This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
Berkshire Bank Business Checking is a great choice for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), with its 500 free items per statement cycle and low, waivable $9.95 monthly fee. It comes with a free debit card, online and mobile banking, access to merchant services, and free Online Bill Pay.
For more savings, sole proprietors and nonprofits can open a Business NOW Checking account with its lower $7 monthly fee, which is also waivable. Nonprofit organizations that prefer not to pay any monthly fees can open the Community Relations Checking account.
Berkshire Bank’s brick-and-mortar branches are found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and Rhode Island.
How Berkshire Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
|Annual Percentage Yield (APY)||Cash Deposit Fee||ATM Fee||Minimum Opening Deposit|
15 cents per $100
None at Berkshire ATMs; $3 per withdrawal at nonnetwork ATMs
|Visit Berkshire Bank|
Up to $5,000 per month free, then 25 cents per $100
$3 at non-M&T Bank ATMs, $5 or 3% of the USD transaction amount at international ATMs
|Visit M&T Bank|
Up to $5,000 monthly free, then $2.50 per $1,000 per statement cycle
$2.50 per transaction at any non-Chase ATM, plus ATM operator fees
|Visit Chase Bank|
When Berkshire Bank Is a Good Fit
- You have a low-to-moderate transaction volume: With its Business Checking account, you get up to 500 free items per statement cycle.
- You seek a low, waivable monthly fee checking account: Berkshire Bank’s Business Checking has a $9.95 monthly fee, which can be waived if you maintain a $1,000 daily balance. Sole proprietors and nonprofits can also open a Business NOW Checking account for a low $7 monthly fee, which can be waived with a $750 daily balance in your account.
- You run a nonprofit looking for no monthly fees: The Community Relations Checking account has no monthly fee and minimum balance requirement, allowing nonprofits to save more.
- You want more business financing options: Berkshire Bank offers plenty of loan products if you need more working capital or are planning to purchase equipment and real estate for your business.
When Berkshire Bank Is Not a Good Fit
- Your business is located outside Berkshire Bank’s service areas: While Berkshire Bank offers an excellent business checking product, its branches are limited to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and Rhode Island. You can consider Chase, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo for nationwide access.
- You perform wire transfers frequently: If your banking needs can be served by a digital-only fintech, you can opt for Relay, which has no incoming wire fees and low outgoing wire fees.
Berkshire Bank Business Checking Overview
Berkshire Bank Business Checking Requirements
You can visit a branch to open a business checking account—appointments can be scheduled online. Applicants must be a United States citizen or other US person. You’ll need to provide your name, address (personal or business), birthdate, Social Security number or tax identification number (TIN), and identification card.
Acceptable forms of identification include:
- US driver’s license
- State-issued identification card
- US passport
- US Armed Forces identification
- Firearms identification card
- Alien identification card
Legal-entity businesses, such as a corporation, limited liability company, general partnership, or other entity created by the filing of a public document with a secretary of state or similar office, are also required to provide identifying information, including the appropriate documentation.
Each individual who owns 20% or more of the business and one individual with significant responsibility for managing the business will be asked for identifying information as well, whether the individuals are bank clients or not.
If you’re opening an account on behalf of a business, you’re required to provide appropriate documentation and certify that the ownership information is accurate to the best of your knowledge.
Before opening an account, see our guide on how to open a business bank account, which includes a free downloadable checklist of required documents.
Berkshire Bank Business Checking Features
Berkshire Bank’s Business Checking account offers a free debit card, free Online Bill Pay, overdraft protection service, and online, telephone, and mobile banking.
Free Online Bill Pay
Business owners can save time by signing up for Berkshire Bank’s online bill pay service. You can schedule one-time and recurring repayments instead of writing checks for routine payments to suppliers and lenders. You also avoid late payment fees and missed payments.
Online, Telephone & Mobile Banking
Berkshire Bank offers telephone banking, allowing you to authorize anyone from your staff to call the bank’s number anytime you need to transfer money, pay your loans, verify if a check has cleared, or learn about your deposit and loan balances. You can also sign up for Berkshire Bank’s online banking service, Business Solutions, to view your account balances, move funds, access check images, and initiate wire transfers. Further, you can deposit a check using your mobile device.
Reviews for the Berkshire Bank app are great on App Store (4.7 out of 5) and average on Google Play (2.8 out of 5 stars). Users who left positive reviews found the app easy to navigate and convenient to use. However, others experienced difficulty logging in with the constant re-authentication issues, leading to lower ratings.
Express Overdraft Protection
You can apply for this service to get protection for up to $10,000 to meet unexpected expenses or low balances in your business checking account. You can save on overdraft fees and avoid returned check fees from your suppliers and vendors.
ACH Origination & Positive Pay
Business owners can save time and money through electronic transactions. You can pay vendors, lenders, and trade associations and collect payments from your customers while reducing the risks of placing paper checks in the mail. You also get a fraud prevention tool, Positive Pay, to protect you from forged and altered checks.
Electronic Data Interchange
With this service, companies are provided detailed information on electronic payments transferred to their business checking accounts. This is beneficial for businesses receiving many electronic payments as it fast-tracks payment processing and eliminates delays and expenses resulting from mailing and processing checks.
Business owners can skip bank trips with the special scanning system set up by Berkshire Bank. It allows you and your staff to deposit checks remotely 24/7 in your office. You lower the risk of carrying paper checks and boost your cash flow through faster check processing.
- Cash management services: Business solutions, automated clearing house (ACH) origination, Positive Pay, wire module, lockbox services, purchase card, remote deposit service, and electronic data interchange
- Merchant services: PC and terminal-based point-of-sale (POS) solutions, wireless payment processing, internet/e-commerce, debit or electronic benefits transfer (EBT), fleet cards, purchasing/ corporate cards, electronic check service, electronic gift cards, dynamic currency conversion, multicurrency processing, and reporting solutions
- Tax service: Electronic federal tax payment system
- International banking services: Foreign exchange and international trade finance
Other Banking Products
Berkshire Bank has a full range of products that are helpful for small businesses. This covers business savings, certificates of deposits (CDs), business credit cards, and loans:
- Business savings: Business owners can apply for a business savings account to earn interest on their deposits.
- CDs: For businesses with extra unutilized funds, you can open a business CD where the risks are low and the returns are fixed. You can choose to invest for as short as three months to as long as sixty months or more.
- Business credit cards: Berkshire Bank offers four business credit cards:
- Berkshire Bank Business Cash Preferred Card lets you earn up to 3% cash back on eligible net business purchases.
- Berkshire Bank Business Card allows you to save on interest with a low introductory rate.
- Berkshire Bank Smart Business Rewards Card provides 2x points per $1 of spending in your top two spend categories. There’s no cap on the points you earn per billing cycle but the points expire in five years.
- Berkshire Bank’s Business Real Rewards Card earns you 1.5 points every month for each $1 you spend on eligible net purchases. You can also redeem it as a cash deposit to a checking or savings account.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) lending: Small business owners can have faster approvals for funding with lower interest rates and longer repayment periods. If your revenues are less than $2 million annually, Berkshire offers the SBA Express Line of Credit for financing needs up to $50,000.
- Business loans: If your business qualifies under the $5 million revenue threshold, you can apply online easily for business loans of up to $250,000.
- Asset-based lending: The bank has two full-service asset-based lending offices catering to business owners who have business loan requests amounting from $2 million to $30 million and above. Tailored solutions are offered according to your company’s financing needs.
- Private banking: Berkshire Bank extends personalized attention and tailored solutions for financial planning. It provides free consultations, cash management services, low-cost financing, and wealth management solutions.
- Municipal accounts: This is open to municipal leaders who want to maximize their surplus funds as an additional revenue source for their community.
- Master escrow accounts: This is an interest-bearing escrow account with subaccounts for every individual client’s funds, ideal if you want to separate funds for multiple clients.
- Interest-bearing sweep account: This is for business owners who want to maximize their excess balances and earn interest on them. Each night, an automatic transfer is made from some of your operating funds into a special interest-bearing account.
- Zero balance accounts: This fits businesses with multiple bank accounts. It transfers excess balances into the main checking account automatically, where the funds can be maximized for efficient use.
Berkshire Bank Business Checking Pros & Cons
|Low monthly fee, waived for three business cycles (Business Checking)||Doesn’t offer free wires|
|Specialty business accounts||Debit card doesn’t earn cash backs|
|No monthly fee for nonprofits||No welcome bonus for new accounts|
Berkshire Bank offers an excellent business checking account with a low $9.95 monthly fee that’s waived for three business cycles. It also has specialty business accounts to fulfill specific needs, such as municipal accounts, master escrow accounts, interest-bearing sweep accounts, and zero balance accounts. Its Community Relations Checking has no monthly fee, allowing nonprofits to save and utilize their funds for their programs.
However, Berkshire Bank doesn’t provide free wire transfers, debit card cash back rewards, and a welcome bonus for new account holders.
Alternatives to Berkshire Bank Business Checking
If you prefer a bank with a wide service area, seek a high interest-bearing account, and want fee-free unlimited transactions, check out other banks. Here are three alternatives to consider:
- Chase is best for business owners looking for a bank with a nationwide service area. It has a solid branch presence in 48 states.
- Bluevine is best for business owners wanting to open a free checking account that earns up to 2.0% APY on qualified deposits.
- Capital One is best for business owners seeking fee-free unlimited transactions to save on deposit transaction fees.
You may find more options in our list of the best small business checking accounts.
Berkshire Bank Business Checking is a great choice for businesses wanting a high free transaction limit and a low waivable monthly fee account. If your business is near one of its branches, this is a suitable bank since it has a full range of bank products. You can access merchant services, apply for a business credit card, and choose from a variety of loan options for additional business financing.