Navy Federal Business Checking: 2022 Review

This credit union offers interest-earning business checking with limited fees and extended customer service access.
May 23, 2022

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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

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).

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 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

$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). Eligible businesses can open a business account in-person or over the phone.

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.

  • Federal Tax ID Number (TIN) letter.

  • Valid business license, permit or DBA certificate.

  • Federal Tax ID Number (TIN) letter.

  • Valid business license, permit or Fictitious Name/DBA certificate.

  • Beneficial Owner Form: 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.

  • Federal Tax ID Number (TIN) letter.

  • Fictitious Name/DBA certificate.

  • Beneficial Owner Form: 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.

  • Good Standing Certificate dated within 60 days of application date.

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 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.

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, Bluevine business checking has no monthly fee or minimum deposit requirement and an APY of 1.50% on account balances up to and including $100,000, compared with Navy Federal’s 0.01% 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.