Axos Bank offers a variety of banking services but suffers from transaction limits, balance requirements, and hidden fees.
Axos At A Glance
- FDIC-insured online bank
- Visa debit card
- Business and personal banking services
What We Like About Axos
- Free checks
- Visa debit card
- Money Market and certificates of deposit for business accounts
- Savings options to suit your needs
- ATM fee reimbursement
What We Don't Like About Axos
- No high-yield APY
- Minimum balance requirements
- Limits on number of free transactions
- Hidden fees
Table of Contents
Services Offered By Axos
Axos is a direct bank and an FDIC member and not a financial services company offering banking services as part of its total package. That sets Axos Bank apart from some other online-only competitors, such as Novo or Square. Will it make a difference for Axos customers? This Axos bank review will answer that question and help you decide if Axos is a good choice for your small business.
If anything, Axos’s status as a bank means it can offer a greater variety of banking services than many of its online competitors, with specialized offerings aimed not just at businesses but also at those businesses’ customers as well as diverse groups of individuals, from teenagers to senior citizens. On the business side, Axos offers basic and interest-bearing checking accounts in addition to savings accounts, premium savings, money market, and certificates of deposits.
Axos also offers a range of financing options for businesses, including equipment financing, commercial real estate loans, treasury management, and investment services. Although Axos bank customers can find several options for interest-bearing accounts, note that the interest rates are not the highest we’ve seen among internet banks, which tend to offer higher interest than traditional brick-and-mortars. Still, if you’re a proponent of the “something is better than nothing” school of thought, we agree that up to 0.2% APY definitely is something. And, if you’re able to keep a balance in your business interest checking account of up to $49,999.99, you could earn 0.81% APY. That rate will drop down to 0.2% when your balance hits $50K, however, and drops further at $250K, to 0.1%. Axos checking accounts above $5 million may earn a special rate, but you’ll have to speak to a bank representative to discuss current rates.
Here is a rundown of the business services Axos Bank offers, in addition to its accounts aimed at individuals:
- Business checking
- Business interest checking
- Business savings and premium savings
- Business money market account and CDs
- Debit card, with domestic ATM fee reimbursement
- Commercial financing
- Real estate and construction lending
- Merchant services (through a partnership with Celero)
- Mobile and online banking
- Bill payment
- Advisory services
Axos Rewards & Perks
One area where we expect online banks to be competitive is the strengths of the rewards they offer to customers, and in this area Axos banking falls a bit short. While Axos does offer interest-bearing accounts, the bank’s rates are not the highest we’ve seen. Still, the most common Axos interest rate is 0.20%, a more attractive rate than the current average of 0.06%. Let’s look at a sample of Axos interest rates, which vary by type of account.
For starters, while an Axos checking account does not bear interest, it does come with no fees, no minimum balance requirement, free online bill pay, and a set of 50 checks at no cost. Upgrade to the Business Interest Checking account, however, and you can earn up to 0.81% APY and pay no maintenance fees as long as you maintain a minimum balance of $5,000. This account has a low opening deposit requirement, at just $100, and a maintenance fee of $10/month if your balance slips below $5,000.
The interest rate on Axos Business Interest Checking account depends on the account balance. The current top rate of 0.81% is available up to a maximum balance of $49,999.99. Deposit just a penny more, and the interest rate plummets to 0.20% on balances from $50,000-$249,999.99 before dropping further, to 0.10%, up to $5 million. If you plan to keep more than $5 million in your checking account, you can contact Axos directly to inquire about your applicable interest rate.
Axos offers multiple options for business owners looking for savings. For starters, the Business Savings account offers 0.20% APY, with a $1,000 minimum opening deposit and no monthly fees on accounts with a $2,500 average daily balance. The Business Premium Savings account offers the same 0.20% interest rate but has a minimum deposit 10 times higher, at $25,000. The APY remains unchanged up to $5 million, after which you’re invited to contact Axos for a personal rate. The Business Money Market account also offers 0.20% APY. Certificates of deposit are available in terms ranging from 3 to 60 months, with interest rates from 0.10% to 0.20% compounded daily and a minimum balance of $1,000.
Axos Bank currently is offering a $100 welcome bonus to new business owners (those who incorporated after June 1, 2020). If you want to take advantage of that, you’ll need to apply by the end of 2021, however. The bonus money will be deposited into your new account within five business days of your statement cycle date. Keep your account open for at least 180 days or you may face an early closure fee of $50.
Axos Pricing & Fees
Axos marketing materials tout the bank’s lack of fees. A careful Axos Bank review that focuses on the fine print will notice a few attention-grabbing footnotes.
For starters, Axos checking accounts come with transaction limits. For the basic business checking, that means you can have up to 200 transactions each month — including debits, credits, and deposits — with no charges. After that, with this account, you’ll pay $0.30 per transaction. With a business interest checking account, you’ll be allowed only 50 free transactions per month, with per-item fees of $0.50 after that. It’s easy to see how that could quickly add up for a thriving business.
Wire transfers are another area where fees could add up, with charges of $7 and $15, respectively, for outgoing and incoming wires. Outgoing international wires will cost you $50, so if your business relies on overseas partners, be sure to calculate the cost of doing business via Axos.
Furthermore, most Axos accounts come with monthly maintenance fees that are waived only if a minimum average balance is maintained. The business interest checking account, for example, requires a $5,000 average daily balance to waive the $10 monthly fee. This account does come with a higher interest rate (currently 0.81%), so it’s easy to see why users would want to maintain that balance. Still, it’s a requirement that limits your options if you are looking for truly fee-free business banking.
Over on the savings side, the business savings account requires a $1,000 minimum deposit and an average daily balance of $2,500 to avoid monthly maintenance fees. Drop below that, and you’ll be looking at a $5 monthly charge. Additionally, most types of accounts are limited to no more than six of certain types of transfers per month. These types include preauthorized transfers, telephone and electronic transfers, online banking and mobile banking transfers and bill payment transfers, transfers by check, debit card, or draft. If you exceed that, you can be charged $10 per item and your account could be converted to a different type of account or closed entirely.
There are additional fees for some relatively uncommon actions, such as stop payment requests ($10 or $35, depending on whether you complete the request online or require assistance).
Axos makes its full terms and conditions available online for all its business accounts. We suggest you read the fee schedule or talk to a representative so you can avoid fees.
Axos Eligibility Requirements
Axos makes business banking services available to all types of businesses, from sole proprietorships to corporations. All businesses applying for an Axos account must present a copy of each owner’s and authorized signer’s driver’s license. If you’re doing business under a different name, you may need to show a DBA certificate or similar documentation.
Here’s a summary of the additional documents Axos requires of different types of business:
The application process for Axos bank can be completed online. Because of the fees that can add up when users make transactions like deposits and transfers, we think an Axos business account is best suited to smaller businesses that can batch transactions rather than very large organizations making multiple debits, payments, and deposits each day.
Certain features are non-negotiable when you’re looking for business banking services. Axos Bank delivers those, but not a whole lot more.
Axos ticks all the essential boxes, with debit cards and ATM access, savings and interest checking, bill payment, access to credit, a mobile app, and even a link to mobile services. So far, we don’t see much beyond this standard features list.
Here’s a quick rundown of what Axos business banking delivers:
|Cards||Use the Axos Visa debit card at ATMs nationwide, with unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursement|
|Transfers||Add funds via mobile check deposit, ACH, direct deposit, or wire transfer|
|Savings||Choose from basic savings, premium, money market, or CDs|
|Cash Deposits||Axos discourages cash deposits|
|Mobile Deposits||Free app available for iOS and Android|
|Bill Payment||Free online bill pay|
|Access To Credit||Commercial and real estate loans are available|
|Merchant Services||POS, eCommerce, and ACH solutions available through a partnership with Celero Merchant Solutions|
Here are details about a few notable features:
- ATM Reimbursement: Axos does not maintain its own network of ATMs, so customers can expect to be charged fees for using their debit cards at ATMs nationwide. Never fear, Axos will refund 100% of those fees.
- Access To Credit: Axos Bank customers have access to Lender Finance options. However, these loans are aimed at high-end customers, with loan amounts ranging from $10 million to $100 million and with two- to four-year repayment terms. Small balance loans are available for commercial real estate.
- Foreign Transaction Fees: Axos offers special accounts aimed at international residents and world travelers. If you use the World Checking and Savings account, you can receive unlimited fee waivers for incoming international wire transfers and one outgoing international wire in addition to unlimited US ATM fees reimbursements and four ATM foreign currency conversion fee reimbursements each month. However, these benefits are not available with Axos business accounts, where users can expect to pay a 1% foreign transaction fee when using the Axos debit card overseas for POS and ATM transactions.
- Quickbooks Integration: It makes sense for online banks to offer integrations to other popular business software products, so users can connect all their departments online. We are happy to see that Axos business bank accounts are QuickBooks compatible. That can save users the hassle of transferring records and transactions manually. We’d like to see more integrations with banks offering business banking services, but if you’re only able to access one product, QuickBooks is a good one to start with.
Finally, like nearly all banks, Axos imposes some restrictions on the availability of funding. Here’s what you can expect:
|Transaction Type||Processing Time|
|Cash Deposits||Next business day if made in person|
|EFT Transactions||Same day|
|ATM Deposits||Up to 5 business days|
|Mobile Check Deposits||First $225 available next business day, remainder available second business day|
Axos Customer Service
Axos offers a variety of customer support options, including the following:
- Phone: Representatives are available Monday-Friday from 6 AM-6 PM Pacific Time, excluding federal holidays.
- Email: Axos provides general support email for different types of services, such as business banking, equipment financing, and so on.
- Postal Mail: Send USPS mail to a PO Box or special delivery to a physical address.
- Videos: Axos maintains a library of a couple of dozen informational videos on its YouTube channel.
- Social Media: Axos is active on Twitter, frequently sharing informational posts.
We looked at several sites where users can post reviews of their experiences with companies, and customer service seems to be a common complaint about Axos Bank. We’ll go into detail about what we found in the next section.
Axos Reviews & Customer Complaints
Keeping in mind that online reviews often tend to feature those with an axe to grind rather than those who are satisfied, we tend to give the benefit of the doubt when we encounter poor reviews online. However, when we see the same poor results and negative reviews posted on multiple sites, we take notice. And it must be said that Axos Bank reviews tend overwhelmingly toward the negative. In fact, I found very few reviews online that were overwhelmingly positive. A pattern could be discerned of initial satisfaction, followed by problems and a lack of resolution from customer service.
The bank is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating there, despite a fairly dismal 1.07/5 star composite rating based on 56 individual reviews. Customers have raised 70 BBB complaints over the past three years, including 23 closed in the past 12 months.
It’s a similar story on Trustpilot, where a smaller number of reviews (only 18) yields 1.8/5 stars. A common complaint is that it’s difficult to resolve problems online. As one frustrated customer put it, “They claim to be an online bank but everything requires you to call in, so I think that makes them a phone-in bank.” That comment is reinforced by the low ratings the mobile app has earned on both Apple’s App Store (1.6/5 stars with 40 reviews) and the Google Play Store (2.5/5 with 50 reviews).
What Users Like
- Good variety of accounts
- Higher than average interest
What Users Dislike
- Customer service not helpful
- Limited phone service hours
- High fees
- Slow application process for accounts and loans
- Problems with mobile app
Is Axos Safe?
Axos Bank is an FDIC member and all deposit accounts are insured through the FDIC. The bank takes measures to protect customers and keep their financial information secure. That includes SSL encryption, firewalls, fraud monitoring, and automatic times logouts. All bank documents are encrypted and stored in a secure message center.
Final Verdict: Is Axos Worth It?
This Axos Bank review has revealed a business banking option that includes attractive options such as a relatively high yield savings option and several choices for Axos checking accounts. But our in-depth look at Axos Bank has also revealed some potential negatives, including a pattern of customer complaints, that raise doubts about whether this is a good option for a small business looking to access business banking services.
We like the variety of options available with Axos Bank for both business checking and savings accounts. You can decide which option works best for your business, looking at factors like minimum opening deposit, interest-earning potential, and daily balance requirements to decide what would suit you best. The reimbursement of all domestic ATM fees is a welcome policy. And while the interest rates available are not the highest we’ve seen, you can count on earning a higher rate than the national average when you deposit your money in an Axos Bank account.
On the other hand, we are troubled by some of the fine print revelations with Axos, a bank that markets itself as a fee-free option for businesses. It would be easy to avoid some of those potential fees, by understanding and abiding by the minimum balance requirements, for example. Other fees might be a little harder to avoid, such as the per-transaction fee of as much as $0.50 once you hit your account’s monthly limit.
For these reasons, we feel that business owners who choose to look further into Axos business banking should proceed with caution. And if you’re not convinced Axos is right for you, understand your needs when it comes to business banking, look around and compare your options so you make a choice you can stick with.