If you haven’t heard of M1 Finance’s Smart Transfers feature yet, then prepare for the next level of finances. This new feature is geared towards savvy investors that want a little more automation in their life.
The Smart Transfers option offered by M1 Finance is meant to make all of their investor’s lives a little simpler, while making their money work harder for them at the same time.
What is M1 Finance’s Smart Transfers feature?
M1 Finance has just rolled out a new feature to all of their clients to help put their money on autopilot. The Smart Transfers feature allows clients to set it and forget it.
You, as the client, get to set threshold-based rules within the Smart Transfers feature. And by doing so, your money is automated to move between accounts. This is a new, smarter way to invest your money without having to regularly monitor it.
How does the Smart Transfers feature work?
The Smart Transfers feature works by allowing you to create sweeps between your M1 Spend and Invest accounts. Basically, you choose one of the accounts to monitor for a balance threshold. Once the account you choose reaches the balance threshold, everything else will be automatically moved, or swept, to the other account.
This threshold balance is for the cash balance of the account though, not the total account value. If your cash balance falls below the designated threshold, the sweeps will temporarily halt until the account gets back up past the cash balance threshold.
Once the feature sweeps the money to your other account, that money begins accruing interest. Currently, their Spend accounts have a 1% APY and the taxable Invest accounts can get an average market return, depending upon your investment portfolio.
Spend Plus Checking → investing
Before the Smart Transfer feature was available, M1 Finance members would have to schedule their own one time transfers. And for those of us who are extremely busy living life, that meant things like this could get left by the wayside. Accidentally, of course.
But now you can schedule all funds over a predetermined cash threshold balance to be transferred automatically into your taxable Invest account. For example, let’s say you decide that you want to always have $1,000 in your Spend Plus Checking account. You can create the cash balance threshold at $1,000. Anytime more than that is in your checking account, the money will be automatically swept over into your taxable investment account.
To set up the Smart Transfer from a Spend Plus Checking account into a taxable Invest account, go under the “Transfers” tab at the bottom of the app and then click the “Move Money” option.
Next, select “Smart Transfer” and then “Spend Overbalance.”
From there, choose your balance threshold amount (in this case, $1,000) and then which account the money should be swept into (Invest). Then review and confirm the Smart Transfer and you’re done!
That way you get maximum exposure to the market and don’t have to put any more work into it.
Investing → Spend Plus Checking
If the situation is reversed, however, and you want to have more of a cushion in your Spend Plus Checking account, you can do that too. All you have to do is schedule the proceeds from cash or dividends to transfer into your checking account. That way, as soon as the money is moved over, it begins to count towards the 1% APY.
The process is almost exactly the same as moving money from the Spend Plus Checking to Investing. The only difference is that you will click the “Invest Cash Over-Balance” option instead of the “Spend Over Balance” option.
Then you have to make sure to choose the maximum cash value you want in your taxable M1 Invest account. Put that number in and then choose the option to transfer the excess to your M1 Spend Plus account.
And then you’re done and ready to go! The process for both options really only takes a couple of minutes, which saves a ton of time in the long run.
Can the Smart Transfers feature be changed?
Yes, Smart Transfers can be changed. This was an initial concern for me since a lot of companies make it extremely difficult to change anything without a signature, blood sample, or firstborn child.
In fact, you can edit, pause, or delete any or all of your Smart Transfers whenever you want to, with the touch of a couple of buttons.
If you want to edit a current Smart Transfer, simply act like you are moving money and find the Smart Transfer you want to change. Then click on the amount, change it to a different amount, and then click “Update.”
If you want to pause a current Smart Transfer, it’s even easier than editing. All you have to do is move the toggle switch from inside the specific Smart Transfer from on to off. Done!
And if you want to delete a current Smart Transfer, then just click the “Delete” button at the top right corner of the transfer you want to get rid of. It will ask you to confirm the deletion and then you’re done.
No matter which edit or correction you want to make, M1 is making this whole process pretty darn simple.
Who should use the Smart Transfers feature?
Anyone who is an M1 Finance client should really look into this feature. As one of the top robo-advisors on the market today, they are constantly trying to make the platform more intuitive. The development of their Smart Transfers feature is just one of them.
So, if you have a Spend Plus Checking account and one of their taxable Invest accounts open, or are planning to do so, then this is a great option for you.
Who isn’t the Smart Transfers feature for?
M1 Finance has quite a few different options when it comes to investment accounts. In fact, their current offerings include:
However, right now the Smart Transfers option only works between the Spend Plus Checking and taxable Invest accounts. So, if you have one of the other types of investment accounts offered by M1 Finance, then this isn’t for you. Yet.
But keep checking back because they say they are announcing some new changes and additions in the next month or so.
Does the Smart Transfers feature cost anything to use?
Yes and no. The Smart Transfers feature doesn’t cost anything to use. That is, if you have an M1 Plus account already. M1 Finance offers their M1 Spend account for free, which is how most of us generally start out. But, the Smart Transfers function only works with their M1 Plus accounts right now.
In order to upgrade from the basic M1 Spend account, you will have to pay a $125 fee. While that may seem a bit steep, there are quite a few perks that come with it. On top of having access to the Smart Transfers feature, you also:
- Earn 1% APY on their high yield checking account.
- Earn 1% cash back on qualifying debit card purchases.
- Qualify for 2% loans.
- More flexibility with the trading window for your Invest account.
Therefore, if you are already using M1 Finance and love it, but haven’t upgraded your account, it may be something to consider. Especially if you love the idea of the Smart Transfers feature!
First and foremost, if you haven’t joined the M1 Finance platform yet, they’re definitely worth considering. The Smart Transfers feature is only available to M1 Finance clients. So you won’t have access to this great tool without being a client. If you are a member already, then you should consider putting the Smart Transfers feature to work for you. Making your money work harder for you without you working any harder has never been easier!
Many parents want to help their children get the best start in life — and for some that includes helping them, to some degree, with college. One way to save up for your child’s post-secondary education is with the help of a 529 plan. However, a 529 isn’t always the right move for every family.
Looking for a safe place to grow your college savings? Open an account with CIT Bank
As you consider how to save up for your child’s future, don’t forget to consider alternatives to 529s, as well as the plans themselves. Here’s what you need to know about the 529 and its alternatives.
What is a 529 plan?
An investment account for your educational expenses
A 529 plan is a special investment plan designed to help you save for qualified education costs. With a 529, you set money aside in an account and it grows tax-free — as long as it’s used for eligible expenses.
There are limits on what the money can be used for
While some states offer tax deductions for contributions made to a 529, it’s important to note that you won’t receive a federal tax break for your contributions.
Additionally, there are limits on what the money can be used for penalty-free. If you don’t use the money in a 529 for a qualified expense, you’ll end up paying taxes on the withdrawal, along with a penalty.
For some families, a 529 makes sense because it allows you to grow money in an efficient way. Investment choices often include index funds, so if the market does well, your child could benefit from the tidy amount involved. However, it’s also important to note that if the market drops just before you need the money, you might not have as much as you’d planned on to help your child pay for school.
You’ll face penalties if the money isn’t used for education
On top of that, if your child decides not to attend an eligible program, you’ll need to either name a new beneficiary for the account or accept the taxes and penalties on withdrawals. For some, the idea of all that uncertainty is enough to look for alternatives to 529s.
If you aren’t sure a 529 plan is the right approach for you, or if you want something else in addition to a 529, there are other options.
Here are some alternatives to 529 plans:
High-yield savings accounts
With a high yield savings account, you don’t have to worry about what the money is spent on. There are no restrictions on how the money is used and it will even grow while it is waiting to be spent.
On top of that, you don’t have to worry about market gyrations. Your principal is protected, no matter what happens.
Some accounts that might work well for high yield savings include:
CIT Savings Builder
CIT Savings Builder is one of my favorite choices for building my savings. With an APY of 1.45%, there is no wondering whether or not your long-term college savings will grow.
To get started, you will be required to set up monthly deposits of $100 or maintain a minimum balance of $25,000. The $100 minimum is the perfect kick in the pants you might need to start really saving.
Discover Online Savings
With the Discover Online Savings, you can earn up to 1.40% APY with no account minimums and no fees.
You won’t be able to build your college nest egg as quickly as with a 529, but you will have peace of mind and flexibility. That way, in case your child decides not to attend college, you can still use your savings to help support them.
Normally, you wouldn’t be able to tap into a Roth IRA until you reach age 59 ½. However, if you want to take advantage of the tax advantages of a Roth IRA, you can do so for education. Education is one of the ways you can access Roth IRA money early.
Additionally, with a Roth IRA, you can withdraw your contributions at any time without being subject to a penalty. This adds additional flexibility to your account. However, you do have to be careful not to dip into your earnings. If you do, be prepared to pay a penalty for non-approved purposes.
A Roth IRA offers a little more flexibility than a 529 while providing you with access to funds. You can open a Roth IRA with a robo-advisor like Betterment or Wealthfront.
Betterment makes setting up a Roth IRA ridiculously easy. You’ll tell them what your dream retirement looks like. That’ll give Betterment a sense of what you’re really looking for. Then they’ll give you personalized IRA recommendations.
You’ll need to set up recurring auto-deposits, that way Betterment can rebalance your account when needed.
Betterment also makes retirement account rollovers easy. In fact, you could rollover everything in about 60 seconds.
Wealthfront lets you set up a retirement account in just a few steps. You start by linking your financial accounts, which eliminates the need for all the pesky paperwork you’ll fill out for other companies.
Then Wealthfront will show you what your future could like with their recommended retirement accounts. For IRAs, you can choose to go with a Traditional or Roth IRA through Wealthfront.
Some 529 plans offer limited choices when it comes to investing, mostly focusing on index funds. If you want something a little more flexible, but still with tax benefits, a Coverdell ESA can be an option.
You can invest in almost any stock, bond or fund, and the earnings grow tax-free as long as you use them for qualified education expenses. With the Coverdell ESA, you have more options and still get the tax benefit.
There are some restrictions, however. You can only contribute up to $2,000 a year to a Coverdell ESA, and the beneficiary must withdraw all the money in the account by the time they are 30.
Taxable investment accounts
With a taxable investment account, you have total control over how you spend the money. You can grow the college fund rapidly, with the help of investing, without the restrictions that come with how you can spend the money.
If you go this route, however, it’s important to pay attention to when you sell your assets. You want to sell older assets first so that you can take advantage of the favorable long-term capital gains rate. You’ll have to pay taxes on your earnings, so it’s a good idea to plan for that.
Here are a couple of the best investment accounts on the market today:
As their name states, Wealthsimple wants to make investing…well, simple. You can have Wealthsimple create a low-fee portfolio for you, and they’ll manage it as well. All you have to do is tell them what your risk level is and what your goals as an investor are.
When needed, Wealthsimple will automatically rebalance your portfolio, so you’re always maintaining the risk level you want. To make things even easier, you can set up automatic deposits, which Wealthsimple will invest for you.
Wealthsimple really is the set it and forget it platform most young investors have been looking for.
E*TRADE offers a brokerage account where you manage your own investments while using E*TRADE’s helpful platform. But, E*TRADE also offers managed portfolios. You will need $500 to start investing, but that’s a low minimum, especially compared to E*TRADE’s competition.
E*TRADE has a low annual advisory fee of 0.30%. Their managed option works much the same way as Wealthsimple’s. You tell E*TRADE how much risk you can take on, and they get to work building a portfolio that works for your investment needs.
Prepaid tuition plans
Some states and colleges are starting to offer prepaid tuition plans. If you sign up for one, you can buy tuition credits at today’s prices. By buying these credits ahead of time, you can potentially save thousands of dollars over time, especially when you consider how quickly tuition can rise.
However, it’s important to understand that you might be limited as to where you can use the funds. If you get a prepaid tuition plan through a state, you can usually only use the balance to pay for specific in-state public schools. When you buy tuition credits at a specific school, you run the risk that your child won’t actually get into the school later.
If it works out, though, a prepaid tuition plan can be a smart way to pay for your child’s schooling in increments while saving thousands of dollars.
Due to the rising cost of college, you’re probably going to need to save up some money ahead of time to help your child pay for their higher education. If you want to reduce the amount of student debt they end up with, it can make sense to find a way to save up as much as possible.
A 529 plan can be a good tool for college savings, but don’t forget about other options that might work just as well — or even better.
When you first start out as a small business owner, you may not appreciate the importance of keeping business and personal finances separate. Whether your side hustle doesn’t yet make enough income to make it seem worth the hassle, or you just don’t want to have to deal with another account, it can be tempting to let your personal income and your business income mingle in the same account.
As tempting as it is to stick to the simplicity of one account, that’s not actually the best strategy if you own a business. Not only can keeping a separate business checking account simplify the accounting process come tax time, but it can also help you to clearly delineate business money from personal money and keep your income sources separate.
Whether you’re just starting out in your career as a small business owner or are the owner of an established business, here are some recommendations for free business checking accounts.
Overview of the best free business checking accounts
- Earns 1.00% interest on balances up to $100,000.
- No hidden fees.
- No minimum deposit or balance requirements.
- Two free checkbooks.
If you’re looking for a free business checking account that earns interest, look no further than the BlueVine business checking account. This simple account earns a competitive 1.00% interest on balances up to $100,000, so it’s a great place to stash your business income and earn a little extra while doing so.
BlueVine’s business checking account is free, but that’s not the only area where they help small business owners save money. The account features no hidden fees, no minimum deposit requirements, and no minimum balance requirements. This means that you can easily open a business checking account with BlueVine even if your business is just starting out.
BlueVine business checking accounts also come with plenty of other nice perks, like two free checkbooks, unlimited transactions, and the ability to schedule payments. It takes just a few minutes to sign up for an account, and you can access customer support by phone or email at any time.
Learn more about BlueVine or read our full BlueVine review.
- Integrates with tools like Shopify, Stripe, QuickBooks, and more.
- Free ACH transfers and incoming wires.
- Easy application process.
- Refunds all ATM fees.
Novo has made a name for itself in recent years thanks to its simple, free business checking account. This account is designed specifically for business owners, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed, and come with tons of tools and integrations to make life easier. This includes built-in integrations with Stripe, Shopify, QuickBooks, Zapier, Transferwise, Slack, Xero, and more.
Bank Novo also makes it super easy to send and receive money. Unlike many personal bank accounts, ACH transfers are free, as are incoming wires. There are no hidden fees, no monthly fees, and no minimum balance requirements. Novo also refunds all ATM fees and also comes with thousands of dollars in exclusive perks.
Applying for a business checking account with Novo takes just a few minutes. Once you’re approved, you can manage your money through Novo’s easy-to-use mobile app. You can also ask to receive free checks, access Novo’s customer support, and learn more from Novo’s library of educational resources.
Learn more about Novo or read our full Novo review.
- No ACH fees.
- No domestic or international wire fees.
- Built-in rewards credit card.
- Partner discounts on tools like Dropbox, Google Ads, QuickBooks, and more.
Brex Cash isn’t technically a checking account; it’s actually a cash management account, which allows business owners to deposit cash, transfer money, and make payments. It’s a great option for customers who send and receive lots of ACH and wire transfers and are looking for a simple way to manage their money. There are no ACH fees, and international and domestic wire transfers are free.
The account also comes with a built-in rewards credit card. The card is paid daily and earns you cash back each time you pay. Plus, you can earn rewards on purchases, including 8x points on rideshare rides, 5x points on flights and hotels booked through Brex Travel, 4x points on restaurants and dining, 1.5x points on online advertising, and an unlimited 1x points on everything else.
Another nice feature of Brex Cash is the discounts you can secure from participating partners. If you use a lot of digital tools for your small business, these discounts can really add up. For example, you can get 50% off on all Dropbox Business, Standard, or Advanced plans, up to $150 in Google Ads credit, and 40% off your first 12 months of QuickBooks.
Learn more about Brex Cash or read our full Brex Cash review.
Chase Business Complete Banking℠
- Built-in card acceptance with QuickAccept.
- Same-day deposits at no additional cost.
- $15 monthly service fee can be waived.
- Great for existing Chase customers.
If you operate a small business that regularly has to take card payments from customers, the Chase Business Complete BankingSM account makes it incredibly easy to do so. The account features built-in card acceptance with QuickAccept, and also features same-day deposits at no additional cost. Account holders are charged 2.6% + $0.10 for tap, dip, and swipe transactions with the purchase of a QuickAccept contactless mobile card reader, and 3.5% + $0.10 for manual transactions through the Chase Mobile app.
Unlike the other accounts featured in this list, the Chase Business Complete Banking℠ account does charge a monthly fee of $15. However, it’s pretty easy to get this fee waived, either by maintaining a $2,000 minimum daily balance, making $2,000 in purchases on Chase Ink Business cards, accepting $2,000 in deposits through QuickAccept, or linking a Chase private checking account. Of these options, the linked account is the most accessible for businesses just starting out, but the other options are worth considering if you operate a business with an established cash flow and monthly expenses.
Chase also offers business loans, business debit cards, business savings accounts, and merchant services. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for your business banking needs, this combination of financial products makes Chase an attractive option.
Learn more about Chase Business Complete Banking℠ or read our full Chase Business Complete Banking℠ review.
Radius Bank Tailored Checking
- Unlimited 1% cash back on purchases made with a Radius debit card.
- Easy online application process.
- Earn 0.10% APY on balances of $5,000 & up.
- Automatic ATM fee rebates.
The Radius Bank Tailored Checking account is another solid option if you’re looking for a simple business checking account with some great additional perks. Account holders can earn an unlimited 1% cash back on purchases made with a Radius debit card. In order to qualify for this perk, you need to keep an average balance of $5,000 or greater. You can also earn 0.10% APY on balances of $5,000 and up.
In addition to its impressive rewards potential, Radius also features a simple online application process that’s all online. You can open an account in as little as ten minutes, and manage your account quickly and easily using their mobile banking app.
Another nice perk of the Radius Bank Tailored Checking account is the unlimited, automatic ATM fee rebates. This can save customers hundreds of dollars in fees each year. The account also comes with some handy additional features, like unlimited transactions and no minimum balance requirements after the first $100.
Learn more about Radius Bank Tailored Checking or read our full Radius Bank Tailored Checking review.
Summary of the best free business checking accounts
|Name||Monthly fee||Interest and rewards||Other features|
|BlueVine||$0||1.00% interest||No minimum deposit or balance requirements, two free check books|
|Novo||$0||None||Business tool integrations, free ACH transfers and incoming wires, ATM fee refunds|
|Brex Cash||$0||Rewards points and cash back||No ACH, domestic, or international wire fees, rewards credit card, discounts on business tools|
|Chase Business Complete Banking℠||$15 monthly service fee can be waived||None||Built-in card acceptance, same day deposits|
|Radius Bank Tailored Checking||$0 for balances over $5,000||1% cash back on purchases and 0.10% APY on balances of $5,000 and up||Easy online application process, automatic ATM fee rebates|
How I came up with this list
There are several factors you should take into consideration when choosing a good business bank account. I looked at the following:
Low or no fees
When it comes to your business, every penny counts. Business checking accounts with low or no fees allow you to keep more of your hard-earned money.
Many of the above accounts feature ways to earn additional money, including through interest and cash back rewards. This is a great additional perk that can help you earn more when you spend and save.
Perks and benefits
The best business checking accounts feature plenty of ways to save on fees and expenses and integrate with other business features. Perks like no ACH and wire transfer fees, free checks, and discounts on software are all great things to look for in a business checking account.
What is a business checking account?
Business checking accounts are similar to personal checking accounts, but they’re designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Business checking accounts enable individuals to keep business and personal accounts separate.
Why should you use a free business checking account?
A business checking account is a must-have for anyone who owns a small business or is self-employed and wants to save on bank fees.
Small business owners
If you own a small business, a free business checking account can help you to manage business saving and spending, regulate cash flow, and even earn interest and money via cash back.
It’s vital for self-employed people and freelancers to keep their business and personal income separate. A free business checking account can help you track your earnings and expenses and save time when it comes to taxes, while not having to worry about the monthly fee.
Whether you’re a serial entrepreneur or are just starting out on your first business venture, a free business checking account is a great first step.
Why shouldn’t you use a free business checking account?
While a free business checking account is a great idea if you earn money through a small business or self-employment, it’s not for everyone.
You aren’t earning any money yet
If you’ve just started out your business venture and aren’t yet earning money, it may not be the right time to open a business checking account. You should wait until you start earning some income to open an account.
You need a more robust set of tools
If you’re an established business already earning a high income in the six or seven figures, you may want to consider the more robust set of tools that may be included in a paid business checking account.
Most important features of business checking accounts
When it comes to business checking accounts, there are a few features you should keep in mind when deciding on an account.
A good business checking account should actively help save you money. The account should have few fees, with no monthly cost if possible. You should also look for an account that doesn’t charge ACH fees, wire transfer fees, or minimum balance fees.
Rewards and interest
Many business checking accounts earn interest or come with cards that earn cash back rewards. These cards can help you to earn more on everyday expenses and grow your hard-earned money.
You should also look for business bank accounts that partner with business tools that you use. For example, if you frequently take payments from customers, you might want to look for an account that comes with built-in card acceptance.
Online application and mobile banking
In this day and age, it’s important to be able to access your accounts even when you’re on the go. You should look for a business bank account that lets you manage your money entirely online.
What is needed for a business checking account?
To open a business checking account, you first and foremost need to own and operate a small business or be self-employed. You’ll also need some forms of personal identification, your tax identification number, and business documentation if you’re a corporation or LLC.
Chase Business Complete BankingSM and Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking are low fee, basic checking accounts available specifically for small businesses. Which is the better checking account for your small business?
In a nutshell:
Chase Business Complete BankingSM requires no minimum initial deposit and is available in a much larger market area.
Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking is in a smaller market area and does require a minimum initial deposit, but offers unlimited transactions and a very large ATM network.
In truth, either of these accounts is an excellent choice for any small business. You’ll need to analyze the specific details of the service levels each provides, to see which will better serve the needs of your business. And, that’s exactly what I’ve done for you in this head-to-head comparison analysis.
Chase Business Complete BankingSM vs. Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking summary
Chase Business Complete BankingSM and Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking are each designed to appeal to the same target market—small businesses. The differences between the two are indeed subtle, as they are probably about as close as two competing products can be.
The two deciding factors may come down to the following:
- Where you’re located, since each account is available in only a limited number of states.
- How many transactions your business makes each month.
The table below summarizes some of the differences between the two business checking accounts:
|Features||Chase Business Complete BankingSM||Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking|
|Minimum opening balance||$0||$250|
|Monthly fees||$15, or $12 if you choose paperless statements – waived with minimum daily balance of $1,500||$15, waived with a minimum 30- or 90-day average account balance of $2,000 or more|
|Transaction fees||$0.30 per transaction over 100 per month||Unlimited transactions, but $1 for every $1,000 deposited above $5,000 per month|
|Number of branches||5,000 in 28 states||755 in nine states|
|Best for||Small and growing businesses with fewer than 100 transactions per month||Small and growing businesses with unlimited transactions|
About Chase Business Complete BankingSM
When you open a Chase Business Complete BankingSM account, you’ll have the built-in advantage of running your business banking through the largest bank in the United States. That has obvious advantages in that it’s a very large commercial bank, with operations across the country and around the world. It can be especially important if your business involves international sales.
Chase Business Complete BankingSM is a basic tier checking account for businesses that offers both online and a highly regarded mobile banking app. That means you can run your business banking from anywhere you are, even when you’re on the go. In today’s 24/7 business environment, that can prove to be a big advantage.
About Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking
The Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking account is a perfect checking account for a new or small business. It’s a core account for everyday banking activities, with low fees, and unlimited transactions.
One advantage of having a business checking account with Capital One is that, as a full-service bank, they provide business loans and lines of credit, including a series of business credit cards. In addition, they also offer merchant services, enabling you to accept credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and even set up loyalty card payments.
Chase Business Complete BankingSM options
Minimum opening deposit
There’s good news here, especially for new and small businesses. Chase does not require a minimum deposit to open an account. You can literally open an account, then deposit money when you make your first sale.
This is not a common practice in business banking, where many banks have a minimum opening balance requirement. That’s the last thing you need if you’re just getting your business off the ground.
A large network of bank branches and ATMs
Chase has well over 5,000 branches in 28 states across the US, as well as a network of 16,000 ATMs. Your account will come with a debit card that gives you access to your money just about wherever you are.
Additional ATM cards are available for employees and signers to make both purchases and to access ATMs.
Chase’s customer service is available on a 24/7 basis, so you’ll never have to worry about being able to reach someone.
There is an access and security manager that enables you to delegate certain banking tasks to your employees. But, you can retain control and security over the accounts by determining exactly what additional users can see and do in the account.
The Chase mobile app
Chase offers one of the better mobile apps available in the banking universe. It has a rating of 4.8 stars from 2.9 million users on The App Store, and 4.4 stars from 1.6 million users on Google Play.
The mobile app is available for iOS devices, 12.0 and later, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It’s also available for Android devices, 7.0 and up.
Chase Business Complete BankingSM fees
Chase Business Complete BankingSM features the following fees:
- Service fee – $15 per month, or $12 when you enroll in paperless statements; the fee is waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500. The service fee is also waived for members of the US military and veterans.
- Transaction fees – The first 100 transactions are free; each additional transaction is charged $0.30. Electronic deposits are unlimited, and you can deposit cash up to $5,000 per statement cycle without an additional fee. There is no fee for domestic and international wire transfers.
- Out-of-network ATM fee – $2.50 per transaction.
Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking options
Minimum opening deposit
Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking has a very low minimum opening deposit at just $250. That’s not quite as good as the $0 minimum opening deposit for a Chase Business Complete BankingSM account, but it’s well below that of most banks for their business checking accounts.
A limited network of bank branches but a large ATM network
Capital One has 755 branches located in just eight states and the District of Columbia. These include Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington DC. What’s more, the Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking must be opened in person at a branch location.
The news is much better on the ATM front. Capital One participates in the Allpoint ATM Network that offers fee-free access at over 39,000 locations nationwide.
Capital One’s customer service is available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., EST.
Capital One also offers its ProDeposit feature. If you make a deposit before 11 P.M., it will be considered a deposit made on that business day. However, the service does require a monthly service fee of $50. Use is restricted to a maximum of $250 in checks deposited over a rolling 20 business days.
The Capital One mobile app
Capital One also offers one of the better mobile apps available in the banking industry. It has a rating of 4.8 stars from 2.4 million users on The App Store, and 4.6 stars from one million users on Google Play.
The mobile app is available for iOS devices, 12.0 and later, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It’s also available for Android devices, 6.0 and up.
Capital One Spark Business Basic checking fees
Capital One Spark Business Checking features the following fees:
- Service fee – $15 per month, waived with a minimum 30- or 90-day average monthly ledger account balance of $2,000 or more. This is an advantage over checking accounts that impose a minimum daily balance, since a single day below the minimum will invalidate the waiver. Capital One Spark Business Checking avoids the low balance problem by using the average balance instead.
- Transaction fees – The account comes with no fees on an unlimited number of transactions, which includes deposits, withdrawals, and transfers associated with your account. However, they do charge a fee of $1 per $1,000 deposited in excess of $5,000 per month.
- Domestic wire fees – $15 incoming, $25 outgoing.
- Foreign wire fees – $15 incoming, $40 outgoing if in foreign currency, $50 outgoing if the transfer is in US dollars.
- Out-of-network ATM fee – $2 per transaction.
Chase Business Complete BankingSM vs. Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking pros
Chase Business Complete BankingSM pros:
- There is no minimum opening deposit required.
- The first 100 transactions in your account are fee-free.
- You’ll be running your business checking accounts with the largest bank in the US.
- Chase offers a wide range of business banking services, including business loans and merchant services.
- There are no fees charged to members of the US military and veterans.
Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking pros:
- Unlimited transactions.
- Monthly service fee waiver works on average monthly ledger balance over 30 or 90 days, which means you won’t have to worry about an occasional low balance disqualifying your fee waiver.
- Very large nationwide ATM network, with access to more than 39,000 no-fee ATMs.
- Offers merchant services, including acceptance of credit and debit cards, gift cards, and loyalty card payments.
Chase Business Complete BankingSM vs. Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking cons
Chase Business Complete BankingSM cons:
- You must go to a branch to open an account—it cannot be done online.
- $15 monthly service fee if your average daily balance is below $1,500.
- Branches are available in only 28 states, which can be inconvenient for business banking.
- Designed for small businesses, so you’ll need to change accounts as your business grows.
Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking cons:
- Available only in eight states and the District of Columbia.
- You must open an account in person at a local branch, limiting the service area.
- A fee of $1 per $1,000 is charged for any deposits in excess of $5,000 per month.
- $15 monthly service fee waived, but you’ll need to maintain an average monthly ledger balance of at least $2,000 for 30 or 90 days.
- Customer service is limited to Monday through Friday, from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Eastern Time. This can be a problem if your business operates on weekends and holidays.
Why choose Chase Business Complete BankingSM?
With no minimum opening balance requirement and up to 100 fee-free transactions per month, Chase is an excellent choice for new and small businesses. It enables you to open and maintain your account with a minimum amount of cash while saving you money on transaction fees. And, if you happen to be a member of the military or a veteran, Chase waives their fees.
If you open a business, you’ll naturally want to grow over time. As a large commercial banking operation, Chase has the size and service level to accommodate your growth. You can add more banking services as your business grows, and eventually even transition to a dedicated checking account for a larger business if that works to your advantage.
There’s one other benefit to working with Chase that shouldn’t be overlooked. As the largest bank in the United States, having them as your bank serves as something of a validation. After all, if J.P. Morgan Chase does business with you, it sends a positive signal to current and prospective clients alike.
Why choose Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking?
Capital One Spark Business Checking is an excellent choice for a small and growing business, since they offer unlimited fee-free transactions. And, though the minimum initial deposit of $250 is higher than Chase Business Complete BankingSM, you’ll get the benefit of the monthly service fee waiver based on a minimum average balance, rather than a minimum daily balance.
Capital One Spark Business Checking will also be a good choice if you do business across the country, since you’ll have access to more than 39,000 ATM machines from coast-to-coast.
The verdict on Chase Business Complete BankingSM vs. Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking? You really can’t go wrong with either of these accounts if you’re a small business.
But, which you choose will depend on where you’re located—since neither bank is available in all states—and how many transactions you do each month. If your business is doing no more than 100 transactions, you may prefer Chase Business Complete BankingSM. But, if you’re doing more than 100 transactions, and don’t want to be charged extra fees, Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking is the hands-down winner.
August 19, 2018 Posted By: growth-rapidly Tag: Buying a house
Buying a home, especially as a first time home buyer, can be stressful. From coming up with a 20 percent down payment on the house to choosing the best mortgage lenders for the best rates, the home-buying process itself can be frustrating.
However, little do you know an FHA loan can make the process less frustrating and less stressful. For example, buying a home with an FHA loan does not require the traditional 20 percent down.
Related: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage through LendingTree.
1. The down payment is super low
The down payment using an FHA loan for buying a home is 3.5 percent. This is super low comparing to the conventional 20% down payment. While there are several advantages of putting 20 percent down on the house, it’s not always necessary.
For example, when you put more money on the house, you save more on interest payment and you will pay your mortgage earlier. However, not everyone can come up with 20% down payment on a house.
- Get Pre-qualified for a Mortgage Online Now
- Compare Mortgage Rates All in One Place
- Check Your Credit Score For Free
2. Your credit score does not need to be perfect
Usually, you would need an excellent credit score to get qualified for a loan to finance your first home. However, with an FHA loan, your credit score needs to be at least 580. Before you apply for an FHA loan, make sure your credit score is at least 580.
We recommend using Credit Sesame . It’s completely free and it monitors your credit score and gets you updates on your credit score.
It’s important to have at least 580 credit score in order to qualify for an FHA loan. If you have less than that, work on improving your credit score.
Check Today’s Low FHA Mortgage Rates
3. Pre-approval for a loan is very easy
Getting pre-approved for buying a home with an FHA loan is quite easy. First, you will need to work with mortgage lenders who offer FHA loans.
Second, you want to make sure you have a copy of the following for the lenders: 1. your tax return. 2. Your 2 most recent pay stubs 3. A bank statement showing the funds for the 3.5% down payment.
Third, make sure your credit score is at least 580. This needs to be repeated and emphasized. If it’s less than that, you might still be qualified but you will need to come up with a larger down payment, like a 10 percent down.
Once you’re approved for the FHA loan, your pre-approval letter will show how much you’re qualified for so you can start
In conclusion, buying a home for the first time can be frustrating. But it does not have to be. With an FHA loan, you can buy your dream home.
These are some of the things you need to know about FHA loans before buying a home.
If you are interested in comparing the best mortgage rates through LendingTree click here. It’s completely free.
Up Next: 5 Signs You’re Not Ready to Buy a House.
- Get Pre-qualified for a Mortgage Online Now
- Compare Mortgage Rates All in One Place
- Check Your Credit Score For Free
Buy a home with the Right Financial Advisor
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you save 100k (whether you need it to pay off debt, to invest, to buy a house, or plan for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
Do you ever have problems finishing things? Taking a project over that last 10 percent to consider it complete? Yeah, me too. Hence, why instead of finishing off my master bedroom and bath design (that still continue to languish more than a year after renovations), I’m distracted by other little problem spots in the house that have been bugging me. Like wanting to redo my home office. Again. Since I’m usually chained to it ought to be pretty dang good, don’t you think??
My current inspiration – the wrap around desk.
There are three reasons I really love this look. First, it’s beautifully minimal and when done right (yes, there are plenty of really wrong examples), a well-made wrap around desk can serve as a beautiful focal point of space – rather than just a utilitarian, functional thing taking up space in the corner.
Secondly, I strongly believe that not having drawers makes you keep less stuff. Easier said, than actually put into practice of course, but that lack of storage certainly gives you the incentive.
Finally, the corner desk gives you much more surface area. I realize that kinda subverts the less stuff goal, but if you’re constantly editing images on a massive desktop, or are constantly surrounded by books, magazines and other sourcing material as I typically am, then a place to spread out can be rather helpful. I’ve also come to realize I no longer need a fancy acrylic stapler or that cute little bowl of paperclips. And if you float your corner desk you can actually give the appearance of taking up less space.
There are few other key components necessary to complete this look. A stellar desk chair (I will be prepared for the comments about the lack of ergonomics, I’m ok with that), a scatter of your favorite ceramics, a really good task light and some framed art for that must-have visual inspiration.
I’m lucky that I have the perfect little corner for this type of set up in my office. Now let’s see if I actually see this idea to the finish line.
Would you like to see that??
for the Idea to Steal archive, CLICK HERE.
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September 2, 2018 Posted By: growth-rapidly Tag: Buying a house
How to save for a house! For many people, saving to buy a house can be hard. This is because they don’t know how to save money or they’re not willing to limit their spending. This article will provide you with tips for saving for a house.
Determine how much money you need.
Before you decide to save for a house, you need to determine first how much money you’ll need to get started.
Typically, you need to come up with 20 percent of the property’s purchase price as a down payment and borrow the 80 percent from lenders.
In some cases, especially if you’re a first time home buyer, you can come up with way less money down as low as 3.5% thanks through FHA loans, but your interest rate might be higher. And you might be required to pay private mortgage insurance.
If you are interested in comparing the best mortgage rates through LendingTree click here. It’s completely free.
In addition to the down payment, closing costs and fees are also factors to consider in determining how much money you need to save for a house.
For example, let’s say you’re looking to buy a house for $250,000. You will need to come up with 20 percent of that price, i.e. $50,000, as the down payment. And 5 percent for closing costs, i.e., $12,500.
So in order to buy a house for $250,000, you will need to come up with $62,000.
To learn how much house you can afford, use LendingTree for the best mortgage loan rates and quotes for free. Here are some tips on how to save for a house:
Click here to compare mortgage rates through LendingTree. It’s completely FREE.
1. Increase your income.
If your monthly paycheck is not enough to save money because of monthly bills, debts, and personal expenses, then the best way to save for $62,000 is to boost your income. There are several ways to boost your income.
One is to work more by working over time at work. Another way is to have a side hustle to make extra cash on the side. A third way to boost your income is to take a part-time job.
Tip: If you want to make extra cash, I suggest that you take surveys online. I recommend, Pinecone Research (earn minimum $3 per survey), Swagbucks ($5 sign up bonus + get paid to take surveys), InboxDollars ($5 sign up bonus + get paid to take surveys), Ebates (earn up to $40 cash back), YouGov US Males ($2 bonus + $8 – $10 per hour), MySurvey ($2 sign up bonus + 5 per survey). See this blog post for a complete list.
2. Reduce your spending.
One of the best ways to save money fast for a house is to reduce your spending. You can substantially increase your savings by living below your means.
To do so, figure out how much you spend a month on food, clothing, grooming, transportation and entertainment. See where you can cut back a little. See if there is a much cheaper alternative. Can you eat out less? Can you take public transportation rather driving your car?
Are there things that you pay for on a monthly basis that you can cut? For example, cable TV, magazine subscriptions, a gym membership that you barely use. Indeed, there are several ways to reduce your spending.
3. Pay off your debt.
Paying off debt, such as credit card debts, is another way to save for a house. Credit card debts are high interest debts. Once you get rid of these debts, you will have more money left to save. Also, paying down your credit card debts helps your credit score.
In conclusion, if you’re in the market to buy a house, you need to come up with the down payment including the closing fee. This can be a big chunk of money that you may not have. So it’s important to follow the above tips to save money for your dream home.
Get pre-approved for with a mortgage lender to figure out how much house you can afford.
Working With The Right Financial Advisor.
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
Businesses have no shortage of choices when it comes to online banking. In just minutes, you can set up an account on an online banking site and start transferring funds and making payments.
With NorthOne, you get plenty of business perks for one small monthly fee. In addition to unlimited funds transfers and payments, you can also manage your money and send invoices. Since everything is done using the mobile app, you can bank whether you’re sitting on your sofa or hanging out by the pool on a tropical island.
What is NorthOne?
Founded in 2017, NorthOne was designed as a mobile-only alternative to traditional online business banking. You’ll pay a monthly fee of $10, but that includes everything you need to invoice, pay bills, and manage your business’s money.
What sets NorthOne apart from others is its easy-to-use mobile interface. Everything is in one place, so you don’t have to worry about tracking down information when you need it. From the start, NorthOne’s goal has been to make banking easier for business owners so that they can focus on more important tasks, and that’s the very thing that makes NorthOne appealing.
How does NorthOne work?
NorthOne is only available via an app. You’ll see this as soon as you try to open an account on their website. You can research NorthOne here, but you’ll need to get your favorite mobile device out to sign up for an account and do all your business banking.
If you click the “Open an Account” button on the main page, the next page will direct you to sign up on your phone. You can download the NorthOne banking app on either your iPhone or Android Phone.
Once you’ve downloaded the NorthOne app to your phone, open it to get started setting up your account.
You’ll first need to input a phone number.
You’ll also have to provide your email address, inputting it twice to make sure you’ve entered it correctly. You’ll receive a request to confirm your email address in your inbox within seconds of providing it, but you can continue with the signup and confirm later.
Next, you’ll choose a complex password and enter it twice. The Continue button will remain grayed out until you’ve satisfied all the password requirements.
You’ll have to accept the terms of service to finalize the account setup.
You can either opt-in or out of account notifications.
As with many apps now, NorthOne lets you enable Face ID for an easier login with each visit.
The next step is the identity verification portion. You’ll need to gather your business and personal financial details, including your Social Security number and your business’s Employer Identification Number.
First, NorthOne gives you the chance to opt into push notifications so you’re alerted any time there’s activity on your account.
After this, you’ll provide the information necessary for NorthOne to run a credit check on you and your business. This check will not affect your credit score.
Pricing for NorthOne
NorthOne keeps its pricing as transparent as possible. For $10 a month, you’ll get unlimited transactions, including debit card purchases and check deposits. One area where you may deal with fees, though, is in ATM transactions. Although NorthOne doesn’t charge fees on your activities, any third-party machines you use may charge a fee. NorthOne doesn’t reimburse those. You can get fee-free ATM transactions at any of the 300,000 ATMs that are in NorthOne’s network, though.
Other fees include:
- Domestic wire transfers: $10.
- International wire transfers: $25.
- Overdrafts: $5 per day.
- ACH returns: $10.
- Non-sufficient funds: $25.
Here’s a breakdown of some key information about banking with NorthOne.
|Fees||$10 per month; $5 a day overdraft fee; $25 NSF fee|
|Minimum opening deposit||$50|
|ATM fees||$0 for in-network or out-of-network ATMs; third-party out-of-network ATM fees not reimbursed|
Businesses have plenty of options when it comes to banking. Here are a few reasons NorthOne is worth your consideration.
Convenient mobile app
With NorthOne, all your banking is done through the mobile app. This keeps everything in one place while also allowing you to do your banking on the go. You can also control your NorthOne cards from within the app, including locking one temporarily if you can’t find it.
You can also easily deposit checks without having to track down a bank. If you have cash to deposit, you can visit one of 300,000 ATMs located nationwide to get the funds out of your wallet and into your bank account.
While NorthOne does offer a robust mobile app, they recognize that being able to bank from your desktop or laptop is still a key feature that users look for.
With NorthOne’s web banking feature, you can pay your bills in minutes, all from one place. You can also easily export your financial info into Quickbooks or Excel and jump between sub-accounts in a few clicks. You’ll also be able to see all your transactions right on your dashboard, so you can keep track of where your cash is going.
Chat or phone support
NorthOne offers one thing that many online banks don’t: live one-on-one support from a human representative. You can contact support between 8 am-1 am ET every day and get help with your account.
Live chat is available within the app, but you can also get help by email or schedule a phone call at a time that’s most convenient for you.
Save money with sub-accounts
One handy feature of NorthOne is the availability of sub-accounts. You can set up one of these accounts for the sole purpose of saving money, then create rules that automatically move money to them on a periodic basis.
Although you can use this feature for a wide range of tasks, I find it especially useful for putting money aside for paying taxes. This lets you separate the money you’re saving for taxes from the money you’re saving for other purposes, like future business growth or buying a new laptop.
Grant read-only access
Read-only access makes it easy to hand off duties to outside contractors or internal employees. For instance, you can set it up so that your accountant or bookkeeper can access your accounts and gather necessary information.
If you need to track down a specific transaction, NorthOne has you covered there, as well. You can search by name or use filters to pull out specific types of transactions. For example, you can use this to pull up all transactions for one card number. There’s no limit to how far back you can search.
NorthOne App integrations
For businesses, the biggest benefits of any app often come from integrations. You can greatly boost your productivity by choosing apps that work with the solutions you already use. NorthOne integrates with some of the most popular accounting and payment tools, including:
My experience researching NorthOne
I had the opportunity to review the features of NorthOne extensively as an alternative to traditional online banking. And I have to say, I am convinced.
Let me go into a tad more detail about why NorthOne seems to have a good thing going here.
Live chat support is very helpful
One thing I really like is the support offered by NorthOne. I’m the type of person who prefers to do a live chat if that’s an option. It definitely beats waiting for a response to an email or dealing with long hold times for a phone operator. I love the fact that you can chat with a human operator in the app, versus the chatbots my own bank uses.
Payment integrations are great for small business owners
Another thing that stood out was NorthOne’s payment integrations. I can definitely see the benefits of being able to view the invoice numbers for the PayPal payments that go into my account. They do the same for your transactions with Amazon, Shopify, Stripe, and more.
Saving for taxes is super easy with NorthOne
The sub-accounts are also attractive to me as a freelancer. If you’re self-employed, you know it’s essential to set money aside each month for those taxes that are due each quarter. Sub-accounts let you handle this automatically, storing that money in one handy folder that you name.
Who is NorthOne best for?
Freelancers and small business owners
Small businesses can benefit from NorthOne’s many features, but it’s especially beneficial for independent contractors. With sub-accounts, you can easily save money for separate expenses, such as taxes, slow periods, or future equipment purchases.
But small businesses can also benefit from these features, not only for taxes, but for setting money aside to expand inventory, pay insurance, or attend an upcoming tradeshow or conference.
Since this app is solely on your phone, it’s best for those who like to stick to mobile banking. I do most of my banking on my laptop, so it wouldn’t work for me, although I do like to have a mobile app for when I’m away from my home office.
Businesses with contractors and employees
If you work with outside contractors, the ability to set up read-only access is beneficial. But you’ll also find this account convenient if you have employees. You can order debit cards for each employee and manage it all directly within the app.
Who shouldn’t use NorthOne?
Frequent cash users
You can use your NorthOne card at one of the 300,000 ATMs in its network to withdraw fee-free, and deposit cash at over 10,000 ATMs nationwide. If you go out of network, you may be charged fees for the transaction.
Those who don’t prefer mobile banking
A NorthOne account offers only one option for your banking experience: your mobile device. Those who like the option of banking on a desktop or laptop (or in-person) will be better off with another banking option.
September 7, 2018 Posted By: growth-rapidly Tag: Buying a house
5 Financial Reasons You Should Never Buy A Home. Thinking about buying a home for the first time?
Many people think that at a certain age or because they are married and start a family, they have to buy a house. They believe that it’s what they are expected to do or it’s the next step. But that can be a financial mistake. Even if you can afford a mortgage, there’s more to owning a home.
For example, after you buy a home, you will also need extra cash to account for repairs, property taxes, insurance. You also have to make sure you can keep a job in order to make the mortgage payments. So before you buy a home, make sure you are ready to do so. In this article, we will provide some of the common financial reasons you should never buy a home.
If you are interested in comparing the best mortgage rates through LendingTree click here. It’s completely free.
Related Articles on Buying A House
5 Financial Reasons You Should Never Buy A Home
1. Homes are very expensive.
Homes are costly to buy. The average sale price for a home in the United States in 2018 is $394,300. That means that you will have to come up with a large down payment (usually 20 percent of the home purchase price) plus closing costs and fees.
In addition, you have to make sure you can cover the monthly mortgage payments once you buy the house. There’s also property insurance, taxes, homeowner associations fees (if you own a condo), water bill, electricity bills you have to think about.
If you feel you have enough money saved for a down payment on a house and you have a stable job, then buying a home might be a good option for you than renting.
You know you can afford a mortgage? Start shopping today for a mortgage.
2. You’re not handy.
When you own a home, you also have to keep up with the place, including painting, cleaning, making repairs, mowing the lawn, etc.. If you’re not a handy person, you will have to pay for professionals to do these things. And the cost of home maintenance can eat up your savings. So if you’re not a handy person and don’t have the money for these maintenance costs, you’re better off renting a home rather than buying a home.
Shop today for the best mortgage deal.
3. You’re too busy.
Similar to reason number 2, you should not buy a home if you’re too busy in your day-to-day job and paying for someone to do the yard work for you can be costly.
4. You don’t have a stable job or a stable source of income.
If you don’t have a stable job or stable source of income, you may not be able to make on time payment. And late mortgage payments can have serious consequences. The great thing about renting rather owning a home is that you don’t have any real obligation, besides the lease. If you can’t make your monthly rental payments, the worst thing that can happen to you is eviction from the property. But with owning a home, if you make late mortgage payments, the bank can foreclose on your property.
5. You’re planning on moving.
If you know you’re planning on moving to another state or country, or that your job might transfer you to another location, you are better off renting a home than buying a home. The rule of thumb is that you buy a home if you are going to live in it for at least 5 years.
In conclusion, although there are some great benefits in buying a home, a lot of times it just doesn’t make sense. If any of these financial reasons above apply to you, you may be better off putting off buying a home.
Click here to compare mortgage rates through LendingTree. It’s completely FREE.
Related Articles on Buying A House
Work with the Right Financial Advisor
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your saving goals Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.