Lili review: Checking and savings with tax tools for freelancers


Lili review 2x1

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This post was last reviewed and updated August 9, 2021. 

The bottom line: Lili is a good hybrid checking/savings account for freelancers who want help with their taxes.

Pros and cons

ProsConsGood for freelancersNo minimum opening deposit and no monthly fees for basic Lili accountReceive direct deposits up to 2 days earlyTax tools specifically for freelancers, such as expense reports and a tax savings bucket Create savings bucketsEarn interest on savings with Lili Pro, plus get cash-back rewards at select retailersNo physical locations$4.99 monthly fee for Lili Pro

Lili Account

Product Card 601abd1e4aea0c0011f4cb0d

The Product Card 601abd1e4aea0c0011f4cb0d is a checking account specifically for freelancers. You may choose to use it strictly as a business account, or as a hybrid business/personal account. If you take the latter route, Lili will help you sort business and personal expenses.

Although this is a checking account, Lili makes it easy to save in separate buckets. You can create buckets for tax expenses or an emergency fund, for example, and set up a percentage of your deposits to go into buckets automatically. But unlike with some savings accounts, you won’t earn interest on your savings balances. If you want to earn interest, you may want to go with a different banking platform. (Or use another account in combination with your Product Card 601abd1e4aea0c0011f4cb0d.)

You may like this account if you want help preparing for tax season. Lili has tools to help you save money for tax season, create expense reports, and organize business costs.

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Lili Pro Account

Lili Pro Account

Lili Pro Account includes the same features that come with the basic account. It also adds extra tools such as a high interest rate on your savings bucket and cash-back rewards at select retailers. Just know that you’ll pay a monthly fee.

How Lili works 

Lili is an online-only banking platform for freelance workers. It has tax tools and a feature that helps you figure out how much to save for tax season. You can also set up savings buckets within the checking account.

You have free access to over 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs around the US. If you use an out-of-network ATM, Lili charges a $2.50 fee. The out-of-network ATM provider may also charge a fee.

Lili doesn’t charge overdraft fees. You can link an external bank account, and if you overdraw, funds will be pulled from that account to cover the purchase. If funds aren’t available to cover an overdraft, the company may freeze your account.

The Lili mobile app has received 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.2 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

You can call customer support Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, or send an email.

Your account is FDIC insured for up to $250,000 through Lili’s partner bank, Choice Financial Group Inc.

Is Lili trustworthy?

Lili’s partner bank is Choice Financial Group Inc. The Better Business Bureau gives Choice Financial Group a B in trustworthiness. The BBB measures trustworthiness based on factors like responses to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and transparency about business practices.

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Choice Financial Group may have a B because it has 68 customer complaints on the BBB website. The good news is that the company has responded to and closed most of those complaints.

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Banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America have faced scandals regarding their treatment of racial minorities and people with disabilities. Choice Financial Group doesn’t have any recent public scandals, though, so you may decide you’re comfortable keeping your money with Lili.

How Lili compares to similar accounts

We’ve compared the Product Card 601abd1e4aea0c0011f4cb0d to two other accounts that are beneficial to freelancers: the Radius Tailored Checking Account and NBKC Free Business Checking Account.

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radius bank member fdic

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Account for freelancers

Product Card 601abd1e4aea0c0011f4cb0d

Account for freelancers

Radius Tailored Checking Account

Account for freelancers

NBKC Free Business Checking Account

Standout feature

Tax tools

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Cash back

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ATM refunds

Product Card 601abd1e4aea0c0011f4cb0dOpen an accountOpen an account

Lili review vs. Radius review

You may prefer Lili if you want one account for your business and personal expenses. The Radius Tailored Checking Account is just for business. Radius has plenty of personal accounts you can open separately, though.

The Radius Tailored Checking Account has some special perks. You’ll earn 1% to 1.5% cash back on debit card purchases. You’ll also earn 0.10% APY if you maintain a $5,000 balance.

You can link your Radius account to budgeting and tax software like Mint, Quicken, or QuickBooks, but Radius doesn’t have its own tax tools specifically for freelancers. If you want features geared toward your life as a freelancer, you may want to go with Lili.

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Lili review vs. NBKC Bank review

While Lili can be used as a combo business/personal account, the NBKC Free Business Checking Account is strictly a business account. But you can open a separate personal account with NBKC.

You’ll probably like Lili if you want help with your taxes. NBKC doesn’t have any built-in tax tools, and you can’t link to external tax services like QuickBooks.

But if you think you’ll use non-MoneyPass ATMs frequently, you may prefer NBKC. It doesn’t charge a fee when you use out-of-network ATMs. If ATM providers charge you, NBKC reimburses up to $12 per month — even if you used an ATM in a different country.

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By: Laura Grace Tarpley, CEPF
Title: Lili review: Checking and savings with tax tools for freelancers
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Published Date: Mon, 09 Aug 2021 13:30:28 -0400

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