First Citizens Business Bank Review

Panna Kemenes

First Citizens Bank is a regional bank that has carved out a niche with small businesses. The bank, which operates in 23 states, offers four tiers of business checking accounts.1 With four different business account types, it meets the needs of various size businesses.

Read on to learn more about the key features of their accounts, how they compare to other accounts, and if they're a good fit for your business.

And if quick and easy international transactions are a priority for your business, you can learn about Wise Business in this article.


Methodology: The team of dedicated content experts at Wise researches each provider thoroughly, uncovering the key features, fees, and pros and cons to watch out for. This is then collected into an easily digestible format, to save you time and hassle when looking into a provider.

First Citizens Business Bank Review: Quick Overview

Key features
  • Free with account activity waivers (e-statements and minimum balance requirements)
  • Mobile banking with good user ratings
  • Up to 100 free monthly transactions (more for higher account tiers)
  • $5,000 fee-free monthly cash deposits (higher limits for higher tiers)
  • Treasury management services available
  • Option to bundle with other business banking products
Main fees
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0 to $75 (waivable)2
  • Cash deposit fee: $0.30 per $100 after meeting the limit ($5,000 per statement cycle for the lowest tier)
  • Transaction fees: $0.50 per transaction after the limit of 100 transactions per statement cycle for the lowest tier)
  • Wire transfer fee: $15 for domestic transfers and $25 for international wires in US currency3
Great for
  • Smaller businesses that have low transaction volume and cash deposit needs
  • Businesses that could benefit from Treasury management products
  • Businesses that value mobile banking convenience

First Citizens Business Bank: Key Features

First Citizens has four business account tiers, catering to small or medium-sized businesses. Its basic business account, called Business Banking, has no monthly fee (when enrolled in paperless statements).

The keys to its basic Business Banking tier include:

  • Can open with a $100 initial deposit
  • Come with 100 fee-free transactions each statement cycle
  • Has no fees for $5,000 in cash deposits per month

Its other business account tiers (called Business Banking I, II, and III) also require a $100 initial deposit but have higher transaction levels and cash deposit allowances. These three higher tiers also offer discounted Treasury management services like remote deposit capture or fraud protection.

Ease of Use

The business accounts at First Citizens have various features that can make day-to-day financial management easier for small business owners. You can manage your account on the go with features likely including balance viewing and transaction history. One customer cites getting the “big bank perks with a small town feel” from First Citizens.4

Yet, many recent reviews of the bank on Trustpilot cite a cumbersome online interface and outdated digital experience. As well, the bank has various fees, such as for bank transfers or ACH transfers, which can catch customers off guard.

Customer Service

First Citizens provides a customer support phone line for business customers that is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (EST).5

However, many of the customer feedback complaints on Trustpilot cite poor customer service for the bank. Customers note trying to contact customer service only to be referred to their local branch for help.

First Citizens Business Bank Fees

First Citizens Bank's business checking accounts have a tiered structure with varying fees based on the chosen account and activity level. Here's a breakdown of the main fees to be aware of:

  • Monthly service fee: $0 to $75 per month, depending on the tier (waivable).
  • Transaction fees: 100 to 750 free transactions monthly, each additional transaction is $0.50.
  • Cash deposit fee: No charge for the first $5,000 to $20,000 in cash deposits each fee period. After that, there is a $0.30 per $100 deposit fee.
  • ATM fees: No fees at First Citizens ATMs, however, using out-of-network ATMs may incur a fee and international withdrawals incur a 3% fee.
  • External bank transfer fee: Transfers to another bank cost $2.99 each.
  • Wire transfer base module fee: $15 per month.
  • Domestic wire transfer fee: $15
  • International wire transfer fee: $0 in foreign currency, $25 in US currency
The true cost of sending USD to GBP

First Citizens Business Bank Pros and Cons

Here are some primary features and considerations to keep in mind when opening a First Citizens business bank account:

Key featuresConsiderations
  • No monthly fee: The basic business account has no fee, while its other accounts have a waivable fee.
  • Sizable cash deposit limit: Can deposit up to $5,000 in cash for free with the basic account, plus higher limits for other tiers.
  • Treasury management discount: Discounted treasury management products for higher tiers.
  • Branch availability: Only located in 23 states.
  • Opening deposit: All accounts require at least $100 to open an account.
  • Maintenance balances: Higher tier accounts require relatively high balances to get monthly fees waived.
  • Transaction limits: 100 fee-free transactions per month with the basic tier.

What are the benefits of First Citizens Business Bank?

First Citizens business bank accounts offer several advantages for small businesses. You can avoid a monthly service fee by opting into e-statements or other requirements like average balances or having a merchant services account.

Additionally, all accounts include online and mobile banking for convenient management. For businesses that process a lot of cash, the free monthly cash deposit limit is relatively high.

Business Banking I, II, and III checking accounts allow you to customize your banking with discounted treasury management services. These services include remote deposit capture, fraud prevention, and electronic data interchange (EDI) reporting.

What are the considerations of First Citizens Business Bank?

First Citizens Business Bank might not be the best fit for all businesses. Their free monthly transactions are capped at 100 for the basic tier and 750 for the very highest tier, which could be limiting for active businesses. Even exceeding these limits by a small amount can result in per-transaction fees.

It also has branches in just 23 states, which can make accessibility an issue. They also charge relatively high fees for services like wire transfers and ACH transfers.

First Citizens Business Bank Alternatives

While First Citizens are great if you’re a small business in the geographic area it serves, it’s not a great fit for every business. Some popular alternatives to First Citizens bank accounts include:

  • Mercury Business Bank Account: This account has no monthly fees and allows for unlimited transactions. It also offers mobile banking. However, it is only available online and has limited ATM access.

  • Oxygen Business Account: Another online-only option with no monthly fees and unlimited transactions. It also offers mobile banking and a debit card.

  • PNC Bank Business Checking: This bank offers a variety of business checking accounts with different fee structures and features. With more branches, it’s a bit more accessible option than First Citizens Bank. Be aware that some accounts have monthly maintenance fees that can be waived by meeting certain requirements.

Conclusion: Is First Citizens Business Bank the best choice for your business?

If you have a small business where First Citizens has a strong branch presence — mainly in the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia and Virginia — and can meet the minimum requirements for getting the monthly fee waived, it’s worth a look. But if you need more features or services, it might be worth looking at alternatives.

Discover Wise Business: The Smart Alternative for International Payments

Banks can charge high fees for international transactions and wire transfers. Wise is not a bank, but a Money Services Business (MSB) provider and a smart alternative to banks.

The Wise Business account offers cost-effective solutions, such as using the mid-market rate, which reduces international payment costs.

Wise Business has no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees and the ability to manage over 40 currencies in a single account — not to mention 1,000 per-click batch payments and QuickBooks integration — making it an easy pick for businesses expanding or operating globally.

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About the author:
    Panna is an expert in business finance topics for the US, covering topics from invoicing to international expansion. She creates high-quality reviews on business finance tools and products with the aim to help businesses save time and make informed decisions.


  1. Forever First | First Citizens Bank
  2. Small Business Checking Accounts | First Citizens Bank
  3. Business Digital Banking Fee Schedule
  4. First Citizens Bank Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews of
  5. Support | First Citizens Bank

All sources checked May 2024

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