There’s a new piece of plastic on the market today paving a much smoother road for startups to begin their journey. It’s called BREX and in our review, we’ll show you how this card is redefining the rocky road of corporate credit cards for startups and small businesses.
Handling your business’s expenses can be tricky, and even more so if you’re a startup without much history or equity. That makes finding the right card for your business even more important… something that BREX understands all too well.
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BREX is a new corporate charge card that is not only great for traditional businesses, but also caters to startups. It offers business owners an easy solution for their monthly expenses without charging fees or interest.
Let’s take a look at BREX and why it might be the right card for your company.
BREX was founded this past summer (June 2018, in fact) by two Stanford-grad startup founders. While struggling to manage their own business expenses using personal credit cards, the pair recognized an opportunity. Creating the first corporate credit card for startups.
The response is positive with BREX locking in a number of big-name investors for its new card product and raising about $57 million even before its launch. The company is backed by the co-founders of Paypal (among other big names), if that tells you anything.
Plus, BREX’s own two founders–Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi–are actually the co-founders of Pagar.me. This company is one of the largest payment processors in Brazil, with over $1.5B in gross merchandise value.
So, what makes BREX unique, especially when compared to all of the other corporate cards on the market today?
Well, first of all, it caters to startups. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to be a startup founder to use the card–it’s perfect for all types of companies who want to better manage their monthly expenses. But, especially if you are a startup looking for the following features:
- Struggling to get approved for a company card with a high enough limit
- Needing a card that doesn’t charge high fees
- Wanting a card that earns rewards
As a corporate charge card, rather than a business credit card, the responsibility of the monthly charges fall on the business itself. When you are a business owner and open a business credit card account, your own credit history will be taken into consideration. The monthly card activity is often reported to the credit bureaus, so if your company is struggling or simply racks up a high balance one month, it will impact your credit score.
With BREX, the onus falls entirely on your company. Statements are paid directly from your business bank accounts, versus personal ones, and your credit won’t feel the effects of whatever activity your business has on the card.
Since BREX is a charge card, versus a credit card, you must pay your statement balance in full each month. This means that there are no finance charges to worry about on your balance. Plus, the payment will be automatically drafted from your corporate bank account when it’s due, so there’s no worry about late fees.
There are no annual fees with BREX. You can use the card and earn rewards with all of your spending, and do so without worrying about a fee each year. Of course, the primary focus of BREX is to help corporations manage their spending without fees–versus focusing on just the rewards–but we will talk more about that below.
A BREX card can be given to every single one of your employees if you desire, with no limit. You can manage each of these cards individually, setting appropriate limits and tracking activity. This is free for your first five users, too. After that, it’s only $5 a month per employee card.
If you want to open a BREX corporate card account, there are a few things your business needs.
First, you’ll have to show that your business has at least $50,000 on-hand, by linking your corporate bank account. This may sound like a lot if you’re accustomed to only carrying business credit cards, but it’s actually a much lower cash balance than most corporate cards would require you to show. Of course, having $50,000+ doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get approved for the BREX card, but it is the minimum required.
Next, you’ll need to provide some other information that will help with the underwriting process. Before approving your application and assigning you a credit limit, BREX wants to know your company’s spending habits and the investors you have, in addition to your cash balance. They will then set your limit accordingly.
If you want to have an idea of the credit limit you’ll be given before you even apply, you can contact BREX ahead of time. By providing some details about your company, they can give you an estimated limit.
BREX promises an enviable rewards program to its corporate cardholders, calling it the best rewards for startups. The card company also claims that its program is “focused on rewards your business can use and has the highest redemption value of any rewards offering.” The only problem is, we don’t yet know what it will actually entail.
Being a new launch, the BREX card rewards program doesn’t have the details ironed out just yet. However, you can sign up for the rewards program now and begin earning right away. According to the Brex website, users can begin redeeming rewards in November 2018.
BREX has already partnered with companies like Amazon Web Services, Instacart, DoorDash, Salesforce, and ZenDesk to provide rewards that your business may need. We just don’t know exactly what you can earn and how great the redemption rate will be. If BREX follows through with its promise of the highest redemption value out there, though, it should be an excellent program.
BREX also integrates seamlessly with a number of accounting platforms, such as QuickBooks, Netsuite, Zero, and Expensify. Not only that, but BREX has its own in-house accounting software that promises to make life easier for your entire company. Their software will help you reconcile accounts automatically, track expenses, and then transfer everything to your own accounting software program. You can even instantly send receipts via message or email from your phone. Brex will then match and upload the receipt to your statement.
You can contact customer support by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-833-228-2044. There’s also a chat function available on the website.
There are many great perks to carrying the BREX corporate charge card. The best one being that it’s free!
Brex also promises a superior rewards program, comes with it’s own accounting software and doesn’t affect your personal credit.
Another big bonus–no foreign transaction fees. Depending on the personal or business card you use, transactions made in, or with, a foreign country can cost you quite a bit extra. In fact, they average about 3% of the amount charged, which can add up pretty quickly.
Foreign transaction fees are charged if a purchase is made while traveling, regardless of whether the merchant makes the sale in the local currency or U.S. dollars. They are also charged if you make a purchase that passes through a foreign bank, such as purchases from overseas companies and suppliers. BREX helps you avoid this expense, though, by not charging foreign transaction fees for any of its cardholders.
However, there are a few things you should note about the BREX corporate card.
The first (and biggest), as we’ve already mentioned, is that it’s a charge card. If your business occasionally needs to carry a balance for a few extra weeks (or longer), you should look instead at a business credit card. With BREX, your full statement balance will be auto-drafted every month from your connected bank account, so there is absolutely no wiggle room on paying the total due.
It can also be difficult to choose a rewards credit card without any details on how it works. If earning valuable cash back, points, and/or miles from your company’s spending is important to you (and it should be!), going into the BREX card blind can be uncomfortable.
If you know you won’t be in the position to pay a balance off full every month, then you might need a business credit card instead. Here are some of the highlights from our list of 9 best credit cards for small businesses.
Anyone starting a small business will want to check out the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express. This card is great because it features 0% APR on purchases for 15 months.
If you already travel for business or plan to do so, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is an excellent choice. You can earn 2 miles per $1 on every purchase.
If you’re on the road more than you are in the air during your travels, the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a better fit. With this card, you can earn 3x points at gas stations.
When you’re looking at these cards, or any others, be sure to pay attention to the interest rates and fees, especially if you’ll be carrying a balance every month.
Again, the BREX corporate charge card does not have an annual fee and your own personal credit will not be impacted by your application. But you will have to pay the balance in full each month. If you try the card for a while and decide it’s not right for your company, you can always cancel without a negative impact.
You know your business and how it needs to run. So, if you’re looking for an affordable corporate card that is ideal for startups and helps you manage your accounting each month, give BREX a look.Topics: Credit Cards • Reviews