Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking Review 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
As an organization that prioritizes business owners who have served the country, Navy Federal Credit Union limits membership to current and retired members of any branch of the armed forces and their eligible family and household members. You enjoy several unique business banking services—including three tiers of free interest-bearing checking accounts, unlimited, fee-free electronic transactions, and lower wire transfer costs. Outside of business checking, it offers additional business banking products, such as money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
What We Like
- Numerous branch locations nationwide
- Unlimited free electronic transactions
- Free interest-bearing checking accounts
- Membership limited to current and retired service personnel
- Low annual percentage yield (APY) on basic accounts
- Minimum balance of $250 for sole proprietorships and $255 for all other legal entities
- Free debit card with contactless technology
- Three tiers of business checking accounts
- Checking account balances bear interest
- Tiered APY rates for Business Premium Checking
- Free starter checks
- Unlimited free electronic transactions
How Navy Federal Credit Union Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Cash Deposit Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
$0 for tier one, $8 for tier two, and $20 for tier three; can be waived
0.010% to 0.045%
None at Navy Federal Credit Union and Co-op ATMs, $1 for nonnetwork & operator fees
$250 for sole proprietorships;
$255 for other legal entities
$0 or $15
0.05% or 0.10%
None at Affinity Plus, MoneyPass, Co-op, and SUM ATM networks
None at Bethpage and Co-op network ATMs
*Navy Federal Credit Union, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, and Bethpage Federal Credit Union are member-National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insured.
When Navy Federal Credit Union Is a Good Fit
Navy Federal offers three business checking products, each designed for different business sizes. The lowest tier, called the Navy Federal Business Checking account, requires no monthly fees but charges for nonelectronic transactions past a certain limit. The higher tiers, Navy Federal Business Plus Checking and Navy Federal Business Premium Checking, have higher transaction limits but also charge higher monthly fees.
Click through the tabs below to see who each business checking product is optimal for and why.
- Startups: The lowest-tier checking account charges no monthly fee, which can be convenient for businesses that are still finding their footing when it comes to monthly income.
- You make 30 or fewer transactions monthly: Navy Federal lets account holders make up to 30 free nonelectronic transactions per month. After exceeding the limit, account holders need to pay 25 cents per item. While the limit might be restrictive for larger businesses, it’s sufficient for businesses with lower transaction limits.
- Your business has multiple owners: Navy Federal’s middle tier allows account holders to have unlimited signers.
- You need around 50 free transactions per month: This has an increased limit of 50 free transactions. The fee for exceeding the limit remains at 25 cents per item.
When Navy Federal Credit Union Is Not a Good Fit
- Neither you nor any of your relatives have served in the United States Armed Forces or US Department of Defense (DoD): To qualify for membership at Navy Federal, account holders must be active, retired, or veteran members of any branch of the US Armed Forces, have worked for the DoD, or have close family or household members that have belonged to either of these institutions. A more accessible credit union would be Affinity Plus Credit Union as its only prerequisite for membership is a one-time donation to the Affinity Foundation.
- You want to earn competitive interest rates: Although Navy Federal offers free interest-bearing business checking accounts, the APY these accounts offer tend to be lower compared to their peers. Bluevine, which has an APY of 2.0% for qualified checking accounts, might be a better income-earning option.
- You want an account with a low opening deposit requirement: All three of Navy Federal’s business checking products require account holders to make an initial deposit worth at least $250. If you want to open a bank account but lack the funds to make opening deposits, consider Chase.
If your business meets one or more of these scenarios, see our guide to the best small business checking accounts for additional recommendations.
Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking Overview
Business Plus Checking
Business Premium Checking
Required Opening Deposit
$250 for sole proprietorships and $255 for other legal entities
$20; can be waived if average daily balance is above $5,000
Transaction Limit Before Fees
$0 for electronic and 25 cents for nonelectronic after 30
$0 for electronic and 25 cents for nonelectronic after 50
$0 for electronic and 25 cents for nonelectronic after 100
Wire Transfer Fees
$0 for incoming, $14 for outgoing domestic, $25 for outgoing international
None for Navy Federal and Co-op ATMs, $1 for non-Navy Federal and non-Co-op network ATMs plus operator fees
0.035% to 0.045%, depending on account balance
Open an Account
Business Plus Checking
Business Premium Checking
Free Navy Federal GO BIZ® debit card
Free starter checks, then pricing varies depending on style and quantity*
Business Payment Integration
Contact: (888) 842-6328 (phone support),
(877) 418-1462 (business solutions),
Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time
Other Products Available
Business savings, money market, certificates of deposit (CDs), credit card lending
Unlimited signers, tiered APY rates
Open an Account
*Contact Navy Federal Credit Union at (800) 503-2345 for complete products and pricing.
Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking Requirements
Opening a business checking account with Navy Federal requires applying for membership. To qualify for membership, you have to be one of the following:
- An active service member, a retired service member, or a veteran
- An immediate family member of a military service personnel (parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, spouses, and household members all qualify)
- An employee of the DoD, which includes DoD civilian employees, contractors and US government employees working in DoD stations, and DoD civilian retirees and annuitants
Read our guide on how to open a business checking account. It includes a downloadable checklist of required documents by business type.
Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking Features
Three Business Checking Accounts
Navy Federal’s business checking products are split into three tiers: Business Checking for small businesses, Business Plus Checking for growing businesses, and Business Premium Checking for large businesses. Its lower tiers cost the least to maintain, but its highest tier accommodates larger transaction quantities and rewards high earnings.
The main difference between the three tiers is the transaction limit before fees. As mentioned above, Business Checking, which is Navy Federal’s most basic business checking account, only provides 30 free nonelectronic transactions before charging a $0.25 fee per transaction. In comparison, Business Plus Checking provides 50 free nonelectronic transactions, while Business Premium Checking provides 100.
Unlimited Fee-free Electronic Transactions
Though nonelectronic transactions have different limits depending on the account type, Navy Federal account holders can make as many electronic transactions as they want without having to pay a fee.
GO BIZ Debit Card
All accounts opened under Navy Federal will receive the Navy Federal GO BIZ debit card, a free debit card that uses contactless, tap-to-pay technology. The card has a Zero Liability policy that assures consumer protection from fraud. Under the policy, Navy Federal promises to investigate fraud claims and issue provisional credit to help consumers get their money back. The GO BIZ debit card also comes with Visa® Travel Accident Insurance.
Other Navy Federal Credit Union Business Products
Business Credit Cards
The GO BIZ Rewards Credit Card lets businesses increase their purchasing power at no annual fee and currently has annual percentage rates (APRs) ranging from 12.15% to 18%. It, like the GO BIZ Debit Card, comes with a Zero Liability policy that protects account holders from fraud. The card is available in both Visa and Mastercard forms.
What sets the GO BIZ Credit Card apart from its debit card counterpart is its rewards program. Every $1 spent using it earns 1 reward point, which account holders can use to redeem rewards like gift cards, cash back, and airline tickets.
Money Market Savings Accounts
Navy Federal offers two money market accounts: the Money Market Savings Account and the Jumbo Money Market Savings Account. These accounts earn dividend interest on a daily basis and under no term restrictions. The rates are compounded and credited every month. The Money Market Savings Account requires a minimum balance of $2,500, whereas the Jumbo Money Market Savings Account offers higher APY rates when users meet the minimum balance of $100,000.
Businesses that require less flexibility with their savings access can benefit from using Navy Federal’s high-dividend business certificates of deposit. Term lengths can last as long as 7 years or as short as 3 months. The minimum purchase for a certificate of deposit at Navy Federal is $100, and outside of special offers and promotions, there’s no maximum purchase limit for certificates of deposit.
Aside from credit cards, Navy Federal Credit Union offers a number of different business loan products—such as options for commercial real estate, vehicles, equipment, and hauling. It also has lines of credit available for businesses that need help covering gaps in cash flow.
Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking Pros & Cons
|Full range of banking services||Restrictive eligibility requirements|
|Free interest-bearing accounts||Low APY for basic accounts|
|Unlimited free electronic transactions||High opening deposit requirement|
In our list of the best credit unions for small businesses, we name Navy Federal as our top choice for military members, families of service members, and department of defense personnel. The number of services, combined with the institution’s low fees, make Navy Federal a great choice for veteran business owners who want a full range of business banking services.
However, for people who haven’t worked with the armed forces or the DoD, Navy Federal isn’t an option at all. Additionally, account holders will struggle to earn interest on their deposits due to the credit union’s low APY. Its opening deposit requirement is also on the high side.
Navy Federal Credit Union User Reviews
|Quick, courteous, and knowledgeable staff||Long time to process loan application even if pre-approved|
|Low-interest loan rates||Rejected loan applications|
|Easy-to-navigate app||Policy on check holding period taking two days|
|Wide selection of products||Unclear directions on refinancing|
|Convenient online banking||Long waiting time when calling|
Navy Federal Credit Union has a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot. Users who left positive feedback praised its stellar customer service, great loan rates and cash back, product options, and convenient online banking. However, some said they were unsatisfied with the time it took to get approved for a loan, long wait times on the phone, and denied loan applications.
Alternatives To Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking
Navy Federal Credit Union’s main drawback is that it limits membership to former and current members of the US service personnel. Business owners who don’t fall under this category can seek alternatives with more flexible membership requirements. Many banks and credit unions also offer more competitive interest rates.
Here are three alternative options to consider:
- Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is best for business owners who are satisfied with banking online and want competitive APY rates. Though it has no branches outside of Minnesota, it has a highly-rated mobile app that reviewers laud for streamlining the online banking experience. To qualify for membership, business owners only need to make a one-time donation of $25 to the Affinity Plus Foundation.
- Bluevine is best for businesses seeking more competitive interest rates. This fintech solution offers an APY of 2.0% for qualified business checking accounts. To qualify for its most competitive rate, businesses need to either make purchases worth at least $500 using the Bluevine debit card or receive at least $2,500 worth of payments each month from automated clearing house (ACH) transfers, wire transfers, mobile check deposits, or their merchant processing provider.
- Chase is best for business owners looking for a financial institution other than credit unions. Established banks like Chase offer full-service business banking and have many physical branches.
If you’re unsure whether a credit union or bank is right for your business, read our comparison of a credit union vs bank.
Navy Federal understands that business banking isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation, which is why it designed three tiers of business checking accounts that minimize the financial load on smaller businesses and provide financial rewards for larger ones. Additionally, its wide range of physical branch locations makes in-person banking easy and accessible. Convenience and flexibility make Navy Federal a great banking choice for former and current members of the US service personnel and qualified family members.