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Beginning February 2019, Brex has started issuing World Elite Mastercards for all our customers. With this new program, all Brex cards will include additional fraud and purchase protections, as well as enhanced travel benefits (e.g. travel and rental car insurance). Learn more here.

In case you missed it, there’s a new business rewards program on the block, designed specifically for startups and early-stage companies. The newly launched Brex Exclusive rewards program offers Brex card holders up to 7 points per dollar spent along with discounts and credits at participating vendors. Today, the issuer is introducing two new features to make its rewards program even more competitive.

The first enhancement is the launch of the issuer’s own travel portal, Brex Travel, developed in partnership with TravelBank. With the travel portal, card holders can book flights or accommodations using their Brex card or points (more on that later). What sets Brex Travel apart from, let’s say, Chase or American Express’ travel portals is the inventory it has access to. Brex card holders can book flights on all major airlines, including ones like Southwest which ordinarily aren’t bookable through OTAs, as well as stays at any Airbnb property worldwide. Card holders also get up to 60% off hotel stays thanks to negotiated rates which usually only large companies can get and 24/7 access to a team of corporate travel agents who can help with any travel emergency.

The second (and possibly more exciting) piece of news is that Brex is upgrading its travel earning category from 3x points to 4x points. Card holders must now book through Brex’s portal in order to get bonus points for travel, but considering that there are no fees to book through the portal and there are many useful travel management features, I can’t think of any drawbacks for doing so. The card’s other bonus earning categories will remain unchanged, including 7x on ride shares and taxis, 3x on restaurants and 2x on recurring software/SAAS.

As previously mentioned, Brex card holders are able to redeem their points toward travel booked through the new portal. However, points maintain the same fixed value of 1 cent apiece that you get when redeeming them for cash back. For that reason, you’d be much better off paying for travel booked through the portal outright, earning 4x points and then redeeming the points toward erasing a general purchase that earned just 1x points. I wish Brex would add incentive for redeeming points through the portal. For example, holders of the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card can redeem their points at a fixed value of 1.25 cents apiece when booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Center.

Brex tells us that although it’s considering transfer partners, we shouldn’t expect them in the near future; it believes that businesses are unlikely to go through the hurdle of transferring points to book travel.

Bottom Line

While not industry-changing by any means, additional card benefits and earning opportunities are always welcome. The change from 3x points on all travel to 4x points on travel booked through Brex’s portal should be overall positive for Brex card holders considering how extensive the inventory of the portal is and that most startups and small businesses book their travel on their own anyway (as opposed to through a travel manger).

Know before you go.

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2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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