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Brex vs. Mercury: Business Banking Comparison

Written by Marc Guberti

Marc Guberti is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor who has been a finance freelance writer
for five years. He has covered personal finance, investing, banking, credit cards, business
financing, and other topics.
Marc’s work has appeared in US News & World Report, USA Today, Investor Place, and other
publications. He graduated from Fordham University with a finance degree and resides in
Scarsdale, New York.
When he’s not writing, Marc enjoys spending time with the family and watching movies with
them (mostly from the 1930s and 40s). Marc is an avid runner who aims to run over 100
marathons in his lifetime.

Updated October 19, 2023​

5 min. read​

Business owners need bank accounts to obtain funds from customers and store cash. These banks also come with unmatched insurance policies that protect the first $250,000 in your bank account. It’s standard for traditional banks and credit unions to have FDIC insurance, but this critical perk also extends to make online banks. The extension of FDIC protection across more entities gives consumers more choices, and since online banks have less overhead, they can offer superior perks for their customers.

You can choose from many online banking solutions for your business, but Brex and Mercury are two of the top choices. This comparison will help you discover which of these banks is better for your company’s needs.

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Business Banking: A Partner for Your Success 

Business banking is a useful ally in your quest to build and sustain a successful business. A business checking account provides numerous advantages you can’t get with a personal checking account. From liability protection and credit building to an easier tax season and a more professional look, business bank accounts have a lot to offer.

It’s no wonder many small business owners create these types of accounts when they are ready to get serious. These accounts separate your business finances from your personal finances and simplify your money management.

What is Brex?

Brex is a fintech company and FINRA-registered broker-dealer that offers cash management accounts for businesses. These accounts function just like business checking accounts and provide attractive savings rates. The money sitting on the sidelines can grow at a respectable pace because of Brex’s 3.96% APY on their accounts. Brex is more than a place to store cash. You can also process credit card payments, and Brex includes several software integrations that turn it into a one-stop resource for your business. 

What is Mercury?

Just like Brex, Mercury is a member of the FDIC, which allows businesses to enter the world of online banking. You can apply for a Brex business checking account within 10 minutes and receive a virtual debit card or credit card. Mercury has a special incentive that pays business owners $500 if they spend $10,000 on their debit or credit cards within the first 90 days.

Comparing Brex vs. Mercury

Both fintech companies serve the same group of customers. They help startup founders and business owners manage their finances and get more with their business banking experience. Appealing interest rates, reward programs, and software integrations make both of these banks worthy choices for you to consider. While you could create an account for each company, it’s best only to choose one of them. Even if you create accounts for both of them, you’ll spend most of your time with one of them. We will compare some of the key details around Brex and Mercury to help you decide on the right banking solution for your financial objectives. 

Fees

Since both companies operate virtually without any branches, it’s no surprise to see that they don’t have most of the fees you may find at financial institutions. Both online banking experiences let you escape the following fees:

  • Monthly account fees
  • Minimum balance fees
  • Overdraft fees
  • Fees on deposits

You will have to pay a fee for international transactions that involve currency conversions. Mercury lists a 1% currency fee on their pricing page.

Opening Requirements

Brex and Mercury do not have a minimum balance or initial deposit requirements. Therefore, you can use Brex and Mercury for your online banking needs even if you don’t have a lot of money to put into your account.

Services Offered 

Brex and Mercury let you create corporate cards for your team members, and money sitting in your bank account will earn interest. Brex account holders can earn up to 3.96% APY, while Mercury account holders can earn up to 4.43% APY on their business accounts. Brex has better credit limit growth opportunities and rewards for your purchases. Brex also partners with Pry to provide financial modeling to help founders adjust their budgets and manage their capital. Brex and Mercury help investors access capital through venture debt. This investing model helps business owners keep equity, get financing, and grow their businesses.

Opening Requirements

Although you don’t have to worry about minimum balance requirements, Brex has a steep barrier to entry. Business owners applying for these accounts need to have over $1 million in revenue, over 50 employees, and over $500,000 in cash. The business owner must have also received an equity investment or have plans to receive one in the future. Any startup founder or business owner on the path to hitting these benchmarks can get started with Brex if someone refers them to the fintech company.

Brex also does a detailed analysis of your business. Their team looks at your company’s income and expenses, spending patterns, business models, and other details. 

Mercury is more manageable. You only need the basic documents, such as your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Social Security Number (SSN). Of course, you’ll also need the Business License and formation documents, but these are basic requirements that every company, including Brex, will want during the application process.

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Ease of Use

Both online business banking solutions have great dashboards that let users access important features and information. Mercury and Brex both have demos available so you can understand how their interfaces work before getting started.

Customer Support

Mercury and Brex each have customer support that can answer your questions, but Brex may be the better choice. Customer reviews are one of the best ways to gauge how a company does at supporting account holders and answering their questions. Brex has a 4.8-star rating in the Google Play Store across over 800 reviews and a 4.9-star rating in the App Store across over 2,300 reviews. On the other hand, Mercury has a respectable 4.8-star rating in the Apple Store across over 1,000 reviews but only a 3.4-star rating in the Google Play Store across over 100 reviews.

Integrations and Business Tools

Brex and Mercury each offer a star-studded line-up of business software integrations. Each one lets you connect with popular e-commerce, fintech, and accounting tools, but Brex offers more choices. For example, you can integrate your Brex account with over 1,000 business tools, but Mercury also has many of the essentials. You can also use Zapier to get more capabilities out of your Mercury or Brex account.

Insurance and Security

Mercury and Brex account holders get FDIC insurance for their accounts. This insurance policy protects the first $250,000 in their business bank accounts. This insurance policy is the standard, and you should avoid any banks that do not have FDIC insurance. Both online banking solutions have multi-step authentication, encryption, fraud monitoring, and advanced cybersecurity technology that keeps members safe. Both companies take their account holders’ security seriously.

Other Perks

You will get a great savings rate from both accounts that outperform the yield on most dividend stocks. However, if you need to make cash deposits and withdrawals, Mercury is the clear winner. Mercury’s partnership with Allpoint allows account holders to make fee-free transactions at over 55,000 ATM locations. Unfortunately, Brex does not have ATM compatibility, so if you are a cash business, Mercury is the better choice.

Why You Should Choose Brex

Brex can provide a better banking experience because of its incredible reward programs, high credit limits that scale as you grow, and access to venture debt. Mercury has many of the same features as Brex, but some business owners view Brex as the more advanced option. However, it has a steep barrier to entry. If you don’t fulfill the criteria (i.e., making $1 million in revenue, having $500,000 in cash, and fulfilling other parameters), Brex may not be the banking solution for you.

Why You Should Choose Mercury

Mercury is the better choice for startup founders and small business owners who are getting started or have some momentum going for them. These individuals do not qualify for a Brex account, but that’s not the only reason to use Mercury. Mercury’s ATM network makes it very desirable for businesses that conduct most of their sales through cash. If you need to deposit cash, Mercury is a far better choice than Brex.

Which One is Right for Your Business?

The right banking solution depends on the nature of your business. If you fulfill Brex’s requirements and don’t use cash for most of your transactions, a Brex account can make more sense. However, if you are just getting started and want to establish your business, Mercury is a great choice.

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