Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Anecdote: Business Checking - Chase vs. U.S. Bank

Since I shared some general information about opening a business checking account, I also wanted to share my personal experience in the form of an anecdotal post.

Initially, I wanted to go with Chase because I already have an active personal checking account with them.  While they pull the same shenanigans that most banks pull (endless solicitations for account upgrades and additional services, frequent website updates, and opt-ins that give you 'extra services' but are really designed to hit you with extra fees), I figured it would be nice to consolidate my banking activities a bit.  I've also used U.S. Bank in the past - my experience at U.S. Bank was fine as well, but because my account there was not very active anymore, I decided to check out Chase first.

I called Chase for a list of paperwork that I would need to bring.  Even though I found this information on U.S. Bank's website (Chase had nothing of the sort), and was fairly certain it would be the same, I wanted to be sure.  I was transferred to one of their business bankers who was able to give me the rundown on the paperwork.  I also asked him to go over the different options they offer for new business checking accounts.  He was not willing to do this over-the-phone.  In this day in age, I'm a little skeptical of this policy.  If they want to get you in the door before they will give you a price, you know it probably doesn't hold up to their competitors (many of which, by the way, DO provide simple pricing right on their websites).  Well, I figured I would give them the benefit of the doubt and go in anyway.

After a little wait, I was able to speak with one of their business bankers.  He told me the options.  It was going to be $15/month to open the account (this was the cheapest option, with the least amount of transactions drawn on the account).  He also said that I would get an upgrade on my personal account for staying at Chase.  The thing is, I'm perfectly fine with the level of personal account I have there.  Also, immediately after he gave me the pitch he turned to my documentation and starting entering it into the computer.  I told him to hold off and that I wanted to check out some other banks first.

My experience at U.S. Bank was a bit better.  They had somebody ready to speak with me immediately.  I needed to run home to grab one other document as a proof of address, but besides that, the process was straight forward.  The business banker went over all the options and didn't try to sell me on anything I didn't need.  I had already seen their offerings online, and he could tell I knew what I wanted.  I was able to get a free checking account with a Visa check card and 150 transactions/month in about an hour.

I'm glad I was able to find a bank that genuinely wanted to work for me and with me.  I know Chase probably didn't want a young business owner with low capital any more than I wanted their up-selling tactics and out-dated pricing secrecy.  But I won't be young forever, and I plan to grow my business into something substantial.  And when that happens, I'll be happy to keep my business with the bank that helped me out early on...

As always, this is just one take on the situation!  Add your two cents in the comment section below.


  1. Thanks for the detailed post, Mark. I also use U.S. Bank for my business banking needs and I'm incredibly happy with them. The thing that really impresses me is that their business bankers go above and beyond, whether that means making a valuable introduction or giving you a month of free advertising space in their bank lobby. They are genuinely interested in helping your business grow. It doesn't hurt that they're free either!

    1. Right on, Eric! Yeah, useful free services NEVER hurt! Glad to hear they are working for you too.


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