Debit Card for Freelancers - How to Choose a Good Bank Account

14

Min Read

Tom Smery

As someone who receives money for independent projects, you will likely consider opening a business bank account - but it's important to get a debit card for freelancers as well.

The best business checking accounts will have associated debit cards, but not every bank offers this perk. This is why you need to do as much research as possible on the bank account that you want to use.

Note: If you want to pick the best debit card for freelancers, try Bonsai Cash. Our virtual bank account has no hidden fees or minimums. Our account will help you separate your personal and business finances for taxes and give you access to a physical debit card you could use. There is no application so you are guaranteed an account. Open an account today.

Best Bank Accounts to Get Debit Cards From

Multiple financial institutions that provide bank accounts for freelancers also offer debit cards that you can link to your account. Here are the most popular business accounts that you can go for.

Bonsai Cash

Bonsai Cash is a bank account for freelancers that you can easily use online, without needing a brick-and-mortar bank to undergo business banking. That being said, the debit card provided can be used at pretty much every ATM.

You can withdraw as much as $300 every day from the ATM for free, but for an extra fee, you can withdraw more. You can also undergo card transactions up to $2,000 per day, or $3,000 for external banks. This is more than enough for the average small business.

Bonsai Cash is free to use, having no minimum balance requirements. It also charges no monthly fees, which means that you may easily save money with this bank account. There's no application process so they business checking account is guaranteed.

Bonsai Cash allows you to connect with a variety of business tools, such as Bonsai Payments. Along with your virtual debit card, you will get access to a physical debit card as well. This way, it will be less likely for you to become a fraud victim, in case your physical card gets stolen.

Bonsai is a tailored checking account that has the purpose of organizing your business expenses. With the "Envelopes" feature, you can organize your money efficiently. For example, you can create an envelope for taxes, one for savings, one for business funds - and for many others that you may have.

Our freelancer business checking account is FDIC insured, which protects your funds against fraud. Even if a thief still manages to get access to your account, your funds will be covered, protecting your business capital.

BlueVine

If you get a BlueVine business checking account, you will also be able to obtain a debit card with a fair number of convenient features. It is a particularly good option if you need business savings accounts or even a checking account that bears interest.

This business interest checking account is free to use. However, if you keep a minimum balance of up to $100,000, then you can earn interest of up to 1.20%. Bear in mind that if you go past that minimum balance, you will no longer be able to earn interest.

Aside from that, business accounts provided by BlueVine also offer unlimited transactions, with no monthly fees to bother you. Plus, as long as you use any of the 38,000 MoneyPass ATM units, you can get the money out for free.

Cash deposits can be done at Green Dot partners such as Walmart or 7-eleven. Still, each cash deposit requires a $4.95 deposit fee, which you will need to keep in mind.

NBKC Bank

An NBKC business checking account is also something to consider if you need free bank accounts for freelancers. It asks for no monthly fees, no transaction fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balance.

The accounts provided by this bank allow you to make a mobile check deposit, but you may also deposit cash at most of the MoneyPass ATMs in your area. However, ongoing wire transfers are charged: $5 for domestic and $45 for international.

The bank itself is mostly online, but you may find four brick-and-mortar locations in Kansas City. Accounts for freelancers may be applied for online, and it only takes 5 minutes to make the request. However, you may have to wait up to five days in order for your request to be processed.

Chase Business Complete Banking

As a small business owner, you may also find the Chase business checking account a good option. This bank account is mostly popular for its QuickAccept feature, which allows you to make a payment within seconds.

This account provides debit cards that you may use in order to make a payment, but you may also use the app itself to make a payment from your electronic wallet. Accounts may be opened online, but you can also do it at one of the 5,000 branches scattered across the U.S.

The Chase business complete banking account features a monthly fee of $15, something that you may have waived if you keep a minimum balance of $2,000. You also have a limit of 20 free physical transactions (ATM, checks) per month, after which you will be charged 40 cents per transaction.

Novo Business Checking

Business bank accounts provided by Novo are a good option for freelancers to keep their business finances in check. It features integrated invoicing, making it easier for you to receive payments as a self-employed person.

The Novo business account needs no minimum balance and requires no monthly fees. You can use any ATM that you want, even the international ones. If the ATM charges any fees, Novo will reimburse the money by the end of the month.

It takes 10 minutes to set up an account and around 2-3 business days to have your request accepted. There are no physical branches where you can make a cash deposit, but you can easily do a mobile check deposit or transfer the money from wallets such as a PayPal account.

Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking

If you want to go for a business account at a bigger bank, then you may want to try getting a debit card from Wells Fargo. It features over 5,000 branches scattered across the U.S., making it a good option for those who like face-to-face interactions with bank personnel.

You can get a checking account of various levels, but the most popular is the Initiate Business Checking Account. This account has a $10 monthly fee, but you can have it waived if you keep a minimum balance of $500 per day or $1,000 per month.

Wells Fargo is also a good option if you want to expand your business or bring all of your accounts in one place. You can open a personal account on top of your business one, a savings account, or even get a credit card if you want.

Kabbage Checking

Those looking for an interest-bearing checking account may want to consider using Kabbage. This free checking account requires no minimum balance, but if you do keep up to $100,000, you can enjoy a 1.10% APY.

There are no ATM fees, as long as you use Allpoint ATMs - which is quite convenient, considering there are 19,000 of them across the country. You may also deposit cash up to $5,000 every day if you use any of the associated Green Dot locations.

Bear in mind that the deposits via Green Dot may require a fee of up to $4.95, depending on how much money you are depositing. You may use check deposits through the app, but they take up to 5 days to reach your account and you may only do it after you first complete an ACH transfer.

Benefits of Using a Debit Card

Debit cards come with various advantages that you may be able to reap. If you choose a business bank account with an associated debit card, you can enjoy the following perks.

No Debt

When you are using credit cards or a business banking institution that provides loans, you will have to pay a certain amount of interest for that money. This can lead to a fair amount of debt if you keep drawing money out of it.

With debit cards, you are drawing the money directly from your business checking account. This way, you will not spend more money than you can afford. Also, for a debit card, you won't have to pay monthly card bills.

Money Protection

When you keep cash deposits all over your house and in your wallet, it can be very difficult to keep your money safe. If someone steals your stash, no one can stop them from spending the money however they want.

However, if you go for a debit card, you will get more financial protection. If someone wants to spend your money, they will need to know your debit card password.

Even if they somehow try to hack into your account and find out your password, they will not be able to get very far. By the time they get any closer to finding out your password, you'll have plenty of times to freeze your debit card, rendering it unusable.

Easy Payments

Cash payments are still common nowadays. Let's say that you are going to your supplier to buy some things that you need for your business. Depending on the vendor, you may have to wait in line - which can cause a great deal of anxiety when you are fumbling with your money.

Debit cards allow you to make a payment in a matter of seconds. You won't have to bother with cash change, and the process of making a payment will be much easier. This brings us to the next benefit:

It Saves Money

Have you noticed how pretty much any product on the market is priced at .99 or .95? Usually, cashiers simply round up that price because "they don't have change for that."

At that moment, a 0.01 change might not seem like such a big deal to you. You can't even make any significant purchases with it either. However, once it adds up, the sum can become quite significant.

By using your debit card to make a payment, they will not be rounding up the money. The exact sum will be extracted, and you will keep the change safe in your account.

No Checks

If wire transfers are not an option with business checking accounts, the average business owner uses checks to make a payment. Still, they are time-consuming, and most vendors don't even accept checks anymore as a payment method.

With a debit card, it will only take a couple of seconds to make a payment. Plus, almost every vendor accepts it at this point, so you will no longer have any delays when it comes to making a payment.

Choose a Good Debit Card for Business

When deciding on the best bank account and the associated debit card for your small business, there are several factors that you may want to consider first. This includes:

Business Type

The business type that you are planning to run may narrow down your choice when it comes to bank accounts for freelancers. For instance, a business account for a sole  proprietor, you won't need anything fancy, as won't have anyone on the payroll. A standard business checking account will be enough for that.

That being said, while you may not need a separate payroll account, you may still want to consider putting up a sub-account for your taxes. Savings accounts can be very helpful here, as they are interest-bearing.

Consider the type of business that you want to run.. This way, you will know whether a particular business bank account is a good choice for you or not.

Customer Support

Very few business owners think much about the customer support of the financial institution when choosing their bank accounts. That being said, imagine that you have a financial or banking emergency, and you have some questions that you need to be answered.

You don't want to keep calling and calling the bank, either constantly getting the machine or being answered by a rude voice. You want someone who can actually answer your questions when you need them.

When browsing business checking accounts, make sure that they are backed up by reliable teams for their customer service. They don't need to be available 24/7 (although that wouldn't hurt), but they should at least be easily contacted when they say they are.

Mobile-Friendliness

Debit cards are useful for making cash-free payments at almost any store nowadays, and to be frank, very few people even use cash anymore. Still, while Internet banking and debit card payments are a thing, people are also looking for mobile platforms.

This is extremely important if your business keeps you on the go at all times. For example, let's say that you are commuting and you receive notice that you need to make a payment. You can't really go to the bank or take out your laptop, so a mobile app will help you get the job done fast on the go.

Mobile-friendliness is also highly important if it concerns online banks with no brick-and-mortar location. All the operations that would normally be done at the bank must be available on the mobile platform as well.

Fees and Costs

Nobody wants to pay endless fees to open a business bank account, so when getting one associated with a debit card, you need to make sure that there aren't any hidden fees. This way, you won't be worrying about the business expenses and fees clashing, emptying out your business bank accounts.

Look for business accounts that have no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, and provide unlimited transactions. If the debit card has a limit, make sure that the free withdrawals you get can handle the funds you have in mind.

Accessibility

Freelancers typically work from home, which means that online payments are the most common transactions. That being said, every now and again, you may need to withdraw actual cash from your bank account - which means that you will need access to an ATM in your area.

If you are using a brick-and-mortar bank, ensure that there are ATMs in your area where you can withdraw free of charge. If not, you may want to consider whether you can use any other ATM or not.

Some banks allow you to use debit cards for online banks free of charge, as long as they have partnered in some way. For other debit cards, you may have free withdrawals from any bank account - but there will also be a limit. Keep this in mind when choosing a debit card.

Accessibility for cash deposits is also important. Some bank accounts do not allow for cash deposits, whereas others only allow it at specific locations. Make sure that the location is near enough to you so that you may deposit cash when you need it. Check to see if it is easy to open a business account online as well.

Growth Potential

Last but not least, you need to look for growth potential. For instance, right now, you may have a single-member LLC with only you on the payroll, meaning there won't be a need for any fancy features.

However, at some point, your business may grow, and you may want to put people on a payroll. Perhaps you'll have enough money to spare in order to set up a business savings account.

If that is your case, then you might want to look into a business bank account that offers these features. This way, you won't be forced into switching accounts simply because your business grew.

FAQ

As a person looking for a dedicated business checking account, you may have a couple of questions. Here are the most common ones when it comes to debit cards.

Do I Need a Business Debit Card If I'm a Freelancer?

Technically speaking, you do not need debit cards if you are a freelancer. However, many business bank accounts still offer them, and it wouldn't hurt to get one. They may be used to make payments, no matter if you opt for virtual or physical debit cards.

Can I Get a Credit Card As Well?

Depending on your business and the financial institution that you choose, you may be eligible for a credit card as well. Bear in mind that not every bank offers credit cards - so, if this is one of your purposes, then you may want to make sure the bank offers it.

Can I Have More than One Debit Card Linked to a Business Checking Account?

Yes, you can have multiple debit cards linked to one account, as long as it is a joint account. This is useful in the case of multi-member LLCs, where more than one person is managing the business account.

What Is the Best Debit Card for Freelancers?

There are multiple debit cards that freelancers may reap multiple benefits from, but perhaps the best one is the Bonsai Cash debit card. It makes mobile banking very easy, it has no minimum balance requirement, and for the most part, it is free to use.

For a freelancer or small business owner who doesn't have regular income yet wants to keep their finances organized, Bonsai is a good choice.

The Bottom Line

A debit card is a useful tool for every freelancer, as it helps you handle payments in an easy fashion. It may be used for anything from online purchases to physical stores, as it is one of the most common payment options nowadays. 

You just need to choose the right self-employed bank accounts for your needs and where you meet all of the banking requirements. Each account offers different features for the card, and you must make sure that it fits your business style.

Tom Smery
Tom Smery is a certified CPA for over a decade. In his free time, he writes articles to pass on his expert knowledge on taxes and accounting. Thomas has a wide range of deep knowledge on 1099 taxes, and finance topics. You can find him fishing when he is not preparing taxes for his clients or writing about accounting.

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