Small business owners usually have to wear many hats. One of them is managing the finances through a dedicated financial account.
While you could opt to work with a traditional bank, it’s worth taking a look at what credit unions have to offer small businesses.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of working with a credit union. We’ll also explore several top-quality credit unions to handle your business account needs.
Credit Unions vs. Traditional Banks
The best credit unions hold some advantages over traditional banks. Of course, not all credit unions are created equally. But top credit unions tend to offer lower fees and better perks on their accounts. For example, many high-quality credit unions offer higher APYs on deposit accounts than traditional banks.
If you are looking for a financial institution offering better rates and lower fees, you might want to take a look at credit union options.
Choosing a Credit Union for Your Business
Here are some key factors you’ll want to consider before signing up with a credit union:
- Fees: When it comes to any financial institution, fees should be top of mind. You don’t want to overpay for banking services. Ideally, you’ll find a free option.
- Services: Consider the services your business needs. For example, will you be making regular cash deposits or holding funds in a high-yield savings account?
- Accessibility: Many credit unions have membership requirements. While most are quite flexible, some credit unions have strict requirements that could make it impossible for you to join.
- Customer service: If you prefer to bank in person, take a look at the credit union branches in your area. Your choices may be limited to credit unions that are close to you.
The Best Credit Unions for Business Accounts
While our list is not exhaustive, we’ve selected the following top credit unions for business accounts.
America First Credit Union
America First Credit Union provides members with several checking account options. The Basic Checking Account includes 250 free transactions and no monthly fee. The Premier Business Checking Account is an interest-bearing account paying 4.05% APY at the time of writing.
Although there is a monthly fee of $8 attached to the Premier option, the high interest rate might be worth it, depending on your average balance.
Business owners will also find a wide range of Certificates of Deposit (CDs) to handle their business savings goals. Unfortunately, to become a member, you must live, worship, volunteer, or attend school in select parts of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, or New Mexico. If you don’t meet the membership requirements, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a credit union.
Read our full America First Credit Union review here.
First Tech Federal Credit Union
First Tech Federal Credit Union offers two small business checking accounts. One is interest-bearing, and the other is not.
The Business Dividend Checking account currently offers an APY of 0.10% on balances above $25,000. Below that threshold, you’ll currently find a 0.05% APY. It comes with a monthly fee of $15, which is waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $5,000.
The Simple Business Checking account doesn’t pay interest. Like the Dividend Checking, you’ll have access to a Business Debit Mastercard that offers 1 reward point for every 2 dollars spent. You can avoid $6 fee by maintaining a balance of $1,000.
A limitation of this credit union is the membership requirements. You or someone in your household must work for a company on the partners list, live or work in Lane County, Oregon, or belong to the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union offers three business checking accounts. While all three of the accounts are interest-bearing, the Business Premium Checking account stands apart from the crowd. As of writing, you can earn between 0.35% APY and 0.45% APY on your balance.
he account comes with a monthly fee of $20, but the fee is waived if you maintain a minimum daily average of $5,000. If you prefer an account with no monthly service fee, the basic Business Checking account is a better option.
In addition to the checking accounts, you can tap into several savings products with Navy Federal. For example, the Money Market Savings Account offers a competitive APY on balances of at least $2,500.
You will need to have qualifying military ties to join this credit union. You or a family member must have served in the U.S. military.
You can check out our Navy Federal Credit Union review here.
Blue Federal Credit Union
Business owners have two checking account options with Blue Federal Credit Union. First up is the Basic Business checking account, which has no monthly fees and a free debit card. But the Business Plus Checking account is a step up, with a current offering of 0.25% APY on balances of at least $1,500. The account has a $5 monthly fee, which is waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $1,500.
Blue Federal Credit Union also has a no-fees savings account with no monthly fees. However, the savings account requires a minimum balance of $100 to earn interest. If you want to join the credit union, you must live in Wyoming or Colorado.
Learn more in our full Blue Federal Credit Union review.
Digital Federal Credit Union
Digital Federal Credit Union offers a free business checking account. There is no minimum deposit requirement and the account is interest-bearing. As of writing the interest rate is 0.10%. You can get up to four Visa debit cards per account, unlimited free check writing, and up to 20 free deposits per day.
The simplicity of its account offerings makes Digital Federal Credit Union one of the top credit unions for small business owners.
Digital Federal Credit Union is available to employees at a wide range of companies and members of community organizations. Scope out their full list of eligibility options here.
Comparing the Best Credit Unions for Small Business
Here’s a list of monthly fees, and pros and cons, for the credit unions featured above:
How To Open A Credit Union Business Account
Once you’ve decided on a credit union, it’s time to open your account. Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the process:
- Choose your preferred account: Select the business account plan that best meets your needs. Consider the key factors, such as monthly fees, transaction limits, and the account’s APY.
- Apply for membership to open an account: In most cases, you can open your account at the same time that you apply for a membership. The process is straightforward with most credit unions.
- Come prepared: The credit union will need to know some information about your business, including the business name and address, EIN, and some basic personal information.
- Wait for approval: Approval times vary based on the credit union. It can take a few minutes or a few days.
The Bottom Line
Every business owner has different needs, so you’ll need to determine what features matter most to you. While fees tend to be important for all business owners, the location of the credit union and other features may matter to you.
As you explore your options, keep the needs of your business in mind. If you decide that a credit union isn’t your cup of tea, check out these business bank checking account options.