If you’re a freelancer, you might have found that traditional business checking accounts aren’t tailored to your needs.
Lots of them include monthly fees that are only dropped if you have a certain minimum amount in your account.
They probably also come with a ton of features you’ll never use.
So, what should a self-employed person like you do?
Actually, there are practical business checking accounts available, some of which have features designed specifically for freelancers.
However, they may not be offered by the banks you are used to.
Not to worry, though; I’ve compiled a list of the top freelancing banks and banking solutions so you can take your pick below.
The Best Banks For Solopreneurs
Freelancers can benefit most from opening a checking account with Bluevine.
Why? Using Bluevine certainly has its advantages.
It’s free of the typical charges associated with banking, such as monthly maintenance fees, transaction fees, or overdraft fees.
Bluevine’s cash deposits are less burdensome.
If you open an account with Bluevine, they’ll even give you two free checkbooks.
Additionally, Bluevine checking accounts accumulate interest.
When you open a Bluevine account, you’ll get an instant 1.5% interest rate (on balances up to $100,000).
That’s a pretty excellent rate for a business checking account at a bank.
It’s a better rate than what you’d get with the majority of business savings accounts today. Therefore, Bluevine helps you get the most out of your money.
Having a Bluevine checking account is a simple way to get more out of your freelance income without putting in any extra time or effort.
Wise is a digital banking platform headquartered in the United Kingdom with a primary goal of connecting independent workers and small business owners with the world’s major financial markets.
Generally, all that’s required to create a Wise bank account as a sole proprietor is to show some identification paperwork and pass a quick identity check.
By doing so, you’ll have access to a bank account denominated in US dollars, as well as dozens of other currencies.
Payment processing fees on Wise are incredibly low. We use Wise to pay most of the freelancers on our team.
Read my in-depth review of Wise here.
According to Lili, their free checking account was made with independent contractors in mind.
That appears to be the case, given the site’s special features for self-employed workers.
The free checking accounts offered by Lili provide convenient extras like free sub-accounts, which let you plan ahead for quarterly estimated tax payments.
The account holder even has the option of having a predetermined amount of each deposit go directly into a tax savings account.
Features like spending reporting and connectivity with other apps, like Etsy, Shopify, and Upwork, are also available on Lili.
For an additional $4.99 per month, you may upgrade to a paid Lili account that includes invoice tracking, savings that earn interest, and a debit card with cashback rewards.
Please be aware that the daily withdrawal restriction of $500 and the total spending limit of $3,000 may be too low for some freelancers.
Although there are certain drawbacks, freelancers still have a lot to gain from using Lili’s resources.
Payoneer, established in Israel in 2005, is a financial institution that caters to independent workers and small businesses.
If you’re a freelancer working in the United States, opening a dollar-denominated bank account with Payoneer is as simple as providing some personal information and waiting a few days for the account to be validated.
You can receive and make deposits from other US banks by opening a USD freelancer bank account with Payoneer and using your account and routing information.
Payoneer provides its customers with a business Mastercard debit card that can be used in millions of locations worldwide.
You can withdraw your US dollar balance in local currencies by linking a traditional bank account based on the official exchange rate.
Although Payoneer has many benefits for remote workers around the world, the service is not without its limitations.
You must have a minimum balance in your Payoneer account before you can withdraw funds or transfer them to another Payoneer account or a bank account. This sum may go as high as $1,000 USD in some countries.
Similarly, there is a yearly account maintenance cost of US$29 and a fee of 1%-3% for bank transfers to Payoneer.
Are you on the hunt for a high-yield savings account?
Then, Kabbage is worth checking out.
Similar to the Bluevine checking account, Kabbage’s checking account earns interest.
You benefit monetarily from your account balance while avoiding the standard bank account expenses (such as monthly charges or transaction fees).
Kabbage has an excellent interest rate at 1.1% APY.
Additional tax funds can be segregated using Kabbage’s free sub-accounts (or whatever other money you want to save up).
Also, remember that Kabbage has only recently begun providing banking services, so there aren’t many reviews available just yet.
However, Kabbage’s funding has universally positive feedback.
Kabbage’s interest-bearing checking accounts are enticing if you don’t mind being an early adopter.
Freelancers looking for a reliable checking account with a high yearly percentage yield should consider Axos’ Business Interest Checking account.
If you have a minimum deposit of $100, you can open a Business Interest Checking account and earn up to 1.01% interest on your balance.
You can avoid the $10 monthly fee by holding a balance of $5,000 or more in the account. If you use an ATM in the United States, Axos will cover the cost.
Also, new account holders who have just incorporated their businesses are eligible for a $200 bonus.
Are you considering combining your freelancing banking needs with your personal banking needs?
If so, I suggest taking a closer look at NBKC.
Among the banking solutions on this list, NBKC is unusual in that it caters to both commercial and individual clients.
The business checking account offered by NBKC is free of charge, and it is possible to link a money market savings account to this account at no extra cost.
There is a small interest rate (0.15%) on personal accounts.
There are no standard banking costs attached to these individual accounts.
I’ll be honest and admit that NBKC does not have the highest ratings.
Nevertheless, when compared to other well-known institutions that serve both consumers and businesses, it certainly holds its own.
Plus, its accounts are more budget-friendly for freelancers looking to save.
With over 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs, Chase is a major financial institution across the United States.
In addition to company checking and savings accounts, it also provides corporate credit cards, a top-notch banking app, and a secure online banking system.
If you’re a freelancer, you probably just need Chase’s entry-level business banking option, Chase Business Complete.
Chase QuickAccept, included with the account, enables fee-free, same-day deposits to help you get more money out of your account.
Fees are a detriment at Chase, as they are at most major financial institutions.
To maintain your account with Chase, you’ll need to pay $15 every month.
However, there are a few methods to get around this requirement, such as making at least $2,000 in monthly purchases or carrying a balance of $2,000 or more on your Chase Ink Business Credit Card.
Each time you process a payment, you’ll have to fork over an additional transaction charge.
Chase Performance Business is a good option if you make a lot of payments each month because it offers up to 250 free transactions.
Chase is now offering the most generous business account opening bonus available.
If you sign up for a new Business Complete account right now, you can receive a $300 bonus.
The NorthOne Business Checking Account is one of the top online business checking accounts available.
It caters to startups, SMBs, and freelancers.
NorthOne, like BlueVine, provides just one basic deposit account.
The Bancorp Bank, which processes NorthOne transactions, is FDIC-insured.
Its core concept is based on the envelope system, which allows you to automatically allocate a portion of your income for tax and spending planning purposes.
In addition, NorthOne integrates seamlessly with a wide variety of other popular business apps, such as Stripe, PayPal, QuickBooks, and many more.
However, there is one catch: NorthOne has a $10 monthly cost.
Thankfully, this covers the vast majority of its financial services, and you won’t have to worry about any surprise charges anywhere along the road.
The only other price is a $15 fee for outgoing wire transfers, which isn’t terrible but is also probably unnecessary.
LendingClub is a major online platform for borrowers and lenders to work together.
In 2020, the corporation launched a push into retail and commercial banking with the purchase of Radius Bank.
With the Tailored Checking account from LendingClub, you may earn unlimited 1% cash back on all debit card purchases made online or with your signature.
There’s a 0.10% APY on accounts over $5,000, and you can get unlimited reimbursements for your ATM fees.
Quicken, QuickBooks, and Mint can all be integrated with minimal effort using Tailored Checking.
Opening an account online takes roughly 10 minutes, and the minimum opening deposit is only $100.
There is a $10 maintenance fee charged to the account every month.
However, if you keep $5,000 or more in your account at all times, you won’t have to worry about this.
Founded in 2016, Novo is an Internet banking service for businesses.
It’s designed to meet the needs of busy startups and freelancers with convenient, cutting-edge services.
Virtual debit cards, mobile check deposits, and a wide variety of app integrations are just some of the features included in a free business checking account with Novo.
Initial deposits must be at least $50.
In terms of pricing, Novo is difficult to beat. If you overdraw your account, you’ll be hit with a $27 fee.
Otherwise, there are no costs associated with this account.
Novo will cover any unexpected ATM fees, so there’s no need to worry about using a machine that isn’t part of their network.
Novo’s inability to offer interest is the platform’s only significant drawback.
Luckily, Novo frequently runs promotions where you can save a considerable amount of money or get cash back on purchases made with its partner brands.
Related Reading: Best Ways To Build Credit – Learn That Here.
Bank of America
Like Chase, another of the “Big Four” American financial institutions, Bank of America (BoA) offers a comprehensive branch and ATM system.
This bank caters to small businesses and freelancers by providing a variety of banking services, including deposit accounts, credit cards, loans, business services, and investments.
The two layers of BoA Advantage Banking are called Advantage Fundamentals and Advantage Relationship.
Both options are available to freelancers.
However, if you don’t have any workers for your freelancing business, the cheaper Fundamentals account should suffice.
You can avoid the $16 monthly fee by keeping $5,000 in the account, making $250 in debit card purchases each month, or signing up for BoA Preferred Rewards.
Advantage Fundamentals gives you access to a cash flow monitor, a digital assistant, and Zelle for instantaneous financial transactions.
Suppose you consider yourself a small business and have any questions or concerns about your account.
In that case, you can always reach out to one of Bank of America’s dedicated small business professionals for assistance.
Moreover, state-of-the-art safety measures mean your funds are as safe as they would be at any major financial institution.
One of TIAA Bank’s main selling points is its extensive network of ATMs, with over 80,000 machines.
As an added bonus, TIAA will pay for a portion or all of your monthly out-of-network ATM fees if you are unable to locate an in-network ATM (depending on your account balance).
With that in mind, TIAA’s ATM network could be a good fit if you anticipate making several cash withdrawals.
However, TIAA Bank requires a hefty initial deposit of $1,500 and may charge you a fee for each transaction.
So, it’s not the most cost-effective choice.
Still, TIAA’s ATM network’s ease of use could be worth paying a premium.
Millions of small businesses rely on QuickBooks, the industry standard in bookkeeping software.
Since QuickBooks has partnered with Green Dot Bank to offer online checking accounts, current QuickBooks users may wish to look into QuickBooks Checking.
There is no cost to start a QuickBooks Checking account, and there are no maintenance or other expenses to worry about.
The account offers a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), no fees for making immediate deposits, and two-way sync with QuickBooks.
QuickBooks Checking includes cash-flow forecasts and savings envelopes to help you keep track of your finances.
With a Visa debit card at an Allpoint ATM, you won’t incur any withdrawal or ACH transfer fees.
However, you can’t sign up for QuickBooks Checking unless you’re already paying for QuickBooks Online, which begins at $25 a month.
Oxygen was designed for those who don’t conform and think beyond the box.
Freelancers on the go will find this to be the ideal banking solution.
It offers four distinct levels of checking accounts.
The bare-bones tier is entirely free.
More perks, awards, and interest are available at higher tiers, but there is also an annual charge (which is waived after the first year).
You can earn rebates on gas, ridesharing, and shipping purchases from participating merchants.
Plus, you can set savings targets and receive interest on your funds.
Protection for your cell phone, your luggage, and your rental car are just a few of the extra perks that come with having a business bank account.
Premium levels receive airport lounge access and reimbursed Netflix subscriptions for a set number of months.
Found is quite similar to Lili, another digital-only banking solution on this list.
The two are likely vying for the same freelancing clientele.
There is one area where Found appears to have the advantage over Lili, and that is in its more comprehensive expenditure tracking.
Found is the superior choice if this is crucial to your freelancing venture.
One other little benefit is the ability to use ATMs that are not part of its network.
It has no fees associated with using ATMs, unlike Lili’s $2.50 fee for using ATMs outside of its network.
Both allow you to make payments on your tax bill through the app and provide fee-free, unlimited-transaction business checking.
You can also track your business’s finances and file your taxes with the app’s built-in tools. You can’t make wire transfers between them.
If you don’t need to deposit cash or cheques and comprehensive cost tracking is your top priority, Found may be the best option for you.
There’s no reason why banking for freelancers can’t be thrilling.
Bunq, based in Amsterdam, is the newest fintech unicorn to come out of the Netherlands.
Bunq is well-known for advocating sustainable and ethical investment practices by giving users control over where their money is invested and planting over 7 million trees as part of their “Become CO2-neutral in 2 years!” campaign.
This cutting-edge “neobank” offers tech-savvy business owners a robust open API that enables you to automate the majority of your ordinary day-to-day operations.
Its time-saving tools, such as Invoice Scanning, Batch Payments, and Auto-VAT, help you save an incredible lot of money.
With stylish iOS and Android apps and a fresh new desktop app, bunq is vying for your attention.
It’s not always easy to figure out which business checking accounts are the best.
There are a lot of different choices out there, but one of the most popular right now is the Bonsai Cash account.
As a result of its automated features, making payments is quick and easy.
A Bonsai Cash account can be linked to a debit card, a virtual card, or Apple Pay.
Plus, the ability to make envelopes is a useful tool for solving problems related to budgeting and managing one’s finances.
When it comes to your business’s checking account, envelopes serve as separate virtual accounts.
Additionally, a new commercial account is guaranteed, with no prerequisites such as applications or credit checks.
Because Bonsai is a fee-free business checking account, there are no minimum balance requirements or transaction fees to worry about.
I recommend Bonsai if you’re just getting started as a freelancer and have a modest income thus far.
Types of Bank Accounts For Freelancers
There are two distinct business bank accounts you can open for your freelancing business, each with its own set of requirements. They are:
Business Checking Account
Freelance entrepreneurs typically use a business bank account for all of their daily financial needs.
This is the payroll account, where you can deposit money for services rendered or withdraw cash to cover the cost of supplies.
You can withdraw cash from an ATM with the business debit card access provided by this account type.
In contrast to personal checking accounts, business checking accounts do not have daily minimum balance requirements and may pay interest on balances above a particular threshold.
Business Savings Account
You should start thinking about setting up savings accounts whenever your income increases.
These accounts typically earn interest, allowing your money to compound over time.
You might be able to open a specific savings account at your bank to put money away for things like taxes or business equipment.
Related Reading: Why Is Financial Literacy Important? – Get To Know Here.
Should You Keep Your Freelancing Funds Separate From Your Personal Funds?
Suppose your business is a sole proprietorship and not a limited liability company, a corporation, or a limited liability company with a single shareholder.
In that case, you can use your own personal bank account to handle business transactions.
However, if your freelancing business has taken off and you’ve formed a legal entity, you may wish to open a separate bank account rather than use your personal one.
In doing so, you will not only shield the company from any potential damage, but you will also shield your own personal assets.
How To Choose The Right Freelancer Bank For You
Freelancers generally look for flexibility and low fees from their banks.
When deciding which business account is best for you, keep in mind the following:
Choosing an account that is open to independent workers is the first step.
An EIN or other documentation of your company’s existence may be necessary for some types of business accounts.
Working as a contractor or freelancer, you might not always have access to such paperwork.
All of the above financial institutions will accept an SS number as a form of identification, but further information may be needed for approval.
Know what is expected of you, and pick the one that seems most realistic.
You deserve every penny you make because of your hard work.
Having it disappear due to bank charges is the last thing you want.
I recommend checking accounts that don’t charge you every month and have no minimum balance requirements.
Most of all, you’ll want to avoid hidden fees.
There are, however, excellent paid subscription accounts.
If you enjoy the features and can maintain the minimum balance, they are worth considering.
You might not be able to add cash to your online banking account.
It is possible to fund some bank accounts via the GreenDot system with a fee.
Another option is to use one of the available ATMs that take cash deposits.
You should make sure there are accessible ATMs in case you need to withdraw cash. Most online banks participate in ATM networks like Allpoint and Moneypass, which cover the entirety of the US.
It is important for freelancers to save money each month to pay their taxes. A business savings account can help you avoid the temptation to use business earnings for personal expenses.
Then again, certain banks, including Lili, Novo, and NorthOne, provide savings sub-accounts for your convenience.
It is expected that modern banks to provide online bill payments and mobile check deposits.
What about extras like cashback incentives, electronic invoices, and Quickbooks integration?
Before signing up for an account, give some thought to the features that are absolutely necessary for your freelance business.
Related Reading: The Best Debit Card For Teenagers – Get To Know Here.
Final Thoughts: Best Banks For Side Hustlers
I suggest prioritizing low/no fees, helpful customer service, and time-saving features when you evaluate potential freelancing banking solutions.
Maybe you require some basic tax advice or more sophisticated invoicing resources.
Your bank should be able to handle it, and it shouldn’t cost you a fortune to bank with them.
Freelancing can be done fully online for some companies, while others make frequent trips to the bank for deposits and withdrawals.
Think about the functions your business will require from its banking service, and then select a bank that offers those services.
After learning more about your options for freelancer bank accounts, your next step is to open the one that seems appropriate to you.
Don’t stress out if you’re still unsure. It’s perfectly okay to use your personal account, especially if you’re just starting out as a freelancer.
Once business picks up, it’s time to hunker down and build it up for more success with the proper bank.