Best business banking account for the self-employed 2021

It’s challenging to run a business, and it’s even more difficult when you are self-employed. Of all the responsibilities that self-employed professionals face, your finances can be the hardest to sort. It can seem like there are endless banks to choose from, and the options can quickly blur together. When it comes to finding the best business account, it’s not a decision you want to make on a whim.  

Here are the best business checking accounts that we could find for the self-employed in 2021.


Best for interest

bluevinechecking.pngbluevinechecking.png

BlueVine

At a glance

BlueVine is one of the best business banks when you want to earn interest without all of the fees. It offers 1.0% interest on account balances of up to $100,000 with unlimited transactions and optional bill pay. BlueVine’s ATM network is large, too, including over 38,000 MoneyPass locations across the country using your new BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard. If you need to deposit cash, BlueVine’s partnership with Green Dot means that you can make deposits at over 90,000 retail locations. Accounts also include two free checkbooks. 

Small business owners in the U.S. that are 18 years of age and older are eligible for a BlueVine Business Checking account. BlueVine does not issue business checking accounts to those in specific industries, such as gambling, firearms, or cryptocurrency

To help with your account, there is live support. In addition to its expansive online resources and tools, BlueVine offers an excellent mobile app that allows you to check your balance, deposit your paycheck, and address other account issues. If you lose your card, you can also go online to freeze and unfreeze your card to prevent theft. 

Because BlueVine is a financial technology company and not a bank, deposits are FDIC-insured via Coastal Community Bank to at least $250,000 but are not guaranteed for more.  

Fees

BlueVine has no monthly fees and does not charge you if there are insufficient funds. There are also no charges for incoming wires, and over 38,000 MoneyPass locations help you avoid ATM fees.

Pros

Cons

  • Interest capped at $100,000

  • No incoming wire transfers

  • Not a bank


Best for in-person banking

chasebankingcardapp.pngchasebankingcardapp.png

Chase

At a glance

One of the best parts about Chase is the enormous support that its account holders receive. There are over 4,700 physical branches, 24/7 support, and a network of 16,000 ATMs. However, Chase Business Complete Banking is not available in Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories.

Chase Online Banking makes mobile banking simple when you’re on the go. There are unlimited electronic deposits, and you can even receive same-day deposits with Chase QuickAccept via the Chase Mobile app. QuickAccept also makes it possible for you to accept payments right on your phone using the app.

The Chase debit card includes chip technology with the added support of Fraud Protection Services. You have the option of adding Chase Business Debit Card Coverage, which includes Overdraft Protection from a linked backup bank account. However, overdraft charges of $34 per item may apply.  

Fees

While there is no monthly contract, Chase Complete Banking allows up to 20 transactions before a fee of $0.40 per transaction is assessed. There are free deposits of up to $5,000 per billing cycle. There is a monthly fee of $15, but this can be waived if there is $2,000 in monthly activity for eligible accounts.

However, you will pay fees for incoming wires with charges for both domestic and international wire transfers. 

Pros 

Cons


Best for rewards

lendingclubbankapp.pnglendingclubbankapp.png

LendingClub

At a glance

LendingClub makes an impressive offer with both 1% cashback rewards and an interest-bearing checking account that earns 0.10% APY on balances of $5,000 or more. What’s more, LendingClub says you can open an account in 10 minutes or less.

Online banking enables you to send domestic wires of up to $10,000. There is also the LendingClub mobile app, which is incredibly helpful in completing a number of functions. There is mobile check deposit, funds transfer, and bill pay, in addition to digital invoicing. The LendingClub app also accepts payments like ACH and lockbox payments, in addition to traditional card payments. LendingClub’s own internal Autobooks accounting feature offers easy integration into leading software programs like Mint, QuickBooks, and Quicken.

There are some limitations to consider with mobile deposits. LendingClub places initial 30-day limits when you first open your account. For example, mobile check deposits are held for five days for the first 30 days you have the account, but after that, checks are processed within two business days. Tailored Checking accounts also have a daily limit of $25,000.

Fees

LendingClub has fees and restrictions for various parts of your account.

A minimum deposit of $100 is required to open your account, but no minimum is required after that. There are no monthly maintenance fees when you maintain a balance of $5,000 or more. Otherwise, the cost is $10 per month. LendingClub will also refund all ATM fee rebates on an unlimited basis each year for your Tailored Checking account. 

Pros

  • Both interest and cashback rewards

  • Unlimited ATM rebates

  • $2,000 ATM/Debit daily limit

Cons 

  • $100 required deposit to open account

  • Monthly fee for balances less than $5,000

  • Daily limits apply


Best for freelancers

lilibankingapp.pnglilibankingapp.png

Lili

At a glance

Specifically designed for freelancers, Lili combines simple banking with cashback rewards. You’ll enjoy automatic savings with 1% APY that you can store in your rainy-day Emergency Bucket, along with an automatic $1 transfer per day to help your funds grow. Funds are FDIC-insured through Lili’s partner bank, Choice Financial Group.

You can access your money without any fees at more than 38,000 ATM locations, and you receive cashback rewards when you use your Lili Visa Business Debit Card at participating merchants. You can also get paid two days earlier when you receive your funds via direct deposit.

What makes Lili especially great for freelancers and small businesses is that it incorporates the accounting end of your finances, too. In addition to its savings feature, you can create invoices and organize taxes all within the mobile app. The Lili Visa Business Debit Card comes with real-time spending notifications to keep you informed, and, with additional security and encryption protocols, you can always freeze and unfreeze your card through the app.

Fees

Lili’s business checking account comes without many of the fees commonly associated with a checking account. There are no monthly fees, you do not have to maintain a minimum balance, and Lili does not charge overdraft fees, up to $200.

Pros 

  • Three-minute sign-up

  • Interest-bearing account

  • Savings buckets

Cons


Best for no fees

nbkcbankaccount.pngnbkcbankaccount.png

nbkc

At a glance

Based in Kansas City, nbkc Business Checking accounts are available to business owners across the U.S. who are 18 years of age or older. There is available Bill Pay both online and using the nbkc app, which also allows you to deposit checks if you’re not by a Kansas or Missouri branch. There are over 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico for easy use. Support is also available via phone, email, or in person. 

Business checking accounts include unlimited desktop deposits with the ability for ACH payroll and vendor payments. There is easy merchant processing and an added overdraft sweep to help prevent additional fees and extra security tools.

Fees

In addition to free check deposits, nbkc charges no fees for its business checking account. That means no fees for returned checks, paper items, overdrafts, or insufficient funds. There is no minimum balance required to open your account, and you do not need to keep a minimum balance in your account, either. 

Pros 

Cons


Best unlimited free ATMs

novobankingapps.pngnovobankingapps.png

Novo

At a glance

Novo is designed for two groups of people: independents/freelancers and small business owners. Once you open your account, you begin with a Virtual Card that allows you to spend online and via Apple or Google Pay before your new physical card arrives. Novo also offers mobile check deposit with easy invoicing to include invoice design, tracking, and management. 

Insured through Middlesex Federal Savings, the Novo debit card is accepted worldwide and includes an EMV chip for added security. You have the option of instant notifications for every transaction made with your Novo card, so you never miss a charge. Novo partners with Stripe for easy debit and credit card payments, with up to $20,000 in free payment processing. There’s also built-in account integration, so you can easily handle accounting and payment tracking. 

Novo Reserves makes it easy to save and categorize spending, with the ability to use up to five separate reserves for things like payroll, taxes, and other expenses. You can link your Novo account to your bank accounts and allocate funds between your accounts with easy transfers and free check deposits.

Fees

Novo assesses very few fees and refunds all ATM fees. There are unlimited free transactions in the U.S.

There is a required deposit of $50 to open an account, but no minimum balance is required after that. There also are not any monthly or early termination fees along with free ACH transfers and complimentary paper checks. ACH transfers and incoming wires are all free, but there is a $27 insufficient funds fee. 

Pros 

Cons

Product Best for APY Cashback Fee Schedule Monthly fee Amount to open ATM network
Bluevine Best for interest 1.00% Very competitive $0 $0 38,000+ MoneyPass
Chase Business Complete Banking Best for in-person banking Moderate $15 or free with $2,000 in monthly activity $0 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs
LendingClub Tailored Checking Best for rewards 0.10% on $5,000+ balance 1.00% Great $10 or free with $5,000+ balance $100 Unlimited
Lili Account Best for freelancers 1.00% Very competitive $0 $0 38,000+ ATMs
nbkc Business Account Best for no fees Very Competitive $0 $0 37,000+ MoneyPass
Novo Business Checking Best for unlimited free ATM use Very Competitive $0 $50 Unlimited

How did we choose these products?

With so many banks and financial institutions, it can feel impossible to choose the right one. However, there are some especially important factors to consider when you are self-employed.

  • Interest: Some business accounts may be eligible to earn interest on your balance. 

  • Rewards: Many accounts also carry additional rewards, like cashback or other incentives meant to save you money.

  • Transactions: There may be limits placed on the number of free transactions you have each month, so look for any additional restrictions or charges that may restrict your banking activity.

  • Opening deposit: Some accounts may require an upfront deposit to open a business checking bank account, with some minimums much more expensive than others.

  • Fees: Bank charges can quickly eat into your profits, so be sure to consider different fees like monthly fees, ATM charges, insufficient fees, and overdraft charges.

  • Cash deposits: There may be limits regarding the amount or quantity of deposits that you are able to make without penalty each month.

  • Integrations: Some business bank accounts may offer beneficial integrations that could prove valuable to your business, such as Quickbooks for accounting or Stripe for payment processing.

To find the best bank account for self-employed business owners, be sure to compare different banks for the right account for your company’s needs.

Which is the right one for you?

Want few fees? Choose Bluevine.

Want access to physical branches? Choose Chase Business Complete Banking.

Want rewards on everyday spending? Choose LendingClub Tailored Checking.

Want tools to manage your freelance business? Choose Lili Account.

Want fee-free banking instead of rewards? Choose nbkc Business Account.

Want to use any ATM worldwide without fees? Choose Novo Business Checking.

FAQ

What is a business checking account?

A business checking account is similar to a personal checking account in that they both allow you to write checks, make deposits, and pay bills. However, business checking accounts generally have expanded features, such as expense tracking, payment processing, and tax assistance.

What are the differences between a personal checking account and a business checking account?

While personal checking accounts are generally free, there are few free business checking accounts. Instead, business accounts can carry higher fees and expenses due to the increased level of activity. However, business checking accounts typically enjoy increased benefits to better accommodate your company’s higher volume. 

What is the best business checking account for the self-employed in 2021?

There are many choices, but not all may be the right fit for you. To find the best business checking account for you, be sure to shop your options and consider critical factors like fees, interest, account requirements, and ATM networks.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

In our review of the best checking accounts for self-employed business owners, we analyzed several different banks and financial providers. These are some other options that almost made our list and may be worth your consideration:

  • Bank of America Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking

  • Kabbage Checking

  • Mercury Business Bank Account

  • Relay 

  • Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking Account

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *