This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
Union Bank was acquired by U.S. Bank in December 2022 and will move all business bank accounts to U.S. Bank by the end of May 2023. Please visit the U.S. Bank website for more information on the transition and timeline.
If you run a West Coast business and need a traditional banking provider with fee-free business checking products, Union Bank is a great option. Its basic checking account, Bank Freely Business Checking, charges no monthly fee and offers unlimited fee-free combined transactions. Applicants can open and maintain a Bank Freely Business Checking account with any amount greater than $0.
Union Bank also offers analyzed business checking for businesses with more complex cash management needs. Its other banking products include savings accounts, money market accounts, credit cards, lending products, and payroll services.
When Union Bank Is a Good Fit
- You want to bank without a monthly fee, minimum deposit, or balance requirements: Union Bank’s Bank Freely Business Checking account charges no monthly fee. You can open and maintain your account with any amount greater than $0.
- You deposit up to $10,000 in cash per month: With Bank Freely Business Checking, you can deposit up to $10,000 in cash per month without paying fees. Upgrading to Analyzed Business Checking increases the limit to $20,000.
- You want unlimited fee-free transactions: Bank Freely Business Checking offers unlimited fee-free combined transactions, which refers to all check items deposited, debits or paid items, and credits or deposits.
- You make ATM transactions frequently: Under Bank Freely Business Checking, there’s no fee for out-of-network ATM transactions. Although third-party operator fees still apply, Union Bank will rebate your first two surcharges assessed by non-Union Bank ATM owners or operators worldwide per statement period.
- You want to keep your savings and checking accounts under the same provider: Union Bank will let you waive the monthly fee for any business savings product of your choice if you link your account to your Bank Freely Business Checking account.
- You want to keep your personal and business accounts under the same provider: The Bank Freely Business Checking account comes with a linked Union Bank Ready To Go personal checking account with no monthly service fee.
- You want to benefit from additional offers to save more: With Bank Freely Business Checking, you get a $50 discount on your first business check order, a three-month waiver of the Online Financial Center wire monthly maintenance fee, and a $100 application fee rebate once your Merchant Services account is activated.
When Union Bank Is Not a Good Fit
- You don’t operate in Union Bank’s service area: Union Bank’s physical branches are located exclusively in California, Oregon, and Washington. If you need a provider with broader geographic coverage, consider Chase, which has 4,700 branches across 48 states. Check out our Chase Business Checking review to find out which product fits your business needs.
- You rely on wire transfers: Outgoing wire transfer fees vary by method of transfer but start at $15 for domestic transfers and $20 for international transfers in United States dollars (USD). Under the financial technology (fintech) solution Mercury, all wire transfers are free. Our review of Mercury Business Checking provides more details about its fee-free features.
- You want to earn interest on checking deposits: Neither of Union Bank’s business checking accounts earn interest. The industry leader in interest-earning checking is Bluevine, which pays qualified accounts 2.0% interest on balances up to $250,000. Learn more about how it could benefit your business through our Bluevine Business Checking review.
If your small business meets one or more of these scenarios, check out our roundup of the best small business checking accounts for additional recommendations.
How Union Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Monthly Transaction Limit Before Fees
Cash Deposit Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
Bank Freely Business Checking
First $10,000 fee-free per statement period, then $2.50 per $1,000
Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking
200, then 45 cents per item
$7,500 per statement cycle free, then 30 cents per $100
Business Complete Banking
20 paper transactions, then 40 cents per item
$5,000 per statement cycle free, then $2.50 per $1,000
Union Bank Business Checking Overview
Union Bank Business Checking Requirements
To open a business bank account with Union Bank, you would need to visit a branch or set a telephone appointment through its website. You’ll be asked to prepare the following:
- Business tax identification number (TIN) or equivalent
- The following identifying information from all owners, beneficial owners, applicable contracting officers, and authorized signers:
- Date of birth
- Physical personal address
- Social Security number
- Government-issued ID
You’ll also be asked to provide relevant business documents depending on location and business entity type. Click on your state to find out more.
Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership
Limited Partnership (LP)
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership
Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership
Before opening an account, check our guide on how to open a business bank account, which includes a free downloadable checklist of required documents.
Union Bank Business Checking Features
Free Debit & ATM Card
Bank Freely Business Checking comes with a free Debit Mastercard BusinessCard and Business Full Service ATM Card. The Debit Mastercard BusinessCard can be used at any location that accepts Mastercard and can be added to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay to make purchases at locations that accept these payment gateways. It’s protected from the risk of loss or theft through Mastercard’s Zero Liability Protection.
Both the Debit Mastercard BusinessCard and the Business Full Service ATM Card can be used for ATM transactions. Transactions are free at Union Bank and U.S. Bank ATMs, and although there’s no fee for nonnetwork usage, third-party operator fees may apply. For each statement period, Union Bank will rebate the first two surcharge fees assessed by non-Union Bank ATM owners or operators.
You can access Union Bank’s services online via desktop or mobile. Through digital banking, you can manage cards, pay bills, schedule recurring bill payments, review up to seven years’ worth of business statements and check images, and set up customized alerts for debit and ATM transactions, withdrawals, and balances.
The mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android, also allows mobile check deposits. However, reviews on App Store1 (2.6 out of 5) and Google Play2 (3.6 out of 5) skew mostly negative, with users often criticizing the app for slow loading times, frequent crashes, and poor mobile check deposit functionality.
You can add additional users to your online Union Bank account. If you‘re the main account administrator, you can customize how much of your account each additional user can access.
Business Overdraft Protection & Overdraft Coverage
Union Bank offers three ways to cover transactions against insufficient funds:
- Business deposit overdraft protection: If you link your Bank Freely Business Checking account to another business checking account, business savings account, or business money market account, Union Bank will use transfers from that linked deposit account to cover any transaction against insufficient funds. Typically, you have to pay $10 per overdraft transaction, but if the linked account is a business checking account, there’s no charge.
- Business line overdraft protection: Linking your Bank Freely Business Checking account to your business line of credit lets Union Bank use funds from your line of credit to cover transactions against insufficient funds. There’s a $10 daily advance fee.
- Business overdraft coverage: If you enroll in overdraft coverage, Union Bank may pay for all transactions against insufficient funds. However, you’re expected to pay the overdrawn amount back and will be charged an additional $33 overdraft fee. Note that enrollment isn’t guaranteed and authorization or payments remain at the bank’s discretion.
Learn about overdraft protection and how it works. Our article also discusses its pros and cons, the types of plans, and how to avoid business account overdrafts.
Fee-free Linked Accounts
If you have a Bank Freely Business Checking account, you can link one Business Savings account or Business Money Market account and one Ready to Go personal checking account to waive your monthly fees.
Other Union Bank Business Products
Union Bank offers two business savings products: a basic business savings account and a money market account. Both accounts charge monthly fees, which can be waived with a linked Bank Freely Business Checking account.
- Business savings account: Union Bank’s basic business savings account earns an undisclosed amount of interest on balances greater than $0. Interest is compounded daily and paid quarterly. It charges a waivable monthly fee of $5 if you choose online statements and $7 if you choose paper statements. The minimum required deposit to open an account is $100.
- Business money market: The Union Bank business money market account earns variable tiered interest that’s compounded and paid monthly. You can earn interest on any balance amount greater than $0, but there’s a minimum opening deposit requirement of $1,000. The waivable monthly fee costs $10 if you sign up for online statements and $12 if you sign up for paper statements.
The lending products Union Bank offers include term loans, lines of credit, commercial real estate loans, equipment leasing, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.
- Term loans: Union Bank offers secured and unsecured term loans for up to $1 million. Repayment terms last anywhere from 12 to 84 months.
- Lines of credit: Access up to $1 million worth of secured and unsecured lines of credit with interest-only monthly payments based on your balance.
- Commercial real estate (CRE) lending: The available owner-occupied real estate loans have terms of up to 20 years, with 25 years for amortization. These loans are subject to credit and collateral approval.
- Equipment leasing: Through a partnership with Marlin Leasing Corporation, Union Bank lets you lease equipment at low monthly payment rates. Rates are fixed, which protects you from rising interest rates.
- SBA loans: As a Preferred SBA Lender, Union Bank can give its customers access to better rates and terms for SBA 504 and SBA 7(a) loans. Learn more about SBA loan types, rates, and requirements.
The Business Diversity Lending Program, which is designed to help underserved communities grow their businesses, gives women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses easier access to traditional lines of credit and term loans. Through it, borrowers can access loan amounts of up to $2.5 million.
To qualify, your business must have been in operation for at least two years or more and be at least 51% owned, operated, controlled, or actively managed by a woman, minority, or veteran. Owners must also be US citizens.
- Cash management: Union Bank offers convenient cash management solutions to businesses, which include remote deposit, automated clearing house (ACH) collection, ACH payment origination, web wires and fraud prevention tools, Basic Positive Pay, Basic Reverse Positive Pay, and Electronic Payment Authorization (EPA).
- Merchant services: Union Bank offers merchant services to businesses, accepting payments over the phone or in person. It provides virtual terminals and ecommerce solutions to various industries, such as healthcare, restaurants, retail, and other specialized service-oriented businesses.
Through a partnership with Paychex, Union Bank offers payroll solutions and 401(k) plans that help you serve and retain your employees. These services help you automate payroll and customize the benefit packages your business offers. Union Bank’s 401(k) solutions also help you design plans that can suit both your business’s and employees’ needs.
Union Bank Business Checking User Reviews
There are no recent Union Bank business checking reviews on third-party sites, but on WalletHub1, the bank has a 3.5 out of 5 rating. There are few positive user reviews―among them is the smooth process of applying for and getting approved for a credit card.
Complaints about on-hold checks or inaccessible accounts for fraud investigation were mentioned by some users. They also stated that Union Bank has limited hours compared to other banks and that international online wire transfer fees are steep.
Union Bank stands out in today’s competitive banking landscape by offering what few traditional banks offer: a fee-free business checking account with unlimited fee-free transactions. However, according to recent reviews, the provider falls behind when it comes to seamless digital banking technology. Still, it’s a great fit for West Coast-based businesses in need of in-person banking access, with affordable transactions, cash deposits, and ATM fees.
User review resources: