5 Best Business Bank Accounts for Freelancers in 2023

Sections of this topic

    As a freelancer, you’ll understand how complex running your business can be. While chasing your clients down for payments, you’ll want to remain on top of your finances constantly. So whether your priority is minimal fees, easy-access digital banking, or reward programs to maximize your profit, here are the best business bank accounts you can open.

    Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers

    • NovoBest overall
    • LiliBest for customer experience
    • BluevineBest for earning interest
    • FoundBest for financial management
    • AxosBest for cutting costs

    Methodology Summary 

    We reviewed each bank account’s fees to determine their affordability as well as their annual percentage yields and rewards programs that could help freelancers to increase their savings. 

    Features that could assist in business activities including online banking and other digital tools were also assessed, as were customer reviews given by existing account holders. Learn more about our methodology here.

    Monthly Fee

    $0

    • $0 for basic
    • $9 for pro

    $0

    • $0 for basic
    • $10 for Small Business Interest Checking 

    $0

    ATM Fees

    No fees

    • No in-network fees
    • $2.50 for out-of-network withdrawals

    No in-network fees

    $2.50 for out-of-network withdrawals

    No ATM fees (Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements)

    No fees unless charged by ATM

    Incoming transfer fees

    $0

    $0

    $0

    $0

    2.9% charged by Stripe plus $0.30 processing fee

    Transaction Fees

    • 0% for regular ACH
    • 1.5% for Express ACH

    $0

    2.9%

    $0

    $0

    Cash Deposit Fees

    Depends on price charged by vendor

    Varies depending on location ($4.95 maximum)

    $4.95

    Depends on price charged by vendor ($4.95 maximum)

    N/A

    APY

    N/A

    • N/A for basic
    • Up to 1.5% for Pro

    Up to 2.0%

    • N/A for basic
    • Up to 1.01% for  Small Business Interest Checking

    N/A

    Online Features

    • Virtual card
    • Apple Pay & Google Pay
    • Automated budgeting
    • Invoicing submission and tracking
    • Multiple app integrations
    • Accounting features
    • Tax optimizer
    • Invoicing software
    • App center
    • Expense tracking
    • Sub-accounts
    • Quickbooks integration
    • Quickbooks integration
    • Expense tracking
    • Financial reporting
    • Tax estimates
    • Unlimited invoicing

    Novo logo

    Novo: Best Overall

    Fully automated financial management solution

    5.0

    In addition to offering an affordable fee structure, Novo’s multiple app integrations, automated budgeting, and invoicing platform enable you to run your business’s finances from a single platform. Add its multiple rewards into the mix, and Novo offers one of the most well-rounded freelance bank accounts that provides you with benefits across the board.

    Why we chose it: 

    By enabling account holders to integrate numerous online payment and ecommerce apps while also automating your budgeting and payments through its Reserves feature, this business bank account streamlines your financial management activities while minimizing manual labor on your part. Due to its built-in invoicing software, you can take care of all your business finances without having to seek out any external software. 

    • Automate fund allocation with Reserves
    • Unlimited free check deposits
    • Unlimited free ACH transfers
    • No debit card transaction fees
    • Virtual debit card
    • Built-in invoicing
    • Up to $4,000 in perks
    • No APY

    Fees

    Novo has no monthly charge nor ATM withdrawal fees. It is important to note, however, that there is a $1,000 daily limit on ATM withdrawals.

    While Novo offers unlimited free standard ACH transfers, express ACH transfers come at a cost of 1.5% of the transaction amount. For cash deposits, you may be charged depending on the policy of the ATM you use, however check deposits via the Novo mobile app are always free of charge.

    Another noteworthy perk is that unlike many competitors, Novo’s debit card does not charge any transaction fees for domestic and international purchases.

    APY And Rewards Programs

    Although Novo does not offer interest to account holders, it is still an ideal bank account for freelancers who are looking to maximize their savings due to its wide range of rewards.

    This bank account’s business perks include $5,000 in fee-free processing when clients pay you via Stripe, $500 in credits when you spend $500 to advertise your business using Google Ads, and six months free on any customer service software offered by Zendesk Suite. 

    Online Features

    By integrating with a variety of payment and ecommerce apps, Novo’s online banking platform directs your entire cash flow to one place. With Novo Reserves, you are given the ability to automatically allocate incoming funds into different reserves while also setting automatic payments so that your expenses are paid for without any human interaction needed.

    Novo’s invoicing feature enables you to submit and track invoices while also providing the option to set up Stripe payments on your invoices so that your clients can pay you as soon as they receive the invoice. If you prefer going cashless and cardless, then you can make payments using your virtual debit card on Novo’s mobile banking app, compatible with both Apple Pay and Google Pay.

    Lili logo

    Lili: Best for online features

    4.7 Star Rating on Trustpilot

    4.9

    Designed with freelancers and small business owners in mind, Lili ranks among the best banks for freelancers due to its online banking features that are tailored to make it easier for you to run your business.

    In addition to its customizable invoices, Lili also has a receipt scanner that you can use to upload all of your expenses that don’t appear in the mobile app. Lili’s tax optimizer is built to help you file your taxes with ease, with features including quarterly and yearly expense reports, a write-off tracker, and a pre-filled annual 1040 Schedule C form, ready to be filed.

    Why we chose it:

    Lili has received a vast volume of positive customer reviews, with plenty of praise being directed at the layout and intuitiveness of its mobile app. With a user-friendly online banking platform such as Lili at your fingertips, you’ll be able to perform crucial freelance activities such as tracking expenses, issuing invoices and preparing taxes with minimal hassle.

    • Cashback rewards for Pro Account holders
    • Zero overdraft fees for Pro Account holders
    • Tax optimizing services
    • Expense categorization
    • Invoicing software
    • Strong customer reviews
    • No lending services
    • Some benefits only accessible to Pro Account Holders

    Fees

    While the Lili basic account has no monthly fee, the Lili Pro Account comes with a fee of $9 per month. No matter what account you choose, you’ll benefit from zero ATM transaction fees so long as you use an ATM within the MoneyPass network. 

    It’s important to note, however, that use of an out-of-network ATM comes with a $2.50 fee, while there is a $5.00 fee for withdrawals from international ATMs. One major benefit of using this freelancer bank account is that there are no overdraft fees if you sign up for the Pro Account.

    APY And Rewards Programs

    While a regular checking account does not offer interest, Lili does provide an APY of up to 1.5% should you open a savings account. To earn this rate, however, account holders are required to set up a Pro Account and transfer at least $1 to their savings account daily. If you aren’t prepared to jump through these hoops, then Lili would not be your ideal account if saving is your priority.  

    Lili does offer worthwhile rewards through its Lili Business Debit Card, however, this once again requires signing up for a Pro account. Upon receiving this card, account holders not only benefit from zero card fees but are also eligible to receive cashback rewards at participating merchants.

    Online Features

    If your priority is to remain on top of your income and expenses while making your administrative duties such as submitting invoices and accounting easier, then Lili offers a comprehensive solution via its desktop platform as well as its mobile app.

    Lili’s accounting features include expense categorization, which will help you to organize and keep track of your costs, as well as a receipt scanner, so that you can upload expenses that you did not incur through your Lili account. Lili can also be integrated with numerous payment and ecommerce platforms including Paypal, Shopify, and Etsy, so that your income can all be combined in one place.

    Lili’s tax optimizer makes it easier for you to pay your taxes, with its write-off tracker, expense reports, and prefilled Schedule C, while it also provides invoicing software so that you can perform all of your freelance financial activities on one integrated platform.

    BlueVine logo

    Bluevine: Best for earning interest

    Earn up to 2.0% interest

    4.8

    For freelancers, as with any business, maximizing profit is a top priority. With its relatively high APY and minimal fees, Bluevine does just that, making it the best business checking account for you if you’re on the hunt for a bank account that will boost your savings.

    Why we chose it: 

    Bluevine offers up to 2.0% APY; one of the highest interest rates available. What’s more, this bank account charges no monthly fees, incoming transaction fees, nor in-network ATM fees, thereby eliminating extra costs for your business. 

    • High-yield interest earnings
    • Unlimited transactions
    • No monthly fees 
    • No minimum deposit
    • No in-network ATM withdrawal fees
    • No incoming transaction fees
    • 2.9% transaction fees 
    • $4.95 cash deposit fee
    • No international wire transfers

    Fees

    Bluevine’s checking account comes with zero monthly fees, no incoming transaction fees, and zero in-network ATM fees. What’s more, you don’t require a minimum deposit in order to open an account here.

    Bluevine does, however, charge a 2.9% credit card transaction fee as well as a cash deposit fee of $4.95 per deposit. Should you wish to use an ATM that is out of network, you will be charged $2.50 per transaction.

    APY And Rewards Programs

    Aside from your main source of income, Bluevine also offers you a prime opportunity to grow your savings by offering you a relatively high APY of 2.0% on accounts worth up to $100,000. 

    It is important to note, however, that you must either spend $500 per month with your Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard or receive $2,500 per month in customer payments to be eligible for this rate.

    Online Features

    Bluevine offers access to its digital banking services via its website as well as its mobile banking app.

    With features such as expense tracking, and sub-accounts, and integration with Quickbooks accounting software, existing account holders have praised Bluevine’s app for its functionality as well as quick and helpful assistance from customer support. As a result, this app is rated 4.6 stars on the App Store

    Axos logo

    Axos: Best for cutting costs

    Free $200 welcome bonus on sign up

    4.7

    Named one of the best business checking accounts by Forbes and Wallethub, Axos’ Basic Business Checking account is ideal for freelancers who are looking to safeguard their earnings. Through its low fees, complementary business services, and mobile banking app, Axos is geared towards freelancers who are looking to run their business in a cost-effective manner. 

    Why we chose it:

    In addition to the $200 welcome bonus that you’ll receive upon sign up, Axos provides access to small business services such as payroll and treasury management along with QuickBooks accounting software integration. Such benefits, along with the account’s low fees, make Axos an ideal freelance bank account if cutting costs is your priority.

    • $200 welcome bonus
    • Multiple SBA loans
    • On-demand small business services
    • Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements
    • Free debit card transactions and replacement
    • Limited online business management tools
    • No APY for checking account
    • No payment nor ecommerce app integrations

    Fees

    Axos is a leader when it comes to affordable banking, considering that its Basic Business Checking account comes with no monthly fee or hidden fees, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, and free online transfers.

    While this account also offers two reimbursed domestic wire fees, take note that additional outgoing wire transfers cost $35 each for domestic transfers and $45 each for international wire transfers. All incoming wire transfers, however, remain free. A worthwhile perk of this bank is that this bank does not charge any transaction fees on its debit card nor card replacement fees.

    APY And Rewards Programs

    The Basic Business Checking account does not offer interest, however, account holders do have the option to switch to the Small Business Interest Checking account which offers up to 1.01% APY.

    Take note, however, that unlike the basic checking account, Axos’ Small Business Interest Checking account includes a $10 monthly fee for accounts with a balance under $5,000, so the better account for you really depends on your personal financial situation.

    Online Features

    When compared with other freelance bank accounts, Axos offers a limited range of digital tools to automate or at least ease your financial management. While Axos does provide QuickBooks integration, its website and mobile app do not offer integrations with ecommerce and online payments platforms. 

    Despite its more traditional, bare-bones layout, the Axos banking app has been lauded by customers for its ease of use as well as its intuitiveness when it comes to features such as automatic bill payments and transfers between accounts. The mobile app also has a useful expense breakdown on its Account Insights page so that you can understand where your costs lie. 

    Found logo

    Found: Best for financial management

    One-stop shop for tax and accounting tools

    4.7

    Offering what it calls “the card for the self-employed”, Found provides an all-in-one banking solution for freelancers, enabling them to submit invoices, prepare their taxes, and perform regular banking activities all from one convenient banking app.

    Why we chose it:

    Financial management activities such as tracking income and expenses, invoicing, and paying taxes are time-consuming tasks. By having an integrated freelance business account that offers support for these activities, you can spend less time on administrative tasks and focus more on the work that generates your income.

    • Automated tax estimates
    • Tax write-off tracking 
    • Financial reporting
    • Invoicing software
    • Automatically-generated financial reports
    • 1.75% fee for transfers to external debit cards
    • 2.9% fee + 30 cents processing fee for invoices
    • No cash or check deposits
    • No APY

    Fees

    With zero monthly fees, ACH transfer fees, and no ATM fees except for those charged by the ATMs themselves, Found offers relatively affordable banking for freelancers. 

    The main fees that account holders need to watch out for come in the form of a 1.75% fee for instant transfers to external debit cards as well as invoicing fees, which come in the form of a 2.9% fee from Stripe on top of a 30 cent processing fee.

    APY And Rewards Programs

    Although Found does not offer an interest-earning account, this bank makes up for this shortfall by eliminating common fees such as ACH transfer fees. Found also offers unlimited transactions and a quick sign-up process, with no credit checks or minimum amounts required to open an account.

    Online Features

    Priding itself on providing all-in-one banking for freelancers and small businesses, Found’s main selling point appears to be the integrated financial management tools offered via its website and mobile app.

    Found’s bookkeeping platform offers automatic expense tracking, up-to-date financial reporting, and seamless integration with its invoicing system, meaning that you can keep constant track of your expenses and income without additional manual labor. The banking app also enables you to view your tax estimate and financial reports as well as pay your taxes directly from the app. What’s more, its invoicing system enables you to issue unlimited invoices while receiving payment from multiple payment apps directly to your account.

    Methodology for the Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers

    • Fees: As a freelancer, the success of your business is a priority. While earning a good salary is important, your financial success also depends on being able to limit your costs. In order to save you from incurring unnecessary costs, we looked at the banks with the lowest ATM, monthly, and transaction fees.
    • APY And Rewards Programs: While the work you do as a freelancer may be your main form of income, having a passive form of income can increase your savings. We looked to identify bank accounts that are able to either provide you with interest or that offer rewards that will help you save money or reduce costs.
    • Online Features: Aside from the day-to-day running of your business, being a freelancer means having to submit your own invoices, file taxes, and manage your businesses finances constantly. For this reason, we searched for bank accounts with digital banking tools to optimize and automate the financial management of your business.

    Freelancers Checking Account FAQs

    Bottom Line

    While freelancers may all view profitability as a priority, the main advantages that you are looking to derive from your business bank account may be different from other freelancers.

    Bluevine offers a relatively high APY for freelancers looking to earn some interest on the side, while Axos is a low-cost option that enables you to cut out unnecessary banking fees. If a rich selection of financial and budgeting tools is what you’re looking for, then Found and Lili may be options worth considering. Ultimately, Novo emerged as the bank with benefits covering the most bases, making it number one in our list of best bank accounts for freelancers.