According to the company website, Brex is rebuilding B2B financial products — starting with corporate cards for technology companies. Brex aims to help startup companies of all sizes to get a corporate card that has 20x higher limits, completely automates expense management, eliminates receipt tracking, and magically integrates with accounting systems.

Brex was founded by Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, the founders of Pagar.me — one of the largest payment processors in Brazil with over $1.5 billion in GMV.  

Brex offers corporate cards tailored specifically to three types of businesses: startups, e-commerce firms, and life science companies.

The Good

  • Modern Underwriting
  • Instant Sign-Up
  • No Interest Charges
  • Brex Exclusive

Modern Underwriting

One unique aspect of Brex cards is the fact that they do not require a personal guarantee. Founders and business owners aren't personally liable for any fraud or risk when using a Brex card, because Brex acts as the underwriter on the card. Instead of using a personal social security number, Brex uses an employer identification number (EIN) — meaning the card won't affect the borrower's personal credit score. However, borrowers will need to keep in mind that it will affect their business credit score. 

Brex also boasts that its customers have a higher spending limit than those with competing cards. 

Instant Sign-Up

Signing up with Brex is a reasonably simple process, all users need to provide is some information about their company such as the company name, website, and type of company and link to their corporate bank account. With this information, businesses can get approved in just minutes; there is no personal liability, credit checks, or security deposits. 

No Interest Charges

The Brex card is a 30-day charge card — meaning all expenses are consolidated over 30 days into one monthly payment. This payment is then deducted automatically from the company bank account. Charge cards are best for businesses that have the means to pay off their credit balance every month. 

Brex Exclusive

In order for users to qualify for Brex Exclusive, they must make their Brex for Startups or the Brex for Life Sciences card their exclusive corporate card for all of the business purchases. Brex for Ecommerce cardholders do not qualify for the Brex Exclusive program. New Startup and Life Sciences users are then automatically enrolled in the Brex Exclusive program at sign-up for the first two months. After the two months is over, users have to ensure card exclusivity to maintain Brex Exclusive's points multipliers. However, Brex points never expire and are uncapped.

Rewards include the following:

Brex Exclusive Startup Rewards

  • 7x on rideshare (e.g., Uber, Lyft, Taxi)
  • 4x on travel booked via Brex Travel
  • 3x on restaurants
  • 2x on recurring software
  • 1x on all other transactions

Brex Exclusives Life Sciences Rewards

  • 7x on conference tickets
  • 4x on travel booked via Brex Travel
  • 2x on lab supplies 
  • 1x on all other transactions

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The Bad

  • Charge Card
  • Extra Cards Cost $5 per User per Month
  • Limitations on Who Can Apply

Charge Card

Charge cards are an excellent choice for businesses with the means to pay off their credit balance every month; it's not the best choice for everyone. While charge cards can be used to help train users to develop budget management skills, it can also quickly get users into trouble. 

Users who fail to pay off their charge card at the end of the month may face harsher consequences than those with a credit card — such as more damage to their credit score and higher penalties for missing a payment. 

Additionally, users’ credit limits are based on the cash they have raised and/or the equity in the company, alongside the company's spending patterns. 

Extra Cards Cost $5 per User per Month

While the first five corporate cards are included with no annual fee, Brex charges $5 per user per month for any additional cards. While it may not affect smaller companies as much, it can certainly affect larger companies with more employees. 

Limitations on Who Can Apply

Brex underwrites with EINs and not social security numbers, so unregistered businesses, sole proprietors, and consumers are ineligible for a Brex card. Only companies that are organized and registered in the United States, such as C-corps, S-corps, LLCs, or LLPs can apply. 

Additionally, companies that engage in the following activities will not be able to apply for a Brex card:

  • Sale of Schedule I controlled substances with or without a pharmaceutical license, or sale of Schedules II-V controlled substances without a pharmaceutical license, where such schedules are defined by the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA);
  • Production, sale, or distribution of marijuana;
  • Production, sale, or distribution of guns, accessories, ammunition, and other weapons;
  • Gambling, betting, lotteries, sweepstakes, or games of chance;
  • Prostitution or escort services;
  • Sale of counterfeit or "gray market" goods or services;
  • Get-rich-quick schemes, multi-level marketing, or activities that may be considered unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP);
  • Use of Brex services for personal, family household use, or any non-commercial use;
  • Activities that are illegal or that Brex, in its sole discretion, identifies as high-risk; or
  • Use of the Services in a manner that is inconsistent or prohibited by the Platform Agreement

The Bottom Line

Brex is undoubtedly unique in its approach and offers a number of benefits. Users won't have to worry about their personal credit being affected, there are no interest charges or annual fees, and Brex has fairly generous rewards. However, a Brex card isn't for everyone. Smaller startups, new companies, and businesses outside Brex's target users may find their company being denied. We recommend that before business owners sign up, they call Brex and ask for more detailed information.

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