Brex Business Account Review: A Cash Management Option for Startups

Brex Cash offers a fee-free, tech-first alternative to the traditional business bank account.
Randa Kriss
By Randa Kriss 
Updated
Edited by Robert Beaupre

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4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Brex is a financial technology company that primarily caters to venture-backed startups and mid-market companies. While Brex's platform offers numerous services — including corporate cards and expense management, this review and its star rating applies only to Brex's business account.

The Brex business account, formerly known as Brex Cash, has no monthly fees, transaction fees (including for ACH and wire transfers) and no minimum balance requirements. With the Brex business account, you can opt to deposit funds as uninvested cash or invest your dollars in a money market fund to earn yield.

In part, that's because this is a cash management account and not a standard business account. As such, this account is not available to all business entity types and lacks core features associated with business bank accounts, such as the ability to withdraw and deposit cash at an ATM.

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Brex business accounts are best for small-business owners who:

  • Run venture-backed startups or e-commerce companies with professional investors.

  • Want a free cash management account with unlimited transactions.

  • Want some control over where their funds are stored and invested.

  • Don’t need to withdraw or deposit cash using an ATM or branch location.

  • Have organized their businesses as non-individual liability companies (C-corps, S-corps, LLCs).

Brex business accounts don't have ATM access. If you're looking for a startup-focused account that has that option, consider a Mercury business account. Like Brex, Mercuy offers a cash management option that can offer a strong yield (5.47% APY as of this writing, vs. 4.95% APY for Brex).

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Deposits are FDIC Insured

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4.5

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4.7

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Monthly fee 

$16.00

Monthly fee 

$0

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APY 

N/A

APY 

2.25%

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With $0 min. balance for APY

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$200

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Pros & cons

Pros

  • No monthly fees, no minimum opening deposit and no minimum balance requirements.

  • Unlimited fee-free transactions.

  • Offers two options on where your funds are stored with the option to invest in a money market fund to earn yield.

  • Includes rewards-earning Brex corporate card.

Cons

  • Only available to venture-backed startups and mid-market companies.

  • Not available to unincorporated businesses (such as sole proprietorships and general partnerships).

  • Not a business bank account, lacking traditional banking features such as debit card and ATM access.

Brex business accounts at a glance

Monthly fee:

$0

Minimum opening deposit requirement:

$0

APY:

  • Uninvested cash: no yield.

  • Cash invested in money market funds: 4.95% yield rate (as of this writing).

Transactions:

Unlimited

Bonus:

Open a new Brex business account through NerdWallet and spend $3,500 or $9,000 on your Brex Card within 30 days of opening your account to earn a $300 or $500 bonus, respectively.

Brex Business Account
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at Brex

How Brex business accounts work

Brex's business account is a cash management account provided by Brex Treasury LLC, an affiliated Securities and Exchange Commission-registered broker-dealer and member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities Investor Protection Corp. Unlike traditional business bank accounts, with a Brex account, you have two options for storing your funds.

By default, your funds are stored, uninvested, with one of Brex’s partner banks, which are each insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. up to $1 million. The second option is to invest your funds in a money market fund, the Dreyfus Government Cash Management Fund. These funds will earn the current seven-day yield with waiver rate — 4.95% as of this writing — and receive SIPC insurance up to $500,000.

Brex gives you the ability to allocate your funds between these two options, with no restrictions on how much you can allocate to either. You can choose to allocate your funds as a percentage split (e.g., 50% univested, 50% in the money market fund) or capping a dollar amount (e.g., $100,000 invested in the money market fund at all times and any additional funds will automatically be allocated to an FDIC-insured account).

To open a Brex account, you create an online account and fill out an application on the Brex website. Only incorporated businesses — C-corps, S-corps, LLCs, LLPs — registered in the U.S. are eligible to apply for a Brex Cash account.

You’ll need to provide basic information about yourself, your business and any additional owners with 25% or more ownership in the business in order to complete the application. You’ll also need to provide a photo ID, as well as an employer identification number for your business.

After you submit your application, you can check the status by logging into the Brex dashboard. Brex typically reviews applications within five to seven business days and will reach out to you directly if it requires additional information.

Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an activation email to set up your account. To do this you’ll need to make your first deposit from an external financial source, like another bank account, by initiating a wire or ACH transfer.

You’ll also be issued a virtual Brex Card and have the ability to opt in to receive a physical card. You can ship your Brex Card anywhere in the U.S., and it should arrive within five to seven business days.

After your first deposit is complete, you’ll be able to start using your Brex business account to manage your finances by customizing user permissions, setting up payments, downloading the mobile app, integrating with other business tools and more.

You can also change your fund allocations at any time through the Brex dashboard.

Where Brex business accounts stand out

No fees: Brex accounts have no monthly fees, no minimum opening deposit requirement and no monthly balance requirements. In addition, this account has no transaction fees, which includes domestic and international ACH payments, sending and receiving checks, incoming and outgoing domestic wires and incoming and outgoing international wires (although the recipient’s bank may charge a fee upon receipt of international wires).

More control over your funds: Unlike a typical business checking account, Brex is designed to give you more control over your finances, offering the option to allocate funds to an FDIC-insured account or invest them in a money market fund to earn yield, or to split your funds between the two.

Brex Card: The Brex account includes access to the Brex Card, which has no fees, no personal guarantee, and is paid automatically daily, although you have the option to apply for monthly statements. The Brex Card earns the following rewards: Earn points on every dollar spent with industry-leading multipliers: 7x on rideshare, 4x on Brex Travel, 3x on restaurants, 2x on software subscriptions and 1x on all other transactions. Earn 3x Brex Rewards points on all eligible Apple purchases through the link or your Brex dashboard.

You can redeem these points for cash back, gift cards and travel.

Built-in expense management tools: With Brex, you receive built-in expense management tools that allow you to set up transaction approval flows, schedule recurring payments and customize user roles. You can automatically match receipts, create monthly credit limits and send automatic reminders for missing transactions.

In addition, you can use the Brex mobile app to deposit checks, check your balance, approve or deny transactions, upload receipts and use your cards. You can also integrate your Brex business account with business tools such as QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite, Gusto, SAP Concur and Paychex to streamline your accounting processes.

Where Brex business accounts fall short

Primarily available to venture-backed and mid-market companies: Brex's focus is applications from venture-backed companies — typically high-growth startups with outside funding — and mid-market companies (20+ employees or 50+ employees, depending on whether the company has professional investors) or enterprise businesses.

Not available to unincorporated small businesses: The Brex business account is only available to incorporated businesses. In other words, sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not eligible to apply. Although seemingly minor, this excludes a large portion of small businesses in the U.S.

No ATM access: You can use your Brex Card to make purchases and your card is paid automatically on a daily basis, similar to a business debit card. Unlike a business debit card, however, you cannot use your Brex Card to make cash withdrawals or deposits at an ATM.

Similarly, unlike most traditional business bank accounts, Brex does not offer a network of ATMs where you can make physical check deposits, check your balance or make account transfers, and Brex offers no in-person branches.

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