Tide Business Account Review

  • Allows you to pair your app with your other accounts
  • Spending categorization
  • Low fees
  • Invoices can be created within the app
  • Strong security features
  • FCA registered
  • Currently, international money transfers are not available

We’re always on the lookout for a good business account. For that reason, in this Tide Business Account review, we’re having a look at a six-year-old digital bank that has made an impact in the UK and has attracted hundreds of thousands of small businesses. 

Before we cover all the ins and outs, here’s our short verdict:

Overall, Tide is worth looking at for smaller businesses that need a convenient business account with automated features designed to make their lives easier. The fees are reasonably priced for a business account, and it is a handy bonus that Tide allows its customers to make cash deposits. 

tide business account review

About Tide

Tide is a UK-based digital financial services provider for small to medium-sized businesses. It was founded in 2015 by George Bevis. This digital-only bank received the Financial Conduct Authority’s permission to provide financial products and services in February 2016.

Why is Tide so special?

Tide has to date acquired more than 300,000 customers in the UK. Its accounts are tailor-made for small and scaling businesses, as well as freelancers. Tide’s three different account types offer something for every business.

If you don’t have a registered company yet, Tide will help you register one for free and give you their business account also free of charge. 

With Tide, you can order up to 35 Tide Expense Cards for your team and keep track of who’s spending what. Free Mastercards allow you to spend without fees in the UK, and abroad. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Full UK sort code and account number
  • Business Mastercard 
  • Free purchases at home and abroad
  • Instant invoice payment and creation
  • Up to £150,000 of credit

Cons

  • No cheque deposits
  • Cash deposits up to £500

Fees 

  • £1 per ATM withdrawal
  • Cash deposits: Post Office – £1, PayPoint – 3%

Tide accounts

Free 

  • Free Tide business card
  • £5/m Expense Card 
  • Integrates with Quickbooks, Xero, Sage
  • Up to 5 business accounts
  • 20p per in and out transfer

Tide offers a choice of three monthly plans, beginning with their “pay as you go plan” that comes with no monthly fees. However, this plan is referred to as “pay as you go” because each transfer will cost 20p. 

The free account comes with Tide’s signature blue card that’s free with every account. There’s no access to Tide’s 24/7 in-app support and the possibility of support via phone call. If you find yourself in trouble, don’t expect speedy customer support. 

Plus (£9.99/m + VAT)

  • Free Tide business card
  • £5/m Expense Card (1 free)
  • Integrates with Quickbooks, Xero, Sage
  • Up to 5 business accounts
  • 20 free transfers per month
  • Priority in-app support
  • Phone support
  • 24/7 legal helpline
  • Exclusive member perks

Tide has recently added a premium account, “Tide Plus,” for £9.99 per month plus VAT. 

This account offers customers a sleek matte black card, the ability to jump the queue for in-app support, a 24/7 legal helpline, and 20 free transfers per month included in the monthly fee. Both of these monthly plans also grant customers access to the range of features and tools in the Tide app designed to help make business finances easier to manage.

Cashback ($49.99/m + VAT)

  • Free Tide business card
  • £5/m Expense Card (3 free)
  • Integrates with Quickbooks, Xero, Sage
  • Up to 5 business accounts
  • 150 free transfers per month
  • Priority in-app support
  • Phone support
  • 24/7 legal helpline
  • Exclusive member perks
  • 24/7 legal helpline
  • Dedicated account manager
  • 0.5% cashback with your Tide card

The third Tide account gives you a 0.5% cashback every time you spend with your Tide card. If your teammates or employees have Tide Expense Cards for your account, then you earn cashback on what they spend too!

For £49.99 + VAT per month, you’ll also get a dedicated account manager and access to their 24/7 legal advice helpline where you can get answers to any personal or business legal question. Tide has provided experts on hand to help you by phone, anytime, every day of the year.

Although the monthly membership fee might seem a bit pricey, you can expense the fee as a ‘bank/finance charge’.

You can sign up for the Cashback account at any time:

  1. Open the Tide app, and tap ‘More’ > ‘Upgrade’
  2. Tap ‘Cashback’ and you’ll be upgraded instantly
  3. Read and agree to the terms and conditions
  4. Enter your app passcode

Who can open a Tide account?

People aged 18 or above that have a valid UK phone number and address can open a Tide account.

To apply for a registered business account, you’ll need to be registered with UK Companies House as a director of that company.

To apply for a sole trader account, you’ll need to be a UK-based sole trader or freelancer.

Applicants who are not based in the UK may apply for a Registered Business account, as long as they are directors of a company registered with UK Companies House.

How to open a Tide account

Tide is a digital service, which means they do not have any physical branches. This makes opening an account much more comfortable and much quicker than with traditional financial services, and there is no paperwork involved. 

To open an account, you have to download the Tide app from the App Store or Google Play and tap ‘Get Started.’ You have to enter some personal information and scan your ID or passport to verify your identity. 

Once you pass this step, you can begin entering your company’s information, and Tide will perform sanction and KYC checks on your shareholders and directors. 

Within the hour, you can have your Tide account up and running.

How long does it take to open an account?

Tide has exact statistics on how long businesses wait to open a Tide bank account:

  • 53% opened their accounts in under 10 minutes, 
  • 70% in under 60 minutes, and 
  • 81% within 48 hours

How to add funds to Tide Business account

The first step in getting to experience all of Tide’s tools is adding funds into your Tide account. Tide makes this as easy as possible, offering three easy and accessible methods to get started. A bank transfer is the most common method, allowing you to move money from another account into your Tide account using your sort code and account number. 

Tide also makes it easy for clients to pay you directly by using the ‘Invoice feature’, with simplified instructions that take you through each step of creating an invoice. Unlike many digital banks, Tide has also made it possible for customers to deposit cash into their account by taking the cash and their Tide card to their local Post Office or PayPoint. 

However, customers should note that there is a £1 fee on Post Office cash deposits.

tide.co mobile app

The Tide app is designed to be a useful tool for finance management, catering for freelancers, or even small to medium businesses. The app makes each of its features exceptionally clear and easy to access right away, with separate pages for different services. 

The home screen of the app is your Accounts page. This page provides an overview of your accounts, showing balances, payments, and card details. The next page is “easy accounting,” offering a record of all transactions and filing them under separate categories to make them easier to understand. 

The invoice page provides a detailed look at active invoices, and it enables you to draw up a new invoice within minutes. There are also pages to make easy and quick payments, a help page, and a credit page to manage loans and credit.

tide.co loans

Tide offers loans and credit, advertised as an added small cash injection for your business when it needs it. The loans are available up to £15,000 and can be applied for and granted in ultra-quick timing through the app. 

Tide even claims they offer “the world’s fastest business loan.” If you’re not in a rush and need a bigger loan, you can apply for up to £150,000. 

tide.co for travel

Tide prides itself on being a no hidden fee financial service, offering transparent charges on ATM withdrawals. This still stands when you take your Tide card overseas, meaning there are no extra charges on transactions and withdrawals when you use them abroad. 

ATM withdrawals cost £1, while all transfers in or out of your Tide account will cost 20p, apart from transfers between Tide accounts free.

Tide invoicing

Tide has a great feature for all sole traders and small to medium businesses – free invoicing straight from the Tide app. It doesn’t matter what Tide plan you have to use this feature. 

You’ll be able to send personalized messages and manage your invoices on both mobile and desktop. See your customers’ credit rating and add Invoice Protection for extra peace of mind.

Invoice Protection is a cover from Hokodo that guarantees your payment even if your customer isn’t able to pay you. Any invoice you send to another business is eligible for Invoice Protection as long as::

  • it’s a valid invoice
  • it isn’t too close to the due date
  • it was issued within 30 days of the supply of the goods and/or services
  • it’s supported by evidence that the customer confirmed the purchase

And that to the best of your knowledge, your customer:

  • isn’t insolvent
  • is able to pay the invoice at the time you buy the protection
  • does not have any other outstanding invoices with you which are over 45 days overdue

Perks

All Tide members can enjoy several perks that are more or less useful. Tide members receive a free one-month trial (two months free for Plus accounts and three months free for Premium) to The Telegraph. It’s £6 per week thereafter.

There’s also 20% off your first project with PeoplePerHour, UK’s largest online freelance marketplace. Discounts on Urban wellness treatments, 30% off virtual office plans, and a few others. 

Company Registration

If you don’t have a company yet but are looking to open one, Tide can do it for you for free. You’ll get their business bank account as well, of course. The whole process takes mere hours.

In order for the process to go over smooth, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Your unique company name
  • Personal information such as your address, date of birth, and nationality.
  • Registered office address
    • You can choose your home address or your business address, or a virtual business address if you have one

How is Tide regulated?

Tide is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and offers e-money accounts, provided by PrePay Solutions (PPS), as well as business bank accounts, provided by ClearBank.

Tide members can identify if they have a PPS or ClearBank account in the following ways: 

  • If the sort code is 04-06-05 – the account is with ClearBank and if the sort code is 23-69-72 – it is with PPS
  • Statements: The footer of members’ statements will give details of the account provider and terms
  • By requesting an Account Verification Letter (AVL) from Tide

Is my money safe with Tide?

FSCS protection is not necessary for Tide customers as their money is never reinvested. Tide’s service is targeted at businesses, offering various tools and features to help companies grow.

Eligible deposits with ClearBank are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the UK’s deposit guarantee scheme.

Who owns Tide bank?

Tide was founded in 2015 by George Bevis. Its headquarters are in London, England.

The company raised more than $114 million from 7 rounds of funding. The last corporate round brought in £60 million in October 2019.

It has 18 investors that include Augmentum Fintech, SBI Group, Creandum, Anthemis Group, MS&AD Ventures, Rabo Frontier Ventures, and others.

Customer reviews 

tide.co has a 4.1-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, with 66% of reviewers giving it an excellent mark and 20% a bad one. With a 4.1 score, Tide is placed lower than Monzo (4.5),  Revolut (4.3), and Starling (4.4), for example, and better than bunq (2.4) and Ferratum (2.1).

Customer service 

While some business owners swear that Tide’s customer service is the best, there are also others that say the opposite. We never had any issues but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to run into problems.

Competitors

Starling 

starling bank

More than 300,000 UK businesses have a Starling Business account, and it’s free. And, although it’s seriously lagging behind Monzo and Revolut in the number of app downloads and users, Starling Bank is arguably the strongest digital banking app on the UK market right now. 

Monzo 

monzo

Monzo Business account offers a wide range of features that provide many business owners with an appealing offer. If you’re looking for a better banking experience, you should consider Monzo bank. You’ll get around the clock customer service, deposit protection, a nifty app loaded with features, and a business debit card available for use.

Revolut

revolut

You can set up Revolut Business accounts online in minutes with an option of a free account and three paid membership plans with extra features and fewer fees. Revolut is proud to have more than 500,000 businesses with their business account. With their recent expansion to Australia and the United States, that figure is set to skyrocket.

The bottom line

Tide is an excellent option for those it was designed for, specifically self-employed, freelancers, and small businesses. The app provides an easy-to-understand overview of all accounts, helping customers keep track of finances and stay on top of payments and invoices all in one place.