U.S. Bank business account review: The only guide you need

TransferWise content team
06.10.19
9 minute read

Every business is different, but there’s one thing they all have in common: they all need a bank account that’s well suited to their own particular demands. That’s the case whether you’re a sole trader working out of your spare bedroom, or working for a huge multinational corporation.

That’s why banks take business accounts seriously. Many offer a variety of options, hoping to attract businesspeople from companies at all stages of development. U.S. Bank is no exception to this, with several carefully graded business checking accounts on offer to potential customers.

This article will introduce you to what U.S. Bank’s business checking accounts have on offer. They’re available to businesses of varying sizes, with an emphasis across the Midwest and Western areas of the country: you will need to make sure U.S. Bank operates where you work.

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Now, back to what you came here to read.

U.S. Bank business checking accounts

At U.S. Bank, customers have the choice of 5 business checking accounts:²

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Premium
  • Nonprofit¹

We’ll go through each of them in detail later on, explaining the different features of these 5 accounts.

There are also business savings accounts on offer, for businesses able to put some money aside and earn some extra interest.³

How to choose the best bank account for your business

Before we get specific with the U.S. Bank business account details, here are some tips for how to make sure you end up with a business bank account that really works for you and your company. They’ll also come in useful when you’re choosing between the different levels of U.S. Bank accounts that are on offer.

  • Look closely at the fees. You’d doubtless have done this anyway, but it’s still worth stating. One of the key differences between business accounts is the sorts of fees they offer. There’ll be a monthly service fee to pay in most instances, but the amount can vary a lot. And there’s often a fee to pay for every transaction you make - or you might get some transactions for free. Plus you should consider wire transfer fees, cash deposit fees, and any others that are particularly important to your business.
  • Look for ways to get out of the fees. Often, banks waive some of their fees under certain conditions: perhaps if you keep your account over a certain limit, for instance. Exactly what those limits are, often depends on which level of account you choose: Silver or Gold, Platinum or Premium. So take a close look.
  • Transaction limits. It’s usual for small business checking accounts to give you a certain number of transactions per month for free, and to start charging you per transaction if you go above that limit. U.S. Bank is no exception here. So you’ll need to estimate approximately how many transactions your business is likely to make each month.
  • International transfers. If your business often deals with people or business abroad, you might be particularly interested in how banks handle international transfers. These can often be expensive and time-consuming when handled by a bank, and they usually mark up the mid-market rate, meaning that less of your money makes it through the process. So be sure to check what the options are with your bank for international transfers, but also don’t forget to consider alternative options. For instance, TransferWise can get your money overseas at the real mid-market rate, and the borderless business account can even let you hold money easily in foreign currencies, for no monthly fee.

What do I need to open a business account with U.S. Bank?

There are 5 different U.S. Bank small business checking accounts, but you’ll need to show the same documents to get any one of them. This is what you’ll need to show them:⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁹

  • The Employer Identification Number or tax ID number of your business
  • Articles of Incorporation or Organization, or a charter or other similar legal document regarding the formation of your company
  • Official photo ID and Social Security number — for you and anyone else you want to register with the account.

U.S. Bank’s business account requirements change a little if you’re a sole proprietor: you can use your own Social Security number instead of the tax ID number, and you don’t need to show the Article of Incorporation or other foundation document. For the Nonprofit account, the Article of Organization or charter also needs to show your organization’s officers.⁹

You’ll also need an appointment. You can book one online via their website if you select a place and time, and give a few details about yourself. It’s possible to book a phone meeting too, but don’t be surprised if they need to meet you in person.⁸

U.S. Bank business account fees

Here’s an overview of the most important account fees and restrictions that come with a U.S. Bank business checking account.

As with many business bank accounts, with U.S. Bank you’re entitled to a certain number of transactions for free each month, and you’re similarly allowed to deposit cash a certain number of times without having to pay extra. With most account types there’s also a monthly maintenance fee, but if you meet certain conditions you can get out of paying it. There’ll be more information on how this works later on.

This isn’t a complete list of fees: further fees vary from state to state, so you’ll need to find out the full list of fees directly from your local branch. Also, the fees for the Nonprofit account are a little different, and are dealt with separately later on.

Fee or limit U.S. Bank business account cost²
Monthly maintenance fee $0-25 (can be waived)
Average account balance needed to waive fee $10,000 or more
Free transactions per month 150-500
Cost per extra transaction $0.40-0.50
Free cash deposits per month 25-200

These figures might not be quite right if you go for an Analyzed account, which you get with Premium: in that case, credits you earn might offset your various bank fees.²

Breakdown of U.S. Bank business accounts

Let’s take a look at the different account types one by one, so you can see which is best for your business.

All of them come with key features like online and mobile banking, the ability to process card payments, check fraud prevention, remote check deposit, and overdraft protection.⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁹

Silver Business Checking Package

If you’re just starting out or run a small-scale operation, the Silver package could be perfectly suited to you.⁴ It’s the U.S. Bank small business account for people at the beginning of their journey. There’s no monthly maintenance fee at all, so if you meet the criteria then it’s a great way to get started.

Fee or limit U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking Package cost²
Monthly maintenance fee $0
Free transactions per month 150
Cost per extra transaction $0.50
Free cash deposits per month 25
Paper statement fee $5

The Silver package is the only one which requires you to pay for paper statements: they cost $5 each time.

There are a couple of additional bonuses: you get a 50% discount on your first check order, up to $50. And also, 50% discount on Gold Personal Package monthly maintenance fee.⁴

Gold Business Checking Package

Gold is for you if Silver’s limited number of monthly transactions would leave your business busting at the seams. One additional benefit is that there’s an “interest-bearing option:” if you want to, you can earn interest on your account balance.

Fee or limit U.S. Bank Gold Business Checking Package cost²
Monthly maintenance fee $20
Average account balance needed to waive fee $10,000 or $25,000 (see below for more details and alternative options)
Free transactions per month 300
Cost per extra transaction $0.45
Free cash deposits per month 100

For the Gold package, you’ll have to pay $20 a month unless you meet one of certain criteria. You can get out of paying that:²

  • If you have an average of $10,000 in your (non-interest-bearing) account or $25,000 in your (interest-bearing) account
  • If your combined collected deposit balances average $20,000 (non-interest-bearing) or $50,000 (interest-bearing)
  • If your combined collected business deposits and outstanding business credit balances add up to $50,000
  • If your combined business deposit and outstanding business credit add up to $75,000
  • If you have a U.S. Bank Payment Solutions Merchant Account.

Additional benefits include 50% off your first check order up to $100, and a discount if you also want a Gold Personal Package to go alongside your business banking.⁵

Platinum Business Checking Package

This package is particularly designed for businesses with a lot of cash to deposit. There’s no interest-bearing option, but other features might tempt you nonetheless.

Fee or limit U.S. Bank Platinum Business Checking Package cost²
Monthly maintenance fee $25
Average account balance needed to waive fee $25,000 (or $75,000 combined collected business deposits and outstanding business credit balances)
Free transactions per month 500
Cost per extra transaction $0.40
Free cash deposits per month 200

Like with Gold, you get 50% off your first check order up to $100. Additionally, mobile check deposit is free with Platinum: you get the service with all the accounts, but for Silver and Gold you have to pay for it.⁶

Premium Business Checking Package

The Premium package is designed for larger businesses with complex financial needs. Fees can often be offset by credits on qualifying balances, so it’s not possible to be as precise about them as it is for the other packages. Here are a few of the benefits you get with Premium:⁷

  • Account fees can be offset
  • You can earn interest on your balance
  • You can link it to a Premium Business Money Market account, one of U.S. Bank’s savings accounts
  • You can use more than 5,000 ATM locations belonging to U.S. Bank
  • Telephone support is 24/7.

Nonprofit checking account

If your organization is not for profit, there’s a special sort of account that might be better than the commercial options. Here’s an overview of some of the benefits.

Fee or limit U.S. Bank Nonprofit Checking account cost⁹
Monthly maintenance fee $0
Free transactions per year 1,800 (an average of 150 per month)
Free cash deposits per year 300 (an average of 25 per month)

You can earn interest on the account if you want to, and you can also get a business debit card.⁹

An alternative to a U.S. Bank business account — TransferWise for business

U.S. Bank’s carefully tailored packages might be just what you’re looking for, but there’s a chance you need something a little different. Especially if you do a lot of business internationally, a TransferWise for business account could be the perfect way for you to hold money in multiple currencies, and send and receive payments abroad at the real mid-market rate. You even get account details in not just US dollars but also Australian and New Zealand dollars, British pounds and euros.

There’s no monthly fee, and many perks for businesses, including an open API so your business can automate payments and workflows yourself, and the ability to make batch payments with ease. It all works easily online, fees are kept to a minimum, and international payments you make could be up to 14x cheaper than if you use PayPal instead.

Whatever business account you end up going for, good luck, and make sure your bank account helps you run the business you’ve always wanted to.


Sources:

1.U.S. Bank business checking accounts page
2.U.S. Bank business checking accounts comparison page
3.U.S. Bank business savings accounts page
4.U.S. Bank Silver business checking account package
5.U.S. Bank Gold business checking account package
6.U.S. Bank Platinum business checking account package
7.U.S. Bank Premium business checking account
8.U.S. Bank business account appointment page
9.U.S. Bank Non-Profit business checking account page

Sources checked 22-23 May 2019


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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