Small Business Bank Review 2019: A Free Online Bank with a Great Reputation
Small Business Bank has free checking and high-interest savings for businesses. But is it the best bank for you?
Small Business Bank is just what it sounds like: a bank exclusively for small businesses. But there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of this online-only bank until just a few minutes ago. And while a free checking account sounds great, is Small Business Bank actually your best business banking option?
That’s what we want to help you figure out. While we like Small Business Bank, we know it’s not for everyone. (But we hope it’s for you!)
In this review, we’ll give you all the information you need to decide whether or not you should do your banking at Small Business Bank—and we’ll direct you to some good alternative banks too.
Small Business Bank is best for businesses that want the best of online banking.
Small Business Bank (SBB) topped our ranking of the best banks for small business, earning the title of “best overall” for small-business banking. So what makes it so good?
Well, for starters, SBB has free business checking accounts. That’s right—you won’t pay a monthly service fee. In fact, there’s a good chance you won’t pay any fees at all. Sounds good, right?
But Small Business Bank doesn’t just save you money; it can make you money too. SBB has some of the best rates we’ve seen on business savings accounts. Its money market accounts have a maximum APY of—wait for it—over 2%.
(We’ll get into more detail about these accounts in just a minute.)
|Feature||Small Business Bank|
|Phone, online message|
Plus, Small Business Bank has all the benefits of online business banking—particularly when it comes to availability. While traditional banks have limited availability in many states, businesses from all 50 states can do their banking with Small Business Bank.
And unlike most online banks, Small Business Bank accepts cash deposits. (More on this in a minute too.) In most cases, we steer cash-heavy businesses away from online banking (to one of our other favorite small-business checking accounts, perhaps). But with Small Business Bank, we don’t necessarily have to.
Put simply, Small Business Bank is a versatile bank. Between its affordability and availability, it can work well for many businesses. So let’s dig deeper into its bank accounts options to find out if it will work well for yours.
Small Business Bank checking and savings accounts
You won’t feel overwhelmed with options at Small Business Bank—it has just one checking account and two types of savings accounts.
Small Business Bank’s checking account made our list of the best free business checking accounts because it’s, well, free. For the most part, anyway.
SBB doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee, and it doesn’t charge transaction fees or deposit fees either. (And who doesn’t want free transactions?)
|Min. opening deposit||$5|
|Monthly fee waivable?||N/A|
|Cash deposits fee||N/A|
|Open an account||Apply Now|
That doesn’t mean Small Business Bank is 100% fee-free, though. You may still get charged fees like these:
- Wire transfer fee
- Stop payment fee
- Insufficient funds/overdraft fee
- Mailed statement fee
- Return on deposited items fee
- Dormant account fee
(For a truly fee-free bank, you can always see if Azlo Bank meets your needs.)
But for routine bank account use, a Small Business Bank checking account is pretty much free. So if you need an affordable account to deposit money, make payments, and withdraw funds, Small Business Bank might be perfect for you.
SBB offers good APY on its savings accounts, but what if you’d rather earn interest on your business checking account? In that case, we recommend an interest-bearing checking account at Axos Bank.
And what if you’d rather start saving your money? Cool—Small Business Bank has a couple options for you.
|Feature||High Yield Savings||Money Market Savings|
|Min. opening deposit||$100||$10,000|
|Monthly maintenance fee||$10||$10|
|Monthly fee waivable?||✔||✔|
|Open an account||Apply Now||Apply Now|
First up is SBB’s High Yield Savings accounts. Unlike its checking account, this savings account does come with a monthly fee. But you can waive that fee by maintaining a $100 daily balance. Either way, you’ll get competitive APY on your account balance.
If you really want to max out your APY, you can go with the Money Market Savings account instead. This business savings account requires a much higher opening deposit, and you’ll need a $10,000 daily balance to waive that monthly service fee. But in return, you’ll get some of the highest APY we’ve seen on a business bank account.
Both accounts let you make up to six transactions per month. If that’s going to be a problem, you should probably stick with SBB’s checking account.
(And no, Small Business Bank doesn’t offer any certificates of deposit. But with high rates on its other accounts, we don’t think you’ll miss that option anyway.)
An online bank that accepts cash deposits
Small Business Bank offers some big advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar banks, like its super low (or nonexistent) account fees and its high APYs. But it also has one big advantage over most online banks: the ability to accept cash deposits.
Most online banks for small business—including Azlo, TIAA Bank, and Axos Bank—make it difficult or impossible to deposit cash. Not a big deal if you’re a freelancer getting paid by direct deposit, but a much bigger deal if you run a food truck or a retail store. Azlo, for example, straight up will not accept cash deposits; TIAA Bank and Axos Bank strongly discourage them but can accept cash by mail.
Small Business Bank has a more elegant solution: ATMs. Simply visit any Shazam ATM that accepts cash deposits, and you can use it to deposit cash right into your SBB checking account—no mailing and waiting required.
If you need to deposit checks to your SBB business account, you can use its mobile app or mail your check to Small Business Bank’s Kansas branch.
Now, we do need to point out that this won’t work for everyone. While there are thousands of Shazam network ATMs across the United States, the deposit-accepting ones aren’t exactly evenly distributed. In Kansas City, MO, you have dozens of ATM options. But in Denver, CO, you just have one.
So if the ability to deposit cash is a selling point for you, make sure you see how close you are to one of these ATMs. And if the answer ends up being, “not very,” you might want to go with traditional in-person banking instead.
Because brick-and-mortar banks have such limited availability, we don’t recommend any one traditional bank. But we can help you find the best bank for small business in your state.
Other small-business products and services from Small Business Bank
Many big banks offer tons of services beyond bank accounts to small-business owners, from merchant services to payroll services (and everything in between). But Small Business Bank keeps things simple: it just has a business charge card and a couple types of business financing.
Small-business charge cards
Anyone who opens a Small Business Bank checking account can get a business debit card to go with their account. But if you need another purchasing option, you can also apply for Small Business Bank’s Mastercard charge card.
Note that this is a charge card and not a business credit card. (SBB doesn’t offer credit cards.) That means you’ll have to pay off your entire balance each month—which in turn means you won’t be paying interest on your spending.
But since the charge card still lets you buy now and pay later, you will need to pass a credit check to get one.
A big caveat before we get into the weeds of SBB’s financing: only customers in Kansas and Missouri can qualify. If you’re located in one of the other 48 states (and statistically speaking, you probably are), you can check our list of the best small-business loans instead.
So what does Small Business have for Kansas and Missouri business owners?
|Loan type||Loan min./max.||Lowest listed rate||Term||Get a loan|
|Working capital loans and debt refinancing||$2,500/$850,000||5.25%||10–25 yrs.||Apply Now|
|Commercial real estate loans||$2,500/$850,000||5.25%||10–25 yrs.||Apply Now|
Just term loans, which can be used for working capital, debt refinancing, and commercial real estate.
Again, that’s a pretty limited offering when compared to the bigger banks. But with low rates, long terms, and a wide range of loan amounts, Small Business Bank seems like a great option if you operate in Kansas or Missouri.
Small Business Bank is an SBA-approved lender. In addition to the loans above, it also provides SBA business loans through the SBA Express lending program.
What customers say about Small Business Bank
So by now you should know if Small Business Bank can meet your needs. But will you actually like this business bank?
Based on Small Business Bank reviews, yes. SBB has the best customer reviews we’ve seen for a bank, with a 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot.1
Of course, many customer reviews praise Small Business Bank’s low costs and lack of fees. Positive reviews also rave about the excellent customer service. In fact, more than one customer says that SBB gave them a heads-up about potential problems (like overdrafts) and helped them solve the issue.
So what do the negative reviews have to say? Mostly, you’ll see a lot of complaints about SBB’s outdated and uninformative website and app (totally fair, in our opinion). Several users complain they have trouble using the mobile deposit function of the mobile banking app—kind of a problem when you can’t just run to your local branch.
When we asked small-business owners about their banking experiences, we heard good things about Small Business Bank. Here’s what one business owner had to say:
“As a boot-strapped startup, we had to forgo convenience and pursue whichever business bank had the best rates. And hands down, that was Small Business Bank. They offer a free business checking account, which means you don’t need to have a minimum balance. Which means you won’t get penalized for having a zero balance. And you won’t get a monthly bill for using their service.
But even though their rates are dirt cheap, they still offer phone support
and have a mobile app, which you can link to external accounts to pay
bills. I’ve been using them since we were a startup and continue to use
In other words, you can probably expect a pretty good experience at Small Business Bank—so long as you’re not the kind of person who gets easily frustrated by subpar technology.
Small Business Bank offers a lot to small-business owners. Its free small-business checking account—with no monthly service fee, a low minimum opening deposit, and free transactions—is one of the best options out there.
Add in its business savings accounts (complete with high APY), business charge cards, and (limited) financing options, and you’ve got yourself some great banking services.
So even though a few business owners may require a traditional bank that makes it even easier to deposit cash, we think Small Business Bank is a great fit for many business banking needs.
Take good care of your new business account by reviewing banking best practices with our guide to small-business bookkeeping basics.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.
- Trustpilot, “Small Business Bank“