Navy Federal Business Checking: 2022 Review

This credit union offers interest-earning business checking with limited fees and extended customer service access.
Randa KrissOct 28, 2021

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Navy Federal Credit Union earns top marks for its free business checking account, which offers unlimited fee-free electronic transactions and a modest APY. But all business owners must qualify for membership, which can be limiting.

Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking

Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking

Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, interest-bearing business checking account.
  • Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.
  • No dollar limit on cash deposits (other limits may apply).
  • Extended access to customer service representatives, as well as additional small-business resources.

Cons

  • Eligibility limited to military members, Department of Defense employees and their families.
  • High opening deposit ($250 to $255 depending on business type).

How does Navy Federal Credit Union compare?

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee

$15.00

Waived with $2,000 minimum balance

Monthly fee

$10.00

Waived with $5,000 minimum balance

APY

N/A

APY

0.10%

With $5,000 minimum balance

Bonus

$300

Requirements to qualify

Bonus

N/A

Full Review

Navy Federal Credit Union offers three business checking accounts: Business Checking, Business Plus Checking and Business Premium Checking.

While this review includes information on all three accounts, the star rating indicated above is specific to Navy Federal's free Business Checking account.

Navy Federal business checking is best for small-business owners who:

  • Are current or retired members of the U.S. armed forces, the National Guard, Department of Defense employees or are family members of those groups.

  • Want a free, interest-earning business checking account — or don’t mind one with a modest monthly fee.

  • Conduct most of their banking transactions electronically, rather than in person with a teller.

Navy Federal business checking at a glance

Business Checking

Business Plus Checking

Business Premium Checking

Monthly fee:

$0.

$8.

$20 (waived with average daily balance of $5,000 and above).

Minimum opening deposit requirement:

$250 for sole proprietorships, $255 for all other entity types.

$250 for sole proprietorships, $255 for all other entity types.

$100 for sole proprietorships, $105 for all other entity types.

APY:

0.01%.

0.01%.

Up to 0.45% (tiered APY based on account balance).

Transactions:

Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.

Up to 30 fee-free nonelectronic transactions per month, then 25 cents per item.

Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.

Up to 50 fee-free nonelectronic transactions per month, then 25 cents per item.

Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.

Up to 100 fee-free nonelectronic transactions per month, then 25 cents per item.

Bonus:

None.

None.

None.

How Navy Federal business checking works

Account options: Navy Federal Credit Union offers three business checking accounts: Business Checking, Business Plus Checking and Business Premium Checking.

All three of these business accounts earn interest and include unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.

Location availability: Navy Federal Credit Union has 343 branches worldwide — covering 30 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C., and 11 countries. It’s important to note that business inquiries and transactions are available at full-service branch locations only. You can find a breakdown of services available by branch on the Navy Federal website.

Account eligibility: All business owners must be individual members of Navy Federal Credit Union with accounts in good standing. To qualify for membership at Navy Federal, you must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Active-duty, retired or veteran service members of the U.S. armed forces (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard or Space Force).

  • Department of Defense employees or retirees, as well as U.S. government employees assigned to Department of Defense installations or Department of Defense contractors assigned to U.S. government installations.

  • Family or household members of either of these groups.

You can apply for Navy Federal Credit Union membership online, over the phone or in person at a branch location.

How to open an account: You can open a Navy Federal business checking account in person or over the phone. Either way, you’ll need to complete an application and supply the following documents and information:

  • Required information: Basic information about you and your business, including your employer identification number, legal business name, the nature of your business and estimated annual revenue.

    • You will also have to complete a Beneficial Owner form and provide basic details (including a Social Security number or passport number) for any business owner with 25% or more ownership in your business, as well as controlling officers (for example, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, managing member). Sole proprietorships aren't required to complete this form.

  • Required documentation: Business formation document (varies based on entity type), IRS EIN letter and fictitious name/assumed name certificate if your business is using a DBA, or doing business as.

    • Navy Federal may also ask for a driver’s license or another identifying document for each beneficial owner listed on the Beneficial Owner form.

Next steps: Once your account has been approved, Navy Federal’s Business Solutions team will contact you with a welcome package that has additional information. You will receive a free business debit card, free starter checks and access to digital banking, which includes mobile check deposit and online bill pay.

Where Navy Federal business checking stands out

Free, interest-bearing business checking: Navy Federal offers members a free business checking account that actually earns interest. While the rate is low (0.01%), it’s better than 0%, which is what most business checking accounts offer.

Unlimited transactions: It’s common for banks to limit the number of free transactions a business can conduct each month. Not with Navy Federal. The credit union offers unlimited fee-free electronic transactions on all of its business checking accounts.

While free in-person transactions are limited to 30, 50 or 100, depending on your account, that’s on par with or better than some competitors. For example, Chase Business Complete Checking℠ caps free in-person and paper transactions at 20 per month and charges 40 cents to each additional transaction. Navy Federal counts up to 12 checks for deposit at a branch location as one transaction and charges only 25 cents for excess transactions.

Customer service: Credit unions are known for their customer service, and Navy Federal is no different. Membership includes 24/7 phone customer service, or you can ask questions through secure message, live chat and social media. Business members can also contact a dedicated support line from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday.

Where Navy Federal business checking falls short

Eligibility: While all credit unions require membership, Navy Federal's is more exclusive than most. All business owners must be a Navy Federal member in order to open a business account. If one of your partners doesn’t fit the criteria — current or former members of the military, Department of Defense employees or their family members — you’ll need to look elsewhere for a business checking account.

Expensive deposit requirement: Navy Federal requires a $255 minimum opening deposit on all of its business checking accounts ($250 for sole proprietorships). That’s steep, especially considering there are several top-rated free business checking accounts that can be opened with $0. For example, Kabbage business checking has no monthly fee or minimum deposit requirement and an APY of 1.10%, compared with Navy Federal’s 0.01% APY.

RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet's business checking reviews look at multiple factors, including monthly fee, APY, ATM access, transaction limits, cash deposit allowance, customer service, additional features and incidental fees, such as overdraft, NSF and stop payment charges.