Finding the perfect bank for your North Carolina-based small business can be quite the challenge. We’ve saved you some trouble by picking out financial institutions known to offer stellar services while keeping fees to a minimum. Read on to learn everything you need to know about our favorites for 2023.
Best Banks for Small Businesses in North Carolina
- Bluevine – Best Overall Bank for Small Businesses
- Capital One – Best Bank for Overdraft Protection
- U.S. Bank – Best Bank for Low Fees
- Bank of America – Best Bank for Traditional Banking
- First Citizens Bank – Best Bank for Checking Accounts
- Chase Bank – Best Bank for Sign-On Bonus
- Truist Bank – Best Bank for Branch Locations
When choosing the top banks for your small business, we looked at troublesome fees and balance requirements that can help wash them away. We also looked for encouraging interest rates and mobile apps that won’t slow you down. Finally, we gauged overall ease of use when making our final selections.
You can find a more detailed analysis of our methodology here.
Access to Mobile Banking
$4.95 per cash deposit, $2.50 for out of network ATM fees, $15 for outgoing wires
Pay vendors by wire or check, schedule payments, manage cash flow
$15 for checking (waivable), $3 for savings (waivable)
$15 per incoming domestic wire, $25 for outgoing domestic wire, fee for cash deposits
$2,000 for checking, $300 for savings
Access credit card accounts, transfer money, deposit checks, access bank statements, access to CreditWise service
$0.50 fee for transactions after the first 125, fees at out of network ATMs
$500 for business savings
Transfer funds, view documents, find branch/ATM locations, manage cards
$16 for checking (waivable), $10 for savings (waivable)
Out of network ATM fees, fees for excessive deposits
Up to 0.04% APY
$5,000 for checking, $2,500 for savings
Manage accounts, pay and transfer, digital wallets, bill pay
$15 wire transfers, $2.99 external transfers
$2,500 for business savings
Check deposits, phone payments, digital wallets
$25 to $40 for wire transfers, $0.40 per transaction (after first 20)
Up to 0.02% APY
Fraud monitoring, card control, pay and transfer, view offers
$0.50 per transaction after the first 50, $3 paper statement fee
$250 for business savings
Receive crucial account insights, transfer funds, Zelle compatibility
Bluevine may not have a business savings account, but it shows up in a big way with checking. From the moment you sign up, you’ll receive the fintech’s high interest rate and have very few fees to deal with as you bank. Small businesses needing a little more can make use of a line of credit, and Bluevine makes it easy to organize your funds with sub-accounts.
Why we chose it: Few banks can top Bluevine’s high interest rates, minimal fees, and intuitive layout.
- High interest rates
- Very few fees
- Revolving lines of credit available
- No business savings account
- No ATM reimbursement
- Fee for cash deposits
You can rest easy knowing that Bluevine will never charge you a monthly fee to keep your account up and running. Most transactions are free, but you’ll want to avoid out-of-network ATMs and wire transfers if at all possible. There is a charge for every cash deposit you make, so plan accordingly.
At 2.0% APY, you’re going to have a hard time finding a financial institution with a better interest rate. While great for small businesses, this rate only applies to funds up to and including $100,000. Any amount in excess doesn’t earn any interest at all.
There’s nothing about Bluevine’s setup requiring any sort of minimum balance. It’s free to open and maintain your account even if funds teeter near $0. You don’t have to reach a certain threshold to start earning Bluevine’s awesome interest rate, either.
Access to Mobile Banking
Bluevine’s mobile app is an extension of everything you can do from your personal computer. You’ll have full access to your business checking account and be able to manage your account accordingly. In addition to standard features, it’s also possible to deposit checks right from your phone.
You may not have abundant funds with your small business, and Capital One gets that. As you make payments and move money from one location to another, the bank won’t hit you with overdraft fees if one account gets too low. Unlimited digital transfers allow you to keep funds flowing, while Capital One’s extensive ATM network makes it easy to take some out or deposit more.
Why we chose it: Capital One has your back with unlimited digital transfers and overdraft coverage should your account run a little thin.
- Does not charge overdraft fees
- Unlimited digital transactions
- Large ATM network
- Limited physical locations
- Monthly account fee
- Out-of-network ATM fees
There are no overdraft fees, but Capital One does have a monthly service charge to contend with if you’re unable to meet certain requirements. Transactions are free, as are cash deposits of up to $5,000 each month. The only other fees you’ll likely encounter come from incoming and outgoing wire transfers.
Capital One offers promotional interest rates for anyone becoming a member. With a savings account, you’ll immediately receive these higher-than-average rates for your entire first year. Afterward, the account earns interest at the standard interest rate in effect at that time.
You can waive maintenance fees on your business checking account by keeping an average balance of $2,000 over a 30 or 90-day window. For savings, you’ll need to hold a minimum balance of at least $300 to avoid fees there. The promotional interest rate applies no matter how much you have in your savings.
Access to Mobile Banking
The Capital One mobile app has all the standard features you’d expect to find, from bill pay to mobile deposits and account transfers. It stands out with CreditWise, a feature designed to track your credit score and offer tips for keeping your number high.
U.S. Bank’s minimal fee structure is a blessing for small businesses having to pinch every penny. With a bit of planning, you can do all your banking without ever having to deal with a single fee. In addition, U.S. Bank has thousands of branch locations across the country to serve your needs. If that wasn’t enough, it has a long list of merchant services specifically designed to help businesses in your industry succeed.
Why we chose it: With so few fees, U.S. Bank makes it possible to address all your banking needs without ever paying a cent.
- Nearly nonexistent fees
- Specialized merchant services for restaurants, retailers, and service providers
- 2,400 branch locations
- Charges for overdrafts
- Relatively low APY
- Only locations in 28 states
U.S. Bank’s checking account set up specifically for small businesses has no monthly fee and allows up to 125 transactions before charges begin. Savings accounts start off at just $4 per month, but you can remove this cost quite easily. As long as you deposit or withdraw funds from one of U.S. Bank’s 4,700 ATMs around the country, you’ll never have to deal with fees there either.
Interest rates are the one chink in U.S. Bank’s strong armor. There’s no way to earn any with your checking account. What’s more, most savings and money market accounts don’t go higher than 0.01% APY. You’ll only find higher interest rates with U.S. Bank’s Platinum Money Market account, which has some rigid maintenance requirements.
You’re free to have as much or as little as you want in your business checking account without having to deal with fees. Keeping at least a $500 daily balance in U.S. Bank’s small business savings account will remove monthly fees there. Other accounts to consider as your business grows require at least $10,000 to maintain.
Access to Mobile Banking
While logged into U.S. Bank’s mobile app, you can easily complete everyday banking tasks with the intuitive U.S. Bank Smart Assistant. With just your voice, you can deposit checks, pay your bills, or send money from place to place. There are also tools for handling your business credit cards.
Bank of America has a presence almost everywhere with over 4,300 branches and 17,000 ATM locations. There are a number of checking and savings account options to fit whatever stage of life your business currently resides in. Interest rates are competitive, and a robust rewards system offers even more perks.
Why we chose it: With multiple account options and a long list of merchant services, Bank of America has the tools a small business needs to succeed.
- Over 17,000 ATMs and 4,300 branches
- Multiple checking and savings account options
- Preferred rewards to boost interest rate
- Lacks 24/7 customer service
- Monthly fees
- Transaction fees when using non-Bank of America ATMs
All of Bank of America’s checking and savings accounts have monthly fees, but there are ways around them. On the checking side, you can maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000, spend at least $250 in debit card purchases, or enroll in the Preferred Rewards program. Similarly, your savings account is free to use if you keep at least a $2,500 balance or become a Rewards member.
You’ll earn 0.01% APY when you become a Bank of America member, but you can grow this rate through the rewards program. As you move up the ranks, it’s possible to increase your rate to 0.04% along with the other perks the service brings. If you want to earn even more, you can lock away funds in a CD and earn up to 3.51% APY over time.
As explained above, there are minimum balance requirements to avoid paying fees every month on your checking and savings accounts. Your balance also plays a role in your rewards tier, with more available funds potentially moving you to a higher level.
Access to Mobile Banking
It’s easy to perform account maintenance through the Bank of America mobile app. The software also has a spending and budgeting tool to help you reach financial goals along the way. Furthermore, you can set up custom alerts to flag you when balances reach a certain level or you need to make a payment.
First Citizens Bank has no less than six checking options to choose from when opening a bank account. Whether you’re pinching every penny or have some money to burn, there’s a plan for your business. Most accounts have easily waivable monthly fees, and you’re free to deposit up to $5,000 in cash monthly without penalty. First Citizens Bank may only be in 21 states but has nearly 500 branches in North Carolina alone.
Why we chose it: First Citizens Bank appeals to all types of small businesses with multiple checking account options and ways to waive monthly fees.
- Multiple checking account options
- Up to $5,000 in cash deposits each month
- Waivable monthly fees
- Some fees are difficult to work around
- Locations in only 21 states
- Subpar interest rates
Depending on the account, you can take care of maintenance fees by enrolling in paperless statements or keeping up with a low balance requirement. There aren’t many other fees to worry about, but First Citizens Bank does impose a $2.99 charge for any transfer to an external bank.
A business savings account will earn you 0.03% APY on any money stored within. Money market options don’t fare any better at the present time. CDs in 12, 24, and 36-month intervals can earn you a little more.
First Citizen’s Bank’s introductory checking account has no monthly fee if you enroll in paperless statements. Other checking accounts require at least $25,000 to avoid charges. The bank’s savings account fares a little better, but you’ll still need $2,500 to be safe.
Access to Mobile Banking
You can use First Citizen’s app to deposit checks using nothing more than your camera. With digital wallets, it’s also possible to pay with your phone while out and about. Alongside these features, the mobile app can handle transfer requests and let you see balances wherever in the world you find yourself.
Chase Bank knows how to treat members right. Qualifying accounts receive a $300 bonus just for signing up, and you can earn up to $1,000 in cash back just for using your credit card. The bank also has several cool services like fraud protection and business loans to keep your company in top form. There’s not much in the way of APY, but these other features more than make up for it.
Why we chose it: A $300 sign-on bonus is just the tip of the iceberg regarding Chase’s generous perks for your small business.
- Up to $300 sign-on bonus
- Several available business services
- Multiple ways to waive the monthly maintenance fee
- Monthly maintenance fees
- Only 20 free transactions per month
- Minimal APY
You can kick monthly service fees to the curb on both checking and savings account. With checking, this requires keeping a certain monthly balance, making deposits from Chase QuickAccept, or through Chase Ink Business Card purchases. Removing fees from savings is as easy as linking it to your checking account. You’ll want to watch your transactions, as Chase only allows 20 free ones each month.
Chase’s savings accounts aren’t strong in the interest rate category. You’ll start at 0.01% APY but can boost this to 0.02% over time. Anyone wanting to accrue some serious interest should look into Chase’s certificates of deposit.
If you’re not into deposits or purchases with your business card, you’ll want to have a $2,000 monthly balance to do away with service fees on your checking account. There are no monthly requirements for savings, so long as you link it to your checking. To qualify for the sign-on bonus, you’ll need to hit a $2,000 balance within the first 30 days and then keep it for the next 60.
Access to Mobile Banking
Chase QuickPay on the mobile app uses Zelle to send and receive payments quickly. You can also use the software to transfer money in a more traditional way or schedule upcoming payments. For those in a time crunch, you can use texts to check balances and transaction history.
No matter where in North Carolina you call home, you’re likely not too far from one of Truist’s 500+ locations around the state. The bank makes every effort to be accessible to new businesses with varying account levels and member perks. You’ll also receive protection from overdrafts and a negative balance buffer if things go sideways.
Why we chose it: Top-notch banking services and more North Carolina locations than any other bank make Truist an excellent option for residents of the Tar Heel state.
- Nearly 500 locations in North Carolina alone
- No overdraft fees
- Easily accessible for new businesses
- Limited no-fee transactions
- No free incoming wires
- Low interest rates
Truist’s Simple Business Checking doesn’t have a monthly fee and is ideal for startups. Other accounts require certain balance requirements to get rid of their service fees. You’ll get up to 50 transactions per month for free, but any beyond this will set you back $0.50. It’s best to avoid paper statements so you don’t get hit with a $3 charge each month.
There are a lot of fantastic perks for using Truist’s savings account, but interest rates aren’t one of them. You can only earn 0.01% on funds in this account, no matter your current balance.
Balance requirements for removing service fees start out high and only get higher. You’ll need at least $2,500 to ward off charges on savings, and checking accounts must have $5,000 starting at tier two.
Access to Mobile Banking
You can log off your PC and pick right up where you left off on the Truist mobile app. Additional features include access to a digital wallet and integration with Zelle. The app also provides intuitive insights into your spending patterns and alerts you to unusual account activity.
Methodology for the Best Banks for Small Businesses in North Carolina
In this section, we share the reasoning behind the methodology we chose for selecting the best banks for small businesses in North Carolina. The following five criteria were at the forefront of our decision-making process:
- Fees: The whole purpose of using a bank is to simplify your finances, not add in a bunch of unnecessary fees. We strove to identify the best banks for small businesses that make it possible to handle funds without breaking the bank.
- Interest Rates: Money is that much sweeter when it goes to work for you. We opted for banks that pay out some form of interest rate among savings and checking accounts so you can earn a little extra cash just for doing what you do.
- Minimum Balance: As a small business, you may not have an abundance of funds to work with. It was our goal to choose banks with low or nonexistent balance requirements to avoid unsightly fees.
- Access to Mobile Banking: In a digital world, we switch between electronic devices at a moment’s notice. We looked for banks with full-featured mobile banking apps you can use whether at home or on the go.
- Ease of Use: No one likes a bank that’s a pain to use. We selected banks with intuitive interfaces and easy-to-use mobile apps that won’t slow you down along the way. It was also important to select financial institutions that are easy to set up, with some requiring little more than an employer identification number (EIN) to get going.
Best Banks for Small Businesses in North Carolina Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We understand that choosing the right bank for your small business is no easy task. This FAQ serves to answer some of the most prevalent questions on the subject.
When it comes down to opening a bank account for your small business in North Carolina, don’t rush into your choice. Take the time to find one with fees, interest rates, and balance requirements that your business can handle. Consider also how the bank’s services will grow with your business over time to maximize your potential. We’re excited about what Bluevine brings to the table, but we feel any of the banks on this list can serve you well.
Best Business Bank Accounts by State
Below you will find an interactive U.S map that can help you locate and compare different banks and financial institutions that offer business accounts in your area.