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- For business owners curious about crypto, the Brex cards are a low-risk introduction to the space.
- Valuations are assigned in real time, so points appreciate or depreciate in step with the market.
- The ability to earn cryptocurrency rewards differentiates Brex from other small-business cards.
- Read Insider’s guide to the best small-business credit cards.
Between Tesla’s $1.5-billion Bitcoin purchase and Square’s $50 million investment in the most-recognized name in crypto, some elite business owners are playing a major role in fueling the conversation around digital currencies. Now, Brex is giving all entrepreneurs — not just those who can host Saturday Night Live or sell tweets as NFTs — the chance to explore blockchain-based finance without actually buying it.
If you aren’t familiar with Brex, the company specializes in helping businesses manage their finances. A key piece of that is a generous slate of reward offerings: two Brex card options that give businesses a tiered structure with 8x back on ride-sharing, 5x back on travel booked through Brex, 4x on restaurants, 3x on software like Zoom or Slack, and 1x back on everything else.
Now, all those payouts can also add up in Bitcoin or Ethereum — an announcement that follows the consumer credit card landscape where companies like BlockFi and Gemini are trying to secure a spot in your wallet.
Read more: The best credit cards to turn rewards from everyday spending into investments
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Using Brex points for crypto rewards
“We think that your rewards points are an easy and interesting way to participate in crypto,” Henrique Dubugras, founder and CEO of Brex, told Insider. “A lot of people end up having rewards points that sit there unused. If you’re not using it for cash back or you don’t have any miles to use, maybe you prefer to have it in crypto — possibly appreciating or depreciating.”
“There are quite a few companies that are purchasing crypto on their balance sheets for a reason,” Dubugras said. “We wanted to create a super-easy way for the businesses who wanted to follow that trend to do so. We’re definitely not arguing for having all your money in crypto, but having some exposure is something that a lot of companies are doing.”
Read more: The best cash-back credit cards of 2021
The Brex card offers the flexibility to simply put that exposure in rewards points, and cardholders can continue to designate their rewards in other more stable categories, too. For example, Dubugras says that if you have 100 rewards points, you might have 25 in cash, 25 in cryptocurrency, 25 in miles, and 25 points that are unassigned until a future decision.
The point valuations are in real time, which is an important piece of the puzzle. If you take a client out for dinner tonight, you would earn an equivalent in Bitcoin or Ethereum at whatever the currency is valued when you pay — not at the end of your billing cycle.
Read Insider’s points and miles valuations to find out what your credit card rewards are worth.
Are crypto rewards right for your business?
Dubugras points out that embracing cryptocurrency is a decision that rests on “the amount of risk and how much [each business owner] believes in crypto.”
Some leaders will be quick to jump onboard. Prasanna Sankar, co-founder and CTO of employee management firm Rippling, says that the company will sign up for the program and adds that “being able to redeem BTC and ETH is an exciting first step into crypto.”
Read more: The best cryptocurrency exchanges for trading Bitcoin and other assets
That “first step” component is key here for any business owner. Chances are you don’t have Elon Musk’s or Jack Dorsey’s millions and billions to play with, but that shouldn’t stand in your way of beginning to understand the potential implications of digital currency for the future of money. It’s not just about your rewards payouts, either: If crypto does what some believe it can do, your business may eventually accept these currencies from customers. Visa is already using the Ethereum network for settling stable coin transactions. Understanding the implications of cryptocurrencies feels like an important lesson for anyone running a business right now.
Brex is the first of the best small-business cards to enter the crypto space, and it feels like it will be in its own category for a bit. It’s hard to see major issuers like American Express, Chase or Capital One be able to take such a big leap quite yet. If they do, the Brex card may already have embraced new changes in crypto.
“As we launch this, we’re going to talk to our users and see what they’re interested in after having it,” Dubugras said. “Based on that, we’ll decide what to build next.”
David McMillin has written about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes, and travel for the past 10 years. His goal is simple: help readers figure out how to minimize fees and maximize rewards.
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