This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
First Citizens Bank is an outstanding traditional bank for small businesses and nonprofit organizations with a low transaction volume and seeking no monthly fees. It has 500-plus branches in 19 states and provides five business checking account options: Business Banking, Business Banking I, Business Banking II, Business Banking III, and Core Business Checking (for nonprofits). They come with a free debit card, waivable monthly fees, online and mobile banking, and a choice of discounted Treasury Management services, except for the Business Banking and Core Business Checking accounts.
How First Citizens Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Cash Deposit Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
Up to $5,000 free per month then $0.20/$100
Free at First Citizens ATMs, $2.50/transaction at non-First Citizens Bank ATMs
Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking
Up to $7,500/month free, then $0.30/$100 /statement cycle
$2.50/transaction at non-Bank of America ATMs, plus ATM operator fees
Business Complete Banking
Up to $5,000 monthly free, then $2.50/$1,000/statement cycle
$2.50/transaction at any non-Chase ATM, plus ATM operator fees
When First Citizens Bank Is a Good Fit
- 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 non-profit organization looking for an interest-bearing account with no monthly fees: This 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.
- You frequently deposit large cash deposit amounts: Its basic Business Banking checking account provides up to $5,000 in free cash deposits and up to $20,000 for its Business Banking III checking account.
- You want to take advantage of Treasury Management services: The bank offers a choice of discounted Treasury Management services to Business Banking I, II, and III checking account holders.
- You want a free basic business checking account: Business Banking checking doesn’t have a monthly fee as long as you enroll in paperless statements.
When First Citizens Bank Is Not a Good Fit
- Your business needs in-person banking but is based outside the bank’s service area: First Citizens Bank’s brick-and-mortar branches are located in 19 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. You can consider Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America for wider branch access.
- You want a traditional bank with low, easy-to-waive monthly fees: First Citizens Bank’s Business Banking I, II, and III require $25,000, $50,000, and $75,000 average daily balances, respectively, to waive its monthly fees. If this is a deal-breaker for you, then check out TD Bank and BMO Harris, traditional banks that offer low minimum balances to avoid paying the monthly fees.
- You prefer the convenience of a digital bank offering a free checking account: With First Citizens Bank, you need to go to a local branch to open a business checking account. You can opt for fully-digital banks issuing a fee-free account, such as Grasshopper, Bluevine, and Mercury, if your needs can be satisfied by digital-only banks.
First Citizens Bank Business Checking Overview
First Citizens Bank Business Checking Requirements
You can visit a First Citizens Bank branch to open a business checking account. You’ll need to provide the business’s federal employer identification number (EIN). For a sole proprietorship business or sole limited liability company (LLC) member, a Social Security number is accepted.
Note that anyone with 25% or greater ownership or significant responsibility will be asked for personal identifying information, including Social Security number 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 the Declaration of Unincorporated Business.
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)(3) 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 provided a First Citizens Visa® Business Debit Card automatically. It’s 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
You can view account transactions, transfer money, and pay your bills easily from any device with First Citizens Digital Banking for Business. To enroll, visit a local branch or call the bank—take note that an active First Citizens business account is required.
The basic Business Banking checking account is a great match for small businesses, with its 100 free items per month and up to $5,000 free cash deposits. It’s ideal for those who prefer not to pay any monthly fee since this is a free account when you enroll in paperless statements.
Business Banking I
For growing businesses with higher checking activity, Business Banking I is an excellent checking option. It offers free 250 items per month and fee-free monthly cash deposits up to $10,000. As long as you’re able to meet the $25,000 minimum daily balance, you’re exempt from paying the $25 monthly fee.
This account also allows you to add one discounted Treasury Management product to your banking package, such as Remote Deposit Capture, EDI Reporting, or any fraud protection tools (ACH Positive Pay, Check Positive Pay, or Reverse Positive Pay).
Business Banking II
It provides as many as 500 free items per month and up to $15,000 in free cash deposits, making it ideal for established businesses. You can waive the $50 monthly fee if your account reaches the $50,000 minimum daily balance. Similar to Business Banking I, you’re given a choice to add a Treasury Management product at a discount, limited to two services.
Business Banking III
For even higher banking needs, the Business Banking III checking account can handle your growing business activity. You get up to 750 free items each month and up to $20,000 fee-free monthly cash deposits. Keeping a $75,000 minimum daily balance in your account lets you avoid paying the hefty $75 monthly fee. In addition, you can access three Treasury Management products at a discounted rate.
Core Business Checking
Small community organizations, religious institutions, and short-term end-of-life estate accounts can open a free nonprofit checking account—provided they enroll in paperless statements. This account offers 100 free monthly transactions and up to $2,500 free cash deposits each month. The Core Business Checking can earn interest that’s compounded daily and paid out each month.
- 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: Allows you to review all paid checks from the previous day and decide whether to pay or return them.
- Remote Deposit Capture: You can deposit checks remotely with the bank’s desktop scanner. If you transmit and confirm images by 10 p.m. Eastern time, 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, 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 Remote Deposit Capture (free scanner), EDI Reporting, ACH Positive Pay, Check Positive Pay, and Reverse Positive Pay.
Other Business Checking Product
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.
Other Banking Products
- 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.
- Business certificate of deposit (CD): 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.
- Credit cards: 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.
- Business financing: The bank extends short and long-term small business solutions through business loans, business lines of credit, Small Business Administration (SBA) term loans, commercial letters of credit, and standby letters of credit.
- Equipment finance & leasing: Business owners can obtain equipment and vehicle financing for their business through vehicle & equipment financing, tractor & trailer financing, vendor financing, and preapproved credit lines.
- Insurance: 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 Employee Benefits: Business owners can offer their employees insurance and retirement plans, including access to free financial education sessions through the Bank at Work program.
- International Banking Services: First Citizens Bank makes overseas transactions easy with its commercial letters of credit, foreign exchange services, documentary collections, international wire transfers, and standby letters of credit.
- Customized Banking Solutions: 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 Pros & Cons
|Core Business Checking, its non-profit account, earns variable interest||High average daily balances to meet monthly fee waivers|
|Wide array of banking products and services available to small business owners||High monthly fees for Business Banking II and III checking accounts|
|Free financial education seminars as an additional employee benefit||No welcome bonus for new business checking accounts|
First Citizens Bank has great business checking accounts, especially for nonprofits that don’t have to pay a monthly fee (when enrolled in paperless statements) while earning variable interest based on the daily collected balance of the account. Small business owners have access to a wide variety of banking products, services, and financing solutions as an account holder, making it easy to expand their businesses. In addition, you can provide your employees with free financial education seminars through First Citizens’ Bank at Work program.
However, you need to maintain high average daily balances to qualify for no-monthly fees in its higher-tier business checking accounts (Business Banking I to III). The monthly fees are rather high at $25, $50, and $75, taking a large chunk from your business funds if you pay it over the long term. On top of that, First Citizens Bank doesn’t offer a reward for opening a new business checking account, unlike other banks.
Alternatives to First Citizens Bank Business Checking
First Citizens Bank offers excellent business checking products, but if you’re looking for a wider branch service area coverage, free unlimited transactions, and a high-interest yield account, you can check out what other banks provide.
Here are three options to consider:
- Chase is best for business owners wanting in-person banking access nationwide with its branch presence in 48 states.
- Capital One is best for businesses looking for free unlimited transactions since it doesn’t charge fees for deposits, withdrawals, and transfers.
- Bluevine is best for businesses seeking a high interest-bearing checking account. It provides a 2.0% APY for qualifying deposits.
Check out more providers in our list of the best small business checking accounts.
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.