Lili Review 2023: A Free Checking Account for Freelancers & Side Hustlers

If you’re a part-time freelancer, sole proprietor, or solopreneur looking for a business checking account, then this Lili review is for you.

Lili has created a banking experience that just might make your solo business operations a little easier. Although there are some limitations of Lili that probably won’t work for full-time business owners, there are several that make Lili a viable option for side hustlers.

We’ll share all you need to know about Lili so you can decide if it might be right for your business.

📔 Quick Summary: Lili offers a free FDIC-insured business bank account with no minimums, no fees, and a debit card. It also includes bookkeeping and accounting features that’ll save you time, such as expense categorization.

Upgrade to Pro for $9 a month, and you’ll also earn cashback on debit card purchases, interest on your savings account, as well as more features designed to make your life easier.

Learn more about Lili

Table of Contents
  1. What Is Lili? 
  2. What Features Does Lili Offer?
  3. Lili Account Options
    1. Lili Standard
    2. Lili Pro
    3. Savings Account with 4.15% APY Interest
    4. Lili Smart 🆕
    5. Lili Premium 🆕
  4. Lili Referral Promotions
  5. Lili Pros and Cons
    1. Lili Pros
    2. Lili Cons
  6. Who Is Lili For?
  7. Lili Alternatives
    1. Novo
    2. NorthOne
  8. Summary

What Is Lili? 

Lili isn’t a bank; instead, it’s a mobile banking fintech that was created in 2018. The app was designed specifically for freelancers, gig workers, and side hustlers. 

Although Lili isn’t a bank, Lili accounts are FDIC insured up through Choice Financial Group (FDIC #9423). 

There are no bank branch locations with Lili; you do your business banking entirely online. 

The Lili website says it takes just three minutes to open a Lili account and download the app. The only information you’ll need is:

  • Email address
  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Birthdate 

Then you’ll choose your side hustle from Lili’s drop-down box list of occupations. 

From there, you can click on a link to download the app and start taking advantage of Lili features that are geared toward your side hustle business. 

One of the most attractive features Lili offers is that its basic account is free. You won’t pay a monthly fee, and there’s no minimum balance requirement. 

Learn more about Lili

What Features Does Lili Offer?

Here’s a summarized list of Lili’s main features. From there, we’ll go into specific features that can help make a freelancer’s business management tasks easier. 

The basics:

  • $0 minimum balance
  • $0 minimum account opening requirement
  • $0 monthly fee (basic account)
  • Free Visa debit card (Lili Pro earns cashback)
  • Unlimited & fee-free domestic wires
  • Real-time activity notifications
  • Mobile banking accounts
  • Expense categorization
  • “Buckets” for categorizing savings
  • Deposit and payment capabilities
  • Invoicing (pro account)
  • Interest-earning savings account (pro account)
  • Tax help tools

You’ll also have an up-to-date snapshot of financial insights on your account that will help you keep a good eye on both income and expenses. 

Face ID and/or Thumbprint ID help keep your account secure. You can deposit checks with Lili’s mobile check deposit feature, or you can deposit cash for a fee at Green Dot locations. 

You can connect Lili to your Google Wallet or Apple Pay account for quick and easy payments. And you can freeze or unfreeze your debit card right from the app. 

Referral Program

Lili has a generous referral program as well. When you refer a friend to sign up for their own Lili account using your referral code, you can earn $50. 

Note that the friend has to spend a minimum of $250 using their Lili card within the first 45 days of opening their account for you to receive your referral reward.

And there is a limit of 10 referral rewards per Lili customer. But $500 is nothing to sneeze at. 

Lili Account Options

When you sign up to use Lili, you have two account options: Lili Standard and Lili Pro.

Here’s a rundown of the features of each. 

Lili Standard

Lili Standard is free and comes with the following features. 

Visa Business Debit Card

The Visa Business debit card offers free ATM withdrawals at over 38,000 locations. The following daily spending limits apply:

  • $10,000 per day in card purchases
  • $1,000 per day in ATM withdrawals

Tax Savings Bucket

Lili features a tax savings bucket where you can automatically set up a percentage of all income to go into your tax bucket.

This helps you be prepared to pay Uncle Sam when tax time comes. Bonus: Lili sends an automated business income and expense report to you every quarter.

Real-Time Notifications

You’ll get real-time notifications of every account activity, whether it’s a deposit notification or a purchase notification. 

Bill Pay Capabilities

You can pay bills with your Lili account either by giving companies your routing and account number or by using your debit card. 

Financial Insights

The Lili app will give you an up-to-the-minute snapshot of your income and spending habits. 

Mobile Check Deposit

You can deposit checks using the mobile app with Lili, but you need to have at least $200 coming into your account each month. This can be a transfer of $200 from your main checking account, a Direct Deposit of $200 per month, etc. If you don’t have at least $200 in other deposits from the prior month, you can’t use the mobile check deposit feature during the current month. (SMLLCs, MMLLCs, GPs, LLPs, and S-Corps are exempt from this requirement)

And there are limits on the number and amount of checks you can deposit to Lili:

  • Maximum dollar amount per check: $10,000
  • Maximum dollar amount of checks deposited each month: $50,000
  • Maximum dollar amount deposited per day: $10,000

Learn more about Lili

Lili Pro

Lili Pro costs $9 per month and includes all of the features from Lili Standard, along with these additional features. 

Premium Visa Business Debit Card 

Lili Pro gets you a Premium Visa debit card that earns cash-back rewards. You’ll get varying cash back percentages depending on the vendor you purchase from. 

And you’ll get cash back on both personal and business expenses. All of the cash-back rewards are automatically deposited into your Lili account.

With Lili Pro, you have the same purchasing power:

  • $10,000 per day in card purchases
  • $1,000 per day in ATM withdrawals


Lili Pro has another (optional) feature called BalanceUp. This feature allows you to overdraft up to $200 with no overdraft fees. 

Lili doesn’t charge fees for overdrafts anyway, but they have the option to return the item that caused the overdraft if you don’t have Lili Pro. With Lili Pro, they’ll pay overdrafts up to $200. 

Invoicing Capabilities

Lili Pro also has invoicing capabilities that you won’t get with Lili Standard. When you pay for a Lili Pro subscription, you can create and send unlimited invoices. 

Your clients can then pay those invoices using your routing and account number. 

Advanced Expenses Management and Categorization

Lili Pro gives you advanced options for expense management and categorization. For instance, you can allocate a percentage of expenses for work and/or for personal use.

And you can customize your expense categories as well. 

Savings Account with 4.15% APY Interest

Lili Pro has an additional benefit: a savings account feature. The savings account will pay you 4.15% APY interest.

Autosave is required with Lili Pro’s savings account, but you can set up your autosave with as little as $1 per day. 

Note that Lili does offer banking promotions on occasion. See the website for details. Also, check out more of the latest business bank account promotions here

As you can see, there’s a lot to love about Lili. It has a lot of features that can really benefit freelancers. Next, let’s talk about the pros and cons of using Lili.

Learn more about Lili

Lili Smart 🆕

Lili Smart costs $20 a month and includes everything from Lili Pro and the free tier, plus even more business tools like smart bookkeeping, financial reports (like a profit & loss as well as cash flow statements), unlimited invoicing and payments, plus pre-filled out business tax forms like the Form 1065/Schedule C.

At this level, transaction categorization includes income as well as expenses.

Lili Premium 🆕

Lili Premium is an even higher tier of service, $35 a month, that includes everything in the previous tiers plus a dedicated account specialist as well as priority customer support (VIP Customer Service). You can also get a metal debit card. It’s Lili Smart except you can speak to someone pretty much on-demand.

Lili Referral Promotions

Lili offers a referral bonus when you refer other customers – get $100 when a friend signs up and uses the Lili card on $250 of spend within the first 45 days. You can earn the bonus up to 10 times (both you and that friend get a $100 reward).

Lili Pros and Cons

Lili’s fee-free account is a huge draw for freelancers and gig workers. As is the free ATM usage at MoneyPass ATMs. Here are some other Lili pros.

Lili Pros

  • Tax bucket savings feature
  • Receive Direct Deposit up to two days early
  • Income and expense tracking (customizable with Lili Pro)
  • Earn 4.15% APY on savings (with Lili Pro)
  • Cash back rewards on Visa card purchases (with Lili Pro)
  • Unlimited & fee-free domestic wires

However, Lili has its cons as well. 

Lili Cons

When we first published this review, Lili was relatively new and had a few cons such as low deposit limits, Quicken intergration issues, and more. They’ve since changed a lot of them, so our original list of cons has slowly been whittled down.

When they launched, Lili had some relatively low limits on mobile deposits and withdrawals but they’ve since remedied these limits, increasing them. Since you can now deposit checks of up to $10,000 each day and a limit of $50,000 in check deposits each month, it’s no longer a significant negative.

Also at launch, Lili didn’t yet have any integration capabilities with accounting software programs like Quickbooks. Lili now seamlessly works with software like Quickbooks and Xero.

Finally, there are also a handful of less-than-stellar reviews on Trustpilot. While most of the reviews are positive (4.7 stars out of 5 on nearly 2,300 reviews), there were a few bad experiences. Lili took the time to reply to each of them and find a resolution.

Who Is Lili For?

Lili was designed for freelancers and gig workers/side hustlers who want to have a free way to help manage their business income and expenses better. They’ve since expanded a lot of their offerings to really include any small business that enjoys these features but don’t want to pay high monthly fees.

With increased deposit limits, the only limitation has to do with the size of your business. If you need to deposit checks greater than $10,000, Lili will not be for you. If you need to deposit more than $50,000 in checks each month, then Lili will not be for you.

Lili also limits outbound ACH transfers to $10,000 per day and $60,000 per month.

As you can see, most business will not need to exceed those amounts and so you can enjoy all the other features despite those (relatively) high limitations. For the reasons mentioned above, Lili is probably best suited to freelancers and side hustlers who don’t make a huge amount of cash.

Lili Alternatives

There are a couple of banks that operate a lot like Lili and can work well for freelancers and other small business owners. Here are some of my favorite Lili alternatives, or you can check out the full list of the top business checking accounts.


Novo is another fintech operation. Deposit accounts through Novo are FDIC-insured through Middlesex Federal Savings.

The Novo Business Checking account has attractive features such as:

  • $0 monthly fees
  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • ATM fees: Any ATM fees are refunded; no limit

Novo, like Lili, doesn’t charge any monthly fees. Novo does have transaction limits, however, they are much more generous than what Lili offers. 

  • Check deposit limit: $20,000 per day/$40,000 per month
  • POS limit: $5,000/25 transactions per day
  • ATM withdrawal limit: $1,000

The Novo website does say that you can call customer service to get these limits increased to meet your business needs. 

Novo also has reserve accounts you can create where you can put aside money for taxes and emergencies. 

One thing Novo has that Lili doesn’t is integrations. With Novo, you can integrate with Stripe, Square, Xero, Shopify, and more. This feature is nice for businesses using those services.

Learn more about Novo


NorthOne is a fintech company that provides FDIC-insured deposit accounts via its partnership with LendingClub Bank.

Like Lili, NorthOne operates digitally with no bank branch locations. Here’s a summary of NorthOne’s business account features.

  • $10 monthly fee
  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $50 minimum opening deposit requirement
  • No ATM fees at over 300,000 in-network ATMs

Here is information on NorthOne’s transaction limits.

  • Unlimited debit card transactions
  • ATM withdrawal limit: Up to 5 transactions per day for a total of $2,000
  • Mobile check deposits through Ingo, which charges fees

NorthOne offers subaccounts for your business checking account that can be used to deposit money for taxes, emergencies, and more. 

NorthOne has integrations with a number of accounting software programs and e-commerce platforms.

Integrations include:

  • Quickbooks
  • Xero
  • FreshBooks
  • Stripe
  • Square
  • Shopify
  • Etsy

And others. The long list of integrations you have access to with NorthOne can be a deciding factor when choosing a business checking account. 

New Account “Bonus” – $20

The $20 bonus is structured as a waiver of the NorthOne Deposit Account monthly fee (which is $10 per month) for two months.

This offer expires 6/6/2023.

See our article on the best business banks for more information on Lili alternatives. 

Learn more about NorthOne


Lili has many great features and they’ve taken big steps to resolve the limitations they had at launch. With greater the deposit and transfer limits, many freelancers will find them to be a good option for their business banking needs.

For those with larger operations, the limits may be a limiting factor though.

However, Lili has a lot to offer for the part-time side hustlers, give them a look to see if they’re a good fit.

Learn more about Lili





  • No minimum balance, monthly fee
  • Include free Visa debit card
  • Real time notifications, savings buckets
  • Pro version available for more features
  • Unlimited & fee-free domestic wires


  • $10,000 mobile check deposit limit

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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