Any established business needs to have a reliable bank account for making deposits and withdrawals, handling invoicing, and managing other financial and transactional needs. It’s one of the fundamental requirements of running a modern, agile enterprise.
Bank of America is the second largest bank in the United States, just behind JP Morgan. with $2.34 trillion in assets and well over 4,500 branches spread across the country. The Charlotte, North Carolina conglomerate also has the second-highest number of ATMs, with just over 16,000 spread across the country.
This article will define, compare and contrast some of the accounts Wells Fargo offers for larger businesses, along with their associates fees, transaction limits, and balance minimums. The fees will vary by state, for this article we’ve used Florida as the account location.
We’ll also take a look at a new online business account option that may be even better for your needs, from the currency exchange service TransferWise. Let’s get started.
Bank of America’s 4,500+ locations spread across nearly all 50 states. Any business owner or representative can apply for a Bank of America account by going to the closest branch (you can find that with this branch locator)this Bank of America page and clicking Apply Now on one of the options.
Bank of America offers two business checking accounts: the Business Fundamentals Account and the Business Advantage Checking Account. Both are competitively priced. The Business Fundamentals Account has a $17 a month maintenance fee, and a $12 per month maintenance fee for a second business checking account. You can waive these fees by spending at least $250 on a business debit or credit card on net new goods or services, keeping an average balance of $5,000 month over month, a minimum daily balance of $3,000, or a combined average monthly balance of $15,000 across linked Bank of America business accounts.
The Business Advantage Checking Account carries a $29.95 monthly maintenance fee, but an additional checking account for a business is free. You can waive this fee if you purchase $2,500 worth of net new goods or services on your business credit card, keeping an average balance of $15,000 month over month, a combined average monthly balance of $35,000 or higher across linked Bank of America business accounts, or routinely make use of Bank of America Merchant Services or Payroll Services.
The table below breaks down the fees that come with Bank of America’s two premier business checking accounts. We also helpfully compare them to TransferWise’s slick new business account. TransferWise is a leader and innovator in the online currency exchange space, and is capitalizing on the success of its fresh, customer-friendly currency exchange service to offer other financial services, like debit cards, personal accounts, and now business accounts. For comparison, this table shows what fees TransferWise will charge for the same services. A business that’s just getting started may find a cheaper account attractive. But as always, it’s important to consider the use and functions of the account, to make sure you’re getting what your business needs out of it.
|Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking||Bank of America Business Advantage Checking||TransferWise|
|Maintenance Fee for Second Account||$12||$0||$0|
|Account Management Fee||$15||$0||$0|
If you want to open a business bank account, you must first verify your business and your own identity. Before meeting with a Bank of America account manager, get the following documents in order and be prepared to present them at the meeting.
- Your primary business documents, like filing documents, articles of organization, articles of incorporation, and certificate of resolution.
- Your business tax ID
- The name and address of your business
- The state where you operate, as well as the state where your business was formed
- The date your business was created
- The Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and home address of the business owner
The Bank of America Business Fundamentals Checking Account is meant to provide the fundamental banking features an established business requires. It’s best for businesses that need simple checking services and that will spend at least $250 a month and keep an average monthly balance of less than $5,000. With spending and balance limits set for that time, this account is best suited for small businesses that are still building their customer base. Established businesses will spend well more than $250 a month and will need to maintain well over $5,000 a month in a bank account. You can also pair the Business Fundamentals checking account with Bank of America’s Business Investment savings account for no additional fee.
Bank of America has built a dedicated website for small business online banking. The Small Business Online Banking site allows your to access your account to view your balance, review the past 12 months of online transactions, the past 18 month of online bank statements, and download transactions directly to QuickBooks, and set up automatic alerts for account changes. You can also pay bills and set up recurring online bill payments.³
The Business Fundamentals checking account is perfect if you’re a smaller business. But what should bigger businesses do? Bank of America has a second business checking account: the Business Advantage checking account. This account is best suited for established businesses. It offers all of the wonderful, essential benefits that the Business Fundamentals account does, but it comes with some additional perks suited to larger companies. For example, Business Advantage accounts integrate directly with Quickbooks at no extra cost and users can add additional Business Advantage accounts for free.
Bank of America also includes a bevy of business services at no extra cost. For example, users can make stop payment requests, receive incoming and domestic wire transfers, and use Bank of America’s check image tool for free. They are also eligible for checks, deposit slips, and even an endorsement stamp, all at no charge. Also, eligible customers who make at least $3,000 in purchases on a business credit card in the first 90 days of the account opening receive a $300 statement credit.
The Business Advantage account is only a bit costlier than the Business Fundamentals account, at $29.95 a month. Business Advantage account holders can avoid the monthly fee if they make $2,500 in net new purchases a month on business credit cards, maintain an average monthly balance of $15,000 or higher, maintain a combined average monthly balance of $35,000 or higher in linked Bank of America business accounts, and regularly use Bank of America Merchant or Payroll services.
But Bank of America isn’t the only game in town. Another fantastic option for businesses small and large is TransferWise. TransferWise has established itself as a leader in the online currency exchange business, offering currency services to international travelers at the optimal mid-market rate. After that success, they explored online currency accounts, offering the Borderless account, a fresh, helpful online bank account for international travelers and businesses. It lets its users store and convert money in over 40 currencies at the mid-market rate, and provides them with banking information for several different countries.
You can take a look at the TransferWise business account here. As a multi-currency account, it lets you send and receive cash in over 40 different currencies (which applies to 70 countries, a substantial portion of the developed world), and at the mid-market exchange rate. With the TransferWise for Business account, you can buy inventory and pay invoices and employees, freelancers, and contractors abroad for up to 14 times cheaper than PayPal. You’ll also get account details for Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. That means you’re not just limited to banking in your country of residence and you can receive payments just like a local would. You can also create and send your invoices by using our downloadable free invoice templates.
The business account also lets you make batch payments (meaning you can pay up to 1,000 vendors with one click) and download your monthly statements.
Enterprises that use TransferWise for Business are empowered to customize and integrate with TransferWise by accessing TransferWise’s handy suite of API calls. Those calls enable you to customize your payment tools. For example, you can automate payments and connect to other business tools, such as Xero, Bolt, Hubstaff, TimeDoctor, and Wolt.
As opposed to traditional brick-and-mortar banks, TransferWise’s online perch allows them to charge zilch for essential services where other financial institutions may levy substantial fees. TransferWise offers the following services for free:
- Creating your account
- Batch payments option
- Receive money in these currencies: EUR, USD, GBP, AUD, and NZD
- Obtain a UK account number and sort code
- Obtain a U.S. routing number and wiring number
- Obtain a European IBAN
The best way to choose the account that’s most suitable for your business, is to look at the types of services and transactions you’ll be doing the most. And when it comes to business modern businesses, why limit yourself to just one account? These days, companies that have a lot of international payments may often look towards more modern service such as TransferWise, to help increase their profitability. Whether your needs are better met by a bank such as Bank of America or a new, bold service like TransferWise - we wish you the best of luck in your endeavours.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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