WASHINGTON — Two credit unions made the cut for WalletHub's list of "2015's Best Bank Accounts for Small Businesses."
WalletHub, a financial information website for consumers and small businesses, said it compared nearly 200 business bank accounts as well as 450 personal accounts and identified not only the best overall bank accounts for business in 2015, but also those with the highest interest rates, the best rewards and the lowest fees.
Security Service Federal Credit Union, an $8.3 billion CU based in San Antonio, was tapped for its Premier Business Checking, citing the low $5 monthly fee, lack of a deposit limit, unlimited free transactions and a 0.4% APY on all balances. WalletHub also noted enrollment in the reward program is $2 per month.
The $5.9 billion Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Bethpage, N.Y., was lauded for its Free Business Checking with Interest account, which features no monthly fee, no deposit limit, unlimited free transactions, and a 0.4% APY on all balances.
Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub spokesperson, told Credit Union Journal Bethpage FCU had one of the best business checking accounts overall, while Security Service "had one of the best rewards accounts" due to the cash back on debit card transactions and low monthly fees.
"It is not often a checking account will offer rewards so that really stuck out," she explained.
For a complete look at WalletHub's list of best business bank accounts, click here.
No Love For CU Biz Credit Cards
If you are looking for credit unions to be honored by WalletHub for their business credit cards, don't hold your breath. The company said CUs did not make its list because their offerings "are simply not as advantageous."
According to Gonzalez, most of the "best" business credit cards were those from megabanks, such as Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Capital One.
"Credit union business credit card offers are limited to begin with," she assessed. "While their rates are low, the perks and rewards are not as attractive. That is where credit unions need to focus. As the economy improves and people want to open their own businesses, having low fees is no longer enough."
What small business owners want most, Gonzalez advised, is 0% introductory APRs to let them get off the ground for a few months. The second most popular feature would be initial bonuses — say $400 cash back on the first $3,000 in spending over the first few months. Ongoing rewards — cash back on business purchases — "is always popular," she added.
"Those three components make a huge difference when leveraged correctly, especially when someone is opening a small business," Gonzalez said. "Small businesses usually are looking for capital, so an initial bonus of cash back would really help them out."
How big is the opportunity? Gonzalez said in the next five years it is estimated 60 million Americans will be working for themselves.
"Many started working for themselves during the recession when they could not find a job. The next wave will be Millennials, who have seen the success of Facebook and Snapchat and will want to go off and do their own thing," she said. "They think there will be a venture capitalist pouring money into the business, but it all starts with a business credit card."