Lili digital bank review
Freelancers can automatically set aside money for taxes.
The Lili digital bank account is best for freelancers who struggle with their business’s finances. You can automatically set aside money for taxes, run expense reports, categorize work expenses and get paid up to two days early. But as of June 2020, you can’t open an account with a business partner or an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and you can’t deposit cash or make wire transfers.
$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open
Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and investments. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Cassidy enjoys educating people about financial services, exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.
The Lili digital bank account is the first of its kind — completely built with freelancers and small business owners in mind. As a freelancer myself, I like the fact that Lili sets aside tax money for you, allows you to categorize expenses into specific business categories and comes with financial insights to help you manage your cash flow. Plus, it’s free and has no minimum balance requirements.
But it has some drawbacks you can’t overlook. First, you can’t transfer more than $1,000 a day to your linked account. If you’re like me and only pay yourself once or twice a month from your business account, this limit may be too low. Plus, Lili doesn’t accept cash deposits or wire transfers.
Ultimately, it’s best for freelancers who don’t want to worry about setting aside a chunk of each paycheck for taxes. But if you usually transfer out more than $1,000 at a time, you may want to keep looking.
How do I open a Lili digital bank account?
It takes about three minutes to open your Lili digital bank account online:
- Click Apply now.
- From the Lili website, click Get Started
- Review the application process and click Continue
- Enter your name, email and occupation and click Continue
- Enter your phone number and click Send Code
- Enter your verification code and click Submit
- Create your password and click Submit
- Enter your Social Security number and birth date and click Continue
- Follow the prompts to download the Lili app, pair your device and request your Visa debit card
You’ll receive your Lili debit card in the mail within 10 business days.
Open a Lili digital account when you meet these eligibility requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Valid Social Security number
- Government-issued photo ID
- Independent contractor or small business owner
You’ll need the following information handy when you open your Lili account:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Phone number
- Social Security number
- Government-issued photo ID number
What are the benefits of the Lili digital bank account?Lili is a digital bank account that’s FDIC-insured through Choice Financial Group. It integrates seamlessly with digital wallets, comes with a Visa business debit card, real-time alerts and financial management options. Other perks include:
- No fees. Open an account with as little as $0 and never worry about fees for monthly maintenance, overdrafts, account inactivity, bill pay, card replacements, stop payment fees and more.
- Tax buckets. With this feature, Lili automatically sets aside a percentage of every paycheck for future taxes.
- Early direct deposit. Set up direct deposits and receive payments up to two days earlier than you would with a traditional bank account.
- Rewards. Get cash back on qualifying purchases when you activate Lili Visa SavingsEdge Rewards. Plus, earn up to $100 when someone opens a Lili account using your referral code.
Lili‘s ATM network and fees
You can withdraw cash for free at over 32,000 ATMs in the US and Puerto Rico. If you use a US-based ATM outside of this network, you’ll pay $2.50. And you’ll pay $5 for international ATMs outside of this network. Use the Lili app to find a free ATM near you.
What should I look out for?Lili offers an attractive account for freelancers, but it’s not without its faults. Like most digital banks, there aren’t any other products, which isn’t ideal if you want to keep your accounts under one roof. Other disadvantages include:
- Limited customer support hours. Customer support is only available weekdays from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. EST.
- No interest. Unlike most all-in-one digital accounts, you won’t earn any interest on your balance with Lili.
- Limited deposit and withdrawal methods. You can’t deposit cash, write checks or send and receive wire transfers. But Lili might add ATM cash deposits in the near future.
- No joint accounts. You can’t open this account with a business partner.
- Automatic tip withholds. If you spend money at a restaurant, Lili automatically holds an extra 20% from the transaction amount to cover a future tip. It then readjusts the amount once the transaction hits your account.
- Low transfer limit. You can’t transfer more than $1,000 per day to a linked account, which could be a problem if you usually pay yourself more than that each pay period.
- No EINs. You can’t use your business EIN to create an account. You’ll need your Social Security number.
If the taxes buckets aren’t worth these disadvantages, you might want to explore free business checking accounts until you find one that’s right for you.
Compare with other digital banking services
How do I deposit or withdraw my money?Lili doesn’t support cash deposits and wire transfers, but there are still several ways to access your money:
- Direct deposit
- Mobile check deposit
- Payment platforms, such as Venmo, Paypal and CashApp
- ACH transfer from an external bank
- Cash back at a retailer
- Transfer to a linked external account