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Banking

Azlo business checking accounts are closing—what now?

Azlo is closing its small business checking account. CNBC offers two alternatives for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small biz owners.

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halbergman

Azlo, a small business bank with fee-free checking account options, is closing its doors in early 2021. The company announced on Jan. 7 that current Azlo customers will need to transition to a new bank, and it recently outlined a phased account closure schedule on its website.

Current customers' accounts will close by March 31, 2021, but certain features (such as invoicing) will drop off before then. Account holders should transfer their accounts sooner rather than later so they don't risk missing payments in the process.

Moving your money from one bank to another is arguably easier than ever thanks to the availability of digital banking solutions and mobile apps.

And there are a few fee-free alternatives — like BlueVine small business checking and Novo — both which have features that former Azlo customers may like.

While both options are good for freelancers and small biz owners, BlueVine is a slightly more robust option. Customers can earn up 1.0% on their checking account balance up to $100,000, get their first two checkbooks free and access fee-free ATM transactions at up to 38,000+ MoneyPass® locations nationally. BlueVine is also accepting Paycheck Protection Program loans (PPP loans) through March 31, 2021.

Novo, on the other hand, refunds all ATM fees and is great for digital entrepreneurs because of its notable tech perks. New account holders can get up to $3,000 in Google Cloud credits, $150 toward Google Ads and 40% off the first six months of QuickBooks Online to help streamline bookkeeping and invoicing. Novo also allots the first $20,000 in credit card transactions as fee-free when you link your account with Stripe.

Neither BlueVine nor Novo charge monthly maintenance fees or set minimum balance requirements.

BlueVine Business Checking

On BlueVine's secure site
  • Special offer

    N/A

  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $0

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $0

  • Minimum balance

    $0

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    1.0% interest on your balance up to $100,000

  • Free ATM network

    No fees at over 38,000 ATM locations nationwide

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    No

  • Small business perks

    Two free checkbooks

  • Overdraft fee

    $0

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

See our methodology, terms apply. BlueVine is FDIC-insured through The Bancorp Bank.

Pros

  • Earn 1.0% APY in balances up to $100,000
  • No monthly fees, monthly or daily balance minimums, ACH payment fees, incoming wire fees or overdraft fees
  • Ability to instantly lock and unlock your BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard® for added security
  • Connect to business tools like PayPal, Stripe and Expensify
  • Unlimited transactions

Cons

  • Online only (not great if you prefer in-person banking)
  • No ATM refunds for out-of-network transactions

Novo Business Checking

On Novo Bank's secure site
  • Special offers

    Perks upon sign up can include $3,000 in Google Cloud credits, $150 toward Google Ads, 40% off the first six months of QuickBooks Online and up to $20,000 in fee-free credit card transactions when you link your account with Stripe

  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $0

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $50

  • Minimum balance

    $0

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Free ATM network

    No out-of-network ATM fees and reimburses fees charged by other ATM operators

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    Yes, worldwide

  • Small business perks

    Sync your account with Slack, Stripe, Shopify, Quickbooks, TransferWise, Xero, Zapier and other popular merchant tools.

  • Overdraft fee

    $27

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

See our methodology, terms apply. Novo is FDIC-insured through Middlesex Federal Savings.

Pros

  • Seamless tech integrations make it easy for the solo entrepreneur who does it all
  • Money-saving partnerships with popular invoicing, marketing and communications tools
  • Syncs easily to Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • Unlimited fee-free monthly transactions
  • No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements

Cons

  • Online only (not great if you prefer in-person banking)
  • No easy way to deposit cash

Our methodology

To determine which business checking accounts offer the most convenience, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. business checking accounts offered nationwide by online banks as well as those with physical branches. We narrowed down our rankings by considering no-fee checking accounts or accounts with easy ways to waive the monthly maintenance fees.

We compared each checking account on a range of features, including:

  • Fees
  • Minimum balance requirement
  • Mobile banking ease
  • Small business tools and support
  • Large ATM network
  • Account accessibility
  • Customer reviews, when available

All of the accounts included on this list are either members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or FDIC-insured through partner institutions. This insurance protects and reimburses you up to your balance and the legal limit in the event your bank or credit union fails.

The rates and fee structures for checking accounts are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the prime rate.

Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your checking account. To open an account, some banks and institutions may require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.


Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.