BlueVine Business Banking Review: Fee-Free Convenience Without the Frills

Banking
Updated: 29th Sep 2021
Written by Marisa Powell
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March 16, 2021
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What makes an online banking experience exceptional? Many of us would answer that ease of use and security are high priorities.

Perhaps more fundamentally, the best online banks are the ones that allow us to make the most out of our money through a combination of low fees, perks, and opportunities for growth.

For small businesses, countless online banks on the market cost quite a bit while doing very little. BlueVine, luckily, is not one of those banks.

Proudly featuring the tagline “Better banking for your business,” BlueVine’s model is centered around the businesses they serve.

Read on to learn how BlueVine lives up to their motto and what makes them stand out from competitors, for better and for worse.

BlueVine Business Bank Overview

Feature(s):Details:
ATM Access:Select Locations
Account(s):Business Checking Account
Minimum Opening Deposit:$0
Monthly Fee(s):$0
Year Founded:2013
APY:1.0% APY on balances up to $100,000 (minimum $1)

What is BlueVine?

BlueVine is a Redwood City-based online banking platform with offices in Tel Aviv, Salt Lake City, Jersey City, and New Orleans, though BlueVine’s services can be accessed from practically anywhere in the world.

BlueVine was founded in 2013. Since then, the platform has been well-received, scoring exceptionally well on its Better Business Bureau rating (A+).

In the past decade, BlueVine has worked with over 200,000 small business owners and has provided small and medium-sized businesses with access to more than $9 billion in financing.

BlueVine offers a central stop for all small business banking needs, including a business checking account, line of credit, and invoice factoring.

How Does BlueVine Business Banking Work?

An important distinction to make is that BlueVine is not itself a bank. It is a business that provides banking services through The Bankcorp Bank, member FDIC.

All deposits are insured up to at least $250,000. BlueVine offers its services through the BlueVine mobile app. Users can view their account balance, transfer funds, and even make mobile check deposits.

The starting point for using BlueVine is signing up for an account. Luckily, this process is simple.

Staying true to the themes of ease of use and accessibility, it takes less than a minute to sign up for a BlueVine checking account. By completing the application form and entering a few pieces of personal identifying information, you will have your own BlueVine account in no time (though it will take a few days for your debit card to be shipped to you).

There are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering banking with BlueVine. BlueVine considers several factors when approving accounts, including credit score.

To be eligible for an account, you must be a small business owner, at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or resident with a verifiable U.S. address, and you cannot be in the Adult Entertainment, Gambling, Weapons and Firearms, or Illegal Substances industries.

Put differently, most adult-age small business owners can easily apply for a BlueVine bank account.

What Does BlueVine Business Banking Offer?

BlueVine Business Checking offers a truly fee-free online business banking experience. There are no monthly, incoming, wire, ATM, or NSF fees.

BlueVine also has a dedicated support team, offering live support so that users can be assisted by a real person whenever they need help with their account or the platform.

BlueVine allows users to earn 1.0% interest on checking balances up to $100,000. BlueVine is already pretty rare among other online banking platforms in that they allow users to earn interest on their checking balances.

When you consider that they allow users to earn interest at 20 times the national average (based on a simple average of rates paid by U.S. depository institutions as calculated by the FDIC), they are in a league of their own.

The BlueVine platform was designed with ease of use in mind, so the app comes equipped with a dashboard that shows users exactly what they need to know about their account and finances.

From the dashboard, users can deposit checks, view their account balance, and more. BlueVine also offers a BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard and allows users to make cash withdrawals and deposits.

BlueVine Business Banking Review

BlueVine Business Checking

Monthly Fees: $0

Minimum Balance: $0

APY: 1.0% APY on balances up to $100,000 (minimum $1)

No Monthly Fees

BlueVine charges virtually no fees. Users can set up and maintain a BlueVine online business checking account for free and will be charged no monthly fees, in-network ATM fees, NSF fees, or incoming wire fees.

There are a few circumstances in which users would incur fees, including for outgoing wires or for using an out-of-network ATM.

BlueVine also offers unlimited transactions, allowing users to maximize their checking account without worrying about making strategic deposits and withdrawals.

Integrations

While BlueVine offers some integrations, the selection is not nearly robust as some of its competitors, such as Bank Novo or NorthOne.

That being said, it seems that BlueVine is continually updating its list of integration options. In October, BlueVine announced its new Plaid integration, making it easier for users to set up ACH transfers. However, BlueVine does not integrate with Square Payments or Stripe Payments.

BlueVine is also integrated with QuickBooks, and the platform even offers desktop syncing for added convenience and accessibility.

Cash Deposits and Withdrawals

One of BlueVine’s greatest strengths is the ease with which users can make cash deposits. For some other platforms, the ability to make cash deposits is their Achilles heel, which can alienate small business owners in cash-intensive industries.

With BlueVine, users can deposit checks immediately using the BlueVine app and deposit cash at any affiliated retail location.

Thanks to BlueVine’s partnership with GreenDot, users can make cash deposits at over 90,000 retail locations across the country. Each GreenDot cash deposit carries a $4.95 fee.

With BlueVine, you withdraw cash for free from any in-network ATM branch. BlueVine partners with the MoneyPass network to provide users with over 38,000 locations where they can withdraw cash for free.

Users can withdraw cash from out-of-network ATMs, but doing so will cause them to personally incur the ATM fees.

Some other online banking platforms offer reimbursements for all ATM fees or 100% free ATM fees.

The fact that users are charged ATM fees at out-of-network ATMs is a major way BlueVine misses the mark.

Those considering signing up for BlueVine should keep an eye out for in-network ATMs to save money and avoid unnecessary fees.

High Yield APY

As mentioned above, BlueVine offers users an opportunity for a high yield APY account. BlueVine users can earn 1% interest on their checking account balance up to $100,000.

This means that users can earn 1% on every dollar in their account until they reach their 100,000th dollar.

This APY is 20 times the national average (based on a simple average of rates paid by U.S. depository institutions as calculated by the FDIC). It far surpasses the majority of online banking platforms that do not offer any APY at all.

Transfers

BlueVine users can add an external or transfer account to process transfers directly from their BlueVine dashboard, providing a fast, efficient, and free way to send money from their BlueVine account to whichever account needs to be funded.

It is completely free to fund your BlueVine account, as incoming transfers are free, and users can make transfers without limit.

Easy Sign-Up Process

Signing up for BlueVine is quick and simple. By filling out the application and answering some questions, you will be well on your way to banking with BlueVine (and all of the benefits that come along with it). BlueVine requires that users be over the age of 18 and only provides its banking services to small businesses.

Keep in mind that BlueVine also checks the personal and business credit scores of applicants. However, a low credit score is not necessarily an exclusionary factor. BlueVine takes a holistic approach to application review and accepts scores as low as 530.

Customer Support

BlueVine has live customer support agents that are available weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm ET.

Users can reach out to BlueVine at any time by email and check the FAQs for troubleshooting advice and resolutions to common problems or questions. One thing to keep in mind is that BlueVine does not have any in-person bank locations.

Much like your online banking experience, your customer service will also be virtual.

ATMs

BlueVine users can withdraw cash for free at over 30,000 ATMs. Out-of-network ATMs will leave users with withdrawal fees, though.

BlueVine Business Banking Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No monthly fees or minimum balance
  • No fees for transactions, overdrafts, incoming wires, and beyond
  • Cash deposits available
  • Users can earn interest on checking account balance

Cons:

  • No physical locations
  • Only a few integrations
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals are limited to only in-network ATMs

Does BlueVine Have Any Fees?

BlueVine is mostly fee-free except for a few specific situations. BlueVine’s promise of no fees extends beyond the time users are with the platform, as there is also no fee for terminating your account.

You can feel confident from the day you open your account to the day you close it that BlueVine goes over and beyond to avoid charging users excess fees.

Who Should Use BlueVine?

BlueVine is the ideal platform for small businesses that have a sizable portion of money they would like to keep in a checking account to earn interest on.

Users who live or operate their businesses close to BlueVine’s many in-network ATMs will benefit from fee-free withdrawals. Similarly, by identifying a nearby GreenDot location, users can make cash deposits as well.

Some online banking platforms offer reimbursements for ATM fees or free cash deposits, but those platforms lack in other areas where BlueVine shines, such as the high APY rate and ease of use.

Those looking for an online banking platform with tons of integration options will probably find BlueVine a bit threadbare and would potentially do better banking with a different platform.

Finally, BlueVine does not offer joint accounts at present. If you share a business account with multiple people who would all uniquely need access to the account, BlueVine is probably not the best fit.

Alternatives to BlueVine Business Banking

#1. NorthOne Business

NorthOne Business is a popular online banking option. Unlike BlueVine, NorthOne requires a minimum of $50 to open an account and charges a $10 monthly fee.

Like BlueVine, opening an account is fast and easy, and virtually all banking is done online through the mobile app and website.

NorthOne allows users to send and receive unlimited payment, deposits, and transfers but has a $10,000 daily ACH transfer limit and a $20,000 daily mobile check deposit limit.

Like Bank Novo, NorthOne Business has many integration options, including Expensify, FreshBooks, Wave, Xero, Square, PayPal, and many more.

>> More: NorthOne Business Banking Review

#2. Bank Novo

Bank Novo has a few things in common with BlueVine, including the many opportunities for fee-free banking.

Bank Novo has no monthly fees and requires no minimum balance. However, Bank Novo does not allow users to earn interest on their checking account balance.

Bank Novo also offers multiple integrations to make online banking easier, more personalized, and more intuitive.

Finally, Bank Novo has no in-network ATMs and instead offers reimbursements for all ATM fees.

>> More: Bank Novo Review

#3. NKBC Business Account

NKBC has no monthly maintenance fees, requires no minimum balance, and allows users to make unlimited transactions.

Like BlueVine, users must visit in-network ATMs to make withdrawals. Unlike BlueVine, NKBC offers up to $12 a month in out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements.

NKBC has high costs for outgoing domestic wires and incoming and outgoing international wires. At present, NKBC has no integrations available.

BlueVine Business Banking FAQs

The following are a few common questions people and small businesses ask about BlueVine.

Is BlueVine SBA Approved?

BlueVine is approved by the SBA and Treasury as a non-bank lender for the PayCheck Protection Program (PPP), helping BlueVine serve the small businesses it works with more effectively.

Does BlueVine Check Your Credit Score?

On top of considering applications’ personal information, BlueVine also looks at several financial factors when determining if someone is qualified for a BlueVine account.

BlueVine considers users’ business cash flow, the strength of their customers, as well as their personal and business credit histories.

While BlueVine does check credit scores, accounts are still available even to those with less than stellar credit.

BlueVine’s standard practice is to issue accounts to those with personal credit scores of above 530 for their invoice factoring service and above 600 for a business line of credit.

The good news is, BlueVine is quite fast when it comes to responding to funding inquiries. Most users should expect a response in about 24 hours.

Is BlueVine FDIC Insured?

BlueVine is FDIC insured through Bancorp Bank up to at least $250,000.

Bottom Line: BlueVine Business Banking Review

If you are looking for a reliable online banking platform with no fees that will allow you to grow your money, BlueVine is a great fit for you.

If you plan on keeping over $100,000 in your business checking account and you hope to earn interest on all of it, you might be better served finding a different platform that will allow you to earn interest on all your money, not just $100,000 it.

This will likely be a balancing act because while BlueVine only allows interest to be earned on your balance up to $100,000, their APY is significantly higher than other similar platforms.

Finally, if you have easy access to BlueVine’s in-network options, your experience will more closely resemble the platform’s fee-free promise. Otherwise, you will pretty quickly rack up ATM fees.

Marisa Powell
Marisa Powell
Marisa Powell is a Labor Organizer and Representative for physicians around the country. She is passionate about workers and helping make workplaces the best and safest they can be. After graduating from New York Law School and passing the bar, she relocated to Tacoma, WA, where she spends her days fighting for and with workers, writing for small businesses, and hanging out with her cat, Salem.