Updated June 20, 2022 6:12 PM PT

Bluevine Alternatives

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Bluevine offers a high APY and no monthly fees. But it has limitations. Find out if one of these business checking alternatives is better for you instead.

The Top 10 Alternatives to Bluevine
  1. Novo - Best for tech-savvy businesses
  2. Kabbage - Best for businesses with less banking activity
  3. Mercury - Best for startups
  4. Chase Business Banking - Best big-bank option
  5. Relay - Best for co-owned businesses
  6. NBKC - Best customer service
  7. Axos - Best for ATMs and wire transfers
  8. NorthOne - Best extra features
  9. Lili - Best for freelancers
  10. Fundbox - Best for business lending

Bluevine is popular for its free business checking, high APY, and simple business financing.

But it won't be right for all businesses. Whether you're looking for better features or better customer support, there's an alternative here that's right for your business.

In this review, see how Bluevine compares to Novo, Kabbage, and other competitors. Plus, review the Bluevine pros and cons and what to look for in an account.

The Top 10 Alternatives to Bluevine

AlternativeWhy it's better than Bluevine
NovoDigital integrations
KabbageNo requirement to earn APY
MercuryDesigned for tech startups; can connect you to investors
ChaseIncludes card processing (better for small retailers)
RelayMultiple accounts and cards for your whole team
NBKCMore banking services
AxosUnlimited ATM rebates & free cash deposits
NorthOneMore features and multiple cards
LiliBetter for freelancers and side-hustlers
FundboxLower borrower requirements for financing

While Bluevine does offer an excellent free business banking account, it's not perfect. Here are the top Bluevine alternatives for small business banking and financing.

1. Novo - Best for Tech-Savvy Businesses

Novo is a digital-only banking service that lets you integrate your checking account with thousands of popular business apps, such as Shopify, Stripe, QuickBooks, and Slack.

Though Novo only offers a checking account, you can still create up to 5 "Reserves", or savings funds. This lets you put aside money for things like taxes or upcoming large purchases. Bluevine also offers up to 5 subaccounts.

Novo doesn't offer interest. Instead, it offers generous discounts and credits from popular business services (such as $3,000 in Google Cloud credit).

However, a downside is that Novo doesn't have options for cash deposits.

Bluevine vs Novo takeaway: Novo is best for tech-savvy businesses that use a lot of business tools and don't deal with cash.

2. Kabbage - Best for Businesses with Less Banking Activity

Kabbage is most comparable to Bluevine in terms of the high APY and lending. Unlike Bluevine, there are no debit card spending or deposit requirements to receive the APY.

Similar to Novo, you can set up to 5 Reserves. And the best part is that your Reserves balances earn interest too.

Kabbage also lets you deposit cash at 90,000+ Greendot locations. But it doesn't offer free checkbooks. Instead, you need to pay for paper checks.

It also offers a flexible small business line of credit. Kabbage lets you borrow up to $150,000,[1] while Bluevine goes up to $250,000.[2]

Bluevine vs Kabbage takeaway: Kabbage doesn't have monthly activity requirements to earn interest. But there are no free checkbooks.

3. Mercury - Best for Startups

Mercury is a digital banking account for tech startups. Your account comes with a checking and savings account bundle. It also offers exclusive savings on dozens of business software.

What's unique about Mercury is their Raise funding program. Every quarter, they host a fundraising round that lets you get your startup in front of 500+ investors. Many companies got their seed funding from this program.[3]

Mercury is not open to sole proprietors. You need to be a U.S.-based company and have an EIN to apply.

Bluevine vs Mercury takeaway: If you have a tech startup, Mercury may have more features you need. Plus, the investor connections could be invaluable to your business.

Read more in detail on how they compare at BlueVine vs Novo vs Mercury

4. Chase Business Banking - Best Big-Bank Option

If you're looking for a brick-and-mortar bank, Chase has one of the best small business checking accounts.

The Chase Business Complete Banking is an all-in-one account with checking and credit card processing. It comes with a mobile card reader that lets you take payments anywhere. You don't need to open a separate merchant account.

The biggest downside is that there is a monthly fee unless you keep a certain balance. The balance requirement is higher, which may be hard for very small businesses.

Bluevine vs Chase takeaway: Chase is a convenient business checking option for mobile sellers, small retailers, and food services who need payment processing.

5. Relay - Best for Co-owned Businesses

Relay Financial is a business banking account built with growth in mind. You can open up to 20 individual business checking accounts. Plus, issue up to 50 debit cards and set spending limits for team members.

You can also use Relay with your accountant (or anyone else). It has user permission settings so you can choose the level of access others get.

Bluevine lets you add other users too, but you can only open 5 subaccounts, for a total of 6 accounts.

Bluevine vs Relay takeaway: Relay is best for larger teams who needs more checking accounts, whereas Bluevine only lets you open up to 6 accounts.

6. NBKC - Best Customer Service

NBKC (National Bank of Kansas City) is an online bank available nationwide.

Their business checking account is pretty basic and there's no interest. But it's as fee-free as you can get. In addition to $0 monthly fees, you pay nothing for overdrafts, stop payments, or incoming wires.

And if you're looking for more than just checking, NBKC offers more services than Bluevine. It also offers business savings accounts, several credit cards, and treasury management services.

NBKC also has rave reviews for customer service that actually treats you like a human. Plus, the mobile app has excellent ratings.

Bluevine vs NBKC takeaway: Bluevine has the superior checking account, but NBKC has more banking services and better customer service and app reviews.

6. Axos - Best for ATMs and Wire Transfers

Axos offers a great Basic Business Checking Account with unlimited transactions and a lot of free features.

You get unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, so you can use any machine you want. You can even deposit cash for free at MoneyPass and AllPoint ATMs that take cash.

However, only some of the ATMs in those networks can take cash. But if you happen to live or work near one, that can save you money since BlueVine costs $4.95 for each cash deposit.

Another good benefit is the 2 outgoing domestic wire fee reimbursements per month. Axos could be the better option if you occasionally send wires.

It also gives you the first set of 50 checks free. While this is really good for a business checking account, it doesn't beat BlueVine's 2 free checkbooks per year.

Axos also has a Small Business Interest Checking account with a decent APY. But this account has $5,000 minimum average daily balance requirement to waive the monthly service fee. And in exchange for interest, you don't get 2 free wires and there's a transaction limit.

Bluevine vs Axos takeaway: Axos's Basic Business Checking account offers good features like unlimited ATM fee rebates, free cash deposits, and 2 free wires. But if your main priority is earning interest, BlueVine is still better.

8. NorthOne - Best Extra Features

NorthOne is one of the most well-rounded online business accounts. However, it does have a $10 monthly fee that cannot be waived.[4]

But NorthOne does offer more features than Bluevine. You get debit cards for multiple owners, an invoice maker, and dozens of business app integrations.

You can also create unlimited envelopes to set aside funds for different expenses. You can set up rules to automatically move a set amount or percentage of payments into your envelopes.

Like Bluevine, if you need to deposit cash, you can do so at 90,000+ Greendot locations.

Bluevine vs NorthOne takeaway: NorthOne has better features than Bluevine, but there is a $10 monthly fee and it doesn't offer interest. It depends on what is more valuable to you.

9. Lili - Best for Freelancers

If you're a freelancer or independent contractor, Lili may be more in line with your needs. It's a mixed-use personal and business checking account.

You can sort purchases as "personal" or "business," set aside funds for taxes and emergencies, and automatically generate expense reports.

But Lili does have some limitations. You can only transfer money to a linked external account up to $1,000 a month.[5]

The basic Lili account does not offer interest. But if you upgrade to Lili Pro ($4.99/mo), you earn interest on your emergency bucket.[6]

Bluevine vs Lili takeaway: Lili is for freelancers who don't want to keep separate personal and business accounts. Bluevine is a proper business account, though freelancers can also apply.

You can only apply for Lili with an SSN. It doesn't accept applications with EIN. Read our guide on banks that don't require SSNs for more options.

10. Fundbox - Best for Business Lending

Fundbox is one of Bluevine's top competitors in the small business lending space.

Fundbox offers flexible lines of credit up to $150,000, whereas Bluevine goes up to $250k. But Fundbox has slightly lower borrower requirements. You need $100,000 in annual revenue to qualify[7] (compared to $120,000 a year with Bluevine).

When you draw on your line of credit, Bluevine gives you longer to repay. Bluevine's repayment term is 6 or 12 months, whereas Fundbox only gives you 12 or 24 weeks.

Fundbox also offers term loans that you can repay over 24 or 52 weeks. A term loan may be the better option if you need to fund a one-time large purchase.

Both lenders offer fast decisions in minutes, no origination fee, and no prepayment penalty.

Bluevine vs Fundbox takeaway: Fundbox has slightly lower requirements, but a shorter repayment term. You may also consider it if you need a term loan.

Bluevine Pros & Cons

Not sure if Bluevine or an alternative is better? Review these pros and cons to see if it's a good option for you.

What we like about Bluevine:

  • 1.5% on balances up to $100,000 with monthly eligibility requirements; 0% APY on balances over $100,000
  • No monthly service fee
  • 2 free checkbooks per year
  • 5 free sub-accounts (for a total of 6 checking accounts)
  • Ability to deposit cash at 90,000+ Green Dot locations
  • No-fee access to 37,000+ MoneyPass ATMs
  • No fees for overdrafts or incoming wires
  • Small business lines of credit up to $250,000

Why Bluevine may not be for you:

  • $4.95 cash deposit fee
  • There are requirements to earn the APY
  • Very limited integrations; only syncs with QuickBooks
  • Poor app ratings

How to Choose the Right Business Bank

Digital banks have given small business owners a lot more options. But it can also be confusing to decide on the best one for your needs.

Here are some things to consider when deciding on the right bank for you.

Minimum balance requirements
Some banks require a minimum balance or else there's a monthly fee. It doesn't need to be a dealbreaker as long as you can comfortably meet the requirements. Most of the ones on our list don't have a requirement.

ATM access
If you're going with an online bank, it's important to know which ATM network the bank uses. Make sure it's convenient for where you work/live.

Cash deposits
Does your business receive transactions in cash? If so, then it's important to pick a bank that has the ability to deposit cash. Some of the more tech-focused ones don't let you.

Software integration
If you use a lot of small business software, consider whether they will integrate with your new checking account. This matters because it could make your life easier. Bluevine doesn't offer a lot of integrations.

Ability to grow with you
As your business expands, you want your bank to be able to meet your growing needs. A downside of Bluevine is that features are rather basic.

Bottom Line

Bluevine offers a great basic checking account with an impressive interest rate. But it has limitations. There are lots of alternatives that have more to offer.

Before you open an account, think about what features are important to you and what you may need in the future. If you outgrow Bluevine later, it will be a pain to switch your entire business to a new checking account.

References

  1. ^ Kabbage. Small Business Line of Credit, Retrieved 3/20/2022
  2. ^ Bluevine. Line of Credit, Retrieved 3/20/2022
  3. ^ Mercury. Raise Seed, Retrieved 3/20/2022
  4. ^ NorthOne Pricing, Retrieved 3/20/2022
  5. ^ Lili. How can I transfer money from my account?, Retrieved 3/12/2022
  6. ^ Lili. What is the monthly fee for Lili Pro?, Retrieved 3/20/2022
  7. ^ Fundbox. Do I qualify?, Retrieved 3/20/2022
Bluevine

Business Checking - Up to 1.5% APY

  • 1.5% APY on your balance up to $100,000 for customers that meet monthly eligibility requirements
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 monthly service fee
Novo

Powerfully Simple Business Banking

  • $0 monthly service fee
  • $50 deposit to unlock all features
  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates
Banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; Member FDIC

Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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