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Review

2019 Review: Brex Corporate Card — Best Business Card With No Personal Guarantee?

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Sean Messier By Sean Messier Sep 16, 2019 | Updated Oct 02, 2019
Our rating
Credit range: Good
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly

Brex Corporate Card

Our rating
Good Credit range
Apply Now See Alternatives

There’s quite a bit of buzz surrounding the Brex Corporate Card, and as you begin to explore its features, you’ll quickly see why.

One of three cards in the Brex family, it’s a corporate charge card on the Mastercard network that’s designed with startups in mind, and it requires no personal guarantee. That’s buzzworthy enough in itself.

And it doesn’t stop there. The card provides a surprisingly diverse rewards program, plus thousands of dollars in statement credits and discounts, and a solid signup bonus that’s provided upon approval.

Brex even uses cutting-edge technology, from merchant data cleanup to photographic receipt capture, to help simplify the expense management process.

The only real catch is that your business has to meet some fairly strict standards in order to qualify for the card. But that’s life when it comes to corporate cards, isn’t it?

Fortunately, if you meet those standards and can take advantage of the card’s reward categories, you’re in for a treat.

Card Rewards
Brex Corporate Card (This review)
  • 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 for all other purchases
Brex Ecommerce Card
  • 1X point per dollar on every purchase (net 30 term cardholders only)
Brex Life Sciences Card
  • 7X points per dollar on Conference tickets
  • 4X points per dollar on Brex Travel
  • 3X points per dollar on Lab supplies
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
Brex Corporate Card

Brex Corporate Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Brex Corporate Card 5 out of 5 stars because it’s a truly one-of-a-kind business credit card offer that combines strong rewards, valuable benefits, and convenient tools into a cutting-edge package.

Plus, it’s available without a personal guarantee. In spite of the stringent requirements your business does have to meet, this is still very out of the ordinary, and remains one of the key factors that elevates this corporate credit card above and beyond the competition.

Why We Like It

  • Offers rewards on a wide variety of common corporate spending categories
  • Signup bonus only requires approval; there’s no spending requirement
  • Benefits include several thousand dollars in statement credits and discounts for potentially helpful tools and services
  • Proprietary expense management systems, including receipt-matching, intelligent reconciliation, and more
  • Integrates seamlessly with big-name accounting tools
  • Available with no personal guarantee, no credit check, and without providing an SSN, all while still helping to build business credit scores when used responsibly
  • Usually provides a higher spending limit than most competing cards
  • No annual fee
  • Virtual cards are provided for no additional fee
  • Employee cards are free for the first five and cost only $5 afterward
  • No foreign transaction fee

Why It Could Be Better

  • Only available to businesses that meet relatively strict criteria
  • Not available to sole proprietors
  • Misses some major business-related spending categories, such as telecom services and shipping
  • Limited point transfer options

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Use your Brex card on the go: Rack up 4X points booking through Brex Travel, then get 7X points using rideshare services once your flight has landed. Use your card whenever you visit restaurants, too, for 3X points.
  • Pay for software subscriptions: Modern businesses often spend big in the realm of software, and the Brex card earns 2X points per dollar on recurring software purchases.
  • Take advantage of the card benefits: In addition to its more traditional point-based signup bonus, Brex provides new cardholders with thousands of dollars in statement credits and discounts for services that many up-and-coming businesses will likely find useful.
  • Redeem points to reduce your account balance: The Brex card earns points relatively quickly if you play your cards right, and the company allows statement credit point redemptions at a rate of 1 cent per point.
  • Redeem points through Brex Travel: Thanks to negotiated rates, redeeming points through Brex Travel may allow you to score an exceptional deal on your next business excursion.
  • Transfer your points when it makes sense: Brex allows point transfers to select airline loyalty programs, which may allow you to boost your return on spend beyond the 1-cent-per-point value that Brex offers.

The Rewards

Earning

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)

The Brex card’s rewards program, known as Brex Exclusive, is aptly named. According to the Brex website, cardholders only get access to the program if they make the Brex card their exclusive corporate card.

But our Brex contact indicates that every cardholder has access to the program for at least a limited time, and many are impressed enough that they’ll adopt the Brex card exclusively anyway. Even so, the issuer offers some flexibility, our contact says.

Brex Exclusive provides some fairly impressive reward rates that are sure to come in handy if you or your employees travel frequently.

Its three highest-earning categories — rideshare services, Brex Travel bookings, and restaurants — seem to work hand in hand. If you’re going to be abroad on a trip booked through Brex Travel, then the odds are good that you’ll benefit from rideshare services. You’ll likely also have to eat once or twice, and it can’t hurt to earn a few rewards while you’re at it, right?

You won’t earn as high a rate on recurring software purchases as you will on travel-related expenses, but the reality is that many modern businesses rely on all sorts of software to survive. Even if you’re only earning 2X points per dollar, your business could very well be spending a whole lot of dollars on software. So there’s some potential there.

It’s not limited to specific software, either. Per Brex, you get the points on “anything you can put on a card.”

You get 1X point on everything else, which is standard for virtually any type of credit or charge card.

Redeeming

The Brex card offers a variety of redemption options that will likely seem familiar if you’ve ever used a travel credit card.

You can redeem your points for statement credits at a 1-cent-per-point rate that’s relatively appetizing when you consider how high the Brex Exclusive reward rates get.

If you’re not after statement credits, another option is to redeem your points for travel through the Brex Travel portal. Redemption rates here are, once again, 1 cent per point. But thanks to negotiated rates, you could have the opportunity to secure a fairly solid return on spend if you play your cards right.

The Brex website, for example, explains that cardholders get rates typically only available to enterprise companies, for average savings of 30%. Some deals may be even better, though — Brex mentions discounts as steep as 60%.

Another way to bolster your value is by transferring your points to one of Brex’s partner airlines. Like most cards that offer point transfers, this may provide access to a much higher value than you’d get through Brex itself, but it all depends on the airline and the flight you’re looking to book.

At the time of publication, Brex airline partners include all of the following:

AIRLINE TRAVEL PARTNERS
Aeromexico Club Premier Air France/KLM Flying Blue Avianca LifeMiles
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Qantas Frequent Flyer Program Singapore KrisFlyer

This list covers three airline alliances — SkyTeam, Oneworld, and Star Alliance — which adds even further flexibility once you’ve actually transferred your points.

Point transfers are at a 1:1 rate for Brex Exclusive members, though the rate rises to 1.5:1 if you’re not using Brex as your exclusive corporate card.

The Benefits

Brex’s benefits are often presented as part of its “signup bonus,” but they work the same way as the statement credit benefits available with plenty of other business credit cards.

Few business cards provide this much value in the way of statement credits, though, and that’s definitely one way Brex overtakes its competitors. Plus, it certainly helps that a lot of the services available through these benefits are precisely tailored to benefit blossoming corporations.

  • Statement credits: $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, among others.
  • Brex Travel: This portal allows you to book corporate travel, reportedly offering potential savings ranging from 30%–60%. Brex Travel also allows cardholders to save unique travel profiles with frequent flyer information.
  • Proprietary expense management tech: Perks like transaction data cleanup and receipt capture help make it easier to record and organize expenses.
  • Seamless integration with modern accounting tools: Connect your Brex account with software like Quickbooks, Expensify, and Xero.
  • Higher card limit: On top of what’s in your business bank accounts, Brex evaluates your company’s investors, spending patterns, and equity in order to provide credit limits that may be 10–20 times higher than competing cards.
  • Virtual cards: Before you get your physical card, you’ll receive immediate access to virtual versions of your Brex card, so you can make purchases online and by phone ASAP.
  • U.S.-based support: Phone, email, and chat options offer versatile, convenient support when you need it most.
  • Fraud monitoring: Round-the-clock fraud monitoring featuring a blend of machine intelligence and human analysis helps safeguard your personal information.

The Terms & Fees

Annual Fee Additional Cards Annual Fee Regular APR
$0 First 5 cards for free; $5 fee per card after that Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Foreign Transaction Fee Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None None None

With Brex, you never really have to worry about fees.

The Brex Corporate Card is a charge card, so there’s no interest, ever. Your Brex account is connected to your business bank account once your cardholdership is approved, and your card balance is automatically withdrawn from that account, in full, each month. So there are no late fees either.

If you’re planning on traveling, the card won’t really do you wrong, because there are no foreign transaction fees. And it’s on the Mastercard network, so you can expect near-universal acceptance.

The only time you’ll really have to pay a fee is if you’re looking to add additional cards to your account beyond the five you get for free. Even afterward, employee cards are quite inexpensive, which makes sense considering the Brex card has no annual fee in the first place.

The Bottom Line

In the current credit landscape, Brex is a fairly atypical card issuer, and the fact that the company provides enticing corporate charge cards without the need for a personal guarantee is sure to help the Brex brand remain in the spotlight for some time.

And why shouldn’t it? The Brex Corporate Card provides a competitive rewards program with useful categories. Plus, the opportunity to redeem for both statement credits and travel, or to transfer your points to a partner loyalty program, affords quite a bit of wiggle room to maximize the card’s value.

There’s also no annual fee, so you’re making out like a bandit if you can meet the approval requirements and take advantage of the Brex Exclusive rewards program.

Which brings us to the one catch: The Brex Corporate Card may be designed for startups, but it’s not meant for small businesses or solo entrepreneurs.

If you’re looking for a business card that’ll help your one-man show thrive, the Brex card isn’t it (though there are plenty of other options).

Corporations, however, may want to take heed of this distinctive card offer, which could become even more impressive as the young issuer evolves.

How to Apply for the Brex Corporate Card

Getting the Brex card isn’t quite the same as applying for the typical business credit card. Ordinarily, you’d fill out a relatively standard credit card application, including a bit of information about your business ventures, and that’s that.

That’s not to say that the application process is any tougher, of course. It’s just that the issuer has set higher standards for the card, because it’s designed for corporate startups with serious investors.

You’ll want to begin by exploring the qualifications below. There are quite a few details to consider.

If you think you qualify for a Brex card, click Apply Now below to start the process.

Qualifications and Requirements

As we’ve mentioned, Brex has an interesting selection of criteria for its cardholders.

Things may change situationally, but generally, prospective Brex cardholders must:

  • Work for a corporation or another non-individual liability company
  • Have an employer identification number (EIN)
  • Have professional investors
  • Not be involved in any of Brex’s prohibited activities
  • Maintain a corporate bank account with a balance of at least $100,000 or so
Brex Corporate Card

Brex Corporate Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

 

Alternatives to the Brex Corporate Card

The Brex Corporate Card may be a rising star in the world of credit, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be right for your business. Especially if you’re still working in a small-business environment. However, you shouldn’t have any problems finding a strong alternative, regardless of your company’s size. We’ve included some solid picks, including the Brex card’s equally enticing siblings.

 

Brex Ecommerce Card

Brex Ecommerce Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly or Bimonthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

While its brethren feature somewhat similar reward structures, the Brex Ecommerce Card is the Brex family’s black sheep. You get 1X point per dollar on every purchase, but only if you opt for net 30 payment terms, rather than the standard 60-day option. Our Brex contact suggests that it’s those 60-day terms that attract interest from the ecommerce world in the first place, however, so the card’s reward rate isn’t meant to hog the spotlight.

The card also caters to ecommerce customers through the potential for a high credit limit, which is determined in part by your projected sales.

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: The same statement credits and discounts as the Brex Corporate Card, explained ((above))
  • Choose your payment term: Choose net 60 terms to pay off your card over a 60-day period with no rewards, or select net 30 terms if you’d like to earn rewards.
  • High credit limit: Up to $5 million, determined in part by your projected monthly sales using data provided through sales platform integration
  • Employee cards: First 5 cards for free; $5 fee per card after that
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Brex Life Sciences Card

Brex Life Sciences Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Brex Life Sciences Card is a bit more like the Brex Corporate card than its ecommerce sibling, but it’s still a unique credit card offer. It features rewards that reflect the needs of the life sciences industry, providing points for conference tickets and lab supplies, but eliminating the rideshare, restaurant, and software categories.

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: The same statement credits and discounts as the Brex Corporate Card, explained ((above))
  • Employee cards: First 5 cards for free; $5 fee per card after that
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Our rating
Credit rangeExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR17.99% - 22.99% Variable

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a simpler offer than both the Brex cards above and the American Express card below. Its straightforward rewards program offers a lot of value for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and its benefits are standard.

Its annual fee is much lower than that of the Business Platinum Card (Rates & Fees), and it doesn’t have the stringent requirements that accompany the Brex cards, which makes the Ink Business Preferred an astute choice for smaller businesses.

Spending Rewards
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent per year (then 1X) on:
    • Travel
    • Shipping
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
    • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
    • Value: $800–$1,600 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 16%–32%

Key Features

  • 25% point bonus: When you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Point transfer: At a 1:1 rate to various airline and hotel loyalty programs, like British Airways, JetBlue, Southwest, Marriott Bonvoy, Hyatt, and more
  • Cell phone protection: Pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card, and get coverage against theft and damage, up to $600 per claim with a $100 deductible.
  • Shopping and travel protections: Include Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty Protection, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waivers, and more
  • Annual fee: $95

 

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Our rating
Credit rangeExcellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$595
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express doesn’t need much of an introduction. It’s widely popular for an abundance of reasons, including its travel-focused rewards program and a seemingly infinite batch of valuable benefits.

The card carries a rather large annual fee (Rates & Fees), but if you can make use of its benefits, that fee should be offset without much hassle.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on purchases over $5,000, up to 1 million additional points per year (then 1X)
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership (expires 12/4/19)
    • Value: $500–$1,000 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 5%–10%
  • 50,000 Membership Rewards points for spending an additional $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership (expires 12/4/19)
    • Value: $500–$1,000 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 3.33%–6.67%

Key Features

  • Global Lounge Collection: Enjoy free access to Priority Pass, Centurion, American Express International, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Lufthansa, and Plaza Premium airport lounges.
  • $200 annual airline fee credit: Covers incidental costs, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, but not tickets, with your airline of choice
  • Airport security statement credit: Covers the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 once every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four-and-a-half years)
  • Complimentary elite hotel statuses: Reap the benefits of Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite statuses.
  • Point transfer: Transfer your Membership Rewards points between several airline and hotel partners.
  • No foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees)
  • Annual fee: $595
  • Charge card: You must pay your balance in full each month.

 

Brex Corporate Card

Brex Corporate Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

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