This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
First Citizens Bank is a great traditional banking provider for small businesses and nonprofit organizations seeking low monthly fees. Its basic business account, Business Banking, charges no monthly fee and offers a monthly allowance of 100 fee-free transactions and $5,000 worth of cash deposits.
If your business has a higher transaction volume, First Citizens Bank offers three more scalable business checking accounts. It also has a fee-free interest-earning checking account for non-profits. Each account comes with a free debit card, waivable monthly fees, and online and mobile banking.
The bank operates more than 500 branches across 21 states. Most of its branches are in California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Unless you are an existing First Citizens Bank customer applying for Business Banking, you are required to visit a branch to open an account.
- Branches in 21 states (AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, KS, MD, MO, NM, NC, NE, NV, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI)
- Account opening must be done at a branch
- $100 opening deposit
- Free business debit card
- Online and mobile banking
- Pay bills, transfer funds and deposit checks using the mobile app
- Customize a banking plan with a choice of discounted Treasury Management services
- Integrates with Quicken and QuickBooks
- Analyzed checking, business savings, money market, certificates of deposit (CDs), lending, insurance
How First Citizens Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
*U.S. Bank is available in all states via online banking. However, it currently only has brick-and-mortar branches in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
When First Citizens Bank Is a Good Fit
- You want to bank without a monthly fee: The Business Banking account does not have a monthly fee as long as you enroll in paperless statements.
- Your business has a low transaction volume: With its Business Banking checking account, you get 100 free items and up to $5,000 in free cash deposits each month.
- You’re a nonprofit organization: First Citizens Bank allows small charitable organizations, small religious institutions, and short-term end-of-life estate accounts to open a Core Business Checking account—a free nonprofit checking account if you enroll in paperless statements. The account also earns variable interest based on its daily collected balance.
When First Citizens Bank Is Not a Good Fit
- You want a bank with wide geographic coverage: First Citizens Bank’s brick-and-mortar branches are located in 21 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Chase has 4,700 branch locations in 48 states, which makes it a great fit for businesses seeking wider branch access. Read our review of Chase business checking to learn about its three accounts.
- You want to earn interest on checking deposits: Only First Citizens Bank’s nonprofit account earns interest. The best interest-earning account is Bluevine business checking, which offers a competitive 2.0% annual percentage yield (APY) on qualifying balances worth $250,000 and less. Our review of Bluevine business checking will tell you how to qualify for the provider’s APY.
- You want access to affordable wire transfers: You need to pay a monthly fee of $15 to access First Citizens Bank’s wire transfer base module, plus a $15 fee per domestic wire origination—and fees for international wire transfers vary. Meanwhile, Mercury charges zero fees for wire transfers. Learn more about the provider through our Mercury business checking review.
You can see additional recommendations in our list of the leading small business checking accounts.
First Citizens Bank Business Checking Overview
First Citizens Bank Business Checking Requirements
Among First Citizens Bank’s business checking accounts, only Business Banking is available for online account opening. However, to open a Business Banking account online, you must meet both of the following requirements:
- You must be an existing First Citizens business customer with a Business Digital Banking login.
- Your organization must be a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.
If you do not meet these requirements or are opening a different type of account, you must visit a branch.
During the application process, you’ll need to provide the business’s federal employer identification number (EIN). If you are a sole proprietorship or a sole LLC member, you can provide your Social Security number instead.
Anyone with 25% or greater ownership or significant business responsibility will be asked for personal identifying information, including SSN or passport information for non-United States residents. Your business status must be listed as active, current, or in good standing on the website of the state entity where the corporation, LLC, or partnership is registered. LLCs, partnerships, and sole proprietors must also complete and sign First Citizens’ Declaration of Unincorporated Business document.
Here are additional business checking requirements according to business type:
- Two forms of identification, such as a driver’s license or Social Security number
- Certificate of assumed name, if using a trade or assumed name and if required by state law
- Partnership agreement for general partnerships
- Certificate of limited partnership for limited partnerships
- Articles of organization or government-issued business license
- Certified articles of incorporation, corporate charter or government-issued business license, corporate by-laws
- 501(c) letter from the IRS or tax-exempt documentation for nonprofits
- Corporate resolution certified by corporate secretary or other applicable officer and a signature card signed by account signers
Before opening an account, see our guide on how to open a business bank account, which includes a free downloadable checklist of required documents.
First Citizens Bank Business Checking Features
First Citizens Bank’s business checking accounts offer a free Visa® Business Debit Card, online and mobile banking, and a choice of discounted Treasury Management services (except for the basic Business Banking and nonprofit Core Business Checking account).
Free Visa® Debit Card
With your business checking account, you’re automatically provided a First Citizens Visa® Business Debit Card. It is a contactless card you can use to pay for purchases instead of issuing checks and is covered by 100% liability and fraud protection.
Online & Mobile Banking
First Citizens Digital Banking for Business lets you access banking activities through your computer or mobile device. However, you are required to visit a branch or call the bank to enroll in this service.
Digital banking lets you do the following:
- View accounts, transactions, and statements
- Set up email and text alerts
- Transfer money
- Pay bills, credit cards, and loans
- Manage cards
- Access ACH and wire transfer services
- Deposit checks remotely through mobile check deposit (mobile) or scanner (desktop)
- Designate account access levels for employee accounts
Reviews for First Citizens Bank’s mobile app are mostly positive. It has a rating of 4.5 on the App Store1 (based on more than 21,000 reviews) and 4.4 stars on Google Play2 (based on 14,000-plus reviews). Users found the Bill Pay system easy to navigate and said the app helped make depositing checks easier. However, negative reviews are from users who disliked that the app no longer works on older devices.
- Merchant services: Business owners can use traditional desktop terminals, small terminals, and point-of-sale (POS) devices for in-store card payments, while wireless terminals and virtual terminals are available for secure card processing when handling mobile and online payments.
- First Citizens Visa® Purchasing Card: Business owners expecting to spend $1 million annually can apply for this card. It can be used in-person and online for your business purchases. You’ll benefit from secure electronic payments, lower costs, controlled spending limits, and easy monitoring of your purchase activity.
- Fraud prevention: The bank provides business owners with fraud prevention services through:
- ACH positive pay: Helps block and return unauthorized electronic ACH transactions
- Check positive pay: Evaluates each check based on the electronic file record from your list of issued checks and reports irregularities.
- Reverse positive pay: Lets you review all paid checks from the previous day and decide whether to pay or return them.
- Remote deposit capture (RDC): You can deposit checks remotely with the bank’s desktop scanner. If you transmit and confirm images by 10 p.m. ET, these will already be posted and available for the next business day.
- Electronic data interchange (EDI) reporting: You can process payments faster and receive same-day emails containing detailed remittance information for all payments. This service reduces mistakes from manual input of data and guarantees on-time ACH payments and deposits.
Other Business Services
- Business liquidity management: Business credit line sweep, business investment sweep, and zero balance accounts
- ACH services: ACH payments and ACH receivables
Choice of Discounted Treasury Management Services
With a Business Banking I, II, and III checking account, you have the option of customizing a business checking package by adding a discounted treasury management service. The available treasury management products are RDC (free scanner), EDI reporting, ACH positive pay, check positive pay, and reverse positive pay.
Other Banking Products
An Analysis Business Checking account is ideal for companies with more complex banking needs. It offers businesses a monthly earnings credit to offset their monthly expenses.
First Citizens Bank offers two types of business savings accounts:
- Business savings: For a minimum of $100, you can earn 0.03% APY on your daily balance. The monthly fee is waived when you maintain a $300 daily ledger balance.
- Premium money market savings: For a minimum of $25,000, you can earn interest based on tiered rates as your balances increase. The $10 monthly fee is waived if you maintain a $25,000 average daily balance.
With a minimum deposit of $500, you can earn an interest of 0.10% to 0.25%, depending on if you choose a 12-, 24-, or 36-month CD term. A monthly fee does not apply for business CD accounts.
First Citizens Bank offers four Visa small business credit cards: the Business Rewards Visa, Business Rewards Visa with Accelerated Earnings, Cash Rewards Business Visa, and Business Visa. These provide rewards, accelerated earnings, cash rewards, and low-interest rates.
The following types of business lending products are available:
- Business loans
- Business lines of credit
- Small Business Administration (SBA) term loans
- Commercial loans
- Letters of credit
- Vehicle and equipment financing
- Tractor and trailer financing
- Vendor financing
- Preapproved credit lines
To protect your business and minimize risks, the bank provides auto insurance, bonds, liability insurance, life and disability insurance, property insurance, succession planning, umbrella insurance, and workers’ compensation.
Business owners can offer their employees insurance and retirement plans, including access to free financial education sessions through the Bank at Work program.
First Citizens Bank makes overseas transactions easy with its commercial letters of credit, foreign exchange (forex) services, documentary collections, international wire transfers, and standby letters of credit.
The bank offers financing and tailored banking products to different areas of expertise, such as property management, transportation and logistics, nonprofits, professional services, healthcare, agribusiness, manufacturing and distribution, and skilled trades.
First Citizens Bank Business Checking Reviews From Users
First Citizens Bank business checking reviews are mixed. The bank has a rating of 3.7 stars on ConsumerAffairs3 (based on more than 60 reviews), 2.0 stars on WalletHub4 (based on 260-plus reviews), and 2.5 stars on DepositAccounts5 (based on more than 270 reviews).
Business checking customers disliked that the transaction processing time for online bank transfers, merchant accounts, and direct deposits takes too long. Because of these processing delays, users with automatic payments set up end up incurring overdraft fees.
Although a handful of reviewers indicate that the bank’s staff is friendly and helpful, the majority complained of poor customer service, with many having said that they found it hard to reach representatives over the phone. A few customers complained that the staff they dealt with were rude and condescending.
First Citizens Bank caters to the different transaction needs of small business owners, offering Business Banking to those with low transaction volume with its 100 free items per month. As your business activity increases over time, you can open higher-tier accounts, which provide additional discounted Treasury Management services that protect your business from fraud and increase your operational efficiency. First Citizens Bank also has multiple banking products and business services, making it a great choice if your business is located near one of its branches.
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