If you need a fee-free online banking solution that can help you keep track of transactions, organize business expenses, and distribute financial responsibilities, Relay Financial is an excellent choice. Its basic checking account, Relay Standard, lets you open up to 20 subaccounts limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations are allowed 20 accounts, while sole proprietorships can open 10. , create up to 50 debit cards, and assign money management permissions to team members and advisors.
Businesses can also open two savings accounts, which earn up to 3% annual percentage yield (APY) depending on your balances. Upgrading to the premium service Relay Pro gives you access to fee-free wire transfers and streamlined accounts payable.
- No physical locations
- 0% APY
- No lending options
- Up to 20 LLCs and corporations are allowed 20 accounts, while sole proprietorships can open 10. free checking accounts
- Up to 50 free debit cards, delivered within eight to 10 business days
- Customizable spending permissions for team members and advisors
- Integration with QuickBooks Online and Xero
- Supports PayPal, Venmo, Square, and Stripe
- 24/7 customer support
- $2.5 million in FDIC insurance
- Free wires and 50 same-day ACH transfers via Relay Pro
- Savings accounts with up to 3% APY
How Relay Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Minimum Balance Requirement
Basic Business Checking
Unlimited domestic ATM fee refunds
2.00% for qualified accounts
When Relay Is a Good Fit
- You want a bank that can help you budget: Relay lets users create multiple subaccounts under a single checking account. Creating separate accounts for different expense types, such as taxes, payroll, and operating expenses, helps you keep track of how much money you have for different expenses. You can also transfer funds between subaccounts fee-free. This is why Relay is one of our top-recommended online banks.
- You want to delegate money management responsibilities to employees and advisors: Through Relay’s account permissions feature, you can give employees access to specific checking accounts and debit cards. You can customize access levels and set spending limits to prevent the misappropriation of funds. The ability to assign employee permissions is why Relay is in our roundup of the best checking accounts for LLCs.
- You send and receive wire transfers regularly: Relay’s wire transfer fees are some of the most affordable in the market, which is one of the reasons we placed it in our list of the top small business checking accounts. Incoming wire transfers (domestic and international) are free, while outgoing wire transfers cost $5 (domestic) and $10 (international). If you upgrade to Relay Pro, all wire transfers are free.
- You use QuickBooks for accounting: Relay connects seamlessly with QuickBooks, and Relay is included in our leading business bank accounts with QuickBooks integration. Signing up for Relay Pro allows you to take advantage of auto bill imports from QuickBooks.
When To Consider Relay Alternatives
- You prefer a bank that offers lending products: Relay does not provide financing. We recommend Chase, our best commercial real estate (CRE) multifamily lender in our list of top banks for small business loans. It offers lines of credit, business loans, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, CRE loans, and equipment and trade financing.
- You are a freelancer or solopreneur: Relay was designed for business owners working in teams. If you run your business on your own, a platform like Found would suit your needs more. It offers a number of features that help freelancers save time and money on business paperwork. These include built-in invoicing and bookkeeping tools. Our comparison of Found vs Relay can help you determine which account is better for you.
- You need a bank that can help you with digital tax preparation: While Relay offers a number of useful business tools, it lacks tax preparation assistance. Lili’s paid plans offer tools that help you automatically save for taxes, fill out tax forms, and track write-offs. Read our Lili vs Relay comparison for more information.
If your business falls under one of these categories, check out our list of the best small business checking accounts for additional alternatives.
Relay Business Checking Overview
Relay Business Checking Requirements
You can open a Relay business banking account through the provider’s website. Upon account opening, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Chosen password
Part of the Relay business checking requirements is for all beneficial owners—including any stakeholder whose business share exceeds 25%, or employees with significant responsibility in managing legal entity customers, such as CEO, chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO), and company treasurer—to provide the following:
- Any valid government ID photo
- Social Security number (for United States citizens) or passport number (for non-US citizens)
- Personal address
- Position or title
- Personal and business phone numbers
- Email address
Document requirements for Relay Business Checking differ depending on the type of business entity you run. Click on the tabs below to see the requirements per business type.
You can make an initial deposit via automated clearing house (ACH) or wire transfer. Once an account has been funded, you can add money through mobile check deposits.
Relay Business Checking Features
Relay’s integrated accounting and banking tools streamline financial management at a relatively low cost. Here are some of its key features.
Multiple Checking Accounts
With Relay, you can create up to 20 individual subaccounts under a single account name for LLCs and corporations, whereas sole proprietorships are allowed 10. Each account is FDIC-insured and comes with its own account number.
Because Relay lets users instantly transfer money between checking accounts, you can use Relay’s multi-account system to create dedicated checking accounts for every major business expense, such as taxes, payroll, and operating costs.
Customizable Debit Cards
Once you open an account, Relay will automatically mail a physical debit card to your business address. Afterward, you may issue up to 50 virtual or physical Visa debit cards. Relay will activate virtual cards instantly and ship physical cards to your business address (or preferred US address) within eight to 10 business days of issuing. Users must tie each debit card to a specific checking account.
Any location that accepts credit cards will accept your Relay debit card. There are no Relay business banking fees when you use your card to withdraw and deposit cash at Allpoint ATMs. The card is also compatible with Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay for in-person transactions.
Team Member Account Permissions
You can give team members access to specific subaccounts and debit cards. As the main user, you can monitor card activity and set daily spending and ATM withdrawal limits.
Because you have complete authority over all account permissions, team members with debit cards can contribute to financial tasks, such as paying bills or handling bookkeeping, without having too much control over your business funds.
Below is a table for the different employee permission levels.
Bill Payer (Imported Bills Only)
Deposit- & Read-only
Transfer Funds Between Checking Accounts
Create ACH, Wire, and Check Payments
Make Bill Payments
View All Card Transactions
Accounting Software Integrations
Relay accounts integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks Online and Xero. Instead of manually inputting financial information, businesses can use Relay to import transaction data directly into their chosen accounting software. As such, small business owners can update their bank feeds with ease, painting a clearer picture of business cash flow.
Detailed Transaction History
Each entry on your transaction history will include thorough transaction details, including how much you paid, which company received your money, which debit card you paid with, and which checking account the transaction pulled funds from.
If you want to reconcile your accounts, you can also search transactions according to payment type, merchant, card name, or initiator.
You can perform the following banking tasks on Relay’s mobile app:
- View accounts and transactions
- Issue and activate debit cards
- Edit checking account names
- Set and edit debit card transaction limits
- Deposit checks via mobile check deposit
- Send payments
- Transfer funds
The app has a rating of 4.7 on the App Store from more than 800 reviews and 4.4 on Google Play from about 340 reviews. Users appreciated the free business tools available on the app. However, some complained about the platform’s glitches.
High FDIC Insurance Coverage
Relay extends up to $2.5 million in FDIC insurance protection to users through a sweep program provided by its partner Thread Bank. For information about the sweep program, you can contact email@example.com.
Other Relay Business Products
Relay business banking features a paid premium service, Relay Pro, and a business savings product.
Relay Pro costs $30 per business per month and offers the following benefits:
- Fee-free domestic and international wire transfers
- 50 same-day ACH transfers
- Batch bill payment
- Automatic bill import from QuickBooks Online and Xero
- Ability to set multilevel approval rules for bill payments
Relay provides two savings accounts per business. Your idle cash is transferred to savings accounts, which do not have fees and minimum balances. The APY rate ranges from 1 to 3% based on your account balance, and these are the rates per Relay:
- 1% APY for balances under $50,000
- 1.5% APY for balances between $50,000 and $250,000
- 2% APY for balances between $250,000 and $1 million
- 3% APY for balances above $1 million
Relay Business Checking Reviews From Users
Relay business checking reviews are mostly positive. The platform has a rating of 4.6 from more than 1,300 reviews on Trustpilot. Users praised Relay’s responsive customer support team and said that they received clear communication. They also appreciated the advantage of opening multiple accounts for free and the ease of setting up an account.
Some of the complaints are from reviewers with rejected applications and frozen accounts. They reported that there were no reasons provided. Furthermore, others commented that the ACH transfer limits were low and that the clearing time for deposits took seven to 10 days.
Having integrated bookkeeping and banking solutions makes Relay a great choice for businesses wanting to simplify cash management processes. Additionally, the ability to create multiple subaccounts and debit cards makes Relay a good fit for small business owners looking to distribute financial responsibilities to their team members. However, if you need access to lending products, you will have to look elsewhere.