Wells Fargo vs Chase Business Checking: Which is Better?

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The Credit Review
September 9, 2022
Wells Fargo vs Chase Business Checking: Which is Better?

Wells Fargo vs Chase Business Checking: Which is Better?

Wells Fargo and Chase are two large, well-known banks. If you’re a business owner, it’s understandable that you’d compare Wells Fargo vs. Chase’s business accounts.

Both banks operate nationwide and have a large network of ATMs and branches. They also offer many business services beyond banking. You’ll want to consider the pros and cons of each bank’s accounts as well as the other services they provide.

Wells Fargo vs. Chase Business Checking Accounts Overview

Before you start comparing Wells Fargo vs. Chase business banking, you should take some time to learn a bit about their histories.

Wells Fargo is the newer company, having started in 1852 in Des Moines, Iowa. It later merged with multiple other banks to become the multinational financial services firm it is today. It has nearly $2 trillion in assets under management and operates 5,200 branches across the globe.

Chase traces its roots to 1799 when it was founded in New York City. The bank has roughly doubled Wells Fargo’s assets at more than $4 trillion under its management. That makes Chase one of the largest banks in the world.

Despite their massive size, both Wells Fargo and Chase offer financial services to even small businesses. If you’re comparing Wells Fargo vs. Chase business checking accounts, each offers a few options.

Wells Fargo

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  • Initiate Business Checking
  • Navigate Business Checking
  • Optimize Business Checking

Chase

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  • Complete Business Checking
  • Performance Business Checking
  • Platinum Business Checking

The Initiate Business Checking and Complete Business Checking accounts are designed for smaller companies that are just starting out or that are trying to grow. They offer lower fees and minimums but may not have all the tools the higher-end accounts offer.

The Navigate Business Checking and Performance Business Checking accounts are designed for medium-sized businesses, having higher minimums but more powerful features.

The Optimize Business Checking and Platinum Business Checking accounts charge hefty fees and require large balances but come with top-tier customer service and the banks’ most powerful money management tools.

Wells Fargo vs. Chase Business Checking Accounts Comparison

To accurately compare Chase vs Wells Fargo business banking services, you’ll want to look at the accounts that each bank targets at similar businesses.

Wells Fargo vs. Chase - Basic Accounts

The first accounts to compare are the Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking and Chase Complete Business Checking accounts. Both are aimed at smaller or newer companies.

Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking

  • Best for: Companies that want to avoid bank fees.
  • Minimum deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $10
  • Requirements to avoid monthly fee:
    • $500 minimum daily balance, OR
    • $1,000 average ledger balance
  • Other fees:
    • $5,000 in fee-free cash deposits per month, then $0.30 per $100 deposited 100 free transactions per month, then $0.50 per transaction
  • Other features:
    • Card-free ATM access
    • Mobile transfers and payments
    • Small business phone service
    • Customized business checks

Chase Complete Business Checking

  • Best for: Companies looking for an easy way to accept credit and debit card payments.
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Monthly fee: $15
  • Requirements to avoid monthly fee:
    • Maintain a minimum balance of $2,000, OR
    • Make $2,000 in Chase Ink credit card purchases, OR
    • Receive $2,000 in Chase Payment Solutions deposits, OR
    • Link a Chase Private Checking account, OR
    • Provide proof of military status
  • Other fees:
    • $5,000 in fee-free cash deposits per month
    • 20 free teller/checks written per month
  • Other features:
    • Accept card payments with Chase QuickAccept
    • Online bill payment
    • Cash flow monitoring

Both Chase and Wells Fargo offer solid account options for small businesses, so it’s hard to declare a clear winner.

For people who want to avoid fees, Wells Fargo is likely the stronger choice. While Chase offers many ways to avoid its monthly fee, Wells Fargo’s $500 minimum balance requirement is much lower than Chase’s $2,000 requirement. Wells Fargo also allows five times as many fee-free transactions per month.

Where Chase excels is through its QuickAccept tool, which makes it easy for businesses to accept card payments. If your business wants to accept credit card payments from customers, Chase might be the better choice, especially because those payments will help you avoid the monthly fee.

Wells Fargo vs. Chase – Mid-Tier Accounts

Wells Fargo and Chase both have accounts targeting mid-sized businesses.

Wells Fargo Navigate Business Checking

  • Best for: Most businesses, including those who want to avoid monthly fees.
  • Minimum deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $25
  • Requirements to avoid monthly fee:
    • $10,000 minimum daily balance, OR
    • $15,000 in average combined business account balances
  • Other fees:
    • $20,000 in cash deposits with no fee per month, then $0.30 per $100 deposited
    • 250 fee-free transactions per month, then $0.50 each
    • No fees for stop payments, cashier’s checks, money orders, incoming wire transfers, and two outgoing domestic wire transfers
  • Other features:
    • Two fee-free non-Wells Fargo ATM withdrawals per month
    • Pays interest
    • Card-free ATM access
    • Mobile transfers and payments
    • Small business phone service
    • Customized business checks

Chase Performance Business Checking

  • Best for: Business customers who already have a relationship with Chase, such as through a credit card.
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Monthly fee: $30
  • Requirements to avoid monthly fee:
    • Maintain a daily balance of at least $35,000
  • Other fees:
    • $20,000 in cash deposits with no fee per month
    • 250 fee-free transactions per month
  • Other features:
    • Check monitoring
    • Interest checking available
    • Accept card payments with Chase QuickAccept
    • Online bill payment
    • Cash flow monitoring

Both accounts make their target audience clear with their much higher minimum balance requirements and fees. You’ll need to have at least $10,000 to spare if you want to avoid fees.

Overall, Wells Fargo’s account seems like the stronger choice thanks to its much lower minimum balance to avoid the fee. You can get the same number of fee-free transactions with just a $10,000 minimum balance compared to Chase’s $35,000. Wells Fargo also offers some nice perks like ATM fee reimbursement.

As a larger business, Chase Quick Accept’s ability to let you accept card payments from your phone is less exciting as you’ll likely have a point-of-sale system to handle those transactions or be willing to pay the fee to get one from Wells Fargo.

However, if you already have personal accounts or credit cards from Chase, you may consider keeping all of your money in one place for the sake of convenience.

Wells Fargo vs. Chase – High-End Accounts

If you own a large business that needs to deal with a large volume of transactions and have a close customer service relationship with your bank, Wells Fargo and Chase both offer specialized accounts for very large companies.

Wells Fargo Optimize Business Checking

  • Best for: Very large businesses that need advanced account management and multiple checking accounts
  • Minimum deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $75
  • Requirements to avoid monthly fee:
    • None. Apply your earnings allowance to reduce monthly and other eligible fees.
    • Earnings allowance is like interest, based on the earnings credit rate and investable balance of your account
  • Other fees:
    • $0.30 per $100 deposited
    • 250 fee-free transactions per month
    • No fees for stop payments, cashier’s checks, money orders, incoming wire transfers, and five outgoing domestic wire transfers
  • Other features:
    • Up to five linked business checking accounts
    • No fee for linked Business Platinum Savings
    • Treasury Management services, including digital payments remote deposit capture and fraud protection
    • Account management through Wells Fargo’s CEO and CEO Mobile tools

Chase Platinum Business Checking

  • Best for: Very large businesses that can benefit from the highest-quality customer service and business owners with an established Chase relationship
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Monthly fee: $95
  • Requirements to avoid monthly fee:
    • Maintain an average daily balance of at least $100,000 across your Chase business accounts, OR
    • Link your Chase Private Checking account and maintain an average daily balance of $50,000
  • Other fees:
    • $25,000 in cash deposits with no fee per month
    • 500 fee-free transactions per month
  • Other features:
    • Concierge service
    • Cash management services
    • Cash vault
    • Check monitoring
    • Interest checking available
    • Accept card payments with Chase QuickAccept
    • Online bill payment
    • Cash flow monitoring

Both Wells Fargo and Chase’s top-end business accounts charge hefty fees, $75 and $95 respectively. However, only Chase offers a clear way to avoid that fee – carrying a $100,000 balance. Wells Fargo lets you offset its monthly fee, and other fees, based on the ongoing earnings credit rate and your account balance.

What that means is you’ll want to carry a large balance with either account, especially because Wells Fargo stops offering free cash deposits at this tier of account.

Overall, both accounts are relatively similar. If you already have a banking relationship with either institution, you can use that to guide your decision.

Why Choose Wells Fargo Business Checking?

You should consider Wells Fargo business checking for a few reasons.

You want easy access to a branch

Though online and mobile banking have become much more common in recent years, sometimes you need to be able to walk into a bank and speak to a human to get the help that you need.

Both Wells Fargo and Chase have a large network of ATMs and branches across the US, but Wells Fargo wins the competition with 5,200 branches to Chase’s 4,800.

You want to avoid monthly fees

Wells Fargo makes it much easier to avoid fees than Chase does. The minimum balance requirement to avoid monthly fees is notably lower for Wells Fargo accounts. The bank’s accounts also tend to allow for more free transactions before charging fees than Chase does.

Why Choose Chase Business Checking?

There are a few reasons to consider working with Chase for your business checking account.

You already have a relationship with Chase

If you already have a banking relationship with Chase, such as through a personal checking account or personal or business credit cards, you might consider opening a Chase business checking account. The bank offers some perks for business owners who have a variety of accounts with Chase.

You’re a small business looking for an easy to accept card payments

Chase offers QuickAccept, a tool for easily accepting card payments to small businesses. If you’re just starting out, being able to accept credit or debit card payments on your phone can be a huge benefit. However, larger companies likely already have a dedicated point-of-sale system to deal with this, making it a benefit mostly applicable to smaller companies.

You want top-tier customer service

Chase offers concierge-level service to its largest business banking customers, so if you’re looking for strong customer service, Chase may be the way to go.

Bottom Line

When it comes to comparing Wells Fargo vs. Chase business checking accounts, the bottom line is that both banks offer strong account options. The one that’s best for your company will depend on factors such as whether you need to accept card payments, how much cash you can keep in the account, and how badly you want to avoid fees.

Before opening any type of bank account, take the time to consider your options and compare each account’s pros and cons. You’ll be using your business checking account for a long time, so make sure to choose the right account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before opening a business checking account, you need to make sure you know the pros and cons of both Wells Fargo and Chase.

Which is better: Wells Fargo or Chase?

There isn’t a clear-cut answer to whether Wells Fargo or Chase offers better business checking accounts. Each has strengths and weaknesses.

For example, Wells Fargo makes it easier for companies to avoid monthly fees. On the other hand, Chase makes it easy for newer, smaller companies to accept debit and credit card payments.

Which is more trustworthy, Wells Fargo or Chase?

Rating the trustworthiness of large companies can be hard, but Chase has the edge here. Chase has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau while Wells Fargo has an F rating. This is likely due to a recent scandal Wells Fargo was involved in.

In 2018, the company was found to have opened millions of fraudulent accounts on customers’ behalf without their consent. This ultimately led to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fining the company $185 million and Wells Fargo facing civil and criminal lawsuits totaling roughly $2.7 billion.