Compare Business Banking Checking Accounts For Top Banks

Jul 22, 2012 -

Comparison of Basic Business Checking Accounts

Bank of America vs. JP Morgan Chase vs. Wells Fargo vs. HSBC vs. Citibank 

A friend of mine is starting his own international business and was looking at opening up a business account with a top bank. 

Of the five mentioned above, three of them have a focus that is more domestic than international. These include Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. HSBC and Citibank both have branches in China. 

The business has no revenues and is practically a start-up. His criteria is a bank that has banking relations overseas thereby reducing the costs of doing business overseas and the account has to have a low to no maintenance fee. 

When we looked for banks that fit what he needed, we noticed that the terms of banks vary depending on where you open the account. For example, the fees could vary if you opened an account in New York versus California. The below is a summary of what we found if you were to  more or less open an account in California. Banks will change their fees from time to time, therefore it is important that you visit their official website for the most current rates/fees.   

Conclusion: For my friend's purposes, I would say HSBC is the way to go because of its no maintenance fee and no minimum. Furthermore, they have a presence in China. 

Monthly maintenance fee 
Approximately $15 is waived when a specified balance requirement is met.

Specified balance and maintenance fees vary based on state. For example, in Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C. if the following criterion are met the fee will be waived.

How to waive maintenance fee 

Maintain at least one of the following balances:
• $3,000 minimum daily balance
• $10,000 average monthly balance
• $10,000 combined minimum daily balance
• $20,000 combined average monthly balance OR Enroll your Business Economy Checking account in Business Fundamentals and make qualified monthly purchases with your Bank of America Visa Business debit card

Account Features 

• No fee for first 150, then 45¢ per item 
• No fee for ACH, debit card, Online Bill Pay debits and ATM withdrawals Deposit tickets
• No fee Cash deposited
• No fee for first $10,000, then 20¢ per $100

Monthly Service/Maintenance Fees 

Check Safekeeping - $15
Image Statement - $17
Check Return - $21

How to waive maintenance fee 

Meet any of the following:

•Maintain an average daily balance of $7,500 or more in the account
•A relationship balance of $25,000 (all linked business checking/savings/CDS)
•Maintained a linked Chase qualifying personal checking account (Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Premier Platinum Checking and Chase Premier Platinum Asset Management Account)
•Make $1,000 in purchases on your linked Chase Business Credit Card during the monthly checking statement cycle
•Pay $50 or more in qualifying checking account fees (not including the Monthly Service Fee) 

Account Features

200 transactions per monthly service cycle (includes all customer-initiated debits and credits and deposited items)
$0.40 for each transaction that exceeds 200 transactions in the month
No Cash Deposit Processing Fee for the first $7,500 per month
FREE Chase Business Debit Card Overdraft protection Business online services 
Package of additional benefits for business savings, CDs and personal checking

How to waive maintenance fee 

The $12 monthly service fee is waived when you meet any of the following:

Maintain $3,000 minimum daily balance,
Maintain $6,000 average ledger balance,
Have a Wells Fargo Business Payroll Services transaction from this account each month. 

Account Features

The following account transactions are included free of charge:
Up to 150 combined paid and deposited items.
Up to $5,000 cash deposited.

How to waive maintenance fee

No Maintenance Fee

Transaction Fees (each statement cycle) 

See link above.

Account Features/ Services

Unlimited monthly transactions at HSBC ATMs No HSBC fees when using non-HSBC ATMs Free HSBC Debit MasterCard BusinessCard®
10 free wire transfers per month (5 incoming, 5 outgoing)
Business Internet Banking with free online Bill Pay
No monthly maintenance fees
No minimum balance requirement

Maintenance Fee $10

How to waive maintenance fee

Monthly Fee Currency Deposits $5,000
Minimum Average Monthly Balance to Waive Monthly Fee $5,000 Monthly

Account Features

Monthly Free Transactions 100
NO monthly maintenance fee when you maintain the minimum balance. 
Free U.S. dollar deposits and monthly transaction allowances up to applicable limits.
Fee-free withdrawals at Citibank ATMs.

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