This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
Many Brex customers recently received a notice that their Brex Cash Management accounts (CMAs) were being closed as of August 15, 2022. Brex is now focusing on startups and scaled companies; therefore, many account holders will be looking for a Brex Cash Management Account alternative for their business banking needs.
There are dozens of options available for customers looking for a similar, online-only business banking experience with limited fees and outstanding digital integrations. Here are the eight best Brex CMA alternatives:
- Mercury*: Best overall for incorporated tech companies and startups
- Bluevine*: Best for higher interest rates on checking accounts
- Novo*: Best for digital banking with no fees
- First Internet Bank: Best for online-only full-service banking
- Grasshopper: Best for flexible lending solutions and digital integrations
- Relay*: Best for businesses with frequent wire transfers
- Lili*: Best for digital tax preparation assistance
- Nearside*: Best for cash back rewards on debit card purchases
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms backed by and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured through a supporting bank partnership (Evolve Bank & Trust for Mercury and Relay, Coastal Community Bank for Bluevine, Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo, Choice Financial Group, Inc. for Lili, and Piermont Bank for Nearside).
Best Brex Cash Management Account Alternatives At a Glance
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Cash Deposit Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
Cash deposits not accepted
Free access to Allpoint ATM network worldwide
2.0% on qualifying balances up to $100,000
$4.95/deposit (Green Dot locations)
Free (MoneyPass ATMs nationwide); $2.50 for nonnetwork
None; cash is deposited through money orders
Refunds all ATM fees
0.50% on balances of $10,000 or more
Cash deposits not accepted
None; reimburses up to $10/month in ATM fees
Innovator Business Checking
Cash deposits not accepted
Free (MoneyPass and SUM network ATMs)
Business Checking Basic
Cash deposits not accepted
Free (Allpoint ATM network)
Business Checking Basic
$4.95/deposit (Green Dot locations)
Free at MoneyPass locations; $2.50 for nonnetwork
Can be deposited through Allpoint ATMs
Free at Allpoint ATMs; $1 fee out-of-network plus third-party fees
Mercury: Best Overall for Incorporated Tech Companies & Startups
Mercury Business Checking Overview
*Mercury is a business fintech platform backed by FDIC-insured Evolve Bank & Trust.
When To Use Mercury
For incorporated startups and tech companies who are looking for a new business bank, Mercury is our top choice for the best Brex CMA alternative. Tech companies will enjoy its third-party software integrations, which are among the best in the industry. It also offers a perks page, allowing you to advertise deals for your business on its website.
Its checking and savings accounts are free with no minimum deposit or balance requirements, which is great for startup businesses looking for fee-free banking.
If you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days on your debit card, you’ll receive $200 in cash back. In addition, Mercury offers an interest-bearing Treasury account. You can access that account by request once you have at least $250,000 in funds in your Mercury accounts. Currently, it’s earning up to 1.454% APY, although the bank expects that to increase as the prime rate increases.
Most businesses incorporated in the United States are eligible for an account, except sole proprietorships and trusts.
If you have a business that lost its Brex account due to the lack of venture capital funding, Mercury offers both capital and venture debt products that can help your business grow. However, it doesn’t offer any other types of lending. Nevertheless, it’s a great choice for a digital-only bank with great software integrations and interest-earning account products.
Bluevine: Best for Higher Interest Rates on Checking Accounts
Bluevine Business Checking Overview
*Bluevine is a business fintech platform backed by FDIC-insured Coastal Community Bank.
When To Choose Bluevine
If you want to move your business funds to a business checking account with a high-interest yield, Bluevine is a great option. It provides an interest-bearing checking account, earning 2.0% APY on balances up to $100,000. You qualify for the APY as long as you either spend $500 a month with the debit card or receive $2,500 in customer payments monthly.
Bluevine has no monthly fees, transaction fees, minimum opening deposit, and minimum balance requirement. It also offers two free checkbook orders each year. In addition to its outstanding business checking product, it has the best business line of credit products and great software integrations.
Cash deposits will cost you $4.95 per transaction and can only be done at a Green Dot retail location. Also, Bluevine charges $2.50 for out-of-network ATM withdrawals in addition to third-party fees.
Novo: Best for Digital Banking With No Fees
Novo Business Checking Overview
*Novo is a business fintech platform backed by FDIC-insured Middlesex Federal Savings.
When To Use Novo
If you’re looking for a digital-only, fee-free business banking experience to replace Brex, Novo may be the right choice for your business. Not only does it have no monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements, and transaction limits, but it refunds all ATM fees at the end of each month.
It excels in digital integrations, with unlimited invoicing and excellent accounting and payment software integrations. With Novo, you can get up to five reserve accounts, and though you cannot order checks, you can send paper checks from its app.
One drawback is with cash deposits. Novo doesn’t charge for cash deposits, but you must purchase a money order and deposit it through the app, which you must buy. Many places sell money orders, including your local US Postal Service (USPS) location, for up to $1.95 for up to $1,000 money orders.
As long as you aren’t interested in getting lending or savings products from your checking account provider, Novo is a great option, especially for businesses with frequent ATM withdrawals.
First Internet Bank: Best for Online-only Full-service Banking
First Internet Bank Business Checking Overview
When To Choose First Internet Bank
If you want to move from a digital cash management account to a full-service, online-only bank, First Internet Bank is an excellent choice. It offers interest-bearing checking and savings accounts, with a 0.50% APY on checking balances of more than $10,000 in your account with no maximum limit. It has money market and regular savings, which earn 0.70% APY. Both come with waivable monthly fees once you pass an average daily balance threshold.
For businesses with frequent ATM withdrawals, First Internet Bank refunds up to $10 in ATM fees each month. In addition to great bank accounts, it offers business CDs and various business lending products, including SBA loans, commercial real estate, commercial lending, and public finance. There’s also software integration with QuickBooks.
First Internet Bank doesn’t accept cash deposits, and a $100 minimum opening deposit is required. Overall, it’s a great option if you’re looking to move from Brex to a full-service bank that matches what a traditional brick-and-mortar bank provides.
Grasshopper: Best for Flexible Lending Solutions & Digital Integrations
Grasshopper Business Checking Overview
When To Choose Grasshopper
For former Brex customers looking for an interest-bearing checking account with great software integrations and some unique lending options, Grasshopper is another excellent option to consider. It’s another digital-only bank with a full range of banking products.
On its business checking product, it offers 1.5% APY on all balances. It also offers 1% cash back on all debit card online and in-person purchases.
In addition to its excellent business checking product, it provides SBA lending, commercial real estate lending, yacht lending, venture capital, and private equity lending. It also allows unlimited transfers, including free wire transfers, both domestic and international. There are no monthly fees and no transaction limits.
Not only does Grasshopper integrate with QuickBooks, but the company provides Autobooks to each customer free of charge. Its drawbacks include requiring a $100 opening deposit and not accepting cash deposits.
Relay: Best for Businesses With Frequent Wire Transfers
Relay Standard Business Checking Overview
*Relay is a business fintech platform backed by FDIC-insured Evolve Bank & Trust.
When To Use Relay
Switching to Relay is an excellent choice if your small business sends wire transfers frequently. With its basic business checking level, Relay Standard, the most you’ll pay for wire transfers is $10. If you upgrade to Relay Pro, they’re entirely free. Neither checking product has transaction limits or minimum balance requirements, and you can open up to 20 checking accounts and issue up to 50 Mastercard debit cards for your team.
While Relay Standard is free, Relay Pro costs $30 per month and the fee’s not waivable. However, the premium tier comes with a wide variety of business tools, including:
- Accounts payable support, including auto-imports from QuickBooks Online and Xero
- Multistep approval rules for bill payments
- Batch payments for bills
- One-click reconciliation of bills
- Same-day ACH delivery
- Free wire transfers
There are some drawbacks to Relay. It doesn’t accept cash deposits and currently doesn’t offer lending products. And the fee for Relay Pro isn’t waivable, unlike premium accounts from other banking providers.
Lili: Best for Digital Tax Preparation Assistance
Lili Business Checking Basic Overview
*Lili is a business fintech platform backed by FDIC-insured Choice Financial Group Inc.
When To Choose Lili
Another fintech pushing hard for former Brex customers is Lili. Its biggest perk is its tax optimizer. Through its app, it allows you to track potential tax write-offs, set aside money in a tax bucket, scan receipts, complete your schedule C automatically, and produce quarterly and annual expense reports. It’s a powerful tool, especially for small businesses that don’t have huge financial advising departments.
It even offers a solid business checking account with no monthly fees, transaction limits, minimum balance, or deposit requirements. It has two checking options: Lili Basic, which is free, and Lili Pro, which is $4.99 a month.
Both provide you with a debit card, the option to get paid faster with direct deposit two days early, built-in expense tracking, and no hidden fees. Lili Pro also gives you cash back rewards of 1% on all purchases, fee-free overdrafts up to $200, a savings account with a 1.5% APY, and the ability to create and send unlimited invoices.
The biggest drawback to Lili is the inability to send or receive wire transfers. Also, physical checks are unavailable. You can deposit cash, but it must be done through Green Dot retail locations for $4.95 a transaction.
Nearside: Best for Cash Back Rewards on Debit Card Purchases
Nearside Business Checking Overview
*Nearside is a business fintech platform backed by FDIC-insured Piermont Bank.
Nearside is currently transitioning banking partners. All accounts are currently backed by LendingClub Bank, National Association, but as of August 1, 2022, they’ll be backed by FDIC-insured Piermont Bank. All current users are receiving new routing and account numbers for their accounts, but new customers shouldn’t be affected by this change.
When To Choose Nearside
While former Brex customers might not need all of the business services provided by Nearside, the 2.2% cash back it provides on all purchases made with its debit card makes it an enticing choice. In addition, it offers thousands of dollars in savings on deals for accounting software, shareable documents, and POS tools.
You can deposit cash through the Allpoint ATM network. Withdrawals in-network are free, while out-of-network withdrawals will cost you $1 plus third-party fees.
For businesses looking to incorporate, Nearside offers Sprout, which can help you form an LLC, manage legal documents, and get a tax ID or EIN for an additional fee. While customers coming from Brex may already have this completed, it might be a perk if you’re interested in starting a second business.
Nearside’s drawbacks include the lack of mobile check deposits and wire transfers. Checks must also be deposited through the Allpoint network, which may be inconvenient if you deposit checks frequently.
How We Evaluated the Best Brex Cash Management Account Alternatives
When we evaluated the best Brex Cash Management account alternatives, we considered
- Accounts that had similar offerings to Brex Cash Management
- Monthly fees, if any, and how easily they’re waived
- Required opening deposit and balance minimums
- Transaction limits before fees
- ACH and wire transfer fees
- ATM fees and availability
- Cash deposit fees and availability
- Interest yield, if applicable
- Other checking account perks
- Software integrations
- Other business services provided
- Lending products provided
- Customer service
- Customer reviews
How to Appeal Your Brex Cash Management Account Closing
If you feel your Brex Cash Management Account is being closed in error, there are steps you can take to try to ensure your account isn’t closed on August 15.
If your account meets any of the following criteria, email firstname.lastname@example.org with verifying documentation to appeal the decision:
- Received an equity investment of any amount, such as accelerator, angel, venture capital (VC), or web3 token
- More than $1 million a year in revenue
- More than 50 employees
- More than $500,000 in cash
- Tech startups who are on a path to meeting the criteria above and are referred by an existing customer or partner
Brex also has a link with information about the next steps if your account is set to be closed on August 15.
What You Need to Open a Business Bank Account
Each provider on this list may require different documents to open a business bank account. Generally, you’ll need:
- Employer identification number (EIN) or Social Security number if you’re a sole proprietor
- Fictitious business name certificate or doing-business-as (DBA) certificate
- Business formation documents
- Organization documents, including your ownership agreements
- Business licenses
- Government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license
While each of the accounts listed here is slightly different from Brex Cash Management, there are great options if you’re forced to find a new business checking provider. Before choosing a small business checking account, decide what features are most important for your business. Once you determine your bank needs, select the option from this list that best fits your business needs.