This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
Mercury is an excellent choice if you run a tech company or startup and are looking for an online business checking account. Outside of fees charged for currency exchanges, its checking and savings accounts are completely free, with no minimum deposit and balance requirements.
Most businesses incorporated in the United States are eligible for a Mercury account, with the exception of sole proprietorships and trusts. The company also doesn’t allow cash deposits, and the checking and savings accounts are noninterest drawing. However, Mercury’s free yet powerful online banking tools make it one of our best banks for startups.
Mercury is a business financial technology platform backed by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured Evolve Bank & Trust.
How Mercury Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Cash Deposit Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
N/A; bank doesn’t accept cash deposits
None at Allpoint ATMs
2.0% on balances up to $100,000
$4.95 per deposit; accepted at Green Dot locations
None at 38,000-plus MoneyPass ATMs nationwide
None; cash is deposited through money orders/cashier’s checks
Refunds all ATM fees
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms backed by and FDIC-insured through a supporting bank partnership (Evolve Bank & Trust for Mercury, Coastal Community Bank for Bluevine, and Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo).
When Mercury Is a Good Fit
- You don’t need in-person banking: Mercury is a fintech company with no physical branches. It’s suitable if your needs can be satisfied by an online-only bank and you don’t require daily cash deposits.
- You need a free business checking account: Mercury doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit, wire fees, ACH fees, and monthly fees—allowing you to save more. That’s why it’s part of our roundup of the best free business checking accounts.
- Startups or tech companies wanting to take advantage of top software integrations: Mercury integrates with major accounting and business payment software, such as QuickBooks, Xero, Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, Amazon, and PayPal. It’s among the reasons it’s on our list of the leading online business banks.
- You want to earn cash back: You’ll receive $200 in cash back if you spend $2,000 on your debit or credit card within the first 90 days of account opening. You can also open an IO Mastercard to benefit from its automatic 1.5% cash back for all spending.
- You seek a great mobile and desktop app for convenience: Mercury allows you to manage user access, virtual and physical debit cards, and financial transactions on the go via its apps.
- You want to earn interest from your idle business funds: While Mercury’s business checking account doesn’t earn interest, its Mercury Treasury account provides a high yield―currently at 3.12%―annually for account balances of more than $250,000.
- Tech companies considering venture debt: Mercury’s Venture Debt program will help qualifying small businesses proceed through the process of obtaining venture capital.
When Mercury Isn’t a Good Fit
- You need to deposit cash regularly: As Mercury doesn’t allow you to deposit cash, you might consider a bank with a physical location, such as Bank of America, Chase, or U.S. Bank.
- Your business makes frequent withdrawals from ATMs outside the Allpoint network: Since Mercury uses Allpoint, you can opt for Novo, a good digital banking alternative because it refunds all ATM fees at the end of each month.
- You want your business checking to earn interest: Mercury provides an outstanding yield only on its Mercury Treasury account. Bluevine is a good alternative offering higher interest rates on eligible deposits for its business checking product.
- You need other services from your bank: Mercury has limited products for now. If you’re seeking various business lending products, Live Oak Bank is a good alternative.
Mercury Business Checking Overview
Mercury Business Checking Requirements
To apply for a business checking account, you must have a company incorporated in the US with a federal employer identification number (EIN). You’ll also need your company’s official formation documents and a picture of your government ID. Note that the account isn’t immediately available after you apply. Mercury reviews the application and determines whether you’re eligible to open an account—and this may take a few days.
You can apply for an account even if you aren’t physically in the US, unless you’re located in the following countries: Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
Before opening an account, see our step-by-step guide on how to open a business bank account. It includes a free downloadable checklist of required documents.
Mercury Business Checking Features
Mercury’s free checking account comes with several features that can benefit your startup or tech-based business.
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 through the dashboard.
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 you if you use an out-of-network ATM, but you’ll have to pay ATM operator fees.
Checking & Savings Accounts
While you cannot open just a savings account through Mercury, you get a savings account when you open a checking account. Neither of these accounts are interest-drawing.
Reviews for the Mercury app are good on both the App Store (4.8 out of 5) and Play Store (3.5 out of 5). Users raved about the app’s design and function, along with Mercury’s customer service through the app. Drawbacks include issues with the onboarding process, while others asked for improvements in user experience functions.
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 three levels of access within the app: admin, bookkeeper, and custom 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 doesn’t 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 cannot access security settings and manage team members.
Mercury uses 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 (2FA).
Transfer Funds, Deposit Checks & Send Payments Electronically
Mercury allows you to send free domestic and international wires, along with free ACH payments. 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 doesn’t allow you to deposit cash or money orders into your account.
For businesses that use Mercury, the company has a perks page advertising deals those companies are running. This is an excellent way to advertise your business through Mercury, potentially drawing new customers to your operation.
Other Mercury Products
Business owners with excess funds above $250,000 can open a free Mercury Treasury account that currently earns up to 3.12%* annually. Mercury determines the right combination of mutual funds based on your startup’s balance and cash flow. The cash is primarily invested in Treasury Bills, Certificates of Deposits, and Commercial Paper to generate a higher yield. It’s managed by Morgan Stanley and Vanguard and insured by the Security Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
*Rate varies daily.
Mercury Term Loan Product
If your business has a Mercury account and has raised venture capital within the last year, you may be eligible for a venture debt product. It’s a term loan with an interest-only period of up to 18 months, followed by a repayment period of 48 months.
IO Corporate Credit Card
Mercury offers the IO Mastercard to businesses with at least $50,000 in their Mercury account. It has no annual fees and 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 with different limits, change user permissions, and monitor all company spending.
Mercury Small Business Checking Pros & Cons
|Free ATM usage in 55,000 Allpoint ATMs||Account approval is not instant|
|1.5% cash back from IO Mastercard||Needs $50,000 balance to open an IO corporate card|
|High yield through Mercury Treasury||Requires above $250,000 balance to open a Mercury Treasury account|
Mercury is an excellent choice for the free, online banking experience it provides on its checking and savings accounts. It also offers 1.5% automatic monthly cash back from the IO Mastercard Corporate Card. In addition, you can open a free Mercury Treasury account that generates a high yield for your idle funds, as it’s stashed in safe government securities.
Mercury User Reviews
|IO Corporate Card is convenient and earns cashback||Email response is slow|
|Free and easy ACH payments and wire transfers||No phone and physical branch support|
|Amazing customer service||Sudden account closure|
|Convenient and seamless banking||Holds funds for days|
|Phenomenal and intuitive platform for daily use||New account application rejections|
Mercury has a 4 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot. Users rated it positively for its superb customer service, fee-free banking, and efficient app. However, others had issues with the limited customer service support, locked accounts, declined applications, and long waiting times for funds to clear.
Mercury Business Checking Alternatives
If you need to deposit cash regularly, prefer a variety of business lending products, require physical checks to be issued, or want to step into a physical branch, you’ll want to consider an alternative bank.
Here are three options:
- Chase is best for companies making regular cash deposits or wanting a full-service bank with physical locations.
- Bluevine is best for an online banking experience and for businesses that don’t need to deposit cash but want an account that earns interest for qualified deposits.
- Live Oak Bank is best for interest-drawing savings or certificates of deposits (CDs) and companies looking for Small Business Administration (SBA) or other commercial loans for their business.
If your tech-based business or startup is incorporated in the US and you’re looking for a free, digital-only banking product, Mercury is an excellent choice. The ability to manage multiple business accounts, get a free savings account with your checking account, and benefit from no minimum deposit or balance requirement make it a good option. However, if you want an interest-drawing checking account, require physical locations, or need a wide variety of other banking and lending products, then consider one of our recommended alternatives above.