Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Business Checking Review 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
Among the many credit unions in America, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, which only has branches in Minnesota, stands out by charging little to no monthly fees while providing an extensive list of business products. These include checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates, credit cards, and loans.
Deposits in Affinity Plus FCU checking accounts earn interest at competitive rates, with its annual percentage yield (APY) being 0.050% for small business accounts and 0.100% for commercial accounts. It also has a generous rewards program that lets users earn points for deposits, loans, and purchases.
When opening a business bank account, the advantages of credit unions are worth considering. Not only do credit unions like Affinity Plus FCU offer the full range of banking services modern businesses need, but they also offer competitive rates and lowered fees that give them an edge over other banks in the market.
What We Like
- Competitive interest rates on checking accounts
- Earn rewards on debit card purchases
- Wide variety of banking services
- No nationwide branches
- High fees for wire transfers
- Overdraft fees
- MyPlus Rewards program to earn redeemable points on banking activity
- Connects with SwiftPay for merchant services, including credit card processing, cash advances, and merchant sale solutions
- Available business credit cards, vehicle and equipment loans, and lines of credit
- Multiple customer service support options, such as a hotline, chat with a live agent, chatbot, and video banking
How Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Business Checking APY
Minimum Opening Deposit
$0 for small business accounts;
$15 for commercial accounts
0.05% for small business accounts;
0.10% for commercial accounts
None at Affinity Plus, MoneyPass, Co-op, and SUM ATM networks
None at Bethpage and Co-op network ATMs
2.0% once qualifications are met
None at MoneyPass ATM locations
*Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and Bethpage Federal Credit Union are member-NCUA insured.
**Bluevine is a financial technology (fintech) platform backed by and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured through a supporting bank partnership with Coastal Community Bank.
When Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Is a Good Fit
- You want a credit union that offers a full range of banking services: Affinity Plus FCU is our top pick for the best small business credit unions given its extensive product offerings, competitive interest rates, and rewards options. Its wide range of banking products (which include two business checking accounts, business credit cards, lines of credit, loan products, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts) allow business owners to keep all their banking activity within one establishment.
- Your business needs to withdraw cash on a regular basis: Affinity Plus lets you withdraw funds fee-free from over 60,000 ATMs within the MoneyPass, Co-op, and SUM ATM networks.
- You want to earn interest on funds deposited in checking accounts: Its two business checking accounts let businesses earn dividends on their checking account balances at competitive interest rates.
- You want to earn rewards on purchases: Affinity Plus has a rewards program called MyPlus Rewards, which lets businesses earn points for debit card purchases, loans, and savings. Points can be redeemed as a number of rewards, including gift cards, cash back, travel and events, and loan rate reductions.
When Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Is Not a Good Fit
- Your business relies on wire transfers: Affinity Plus charges a $10 fee for every incoming wire transfer, $15 for outgoing domestic wire transfers, and $40 for outgoing international wire transfers. A good alternative would be Relay Pro, which charges no fees on incoming and outgoing wire transfers.
- Your business needs to draft and receive large quantities of checks per month: Affinity Plus designed its business checking products for low transaction volumes. Per month, Affinity Plus FCU’s Small Business Checking charges $0.20 per check over 50 for monthly check clearing and $0.20 per check over 50 for monthly check deposits. Affinity Plus Commercial Checking can accommodate larger volumes.
- Your business is based outside of Minnesota and you want to conduct banking in person: All of Affinity Plus FCU’s physical branches are located within Minnesota. Consider larger banks, such as Chase and Bank of America, for more access to in-person banking services.
If you meet one or more of these scenarios, check out our guide to the best banks for small businesses for additional recommendations.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Business Checking Overview
Required Opening Deposit
Required Balance Minimum
Transaction Limit Before Fees
20 cents per month after transaction limit
20 cents per month after transaction limit
Wire Transfer Fees
$10 for incoming, $15 for outgoing domestic, and $40 for outgoing international
Non-Affinity Plus Cash Advance
Business Loan Processing Fee
$150 per loan
Hotline: (800) 322-7228, chat (live agent), chatbot, video banking
Hotline hours: Mondays to Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon
Video banking hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon
Other Products Available
Business savings, certificates of deposit, credit cards, and lending
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Business Checking Requirements
To open a business checking account, you must apply for membership at Affinity Plus FCU. Eligibility for membership usually depends on where you’re employed, where you studied, and where you live. If you haven’t worked, studied, or lived in Minnesota, you can qualify for membership by making a one-time donation worth $25 to the Affinity Plus Foundation.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Business Checking Features
Affinity Plus FCU’s business checking account comes with a number of usual features. This includes a rewards program, free ATM usage, business credit cards, equipment and vehicle loans, lines of credit, and merchant services.
The Affinity Plus FCU MyPlus Rewards program lets users earn points from purchases, loans, deposit accounts, and other special point-earning offers. The Affinity Plus debit card earns 1 reward point for every $4 spent, while the Affinity Plus Visa® Business Rewards credit card earns 1.5 points per $1 spent. Points can be redeemed for lower rates on business loans.
Free ATM Usage
Affinity Plus FCU users can withdraw funds from over 60,000 Money Pass, SUM ATM, and CO-OP ATMs across the country. ATM withdrawals come free of charge, except in select locations. The Affinity Plus FCU website contains a list of free ATM locations.
Affinity Plus FCU provides several customer service channels. For account support and product information, you can call (800) 322-7228 from Mondays to Fridays, 8 AM to 5:30 PM, and Saturdays, 8 AM to 12 PM. It also offers a Chat with a Live Agent and a chatbot feature for common questions. Also, you can use video banking for face-to-face service and document signing by scheduling a video appointment.
Equipment & Vehicle Loans
For a flat document processing fee of $150, users of Affinity Plus FCU Business Checking can access loans for vehicles, industrial machines, or electronic equipment. Loans can amount to up to 80% of the equipment’s value. Loan terms may last as long as 60 months, and predictable payments come with fixed interest rates. The equipment loan is available for new or used equipment. For loans up to $25,000, it may need to be secured, whereas loans above $25,000 are required to be secured.
Lines of Credit
Affinity Plus FCU offers revolving lines of credit with low minimum monthly payments. Interest rates are variable but have a maximum of 18% for three years. You also have the option of paying only the interest each month. Like with equipment and vehicle loans, Affinity Plus FCU charges a flat fee of $150 for document processing.
Merchant Services Program
Affinity Plus FCU partnered with payment gateway SwiftPay to give businesses access to credit card processing services and other merchant services. SwiftPay’s offerings include cash discount programs, mobile loyalty programs, cash advances, point-of-sale (POS) solutions (Clover, Clover Mini, and Clover Mobile), and currency conversion programs.
Highly Rated Mobile App
Though Affinity Plus FCU limited its branch locations to Minnesota, it made up for its lack of physical banking options by increasing online accessibility. Its mobile app lets account holders conduct banking transactions—including check deposits, bank transfers, and bill payments—from the comfort of their devices. The app’s well-designed interface and reliability earned it 4.6 stars (out of 15,000+ reviews) on Google Play and 4.8 stars (out of 50,000+ reviews) on App Store.
Other Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Business Products
Businesses that have fewer day-to-day transactions can keep their earnings stored in Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s Business Savings account for a minimum balance of $10. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) for up to $250,000 and earn interest at a competitive APY of 0.100%. The interest accrues daily and compounds monthly.
Affinity Plus FCU also offers a product with the same APY called Business Shares II. It’s a type of business savings account that lets users save for specific purposes (such as payroll or taxes) without having to maintain a minimum balance.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union offers business-focused certificates of deposit (CDs) with terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years. Funds placed in Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s business certificates earn interest on a daily basis and compound monthly. Because interest rates are fixed, earnings on business certificates are fairly predictable.
- Basic Certificate requires a $500 minimum balance, with terms ranging from three to sixty months. There’s no limit on the amount of your single deposit.
- Wahoo Certificate has no minimum balance and offers one no-penalty withdrawal. The term is fixed at 12 months, and the number of deposits is unlimited with a maximum balance of $25,000.
- Certificate Builder has a low $100 minimum balance requirement and promotes unlimited deposits at a fixed 12-month term.
Business Credit Cards
Affinity Plus FCU’s business credit card is called the Visa® Business Rewards credit card. The variable-rate credit card charges no annual fee and no documentation fee for your application. It has an annual percentage rate (APR) of 2.90% for 12 months. However, after the promotional period, The APR will rise to 14.9%–18%, depending on what the user qualifies for. The card comes with tech perks, including contactless payments, digital wallet capabilities, and fraud protection.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Business Checking Pros & Cons
|Highly rated mobile app||Limited physical branches|
|Rewards program for banking activity||Charges fees for check clearing and check deposits when quantities exceed transaction limits|
|Flexible membership requirements||High fees for both incoming and outgoing wire transfers|
Fans of in-person banking may not appreciate Affinity Plus FCU’s lack of physical branches outside of Minnesota. However, business owners who are satisfied with online banking will find that its extensive banking service offerings, combined with its well-designed mobile application, make it a great choice for business banking. For a credit union, it has very accessible membership requirements.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union User Reviews
|Courteous and helpful staff||Takes a long time to speak with customer service when you call|
|Generous Rewards program, such as covered overdraft fees, lower auto loan rates, and purchase cancellation fees||Denied online account application|
|Exceptional online banking platform||Long lines at branches; understaffed|
|Easy-to-secure loans; best mortgage rates||Need to visit a location to open an account|
Affinity Plus FCU has low to average ratings on WalletHub (3.6 out of 5), DepositAccounts by Lending Tree (2.5 out of 5), and Yelp (2 out of 5). Users rated it well for its friendly customer service, great rewards program, and outstanding online banking platform. They said that they also appreciate the easy loan process and excellent mortgage rates. However, some found it inconvenient for its lack of an online account opening option, long branch queues, and lengthy waiting periods when they called.
Alternatives To Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Business Checking
Although Affinity Plus FCU offers a number of useful business banking services, it might not be the best choice for business owners who need fewer fees, improved physical branch accessibility, and cheaper wire transfer capacities.
Here are three alternative options to consider:
- Chase is best for fans of in-person banking who want a full range of banking services. As one of the biggest financial institutions in the country, it has no shortage of physical branch locations and doesn’t require membership, making it an accessible choice.
- Bluevine is best for businesses that are comfortable with banking exclusively online. It’s an internet-only bank that offers competitive interest rates on checking and savings deposits. Its business checking account has a 2.0% APY for qualified account holders.
- Grasshopper Bank is best for business owners looking for another internet-only banking option. It charges very few fees for its services. Incoming domestic wires are free, outgoing domestic wires are $10, incoming international wire transfers cost $5, and outgoing wire transfers cost $25. Grasshopper also provides cash back rewards for debit card purchases.
Though Affinity Plus FCU lacks physical branches outside of Minnesota, it remains a very accessible banking option due to its top-notch mobile app and flexible membership requirements. If you’re a business owner who wants to conduct all banking activity, including checking, savings, loans, and lines of credit, under one establishment, Affinity Plus FCU could be the credit union for you.