Brex Card: No Personal Guarantee, but Some Limitations

You can't revolve a balance and may need a big bank account to qualify, but companies with high cash flow or thin credit may appreciate this charge card.

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Our Take

4.4

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Best for owners who may have limited credit history but a well-funded company. If you want a big sign-up bonus or the ability to revolve a balance, look elsewhere.

Brex

on Brex's website

on Brex's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit

  • Bonus categories

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Complicated rewards

  • No Intro APR

Alternate Pick: 0% intro APR on purchases

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Up to 2% cash back

Finance a big purchase over time with an introductory APR of 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR. The card earns 2% cash back on up to $50,000 a year in eligible purchases and 1% afterward. The annual fee is $0. Terms Apply.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$95

Annual Fee

$295

Regular APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.99% - 20.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

14.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

The Brex Card comes in two varieties: one that must be paid off daily, and one that lets you pay once a month. You'll be able to choose between these options when you apply for a Brex Card, pending Brex's approval.

Brex determines an applicant's creditworthiness by evaluating the company's cash balance, spending patterns and investors rather than the business owner's personal credit score. This screening method can make the Brex Card a good choice for entrepreneurs who have little to no credit history, such as recent graduates or founders who are new to the United States. Brex is also unique among business cards in its class because it does not require applicants to personally guarantee the debt — keeping your personal assets safe from risk if the business fails.

But the Brex Card isn't the right fit for every business owner. Interested companies must be organized and registered in the U.S., and willing to provide Brex access to their bank information. You'll also need to be well funded to qualify for monthly repayments and comfortable paying your bill in full when it's due: Brex offers only charge cards, which means you can't revolve a balance.

While the Brex Card does earn rewards, you'll also have to jump through some hoops to earn the highest rates.

Key features

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: Get 30,000 points after spending $3,500, or 50,000 points after spending $9,000 in the first 30 days.

Rewards: The card's baseline rate is 1 point per dollar spent. But if you make the Brex Card your only company card, you'll earn elevated and unlimited rewards through its Exclusive rewards program at the following rates:

  • 8 points per dollar spent on rideshares and taxis.

  • 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Brex portal.

  • 4 points per dollar spent on restaurants.

  • 3 points per dollar on recurring software expenses.

  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Brex uses the bank account information you shared upon sign-up, plus data from third-party providers you authorize, to determine whether or not you're eligible for the Exclusive rewards program.

Rewards can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent per point to pay for flights, hotels or Airbnbs through Brex's travel portal. You can also transfer points to one of Brex's multiple airline partners. Members of the Brex Exclusive rewards program enjoy a 1:1 transfer ratio while non-Exclusive members must transfer 1.5 Brex rewards point per 1 airline mile.

You can also redeem your points for gift cards or have them deposited into your Brex Cash account at the same penny-per-point value.

If you want to use your rewards points to pay down your statement, you can do so at a value of 0.7 cent per point. Alternatively, you can purchase cryptocurrency — specifically Bitcoin and Ethereum — by sending rewards to a Coinbase wallet via the Brex rewards dashboard at the same rate of 0.7 cent per point.

APR: N/A

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Other benefits:

  • Deals and discounts at various vendors that startups may find appealing, including Amazon Web Services, Apple, QuickBooks, UPS, Gusto, Google Ads and Slack.

  • Once approved, you will receive immediate access to a virtual card. Your physical card will be sent to you within seven to 10 business days.

  • Your first five cards are included, or pay $5 per user per month for additional cards.

Key differences between daily and monthly cards:

Card paid daily

Card paid monthly

How to get the card:

Included with every Brex Cash account.

Must apply and be approved.

Qualifications:

No minimum size or revenue requirement.

Size and revenue criteria apply.

Payment method:

Payment withdrawn daily from Brex Cash account balance.

Billed monthly. Can pay from any account.

Spend limit:

Up to 100% of your Brex Cash account's available balance.

Up to 20x higher limits than traditional corporate cards, depending on qualification.

Rewards earning rate:

Yes, up to 8x Brex points on all card spend.

Yes, up to 7x Brex points on all card spend.

Highlights of the Brex Card

No personal guarantee or Social Security number required

With the Brex Card, there's no founder liability should the business fail. There's also no need to provide a Social Security number or have a hard pull on your credit file.

Brex eschews traditional underwriting methods in favor of a focus on funding and cash flow. Instead, businesses must provide an employer identification number and access to bank information.

Light on fees

The annual fee is $0, and there are no foreign transaction fees. You also won't pay interest charges, since your balance will paid in full either daily or monthly.

Your credit limit can rise with your company's cash flow 

The amount of credit you're initially given on the Brex Card isn't static. Brex evaluates potential cardholders using factors including cash flow and spending patterns to offer dynamic credit limits that rise along with a business's repayment abilities.

Of course, the reverse is also true — more on that below.

Drawbacks of the Brex Card

You need a minimum of $50,000 in the bank to qualify for monthly repayments, maybe more

If your company has professional investors and you're willing to connect your bank to Brex, you can qualify for the Brex Card by maintaining a bank account balance of $50,000 at all times.

If you have investors but don't connect your bank to Brex, you'll need a balance of $100,000 at all times, which is also the threshold that self-funded businesses must meet. Self-funded e-commerce companies must meet all of the requirements above, and hold an additional $1 million in a U.S.-based bank account.

If you can't meet those criteria, you'll have to opt for the version of the Brex Card with daily payments. That card can be good if you want to build business credit, but it offers less flexibility. Depending on your business's needs, you may want to consider a business debit card instead.

Your credit limit can fall with your company's cash flow

Brex's credit model updates in real time. So if a company depletes most of its cash in a given month, the credit limit on the Brex Card will be reduced until there's more cash in the bank account.

If you opt for the Brex Card with daily payments, your available credit will be even more limited. Like a debit card, you'll be able to spend only up to the dollar amount of your Brex account balance. So if you want to make a purchase that costs more than you have in your Brex account, you'll need to transfer money beforehand to avoid a failed transaction.

No 0% intro APR; automatic debiting 

Since the Brex Card is a charge card, not a credit card, the balance is due at the end of each day or each month, depending on the card you hold.

You won't owe interest, but you also won't be able to carry debt from one month to the next or finance a large purchase over time. When your payment is due, Brex automatically debits your account for the balance, so you'll need to have sufficient resources on hand.

If you're looking to revolve a balance and get a break on interest charges, a better choice might be the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, which earns cash-back rewards and offers an introductory 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR. Terms apply (see rates and fees). The annual fee is $0.

Complex rewards structure with varying point values

Whether you qualify for daily or monthly repayments, the Brex Card offers elevated earning rates for select categories of spending — for the first two months, that is. After that, cardholders must exclusively use their Brex Card for business expenses or be downgraded to the standard rate of one Brex point per dollar spent.

And even if you do use the Brex exclusively, bonus-category tracking isn't for everyone, nor does the Brex rewards system offer the best return on investment for travel and other perks.

If you're not ready to commit solely to the Brex Card so you can earn the highest rewards rates, a flat-rate rewards card like the Capital One Spark Cash Plus may make more sense. With this charge card, every purchase earns a straightforward 2% cash back.

And depending on how you decide to redeem your Brex points, you may get less bang for your buck. If you opt for a statement credit or crypto, you'll receive a value of only 0.7 cent per point, compared with 1 cent per point for all other redemption options.

Rewards that may not fit your spending

If your business spending doesn't align with the Brex Card elevated earning categories, consider a different option, like the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. It earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores as well as on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, and 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each account anniversary year in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants. All other spending earns 1 point per dollar. It also comes with a great sign-up offer.

Limited travel perks

The Brex Card offers rewards on travel and even allows you to transfer those earnings to several airline partners. But it lacks the flashy benefits that some premium travel credit cards offer.

If you're looking for travel rewards, consider an airline card like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card. It earns 2 miles per dollar spent directly with Delta, 2 miles per dollar at restaurants, 2 miles per dollar on U.S. shipping purchases and on U.S. advertising in select media and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. Terms apply (see rates and fees). With this card, your first checked bag is free for you and up to eight others on your reservation. That could be worth far more than the annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99. Plus, you'll get priority boarding, and if you spend $10,000 or more in a calendar year, you'll receive a $100 credit toward a future Delta flight. Terms apply.

To compare more options, visit NerdWallet's roundup of top credit cards.

Should you get the Brex Card?

For someone unable or unwilling to have a line of business credit in their name, there are few no-annual-fee corporate card options that offer the kind of benefits the Brex Card can provide.

But the card isn't right for — or available to — every type of business owner. See our roundups of best business credit cards for startups and best overall small-business credit cards for more potential options.

To view rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, see this page.