UPDATE 3/1/2021: As of about 9PM ET the offer was paused. We’ll post if this opportunity returns.
The Brex Cash 110K offer is now officially dead, but in it’s place is a shiny new almost-as-good 105K offer.
Brex Cash is a business cash management account that comes with a linked credit card. The credit card works like a debit card: you can only spend up to the amount you have available in your cash account (actually, with the Brex card, your credit limit is usually only 80% of your available cash). Even though the cash account is not technically a checking account, there’s no discernable difference that I can see. If you own an LLC, LLP, C-corp, or S-corp then this is an opportunity that you’d be crazy to pass up…
The biggest difference (in my mind) between this account and a regular business checking account is that this one is completely fee free and it offers the opportunity to earn awesome rewards. The current signup bonus (details here) offers up to 105,000 points. The Brex card also offers very good point earning rates for spend. You can cash out Brex points at a penny each (105K points = $1,050) or transfer 1 to 1 to a number of airline programs. The latter makes this opportunity even better than an easy $1,050 bank-like bonus. When booking flights, it’s often possible to get much more than 1 cent per point value by transferring points and booking award flights rather than paid flights.
Qualifying (and signing up) for the offer
The one and only gotcha is a big one: To open a Brex Cash account, you have to own a business. Worse: sole proprietorships don’t count. You must own a business that is registered in the United States as a C-corp, S-corp, LLC, or LLP.
Since the Frequent Miler business is an LLC, I was able to apply for Brex. The process was easy but quirky. A few times the screen just churned away with nothing happening, but by refreshing, clicking the email confirmation, or logging in again, the process moved forward. The only slightly difficult part of the application itself was uploading a picture ID to prove my identity. That part fortunately went smoothly. Altogether I had my account up and running in about 15 minutes and was immediately able to access my new card number.
Earning the signup bonus
The Brex signup bonus is made up of three components:
- 75,000 point bonus for signing up through our link (found on our Brex page) and spending $1,000 on your new Brex card. There is no set time limit for completing that spend.
- 10,000 additional points after spending $3,000 on your Brex Card in the first 3 months
- 20,000 bonus points when you deposit sales revenue or link payroll to your Brex Cash account. You can accomplish this simply by adding your Brex account to your PayPal wallet. See this post for details: How I earned 20K for depositing sales revenue.
Earning for spend
The Brex card offers point earning for spend. It’s a bit confusing because you apparently earn different rates depending upon the path you took to sign up for Brex. By signing up through our link, your Brex card should qualify for the following earning rates:
- 8x on Rideshare
- 5x on Brex travel
- 4x on Restaurants
- 3x on recurring software like Salesforce, Zendesk, Twilio, and more
- 3x on eligible Apple products like Mac and iPhone, via the Brex portal
- 1x on Everything else
Earning 8x for things like Uber (probably including Uber Eats), taxis, scooters, etc. is pretty incredible. Similarly, earning 4X transferable points for dining with a fee-free card is amazing.
Point Value and Transfer Partners
Points can be redeemed for 1 cent each or, better yet, can be transferred 1 to 1 to a number of airline transfer partners:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Avianca Lifemiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
The most valuable of the above transfer partners, in my opinion, are Avianca Lifemiles and Cathay Pacific. Avianca is an excellent option for booking Star Alliance awards since they do not pass along fuel surcharges. Cathay Pacific is good for booking flights on Cathay Pacific itself or OneWorld partners (like AA, JAL, Qantas, Qatar, etc.). Air France is also useful for booking SkyTeam awards (Delta, for example) and select partners (such as Virgin Atlantic), but the best use is probably to fly Air France or KLM when they offer good Promo Awards (discounted awards). Most of the other partners are also useful at times. For example, Emirates is a good choice for flying Emirates or select partners (see this post for details). JetBlue points tend to be most valuable for cheap JetBlue flights.
- Is the Brex card a debit card? No, but it acts a lot like one. Your credit limit is determined by the amount of cash in your Brex Cash account.
- Is the Brex Cash account FDIC Insured? Yes, Brex Cash offers FDIC insurance up to $250,000 through Brex Cash program banks.
- Is my application approval contingent upon business revenue or years in business? No. Brex is designed to support startups. Simply provide your business name, address, corporation type, and EIN during the application process.
- Why does my Brex account show “Track your progress towards 30,000 bonus points.” Shouldn’t it say “105,000 bonus points”? The website shows the components of the offer that are available to everyone, but doesn’t show the 75K portion that is specific to those who apply through our link.
- When will this offer expire? I have no idea.
- Will I be taxed on the signup bonus? Will Brex issue a 1099? I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that Brex will not issue 1099s because this bonus is more like a credit card signup bonus (a rebate on spend) rather than a bank account bonus. In my opinion, the only part that ought to be taxed is the 20K bonus for depositing sales revenue or linking payroll.
Brex Cash appears to be too good to be true. Even without a huge signup bonus, it offers fee-free cash management and very good earnings on spend. Add in a 105,000 point signup bonus that doesn’t incur a hard credit inquiry and wow. The big catch, of course, is that you have to have a business that is registered in the US as an LLC, LLP, C-corp, or S-corp.
Hat tip for the 105K offer: Help Me Build Credit