Mercury is an excellent choice for tech startups looking for an affordable online business checking account and additional Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insurance. Its account has no monthly fees, wire transfer fees, automated clearing house (ACH) fees, opening deposit requirements, or minimum balance requirements.
The account doesn’t support cash deposits or draw interest. However, it provides a number of useful tools and services, such as integrations and discounts for popular business software, access to investor networks, venture debt, and high-yield treasury accounts for customers with balances over $500,000. All companies incorporated in the United States are eligible to open accounts, except sole proprietors without an employer identification number (EIN), trusts, and businesses engaged in money services, adult entertainment, cannabis, or internet gambling.
- Cash deposits unavailable
- Lacks paper check-writing abilities
- Mercury business accounts (checking and savings) don’t earn interest
- FDIC insurance of up to $5 million when opting into sweep networks through Mercury Vault
- Savings account provided when opening a checking account
- Issue employee debit and corporate cards
- No overdraft fees
- IO Mastercard earns an automatic 1.5% cashback for all spending
- High-yield Mercury Treasury account on balances over $500,000
- QuickBooks and Xero accounting software integration
- Set customer user permissions for team members
- Access multiple business entities with single sign-on (SSO)
- Read-and-write API application programming interface (API) access
How Mercury Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Cash Deposit Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
N/A; platform doesn’t accept cash deposits
Visit Mercury Mercury is a fintech platform backed and FDIC-insured by a supporting bank partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust and Choice Financial Group.
2.00% on qualified balances up to $250,000
$4.95 per deposit; accepted at Green Dot locations
Visit Bluevine Bluevine is a fintech platform backed and FDIC-insured by a supporting bank partnership with Coastal Community Bank.
None; cash is deposited through money orders/cashier’s checks
Refunds all ATM fees
Visit Novo Novo is a fintech platform backed and FDIC-insured by a supporting bank partnership with Middlesex Federal Savings.
Mercury’s business checking has no minimum opening deposit, just like fintech platforms Bluevine and Novo. Mercury doesn’t charge ATM fees for transactions at Allpoint and out-of-network ATMs, but operator surcharges may still apply. Meanwhile, Bluevine doesn’t collect ATM fees for transactions at MoneyPass ATMs but charges users $2.50 for nonnetwork ATM use, plus potential third-party operator fees. Novo outshines both Bluevine and Mercury by refunding all monthly ATM fees.
When it comes to cash deposits, Mercury and Novo do not offer this feature while Bluevine does with a fee of $4.95 per deposit at Green Dot locations. For APY, Bluevine offers a better advantage than Mercury and Novo with its 2.00% interest for qualified deposits up to $250,000.
You may be interested to check out our comparison of Bluevine vs Mercury business checking and Mercury vs Novo business checking comparison to learn more about the advantages and features each provider offers.
When Mercury Is a Good Fit
- You need a free business checking account: Mercury checking has no minimum opening deposit and charges no fees for monthly maintenance, ACH, or wire transfers.
- You want the convenience of a checking and savings account in one platform: When you open a Mercury business checking account, you can also jointly open a savings account with an unlimited amount of transfers.
- You want to extend your FDIC insurance: With Mercury Vault, you can opt into a sweep network to distribute your deposits across multiple FDIC-insured banks and gain FDIC insurance coverage up to $5 million. This is one of the reasons Mercury is part of our roundup of the leading banks for small business.
- You are or aim to become a large-scale startup: On our list of the best banks for startups, we named Mercury the best provider for large-scale incorporated startups. The platform helps startups grow by providing access to investor databases and networking opportunities with fellow startup founders and startup investors.
- You need access to business software integrations: Mercury landed a spot in our guides to the top business bank accounts that integrate with QuickBooks and best online business banks because its platform integrates with a number of popular business software, such as QuickBooks, Xero, Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, Amazon, and PayPal.
When Mercury Isn’t a Good Fit
- You need to deposit cash regularly: As a fintech solution, Mercury lacks physical locations and doesn’t support cash deposits. Bank of America is a better alternative since its basic account offers a fee-free cash deposit allowance of $7,500. Read our Bank of America business checking review to learn more.
- You’re a sole proprietor without an EIN: One of the Mercury business checking requirements is a company must have an EIN. If you’re a sole proprietor operating as a doing business as (DBA) with no workers and excise taxes, you cannot open an account with Mercury. We recommend the online-only banking solution, Novo, which accepts most business entity types. See how the two providers stack up through our comparison of Mercury vs Novo business checking.
- You want to earn interest: The only interest-earning Mercury product Mercury Treasury is exclusive to accounts with balances of $500,000 or greater. Bluevine provides 2.00% APY on balances of $250,000 or less to any account that can meet its monthly activity requirements. Our review of Bluevine business checking provides more details about the product’s features.
- You’re a freelancer seeking to track your expenses in detail: Mercury Bank business accounts are primarily geared towards tech startups. Freelancers can consider Found for its integrated bookkeeping to easily track and categorize their expenses. Check out our Found business checking review to determine if it fits your needs.
Check out our guide to the best small business checking accounts for additional recommendations.
Mercury Business Checking Overview
Mercury Business Checking Requirements
As part of the Mercury business checking requirements, applicants must have a company incorporated in the US and a federal EIN. United States companies must have or plan to have operations in the US and already serve or plan to serve US customers within two years.
Mercury does not allow account opening for trust accounts and businesses engaged in money services, adult entertainment, cannabis, or internet gambling. Other than the US, Mercury supports founders and venture capital firms with entities formed and registered in
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- United Arab Emirates
Note that for non-US entities, only startups, ecommerce, and venture capital companies are currently supported by Mercury.
Although international founders are allowed to apply, exceptions apply in the following countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Myanmar (Burma)
- North Korea
- South Sudan
- Ukraine (specifically Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea)
- Western Sahara
When applying, you will be asked to prepare the following documents:
- Company formation documents
- IRS-issued EIN document (for US companies only) or an equivalent tax document
- U.S. government ID or international passport for each founder or majority (at least 25%) owner
- For US companies only: Form CP575, Form 147C, completed SS-4, or a screenshot of your EIN confirmation from the IRS’s website may be acceptable on a temporary basis in place of the EIN
You must also provide owner profiles for any individual who owns at least 25% of your company. Each owner profile should include the following information:
- Full name
- Ownership percentage
- Updates/amendments to articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, or business resolution
If you’re unsure which type of company formation document applies to your business entity type, refer to our guide on how to open a business bank account.
Mercury Business Checking Features
Mercury’s free checking account comes with several features that can benefit your startup or tech-based business.
All Mercury accounts come with Mercury Vault, which is a risk management tool that monitors your accounts and provides real-time suggestions for maximizing fund protection.
With Mercury Vault, you can:
- Get FDIC insurance of up to $5 million by opting into either Evolve Bank & Trust or Choice Financial Group’s (depending on which partner bank your funds are located in) sweep network to spread your funds across multiple FDIC-insured banks
- Protect excess funds by investing in Mercury Treasury’s Vanguard money market fund, which is 99.5% composed of US government-backed treasury products
Physical & Virtual Debit Cards
You can issue and manage debit cards easily and quickly. Virtual cards can be created when your account is opened, while physical cards arrive in the mail in a few days. You can replace lost or stolen cards, adjust spending limits, and reset a debit card PIN through the dashboard.
You can add your physical and virtual cards to Apple Wallet and Google Pay for contactless purchases using your mobile device. Mercury also lets you create a merchant-locked debit card, where card spending is limited to a single merchant.
Free ATM Usage in the Allpoint Network
You can withdraw money from one of 55,000 Allpoint network ATMs, free of charge. Mercury won’t charge any fee if you use an out-of-network ATM, but you may have to pay third-party ATM operator fees.
If you have a checking account with Mercury, you can also open an additional savings account. This account provides unlimited transfers but does not draw interest.
Through the Mercury mobile app, you can:
- View balances and cash flow
- Track transactions
- Manage payment and transfer requests
- Deposit checks
- Transfer money
- Pay recipients with wire transfers and ACH
- Manage credit and debit cards
The mobile app has a high 4.9 out of 5 rating on the App Store from around 2,400 reviews but only a 3.8 on Google Play from more than 260 reviews. Users appreciate the app’s seamless integrations and user-friendly interface. However, some reported experiencing login issues.
Mercury’s accounts are fully integrated with QuickBooks and Xero. You can sync your transactions automatically between your account and your software. In addition, you can integrate with other software services such as Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, Amazon, and PayPal.
Custom Software Access
You can assign users to one of four levels of access within the app: admin, bookkeeper, custom access, and card-only access:
- Users with admin access will receive a debit card and can move money, add team members, and change permissions.
- The bookkeeper permission allows for access to transaction history and statements but does not let the user initiate transactions and change user permissions.
- Those with custom access can be given access by admins to move money, either with admin permission or not. They will not be able to access security settings and manage team members.
- Card-only access users are limited to viewing their own transactions. They cannot see account information or transactions beyond their cards.
Mercury uses single SSO access to allow you to manage multiple business entities with one sign-on. It also uses time-based, one-time passwords for two-factor authentication.
Read-and-Write API Access
Mercury provides read-and-write API access. This lets you customize your banking dashboard, create custom sweep rules for account transfers, reconcile transactions faster, and make mass payments.
Transfer Funds, Deposit Checks & Send Payments Electronically
Through Mercury, you can send domestic and international wires and ACH payments for free. You can also send digital checks for free directly from your dashboard.
You cannot send physical checks but you can deposit them into your Mercury account. There are check limits based on business verification and transaction history, but those can be adjusted. However, Mercury does not allow you to deposit cash, money orders, or e-checks into your account.
With Mercury Perks, you gain access to 100+ deals on popular business software, such as Amazon Web Services, QuickBooks Online, and Slack. Types of deals include discounts, credits, and extended free trials. Visit the Mercury Perks page for a complete list of available deals.
Other Mercury Business Products
Mercury business products include Mercury treasury, Mercury treasury solutions with Morgan Stanley, venture debt, IO corporate card, investor database, Mercury raise, and Mercury bridge.
If your account balance exceeds $500,000, you are eligible to open a free Mercury Treasury account, which places your money into treasury bills, CDs, commercial paper, and other investments to generate competitive yield. Currently, Mercury Treasury earns an APY of up to 5.43% as of 8/28/2023, but the rate changes weekly. The higher your balance, the higher your yield rate.
Mercury Treasury funds are insured under the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) for up to $500,000.
Mercury Treasury account holders with balances over $25,000,000 are eligible for Mercury Treasury Solutions With Morgan Stanley, which gives access to Morgan Stanley’s short-duration fixed-income portfolio management team. The team helps create personalized investment portfolios to optimize yield on treasury accounts.
If your business has a Mercury account and has raised venture capital within the last year, you may be eligible for Mercury’s venture debt, which is a term loan with an interest-only period of up to 18 months, followed by a repayment period of 48 months.
In addition, Mercury provides dedicated one-to-one support from relationship managers with founder experience.
Mercury offers the IO Mastercard to businesses with at least $50,000 in their Mercury account. It has no annual fees or credit check requirements and gives you 1.5% automatic monthly cash back for all domestic and international spending. You can issue unlimited virtual and physical cards for your employees. To ensure responsible card usage, you have the ability to change user permissions and monitor all company spending.
Read our Mercury IO Mastercard review for more information.
The Mercury website has an investor database page that lists active seed and pre-seed investors with their preferred industries, potential check sizes, and contact information.
Applying for the Mercury Raise program gives you the chance to pitch your startup to top investors and founders. Successful applicants can attend events, get mentorship, or even receive funding.
The Mercury Bridge program lets you participate in a series of five group discussions with fellow startup founders. There are peer groups for first-time founders, female founders, founders at the fundraising stage, early-stage founders, and experienced founders.
Mercury Business Checking Reviews From Users
|Users Don’t Like
|Quick and simple account setup
|Slow check clearing times
|Ease of use and well-integrated services
|Abrupt account freezing and closures with no notice
|Outstanding user interface (UI) and features
|Limited customer service hours
On Trustpilot, Mercury has a 3.7 out of 5 rating from around 620 reviews. Users were impressed with the straightforward and effortless onboarding process. They also stated that the platform is easy to use and well-integrated with other services and that the UI is excellent and intuitive.
Meanwhile, those who left negative Mercury business checking reviews reported that Mercury’s check deposit clearing period takes too long (from seven to 10 days). Others also complained about sudden closures and freezing of accounts. No explanations and notifications were given, which left users frustrated. Some also mentioned that they found the customer service hours short since the team is available only on weekdays.
The Mercury business checking account is best suited to the growing startup. Its lack of day-to-day banking fees helps keep costs low at early stages, while access to treasury accounts and sweep networks can protect your wealth once you’ve scaled. Outside of business checking, it offers a number of resources that can help boost business growth, including programs for investor networking and peer discussions. Additionally, its integrations with several of today’s most popular business software helps streamline day-to-day business operations.