With a low, waivable monthly fee of $9.95 for a fee-free monthly transaction allowance of 500 items, the Berkshire Bank Business Checking account is a good fit for small businesses with moderate to high transaction volume. The account comes with a free debit card, online and mobile banking, access to merchant services, and free Online Bill Pay. Other products the provider offers include savings accounts, credit cards, and lending products.
- Limited branch locations (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
- No annual percentage yield (APY)
- Costly wires
- Free debit card
- Online, telephone, and mobile banking
- Send money, transfer funds, and deposit checks through the mobile app
- Access to merchant services
- Fraud prevention service
- Overdraft protection
How Berkshire Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
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.
- You want more business financing options: Berkshire Bank offers plenty of loan products if you need more working capital or plan to purchase equipment and real estate for your business.
When To Use a Berkshire Bank Alternative
- Your business is located outside Berkshire Bank’s service areas: Berkshire operates exclusively in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. If you need a bank with wider geographic coverage, consider Chase, which operates in all mainland states. Our Chase business checking review can help determine which account best suits you.
- You want to extend your Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insurance: Like most United States banks, Berkshire Bank provides FDIC insurance of up to $250,000 on its deposit accounts. If you need to protect larger balances, consider the online-only banking solution Mercury, which provides FDIC insurance of up to $5 million through sweep networks and money market funds. See our Mercury business checking review for more details.
- You want to earn competitive interest: The Berkshire Bank Business Checking does not earn interest. If you want high APY on checking deposits, consider Bluevine, which earns 2.50% APY on qualifying balances of $250,000 or less. Read our Bluevine business checking review to learn more.
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. To apply, you must be a US citizen, a legal permanent US resident, or a foreign national subject to the IRS Substantial Presence Test. You will 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
Additional Berkshire Bank business checking requirements depend on your business entity type. Legal-entity businesses, such as corporations, limited liability companies, general partnerships, or other entities 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. Furthermore, you can deposit a check using your mobile device.
The app received mixed reviews. It has a rating of 3.8 on the App Store (based on nearly 250 reviews) and 2.6 on Google Play (based on more than 50 reviews). While most users found the app intuitive and cleanly designed, many complained that it failed to update balances in a timely manner. Customers also criticized the lack of functionality for banking notifications.
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.
Automated Clearing House (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, ACH origination, Positive Pay, wire module, lockbox services, purchase card, remote deposit service, and electronic data interchange
- Merchant services: PC and terminal-based 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 Berkshire Bank Business Banking Products
Berkshire Bank has a full range of products advantageous for small businesses. This covers other business checking accounts, business savings, CDs, business credit cards, and loans.
If you do not currently own a Berkshire Bank deposit account, you can open a Berkshire Bank Business Checking Baker Hill Landing account. It has a minimum opening deposit requirement of $2,500 and a minimum balance requirement of $1,000 over a 90-day period.
The account offers a $500 incentive if you establish an Elavon Merchant relationship and are a new client of Elevon. It also offers lower rates on lines of credit and term 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 60 months or more.
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 5 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.
Berkshire Bank offers the following lending services:
- Asset-based lending
- Business loans
- Commercial real estate (CRE) lending
- 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. 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 automatically into the main checking account, where the funds can be maximized for efficient use.
Berkshire Bank Business Checking Reviews From Users
The majority of Berkshire Bank business checking reviews are negative. On WalletHub, the bank has 1.6 stars (based on more than 60 reviews). Common user comments include the following:
- Hidden fees: According to reviewers, the Berkshire Bank website failed to disclose all existing banking fees.
- Poor online banking experience: Clients found the bank’s online platforms non-user-friendly.
- Middling customer service: While several customers praised Berkshire Bank for providing helpful in-person bank support, many claimed that representatives were difficult to reach via other channels, such as phone and email.
Berkshire Bank Business Checking is a great choice for businesses that want a high free transaction limit and a low waivable monthly fee account. If your business is located 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.