Bluevine vs. Novo Banking 2022

We compare banking costs, access, and more at Bluevine and Novo.
Best business checking account
BlueVine
Bluevine
3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2
$0.00 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $0.00 min. opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Only in-network ATMs are free
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Offers lines of credit
Best for integrations
Novo bank logo
Novo
2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6
$0.00 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $0.00 min. opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Allows use of any ATM; fees refunded monthly
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Does not offer credit or loans

Data as of 7/1/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure.

Bluevine and Novo offer free, online-only small business checking accounts. But while that may make them sound pretty similar, Bluevine and Novo actually have some big differences. So before you put your money into an account that won’t fit your needs, let’s make sure you know which online banking platform you’d like better. Note: Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; Member FDIC.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the biggest differences between Bluevine and Novo online business banking. From costs to access to extras, we’ll give you the information you need to make an informed choice about your business banking.

Compare Bluevine vs. Novo

Before we get into the specifics about how Bluevine and Novo differ, let's get a broad overview of these two banking platforms.

Feature
Monthly maintenance fee$0.00$0.00
Earns interest1.5% APY (on balances up to $100,000)No
Banking platform typeOnline only Online only
Cash deposits acceptedVia Green Dot locationsNo
Trustpilot score4.413.52

Data as of 7/1/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Bluevine and Novo are, as we said, online banking platforms. So unlike traditional banks (such as Wells Fargo), neither has any brick-and-mortar branches you can walk into. Instead, you’ll do all your banking over the internet.

That makes these digital banking platforms best for businesses that don’t handle lots of cash, such as freelancers and online businesses.

As a rule, online-only banking platforms offer cheaper bank account options than traditional banks do. And sure enough, Bluevine and Novo both have a free business checking account―or at least, a checking account with no monthly service fee.

They don’t have much else in the way of banking services, though. Neither Bluevine nor Novo offers any kind of savings account, for example, or a business credit card.

For a deeper dive into either banking platform, you can check out our Bluevine banking review or our Novo Banking review, respectively. But for now, let’s look at how these two platforms compare.

Most affordable: Bluevine

While both Bluevine and Novo bill themselves as free business checking options, Bluevine has the more affordable checking account.

Sure, neither bank charges a monthly fee on their business bank accounts. Likewise, you get unlimited transactions for free, and you don't have to worry about a minimum balance requirement on either platform.

BlueVine vs. Novo fees

Feature
Monthly maintenance fee$0.00$0.00
Min. opening deposit$0.00$0.00
Transaction fees$0.00$0.00
NSF fees$0.00$27.00
Outgoing wire transfer fee$15.00N/A
Incoming wire transfer$0.00$0

Data as of 7/1/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

But Novo does require an initial $50 minimum balance to gain access to all their banking features (though it is not required to open the account). You can open your Bluevine business checking account, though, with no deposit at all.

Bluevine business banking can also save you on NSF fees, or non-sufficient funds fees. Novo, like most banking platforms, charges you a fee for any transaction not covered by your bank account balance. Bluevine simply doesn’t.

Now, Bluevine does charge a (competitive) outgoing wire transfer fee that Novo doesn’t―but that’s because Novo doesn’t offer outgoing wire transfers—unless you integrate with one of its apps. 

So ultimately, Bluevine offers a slightly cheaper business checking account than Novo―though both charge fewer fees than most traditional banks.

Best APY: Bluevine

Bluevine business banking stands out from most traditional and digital bank accounts for one reason: it earns interest on your account balances, including up to 5 sub-accounts.

And we’re not talking about a tiny, nominal interest rate either. Bluevine earns 1.5% APY (annual percentage yield) on any business checking account balance up to $100,000. Sure, that’s not enough for you to retire on―but it’s a better interest rate than you’ll get even from many business savings accounts out there.

Novo, on the other hand, doesn’t offer any interest on its online business checking account.

Given the chance to earn 1.5% interest or not, we suggest taking the free earnings from BlueVine.

Best access: Bluevine

Bluevine also makes it easier to access your business bank account than Novo does.

Take cash deposits, for example. Like many online banks, Novo doesn’t have an easy way to accept cash. Sure, you can go buy a money order and then mobile deposit that money order―but that’s a lot of steps. Bluevine makes things at least a little easier by letting you deposit cash at any Green Dot location (usually found in grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retailers).

Bluevine makes it easier to spend the money in your bank account too. It gives you two free checkbooks when you open your Bluevine business checking account. Novo will send checks on your behalf (by request), but if you want an actual checkbook, you’ll have to pay for one from a third party.

Likewise, as we mentioned earlier, Bluevine lets you send wire transfers from your account (perfect for when you need to get someone money the same day). Novo doesn’t allow for that unless you integrate with its partner app, TransferWise.

Now, Novo does have a slight advantage when it comes to ATMs. Novo refunds all ATM fees to your bank account, so you can use any ATM you want. Bluevine doesn’t do that, but it does have a large ATM network with more than 38,000 ATMs―so you should still be able to easily withdraw cash without paying an ATM fee.

Put simply, between the cash deposits, free checkbooks, and wire transfer capabilities, we think Bluevine business banking offers more of the kinds of access small-business owners need.

Best integrations: Novo

Novo does have one significant advantage over Bluevine: software integrations.

Your Novo online business account can integrate with popular business software, including the following:

  • Google Sheets
  • QuickBooks
  • Shopify
  • Slack
  • Stripe
  • Xero

And that’s just the shortlist. Novo integrates with other accounting software and business apps. Plus, it works with Zapier, so you can create your own custom integrations.

Bluevine only has a native integration with QuickBooks. Which is great, but if you want a seamless connection between your business bank account and other popular business apps, Novo offers the better option.

Best non-banking perks: Tie

We’ve been talking just about business bank accounts, but Bluevine and Novo both offer a little more than that.

In Bluevine’s case, it also offers two types of business financing: lines of credit and invoice factoring. (Though its invoice factoring has recently been acquired by its partner, FundThrough.) As you can read in our Bluevine review, we like Bluevine’s competitive rates on financing, and it’s one of our recommended business lenders.

And while Novo doesn’t offer its own other products, it does offer plenty of perks for other companies. Novo customers can get discounts on everything from marketing to accounting software to payment processing. For example, Novo lets you get a 40% discount on QuickBooks online for six months and $150 in free Google Ads credits.

Bluevine also, like Novo, offer sub-accounts to allow customers to better manage funding for different purposes (like taxes, payroll, and profits). Novo labels this Novo Reserves, and this added feature is super advantageous for budgeting purposes. Even more advantageous, as mentioned earlier, is that Bluevine's sub-accounts are eligible to earn interest.

Neither Bluevine’s nor Novo’s perks are enough to make or break our opinion of these banks―but we thought you might want to know about them.

The takeaway

You can get a decent small-business checking account from either Bluevine or Novo, but we think you’ll like one better than the other.

Bluevine has the overall better business checking account. That’s thanks to its lower account costs, easier account access (especially for cash deposits), and ability to earn interest. But Novo has its own advantages, like integrations with the software you use to run your business.

So since either bank works for basic banking, we suggest you choose the one that better fits your business’s specific needs.

Bluevine and Novo aren’t your only online banking options. Check out our list of the best online bank for small business to see other bank accounts you might like.

Related content

Bluevine vs. Novo FAQ

Is Bluevine a legitimate bank?

Yes, Bluevine is a legitimate bank. Bluevine has earned thousands of positive reviews on Trustpilot1, and it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.3

What’s better―Novo or Azlo?

Since Azlo has closed down, Novo now offers the better business bank account. (We did like Azlo accounts more, though.)

If you’d like to compare Novo to some Azlo alternatives, you can check out our rankings of the best freelancer bank accounts.

Is Novo a good banking platform?

Novo can be a good banking platform, depending on your needs. If you just want a cheap business checking account with few frills, Novo certainly fits the bill. 

But if you want more advanced banking services (like a savings account, credit card, or even the ability to easily make cash deposits), then Novo might not be the right fit for your business.

What bank backs Bluevine?

Bluevine banking accounts are backed by Coastal Community Bank. Its business lines of credit come through Celtic Bank.

Methodology

We researched factors like account availability, bank account fees, customer service options, customer reviews, and more to score and rank Bluevine and Novo. We then used the resulting scores to review and compare Bluevine and Novo’s banking services.

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “Bluevine.” Accessed July 1, 2022.
  2. Trustpilot, “Novo.” Accessed July 1, 2022.
  3. Better Business Bureau, “Bluevine Inc.” Accessed July 1, 2022.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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