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6 min read

9 Brex Alternatives: Options for Small Business Banking Accounts

By Lindsey Stefanka

Founder & Content Strategist, Mind My Content

The recent announcement of Brex firing small and medium-sized businesses has left many business owners wondering, what now? Starting August 15, 2022, thousands of Brex SMBs will be left looking for a business banking alternative. 

There’s no questioning that small businesses are the backbone of the economy. And our mission at Relay is to build a banking platform that truly serves small businesses from day one. That’s why we’re using this as an opportunity to help SMBs find companies similar to Brex. 🔎

We’ve put together nine of the most popular business banking and spend management options to fit your needs, including neobanks, traditional banks, and dedicated expense management platforms. Here are the best Brex alternatives for SMBs:

And here are the best Brex alternatives grouped by category:

For those that no longer meet Brex’s requirements, we’re here to support you. So let’s go ahead and dive into each platform. 👇 But before we do, let’s get on the same page: what exactly is Brex?

What is Brex?

Brex is an all-in-one financial management platform that promises to help founders, finance teams, and employees to spend smart and grow fast. Brex offers banking services, charge cards, capital, and spend management all in one place.

Though Brex previously served businesses of all sizes, including SMBs, it recently announced that starting August 15, 2022, the company will no longer serve thousands of small business customers. This is part of a renewed focus on high-growth tech startups. 

Those still eligible to bank with Brex can do so without paying any account fees. But this recent news begs the question, what banks are actually serving SMBs? For those that are affected by this change, now’s a great time to consider the financial services your business needs most and which ones have the best pricing. 

Why do you need a Brex alternative?

Due to the recent decision to fire all small businesses with less than 50 employees, many business owners will no longer qualify for Brex. Because of this, you’ll need to find a Brex alternative for your banking needs. According to Brex, here are the new qualifications to be eligible to use their banking services:

  • You have received an equity investment of any amount (accelerator, angel, VC or web3 token)

  • You have more than $1 million a year in revenue

  • You have more than 50 employees

  • You have more than $500k in cash

  • You’re a tech startup on a path to meeting the criteria above and are referred by an existing customer or partner

The good news is that if you no longer qualify, now’s a great time to revaluate the banking services your business needs to manage your finances better. Let’s look at how Brex alternatives stack up to your needs.👇

⚡️ Neobank alternatives to Brex

A neobank, also known as a digital bank, is a bank without branches that operates completely online. 🌐 Unlike most traditional brick-and-mortar banks, neobanks have a robust online suite of services to help you better manage and take control of your finances. Given that Brex is itself a neobank, choosing one of these alternatives will give you the most similar experience.

Neobanks are also more likely to offer continuous improvements to their services to better adapt to the needs of their clients. This makes digital banks an excellent option for businesses of all sizes with a wide range of financial needs. 🙌

Relay

Relay — Best Banking Alternative — Image

Relay is an online banking and money management platform for SMBs that want to stay on top of their money. We know that small businesses continue to be underserved by the banking industry, which is why we’ve built banking that truly helps small businesses get unparalleled clarity into their income and expenses.

Unlike Brex, Relay is truly focused on helping small business owners solve some of the most painful parts of business banking. With Relay, you don’t have to worry about high account fees, messy banking data or a lack of visibility into cash flow.

See how Brex and Relay stack up.

Relay makes it easy to understand precisely what you’re earning, spending and saving so you can make the smartest decisions for your business. Collect income in one place, use up to 20 checking accounts to organize and allocate income, separate cash reserves, and make more intelligent cash flow decisions with Relay. 

Features

  • No account fees, overdraft fees or minimum balances

  • Up to 20 individual checking accounts

  • 50 virtual or physical Mastercard® debit cards

  • Payments and deposits via ACH, wire and check

  • Deposits from payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, Square and more

  • Direct integrations with QuickBooks Online and Xero

Pros: 👍

  • Truly built for SMBs with 1 - 100 employees

  • FDIC Insured

  • Up to 50 business cards

  • Free withdrawals from Allpoint ATMs — 50,000+ across the U.S.

  • Free domestic and international wires with Relay Pro

  • Quickbooks, Xero and Gusto integrations

  • Will request payee information and W-9s for an easy year-end

  • Accounts payable automation with Relay Pro

Cons: 👎

  • No savings accounts ❌

  • No venture funding ❌

  • Accounts payable automation requires Xero or Quickbooks Online

Switch from Brex to Relay Today

If you have been impacted by Brex’s decision to end support for small businesses, Relay can help!

Get Started with Relay

Mercury

Neobank Similar to Brex — Mercury — Image

Mercury is an online banking solution for high-growth, digital-first tech startups. In addition to a suite of basic banking features, they give founders access to a venture debt product that facilitates fundraising for seed, series A and DTC rounds through their investor network.

Mercury also offers resources such as a curated investor list, a networking program that connects founders with investors, and tech perks like Amazon Web Service, Hubspot and QuickBooks Online discounts, making it the best option for tech-focused startups.

See the big differences between Mercury vs. Relay here.

Features:

  • Serves tech and venture-backed startups

  • No monthly account fees

  • No minimum balance requirements

  • No overdraft fees

  • Free ACH payments

  • No fees on deposits

  • Free checking accounts: 15

Pros: 👍

  • FDIC Insured

  • 1 savings account per business with 0.001% interest

  • Venture debt program

  • Free domestic and international wires

  • Quickbooks and Xero integrations

Cons: 👎

  • Only 1 debit card per user 

  • Limited payee management features

  • Hyperfocused on tech startups vs. general SMBs

  • No accounts payable automation ❌

  • No Gusto integration ❌

Novo

Novo Bank an Alternative to Brex — Image

Novo is a business banking platform built for today’s business owners. With Novo, you can manage your business finances on the go by connecting to your existing tools, sending invoices, paying vendors and much more.

Not sure if it's the right fit? Compare Novo vs. Brex here. Or compare Novo vs. Relay.

Freelancers, startup founders, and small business owners can open a business checking account securely and easily online, in minutes. You do not need to maintain a minimum balance to hold an account.

Features:

  • No monthly account fees

  • No overdraft fees

  • Unlimited check deposits

  • Free ACH payments

  • Stripe integration

Pros: 👍

  • FDIC Insured

  • Quickbooks and Xero integrations

  • Savings accounts

  • Free domestic and international wires

  • Accounts payable automation

Cons: 👎

  • Only 1 checking account and debit card per user 

  • Requires a $50 deposit to get started

  • $27 insufficient funds fee

  • Small daily deposit limits

  • No notable AP features ❌

  • No Gusto integration ❌

  • Doesn’t accept eChecks ❌

🏦 Traditional bank alternatives to Brex

Unlike digital banks, traditional banks have physical branches. While more established traditional banks offer some mobile banking services, they still require you to visit a physical site for many services like opening and closing an account. Of the most popular big bankd, there are two traditional banks that most business owners gravitate towards for their banking needs. 

Chase

Alternative to Brex from Traditional Bank Category — Chase — Image

Chase business checking solutions are designed to help you manage cash flow, save time, and get the support you need when you need it. It offers three business account tiers to fit your needs and a $300 sign-on bonus.

With Chase, you can seamlessly manage your cash flow, deposits, incoming wires, and payroll through Chase Business Online and the Chase Mobile® app.

Features:

  • Chase Business Online and Online Bill Pay 

  • Chase Mobile® Banking 

  • Free Chase debit card with chip technology

  • Associate Debit and Employee Deposit Cards

  • Chase business savings account

  • Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches

Pros: 👍

  • FDIC insured

  • No minimum opening deposit.

  • Unlimited electronic deposits.

  • Chance to earn $300 sign-up bonus.

  • Access to over 16,000 Chase ATMs and 4,700 branches across the U.S.

  • Corporate credit card processing

Cons: 👎

  • $15 monthly fee or $0 with $2,000 of minimum daily balance

  • Minimum balance requirements can hinder envelope budgeting strategies

  • Fee-free cash deposits limited to $5,000 per month

  • Fee-free physical transactions limited to 20 per month

  • High overdraft fees

Bank of America

Brex Alternative — Bank of America — Image

Bank of America business bank accounts are designed to move your business forward with financial tools, services and dedicated support, all in one place. Bank of America offers two primary business checking accounts: Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking and Business Advantage Relationship Banking.

Compare Brex vs Bank of America here.

In addition to these core options, Bank of America offers a suite of digital tools, including cash flow monitoring, digital debit cards, profile linking between personal and business accounts and more. 

Features:

  • Efficiency tools like Cash Flow Monitor®

  • Mobile Check Deposit

  • Zelle® for your business

  • Access to dedicated small business specialists

  • Fraud protection and security

  • Savings account for an additional cost

  • Payroll Services Cash Back

Pros: 👍

  • FDIC insured

  • Digital debit cards

  • Free domestic wires

  • Profile linking

  • 25%-75% Rewards Bonus

Cons: 👎

  • $16 monthly fee or $0 with a $5,000 combined average monthly balance

  • Minimum balance requirements can hinder envelope budgeting strategies

  • High incidental fees

  • Charges to use non-Bank of America ATMs

  • $100 minimum deposit requirement

  • Up to $7,500 free cash deposits, then 30 cents per $100 deposit

💳 Expense management alternatives to Brex

Expense management solutions can help your company better manage employee spending, reimbursements, travel requests and more. While necessary, this busywork can keep you from getting back to the more critical parts of your business, like launching new products or services. 

The right expense management solution and accounting software can streamline and reduce the time spent on managing your expenses, allowing you to get back to the work you love doing.

Ramp

Ramp as Best Brex Alternative to Spend Management — Image

Ramp is an expense management platform that helps you automate financial busywork. Ramp offers visibility into your business finances with real-time reporting, trends, insights, analysis, and forecasting features. 

With streamlined workflows, like bill payments, onboarding and travel, Ramp promises to save you time and help you focus on scaling your business. 

Features:

  • No annual account fees

  • No overdraft fees

  • Free ACH payments

  • 1.5% back on every purchase

  • Merchant and category controls

  • Unlimited AI invoice transcripts

  • 24/7 customer support

Pros: 👍

  • Free domestic and international wires

  • Quickbooks, Xero and Gusto integrations

  • Unlimited virtual and physical cards

  • Apple and Google Pay

Cons: 👎

  • Minimum cash reserve balance of $75,000

  • Only available to registered, incorporated businesses 

  • Not available to sole proprietors ❌

  • No mobile app ❌

  • No business checking account ❌

Divvy

Divvy Spend Management Similar to Brex — Image

Divvy provides streamlined expense reporting so you can execute month-end. Divvy also allows  you to understand and categorize business spending in real time with expense tracking, business credit reconciliation and automated expense reports. 

Divvy can provide automatic receipt matching and rule-based auto-categorization. Capture expense information, review, approve and sync transactions all in one place. 

Features:

  • Serves businesses with 1-500 employees

  • No annual account fees

  • No overdraft fees

  • Mobile app

  • Time and expense tracking

  • Activity dashboard

Pros: 👍

  • FDIC insured

  • Free domestic wires

  • Unlimited physical and virtual cards

  • Up to 7X points on certain transactions

  • Duplicate payment alert

Cons: 👎

  • 0.2%-0.9% foreign transaction fee

  • 2.99% or $38 late fee

  • No business checking account ❌

Airbase

Airbase as Alternative to Brex — Image

Airbase replaces manual workflows with a single automated spend management platform. It’s designed to give maximum visibility and control so that company purchasing is safe, easy and efficient. By automating approval workflows, you’ll free up the valuable time of finance and accounting teams to focus on value-added strategic work.

Airbase helps your pay vendors, manage card spending, reimburse employees and more. With standardized practices, you can eliminate reconciliations, create an audit trail, and form a single source of truth for all company spending.

Features:

  • Serves businesses with 1-5,000 employees

  • No annual account fees for certain accounts

  • Mobile app

  • Software-controlled physical and virtual cards

  • Payment via ACH, check, vendor credits and virtual cards

  • Domestic and international payment support 

Pros: 👍

  • Pre-funded cards with up to 2% cash back

  • Duplicate spend alerts and fraud detection

  • Quickbooks, Xero and Gusto integrations

  • 1099 Preparation

Cons: 👎

  • Auto-lock is only available for certain accounts

  • Account fees vary for certain accounts

  • Caters mostly to mid-market and enterprise-level

  • Mainly focused on reducing spend

  • No business checking account ❌

Expensify

Expensify as Alternative to Brex — Image

Expensify is a tool that automates expense management and receipt tracking. It promises to streamline your entire pre-accounting process and sync seamlessly with Xero and QuickBooks Online.

With Expensify, you can track expenses, submit expense reports, pay bills, generate invoices, collect payments, track mileage and plan trips with 4% back on Expensify Card purchases.

Features:

  • Serves SMBs and enterprise businesses

  • Access Controls

  • Activity Tracking

  • Corporate Card Reconciliation

  • Accounting, HR, and Travel Integrations

  • Basic analytical tools for expenses

  • Real-time Alerts

Pros: 👍

  • Quickbooks, Xero and Gusto integrations

  • One-Click Receipt Scanning

  • Advanced Tax Tracking

  • Automated Reminders

  • Duplicate Expense Detection

Cons: 👎

  • Only a preaccounting app

  • Too comprehensive for sole proprietors

  • Lack of user support

  • No multiple approval workflows on lower-tier pricing plans ❌

  • No business checking account ❌

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Now that you’re up to date on the best Brex alternatives, you should have a better understanding of the banking options that best fit your needs. You’re one step closer to making the right long-term banking decision for your business. 

Switch from Brex to Relay Today

If you have been impacted by Brex’s decision to end support for small businesses, Relay can help!

Get Started with Relay

If you’re looking for an online banking solution with the most robust features that grow with your business, check out Relay—you can sign up here!