Bank of America vs Citibank Business Checking

November 15, 2022 Business Banking
Bank of America vs Citibank Business Checking

Bank of America vs. Citibank Business Checking Accounts

Every business needs a business checking account. If you’re starting a business, it’s understandable that you’d look to major banks to open your business bank account. You might want to compare Bank of America vs. Citibank when deciding where to keep your company’s cash.

Both banks have pros and cons that we’ll break down here.

Bank of America vs. Citibank Business Checking Accounts Overview

Bank of America offers two different business checking accounts compared to Citibank’s four options:

Bank of America Citibank
Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking
Business Advantage Relationship Banking CitiBusiness Flexible Checking
N/A CitiBusiness Analyzed Checking
N/A CitiBusiness Interest Checking

Both banks have a basic option to appeal to smaller and new businesses. Bank of America’s is the Advantage Fundamentals Banking account while Citi’s is the Streamline Checking. They also have higher-end accounts for established businesses, the Advantage Relationship Checking and Flexible Checking respectively.

Bank of America vs. Citibank Business Checking Accounts Comparison

We’ll compare Bank of America vs. Citi Bank’s basic and advanced checking accounts before breaking down Citi’s two additional account options.

Bank of America vs. Citibank - Basic Accounts

Bank of America and Citibank both offer entry-level business checking accounts. They have relatively similar fees and features.

Bank of America Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking
Best for Businesses that want to avoid fees and that plan to use their debit cards on a somewhat regular basis Companies that deposit large amounts of cash
Minimum deposit $100 $1
Monthly fee $16 $15
Requirements to avoid monthly fee Maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 across your accounts, OR Spend at least $250 on your debit card Maintain a balance of $5,000
Other fees $7,500 in fee-free cash deposits per month, then $0.30 per $100 deposited, $10 for a business savings account, $15 for account management tools, 200 free teller transactions/checks written per month, then $0.45 per transaction $10,000 in fee-free cash deposits per month, then varying fees per location, 250 free transactions per month, then $0.45 per transaction
Other features Link business and personal bank accounts, Zelle for business, Cash flow monitoring, Digital debit cards, Interest rate and credit card rewards booster, Payroll services cash back Bill payment tools, Account alerts, Overdraft protection

The largest difference between the two is that Citibank allows customers to deposit up to $10,000 in cash before incurring fees compared to Bank of America’s $7,500 limit. Citibank also offers an additional 50 free transactions, making Citi the winner if you expect to make a lot of cash deposits or transactions each month.

On the other hand, Bank of America offers a few useful perks, such as payroll cash back services and Preferred Rewards integration with your personal bank account that can appeal to some business owners.

Bank of America vs. Citibank – Advanced Accounts

The Bank of America Business Advantage Relationship Banking and CitiBusiness Flexible Checking accounts are the banks’ higher-end accounts designed for more established companies.

Bank of America Business Advantage Relationship Banking CitiBusiness Flexible Checking
Best for Companies that need to make more transactions each month or that can benefit from Quickbooks integrations Companies looking for more services, but lower fees
Minimum deposit $100 $1
Monthly fee $29.95 $22
Requirements to avoid monthly fee Maintain an average balance of at least $15,000, OR Become a Preferred Rewards for Business member Maintain a balance of $10,000
Other fees $20,000 in cash deposits with no fee per month, then $0.30 per $100 deposited, $0 for a business savings account, $0 for account management tools, 500 free teller transactions/checks written per month, then $0.45 per transaction $20,000 in fee-free cash deposits per month, then varying fees per location, 500 free transactions per month, then $0.45 per transaction
Other features QuickBooks integrations, Customizable employee account access, One additional business checking and savings account at no fee, Link business and personal bank accounts, Zelle for business, Cash flow monitoring, Digital debit cards, Interest rate and credit card rewards booster, Payroll services cash back Bill payment tools, Account alerts, Overdraft protection

There’s less differentiation between the two banks at this level. Both offer the same number of transactions and amount of cash you can deposit before you incur a fee.

For Citi, the big draw is the monthly fee. You can avoid it with a balance of just $10,000 compared to the $15,000 required by Bank of America.

On the other hand, Bank of America offers more integrations and business tools, like payroll services and additional fee-free checking and savings accounts, so which you choose depends on your company’s needs.

Other Citibank Business Checking Accounts

Citibank offers two other checking accounts which don’t have a real match at Bank of America. The first is the Analyzed Checking Account.

CitiBank Analyzed Checking
Best for Businesses with high checking balances that can be used to offset fees
Minimum deposit $1
Monthly fee $24
Requirements to avoid monthly fee N/A
Other fees $0.17 - $1.40 per transaction
Other features Earn credits to offset fees based on your account balance, Bill payment tools, Account alerts, Overdraft protection

This account doesn’t come with fee-free transactions like Citi’s other business checking options. However, you’ll earn credits based on your account balance and can use those credits to offset fees. If you have a large balance and make lots of transactions a month, you might save with this account option.

The other CitiBank Business account is the Interest Checking account.

CitiBank Interest Checking
Best for Businesses with high checking balances that can be used to offset fees
Minimum deposit $1
Monthly fee $22
Requirements to avoid monthly fee Maintain a balance of $10,000 per month
Other fees $5,000 in fee-free cash deposits per month, then varying fees per location, 25 free transactions per month, then $0.45 per transaction
Other features Earn interest on your checking account balance, Bill payment tools, Account alerts, Overdraft protection

This option offers far lower transaction limits before you start to incur fees. However, you’ll earn interest on your checking account balance, making this account the ideal choice for businesses that have a low transaction volume.

Why Choose Bank of America Business Checking?

There are a few reasons that business owners should consider using Bank of America for their business checking needs.

You plan to use your business debit card

Bank of America lets business owners avoid their monthly bank account fees by spending just $250 on their company debit card each month. This is a relatively small amount for most businesses to spend, meaning you won’t have to worry about monthly fees at Bank of America.

You use QuickBooks

Bank of America offers easy integration between QuickBooks and its business checking accounts. If you’re already using QuickBooks for its accounting and bookkeeping services, that makes it easy to start using your Bank of America account while keeping track of your spending.

You already have a relationship with Bank of America

The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program gives business owners that have personal accounts at the bank a big incentive to use Bank of America for their business accounts as well.

With Preferred Rewards, you move to higher tiers of rewards based on your account balances. As you move up the ranks, you’ll unlock perks like increased credit card rewards and elevated interest rates on deposit accounts.

Depending on your existing relationship with Bank of America, that could be enough to sway your decision.

Why Choose Citibank Business Checking?

Citibank makes a good argument for business owners to choose its services.

You want to avoid transaction fees

For its basic level of service, Citi offers more fee-free transactions than Bank of America. If you expect to make a lot of transactions or deposit a lot of cash, Citi might be the better option.

You want to earn interest

Bank of America does not offer an interest-bearing checking account. That means that business owners looking to earn interest on their checking account balance will have to open an account at Citibank.

You have a lot of cash to deposit

Citibank offers two accounts that benefit business owners who plan to maintain a large cash balance. One pays interest and the other lets business owners offset their account fees with credits earned based on their account balances.

Bottom Line

Both Bank of America and Citibank are good choices for business owners looking to open a checking account. If you have a lot of cash or want to make lots of transactions, consider Citi. If you already have personal accounts with Bank of America, you may want to stick with that company.

Either way, before you choose, make sure to research all your options to make sure you choose the best bank for your business.

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Which is a better bank: Citi or Bank of America?

There’s no one answer to which bank is better. It all depends on your company’s needs.

For example, Bank of America offers many useful tools like QuickBooks integrations, but not interest checking. Citi, on the other hand, has interest checking and higher limits on transactions before you incur fees.

Is CitiBank a good checking account?

Yes, CitiBank offers good checking accounts that could appeal to companies, especially those that expect to make many transactions each month.

About The Author

TJ Porter avatar

TJ Porter

Freelance Personal Finance Writer

TJ Porter is a Boston-based freelance writer who specializes in bank accounts, credit, and credit cards. He’s written for Bankrate, Credit Karma, MoneyCrashers, DollarSprout and My Bank Tracker, among others. In his spare time, TJ enjoys cooking, soccer, reading, and video games. You can connect with him on his website, tjporterwriting.com.