This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
If your business is looking for innovative digital-only banking solutions, Brex’s Cash Management Account (Brex CMA) and Mercury’s business checking account are excellent options. Though neither account draws interest, both provide access to high-yield investment products. Brex lets customers invest in money market funds that earn interest at a variable rate of up to 2.01% while Mercury provides access to a Treasury Account with an annual percentage yield (APY) of up to 2.024%.
However, Brex applicants must meet a strict set of criteria to open an account. Thus, smaller businesses would be better suited to Mercury, which only requires that businesses be incorporated in the US and have a federal employer identification number (EIN). Neither provider accepts sole proprietorships.
Here is a summary of what each provider is best for:
- Brex*: Businesses looking for fee-free digital banking solutions and wanting to build credit history through rewards-earning business credit cards
- Mercury*: Incorporated startups and tech companies wanting fee-free digital banking solutions that provide access to venture debt and investor networks
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms backed by and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured through a supporting bank partnership (10 program banks for Brex and Evolve Bank & Trust for Mercury).
Brex vs Mercury Quick Comparison
When To Use Each
When To Use an Alternative
- You’re a sole proprietor: Neither Brex nor Mercury opens accounts for sole proprietors. Relay offers similar cash management features and accommodates businesses of any entity type.
- You need support for cash deposits: Neither Brex nor Mercury accommodates cash deposits. Bank of America has a cash deposit limit of $7,500 per month and has 4,300 branches across the country.
- You want more access to lending products: Brex doesn’t offer any lending products. Mercury offers term loans, but only to businesses that have received venture capital within one year of their loan application. The online-only bank First Internet Bank offers Small Business Administration (SBA) lending, lines of credit, and term loans. First Internet Bank is our choice for best full-service online banking in our list of best small business checking accounts.
Brex vs Mercury Business Checking Account
Brex and Mercury only have one type of checking account, both offering unlimited fee-free transactions. Neither Brex nor Mercury charges fees for monthly maintenance, ACH transfers, or wire transfers. Under Mercury, however, international wire transfers must go through Mercury’s system. Because both accounts are online-only, neither supports cash deposits.
Since Mercury isn’t a bank, it stores funds in its partner bank, Evolve Bank & Trust, which provides up to $250,000 worth of FDIC protection. Brex, on the other hand, has 10 partner banks. Funds placed in a Brex CMA are spread across these banks and are thus FDIC-insured for up to $1.75 million.
Brex vs Mercury Account Overview
Businesses looking for fee-free digital banking solutions and wanting to build credit history through rewards-earning business credit cards
Incorporated startups and tech companies wanting fee-free digital banking solutions that provide access to venture debt and investor networks
Interest on Balances
None for checking accounts; up to 2.01% on money market accounts
None for checking accounts; up to 2.024% on treasury accounts
Bank Network and ATMs
Free at Allpoint locations, no fee for nonnetwork ATM use*
Accounting Software Integrations
QuickBooks, 1Password, Zapier, Rippling, Gusto, SAP Concur, Oracle NetSuite, Sage, Slack, and Xero
QuickBooks and Xero
Business Payment Integrations
Can auto-sync with Xero and QuickBooks, or can send payments directly from Brex Cash by wire, ACH, and check for free
Includes Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, Amazon, and PayPal
Up to 8 reserve accounts
Up to 14 reserve accounts
Open an Account
*Third-party operator fees may apply.
Being fintech solutions, both Brex and Mercury offer extensive integrations with business software, including accounting and business payment tools. Both providers integrate with popular accounting software QuickBooks and Xero.
When it comes to opening a business bank account, Brex has stricter requirements than Mercury. Only an applicant that meets one or more of the following criteria will be considered for a Brex account:
- Received an equity investment of any amount from an accelerator, angel investor, venture capitalist, or web3 token
- Has more than $1 million a year in revenue
- Has more than 50 employees
- Has more than $500,000 in cash
- Is a tech startup on a path to meeting the criteria above and referred by an existing customer or partner
Mercury accepts most businesses but focuses mainly on tech companies. It doesn’t accept sole proprietors or trusts.
One advantage Brex has over Mercury is that it offers business credit cards. The Brex credit card offers credit limits that are 10 to 20 times higher than those of typical corporate credit cards. Its benefits differ depending on whether a business pays balances on a monthly or daily basis—cards that are paid monthly earn up to seven times worth of rewards points on all card spending while cards that are paid daily earn up to eight times worth of rewards points on card spending. Should a business choose to pay daily, Brex will take funds automatically from its Brex cash account to pay off its balance.
What Mercury offers that Brex lacks is venture debt, a kind of term loan designed specifically for businesses that have raised venture capital. To qualify for venture debt, a business must have received venture capital within one year of its loan application. Mercury also has an investor database that businesses can use to connect with pre-seed investors.
Neither provider offers interest-earning checking accounts. However, Brex customers can place balances into Brex’s money market and earn a variable rate of up to 2.01%. Similarly, Mercury offers a treasury account, Mercury Treasury, which can earn interest up to 2.024%. Mercury Treasury accounts are only available for businesses with balances over $250,000. You must request the Treasury account once you reach the $250,000 threshold to receive it.
As cash management solutions, both Brex and Mercury offer reserve accounts that let businesses separate and categorize their balances. Brex lets customers create up to eight reserve accounts, while Mercury lets businesses create up to 14 reserve accounts.
Brex vs Mercury Account Costs
Criteria to Waive Monthly Fee
Cash Deposit Fee
Under both Brex and Mercury, there are no monthly fees or transaction limits. Thus, there are also no transaction fees. Neither account supports cash deposits.
Since both Brex and Mercury offer fee-free banking experiences, determining which is best for your business comes down to account features and qualification requirements. With its ability to integrate with popular business software, earn interest on money market funds, and provide access to rewards-earning credit cards, Brex is an excellent digital banking solution for fast-growing startups. However, the provider’s strict requirements keep these benefits inaccessible to early-stage startups. Smaller businesses should choose Mercury. Not only does Mercury offer a similar product to Brex, but it also helps small businesses scale by providing access to venture debt and investor databases.