Mechanics Bank is a decent option for California-based businesses needing basic business checking solutions. The bank offers four types of business checking accounts: one mid-sized interest-earning account and three non-interest-earning business checking accounts that scale as your business grows:
- Smart Business Checking has 150 free monthly transactions, $5,000 cash deposits, and a waivable $10 monthly service fee.
- Preferred Business Checking provides 300 fee-free transactions and up to $10,000 cash deposits. The $15 monthly service fee is waivable, if you meet a fixed maintaining balance or have a nonprofit organization.
- Prime Business Checking offers a free monthly transaction allowance of 500 and up to $20,000 in cash deposits. The monthly service fee of $30 is waivable, plus you get a $50 discount for first check orders. Incoming wire fees are also refunded.
- Business Interest Checking offers a transaction allowance of 300 and $10,000 in cash deposits, including interest earnings. The $20 monthly service fee is waivable.
The bank also offers specialized services for businesses in the international services, healthcare, wine/vineyards, and title and escrow industries.
- Available only in California
- $3,000 minimum balance requirement to waive the monthly fee for basic account, Smart Business Checking
- $2.50 fee for out-of-network ATM usage
- Business Visa Debit Card
- Online and mobile banking
- Monthly remote deposit capture (RDC) discounts
- $50 first check order discount for Prime Business Checking
- Savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (CDs)
- Lending products include Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, term loans, lines of credit, and owner-occupied real estate loans
How Mechanics Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
In terms of free monthly transaction allowance, Mechanics Bank sits comfortably between U.S. Bank and Umpqua Bank. Still, the high requirement of $3,000 to waive Smart Business Checking’s $10 monthly service fee can make cost-conscious small business owners reconsider opening a checking account.
In comparison, U.S. Bank does not charge any monthly service fees, whereas Umpqua Bank provides the option of paying a lower fee by enrolling in paperless statements or completely waiving the fee by maintaining only a minimum balance of $1,000.
Both Mechanics Bank and U.S. Bank require a $100 opening deposit, while Umpqua Bank does not collect any. When it comes to geographic access, U.S. Bank’s availability in all states through online banking makes it unbeatable.
When Mechanics Bank Is a Good Fit
- You use cash regularly: The fee-free cash deposit limit for Mechanics Bank’s lowest tier account is $5,000. Upgrading to its higher-tier accounts can raise your limit to $10,000 (Preferred Business Checking and Business Interest Checking) or $20,000 (Prime Business Checking).
- You often receive incoming wires: Under Mechanics Bank’s Prime Business Checking account, the incoming wire transfers are unlimited and free—the fees are credited back to your account after one business day. You save more since the bank’s standard incoming wires are $10 per transfer.
- You run a nonprofit organization: Mechanics Bank’s Preferred Business Checking account charges no monthly fee to customers holding nonprofit organization status.
- Your business falls under one of Mechanics Bank’s specialized industries: The provider offers tailored financial solutions for businesses in international services, healthcare, wine and vineyards, or title and escrow.
When To Consider Mechanics Bank Alternatives
- You operate outside California: As a community bank, Mechanics Bank has no branches outside California. We recommend Chase, which has 4,700 branches across 48 states for businesses in need of nationwide access to in-person banking services. Our Chase business checking review can help you determine whether the bank is a good fit.
- You cannot maintain a minimum balance of $3,000: Waiving the $10 monthly fee for Mechanics Bank’s lowest tier account requires a minimum balance of $3,000. UMe Credit Union offers similar services while letting you waive the monthly fee by simply signing up for e-statements. Read our review of UMe Credit Union business checking for more information.
- You want a fee-free interest-earning account: Mechanics Bank’s interest-earning business account charges a $20 monthly service fee, while Bluevine charges no monthly fee and pays 2.0% interest on balances up to $250,000, provided you meet the account’s activity requirements. Learn more through our Bluevine business checking review.
- You want to save on ATM fees: Mechanics Bank charges $2.50 when you transact outside MoneyPass and its own ATM network, on top of potential third-party operator surcharges. Under Novo, users can save more since it reimburses all ATM fees at month’s end. Read our review of Novo business checking to see if this account suits your needs.
If your small business meets one or more of these scenarios, check out our guide to the best small business checking accounts for additional recommendations. To view more alternatives in California, see our top-recommended banks for small businesses in California.
Mechanics Bank Business Checking Overview
Mechanics Bank Business Checking Requirements
To open a business checking account, set an in-person or phone appointment through the bank’s website. The bank will ask you to prepare the following documents:
- Valid photo ID for each authorized signer
- Tax ID, such as employer identification number (EIN) assigned letter from the IRS
- Fictitious business name statement (if applicable)
The Mechanics Bank business checking requirements include submitting additional documents depending on your business entity type. Click on yours for more information.
- Amendments to articles of incorporation, filed copy (if articles of incorporation have changed since last provided)
- Articles of organization (LLC1), filed copy (if applicable)
- Amendment (LLC2), filed copy (if applicable)
- LLC-12 statement of information, filed copy
- Certificate of limited partnership (LP-1), filed copy
- Partnership agreement copy
- IRS letter of determination, copy (if applicable)
- FTB letter of determination, copy (if applicable)
- Organization bylaws, authorizing meeting minutes, or articles of incorporation
- Third-party verification
- Nonprofit or charity documents authorizing the account and signatories (if applicable)
- Charter letter from the religious governing body authorizing account and signatories (for churches)
For a downloadable checklist of documents banks typically require, read our guide on how to open a business bank account.
Mechanics Bank Business Checking Features
Scalable Business Checking Accounts
- Smart Business Checking is ideal for businesses with low monthly transaction volume and cash handling activities. It provides 150 free monthly transactions, $5,000 cash deposits, and a waivable monthly service fee of $10.
- Preferred Business Checking suits businesses with moderate transaction and cash handling needs. It offers a monthly transaction allowance of up to 300 and $10,000 in free cash deposits. The $15 monthly service fee is waived through maintaining specific balances or holding a nonprofit organization status.
- Prime Business Checking is designed for businesses with moderate to high cash and item processing needs seeking to maximize some cash management tools. Fee-free monthly transaction limits are up to 500, while cash deposits are up to $20,000. The $30 monthly service fee is waivable. Clients also get a $50 discount for their first check order. Further, incoming wire fees are unlimited and reimbursed.
- Business Interest Checking fits businesses with moderate transactions and cash deposit volume looking for interest earnings. It has the same transaction and cash deposit allowance with Preferred Business Checking. However, its monthly service fee is slightly higher at $20, which is also waivable.
Business Visa Debit Card
As a Mechanics Bank business account holder, you may request a Business Visa Debit Card. The card can be used to withdraw and deposit cash at surcharge-free MoneyPass ATMs or make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted.
There is a $2.50 fee for using your debit card at non-MoneyPass ATMs. Third-party operator fees may also apply.
Business Online Banking
Business Online Banking at Mechanics Bank comes in three tiers. Basic Online Banking provides the following features:
- Up to 10 accounts ($1 per account after the limit)
- Bill pay
- Info and electronic data interchange (EDI) reporting
- Loan reporting
- Account transfer
- Mobile banking
Upgrading to the Intermediate Plan for $30 per month raises your fee-free additional account limit to 25. It also gives you access to online prefund automated clearing house (ACH) origination. Meanwhile, upgrading to the Advanced Plan for $75 per month provides unlimited accounts and gives you access to online prefund and credit-based ACH origination, wire origination, and remote deposit capture.
Business Mobile Banking
Enrolling in Business Online Banking gives you access to the Mechanics Bank mobile app, you can:
- Deposit checks remotely
- View balances and transactions
- Transfer funds
- Pay bills
- Locate branches and ATMs
The Mechanics Bank business mobile banking app has no ratings or reviews available on Google Play, but it has a 2.5 out of 5 rating on the App Store from around 10 reviews. One user stated the app provided a quick way to view account activities, while others commented that the app is super dated. They also mentioned experiencing login issues often, even when using facial recognition.
Other Mechanics Bank Business Products
Mechanics Bank business products include analyzed checking accounts, business savings, money market accounts, CDs, SBA loans, term loans, lines of credit, and treasury management services.
Businesses with greater treasury management needs can open an analyzed checking account, which provides access to ACH, fraud management tools, lockbox services, and sweep services. An earnings credit can offset some fees and service charges on qualified accounts.
- Business Savings
- Business Money Market
- Business Investment Money Market
Savings accounts and money market accounts come with their own free Mechanics Bank Visa Debit Card. You can link your savings or money market accounts to your primary checking account for overdraft protection.
Through CDs, businesses that have excess funds and no immediate use for them can earn higher interest rates under fixed-term periods. Rates and terms can vary, so you need to contact your local branch.
- Term loans with low, fixed, or variable rates
- Lines of credit with local credit approval
- Owner-occupied real estate Financing with competitive rates and amortization terms at 10,15 or 25 years.
- SBA loans
- SBA 7(a) loans up to $5 million with 10 years of repayment terms for working capital and 25 years for commercial real estate are available. See our guide on SBA 7(a) loans to learn about the rates and requirements.
- SBA 504 loans offer a 90% loan-to-value (LTV) with loans up to $15 million and repayment terms of 25 years. Our article on SBA 504 loans includes details on how these loans work.
- SBA Express loans provide up to $350,000 at fixed or variable rates and loan terms of 10 years for equipment and 25 years for real estate. You may want to check our guide on SBA Express loans to learn about the application process.
For businesses whose financing needs are more complex, Mechanics Bank also offers commercial lending products, such as multi-family lending, commercial real estate lending, equipment financing, trade services, and letters of credit.
- Wire transfers
- Controlled disbursement
- Purchasing cards
- Business bill pay
- Remote deposit
- Positive pay (ACH and check)
- ACH filter and debit block
- Account reconciliation
- Merchant services
- Workplace benefit plans
- International services
- Title and escrow
- Wine and vineyards
- Loan payoff demand
Mechanics Bank Business Checking Reviews From Users
Mechanics Bank business checking reviews on third-party sites are limited. On WalletHub, it has a 2.5 out of 5 rating. Most of the positive feedback mentioned the ease of payment through the online app. Several reviewers also praised the reasonable loan interest rates and terms of the bank. They were also satisfied with the quick turnaround when applying for Mechanics Bank financing.
However, some clients left negative reviews and said that the bank’s customer service team didn’t return calls or reply to emails and messages. They even stated that the on-hold waiting times when calling were almost an hour long. Others also complained about the bank’s lack of transparency with its savings and CD rates on its website.
Mechanics Bank’s business checking accounts offer high free monthly transactions, ranging from 150 to 500, and cash deposit allowances from $5,000 to $20,000. However, waiving the monthly service fees requires meeting steep average balances.
Account holders with several eligible Mechanics Bank deposit or loan accounts can combine their account balances, which is beneficial. Sole proprietors, especially, can include the balances from their personal checking and loan accounts to qualify for monthly service fee waivers.