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Finding the right credit card for a startup can be a challenge. Most issuers want a personal guarantee or may be reluctant to provide a credit line high enough to suit your business needs. The Brex Corporate Card for Startups is designed for startups from the ground up. In this review, we'll review the pros and cons of Brex Corporate Card for Startups to help you determine if it will work for your business.
Review: Our thoughts on Brex Corporate Card for Startups
Startups looking for a rewards card for business expenses can do well with the Brex Corporate Card for Startups — if you commit to using the business card exclusively. Many startups do not have the financial history or profitability that issuers usually require to get approved for credit cards. If they are approved, the credit limits may be small and may require a personal guarantee from founders or corporate officers. Brex designed this card to overcome the challenges that many startups face. It eliminated personal guarantees and offers credit limits 10 to 20 times higher than traditional corporate credit cards. There are no caps on bonus categories, so businesses can maximize the rewards they can earn. Plus, rewards are flexible so that they can be used to best fit the needs of the startup. This card is best suited for corporate startups with multiple shareholders and adequate funding. Your startup cannot be a sole proprietorship or a single-member LLC or S corporation. When applying, your business needs to submit an employer identification number (EIN) rather than a personal Social Security number. You must also consistently have $50,000 in the bank to qualify for the Brex Corporate Card for Startups.
What are the benefits of the Brex Corporate Card for Startups?
The Brex Corporate Card for Startups offers instant approvals with no personal guarantees. Brex doesn’t perform an inquiry on your personal credit, so it won’t affect your personal credit score. Building your business credit is important because it opens other avenues of borrowing in the future.
There are no foreign transaction fees, no interest charges and it has the following: No Annual Fee. The first five cards are included at no charge, while each additional card is $5 a month. There are no interest charges because it is a charge card that must be paid in full each month instead of a credit card that may carry a balance from month to month. Using the Brex Corporate Card for Startups for business expenses helps manage your cash flow and track your spending. Brex makes your payment automatically so your account is always in good standing. And it offers worldwide acceptance through the Mastercard network. Startups will enjoy unlimited rewards on their spending. If you commit to making all your business credit card purchases through the Brex Corporate Card for Startups, you will qualify for Brex Exclusive category bonus rewards. These rewards can be quite lucrative, with bonuses up to 7x points on monthly expenses, including:
- 7x on ride-share
- 4x on Brex Travel
- 3x on restaurants
- 2x on recurring software
- 1x on everything else
If you don’t make all your credit card purchases using the Brex Corporate Card for Startups, you’ll earn 1x points instead of the bonuses listed above. Brex also offers discounts and benefits with partners that it values at more than $50,000. Many startups will save money with these partner offers, but it is unlikely that any business will use all of them. For example, you'll receive a credit of $5,000 in Amazon Web Services over a year, 25% off a Salesforce subscription and 30% off a first-year HubSpot subscription. Discounts are also available through, among others:
Points earned with Brex can be redeemed for cash back on any transaction, statement credits or travel through the Brex Travel portal. The points earned will never expire, and there are no redemption minimums or maximums. Your points can also be transferred to an airline partner for more value. There are seven airline transfer partners, and each of the three major alliances (SkyTeam, oneworld and Star Alliance) are included:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
How does the Brex Corporate Card for Startups compare to other cards?
There are many attractive benefits of the Brex Corporate Card for Startups, but how does it stack up against other business credit cards? Brex requires $50,000 consistently in the bank, a registered U.S. entity and access to your bank account for monthly automatic payments. Additionally, you must use the Brex card as your primary card or you won’t earn lucrative bonuses on spending. Because of these hurdles, your business may be better off with one of these competing credit cards.
Brex Corporate Card for Startups vs. Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers up to 3% cash back on a category of your choice. You'll earn 2% cash back on dining and 1% everywhere else. With Preferred Rewards for Business, you'll earn up to 75% additional cash back based on your combined balance with the bank.
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card also has a No Annual Fee annual fee, but the similarities stop there. The Bank of America card's rewards can only be redeemed for cash back, while Brex's points are more flexible. For the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card, the 1% category is unlimited. However, you're limited to $50,000 in combined annual spending for the 2% and 3% categories. There is no limit to how many points you can earn through Brex's bonus categories.
Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card highlights
- 3% cash back in the category of your choice (gas, office supplies, travel, TV/telecom and wireless, computer services or business consulting)
- 2% cash back on dining
- Unlimited 1% on everything else
- Earn up to 75% additional cash back with Preferred Rewards for Business
- No Annual Fee annual fee
- 0% introductory APR for the first 9 billing cycles following the opening of your account (after that, )
- No foreign transaction fee
- Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within three months of your account opening.
Brex Corporate Card for Startups vs. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a great card for everyday spending. You'll earn 2x points on the first $50,000 you spend each year, then 1x points on all other purchases. The card has No annual fee, and there is no annual fee for additional cards for employees. Business owners can use Membership Rewards points to purchase travel on amextravel.com, for statement credits or to transfer to airline or hotel transfer partners.
Note, American Express has 22 airline and hotel transfer partners, compared to just seven for Brex.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express highlights
- 2x Membership Rewards points on all purchases (up to $50,000 a year), then 1x points
- Unlimited 1x points
- No annual fee
- Free employee cards
- 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (then an APR of 14.74% - 20.74% Variable)
- Membership Rewards points can be used for travel, statement credits, online shopping and transfers to three hotel and 19 airline partners
- Eligible for Amex Offers for statement credits, discounts and bonus points
- No foreign transaction fee
- Earn 10,000 Extra Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first three months of Card Membership
Brex Corporate Card for Startups vs. Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is a simple cashback card with very few bells and whistles. It earns unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, and the rewards do not expire. There is a $0 annual fee, and employee cards are free. The card includes Visa Business Benefits such as collision damage waiver on rental cars, purchase protection for 90 days and an extended manufacturer's warranty.
Compared to the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business, the Brex Corporate Card for Startups offers a more robust rewards program, since you can earn up to 7x points on your purchases with no spending limits. Plus, the rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, travel or airline miles with transfer partners.
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business highlights
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases
- $0 annual fee
- Free employee cards
- No foreign transaction fees
- Travel and purchase benefits
Picking the right credit card for your business depends on how much you spend, where you spend and what benefits and rewards are important to you. Keep in mind that many credit cards place annual spending limits on the rewards you can earn or make redeeming rewards a challenge. Enter your estimated monthly spending into our comparison tool below to learn which card is best for you.
The bottom line
Startups should consider using the Brex Corporate Card for Startups for their business needs. The card offers instant approval without personal guarantees and has No Annual Fee. You can earn up to 7x points on your spending without any spending limits, and the points can be redeemed for cash, statement credits or travel. If you're bootstrapping your startup, the qualifications may be onerous, but startups with more capital and professional investors should have no problems getting approved.