Compare Banking
6 min read

Relay vs. Bluevine: Business Banking Comparison Guide

By Lindsey Stefanka

Founder & Content Strategist, Mind My Content

The business banking platform you choose can influence how efficient you are when managing your business, as well as how much visibility you get into your day-to-day cash flow. Here at Relay, we help business owners and their advisors — accountants and bookkeepers — get crystal-clear visibility into day-to-day cash flow. And as a money management platform, Realy often gets compared to Bluevine. For those trying to decide where to bank, we put together this guide that goes deep into a feature-by-feature comparison of Relay vs. Bluevine. 

While both Relay and Bluevine are low-fee online business banking leaders, there are some crucial differences between the two So let’s take a closer look into what perks each one offers, how their pricing structures stack up, and what entrepreneurs should keep in mind when comparing the two.

In this guide:

What is Relay?

Relay is an online banking and money management platform that helps small business owners understand exactly what they’re earning, spending and saving — often by just looking at their account balance. The highlights of banking with Relay include up to 20 free business checking accounts, 50 virtual and physical debit cards, direct integrations with your accounting software, detailed banking data, and collaboration between team members.

Relay’s goal is to solve some of the biggest banking pain points, deeply familiar to most entrepreneurs. This is why Relay accounts have no minimum opening deposits, no monthly service fees, and no overdraft fees. But beyond wanting banking without monthly fees, a big reason why business owners choose Relay is it becomes an operating account for business — one place to manage all day-to-day finances and get total visibility into cash flow.

Beyond core banking services, Relay customers can also opt to upgrade to Relay Pro, which lets you manage accounts payable in your banking account, gives you same-day ACH payments, and the ability to send free wires domestically and internationally.

What is Bluevine?

Bluevine is a digital banking platform that offers a high-yield business checking account. Eligible customers earn 2.0% APY on balances up to and including $100,000. Similarly to Relay, Bluevine does not charge monthly fees, minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees.

Bluevine also offers bill pay aimed at streamlining business payments. This means you can keep your bills in one place, schedule recurring payments and free up cash when you pay by credit card. And while Bluevine doesn’t offer a credit card of its own, lines of credit are available to those business owners whose application is accepted.

The upside of banking with Bluevine is the high-interest rate account, but the downsides come from its high wire fees, out-of-network fees and cash deposit fees. Bluevine also only offers 1 individual checking account with 5 virtual sub-accounts. While this can help you set aside cash flow, you can’t automate transfers from sub-accounts.

Differences between Relay vs. Bluevine

The main difference between Relay and Bluevine is that Relay is an online banking and money management platform that helps businesses stay on top of their cash flow and collaborate with their team, whereas Bluevine is an online banking platform well-suited for businesses that want to hold large sums of money inside an interest-bearing account. Relay offers more checking accounts and lower costs on wires and ATM transaction fees, and Bluevine offers 2.0% APY to qualifying customers as well as a line of credit. Neither online banking platform offers an invoicing product.

📊Relay vs. Bluevine: Small business checking comparison

Let’s take a closer look at how Relay’s and Bluevine’s features compare — and what startups, small businesses, and freelancers should look out for when deciding on a business bank account, no matter your banking needs. 




Type of businesses served

Small businesses with 2 - 100 employees

Businesses looking to generate interest on large sums of cash

Free checking accounts

20 individual checking accounts with unique account and routing numbers

1 checking account + 5 virtual sub-accounts)

No monthly account fees

No minimum balance requirements

✅(Must spend $500 a month to qualify for APY)

No overdraft fees

Mobile banking

Free ACH payments

Free mobile check deposits and payments

No fees on deposits or incoming wires

Currency exchange for international wires

✅ (Supported currencies)

Domestic wire fees

$5 (Free with Relay Pro)


International wire fees

$10 (Free with Relay Pro)

❌ (Wires not supported)

Same-day ACH

✅ (Relay Pro)

Savings accounts

✅ Automated savings that earn you 1% to 3% APY*

Debit cards

✅ (Up to 50)

✅ (1 physical card)

Credit line


✅ (Eligible customers earn 1.5% interest)

Accounts payable

✅ (Relay Pro)

QuickBooks Online integration

Xero integration

Gusto integration

FDIC insured


Bank from

Web, iOS, or Android

Web, iOS, or Android

Trustpilot rating

⭐ 4.5 (Source)

4.3 (Source)

*FDIC insured via Thread Bank.

💰 Cash flow management

Relay’s cash management features help businesses stay on top of their budgets. With Relay, you get access to up to 20 checking accounts that allow you to set aside reserves for greater cash flow clarity and implement a multi-account budgeting system. This lets you set aside money for different expense categories — like operations and marketing — or save for larger payments like taxes and payroll. 

While Bluevine only offers 1 true checking account, they also provide up to 5 virtual sub-accounts. Reserve accounts can also help set aside cash flow. That said, they don’t offer the same payment automation capabilities as a true checking account. 

💵 Interest and credit

Bluevine offers 2.0% interest on qualifying business checking accounts. Accounts must meet one of the following criteria to qualify for Bluevine’s APY of 2.0%:

  • Spend $500 or more in a month using their Bluevine debit card

  • Receive $2,500 per month in customer payments through ACH, wire transfer, mobile app check deposit, or a merchant payment processing provider

Beyond these requirements, Bluevine caps the interest at balances up to and including $100,000. This means no interest is earned on balances over $100,000. In addition, Bluevine also offers business loans in the form of credit, up to $250,000

At the moment, Relay does not offer interest or rewards on business checking accounts.

💳 Debit cards 

Multiple debit cards give you control over team spending and are a helpful tool for staying organized. As a result, Relay offers up to 50 virtual or physical debit cards. Bluevine, however, offers business owners just one physical debit card, as their product places a higher emphasis on interest-bearing accounts. While 1 debit card may be enough for sole proprietors or businesses that manage their expenses with different methods, it may become a limiting factor as your team and business complexity expands.

Bluevine’s debit card lets you access free ATM withdrawals at 37,000 Moneypass ATMs and cash deposit access at Green Dot locations. Out-of-network ATMs incur a $2.50 fee. 

You can assign Relay cards to specific team members, set transaction limits, and instantly freeze them if they’re ever lost. Relay also lets you withdraw cash without any ATM fees at 55,000 Allpoint ATMs.

📩 Accounts payable 

Accounts payable features allow you to pay your bills, automate bill approval rules and — in Relay’s case — unlock faster money transfers. Both Relay and Bluevine give you advanced features to help manage bill pay. Relay offers an accounts payable integration that works with QuickBooks Online and Xero, and Bluevine offers a dedicated bill pay inbox to forward and track bill information.

Relay’s accounts payable works by automatically pulling unpaid bills from your accounting software into Relay. From here, businesses can review, approve and pay bills directly from the banking platform. Relay’s AP features also include single- and multi-step approval workflows, meaning you can automatically send certain bills to different approvers based on the required payment amount.

With Bluevine, businesses need to forward bills to a dedicated inbox first, and then they can track them in Bluevine’s dashboard. Bluevine also gives businesses a few different options for paying bills, including the Bluevine business checking account, an external bank account or a credit card.

🔄 App integrations

To run an efficient business, your banking platform should communicate with all of your other back-office systems. After all, your team shouldn’t be spending multiple business days on low-value administrative work. That’s where app integrations come into play.

Bluevine’s approach to back-office integrations has been to build a connection with QuickBooks Online — one of the most popular accounting software platforms for small businesses. Relay, on the other hand, offers direct integrations with QuickBooks Online and Xero for accounting, Gusto for payroll, and Plaid and Yodlee for connecting other money management apps.

🤝 Collaborative banking

Both Relay and Bluevine are online-only banking platforms and neither has in-person branch locations, which means collaboration is done virtually. 

One common pain point that business owners run into is being unable to give team members or financial advisors secure, role-based banking access. Relay and Bluevine both address this, but Relay gives business owners more control over what their financial advisors can see and do. 

In Relay, business owners get flexibility with several different user roles, including roles for internal teams and external collaborators.

Internal team member roles in Relay:

  • Administrator

  • Managers

  • Bill Payer

  • Bill Payer (imported bills only)

  • Cardholder

  • Deposit-Only

  • Read-Only

External collaborator roles in Relay:

  • Super Administrator

  • Administrator

  • Manager

  • Bill Payer

  • Read-Only

With Bluevine, there are three different user roles:

  • Administrator

  • Authorized user

  • Accountant

For a full breakdown and FAQ of the different permission roles in Relay, see here.

Relay vs. Bluevine Verdict: What’s the best business checking account?

The decision on what’s the best business bank for you will come down to the unique needs of your business. As banking platforms, both Relay and Bluevine offer fee-free small business banking and, in many cases, unlimited transactions.

Bluevine might be a better option for businesses that are interested in opening an interest-bearing business checking account and only need basic cash flow management tools. However, Bluevine falls short when it comes to incoming and outgoing wire transfer fees and cash management tools.

Relay is a better option for small businesses that want more clarity into their cash flow, the ability to set aside cash reserves and robust accounts payable automation — all without monthly maintenance fees. This allows account holders to make smarter overall decisions for their business. 

Relay is a business banking and money management platform that helps you understand exactly how much you’re earning, spending and saving — so you can make the smartest decisions for your business. Relay goes above and beyond banking basics with:

  • ✅ No account fees, overdraft fees or minimum deposit requirements

  • ✅ Up to 20 individual checking accounts

  • ✅ 50 virtual or physical Mastercard® debit cards

  • ✅ Payments and deposits via ACH, wire and check

  • ✅ Deposits from payment processing providers like PayPal, Stripe and Square 

  • ✅ Direct integrations with accounting software like QuickBooks Online and Xero

If you’re ready to see firsthand how Relay can put you in control of your business finances, sign up for an account in just 10 minutes or sign up for our bi-weekly webinar on How to Manage Cash with Relay.

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No account fees or minimums; 20 checking accounts; 2 savings accounts with 1.00%-3.00% APY; 50 virtual + physical debit cards. Open account 100% online.

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