Lili Bank Account Review [2024]: A Banking App Designed with Freelancers in Mind

BANKING - CHECKING ACCOUNTS
Lili is a mobile banking app that offers features freelancers will appreciate, including tools for tax planning and savings.
Updated Oct. 11, 2023
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Lili is a mobile banking fintech app that has partnered with a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured financial institution to provide unique financial tools for freelancers. Both its Standard and Pro accounts offer special features freelancers will love, ranging from easy categorization of business expenses to early direct deposit.

This Lili banking review can help you decide if the app is right for you, or if it's missing some of the key features you may prefer in your business checking account.

Quick Summary

Banking services designed with freelancers in mind.

  • Save money when even if your income fluctuates
  • Track personal and business expenses
  • Maximize your freelance tax savings
In this Lili review

Lili basics

Lili Banking
APY (annual percentage yield) 4.15% (as of Oct. 11, 2023)1 on Lili's Automatic Savings Account
Minimum balance for APY None
Minimum deposit to open account None
Monthly maintenance fees
  • $0 for the Lili Basic account
  • $9 for Lili Pro, which includes everything in Lili Basic, as well as a Visa Business Pro debit card with cashback rewards (Lili card) and automatic savings with a 4.15% (as of Oct. 11, 2023) APY
  • $20 for Lili Smart, which includes everything in Lili Pro, as well as smart bookkeeping, financial reports, tax reports, and unlimited invoices and payments
  • $35 for Lily Premium, which includes everything in Lili Smart, as well as dedicated account specialists and priority customer support
ATM access Fee-free ATM withdrawals from more than 38,000 ATMS
Transactions per month Maximum deposit from external bank accounts:
  • $200 per day and
  • $1,000 per month
    Maximum for direct deposits:
  • $25,000 per direct deposit
  • $50,000 total deposits over 30 days.
    Maximum for check deposits:
  • $2,000 per check
  • 2 check per day maximum
  • 6 check per month maximum
  • $6,000 maximum
Member FDIC Lili's partner, Choice Financial Group, is FDIC insured
Visit Lili

What we like about Lili

Here are a few reasons Lili may be better for freelancers than a traditional bank:

  • Great features for freelancers: Lili is designed with freelancers (including sole proprietors), entrepreneurs, and small business owners in mind, and it offers banking services for them that many other apps don't. This includes real-time expense management tools and features that allow easy bookkeeping and expense tracking of business finances on the go, which can help with budgeting and preparing for tax season. You can also set up QuickBooks accounting software integration with Lili. Other tax tools are also available, including the ability to automatically move a percentage of your income into a "tax bucket" so you can save to pay the IRS. You can also set up an “emergency bucket” to set aside emergency funds. And you can get access to your money up to two days early with direct deposit at no extra cost.
  • A competitive interest rate for savings: Lili's automatic savings account offers an APY of 4.15% (as of Oct. 11, 2023) with no minimum balance requirements, and you can access this account with a Lili Pro subscription. This is above the APY offered by many competitors. If you want the best savings account in terms of APY, Lili could be a good banking option. Of course, you can have more than one savings account, so you can take advantage of Lili's automatic savings and competitive rates even if you already have an account elsewhere.
  • An easy-to-use app. Lili's app has received over 5,700 reviews on the Google Play store and has a 4.5 star rating. It's also popular among Apple iOS users and is ranked the 136th most-used financial app, with a 4.7 star rating out of 5. It's feature rich and allows you to manage every aspect of your account on the go.
  • Extensive ATM network. You can withdraw cash with no fee at any ATM that’s part of the MoneyPass ATM network. You can find in-network ATMs using the Lili app. If you use an out-of-network ATM, there is a $2.50 fee, and there’s a $5 fee for withdrawing funds outside the U.S.

What Lili could improve

Of course, no app is perfect. Here’s where Lili could improve:

  • More features with its free business account: For example, overdraft protection through BalanceUp is only available with paid Lili business accounts. BalanceUp allows you to go over your account balance by as much as $200 per month, and Lili will cover your costs and take the money out of your next paycheck. However, this Lili feature is available only to those with a premium paid account (starting at $9 per month), so not every Lili user will be able to take advantage of it. If you're worried about how to get overdraft fees refunded, this may be a concern. You'll also need a paid Lili account to be eligible for automatic savings or for a Premium Business Debit card with cashback rewards.
  • Low monthly deposit limits: You can only deposit up to $1,000 per day and $9,000 per month using cash deposits.

Compare Lili's Savings Account vs. traditional savings account

Lili's APY of 4.15% (as of Oct. 11, 2023) means you can earn more with a Lili automatic savings account than you could with a traditional savings account, which only offers 0.47% (as of Feb. 8, 2024) APY.

While it might not seem like that much of a difference, opening a high-yield savings account can result in significant earnings over time. The table below compares a traditional savings account to a hypothetical high-yield savings account to show the difference in earnings from interest.

Traditional savings account with 0.47% APY Example savings account with 3.00% APY
Initial balance $5,000 $5,000
After 1 year $5,023.50 $5,150
After 3 years $5,070.83 $5,463.64
After 10 years $5,240.03 $6,719.58

How to open a Lili account

You can open a Lili account in less than three minutes. The account can be opened online or via mobile app after you've downloaded the Lili app on your Android or iOS device.

To open a Lili account, you will need to provide:

  • Your contact details
  • Your address
  • Your occupation
  • The type of account you wish to open

You are eligible as long as you are 18 or older and have a valid U.S. Social Security number. Because the account is designed for freelancers, Lili indicates you should have at least some income that doesn't come from a traditional employer, such as freelancing income, small business income, or income from gig work.

Types of Lili accounts

Monthly fees Minimum deposit Plan highlights
Lili Basic $0 $0
  • Business checking account
  • Visa Business debit card
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals at 38,000 locations
  • Get paid up to two days early
  • Receive domestic wire transfers
  • Automatic savings
Lili Pro $9 $0
  • Everything in Lili Basic
  • Advanced business checking account
  • Visa Business Pro debit card with cashback rewards
  • Automatic tax savings
  • Fee-free overdraft up to $200
  • 4.15% (as of Oct. 11, 2023) APY on savings
  • Expense management tools and reports
Lili Smart $20 $0
  • Everything in Lili Pro
  • Smart bookkeeping tools
  • Financial reports
  • Unlimited invoices and payments
  • Tax reports
Lili Premium $35 $0
  • Everything in Lili Smart
  • Dedicated account specialists
  • Priority customer support

How to add funds to a Lili account

You can deposit funds into a Lili account from an external bank account, by using mobile check deposit, or by using a service like PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo.

You can also make cash deposits by visiting a Green Dot retailer location, but you can’t deposit cash at an ATM. The retailer may charge a fee for depositing cash, and you can deposit up to $1,000 in cash per 24-hour period up to seven times per week, for a maximum of $9,000 per month. Lili also supports domestic wire transfers.

How to withdraw money from a Lili account

You can withdraw money fee-free from your Lili account at any one of more than 38,000 ATMS. You are also allowed to transfer money to a linked external account.

Other Lili fees

Overdraft fee $0 on up to $200 per month in overdrafts for Lili Pro customers
Stop payment fee $0
ACH transfers $0
Incoming wire (domestic only) $0 
Outgoing wire N/A

Lili customer service

Lili offers customer support on business days and non-business days: Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. EST and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. The customer service phone number is 855-545-4380. You can also contact Lili at support@lili.co. However, the company indicates the easiest way to get help is to contact customer service through the Lili App by visiting the "Help Center."

FAQs about Lili

Is Lili legit?

Lili is a legitimate mobile banking app with thousands of users on Google and Android devices who rate it very highly. Although the mobile banking app does not offer financial services itself, it has partnered with Choice Financial Group, which is an FDIC financial institution.

What bank does Lili use?

Lili works with Choice Financial Group, which is FDIC insured. This means you don't need to worry about the safety of up to $250,000 of invested funds.

Is Lili free?

Lili's standard business bank account is completely free (no hidden fees) with no overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees, or ATM fees at more than 38,000 locations nationwide. However, if you upgrade to the Lili Pro account to get fee-free overdrafts, automatic savings, and a Premium Visa Business Debit card with cash back, you will pay a fee of $9 per month.

Bottom line

Lili can be a great choice if you want the features it offers for independent contractors and small business owners, such as business expense reports. But be sure you're OK with the pricing and paying the account fees if you want extra features and perks, such as access to a savings account that provides automatic savings and invoicing.

If you decide to use Lili for your business banking needs, be sure to check out our guide to how to switch banks so you can move your money over effortlessly with nothing falling through the cracks. If you want to see how Lili stacks up against other options, learn more about the best banks.

Lili Banking Benefits

  • Save money when even if your income fluctuates
  • Track personal and business expenses
  • Maximize your freelance tax savings

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.
Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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