Updated September 10, 2023

Relay Financial Review

Read more about Relay
Ad Disclosure: This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by using our links. (read more)

Relay Financial offers online banking services for businesses. Yes, it is free. But, is it the right platform for you? Find out.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Up to 20 checking accounts
  • Up to 50 debit cards
  • $0 monthly fee
  • Earn interest with automated savings
  • No paper checks

Bottom Line

One of the best online business banking accounts for large teams

Relay Financial is an online banking and money management platform for small business owners. It was built with growth in mind.

Relay offers multiple accounts, custom user permissions, and unlimited transactions. It streamlines banking so you can focus on what really matters: your customers and your business.

Read on for the full breakdown of Relay Financial to see if it's right for you. Also, see how they stack up to similar competitors.

What is Relay Financial?

Relay Financial is a fintech company that provides banking services to businesses. They are partnered with Thread Bank to provide FDIC insurance.

Relay is designed for growing businesses with large teams. You can open up to 20 individual checking accounts for free. And you can create specific permissions for team members and bookkeepers.

Users can set up automated recurring payments, issue debit cards to their team, track spending, and more. It also integrates with Quickbooks and other payroll and accounting software.

There is no monthly fee for Relay Standard. The optional Relay Pro plan has a $30 monthly fee and offers advanced payments automation, faster ACH, and free wires.

If you're an accountant or bookkeeper, Relay could be a good option too. You can access all your clients' banking from one portal. You can use the free plan or a paid plan charged on a per-client basis.

Who Relay Business Banking is Best For

Even though Relay was created with teams in mind, it's open to all business owners from freelancers to corporations.

The Relay business checking account may be right for you if you:

  • Need many bank accounts for your business
  • Have a large team and want to share access
  • Have more than one business

Relay also offers a platform for bookkeepers and accountants. You can access multiple clients' accounts with one login.

Relay is open to foreign business owners based outside of the US. But the business needs to have an operating presence in the US.[1]

Pros & Cons


  • $0 monthly fee
  • $0 opening deposit
  • Up to 20 checking accounts
  • Up to 50 debit cards
  • Different user permissions for employees, accountants, etc.
  • Bookkeeping and payroll integrations
  • Higher transaction limits than other banks
  • Free cash deposits and withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs
  • Up to 2 automated savings that earn interest


  • No paper checks
  • Doesn't support Zelle as of now
  • 6-7 days for check deposits to settle[2]

Relay Free Financial Features

Relay offers lots of good features designed to make managing business finances smooth and easy. The free Relay Standard account comes with these features:

Multiple Checking Accounts
You have the option of opening up to 20 checking accounts. Each account has its own unique account number.

This lets you organize your business finances exactly the way you need. You can have separate accounts for payroll, taxes, billing suppliers, emergency savings, etc.

LLCs and corporations can open up to 20 business bank accounts. Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs can open up to 10.[3]

Visa® Debit Cards
With a Relay account, you can order up to 50 virtual or physical Visa® debit cards. This means there are no bottlenecks to your spending.

This lets you designate debit cards for a dedicated purpose (for example, marketing expenses). You can assign monthly spending limits to each card to better control your expenses.

Paying your vendors is crucial for keeping your business running smoothly. With Relay, you can make payments easily via ACH bank transfer, wire transfer, or check. You can schedule one-time or recurring payments.

Member Accounts and Permissions
Relay users can provide their staff with select access to financial accounts. Not every member of your team needs the same level of access. You can choose which accounts team members get access to and what they can do.

This allows your team to make purchases, pay bills, or make deposits without sharing login information. You can delegate some of the financial duties so you don't need to do everything yourself.

The different permission levels are:
  • Administrator: full access
  • Manager: can make card payments, issue cards, and add team members
  • Bill Payer: can only pay bills
  • Cardholder: can only make card payments from their allowed account
  • Deposit-only: can only make mobile check deposits
  • Read-only: can only view transactions and download statements

Auto-transfer Rules
You can automate cash flow by setting auto-transfer rules between your checking accounts by either setting up the Profit First rule or the Maximum balance rule.

Using the Profit First method enables you to set a maximum balance for your income account and automatically allocate excess to Profit First accounts. This method ensures that you allocate enough money for profit, taxes, owner's pay, and operating expenses.

While the Maximum balance rule allows you to set a maximum balance for one of your checking accounts. Any excess amount will be automatically transferred to other checking accounts on your preferred frequency.

Percentage-based transfers
Efficiently distribute your revenue across accounts through automated percentage-based transfers. Simply define your desired percentage for allocation to your various accounts, and the system will automatically handle the transfers accordingly.

App Integrations
Auto-sync your banking with accounting and payroll software you already use. Relay integrates with Xero, QuickBooks Online, Gusto, and Plaid. You can see your data in real-time so you can reconcile your accounts faster and error-free.

Cash Deposits & Withdrawals
Relay lets you deposit and withdraw cash for free at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs across the country. If you go out of network, Relay never charges ATM fees (even for ATMs abroad). But the owner of the ATM might.[4]

Mailed Paper Checks
Relay doesn't give you paper checks, but you can request for checks to be mailed on your behalf for free. Just note that it takes 8-10 business days for the check to arrive.

Mobile Banking
Relay's mobile app lets you bank wherever you are. You can deposit checks, schedule payments, issue debit cards, manage team access, and request for checks. It's available on iOS and Android.

Enriched Transaction Data
Relay provides information about vendors, including category, location, website, and more. This makes managing transactions through your banking dashboard easy.

Register Second Business
If you have more than one business, you can register an additional business bank account. Each business has its own Relay account, but you can access them both with the same login.

24/7 Customer Support
Relay users have 24-hour email support and an online support center. Phone support is available from 9am to 5pm ET, Monday to Friday.

Automated savings that earn interest
With automated savings, you can automate transfers of your excess money into your savings by setting the maximum balance for your checking account. This way, you can earn interest on your savings, and as your savings grow, so does the interest rate you receive.

Relay offers a premium account called Relay Pro. It costs $30 per month. The main difference is that it automates accounts payable.

Extra features include:

Automatic Bill Imports
You can set up automatic imports of your bills from Xero and QuickBooks Online.

Accounts Payable Automation
Relay Pro users can manage all of their bills from one dashboard. You can pay multiple bills in a single batch. You can also set up automated multi-step bill approval systems. This saves you time from having to manually okay each bill.

Free Transfers
Same-day ACH transfers and domestic and international wire transfers are all free with Relay Pro.[5]

Free outgoing wires
With Relay Pro, it's free to send both domestic and international wires.

Accountants and bookkeepers who sign up for Relay or Relay Pro accounts get extra benefits. They can use a client portal, flexible permissions for team members, and the Relay Partner Program. This program offers increasing revenue share and decreasing monthly fees as they add clients to Relay.

Fees to Look Out for

You won't have to worry too much about fees when banking with Relay. Many of their services are offered entirely free of charge. There is:[6]

  • No monthly service fees for up to 20 checking accounts
  • No overdraft fees
  • No fee for bounced checks
  • No incoming wire fees
  • Free unlimited transactions
  • Free ATM access at 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs

With the free Relay Standard account, the only fees you may encounter are:

  • $5 for outgoing domestic wires
  • $10 for outgoing international wires

If you opt for the Relay Pro plan, it costs a fixed $30 per month. The price is per business or per client for accountants and bookkeepers.

How does Relay Financial make money?
Relay Financial makes money from their paid Relay Pro plan, which is $30 per month. They also share merchant fees with Visa® every time account holders use their Relay Visa® Debit Cards.[7]

How to Open a Relay Account

Relay is open to sole proprietors, LLCs, general partnerships, and corporations. Here's how to get started with Relay:

1. Create an account
To open a Relay business banking account, you need to first register on the platform. It'll ask for your name, phone number, position, and work email.

2. Upload documents
Once you've registered, you can fill out your business information and upload documents. You will need to provide:

  • Photo of government issued ID
  • SSN or EIN
  • Personal address and phone number
  • US business address and phone number
  • DBA if you have filed for one
  • Articles of Organization (for LLCs)
  • Partnership Registration Form (for partnerships)
  • Articles of Incorporation (for corporations)
  • Company Bylaws if applicable

3. Record video authorization
Relay also requires a video authorization. You have to record and upload a video of yourself saying that you authorize account opening at Relay Financial. This helps to confirm your identity.

4. Wait for account review
Relay can take 1-2 business days to review your account. Once it's open, you can go ahead and add money to your account and get full access to the features.

Relay Financial does not support businesses related to cryptocurrency, cannabis, firearms, credit repair, privately owned ATMs, money services, and unlawful internet gambling.

Is Relay Safe?

Like any banking partner, Relay takes security seriously. Both in regard to your money and your data.

Relay offers its banking services in partnership with Thread Bank, which is a member of the FDIC. This allows them to provide FDIC-insured accounts for up to $2,500,000 through an insured cash sweep program managed by Thread Bank, Member FDIC. Thread Bank has been around since 1906 and has been FDIC insured since 1934.

Their Visa® partnership allows them to provide a zero-liability policy on the Relay Visa® Debit Card. You won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges.

And if someone does get hold of your debit card, you can freeze it instantly. You only need a single click from your Relay account.

Relay also employs two-factor authentication. They use popular authenticator apps to prevent unwanted access to your accounts.

Relay is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and FDIC insurance are provided by Evolve Bank & Trust and Thread Bank; Members FDIC.

Relay Financial Alternatives

Relay Financial isn't the only banking platform offering services targeted toward business owners. Let's take a look at how it stands up to other popular business checking accounts.

Relay Financial vs Mercury
Mercury offers a business bank account specifically created for tech startups and online-only businesses. You get a checking account and savings account bundle. There's no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements.[8]

Mercury also lets you add unlimited team members with different permission levels. You can also open multiple accounts and issue debit cards for your team.

Mercury requires an EIN to apply. It's not open to sole proprietors, whereas Relay is.

The unique thing about Mercury is their Raise program to connect startups to top investors. It has a quarterly fundraising round that lets you get your startup in front of 500+ investors. It's a great way to potentially accelerate your seed funding.

Relay Financial vs Bluevine
Bluevine is popular for its free business checking account with interest. You have the potential to earn up to 2.0% APY on balances up to $250,000 with monthly eligibility requirements; 0% APY on balances over $250,000.

Opting for the paid Premier tier grants you the potential to earn up to an impressive 4.25% APY without minimum qualifications.

If you write paper checks and occasionally deposit cash, Bluevine is the better choice. You get 2 free checkbooks per year. And you can deposit cash at 90,000+ Green Dot locations and 1,500+ Allpoint+ ATMs (though there's a fee).

Both business banking accounts allow for multiple users. But, Bluevine only offers five subaccounts, as opposed to the 20 offered by Relay.

What sets Bluevine apart from Relay is their small business loans. You can borrow a revolving line of credit up to $250,000.[9] This means your credit restarts as you continue payments.

What to Look Out for When Choosing a Bank

Picking the right banking service for your business--big or small--is a decision that you shouldn't make lightly.

At best, your bank is a partner. One who understands your needs as well as or better than you do. Who makes your life easier by providing useful tools to keep your business running smoothly.

The worst-case scenario is that you find yourself tied to a bank that's uninvolved and uninterested. And, it sees you as just another number on the balance sheet. Managing your finances becomes a chore. That slows you down and keeps you from making your business all that it could be.

However, that's only the worst-case scenario. With a little research and critical thinking, you can surely make a good choice.

Bottom Line

Relay Financial is a trustworthy, flexible option for small business banking. Especially for businesses that would benefit from a large number of checking accounts or debit cards for staff. You can set custom permissions for each team member.

However, there are some downsides. Relay also doesn't offer the widest range of integrations. Compare your options to see if another business banking account may be better for you instead.


  1. ^ Relay Financial. Countries of Residence not Supported with Relay, Retrieved 8/10/2022
  2. ^ Relay Financial. How to Remotely Deposit Checks on Mobile, Retrieved 8/10/2022
  3. ^ Relay Financial. Adding and Editing Checking Accounts, Retrieved 8/10/2022
  4. ^ Relay Financial. Withdrawing Cash: ATMs, Retrieved 8/10/2022
  5. ^ Relay Financial. How to Make a Same-Day ACH Payment, Retrieved 8/10/2022
  6. ^ Relay. Plans & Pricing, Retrieved 5/16/2022
  7. ^ Relay Financial. FAQ: How does Relay make money?, Retrieved 8/10/2022
  8. ^ Mercury. Pricing, Retrieved 8/10/2022
  9. ^ Bluevine. Line of Credit, Retrieved 5/16/2022

No-Fee Business Checking

  • $0 monthly service fee
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • Open up to 20 individual business checking accounts
  • Earn up to 3% APY with automated savings
  • Issue up to 50 Visa® debit cards to your team
Banking services provided by Thread Bank and Evolve Bank & Trust; Members FDIC.

Free Business Checking

  • $0 monthly service fee
  • $50 deposit to unlock all features
  • ATM fee refunds up to $7 per month
Banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A., Member FDIC

Jeremy Harshman is a creative assistant at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.


ZenBusiness Review

ZenBusiness Review

ZenBusiness is an online formation company that helps start your LLC at a low price. Find out if it's right for your business in this detailed review.

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.

About Us | Reviews | Deals | Tips | Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info | Terms | Contact Us
(888) 483-4925 | 680 East Colorado Blvd, 2nd Floor | Pasadena, CA 91101
© 2024 CreditDonkey Inc. All Rights Reserved.