If your business is located in California and you’re seeking scalable business checking accounts that can meet your needs as your operation grows, F&M Bank is an excellent option. It offers three business checking accounts: Free Business Checking, Ultimate Business Checking, and Business Analyzed Checking. It also provides online and mobile banking, bill pay, treasury management solutions, and a full range of business loans, including a wide array of agricultural loans.
F&M Bank—a locally owned community bank with 29 full-service branches—operates in the Central Valley of California, from Sacramento to Merced, with several branches in Lodi, where it’s headquartered. It has also expanded to the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically in Walnut Creek, Concord, Napa, and Oakland.
How F&M Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Cash Deposit Fee
Monthly Transaction Limit Before Fees
Minimum Opening Deposit
Free Business Checking
$10,000 free per statement cycle (applies to deposits and withdrawals)
Community Business Checking
$10,000 free per month, then 20 cents per $100
200, then 35 cents per check
Silver Business Checking
$2,500 free per statement cycle, then 30 cents per $100
125, then 50 cents per item
When F&M Bank Is a Good Fit
- Your business needs a free account and has low to moderate monthly transactions: F&M Bank’s basic tier account, Free Business Checking, has no monthly fees and no required minimum balance, making it suitable for businesses with low to moderate transaction volumes. It also provides 500 fee-free transactions and a high free cash deposit limit.
- Your business is cash reliant: Most banks offer a low free cash deposit limit for their basic tier accounts. With Free Business Checking, you get fee-free cash deposits and withdrawals up to $10,000. You can capitalize on this if you often transact in cash.
- Your business has high balances and needs additional treasury management services: For larger businesses, F&M Bank’s Business Account Analysis Checking option provides an earnings credit to pay off or reduce your banking fees. The bank also has a full array of treasury management services, from fraud detection tools and payment solutions to funds management services.
- You’re looking for a bank with a wide range of products: Aside from its business checking products, F&M Bank offers business savings, a business money market account, business CDs, business loans, and a business credit card.
- You seek financing for your agribusiness: F&M Bank serves agricultural business owners by extending agricultural loans, agricultural real estate loans, livestock loans, farm equipment loans & leasing, operating lines of credit, and vineyard and orchard development loans.
When F&M Bank Is Not a Good Fit
- Your business is based outside of F&M Bank’s service area: For businesses located outside California, you can consider Chase since it has a solid branch presence in 48 states. Read our Chase Business Checking Accounts review to learn more and decide which of the three business checking accounts suits your needs.
- You’re looking to earn interest: F&M Bank doesn’t offer an interest-drawing business checking account. If your business needs can be satisfied by online banking, you can opt for Bluevine, which offers 2.00% APY for qualifying balances up to $250,000. Check out our review of Bluevine Business Checking for more detailed information.
- You want to save on transaction fees: Though F&M Bank has a high transaction limit, it still charges for other items. You’re required to pay 50 cents for each mobile check deposit—and you would need to qualify for this service. A good alternative would be Capital One, where you get unlimited fee-free digital transactions. Discover more features by reading our Capital One Business Checking review.
If you want additional recommendations, see our list of the best small business checking accounts.
F&M Bank Business Checking Overview
F&M Bank Business Checking Requirements
To apply for an F&M Bank business checking account, you need to visit one of its branches.
Before opening an account, you may want to refer to our guide on how to open a business bank account. It includes a free downloadable checklist of required documents per business type.
F&M Bank Business Checking Features
F&M Bank offers three business checking products, a Visa business debit card, high fee-free transaction limits and cash deposits, and online and mobile banking access.
Three Business Checking Accounts
F&M Bank offers two regular checking accounts and one analyzed checking account:
- Free Business Checking: Ideal for businesses with low to moderate transactions, Free Business Checking provides 500 fee-free items per month. It has no monthly fee and offers up to $10,000 in free cash deposits and withdrawal transactions. If you exceed the set limits, your account may be shifted into the two higher-tier business accounts.
- Ultimate Business Checking: F&M Bank’s midtier business checking account, Ultimate Business Checking, provides a higher fee-free transaction limit of 750. Its monthly fee is $10, which can be waived by maintaining a $5,000 average daily balance. It also provides a substantial fee-free $20,000 cash processing per statement cycle then charges $1.30 per $1,000 as a cash handling fee. If your account goes beyond the limits, it may be changed to Business Account Analysis Checking.
- Business Account Analysis Checking: This is suited for businesses with greater transaction volumes and larger balances. They can save more through an earnings credit which offsets or reduces the $18 monthly service charge. Business Account Analysis Checking also offers unlimited transactions at low per-item fees.
High Free Transaction Limits
For its basic tier, Free Business Checking, F&M Bank provides 500 fee-free transactions in combined items. This goes up to 750 for its mid-tier Ultimate Business Checking account. There are also no charges per check.
High Fee-free Cash Deposits & Withdrawals
In contrast to other banks, F&M Bank issues higher fee-free cash processing transactions. It offers up to $10,000 for Free Business Checking and $20,000 for Ultimate Business Checking.
Visa Business Debit Card
With an F&M Bank business checking account, you get a Visa business debit card that’s widely accepted worldwide and online. You can monitor your expenses easily through your statement, receive transaction alerts in real-time, spend securely and conveniently, issue employee cards, and set spending limits per card of your employees, plus take advantage of Visa’s extra layer of protection for free.
At present, the standard daily limit is $510 for ATM withdrawals (inclusive of non-network ATM surcharges) and $2,500 for point-of-sale purchases.
Business Online Banking & Bill Pay
F&M Bank’s business clients can use online banking to view e-Statements and account balances, place stop payments, transfer funds between accounts, pay loans, and download transactions to QuickBooks and other software.
Under bill pay, business customers can pay their one-time and recurring bills easily by scheduling advance payments and setting up payment reminders. It costs $9.95 monthly, and 50 cents is charged per payment beyond 20 transactions. Users have to enroll in Business Online Banking to use bill pay.
Business customers can track balances, review account history, perform fund transfers, receive alerts, and pay bills using a mobile device. They can also do mobile check deposits after signing up for Online Banking, enrolling in Easy Mobile Banking, and downloading the EZ Smartphone App (available on iOS and Android devices).
Note that eligibility requirements exist to perform mobile check deposits. There are limits to the type, amount, and volume of checks that can be deposited. A 50-cent fee per deposit made may also apply for Free Business Checking and Ultimate Business Checking accounts.
Reviews for F&M Bank’s mobile banking app are good on the App Store (4.5 out of 5) and Google Play (4.3 out of 5). Users said that they appreciate the app’s convenience and ease of use. However, others mentioned that they experienced login issues and disliked resetting their passwords frequently.
Other F&M Bank Business Products
F&M Bank has two savings options:
- The Business Savings account is available to corporations, partnerships, government agencies, and other business organizations and public entities. It requires a $500 opening deposit and offers a variable interest on your entire balance. You can waive the $5 monthly fee by maintaining a $500 daily balance in your account.
- The Regular Savings account is open to sole proprietorships and non-profit organizations. You need $100 for an opening deposit. This account earns a variable interest on your entire balance, and you can skip the $3 monthly fee by ensuring that your daily balance is $300 or more.
Corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships can open a business money market account. A $2,500 opening deposit is required. The interest rate is tiered so the higher your balances, the higher your interest rates go.
You can avoid the $10 monthly fee in one of the following scenarios:
- Maintaining a $2,500 daily balance.
- Maintaining a $10,000 average daily balance at the end of your statement cycle.
- Maintaining a $15,000 combined average daily balance at the end of your statement cycle with your linked savings, checking, or time deposit account.
Your excess funds can earn higher fixed rates than the standard savings account. The rates are higher for longer-term Business CDs. F&M Bank offers 1-month to 5-year CD terms and requires a $1,000 opening deposit. Withdrawing it early can subject you to a penalty.
A Simply Rewards credit card lets you earn reward points as you spend. You can redeem the points for account credits, gift cards, travel, and more. You earn 3x points when you use the card at grocery stores, discount stores, gas stations, restaurants, and fast food and 1x points for other purchases.
F&M Bank offers commercial real estate loans, business term loans, equipment loans, commercial equipment leasing, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, commercial loans, and agricultural financing.
F&M Bank Business Checking User Reviews
F&M Bank has a 3.0 out of 5 rating on WalletHub1 with 25 reviews, but there’s only one comment. The customer stated that customer service representatives don’t return calls, and while the tellers are pleasant, they have no authority to resolve issues quickly, such as failed deposits, disconnected online banking, and forgotten card activation. There are no reviews focused on the bank’s business checking accounts.
F&M Bank’s business checking accounts are great options if your business is located near one of its branches. If you have a low business volume and want to save on monthly fees, you can open a Free Business Checking account and then upgrade to an Ultimate Business Checking account once your transaction limits go beyond the 500 fee-free items.
However, if you have larger balances and a higher business volume, its Business Account Analysis Checking would be more suitable to reduce or waive your banking fees. If you’re seeking to earn interest on your business checking accounts, you can look for alternatives, like those we’ve indicated above.
User review resource