Skip to content

Navy Federal Business Checking: 2024 Review

This credit union offers interest-earning business checking with limited fees and extended customer service access.
By Randa Kriss
Last updated on January 2, 2024
Edited byTina Orem
Fact checked and reviewed

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Our Take

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.
Full review

Business Checking

Checking
Federally insured by NCUA
Monthly fee
$0
APY
0.01% With $0 min. balance for APY

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?

Bluevine Business Checking

Deposits are FDIC Insured

at Bluevine

at Axos Bank®

at U.S. Bank

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee

$0

APY

2.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

APY

N/A

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

$400

Requirements to qualify

Bonus

$800

Requirements to qualify

Full Review

Navy Federal Credit Union offers three business checking accounts: Business Checking, Business Plus Checking and Business Premium Checking. Each account earns interest and includes unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.
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 veterans, 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.
If you want a higher interest rate but don't want to give up 24/7 customer support, consider American Express Business Checking. Like Navy Federal's account, this free business checking account is free, offers unlimited transactions and comes with round-the-clock phone support. Plus:
Earn 1.30% APY (annual percentage yield) on balances up to $500,000 as of 02/07/2024.
But AmEx doesn't have branches and can't accept cash deposits.

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
$250 for sole proprietorships; $255 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 to open a Navy Federal business account

To open a Navy Federal business account, all business owners must be individual members of Navy Federal Credit Union with accounts in good standing (see below for membership requirements).
Navy Federal Credit Union operates 350 branches worldwide — covering 30 states, Washington, D.C., and 11 countries — but business transactions can only be completed at full-service branch locations. You can find details about services available by branch on the Navy Federal website.

What you need to open a Navy Federal business account

Business owners need to complete a business membership pre-application (available online via your personal Navy Federal digital banking account), provide the appropriate business documents and pay a $255 minimum opening deposit ($250 for sole proprietorships) to open a Navy Federal business checking account.
Click on your business entity type to see which documents are required.

Navy Federal membership requirements

Navy Federal business accounts are available to Navy Federal members only. You can apply for Navy Federal Credit Union membership online, over the phone or by visiting a branch location.
To qualify for membership, you must fall into one of the following categories:
  • Active duty, retired or veteran 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.

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 quite 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 bank account. If any of your partners don't fit the criteria — veterans, 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.
High minimum opening 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, Bluevine business checking has no monthly fee or minimum deposit requirement — plus a much higher
2
% APY.

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.

Close
Smart money moves for your small business

Create a free account to grow your business with tailored insights and explore small business products.

Close
Smart money moves for your small business

Create a free account to grow your business with tailored insights and explore small business products.