw their accounts. But many brick-and-mortar banks still charge high fees, sometimes up to six per day, which can quickly eat into a business’s cash flow.

    Business savings accounts

    Savings account fundamentals (66.7%)

  • Interest rate.
  • Monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit.
  • Sign-up bonus.
  • Transaction limits.
  • Funds accessibility.
  • Insured Cash Sweep availability.

  • The best business savings accounts offer a top-rate APY and make it easy to earn interest (no sky-high balance requirements). These accounts also make it easy to access your money, with accounts offering unlimited transactions (with no fee) and an ATM card alongside ACH and external transfers earning top marks. Business savings accounts with an Insured Cash Sweep option earn points for keeping all of your money safe, even if you have millions in savings.

    Banking experience (33.3%)

  • Availability of live, human support (via phone and chat).
  • Ease of finding important account information.
  • Account availability.
  • Multiple ways to open an account.
  • Access to a branch network.

  • Similar to business checking accounts, our banking experience ratings for business savings accounts prioritize live human support and easy access to important account information, including APY tiers, schedule of fees and customer service phone number. Being able to easily open an account — online and in person — and a well-rated mobile app also factor into our assessment of business savings accounts.

    Data collection and review process

    NerdWallet evaluates more than 30 business bank accounts from national, regional and online banks. Collectively, these accounts represent the largest banks by assets, internet search traffic and other factors, along with notable or emerging players in the industry.

    We consider more than 20 data points for each account, scoring them on fees, features and accessibility, among other factors. This information is gathered from each financial institution's website and company representatives. In addition, data is collected regularly and reviewed by our editorial team for consistency and accuracy.

    Final star ratings are presented on a scale of one to five stars, where a one-star score represents "poor" and a five-star score represents "excellent."

    The reviews team

    The writers and editors behind our business checking reviews are small-business specialists who have had their work featured by The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, MarketWatch and many other publications. In addition, each writer and editor follows NerdWallet’s strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

    Our small-business editorial team also covers business loans, business credit cards, business insurance and business software.