Feb 2023 update - Airbase recently made some significant changes to their corporate card program. We think they are now only offering pre-funded cards that work seamlessly with their excellent expense management software. We’ll update this review / overview when we learn more about the changes to their card program.
Airbase is a leader for expense management tools in the startup world, and they’ve recently announced Airbase will be offering cash back corporate cards. At Kruze, our clients work with the leading startup credit cards, and we have the opportunity to review them in action (read all of our card reviews on our startup credit card page). Please note that Kruze is a referral partner to Airbase and many of the cards we mention, and some Kruze employees invested in Airbase. However, these relationships do not influence our recommendations and reviews; as a regulated CPA firm we only suggest the best options for our individual clients (and here as well!).
What is Airbase?
Airbase competes with other companies that offer corporate cards and expense management, like Brex, Ramp, Expensify, Bill.com, and Divvy. Airbase offers very robust expense management software that helps companies simplify expense reimbursement and reconciliation. Corporate cards allow employees to pay for business expenses without putting them on their own credit cards, and the card company bills the employer directly. This eliminates time-consuming expense reports and expense approvals. Companies can set limits on spending and get centralized expense tracking and consolidated statements.
One benefit card companies frequently offer to customers is cash back on purchases. Card issuers make money on interchange fees, which are a small percentage of every purchase made on a credit or debit card. Merchants pay these fees so they can offer customers the convenience of accepting cards. Companies that offer cash back on card purchases essentially give their customers part of that interchange fee.
Airbase’s cards can benefit startups
Airbase’s program offers 2.25% cash back to your startup when you use credit cards, and 1.75% cash back on debit cards, and these cards are available to all Airbase customers. For startups, though, it’s important to note that they’re also available with the Airbase Essentials program, which is free for companies with fewer than 100 employees. So this provides early-stage companies with access to Airbase’s expense management software and corporate cards that provide cash back bonuses at no cost to the startup.
With this program Airbase is focusing on the early-stage market, which is great because early-stage companies are typically very cost-sensitive. Free access to Airbase’s software and cash back on card purchases is going to be very helpful to those customers. So competition between companies like Brex, Ramp, Expensify, Bill.com, Divvy, and Airbase is going to put pressure on more traditional card providers like Amex, Chase, and Capital One to shift their programs to reach the startup market. If you have questions about expense management and employee corporate cards, please let us know.