WestAmerica Bank Business Checking Review 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
For businesses based in Northern and Central California counties, WestAmerica Bank is a good choice. Its business checking accounts offer either no or low monthly service fees that are waivable.
Its five business checking accounts are:
- Select Checking: For sole proprietors with low transactions who want no monthly service charges
- Regular Checking: For businesses and government entities with simple account needs and making around 100 transactions per month
- Interest Checking: For sole proprietors, nonprofits, and government entities that want an interest-bearing account
- Account Analysis: For businesses with high balances and more cash management needs
- Business Star: For businesses with multiple accounts and looking to earn credits to offset fees and benefit from additional rewards
WestAmerica Bank is a regional community bank with more than 80 branches and two trust offices in California, specifically situated in 20 counties.
What We Like
- No monthly fee for Select Checking
- Low and waivable monthly fees
- Five business checking account options
- Customer service available seven days a week
- Branches limited to California
- Low free transaction limits
- $200 minimum opening deposit
- Free business debit card
- Online and mobile banking
- Bill Pay (optional)
- Robust business services, includes merchant services, payroll services, and overdraft services
- Wide range of bank products—business savings, business credit cards, business certificates of deposit (CDs), and business lending
How WestAmerica Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Monthly Transaction Limit
Minimum Opening Deposit
10 deposits, 25 checks
Silver Business Checking
125, then 50 cents per item
Business Inspire Checking
50, then 45 cents per transaction
When WestAmerica Bank Is a Good Fit
- Your business has a low number of transactions: With WestAmerica Bank’s Select Checking, you get 10 free deposits and 25 free check transactions per statement cycle. Exceeding that, you’re charged $1.50 per deposit and 40 cents per check.
- Your business has a moderate number of transactions: WestAmerica Bank’s Regular Checking and Interest Checking accounts provide 100 fee-free transactions per statement cycle. These include checks and in-branch withdrawals, deposits and credits, deposited items, and automated clearing house (ACH) debits and credits.
- You want to enjoy more perks: For businesses with several checking and savings accounts, WestAmerica Bank’s Business Star account offers more benefits, such as an introductory credit for the first order of checks, up to three free cashier’s checks per month, and a free personal size deposit box or discounted larger box.
- You have higher balances and more complex cash management needs: WestAmerica Bank offers an Account Analysis account where fees can be offset by earnings credit, allowing you to save more. In addition, the bank provides cash management services, merchant services, tax services, payroll services, and overdraft services, leading to a more efficient business operation.
When WestAmerica Bank Is Not a Good Fit
- Your business is located outside WestAmerica Bank’s service area: WestAmerica Bank has around 80 branches in the Northern and Central California counties. You may opt for Chase with its wider geographic footprint, which covers 48 states. Check out our Chase Business Checking Accounts review to learn which of the three accounts fits your business needs.
- You want to earn a high APY without maintaining any balances: While WestAmerica Bank offers an Interest Checking account, it requires maintaining a $3,000 daily balance or $6,000 average daily balance (ADB) in your account to waive the monthly fee. Bluevine is a great alternative since it provides a free business checking account with a high 2.0% APY for qualifying balances up to $250,000. Our review of Bluevine Business Checking can help you decide if it fits the bill.
- You’re looking for higher free transaction limits: WestAmerica Bank’s free transaction limits are lower compared to other banks. You can consider Umpqua Bank, which offers 200 to 500 fee-free transactions for its business checking accounts. Read our Umpqua Bank Business Checking review to find which of the accounts can satisfy your business needs.
- You want to open a business checking account online: Opening an account with WestAmerica Bank requires a branch visit. If your business needs are satisfied by an online bank, you can sign up for a checking account at First Internet Bank. It offers a complete range of banking products, including business savings, money market, and CDs with competitive rates. Find out if it fits your needs through our review of First Internet Bank Business Checking.
Check out more providers in our list of the best small business checking accounts.
WestAmerica Bank Business Checking Overview
Sole proprietors with low activity and limited check writing needs
Businesses and government entities with simple account needs
Sole proprietors, nonprofit organizations, and government entities
Businesses with multiple cash management needs
Businesses with four checking and savings accounts linked; provides earnings credit and rewards
Required Opening Deposit
Required Minimum Balance
$3,000 daily balance or $6,000 ADB to waive fee
$3,000 daily balance or $6,000 ADB to waive fee
Fees may be offset by an earnings credit based on account balances
$8,000 ADB in an eligible checking or $25,000 in up to 5 combined eligible checking and savings accounts
Transaction Limit Before Fees
10 deposits and 25 checks per statement cycle
100 transactions* per statement cycle
20 cents per check and debit paid, 15 cents per check deposited, $1.40 per deposit ticket
Cost Per Excess Transaction
$1.50 per deposit and 40 cents per check
20 cents per transaction
Fees based on account activity
Activity charges can be offset by credits
$19; fees may be offset by an earnings credit based on balances
Required Business Debit Card/ATM Card Transactions
Minimum of 5 per statement cycle, otherwise, $4 is charged**
Domestic Wire Transfer Fees
International Wire Transfer Fees
None for WestAmerica Bank ATMs, $2 per inquiry and $2.50 per withdrawal at non-WestAmerica Bank ATMs
Cash Deposit Fees
Not specified on the website
$1.30 per $1,000
Varies; available to eligible entities
*Transactions include checks and in-branch withdrawals, deposits and credits, deposited items, and ACH debits and credits
**A qualified Business ATM/Debit Card or ATM Card transaction is a signature or PIN-based purchase transaction and doesn’t include withdrawals or deposits. Business Debit Cards require an approved application
Price varies and delivery charges may apply,
Introductory credit for the first order of checks
Accounting Software Integrations
Quicken and QuickBooks
Business Payment Integrations
Hotline: (800) 848-1088
5 a.m. to midnight Pacific time, 7 days a week
Star Connect Plus online banking, no monthly fee for point-of-sale (POS) purchases
Star Connect Plus online banking
Star Connect Plus online banking, up to 3 free cashier’s checks per month, free personal size deposit box/ discounted larger box
Business savings, business credit cards, CDs, attorney client trust account, and business lending
WestAmerica Bank Business Checking Requirements
There’s no option for online account opening at WestAmerica Bank. You need to visit one of its branches to open a business checking account.
Before opening an account, see our guide on how to open a business bank account, which includes a free downloadable checklist of required documents.
WestAmerica Bank Business Checking Features
WestAmerica Bank offers five business checking accounts and access to online and mobile banking.
Five Business Checking Account Options
Business owners can pick between basic checking, regular checking, checking with interest, and analyzed checking accounts:
- Select Checking: Sole proprietors with a small number of transactions and limited check writing needs can open a Select Checking account. The required opening deposit is $200, and there’s no monthly maintenance fee. Ten fee-free deposits and twenty-five checks are provided each statement cycle, but beyond that, $1.50 is charged per deposit while a 40-cent fee is imposed per check. This account also requires making a minimum of five business debit card or ATM card transactions per statement cycle, otherwise a $4 charge is imposed.
- Regular Checking: Ideal for businesses and government entities with simple account needs, the Regular Checking account requires a minimum $200 opening deposit and a $3,000 daily balance or $6,000 ADB to waive the $12 monthly fee. Each statement cycle, 100 fee-free transactions are given, but after exceeding this limit, a 20-cent fee is charged per transaction.
- Interest Checking: For sole proprietors, nonprofits, and government entities looking to earn interest, the Interest Checking account is a suitable option. It provides the same fee-free transactions and balance requirements as Regular Checking to waive its $13 monthly fee. Beyond the fee-free transaction limit, a 20-cent fee is charged per transaction. The interest is variable and credited to your account every month.
- Account Analysis: Businesses with multiple cash management needs can open an Account Analysis account where fees, including the $19 monthly fee, can be offset by an earnings credit the higher the balances go. Transactions are charged per item, specifically 20 cents per check and debit, 15 cents per check deposited, $1.40 per deposit ticket, and $1.30 per $1,000 cash deposit.
- Business Star: Suited for businesses with several checking and savings accounts linked to their primary account, Business Star offers several benefits. It provides an introductory credit for the first check order, three free cashier’s checks per month, and a free personal-sized deposit box or discounted larger-sized deposit box. The $19 monthly fee can be waived by maintaining an $8,000 ADB in an eligible checking or $25,000 in up to five combined eligible checking and savings accounts.
Waived Monthly Fee
WestAmerica Bank offers its customers Select Checking, a starter account with no monthly maintenance fee. However, it requires meeting five business debit card or ATM card transactions per statement cycle to waive the $4 charge.
Online and Mobile Banking
WestAmerica Bank offers two online banking platforms, StarConnect Plus and Onsite Banker Plus.
StarConnect Plus is a free basic online banking platform for businesses with simple banking needs. It helps you take charge of your business finances by allowing you to:
- Manage accounts: You can view balances, perform fund transfers, enroll in e-Statements, request stop payments, order new checks and cleared check copies, and send a secure email to a customer service representative.
- Track spending and reconcile accounts: You can check your transaction history, create reports, and download transactions directly to QuickBooks or Quicken for automatic account reconciliation.
- Pay bills: You may enroll in an optional bill pay service to save on postage stamps. Bill Pay costs $9.95 each month for up to 20 payments, with every additional payment costing 40 cents.
StarConnect Plus also offers Purchase Rewards, where purchases using your ATM/Debit card can be converted to cashback. At the end of the following month, the cashback is deposited into your account.
To register for StarConnect Plus, you need to complete a form, which will include your business information and accounts. Once the agreement is signed, submit the form to your branch.
Onsite Banker Plus is a solution for businesses with a higher number of transactions and more complex cash management needs. It is customizable to fit your business needs and offers:
- Account reconciliation and cash flow reports
- Balance and transaction viewing
- Fund transfers, wire transfers, and ACH origination with enhanced security using StarID security tokens
- Stop payments, Positive Pay, and e-statements
- File importing to your accounting system
WestAmerica Bank also offers a StarConnect Plus mobile banking app, available for download on the AppStore and Google Play. The app allows you to conduct fund transfers, bill payments, and check deposits. You can also monitor transactions and set up activity alerts to notify when large funds are withdrawn, funds are running low, and weekly balances are updated.
Reviews are good on both App Store (4.7 stars out of 5) and Google Play (4.5 out of 5). Users gave positive feedback on its convenient check deposit functionality and ease of use. On the flip side, others stated that they find the app slow compared to other banking apps.
Other WestAmerica Bank Business Products
WestAmerica Bank offers a pooled trust account established under the State Bar of California’s Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program. The minimum opening deposit is $200, and there’s no monthly service fee. This account draws interest paid to the State Bar of California’s Legal Services Trust Fund Program (LSTFP).
WestAmerica Bank has a regular savings account and a money market savings account:
- Regular Savings: A traditional savings account, Regular Savings is suited to all businesses. The minimum opening deposit is $100, and you can waive the $5 monthly service fee by maintaining an average daily balance of $500. Only three free transfers/withdrawals are allowed each month. Beyond that, $5 is charged. It earns interest on all collected balances, which is paid every quarter.
- Money Market Savings: A minimum $1,000 deposit is required to open a Money Market Savings. It has tiered interest rates, which increase the higher your balances go. The $10 monthly service fee can be waived by maintaining a daily balance of $2,500. This account has six fee-free transfers/withdrawals. If you exceed this limit, a $15 fee is imposed.
WestAmerica Bank offers Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (
FDIC)-insured business CDs with terms ranging from seven days to five years.
WestAmerica Bank provides four business credit cards suitable for different needs:
- Business Cash Preferred Card: It provides up to 3% cash back on eligible net business purchases.
- Business Card: It offers an extended low introductory rate allowing you to save on interest.
- Smart Business Rewards Card: You can earn twice the rewards in your top two spend categories each month with this card.
- Business Real Rewards Card: You can generate 1.5 points every month for every $1 spent on eligible net purchases, equating to 1.5% cash back.
WestAmerica Bank offers several loans, such as operating lines of credit (revolving and nonrevolving and secured and unsecured), accounts receivable (A/R) financing, property improvement and equipment loans, letters of credit, real estate loans, term loans, and professional loans and credit lines.
WestAmerica Bank has cash management services, lockbox, Positive Pay and ACH Positive Pay, merchant services, tax services with RemitOne, payroll services through Paychex, and overdraft services.
WestAmerica Bank Business Checking User Reviews
WestAmerica Bank has a 2.7 out of 5 rating on WalletHub1. Its recent reviews show low to average ratings, where clients claimed that the bank charges outrageous fees and that the customer service staff needs training. No reviews focus on its business checking products.
WestAmerica Bank is an excellent option if your business is based in the Northern and Central California counties. It charges low waivable fees and provides Select Checking―a starter account with no monthly service fee. However, the transaction limits of its business checking accounts tend to be low compared to other regional and community banks. Furthermore, it doesn’t give out fee-free transactions for its higher-tier accounts though it offers some services for free or at a discount if you open a Business Star account.
User Review Resource: