|Business Rating:||3.6 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate||0.1|
In a Nutshell:
With an application process that makes qualifying faster and easier than usual and a unique rewards program that offers up to 7X points on ride-sharing, the Brex 30 Card is well-attuned to the needs of startup companies.
50,000 in Brex Rewards points after you spend $1,000; Software discounts and credits, including a $5,000 credit for Amazon Web Services and $150 credit for Google Ads
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
Other Notable Features: No personal guarantee required to apply, instant approval, dynamic credit limit, fully automated expense tracking, build your business credit history, instant virtual cards for your employees with individual spending limits, integrates with Quickbooks and other accounting software, enterprise travel rates through the Brex travel portal
If you’re the owner of a startup company, scrambling for funding and pulling your hair out over the lack of good credit options for managing your business’ cash flow, the new Brex 30 Card is worth a look.
Brex describes itself as the “financial OS for the next generation of tech,” offering credit cards, bank accounts, payments, expenses and accounting all in one place, and the Brex 30 Card is the issuer’s latest rewards card offering.
With its ongoing rewards and generous credits and discounts, the Brex 30 Card is tailor-made for the buying habits of startup owners. It’s also easier to apply for the card than for the typical business credit card and offers completely automated expense management to free up more of your time for your growing business.
See related: Guide to Brex: The card for startups
Applying for the Brex card
Brex goes outside the usual process for applying for a corporate or business credit card. Instead of requiring a personal guarantee, Brex requires you to link your corporate bank account to the card as a security deposit (and they guarantee that the process is very secure). This provides a couple of advantages:
- Your personal credit isn’t linked to the card. There’s no impact to your personal credit score when you apply, and your personal finances aren’t at risk in case you can’t pay your card balance.
- The approval process is much faster than usual. Rather than having to mail in paperwork and wait weeks for a response, Brex can approve your application instantly.
To apply, you will need to supply an EIN, which means general consumers, sole proprietors and other unregistered businesses aren’t eligible for the card. You’ll also need at least $50,000 in your corporate bank account to qualify for the card if your money is professionally invested (if not, you’ll need $100,000).
See related: How to get an EIN
The Brex card can be highly rewarding for businesses that spend heavily on transportation, travel and dining. The card offers up to 7 points per dollar on ride-share purchases, 4 points per dollar on travel purchased through Brex Travel, 3 points per dollar on restaurants, 3 points per dollar on eligible Apple products via the Brex portal, 2 points per dollar on recurring software purchases, such as Salesforce or GitHub and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
You’re also rewarded for making daily card payments using Brex Cash. Opting for daily over monthly statements boosts your rewards rate to 8 points per dollar on ride-share purchases, 5 points per dollar on Brex Travel and 4 points per dollar on dining.
Note, you have to be an Exclusive Brex member to qualify for the category bonuses. In other words, you have to agree to use the Brex card exclusively for your business. The Brex 30 Card automatically comes with Brex Exclusive benefits for the first two months, after which, if you have multiple corporate cards, you’ll only earn a rate of 1 point per dollar on all your purchases.
Furthermore, the bonus on travel purchases and Apple products is fairly restrictive – it only applies to purchases via Brex’s portal. If you opt to purchase from other sites, you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar.
Another plus of the card – your points are simple to redeem and fairly flexible. Points don’t expire and you can redeem any amount at any time. Your redemption options include cash back (i.e., statement credits against your purchases) and business travel through the Brex website at a value of 1 cent per point. You can also gift your points to your employees.
As a great value add, Brex recently added the option to transfer points to outside airline partners. Brex’s list of partners is on the small side – there are only eight airlines in total. However, they are all partners of major airline alliances, which means you can use your points to travel on a worldwide network of airlines.
If you are a Brex Exclusive member and qualify to transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio (regular card members only qualify for a ratio of 1.5:1), you can significantly boost the value of your points by looking for deals with Brex’s airline partners.
|Airline alliance||Estimated mile value|
|Air France/KLM||SkyTeam||1.2 cents|
|Asia Miles||oneworld||1.3 cents|
|Emirates Skyward||N/A||1.2 cents|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||oneworld||1 cent|
Discounts on Amazon Web Services and more
The Brex 30 Card offers an extensive list of credits and discounts in your first year for popular services, including a $5,000 credit for Amazon Web Services and up to $100,000 in AWS Activate. Here is a full list of current Brex partner perks:
- AWS: $5,000 credits and up to $100,000 in AWS Activate as eligible
- Slack: 25% off 12 months of eligible Slack paid plans
- Microsoft: Automatic 5% rebate on Microsoft ad purchases
- Zoom: 20% discount on annual Zoom subscription
- Dropbox: 50% off all Dropbox Business, Standard or Advanced purchases
- Klaviyo: 15% off 6 months of a Klaviyo subscription
- Google Ads: Up to $150 in Google Ads credit
- QuickBooks: 40% off your first 12 months of QuickBooks
While discounts on services may not seem as flashy as thousands of rewards points, they have the potential to add up to a much greater value than your usual sign-up bonus.
On its website, Brex estimates that the perks bundled with the card offer more than $150,000 in value. While we doubt that most businesses would subscribe to enough of the services to gain that much value, in looking at some of the most commonly used services, such as Amazon Web Services and Google Ads, we estimate that most business owners could glean thousands of dollars of value in discounts in the first year.
Unfortunately, most of the offers expire after your first year of membership, so you shouldn’t expect them as an ongoing benefit.
Earn 50,000 points for signing up
Brex recently upped its sign-up bonus to 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 with the card. This is a solid sign-up bonus and offers a nice incentive on top of the generous discounts offered by the card. Plus, the spending threshold required to secure the sign-up bonus is much lower than that of many business cards.
No annual fee
The Brex card is officially a no-annual-fee card and you get five employee cards included at no cost, but there is a $5 charge per month for additional employee cards. This amounts to $60 per year for each employee beyond the first five that you add to your account. Many business cards – such as the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card – allow you to add employee cards for no fee. You should weigh your options if you’re looking for the least expensive way to dole out additional cards.
Easy expense tracking
One standout feature of the Brex card is automated expense tracking. It’s common for business credit cards to integrate with QuickBooks and allow you to upload and tag receipts on the go, but Brex one-ups all its competitors by automating the entire process. Whether you snap a photo, email or text your receipts, Brex will scan them and automatically match them to expenses on your statement, sparing you a lot of effort.
From there, you can easily download your expenses to your accounting software – including QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite and Expensify – giving you more time to focus on other areas of your business.
The Brex 30 Card offers a few other unique and useful features for managing a startup:
- Dynamic credit limit – Your credit limit is determined dynamically by the amount of capital you’ve raised/equity in your company and your company’s spending patterns. According to Brex, this enables them to offer credit limits that are 10 to 20 times higher than most business cards.
- Build business credit – Brex reports your payment history to both Dun and Bradstreet and Experian, helping you create a track record for your business.
- Instant virtual cards – You can issue virtual cards to your employees instantly and set individual credit limits on the cards.
- No foreign transaction fees – You can use your Brex card on purchases outside the U.S. without racking up the usual 3% foreign transaction fees that most cards charge.
- Fraud protection – Brex has you covered for fraudulent transactions – they will immediately suspend your account when an unauthorized transaction occurs and will credit you for all unauthorized transactions within five to 10 business days.
- Travel discounts – Cardholders receive enterprise travel rates for travel booked through the Brex travel portal.
- World Elite Mastercard benefits – The card is a World Elite Mastercard, with all the standard benefits, including travel and purchase protections.
Who should get the Brex 30 Card
- Owners of startups and other new businesses looking for a quick application card that helps build a business credit history.
- Business owners looking for a business credit card that doesn’t require a personal guarantee.
- Businesses that spend heavily on dining, travel and transportation.
- Business owners looking for great savings on business software and services.
How to use the Brex 30 Card
- Keep your payments timely to help create a positive track record for your business.
- Plan to use the Brex card exclusively for your business to qualify for the card’s bonus earnings.
- Assign virtual cards to your employees to earn points on their expenditures (plan to pay a $5 monthly fee for each employee card).
- Use the card’s automated expense tracking to save time for yourself and your employees.
- Transfer your points to Brex’s airline partners to get an even better return on your rewards.
Is the Brex card worth it?
The Brex is a great option for its target audience of startup owners and entrepreneurs. If you’re looking for a more accessible option for building cash flow and a credit history for your new business, and you spend heavily on typical startup expenses such as ride-sharing and travel, the Brex card may be the way to go. Plus, since the Brex card offers a large list of very valuable discounts and credits in the first year of membership, it’s worth giving the card a test run to see if it matches your business needs.
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