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Brex Credit Cards

9 min read
Sean Messier By Sean Messier Sep 24, 2019 | Updated Nov 04, 2019

Brex isn’t your everyday credit card issuer.

With most big-league credit card companies, you have to provide a personal guarantee and submit to a hard personal credit inquiry to be approved for a small business credit card — even if your business brings in a ton of revenue.

The rare exceptions are usually hyper-specific credit cards designed for use with single retailers, and while they can be useful, their advantages are limited.

That’s exactly why Brex stands out from the crowd.

Its selling point? Business-oriented charge cards with distinctive rewards programs that are available with no personal guarantee.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Good news — it’s not. That’s not to say there aren’t requirements, of course, but Brex seems to be one of the only companies doing its thing in today’s credit landscape.

So whether you’re involved with a growing startup or a veteran ecommerce company, Brex charge cards might be worth your time and consideration.

While they may qualify for other business cards, sole proprietors do not qualify for Brex cards.

Brex Charge Cards

Brex currently offers three card products, all on the Mastercard network.

Brex.com says the company “may be able to issue cards on the Visa network” upon request, so contact Brex if that’s what you need (but Mastercard, like Visa, has great acceptance worldwide).

Three cards might not seem like much, but considering how the company’s first card was launched in 2018, this quick diversification seems to be a sign of success. And based on our conversations with the issuer, this is only a taste of what’s to come.

In the meantime, explore Brex’s current card offers below to see what they’re all about. You’ll find that each card offers a unique reward structure, but they all share the same statement credits, discounts, and other benefits, which we explain below.

 

Brex Corporate Card

Brex Corporate Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Brex Corporate Card was the very first Brex card, and it remains the issuer’s most identifiable product. Aside from its guarantee-free availability, the card features an interesting rewards program, known as Brex Exclusive, that supposedly requires cardholders to make the Brex card their exclusive corporate card.

According to our talks with Brex, however, the Brex Exclusive rewards program is provided to all new cardholders, and what qualifies as making the Brex card your “exclusive corporate card” is pretty flexible.

As we mentioned earlier, this card is a charge card, which means it must be paid off in full each month, and that cash advances and balance transfers aren’t allowed.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 7X points per dollar on Rideshare services (including Uber, Lyft, taxi, etc.)
  • 4X points per dollar on Brex Travel (flights, hotels, Airbnb)
  • 3X points per dollar on Restaurants
  • 2X points per dollar on Recurring software purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
INTRODUCTORY BONUS OFFER
  • 30,000 bonus reward points after approval and waived card fees for life
    • Value: $300 (when redeemed for a statement credit)

Key Features

  • Perks: Thousands of dollars in statement credits, plus discounts and more, explained below.
  • Employee cards: First 5 cards for free; $5 fee per card after that
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Brex Ecommerce Card

Brex Ecommerce Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly or Bimonthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Unlike the Brex Corporate Card, the Brex Ecommerce Card doesn’t offer Brex Exclusive rewards. It does provide a flat reward rate on every purchase if you choose net 30 payment terms rather than the 60-day terms the card usually comes with, but according to our Brex contact, Betty Jin, it’s often those 60-day terms that entice cardholders in the first place.

So the card’s main attraction is that it gives companies with big expenses more time to pay. Fittingly, it also offers a fairly high limit — up to $5 million, based on your projected sales.

Betty noted that Brex cardholders use the ecommerce card for all sorts of expenses, but she sees particularly heavy spend on marketing and advertising. Other categories where the card seems to come in handy include inventory, logistics, and IT purchases.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1X point per dollar on every purchase (net 30 term cardholders only)
INTRODUCTORY BONUS OFFER
  • 30,000 bonus reward points after approval and waived card fees for life
    • Value: $300 (when redeemed for a statement credit)

Key Features

  • Perks: Thousands of dollars in statement credits, plus discounts and more, explained below.
  • Employee cards: First 5 cards for free; $5 fee per card after that
  • Choose your payment term: Choose net 60 terms to pay off your card over a 60-day period, or opt for the shorter net 30 terms to earn rewards
  • Credit limit: Up to $5 million, determined in part by your projected monthly sales using data provided through sales platform integration
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Brex Life Sciences Card

Brex Life Sciences Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

What makes the aptly titled Brex Life Sciences Card so interesting is its singular rewards system. This card’s bonus categories were selected to meet the unique needs of the life sciences industry.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 7X points per dollar on Conference tickets
  • 4X points per dollar on Brex Travel (flights, hotels, Airbnb)
  • 3X points per dollar on Lab supplies
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
INTRODUCTORY BONUS OFFER
  • 30,000 bonus reward points after approval and waived card fees for life
    • Value: $300 (when redeemed for a statement credit)

Key features

  • Perks: Thousands of dollars in statement credits, plus discounts and more, explained below.
  • Employee cards: First 5 cards for free; $5 fee per card after that
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Brex Card Features

The three Brex charge cards may have different reward structures, but they all offer the same (for the most part) extensive batch of benefits. This includes the various statement credits and discounts we mentioned earlier, plus other convenient benefits to make cardholders’ lives that much simpler.

We’ve outlined many of the features that separate these cards from the pack, including the most basic.

  • Statement credits: Include, but are certainly not limited to, $5,000 for Amazon Web Services, $150 for Google Ads, $500 for Twilio, $1,560 for SendGrind, $5,232 for ZenDesk, and 15% off WeWork.
  • Brex Travel: Book corporate travel through Brex with an eligible card, and you may save anywhere from 30–60% thanks to negotiated rates and unique inventory. The Brex Travel portal grants you the option to save individual traveler profiles with frequent flyer information, and you can even use your Brex rewards points to book.
  • Point transfers: Transfer your Brex points to select airline loyalty programs, including Aeromexico Club Premier, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and more, at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Higher card limits: Brex credit limits are determined by equity in your company, spending patterns, and cash raised to deliver limits 10–20 times higher than competing cards. In some cases, as with the Ecommerce card, other details (like your projected sales) will be taken into consideration, too.
  • Virtual cards: After you’re approved, Brex gives you immediate access to virtual cards, which you can use for online or phone purchases.
  • Merchant data cleanup: Proprietary software cleans up your transaction data before it ever reaches your eyes to help streamline reconciliation.
  • Capture receipts: Using your phone, you can capture images of your receipts, and they’ll automatically be matched with the corresponding transactions on your Brex statements.
  • Expense management tools: QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite, and Expensify simplify the expense tracking process using Brex transaction data.
  • Charge cards: All three Brex cards are charge cards. That means they’re interest-free, because the balance must be paid off in full every billing cycle.
  • Build business creditBrex helps cardholders bolster their business credit scores by reporting positive payment activity to Dun & Bradstreet and Experian Business, two of the three major business credit bureaus.
  • No personal guarantee required: Brex charge cards require no personal guarantee, which means your business is liable for its debts — not you.
  • U.S.-based support: Available via phone, email, and chat for cardholder convenience.
  • Fraud monitoring: Like most credit cards, Brex cards include round-the-clock fraud monitoring powered by a combination of machine intelligence and human analysis.

Business Cards With No Personal Guarantee: What’s the Fuss?

If you’re new to business credit, you may not realize why a card with no personal guarantee is such a big deal.

Nearly every other business credit card requires a personal credit check and a personal guarantee — an acknowledgment that you’re liable for the card’s balance if the business can’t cover it. It’s never particularly desirable to entangle personal and business credit, but it’s almost always unavoidable.

Brex is different. The issuer requires neither a personal credit check nor a personal guarantee. Instead, it sets strict business-related standards (find them below) that its applicants must meet before they’re issued a card.

So the cards aren’t easy to get, by any means, but in the business card landscape, they’re a unique choice because there’s no personal liability involved.

How to Get a Brex Charge Card

Brex may not require a personal guarantee or a credit inquiry of its cardholders, but your business still has to meet certain criteria if you’d like to use Brex as your corporate card. The good news is that these criteria are quite straightforward.

Want a Brex card? Here’s where you should start:

  • Work for a corporation or another non-individual liability company: Brex cards aren’t available to consumers, sole proprietors, or unregistered companies.
  • Check the list of prohibited activities: Brex has posted a public list of prohibited activities. Naturally, if your business engages in any of these activities, you can’t get a Brex card.
  • Get an EIN: If you’re looking for a business card of this caliber, your business probably already has an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If it somehow doesn’t, there’s no better time than now to apply for one (it’s free!). Notably, while most business cards require you to provide your Social Security number (SSN) during the application process, Brex does not, according to our contact. Your EIN should do the trick.
  • Have professional investors: Professional investors won’t guarantee long-term success, but they’re usually a sign that knowledgeable people have some faith that your business will stand the test of time. That’s a good sign in the eyes of a company that’s lending you money.
  • Keep money in the bank: Brex requires you to link a corporate bank account to prove how much cash you have on hand. Our Brex contact says its cardholders generally maintain account balances of at least $100,000, so it’s clear that Brex might not be a go-to credit card for small businesses.
  • Check for additional requirements: Brex cards may have additional requirements. The ecommerce card, for example, requires cardholders to make at least $50,000 monthly. You may want to contact the issuer if you have other requirement-related questions.

A Brief History of Brex, and What’s to Come

By now, you’ve probably realized that Brex is far from ordinary in the world of credit.

But it’s not just the issuer’s card offerings that stick out — it’s also the company’s background.

Unlike many of the nation’s most prominent issuers, Brex doesn’t have an extensive history that spans back to the 19th century, and it’s not part of some global financial conglomerate (yet).

Instead, it’s a true-blue Silicon Valley startup founded in early 2017 by two young, yet seasoned, entrepreneurs, Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi.

Before Brex

The company’s Brazilian-born co-founders were busy devising their own business ideas long before Brex was born. In fact, soon after the pair met at age 16, Dubugras and Franceschi founded Pagar.me, a Brazil-based payment processing service that saw rapid success, raising millions and eventually processing well over $1 billion in payments before it was sold.

In the wake of Pagar.me’s success, Dubugras and Franceschi moved to California and enrolled at Stanford University to make their mark alongside the wave of cutting-edge technology companies that continue to pour out of the region.

They quickly entered Y Combinator, a prominent seed accelerator, to build a virtual reality startup known as Beyond. But this venture was short-lived, and upon realizing they were most at home in the world of payments, Dubugras and Franceschi founded Brex.

The Start of Something Big

It didn’t take long for Brex to secure millions upon millions of dollars in funding, with the company now boasting support from high-profile investors like Ribbit Capital, Greenoaks Capital, DST Global, IVP, and PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin.

But what is it that made the idea of charge cards with no personal guarantee so appealing in the first place?

It ultimately comes to a common problem with far-reaching consequences: Borrowing money as a startup is difficult.

As a result, growing businesses are often stuck taking out high-interest loans in order to get the cash they need.

Startups can get business credit cards, of course, but if they end up with low credit limits, those cards won’t provide a lot of spending power.

Dubugras and Franceschi decided that the world was ready for a more convenient alternative, and that’s how Brex came to be.

How Brex Stands Out

Brex has already earned its fair share of attention because its cards require no personal guarantee and deliver higher limits than typical business and corporate credit cards.

The issuer also separates itself from the competition by keeping its fees to a minimum. While most charge cards include annual fees to make up for their lack of interest charges, Brex simply earns a small commission from the merchant each time a transaction is conducted.

But beyond these obvious selling points, Brex also delivers more subtle benefits that could prove just as valuable.

Most notably, the company uses its own software platform that was built entirely from scratch, rather than dated legacy products, and it’s designed to streamline and simplify the corporate expense-tracking process.

Betty Jin, the Brex contact we mentioned earlier, described in a phone call how this software is especially useful for data cleanup. So, for example, while other expense-tracking tools may list several names for the same merchant (a mess you typically need to untangle yourself), Brex’s software ensures that users only see one merchant name connected to every transaction conducted with that merchant.

It’s a small detail, but these little benefits add up to make the startup’s future look even brighter.

The Future of Brex

In our talks with Brex, Betty made it clear that both current and potential Brex cardholders have a lot to look forward to.

The company is looking into branching out with fresh product builds meticulously developed to serve specific industries and various needs. It’s also toying with the idea of additional payment term options, potentially delving into 90-day and 120-day terms for added flexibility.

She couldn’t go into the nitty-gritty details, and nothing’s guaranteed. But we’re eager to see what happens, and we’ll be keeping our ear to the ground for more information.

If you’re looking for an innovative corporate borrowing solution, you probably should too.

Not sure if Brex is the right fit? Browse our favorite business cards, or check out our top charge cards if you prefer to avoid carrying a balance.

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