Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers

One of the many open secrets of successful businesses is having a competitive advantage. In a world where competition is strife, the more advantages you have as a freelancer, the better.c

You can often find these advantages in the unlikeliest places – the trick is knowing where to look. One such advantage that you might be overlooking is your bank account.

Freelancers and small business owners have a lot to gain by choosing a bank account that works for them. A bank account can be a loyal sidekick, from automating tedious financial tasks to getting a better picture of your finances for cash flow projections.

If you’re looking for a freelancer bank account, this article will review some of the best small business bank accounts available today, including tips and tricks on what to look for to help you make sure your entrepreneur journey is a resounding success.

12 Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers

Below are the best freelancer bank accounts with all kinds of perks and features including free atm withdrawals, interest-bearing accounts, accounts with no monthly fees, and everything in between.

Lili

  • Monthly fee: $0 – $4.99
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $0
  • Overdraft: Up to $200
  • Interest: 1.00%
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

Lili offers a Basic account, which is free, and a Pro account which costs $4.99. No minimum opening deposit or balance requirements exist for whichever account you open. Specific features, such as the fee-free overdraft, interest, and cashback rewards, are only limited to the Pro account.

The Tax Optimizer feature allows you to categorize transactions in real-time. There’s even a Tax Bucket to set money aside for when it comes to paying taxes. The Lili app also allows you to scan physical receipts, pre-fill the 1040 Schedule C form and issue quarterly and annual reports automatically.

As mentioned earlier, cash back is available with the Lili Pro account. Here, when purchasing from participating merchants, you will get automatic cash back, delivered straight to your account. ATM withdrawals are free from 38,000 locations in the US, and there are no foreign transaction fees. Should you opt for the Pro account, you’ll also get access to the invoices feature, which allows you to create and send unlimited invoices.

Lili Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • Cashback (Pro feature)
  • Interest (Pro feature)
  • Fee-free overdraft (Pro feature)

Chase Business Complete Banking

  • Monthly fee: $15 (or $0 if you meet the criteria)
  • Minimum balance: $2,000
  • Opening deposit: $2,000
  • Overdraft: $34 insufficient funds fee
  • Interest: No
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

As the largest bank in the US, Chase certainly needs no introduction.

As a full-service bank, it offers every product and service you might need – including the Chase Business Complete Banking account.

Currently, they’re offering a welcome bonus of $300.

All you need to do to get this offer is open an account, meet the deposit requirements of at least $2,000 in new money, and make five qualifying transactions within 90 days of account opening.

The account has a monthly fee of $15. However, this can be waived by meeting one of the five criteria set by the bank (like maintaining $2,000 in your account or linking a Chase Private Client account). Cash deposits are free for up to $5,000 per statement cycle, and you get unlimited Chase ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.

You can also opt-in for the Chase QuickAccept, which allows you to take card payments from anywhere. You can take payments through a special device connecting your phone without paying any hidden fees and no monthly contracts.

Chase Business Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • Welcome bonus
  • Chase QuickAccept
  • Associate Debit and Employee Deposit Cards

Novo

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $50
  • Overdraft: $27 insufficient funds fee
  • Interest: No
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

Novo is first and foremost a tech company, offering business banking services through their partner Middlesex Federal Savings. They offer one business checking account with no monthly fees and balance requirements. The account also refunds all ATM fees and includes free ACH transfers and exclusive perks.

Account perks can amount to thousands of dollars in savings and are designed with the business owner in mind. They include discounts and credits on services such as Constant Contact, Google Ads, Quickbooks, and many others.

The account comes with up to ten Reserves, which work like envelopes for easier budgeting. You can also use the app to set up budgets, send invoices, and integrate with 3rd party apps such as Stripe, Shopify, Etsy, Slack, WooCommerce, and many others.

Novo Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • Easy app integration
  • Novo Perks
  • Budgeting and invoicing

Bluevine

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $0
  • Overdraft: No fees
  • Interest: 5%
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

Bluevine is a fintech company offering banking services through its partner, Coastal Community Bank. It has a business checking account and even offers business loans.

The checking account is designed for small businesses and comes with many excellent features and benefits.

There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and you get unlimited transactions with no capping. You can also earn a 1.5% APY interest rate on your balance, up to $100,000. To get this rate, you’ll need to spend $500 per month on your Bluevine Business Debit card or receive at least $2,500 in customer payments.

You can pay bills directly from your account or credit card, then choose how payment will be affected with available options, including check, ACH transfer, or wire transfer. You can also open sub-accounts and give access to different team members by creating their own separate logins.

You get up to two free checkbooks yearly, and there are no in-network ATM fees. Bluevine is a member of the MoneyPass network. Transactions outside this network will incur a $2.50 Bluevine fee on top of any ATM operator charges.

Bluevine Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • 5% APY interest rate
  • Unlimited transactions
  • No overdraft fees

Axos Bank Basic Business Checking

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $0
  • Overdraft: Overdraft protection is available
  • Interest: No
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

Axos Bank is primarily an online bank, formerly known as Bank of Internet USA. It was one of the first digital banks globally, making it a pioneer in this regard.

The bank is also running a promotion offering a welcome bonus between $100-$200, depending on when your business was incorporated.

Their Basic Business Checking offers all of the basic features you might expect of a business checking account without any fees. Aside from no monthly maintenance fees, Axos Bank also offers unlimited domestic ATM fees reimbursements and two free outgoing wires per month. The account also offers overdraft protection and cash deposits through MoneyPass and AllPoint networks.

You can upgrade to the Small Business Interest Checking account as your business grows. Here you can earn an APY of 1.01% amid other upgrades. The upgraded account carries a monthly fee of $10, which is waived when maintaining an average daily balance of $5,000 or more.

Axos Business Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • Cash deposits
  • Welcome bonus
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements

LendingClub Bank Business Banking Tailored Checking

  • Monthly fee: $10
  • Minimum balance: $500
  • Opening Deposit: $100
  • Overdraft: $25 insufficient funds fee
  • Interest: 00% APY
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

Although LendingClub bank is a fairly new addition, they have been around since 1987. Their Business Banking Tailored Checking offers a few interesting options. To waive the monthly fee, you will need to maintain a minimum balance of $500. However, if you push the balance up to $2,500 or receive as much in qualifying direct deposits, you will also earn cash back of 1.00% on qualifying purchases.

Sweetening the deal is an APY interest rate of 1.00% on balances between $0.01 and $99,999.99. Anything over and above this range earns 0.10% instead. You also get unlimited ATM fee rebates, which exclude international exchange fees.

The account has a few other notable features, including Remote Deposit Capture, bill pay, mobile check deposits, and many others. Standard business checks are available to order should you need them.

LendingClub Business Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • Earns cash back
  • Integrates with accounting software
  • Accepts card payments

NorthOne

  • Monthly fee: $10
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $50
  • Overdraft: Not offered
  • Interest: No
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

NorthOne is a fintech company offering a deposit account. NorthOne’s banking services are offered through The Bancorp Bank. The account costs a flat fee of $10 per month with no balance requirements to waive the fee. Everything else is free except incoming and outgoing wires, which will set you back $15 a pop.

As an account designed for small American businesses, you get many tools to help you achieve your business goals. It aims to make finances as easy as possible. To this end, the account offers automatic categorization of purchases, receipt management, full account history, POS and payment processor integration, and a few other things.

The account lives completely online with no branches to visit whatsoever. You can also use the out-of-the-box integrations with available options, including Amazon Pay, PayPal, Stripe, Expensify, and many others.

NorthOne Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • No fees
  • Out-of-the-box integrations
  • POS and payment processor integration

nbkc Bank Free Business Checking

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $0
  • Overdraft: Not offered
  • Interest: No
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

As the name of this account implies, there aren’t many fees – in fact, there’s a whole list of completely free things, including incoming domestic wires, overdrafts or NSFs, and many others. There is no monthly fee either.

The account focuses on simplicity, so there isn’t much by way of features and perks. However, you get a Business Debit MasterCard – which is also free.

This account might be a great option if you’re looking for a low-cost account and already have systems to issue invoices and budgets.

NBKC Bank offers other business financial products and services, including Money Market and CD accounts, loans, credit cards, and several business solutions.

nbkc Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • Simple account
  • Debit Mastercard
  • No monthly fee

Found

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $0
  • Overdraft: Not offered
  • Interest: No
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

Found advertises itself as an all-in-one business account without any fees charged by other banks.

While Found is not a bank, it offers banking services by Piermont Bank.

The account focuses on simplicity and low cost, as attested to by the lack of fees. While simplicity is at its core, it still offers useful features such as customizable tracking, P&L statements in real time, receipt logs, reports, and much more.

You can also send professional-looking invoices straight out of the app, which includes a ‘Pay’ button for your customers’ convenience. Using the auto-withholding feature, you can set money for paying tax bills and even make tax payments straight from the app. Found does not run credit checks on customers when applying for an account.

Found Freelancer Business Account Benefits:

  • No fees
  • Professional-looking invoices
  • Auto-withholding for tax payments

Oxygen Business

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $0
  • Overdraft: $0
  • Interest: 00% APY
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

Oxygen is a fintech company offering a business bank account designed for the world changers. Its banking services are provided by Bancorp Bank. The account comes with features mainly targeted toward startup entrepreneurs.

You can incorporate an LLC directly through the Oxygen app, which allows you to create single-use virtual cards to make secure payments. Balances of up to $20,000 receive an APY of 1.00%, and purchases from approved merchants earn you 5% cashback.

You can deposit cash at Green Dot locations and withdraw money from AllPoint ATMs.

Oxygen Business Bank Account for Freelancers Benefits:

  • 00% APY interest
  • Up to 5% cashback
  • Register an LLC through the Oxygen app

Wise

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Opening deposit: $0
  • Overdraft: No
  • Interest: No
  • FDIC insured: Yes

 

Wise, formerly Transferwise, is an account primarily geared towards those who receive and make payments in multiple currencies. It allows you to make payments at the real exchange rate in over 80 countries.

The account comes with a card; however, you can only withdraw $100 monthly in a maximum of 2 withdrawals. Anything over and above this will incur a $1.50 + 2% charge. The card costs a one-time fee of $5.00

You can hold over 50 currencies in your account, make batch payments, integrate apps, and get local bank details in 10 different currencies for faster payments.

Wise Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • Real exchange rate in over 80 countries
  • Keep 50 different currencies in your account
  • Batch payments

Bank of America Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking

  • Monthly fee: $16
  • Minimum balance: $5,000
  • Opening deposit: $100
  • Overdraft: $35 insufficient funds fee
  • Interest: No
  • FDIC insured: yes

 

Bank of America is a traditional bank and the second largest financial institution in the US. Their Business Advantage Banking package comes with two settings – Relationship and Fundamentals. You can switch between the two anytime.

As the name implies, the Fundamentals setting is the most basic one. It has a monthly fee of $16, which is waived if you either spend a minimum of $250 on qualified debit card purchases or maintain an average monthly balance of at least $5,000 across eligible accounts.

The account comes with many tools, such as mobile check deposits and Cash Flow Monitor, to name a few. Teller transactions and no-fee checks are limited to 200 a month – going up to 500 transactions a month when switching to the Relationship setting. The monthly fee will also go up, in this case, to $29.95 a month. You’ll need to maintain an average monthly balance of $15,000 or more across eligible accounts to waive the Relationship fee.

Bank of America Business Bank Account Benefits for Freelancers:

  • Switch between Fundamentals and Relationship
  • Cash Flow Monitor
  • Optional account management capabilities

Which bank account is best for your freelance business?

Freelancer and business bank accounts come in all shapes and sizes with different features, pricing, and requirements. No one account is better than the rest in all scenarios. More often than not, the best account is the one that best fits your business.

To this end, it can prove to be very beneficial if you look at, and take note of, how you do business. Your particular setup can often determine which account will work best for you. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before looking for a new business bank account.

How do you get paid?

Depending on your type of business and the areas you serve, customers may pay you differently. Freelancers focusing on their immediate community may see a lot of cash and check payments, while those with an online business serving US and international customers may receive digital payments. On the other hand, B2B freelancers may see a preference from their customers to pay via ACH or wire transfers, which may even be in different currencies.

Understanding how you receive the bulk of your payments can help you choose the right account. Consider whether accepting in-person card payments can help you close more sales, whether you need to deposit cash, or whether free or low-cost international payments can help you lower overheads.

Where are your customers based?

If you have clients worldwide, you probably get paid in various currencies. Looking for an account that offers better deals on foreign transaction fees can help you keep account fees to a bare minimum – which money you can invest back in your freelance business.

How do you pay suppliers?

If you have suppliers, consider how you pay them. Do you use debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers, or checks? Some accounts come with free checks, but others will offer wider networks of fee-free.

Where do you work?

If you’re a freelancer who likes to travel – whether within the US or not – an account designed for those on the move might be a better fit. In such cases, fee-free atm withdrawals might not mean much to you unless this applies to international withdrawals. On the other hand, free transfers might prove to be more beneficial.

Who handles your accounts?

If you’re doing your own bookkeeping, an account that takes care of your business finances can help keep your business running smoothly. From automated categorization of business expenses to integrations with 3rd party software, you’ll find features that can help you keep your finances in tip-top shape with as little effort as possible.

How are you registered?

How your business is registered can play a part in which type of account you can get. Most banks will ask for your tax ID and any certificates you might have.

Freelancers, small business owners, and the self-employed might not necessarily qualify for all accounts, so be sure to check your registration papers and the financial institution’s disclaimers before applying for a new account.

How do you bank?

Do you prefer face-to-face banking at a traditional bank, or does the thought of standing in queues give you nightmares? If the latter best describes you, looking for an account with strong mobile banking and online banking can save you a lot of trouble. A good mobile app can save you more than a trip to the nearest branch and give you more time to focus on what you do best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a business bank account as a freelancer?

Many freelancers often ask why they should bother with a business account in the first place if they already have a personal account. The truth is that when working as a freelancer, the lines between work and personal often get blurred.

Having separate accounts can make your financial life easier. From managing cash flow to working out taxes, entrepreneurs can benefit a lot when maintaining separate accounts.

Features such as automated taxes, direct invoicing and payments, free transactions, and everything in between are often included in these accounts, giving you even more benefits than maintaining one account for personal and work reasons.

As a freelancer, you need a separate business account – and maybe even a business credit card. From accepting customer payments to paying suppliers and managing cash flow, a bank account is one of the most important financial tools a business can have.

Should I open a separate bank account for my freelance income?

Separating personal finance from business finance is a wise decision.

Opening a separate account for your freelance income is recommended in most scenarios. Most freelancer accounts come with tools that are invaluable to the day-to-day finances of running your freelance business. From managing cash flow to ensuring profitability and paying taxes, a separate account can make your life much easier.