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Mercury
4.4
★★★★★
Finder score
On Mercury's secure site
Fee
$0 per month
APY
N/A
Minimum deposit to open
$0

Our verdict

This modern business bank account is designed for startups and offers scalable digital tools, including API access.

The Mercury Business checking account is designed for startups and combines traditional banking features with digital tools through API integrations, from automated mass payments to cash flow forecasts. You'll automatically get both a checking account and savings account when you sign up – though its interest rate is much lower than the national average. It's best for small businesses that tend to make a lot of USD wire transfers internationally and domestically, are comfortable with handling all their finances online as there are no cash deposits and don't mind that customer service is primarily available via email. And with its customizable account permissions and financial analytics, Mercury can grow with your business, making it a good option for startups.

Best for: Startups and tech-focused small business looking for a robust banking platform, elevated banking security, free USD wire transfers and expanded FDIC insurance.

Pros

  • $0 monthly fee
  • Up to $5 million in FDIC insurance
  • Customizable interface with API integrations
  • Strict security protocols
  • Invest in money market funds for a 4.92% yield

Cons

  • Earns a low 0.001% APY
  • No cash deposits
  • No live customer support

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Who is Mercury Business checking best for?

Mercury Business is designed for startups and digital small businesses. Its banking platform helps streamline sending and receiving payments, allows you to add team members with specific permissions to your account and fully integrates with accounting software like QuickBooks Online and Xero. It’s also best for businesses that make a lot of USD wire transfers domestically and internationally since all transfers are free.

What we like about the Mercury Business checking account

The Mercury Business checking account wins on minimal fees, security and integrations.

Minimal fees

It won’t cost a thing to open or maintain your Mercury checking account, and there are no overdraft fees or minimum balance requirements to worry about. Plus, while most banks charge at least $15 for outgoing wire transfers, and some don’t even support international wires, Mercury prioritizes money transfers so you can focus more on growing your business. That means you can send and receive domestic wire transfers and USD international wire for free. Keep in mind that there’s a 1% currency exchange rate, and some advanced features may cost extra, such as SWIFT payments.

Safe and insured

FDIC insurance is another area where Mercury stands out. Instead of the standard $250,000 insurance, it’s FDIC-insured up to $5 million. Mercury uses a sweep network, which means that while you only deal with one bank, Mercury partners with banks to strategically disperse your money across multiple banks. This reduces the impact on your money if one bank fails, and you get expanded FDIC insurance coverage.

Mercury also takes your security very seriously. In addition to industry-standard protocols, Mercury enforces multi-factor authentication. For example, it uses time-based one-time passwords, Touch ID and instead of SMS two-factor authentication, Mercury uses authentication apps, which are less vulnerable to hacking. Plus, you can also request payments from clients without giving out your primary account numbers using receive-only accounts.

Robust banking platform

We would be remiss if we didn’t praise Mercury‘s clean, modern interface that blows traditional banks out of the water. Its APIs let you fine-tune your dashboard with powerful tools, including automated mass payments, customizable sweep rules and integrations with accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero.

While you won’t get as many app integrations compared to Novo — another digital-only business fintech that uses the same accounting software — you’ll get granular controls over the account, including the ability to set employee transaction limits and tiered permissions, such as view-only access for bookkeepers and card-only access for new employees.

Where the Mercury Business checking account falls short

Mercury comes with a handful of disadvantages, one of which may be a dealbreaker depending on how your business processes payments.

Low interest

While the account also comes with a savings account, we’re not a fan of its measly 0.001% APY. If you want to earn more for your money, Mercury offers a separate cash management account called Mercury Treasury, earning yields up to 5.46% on deposits above $20 million. You can also open a Mercury credit card to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

No cash deposits

Like most online banks, Mercury Business is designed for digital payments. While you can withdraw cash at ATMs, there’s no way to deposit cash anywhere. So cash-heavy businesses will need to find another banking solution.

Limited customer service

As of May 2023, Mercury customer service is limited to emails and messaging, where a representative will get back to you when they can. Without a phone number or live chat option, there’s inevitably a delay in response time, which can impact your business if you have a time-sensitive issue.

Mercury Business Checking fees and access

Type of feeFee details
Monthly service$0
Opening deposit$0
ATMs$0 for domestic and international withdrawals
Debit card fees
  • 0% foreign transaction fee
  • $0 for card replacements
Overdraft or nonsufficient funds$0
Wire transfers
  • $0 to send and receive domestic wires
  • $0 USD international wire transfers
  • 1% currency exchange rate for international wire transfers
Other fees
  • $0 paper statements
  • $0 account closure

Compare Mercury Business to other business checking accounts

Narrow down top business accounts by fees, rates and opening deposit. Select Compare on up to four accounts to see their features side by side.

Name Product Fee Annual Percentage Yield (APY) FDIC Insured Amount Software Integrations Account management Bank transfer fee Offer
Primis Pro
Finder Score: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Primis Pro
$0 per month
1.75%
Up to $250,000
Intuit systems
Online, App, Phone
$0
Novo Business
Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Novo Business
$0 per month
N/A
Up to $250,000
15+ integrations: Square, Etsy, Shopify, etc
Online, App, Phone
$0
Found
Finder Score: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Found
From $0 per month
1.50% on balances of $0 to $20,000
Up to $250,000
QuickBooks, Stripe, Cash App, PayPal, Square, etc.
Online, App, Phone
$0
Chase Business Complete Banking®
Finder Score: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Chase Business Complete Banking®
$15 per month
(can be waived)
N/A
Up to $250,00
N/A
Branch, Online, App, Phone
$0
Earn $300 when you open a new Chase Business Complete Checking® account. For new Chase business checking customers with qualifying activities.
Relay
Finder Score: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Relay
$0 per month
Up to 3.00% on balances of $1,000,000+
2.00% on balances of $250,000 to $999,999
1.50% on balances of $50,000 to $249,999
Up to $2.5 million
QuickBooks Online, Xero, Gusto, Plaid, and Yodlee
Online, App, Phone
$0
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What do I need to open a Mercury Business account?

During the application process, you’ll need your company’s formation documents, your IRS-issued EIN document and a US government ID or international passport for each founder or majority owner of the company.

Once you’ve completed the application and submitted all requested documents, you should hear back from Mercury within one to two business days.

Customer experience

Mercury is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an F rating for not responding to customer complaints. Its Trustpilot rating is 3.6 out of 5 stars, with a majority of 66% of reviewers completely happy with the experience and 22% of reviewers giving it a 1-star rating.

Many customers comment that onboarding was a breeze and that the interface is user-friendly. On the flip side, some customers complain of long deposit hold times and sudden account closures, according to the Consumer Financial Bureau Protection’s database of complaints. However, some accounts were frozen because the businesses weren’t based in the US, which is an account requirement. Also, a few reviewers left poor ratings because Mercury denied their applications.

Frequently asked questions

Is Mercury a legit bank?

Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. It’s banking services are legitimate, and are provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust, members of FDIC. Patriot Bank backs the Mercury credit card.

Deposit accounts are still insured through its bank partners, and can be insured up to $5 million due to the sweep network. This involves strategically spreading deposits across multiple banks, allowing accounts to be insured for more than the typical $250,000 insured amount.

Can I use Mercury for personal use?

No, as Mercury is focused on business accounts specifically for startups, and its features are well-suited for businesses — not so much for personal use.

Can I apply for Mercury outside the US?

To apply for a Mercury business account, you must have a physical address in the US, as well as some type of existing or planned operations in the US. Mercury can’t open accounts for founders living in these countries: Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Business checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze business checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, monthly transaction limits, overdraft fees, and wire transfers. Read the full methodology of how we rate business checking accounts.

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