A credit union business account is a friendly alternative to opening a business bank account. It could work for you if you’re looking for the right hub for your business finances to push your venture to the next level.
Similar to banks, credit unions are financial institutions that offer online business checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and credit cards. However, the advantages of credit unions over traditional banks include personalized customer service, lower loan interest rates, lower fees, and higher APY on savings and checking accounts.
Check out the best credit unions for business banking accounts in 2023 to find the right one for your small business:
- Alliant Credit Union – Best Overall
- Consumers Credit Union – Best for Checking APY
- Digital Federal Credit Union – Best for Savings APY
- America First Credit Union – Best for Checking Options
- Blue Federal Credit Union – Best for Easy Branch Access
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union – Best for Credit Card Rewards
- Navy Federal Credit Union – Best for Small Business Loans
Alliant employment, local proximity, or FC2S membership
Online + ATMs
Android & iOS
Unlimited credit card cashback
$5 membership fee
Illinois branches + ATMs
Android & iOS
High Interest Checking account
Employment w/ DCU partners, local proximity, or family affiliation
Massachusetts & New Hampshire branches + ATMs
Android & iOS
Primary Savings account
Located in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, or Idaho
Utah, Idaho, Arizona & Nevada branches + ATMs
Android & iOS
Multiple checking account options
Donation, family affiliation, or work location in Wyoming or Colorado
Colorado & Wyoming full-service branches + Shared branches + ATMs
Android & iOS
U.S. citizenship or permanent residence
Branches in 15 states + ATMs
Android & iOS
Credit card incentives
Starts at $0/month
Washington, D.C. & international branches + ATMs
Android & iOS
Various loan offers
Alliant Credit Union is the leading contender in our roundup because it ticks all the boxes for free bank accounts, flexible membership qualifications, reliable online banking technology, and unlimited cashback.
It provides a full range of financial products and services, with different personal and business banking alternatives you can select from. Plus, you can open up to 19 different supplemental accounts for various goals if you become a member.
Alliant offers you free bank accounts, just like most of the credit unions in this list. You don’t need to pay monthly service fees if you open a High-Rate Checking account. Also, there’s no monthly fees for the High-Rate Savings account if you choose to receive eStatements, although you must pay a $1 monthly fee if you prefer paper statements.
These are the annual percentage yield (APY) rates for Alliant banking solutions:
- High-Rate Checking Account: 0.25% APY
- High-Rate Savings Account: 0.75% APY
- Certificates: 2.80% APY
- Custodial Account: 0.75% APY
It has the third highest APY among savings accounts, next to Digital Federal Credit Union and Consumers Credit Union. Yet along with Blue Federal Credit Union, it has the third lowest APY among checking accounts, although it’s a little higher than America First Credit Union and Digital Federal Credit Union.
You can join Alliant if you work for the institution’s businesses, organizations, or partners within the U.S. You may also qualify for membership if you live or work close to the union’s headquarters in Illinois.
However, the easiest way to join is to seek Foster Care to Success (FC2S) membership for only $5. Alliant will even settle this one-time fee on your behalf. Thanks to the FC2S option, a lot of people beyond the Alliant community have the opportunity to become a credit union member.
Alliant has one of the easiest eligibility requirements among the credit unions in our guide, on par with Consumers Credit Union and PenFed Credit Union. It’s not like America First Credit Union, Digital Federal Credit Union, or Navy Federal Credit Union which are only open to certain people based on employment, location, or affiliation.
Alliant is completely based online, which makes it the only credit union in this guide without any physical branches. Instead, you can access banking products and financial tools over the internet. Nevertheless, it has a broad network of over 80,000 fee-free ATMs. Plus, you can use ATMs outside the union’s network to make deposits and receive up to $20 refunds.
Because Alliant is an online credit union, it offers one of the most useful mobile banking apps for Android and iOS. You can settle your payments via bill pay, monitor your account balances, and even deposit checks through the app.
You have the chance to earn unlimited cashback simply by using the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card. You can receive up to 2.5% cashback on your first $10,000 worth of qualifying purchases.
Why we chose it: We bestowed the title of best overall credit union of 2023 to Alliant Credit Union because it’s a remarkable all-purpose banking platform. It provides free banking solutions, various application methods, practical mobile app features, and cashback rewards.
- No monthly service fees
- Low membership barrier
- Superior online banking
- Credit card cashback
- $1 monthly fee for paper statements
- No brick-and-mortar branches
- Relatively low checking APY
Consumers Credit Union (CCU) trumps other credit unions in this review because of its impressive checking APY. If you open a Free Rewards Checking account, you have the opportunity to earn as high as 4.09% APY on balances up to $10,000.
Founded in 1930, CCU is currently based in the state of Illinois. Aside from its checking account, the financial institution also offers other financial products, including savings accounts, business banking accounts, business lines of credit, credit cards, money market certificates, and loans.
The CCU checking and savings accounts are both free, which is similar to the majority of the credit unions in this list. While there is a zero minimum balance for the checking account, you do need to maintain at least $5 in your savings account balance.
Here are the APY rates for CCU banking solutions:
- Free Rewards Checking Account: 0.10%-4.09% APY
- Savings Account: 0.03%-0.25% APY
- Money Market Account: 0.05%-0.25% APY
- Certificates: 0.35%-2.30% APY
CCU has the highest APY for checking accounts among all the credit unions in this roundup. Take note that you need to qualify for the highest checking tier to benefit from the top interest rate. Along with Navy Federal Credit Union, it has the second lowest savings APY, only higher than Blue Federal Credit Union.
CCU has one of the simplest eligibility criteria in this guide, equal to Alliant Credit Union and PenFed Credit Union. All you need to do is spend a $5 membership fee to join CCU.
Although CCU is based in Illinois, it accepts customers from all over the nation. It has over 5,000 shared credit union branches spread out in the state, plus a nationwide chain of over 30,000 ATMs that are part of the CO-OP network.
CCU has a mobile app that’s compatible with Android and iOS devices. While the slightly outdated app doesn’t allow check deposits, you can at least conduct basic business functions like bill pay and fund transfers.
The standout feature of CCU is its High Interest Checking account. It comes with unlimited check writing and early direct deposit. Also, you can link your debit card so you can make payments via Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Why we chose it: We acknowledge Consumer Credit Union as the best for checking APY because of its exceptional APY rates for the checking account.
- Top-notch checking APY
- No monthly fee or minimum balance for checking
- $5 membership fee requirement only
- Maximum checking APY for highest tier only
- Fairly low savings APY
- No mobile app check deposits
Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) beats its competitors when it comes to APY rates for savings accounts. It’s possible for you to earn as much as 6.17% APY if you open a Primary Savings account.
Aside from savings solutions, DCU also offers a wide range of financial tools, such as checking accounts, credit cards, loans, and business lines of credit. It also stands out for its equity crowdfunding feature, which equips members to raise capital for investment in local businesses within the community.
Both the checking and savings accounts of DCU don’t charge monthly maintenance fees, same as most of the credit unions in the list. There’s no minimum opening balance for the checking account as well, although you need to deposit at least $5 to open a savings account.
See below for the APY rates of DCU banking solutions:
- Checking Account: Up to 0.20% APY
- Savings Account: 0.16%-6.17% APY
- Money Market Account: Starts at 0.20% APY
- Retirement Accounts: Starts at 0.20% APY
DCU has the highest APY for savings accounts among the credit unions in this roundup. Keep in mind that this maximum rate only applies to balances up to $1,000. Nevertheless, it has the second lowest APY for checking accounts, only higher than America First Credit Union.
You are qualified to join DCU if you work for any of the union’s partner companies or organizations. Also, you are eligible to apply if you worship or attend school in DCU eligible communities. Alternatively, you can earn membership if you have a relative who is currently a DCU member.
Because of its geographical and social restrictions, DCU has strict application requirements compared to Alliant Credit Union and PenFed Credit Union, which are open to more potential members.
DCU is based in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Plus, it has 23 branches located in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Also, members have access to more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the CO-OP network.
DCU offers a digital banking platform via mobile phones or desktops with innovative financial tools for members. The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android smartphones.
The notable feature of DCU is the Primary Savings Account. It helps you grow your funds over time through its generous APY and dividend rates. Plus, the online calculator lets you compute how much you can save through estimated monthly deposits.
Why we chose it: We recognize Digital Federal Credit Union as the best for savings APY because of its phenomenal interest rates for savings accounts.
- First-rate savings APY
- Equity crowdfunding
- Zero monthly maintenance fees
- Minimum deposit requirement for savings accounts
- Maximum APY applicable up to $1,000 only
- Restrictive membership eligibility
America First Credit Union gives you the freedom to choose between different types of checking accounts. You can take your pick from Premium Checking, Classic Checking, Regular Checking, Money Market Checking, and HSA Money Market Checking.
This financial institution meets the banking needs of businesses and individuals through various banking products and services. Aside from checking accounts, it also presents savings programs, investment accounts, and low-rate loans. On top of this, it provides business registration services, which makes it possible for you to open a bank account with EIN only.
Most of the America First checking accounts are free, with the exception of Premium Checking where you need to pay $6/month. Along with PenFed Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union, it’s one of the few credit unions in this review that charges a monthly fee for bank accounts. On the bright side, the savings account is free as long as you maintain a minimum balance of $1.
Take a look at the APY rates for America First banking solutions:
- Checking Accounts: 0.05% APY
- Savings Accounts: 0.05%-0.50% APY
- Money Market Savings Accounts: 0.05-0.15% APY
- Certificates: 0.25% to 1.10% APY
America First has the lowest checking account APY among the credit unions in this guide. At least it ranks somewhere in the middle when it comes to its savings accounts APY.
Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies to join America First Credit Union, in contrast to PenFed Credit Union and Alliant Credit Union which have more lenient requirements. You must work, live, volunteer, or worship in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, or Idaho to become a member. Aside from this, you may be eligible for membership if you have a relative or spouse who is a member of America First.
America First has 128 full-service branches in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and Nevada. It also has a network of over 5,600 shared branches and more than 60,000 ATMs via CO-OP‘s shared network.
America First has you covered if you like the convenience of mobile and online banking features. You can deposit checks, transfer funds, and schedule bill payments through the digital banking portal. The Android and iOS mobile apps also provide live update alerts and account balance information.
The standout feature of America First is the multiple types of checking accounts. It ranges from simple checking to advanced money market checking so you can select the one that perfectly fits your banking purpose.
Why we chose it: We commend America First Credit Union as the best for checking options because it has a wide array of checking accounts to meet different checking needs.
- Rich checking options
- Business registration services
- Feature-packed digital banking portal
- Lowest checking APY
- $6 fee for Premium Checking
- Membership limited to a few states
Blue Federal Credit Union excels when it comes to availability of in-person banking. On top of 18 full-service branches, you can also visit thousands of CO-OP shared branches to perform banking transactions.
This credit union showcases business and personal financial products, including loans and credit cards. You can even earn points through the membership reward program, which you can use to waive fees or earn loan discounts.
Blue offers free business checking and savings accounts, like most of the credit unions in this review. While there’s no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance for basic checking and savings, the higher tiers of business checking do require certain daily balance amounts.
These are the APY rates for Blue banking solutions:
- Business Checking Accounts: 0%-0.25% APY
- Business Savings Account: 0.05% APY
- Savings Accounts: 0.15%-5% APY
- Business Tiered Money Market Accounts: 0.05%-0.25% APY
It has the second highest savings APY in the bunch, only next to Digital Federal Credit Union. Along with Alliant Credit Union though, it has the third lowest APY among checking accounts, but it’s higher than America First Credit Union and Digital Federal Credit Union.
Blue Federal Credit Union has versatile eligibility requirements, which is the opposite of Navy Federal Credit Union and America First Credit Union. First, you are qualified to join if you have a relative with a Blue membership. You are also eligible to apply if you work in Wyoming or Colorado. The third and most straightforward way to become a member is to donate $5 to the Blue Foundation.
There are over 5,000 CO-OP shared branches where you can receive in-person Blue financial services, unlike most of its peers which only have branches in certain states. Plus, the credit union has over 30,000 fee-free ATMs through the CO-OP network. However, you have to visit one of the 18 full-service branches in Colorado or Wyoming if you wish to open a bank account.
You can access your Blue account through the convenient mobile app available for iOS and Android. You can also send money, pay bills, and check your loan status through the online banking portal.
The standout feature of Blue is the wide availability of in-person banking. This could come in handy for you if you prefer to perform banking transactions in a brick-and-mortar branch assisted by staff whom you can directly interact with in real life.
Why we chose it: We acknowledge Blue Federal as the best for easy bank access because it brings face-to-face banking within reach of many people in the U.S.
- 5,000+ shared branches
- High savings APY
- Flexible membership requirements
- Minimum balance for high-tier checking accounts
- Relatively low checking APY
- Account opening unavailable in shared branches
Pentagon Federal Credit Union, also known as PenFed, has an edge over its competitors when it comes to credit card incentives. You have the chance to earn big rewards if you use the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card to pay for everyday purchases.
This credit union was established in 1935. At present, it offers a full suite of financial services, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, money market certificates, and CDs. It also provides different kinds of loans, including mortgages and auto loans.
There is a $10 monthly service charge for most of the checking accounts of PenFed, except the free checking one. Along with America First Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union, it’s one of the few institutions in our list that charges maintenance fees for bank accounts.
Still, you can waive this fee if you have a monthly direct deposit or daily balance worth $500 or more. At least you don’t have to pay a monthly fee if you open a savings account, although you need to deposit and maintain a balance of at least $5.
Check out the APY rates of PenFed below:
- Access America Checking Account: 0.15%-0.35% APY
- Savings Accounts: 0.05%-0.75% APY
- Money Market Savings Account: 0.15% APY
- Money Market Certificates: 2.85% APY
Its checking APY falls somewhere in the middle of the group. Nevertheless, it has the second highest savings APY alongside Alliant Credit Union, next to Digital Federal Credit Union.
At first, PenFed membership was limited to those who served in the federal government or military. Today, anyone who is a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident can join PenFed and benefit from its financial products.
That’s why it’s now more inclusive than America First Credit Union, Digital Federal Credit Union, or Navy Federal Credit Union. Take note that you have to be at least 18 years old to apply as a PenFed member.
PenFed has 48 full-service branches spread across 15 states. Members can conduct banking transactions at over 85,000 fee-free ATMs through CO-OP and Allpoint ATM networks.
PenFed allows you to access your account and perform a range of banking tasks from your smartphone or tablet. It has an intuitive app available for iOS and Android which lets you make check deposits, access bill pay tools, locate nearby ATMs, and instantly transfer funds between PenFed accounts.
The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card grants you the opportunity to gain bountiful rewards. By powering up your company cars, you could earn up to 5x points per dollar spent on gas at pump and EV charging stations. Plus, you will get 3x points when you shop at supermarkets, dine in restaurants, and pay tech bills.
Why we chose it: We recognize PenFed as the best for credit card rewards because it generously grants points for common business and personal purchases.
- Credit card incentives
- High savings APY
- Open to U.S. citizens & permanent residents
- $10 monthly fee for most checking accounts
- Mediocre checking APY
- Steep requirements to waive checking fees
Navy Federal Credit Union sets itself apart from other credit unions because of its small business financial solutions. If you’re an eligible member, you can expand your venture and build your inventory with the help of business-friendly loans.
This full-service financial institution was founded in 1933. It offers checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and loans. You can even open as many savings accounts as you like. However, while it’s considered as the largest credit union in the U.S., its strict membership requirements lock out most people from eligibility.
Most of the Navy Federal checking accounts are free, except for the Flagship Checking account which has a monthly service fee of an unspecified amount. Similar to America First Credit Union and Blue Federal Credit Union, it’s one of the few institutions in this review which involves a monthly fee for bank accounts. Still, there’s no monthly service fee for the Navy Federal savings account, although you need to deposit at least $5 to open an account.
Take a peek at the APY rates of Navy Federal banking solutions:
- Checking Accounts: 0.01%-0.45% APY
- Savings Accounts: 0.25% APY
- Money Market Savings Account: 0%-0.45% APY
- Jumbo Money Market Savings Account: 0.25%-0.50% APY
- Certificates: 0.40% to 3.15% APY
It has the second highest checking APY compared to its peers, only next to Consumers Credit Union. Yet alongside Consumers Credit Union, it has the second lowest savings APY, only higher than Blue Federal Credit Union.
Military affiliation is a non-negotiable requirement for membership with the Navy Federal Credit Union. The main requirement to join the credit union is active duty with any department of the U.S. armed forces. Also, you may qualify for membership if you’re a military retiree, veteran, or an immediate family member of an eligible member.
Its membership criteria is very restrictive, in contrast to Alliant Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, and PenFed Credit Union. If you’re interested in a checking account but aren’t eligible for Navy Federal Membership, you may check out other checking accounts like the one we discussed in our Bluevine review.
Finding a Navy Federal full-service branch shouldn’t be a problem because the credit union has 350 offices spread across Washington, D.C. and abroad. Members can also access their funds through over 30,000 ATMs in the CO-OP network.
Navy Federal digital banking allows you to manage your account anytime, anywhere. Through the mobile app for Android and iOS, members have full access to financial tools that enable them to transfer funds and view account activities.
Navy Federal provides a suite of small business financing solutions at low-interest rates and a flexible repayment plan of up to 60 months. This makes it convenient for entrepreneurs to address short-term cash flow issues and make urgent commercial equipment purchases.
Why we chose it: We commend Navy Federal Credit Union as the best for small business loans because it provides funds to help entrepreneurs start a new business or grow their existing one.
- Cost-effective business loan options
- High checking APY
- National & international branches
- Very limited membership eligibility
- Flagship Checking monthly fee
- Low savings APY
Pricing: Starts at $0/month
Methodology for the Best Credit Unions for Business Banking Accounts
We analyzed the offerings of different credit unions, plus rates and fees, to pick out credit unions that soar high in various categories. Here are the main features we considered:
- Pricing: First, we researched if the checking and savings accounts offered by the credit unions are free or not. In case there are maintenance fees, we confirmed how much you need to pay each month.
- APY: Next, we checked how much APY you can potentially earn with the checking and savings accounts. Since the rates may vary per category, we gave an overview of the APY ranges for each banking solution.
- Membership Requirements: We evaluated the eligibility requirements for all the credit unions. Also, we assessed if the membership criteria of each institution is welcoming or restrictive.
- Locations: We examined if there are available physical branches or not, as well as where these spots are located. In addition to this, we indicated if members have access to ATM networks or not.
- Online Banking: We took a look at the mobile app and/or digital banking portal of every credit union. Plus, we explained which banking transactions you can perform online.
- Special Feature: Last but not least, we highlighted what the standout feature is for each credit union, as well as what makes it unique.
Note: The pricing and APY rates in this guide are based on available information in June 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Credit Union Business Accounts
Final Thoughts on the Best Credit Union Business Accounts
The number of businesses and individuals joining credit unions has been steadily rising over the past few years. In 2020, credit unions in the United States boasted 126.6 million members, which is a significant leap from the 98.4 million members it had back in 2013. Today, these financial institutions have less stringent eligibility requirements. Plus, members enjoy lower fees and higher APY rates, as well as the power to influence the organization.
Now that you’ve read our comparative guide to the best credit union business accounts, we hope you’re confident enough to pick the credit union business account which will best meet the needs of your small business.