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Lili vs. Bluevine: Which bank is right for you?

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

Lili and Bluevine offer digital business checking accounts designed for small businesses and freelancers. Both fintechs have multiple plan options, and you can bank for free with either. But, compared side by side, Bluevine‘s most basic membership plan has more perks.

Lili vs. Bluevine: A quick comparison

Feature or productLiliBluevine
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Finder score

★★★★★ 4.8/5

★★★★★ 4.2/5

Monthly fee
  • Basic: $0
  • Pro: $9 ($15 after 3 months)
  • Smart: $20 ($35 after 3 months)
  • Premium: $35 ($55 after 3 months)
  • Standard: $0
  • Plus: $30 (waivable)
  • Premier: $95 (waivable)
Minimum opening deposit$0$0
APYOn savings:
  • Basic: None
  • Pro: 4.15%
  • Smart: 4.15%
  • Premium: 4.15%
On checking:
  • Standard: 2%
  • Plus: 3%
  • Premier: 4.25%
Monthly transaction limitUnlimitedUnlimited
Domestic Wires
  • Incoming: $0
  • Outgoing: N/A
  • Incoming: $0
  • Outgoing: $7.50 to $15, depending on plan
Software integrationsGusto, Quickbooks, Wave and XeroCash App, Expensify, Quickbooks, Square, Wave, Wise, Venmo and Xero
BranchesOnline onlyOnline only
Currencies supportedUSD15 supported currencies for foreign payments, including USD, EUR, GBP, CAD and AUD

Lili vs. Bluevine

Bluevine and Lili are fintech companies, not banks. Bluevine‘s banking services are backed by Coastal Community Bank, and Lili‘s bank partner is Choice Financial Group. The banking partners are both FDIC-insured, and Bluevine offers deposit insurance up to $3 million and Lili‘s accounts are insured up to the typical amount of $250,000.

Cost

If you want free business banking, APY on your balance, outgoing wires, checkwriting, unlimited transactions, various software integrations and high FDIC insurance, Bluevine is the clear choice. The fintech also frequently tops our best business checking list.

Bluevine has three plan options:

  1. Bluevine Standard for $0/month
  2. Bluevine Plus for a waivable $30/monthly fee
  3. Bluevine Premier for a waivable $95 monthly fee.
Bluevine‘s Standard plan comes with 2% APY on up to $250,000, unlimited transactions, no overdraft fees, free domestic and incoming wires, free ACH transfers, mobile check deposits, team controls and tons of accounting tools. You’ll get all that and more with the paid plans, with Plus offering up to 3% APY on up to $250,000 and Premier offering the highest rate of 4.25% on up to $3 million. The paid plans also have other perks like discounts on same-day ACH transfers and cheaper outgoing wires.

Lili has four plans:

  1. Basic for $0
  2. Pro for $9/month for the first three months, then $15
  3. Smart for $20/month for the first three months, then $35
  4. Premium for $35/month for the first three months, then $55

With the free Basic option, you don’t really get much of anything except a debit card, mobile check deposits, unlimited transactions and the ability to save money in an emergency fund. The paid plans are where you can use Lili‘s actual features, including cashback rewards, earn interest on savings, expense tracking, no overdraft fees and the ability to set aside money for taxes. And unlike Bluevine, Lili doesn’t support outgoing wire transfers or offer ways to waive monthly fees.

Financing and lines of credit

Lili doesn’t offer any lending services. Bluevine offers a variety of business financing options through its lending partners:
  • Lines of credit. Revolving lines of credit up to $250,000, with repayment plans of six or 12 months.
  • Term loans. A lump sum loan with a fixed rate and repayment term of up to 24 months and loan amounts of up to $250,000.
  • Credit card. The Bluevine Business Cashback Mastercard offers unlimited 1.5% cashback on business purchases with no annual fee.

Transactions and transfers

Bluevine and Lili both offer unlimited transactions on all their plan options, and they also use the MoneyPass ATM network with around 40,000 ATMs nationwide.

A rarity for fintechs, Bluevine offers checkwriting privileges and up to two free checkbooks per year, which you can order from your Bluevine dashboard if you have at least one cent in your account. Bluevine can also send checks to vendors for a $1.50 per check fee. Meanwhile, Lili doesn’t offer checks at all and is still working on a check payment service.

Bluevine supports incoming and outgoing wire transfers, and all incoming wires are free. But, the pricing for outgoing wires depends on your membership tier. It also allows for international payments in multiple currencies. Lili accepts domestic wires for free, but you can’t send out wires.

Additional features

Bluevine has more software integrations than LiliLili. With Lili, you can sync Gusto, Quickbooks, Wave and Xero. Bluevine supports Cash App, Expensify, Quickbooks, Square, Wave, Wise, Venmo and Xero. Lili offers team management features with its paid plans, but you only get one debit card per account. Bluevine also only offers up to one debit card per account, but you can create up to five subaccounts with different account numbers.

How Lili and Bluevine fees compare

Lili has less expensive plan options when directly compared to Bluevine. However, Bluevine allows you to waive its Plus $30 fee or Premier $95 monthly fee by maintaining a certain balance or making a certain number of debit card transactions a month. But Bluevine charges a 2.9% transaction fee to pay bills with your credit card.Bluevine and Lili both charge a $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee. Both fintechs are also partnered with Green Dot for cash deposits, costing $4.95 per deposit at these locations.

What customers say about Bluevine and Lili

Bluevine holds the highest Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+, while Lili is currently not rated. Comparing the number of complaints, the fintechs are nearly identical, and each has around 300 complaints filed in the last few years. For fintechs, that number of complaints is good and unusual — most fintechs have thousands. Grievances are typical, such as frustrations about frozen accounts, deposits taking longer than expected or attempts in resolving fraudulent charges.

On Reddit, Bluevine‘s reception is mixed. Many customers say they chose the account for its APYs, free plan option, unlimited transactions and free incoming wires. Some report they were denied approval for a Bluevine account and weren’t given a reason, and there are many stories about how Bluevine holds deposits or freezes accounts seemingly at random, which breeds frustration.

For Lili, most Redditors aren’t a fan. Many complain of poor customer support, accounts closing without explanation and their deposits and transfers taking many days to clear. On older threads, Lili freelancer customers note that they chose Lili‘s free account option because they could save for taxes, but now that feature is only available on its paid plans.

Final verdict: Which one’s better?

Bluevine is the clear winner against Lili. Bluevine‘s free account has more perks than Lil’s most expensive plan option. Bluevine offers checking writing privileges, supports outgoing wire transfers, has more software integrations, supports a wide variety of currencies, offers business financing and more. Lili‘s free plan option is very barebones. One of Lili‘s main selling points used to be the ability to save money for taxes, which was very helpful to freelancers, but now you have to upgrade for that feature. And while Bluevine‘s highest-tier plan costs $95 per month, Bluevine offers ways to waive the fee through activity requirements. Lili doesn’t.

Bluevine at a glance

Bluevine has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a digital business checking account.
Pros
  • Interest-bearing
  • Network of 40,000 ATMs
  • Up to $3 million in FDIC insurance
  • Unlimited transactions and multiple software integrations
Cons
  • No physical branches
  • Best APYs require paid plans

Lili at a glance

Offers a free plan but with limited functionality.

Pros
  • Network of 40,000 ATMs
  • Unlimited transactions
Cons
  • No business financing
  • Typical features require paid plans
  • Interest-bearing account requires paid plan
  • No ways to waive monthly fees

Alternatives to Lili and Bluevine

Bluevine and Lili are both digital options, but you might want to explore other fintechs or banks with in-person support or physical branches for easy cash deposits and in-person support.
  • Chase . The largest bank in the US, Chase, has a variety of personal and business banking options. Chase Business Complete Banking has unlimited electronic transactions, unlimited debit cards for employees and a vast ATM and branch network.
  • Found. Made for freelancers and self-employed similar to Lili, Found offers digital business banking with no monthly fees, invoice creation and expenses and income reports. You can earn interest on your balance if you upgrade to a paid plan, too.
  • Novo. Similar to Bluevine, Novo has no monthly fees or ATM, foreign transaction or incoming wire fees. It’s an affordable business banking option full of perks, such as multiple software integrations and free invoicing with multiple payment options, and you can create up to 10 reserve accounts to organize your savings.

See how even more bank accounts stack up:

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