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Like Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards are another type of transferable/flexible points currency. While lesser known than the first two programs, these points are worth holding because of their varied redemption options. Diversity in your points portfolio is a good thing.
One downside, however, is the exclusivity of the Brex Rewards program. While it used to be open to most small businesses, Brex has pivoted to more specific requirements for who can open an account. Unfortunately, this means that many people will not be able to participate in the program.
Another downside is the March 2023 devaluation of Brex Rewards. Still, it's worth understanding this program. Here's what you need to know about Brex Rewards, including how to earn points, how to redeem them, and who Brex's airline transfer partners are.
What is the Brex Rewards Program?
Brex Rewards is the points and loyalty program of Brex, which is a fintech bank. Along with its banking platform, Brex also offers a credit card: the Brex Cash and Card. In 2021, there was a lot of buzz about this card and its generous welcome offer. Since then, interest in the Brex Rewards program has grown as people seek to understand what these points are worth and how they can use them.
Before opening a Brex Card, you have to open a Brex Cash account. It's important to note that Brex is geared toward businesses. Thus, personal applicants and sole proprietors without business incorporation paperwork are typically excluded from opening accounts. Brex closed many small business accounts after initially opening them. Applicants need an IRS-issued Employer Identification Number (EIN), valid U.S. incorporation paperwork, and a physical address, among other requirements. These hurdles exclude many small businesses.
International business owners can apply for a Brex account, as well, though they are required to have a U.S. corporation and meet other requirements. Brex also accepts applications from non-profit organizations and funded startups.
How to Earn Brex Rewards Points
The main way to earn Brex Rewards points is through spending on the Brex Cash and Card. This card functions differently than most credit cards. Let's dig into how.
Brex Cash and Card
You can earn points from daily spending on the Brex Cash and Card and from its welcome offer of 25,000 Bonus Points upon signup and waived card fees for life (equal to $250+ value)*. It also has the following earning structure on spending: You can earn 8x on rideshare, 5x on Brex Travel, 4x at restaurants, 1.5x on ads, and 1x Everything else.
The Brex Cash and Card is not a traditional credit card. In order to have money to spend on your card, you must have money in your Brex Cash account. You can transfer funds from bank accounts or receive payments, and these provide access to funds for spending on the Brex Cash and Card.
The Brex Cash and Card settles daily. Typically, you can use only ~80% of your available cash balance for purchases. Consider these factors in your spending activity.
The best part of this is that the account and the card have no annual or monthly fees.
Incentives and promotions
Brex has promotions on its Rewards page (login required). This can include discounts on business services but also extra points earning opportunities. Scroll through the available promotions to see what might be of interest to you. Be sure to note the terms of the promotion and what you can earn from it before enrolling.
Value of Brex Rewards Points
Like many other transferable currencies, Brex Rewards provides various redemption options for your Brex points. Which you choose will largely determine the value that you obtain from points.
You can redeem your Brex Rewards for a fixed value of 0.6¢ each into your Brex Cash account. From there, you can pay bills or transfer to another bank account. The rewards are deposited into your Brex Cash account immediately if you choose this option.
Points used to have a value of 1¢ each. This was changed effective March 11, 2023.
You can redeem your points at a fixed value of 0.6¢ each to buy crypto. At present, the two cryptocurrency options for this redemption are Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Like with cash redemptions, Brex Rewards redeemed to crypto experienced a 40% devaluation.
Book travel through the Brex portal
You can redeem your Brex points at a fixed value of 1¢ each when booking through Brex’s own travel portal. Options include both flights and hotels. Given the devaluation to cash and crypto redemptions, this is one way to get better value out of your points.
You’ll earn rewards on these flights since they are considered paid flights and not award redemptions. Earning points and miles on your trip makes this advantageous.
Buy gift cards
Another fixed-value option: You can redeem your points at 1¢ each for gift card purchases. Now with Brex Rewards worth less as a cash redemption, this is one way to get decent value out of your points. This redemption rate includes cards that are worth nearly cash value, such as Amazon and Mastercard gift cards.
Transfer to travel partners
The value of your points will vary depending on how you redeem them, but this is likely to be the most valuable use of your points. By transferring points to airline partners, you have the chance to get 1¢ or more in redemption value. Unfortunately, after a recent devaluation, you need to get around 1.7¢ per mile (during your redemptions) to receive more than 1¢ per Brex point. But you can find a number of currencies where AwardWallet members get at least this much out of their miles.
Brex Rewards transfer partners
So, what are the airlines you can send your points to? At present, Brex has the following airline transfer partners:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
There is a mix of Oneworld, SkyTeam, Star Alliance, and non-alliance transfer partners here. This makes numerous flight options available through partner bookings. JetBlue was a previous transfer partner, but this ended in October of 2021.
Points transfers are at a 1,500:1,000 ratio. This is an unfortunate change from the original 1:1 transfer ratio. This sudden devaluation took effect in March 2023 and represents a 40% loss in value for points transfers. For existing Brex Rewards members, this was a massive blow.
The minimum points transfer is still 500 points. This is at least one upside. Being able to transfer any number of points makes Brex a great way of topping off your account with exactly the number of miles you need.
Transfer times for Brex Rewards points
Your points should transfer to the airline partners within a week at the worst. Brex says transfers should process within one business day, though this isn't guaranteed. On the flip side, transfers sometimes process instantly.
How to transfer Brex Rewards points to airlines
You can transfer points from your Brex Rewards account to a loyalty program in the name of anyone listed in the Brex account. Since you can add users to your Brex account for free, this is a useful feature for transferring points to family members’ airline accounts, for example. Most other flexible points currencies don't allow this — at least not to this degree. This feature sets Brex Rewards apart.
From the Brex Rewards “Marketplace” page, click on “Redeem” under “Redeem your points for airline miles.”
From this page, select the airline partner you want to transfer to and fill out the required information, including the number of points you want to transfer.
History of Brex Rewards transfer bonuses
Brex Rewards has run several transfer bonuses in the past. Transfer bonuses are excellent because your miles become more valuable when sending them to your desired airline partner's loyalty program.
We have seen the following transfer bonuses:
- Avianca LifeMiles 25% bonus (ended July 2, 2021)
- Aeromexico Club Premier 20% bonus (ended August 8, 2021)
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue 20% bonus (ended August 8, 2021)
- Avianca LifeMiles 20% bonus (ended August 8, 2021)
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 20% bonus (ended August 8, 2021)
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 20% bonus (ended August 8, 2021)
Given that it has been nearly two years without a transfer bonus — not to mention the massive March 2023 devaluation — it's unclear whether Brex will offer transfer bonuses again.
Evaluating the Positives and Negatives of Brex Rewards
You can find strengths and weaknesses in all programs. A major weakness of Brex Rewards is that people aren’t very familiar with it, nor can everyone qualify for a Brex Cash account. Here’s a summary of the main negative and positive aspects of the points program:
- Inaccessible to many businesses.
- Inability to combine points directly with other Brex accounts.
- Relatively low number of transfer partners.
- Points are worth less than 1 cent each when transferred to travel partners.
- No hotel transfer partners.
- No-notice March 2023 devaluation.
The lack of hotel options and a limited number of airline programs likely make Brex points less valuable than points like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Citi ThankYou Points. This is because these points have more robust transfer partner options. All these programs offer several transfer partners where you get a 1:1 or better transfer ratio and offer hotel partners in addition to airline partners.
Of all the negative aspects of Brex Rewards, a no-notice devaluation of 40% hurts the most. This should serve as a warning to anyone interested in the program. Occasional devaluations are normal. However, not giving members notice, then making devaluations of this magnitude, is bad practice for a points program.
- Multiple redemption options.
- Points transfer to airlines in all three major alliances.
- Points are redeemable at 1¢ each for Brex travel and gift cards.
- Has offered occasional transfer bonuses.
- Transfer points to other people’s loyalty account if they're listed in your Brex account.
- Transfer exactly the number of miles you need (as long as you transfer at least 500 points).
Even though you can’t combine Brex Rewards points with others, you can get around this by transferring points into others’ loyalty accounts. You can do this if that person is named on the Brex account, and adding users is free.
As for strengths, multiple different redemption options make Brex points worth holding for anyone looking to diversify. Even though the number of transfer partners is limited, they cover a wide breadth of alliances and partnerships, which should put numerous flights around the world within reach. It is extremely unfortunate that Brex decided to devalue their airline transfer ratios, however.
It seems unlikely that Brex Rewards points will ever overtake programs like Membership Rewards, ThankYou Rewards, or Ultimate Rewards. These programs have more transfer partners available and more options for earning mountains of points through credit card welcome offers. With Brex, the opportunities for earning points through welcome offers are very limited.
Additionally, Brex Rewards simply isn't geared toward many small businesses. the focus on corporations and funded startups excludes many people who could open a small business credit card with other issuers. With no personal card options, the door is closed for a large part of the population.
Despite this, if you're among those eligible to open a Brex account, having Brex points can be a good idea. The diversity of redemption options is only an upside. If one program devalues, holding points elsewhere offsets this. Brex Rewards is a relative newcomer in the transferable points arena. However, it offers varied redemption options and a decent list of transfer partners that should offer something worthwhile for most points and miles enthusiasts.
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