BlueVine vs. Novo Banking 2021

We compare bank account costs, access, and more at BlueVine and Novo.
Best business checking account
BlueVine
BlueVine
3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2
$0 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $0 min. opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Small-business checking only
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    No physical locations
Best for integrations
Novo bank logo
Novo
2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6
$0 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $50 min. opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Small-business checking only
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    No physical locations

BlueVine and Novo are two online-only banks that offer free 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 a bank account that won’t fit your needs, let’s make sure you know which online bank you’d like better.

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

Feature
BlueVine

BlueVine

Novo bank logo

Novo

Monthly maintenance fee$0 $0
Earns interest
1% APY (on balances up to $100,000)
Icon No  DarkNo
Bank typeOnline only Online only
Cash deposits accepted
Via Green Dot locations
Icon No  DarkNo
Trustpilot score4.414.22

Data effective 9/9/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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

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

As a rule, online banks 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 bank, you can check out our BlueVine banking review or our Novo Bank review, respectively. But for now, let’s look at how these two banks 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 at either bank.

BlueVine vs. Novo fees

Feature
BlueVine

BlueVine

Novo bank logo

Novo

Monthly maintenance fee$0 $0
Min. opening deposit$0 $50
Transaction fees$0 $0
NSF fees$0 $27
Outgoing wire transfer fee$15 N/A
Incoming wire transferN/A$0

Data effective 9/9/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

But Novo does require an initial $50 minimum balance to open your new bank 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 banks, 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 at all. (Novo does allow for free incoming wire transfers, while BlueVine doesn’t accept incoming wires.)

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.

And we’re not talking a tiny, nominal interest rate either. BlueVine earns 1% 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% 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 do a mobile deposit of 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 give you that option.

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.

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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 short list. Novo integrates with other accounting software and business apps. Plus, it works with Zapier, so you can create your own custom integrations.

BlueVine, unfortunately, doesn’t offer any native integrations. So if you want a seamless connection between your business bank account and your accounting software, Novo offers the better banking option.

Best non-banking products: 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. (It used to offer regular business loans and PPP loans too.) 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.

That said, you don’t need to use BlueVine business banking to apply for its financing―or vice versa. But if you’re the kind of person that likes to keep your finances in one place, BlueVine’s funding might appeal to you.

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.

Neither BlueVine’s funding 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

Get a better business bank account

Want affordable banking with great perks? With BlueVine, you can get a fee-free business checking account―and you can even earn interest on account balances over $1,000.

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 bank?

Novo can be a good online bank, 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 bank 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 September 9, 2021.
  2. Trustpilot, “Novo.” Accessed September 9, 2021.
  3. Better Business Bureau, “BlueVine Inc.” Accessed September 10, 2021.

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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