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Bluevine vs. Novo: Which fintech is right for you?

Bluevine and Novo both offer free business checking, but Bluevine comes out on top.

Bluevine and Novo offer free digital business checking accounts designed for small businesses. Novo has just one free account, while Bluevine offers three memberships, and one is free. Compared side by side, Bluevine scoops the trophy due to the variety of perks you’ll get with any of its account offerings.

Bluevine Business Checking
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Novo Business
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Finder score 4.5★★★★★ 4.2★★★★★
Fee From $0 per month $0 per month
Annual Percentage Yield (APY) 4.25% on balances of $0 to $3,000,000
3.00% on balances of $0 to $250,000
2.00% on balances of $0 to $250,000
N/A
Minimum deposit to open $0 $0
Monthly transaction limit Unlimited Unlimited
Domestic Wires Incoming: $0
Outgoing: $7.50 to $15, depending on plan

Incoming: $0
Outgoing: N/A
Software integrations Cash App, Expensify, Quickbooks, Square, Wave, Wise, Venmo, and Xero Amazon, PayPal, Shopify, Square, Stripe and more
Branches Online only Online only
Currencies supported 15 supported currencies for foreign payments, including USD, EUR, GBP, CAD and AUD 50+ currencies through integration with Wise

Bluevine vs. Novo: Product offerings

Novo and Bluevine are fintech companies. They’re not banks on their own and have bank partners that provide deposit insurance. Bluevine’s banking partner is Coastal Community Bank, which provides up to $3 million in FDIC insurance. Novo’s banking partner is Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. Member FDIC, and it offers the typical amount of $250,000 in FDIC deposit insurance.

Business checking

If you want an interest-bearing account, Bluevine is the way to go, often topping our best business checking account list. Novo isn’t a chump, though. Its business checking account has its fair share of perks and is also considered one of the best.

Bluevine and Novo both offer a way to get business checking for free. Each provides free incoming domestic wires, free ACH transfers, mobile check deposit, no overdraft fees, no opening deposit requirements and unlimited transactions. And they both have bookkeeping tools and multiple software integrations.

Bluevine has three plans to choose from: Bluevine Standard for $0 per month, Bluevine Plus for $30 per month (waivable), or Bluevine Premier for a $95 monthly fee (waivable). All plans earn interest, offering up to 2% APY on up to $250,000 with Basic, 3% APY on up to $250,000 with Plus and Premier has the highest rate of 4.25% on up to $3 million. You can also create subaccounts for budgeting, team member accounts and get free checkbooks, and there’s a Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard with 4% cash back. The paid plans also offer discounts on same-day ACH transfers and less expensive outgoing wire transfers, and you can waive the monthly fee by meeting activity or balance requirements.

Novo has just one simple plan for $0 per month with no balance requirements. It accepts sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships, corporations and non-profits. You can create and send unlimited customizable invoices directly within your Novo account and get up to $7 in out-of-network ATM reimbursements. However, unlike Bluevine, Novo doesn’t accept cash deposits, you can’t send domestic wire transfers and it doesn’t offer APY on checking balances.

Financing and lines of credit

Bluevine offers a variety of business financing options with its lending partner, Celtic Bank:

  • Rewards credit card. The Bluevine Business Cashback Mastercard offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on business purchases with no annual fee.
  • Lines of credit. Offers revolving lines of credit up to $250,000, with repayment plans of six or 12 months.
  • Term loans. Has term loans with a fixed APR, repayment terms of up to 24 months and loan amounts of up to $250,000.

Novo offers financing too:

  • Merchant cash advances. Up to $75,000 with monthly factor rates as low as 1.5% and terms up to six months. Must be an existing Novo account holder to apply.
  • Credit card coming soon. Novo is set to launch a new credit card with rewards later in 2024.

Transactions and transfers

Novo and Bluevine don’t charge excessive transaction fees because they offer unlimited transactions. And with both fintechs, there are no fees for all incoming wires.

Bluevine’s pricing for outgoing wires depends on your membership tier, ranging from $12.50 to $15 per item. You’ll also get checkwriting privileges and two free checkbooks annually if you have at least $0.01 in your account, and you can send checks directly to vendors for a $1.50 per item fee. Bluevine also accepts cash deposits at MoneyPass ATMs for a $4.95 fee and cash deposits at Allpoint ATMs for $1 per deposit plus 0.5% of the amount.

With Novo, you can’t send domestic wires, and Novo encourages its free ACH transfers instead. You can send international wires through its Wise integration. There’s also Novo Boost, which increases the delivery speeds of Stripe payments by up to 95%, and Express ACH for quicker ACH transfers. But unlike Bluevine, Novo doesn’t have a physical cash deposit method or offer checkbooks. But you can write and send checks to vendors within the app at no cost.

Additional features

Bluevine offers a lot of software integrations, including Cash App, Expensify, PayPal, Quickbooks, Stripe, Square, Wave, Wise, Venmo and Xero.

Novo doesn’t list all its software integrations but states it has over 15, including Amazon, PayPal, Shopify, Square and Stripe. We also found that Novo Payroll doesn’t offer direct integration with accounting or HR software.

How Bluevine and Novo’s fees compare

Novo doesn’t have any monthly fee waivers to worry about because its single plan option is free to open and maintain. Bluevine offers fee waivers for its Plus and Premier accounts, either with a certain balance or meeting debit card activity requirements.

Novo offers up to $7 in out-of-network ATM reimbursements, while Bluevine doesn’t. Bluevine charges a $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee. If you deposit cash at an Allpoint ATM, there’s a $1 fee per deposit and 0.5% of the amount, and cash deposits at Green Dot are $4.95 per deposit. There’s also a 2.9% transaction fee to pay bills with your credit card and a fee for same-day ACH that varies based on your plan from $5 to $10 per item.

Novo doesn’t charge for stop payments, overdrafts, returned items, debit card replacements, bill payments, check payments or paper statement fees. Novo’s Express ACH does charge 1.5% of the amount, with a minimum of $0.50 and a maximum of $20.

How Bluevine and Novo’s fees compare

Novo doesn’t have any monthly fee waivers to worry about because its single plan option is free to open and maintain. Bluevine offers fee waivers for its Plus and Premier accounts, either with a certain balance or meeting debit card activity requirements.

Novo offers up to $7 in out-of-network ATM reimbursements, while Bluevine doesn’t. Bluevine charges a $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee. If you deposit cash at an Allpoint ATM, there’s a $1 fee per deposit and 0.5% of the amount, and cash deposits at Green Dot are $4.95 per deposit. There’s also a 2.9% transaction fee to pay bills with your credit card and a fee for same-day ACH that varies based on your plan from $5 to $10 per item.

Novo doesn’t charge for stop payments, overdrafts, returned items, debit card replacements, bill payments, check payments or paper statement fees. Novo’s Express ACH does charge 1.5% of the amount, with a minimum of $0.50 and a maximum of $20.

What customers say about Bluevine and Novo

Bluevine holds the highest Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+ and is accredited. It has 10 years in the industry and a little over 300 complaints. Novo holds a not-so-great C rating with the BBB, isn’t accredited, has over seven years in the industry and has received just over 100 complaints.

For both fintechs, a few hundred complaints are typical and expected. Since these digital banking options don’t have any physical locations, resolving issues can be a pain over the phone or in-app chat. Most grievances for Novo and Bluevine are typical for fintechs and banks, such as complaints about frozen accounts, deposits taking too long to clear or customers trying to get refunds due to fraudulent charges.

On Reddit, a common complaint against Novo is the struggle to contact a real person. Novo doesn’t have a customer phone line. In fact, on many Reddit threads, users tell Novo customers to switch to Bluevine because it has a customer support phone number to “talk to a real person.”

But on the other side of that coin, Bluevine’s reception on Reddit is a mixed bag. A lot of customers are happy with their experience and were persuaded to get Bluevine for its high APYs, free membership plan, unlimited transactions and free incoming wires. However, some users say they were denied approval for an account and weren’t told why, and many complain of seemingly random frozen accounts.

Final verdict: Which one’s better?

It’s a tough call. With Novo, you get all its features with its single plan option and don’t have to upgrade to a paid plan to get more. But after everything shakes out, Bluevine still has more perks with its free plan.

Novo doesn’t offer an APY at all, and Bluevine offers up to 2% APY on Bluevine Standard for all balances under $250,000, which is significantly higher than the average rate on interest checking, which sits at a meager 0.08%, as reported by the FDIC. You can earn even more with the paid plans, and you might be able to waive that monthly fee with balance or activity requirements.

Bluevine also accepts cash deposits at Allpoint and Green Dot locations, offers checkwriting, free checkbooks, rewards debit and credit cards, FDIC insurance up to $3 million, and you can send domestic wires — all features missing with Novo.

Bluevine at a glance

Bluevine can accept cash deposits, offers checks, earns APY and has rewards cards.

Pros

  • Free plan option
  • APY and cash back
  • Accepts cash deposits
  • Low-cost wire transfers
  • Up to $3 million in FDIC insurance
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Free incoming wires

Cons

  • No physical branches
  • Best APYs require paid plans
  • Fee for check mailing
  • 2.9% fee for credit card bill pay
  • $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee

Novo at a glance

Novo’s free plan is solid but lacks some of the perks you’d get with Bluevine.

Pros

  • $0 monthly fee
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Merchant cash advances
  • Free check mailing
  • $7 in monthly ATM reimbursements
  • Free incoming wires

Cons

  • No physical branches
  • No cash deposits
  • No APY or rewards cards
  • No outgoing domestic wires

Alternatives to Bluevine vs. Novo

Bluevine and Novo are two of the best business checking accounts out there. But of course, they’re not your only options.

  • Found. Designed for freelancers and self-employed, Found offers digital business banking with no monthly fees, customizable invoice creation, and expense and income reports. You can also earn APY on your balance if you upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Chase. If you’d rather have branch access, Chase is worth considering. As the largest bank in the US, it has a variety of personal and business checking accounts. The Chase Business Complete Banking® account — a popular choice — features unlimited electronic transactions, unlimited debit cards for employees, and over 4,700 branch locations.
  • Relay. Another top-rated digital business account, Relay is great if you have a large team. It has no monthly fees, and you can create up to 20 customizable subaccounts for your team and 50 debit cards with custom spending and ATM limits. And there’s a savings account with up to 3% APY depending on your balance.

See how even more bank accounts stack up:

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To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Holly Jennings as part of our fact-checking process.
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Editor, Banking

Bethany Hickey is the banking editor and personal finance expert at Finder, specializing in banking, lending, insurance, and crypto. Bethany’s expertise in personal finance has garnered recognition from esteemed media outlets, such as Nasdaq, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GOBankingRates, SuperMoney, AOL and Newsweek. Her articles offer practical financial strategies to Americans, empowering them to make decisions that meet their financial goals. Her past work includes articles on generational spending and saving habits, lending, budgeting and managing debt. Before joining Finder, she was a content manager where she wrote hundreds of articles and news pieces on auto financing and credit repair for CarsDirect, Auto Credit Express and The Car Connection, among others. Bethany holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan-Flint, and was poetry editor for the university’s Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine. See full bio

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