Lili digital bank review
Freelancers can automatically set aside money for taxes.
finder.com’s rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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 you can’t open an account with a business partner or an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and you can’t make wire transfers.
From $0 per month
Minimum deposit to open
Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and kids’ debit cards. She’s been featured on Legal Zoom, MSN, and Consolidated Credit and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. When not writing, you can find her 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 support 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
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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 hidden fees. You can open a standard Lili account with as little as $0 and you won’t have to pay fees for monthly maintenance, overdrafts, account inactivity, bill pay, card replacements or stopped payments. But Lili also offers a Pro version that costs $4.99 per month and includes additional features such as a unlimited invoicing, a 1% APY savings account and a debit card that earns cashback rewards.
- Tax and emergency buckets. You can automatically set aside a percentage of your paycheck for future taxes and your emergency fund.
- Early direct deposit. Set up direct deposits and receive payments up to two days earlier than you would with a traditional bank account.
- Referral rewards. Earn $50 when someone opens a Lili account using your referral code.
- Supports cash deposits. Most digital banks don’t support cash deposits, but Lili lets you make cash deposits at 90,000 US retailers in the Green Dot network.
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. Customer support is only available on weekdays from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. EST. Some customers have complained that Lili doesn’t respond to emails and can be impossible to get ahold of by phone.
- No interest. Unlike most all-in-one digital accounts, you won’t earn any interest on your balance with Lili, unless you signup for Lili Pro.
- Can’t write checks or wire funds. Lili doesn’t support wire transfers, and it lacks check-writing capabilities.
- 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.
What is Lili Pro?Lili Pro is an upgraded, subscription-based version of Lili that includes the following features for a monthly fee of $4.99.
- A premium Visa debit card with higher limits
- A cashback program that lets you earn rewards at 14,000 merchants
- Unlimited invoice creation
- A 1% APY savings account
- Customizable expense management tools
- Up to $200 overdraft with no additional fees
How do I deposit or withdraw my money?Lili doesn’t support wire transfers, but there are still several ways to access your money:
- Direct deposit
- Mobile check deposit
- Deposit cash at more than 90,000 retailers in the nationwide Green Dot network
- 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
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