Compare Banking
5 min read

Brex vs. Chase: Business Bank Comparison Guide

By Ziwei Chen

Content Marketing Specialist, Relay

Brex and Chase are two popular and well-known business banking options for SMBs.

As one of the oldest banks in the world, Chase offers three different business account tiers and a $300 sign-on bonus. On the other hand, Brex is a popular neobank that offers a seamless online experience with low bank fees.

How do their banking features stack up head-to-head? To help you choose the best banking option for your business, we put together this comparison guide that compares Brex vs Chase.

IN THIS ARTICLE

🏦 What is Brex?

Brex is a banking solution for SMBs, but recently, they announced a shift upmarket towards funded start-ups and enterprise companies. According to Brex, in order to be eligible to use their services, businesses must meet any of the following criteria: 

  • You have received an equity investment from either an accelerator, an angel investor, a VC or a web3 token

  • You have more than $1 million in annual revenue

  • You have more than 50 employees

  • You have more than $500K in cash

  • You’re a tech startup on the path of meeting the following above criteria

Brex helps fast-growing businesses spend cash while giving them the spending controls to track expenses.

🏦 What is Chase?

JP Morgan Chase is the largest bank in the US, and Chase Bank is its consumer banking division. 

Like many other traditional banks, Chase has a large network of branches (more than 5,000) for in-person banking but they have a less-than-stellar reputation for customer service.

That being said, the positives of size are options, features and scalability. These include increased customer access to services including integrations for checking accounts, small business credit cards, various types of lines of credit, and business loans. Many of these banking features are vital for small businesses.

Chase is known for their bank accounts, but they also offer popular credit cards, like the Ink Business Cash card, which is a direct competitor of other preferred business cards like American Express (AMEX), and Capital One’s popular “Spark” Visa or Mastercard.

⚖️ Brex vs. Chase: What is the difference?

The main difference between Brex and Chase is that Brex is a neobank focused on building banking solutions for venture-backed businesses, whereas Chase is a traditional bank focused on businesses of all sizes.

Brex has a narrow focus on the types of businesses they serve. They’re focused on funded companies that want to rapidly scale. Since they’re a digital-only banking solution, they have few to no fees, a simpler process for corporate card creation and comprehensive expense management tools.

Chase, on the other hand, aims to cover all of the SMB market, large to small, but as a traditional bank, they charge account fees. That being said, if your business doesn’t qualify as what Brex considers their ideal customer, you may find a fit in one of Chase’s three business checking accounts. Plus, Chase offers a generous $300 sign-on bonus. 

📋 Brex vs. Chase comparison chart

Here are the main differences and similarities between Brex and Chase:

Feature

Brex

Chase

Businesses of any size can open an account 

Type of businesses served

Enterprise companies

Businesses of all sizes

No monthly account fees

$15 per month (waivable when you meet certain terms)

No minimum balance requirements

Fees vary, can be as low as $2000

No overdraft fees

$34 overdraft fee, maximum of 3 per day

Free ACH payments

$25 per month for up to 25 payments

Free check payments

$4 check fee

No fees on deposits

Fees vary, but starts at $0.20 per deposit item

Currency exchange for international wires

✅ Standard exchange rates apply

Domestic wires

Free

✅ $25 to $35 per outgoing transfer

International wires

Free

✅ $40 per outgoing transfer

Same-day ACH

✅ $0.40 each after 20 ACH transactions

Free checking accounts

8

Savings accounts

Debit cards

Credit cards

Cashback and rewards on card spend

Accounts payable automation

ATM Access

QuickBooks Online integration

Xero integration

Gusto integration

Trustpilot rating

3.7 (Source)

1.8 (Source)

Are you looking for an online bank for your small business? Consider Relay — we're rated 4.5 on Trustpilot! See how Brex vs Relay compare here.

🔐 Qualifying for an account 

Qualifying for an account is very different for these two banks.

As you would expect from such a huge banking institution, Chase offers solutions for virtually every size of business. The options range from sole proprietorships all the way to large corporations. 

In terms of account minimums, Chase’s lowest balance required is $2000, a solid alternative for the smaller businesses, especially those affected by Brex moving upmarket. 

Chase also provides clear-cut requirements and online applications, which makes qualifying and applying for an account a reasonable process. However, potential account holders must provide their personal social security number for all business accounts.

Brex does not aim to serve every small business out there. In fact, they evaluate each application on a one-on-one basis. They don’t require personal identification (in the form of your SSN).

However, Brex’s onboarding team does an evaluation of your spending, account balances and other aspects of your business to see if you’re a fit for them.

🤝 Banking collaboration with accountants

This is an area where Brex has a clear advantage over Chase. Brex offers integration with all major accounting platforms whereas Chase does not.

Chase reserves these accounting integrations and other collaborative tools for their medium and large business offerings, so be prepared to send .csv files back and forth. 

Brex lets business owners issue read-only access to their financial advisors, accountants and bookkeepers — making collaboration much more seamless.

💰 Cashback and rewards

Chase and Brex both offer rewards programs for businesses that spend

Chase does it exclusively through their business credit card products and the type of rewards will vary depending on which card a business chooses. Some offer benefits for travel and others offer more attractive cash back rewards. For instance, most of their small business credit cards have a statement credit bonus of at least $750, when you meet the spending criteria.

Another significant difference is that many corporate credit card options from Chase come with an intro offer (e.g. 0% interest for a number of months). Brex doesn’t seem to have intro APR rates.

Typically, Chase uses a rewards points system that is redeemable for cash, travel rewards, dining, and merchandise partnerships (Apple for example).

Brex rewards also use a point system that allows users to redeem the points they accumulate over a set time period. Businesses earn points on common startup purchases, like 7X points for rideshare companies, 4X points for Brex travel options, and even 2X points on software subscriptions. Their rewards program includes discounts on business apps, software and crypto, as well as cashback and travel points.

🔁 Accounting Features

With Brex, startups can create expense policies for employees, and employees can request the ability to make purchases using API access, increase limits or get vendor-specific cards. While Brex does not directly pull unpaid invoices from your accounting system, like Xero or QuickBooks Online, businesses can send their unpaid invoices to Brex by email.

Chase doesn’t offer any type of automated or assisted accounting solution for small businesses. These types of integrations are reserved for their commercial banking division that works with larger businesses. If you're looking for the ability to set spending limits, issue digital cards, or any sort of expense management — Chase does not support this.

🆚 Verdict: Which banking alternative is right for you? 

So which is the best bank: Brex or Chase? The answer will depend on the size of your business and the banking features you're looking for.

Chase is a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, complete with slow-moving transactions and fees for nearly every kind of transaction. 

If you need any sort of automation, spend control, collaboration (with an accountant), or just don’t want to see fees on your statements each month — Chase is not the small business option.

Brex, as a neobank, offers a digital banking experience with little to no fees, but only if your business qualifies to bank with them. 

If neither Brex nor Chase are a fit for your business, then consider an online banking and money management platform like Relay.

📊 Business banking with Relay

If you’re like most SMBs, you probably don’t fit into the “venture-backed” box. And even though a big bank has account options with low account requirements, it doesn’t mean you want to get charged for every wire or ACH transaction you send.

If you're looking to understand your cash flow and understand precisely what you’re earning, spending and saving, Relay is a no-fee option that serves all SMBs.

Relay goes above and beyond banking basics:

  • ✅ 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 processing providers like PayPal, Stripe and Square 

  • ✅ Direct integrations with accounting software like QuickBooks Online and Xero

If you want a banking alternative that offers small businesses of all sizes, from freelancers to businesses with hundreds of employees but isn’t focused only on funded startups, then you should sign up for Relay