Our startup clients have quickly adopted Brex’s corporate card. Ramp’s expense management card is a winner amongst later-stage companies. Let’s compare the two options to see which card is best for a seed funded or venture capital backed business.
As a leading accounting and finance consulting firm that has worked with startups that have collectively raised over $5.5 billion in funding, we have some strong opinions on which card is right for you and why. Our team spends all day helping founders manage their books and finances - and we see which tools and cards they are using. Our opinions are based on the experiences of hundreds of companies that spend many millions per month.
First, what to look for in a credit card for your startup
Traditional business owners are usually looking for a low-fee product that gives them travel points, and they expect their line of credit to be based on their personal credit score.
Funded startups need something different:
- Rewards that appeal to a tech, biotech and ecommerce companies
- A credit or spending limit that is based on the company’s balance sheet
- No personal guarantee on the Credit Card
- Cheap and fast bookkeeping with accounting software integrations
- Team spending management tools
What is a Brex credit card?
Brex is a great card for a funded company. Brex has an amazing rewards program for funded companies. Brex also offers a generous spending limit based on the company’s funding and performance. Sign up here.
What is a Ramp credit card?
An Expensify alternative, Ramp combines a corporate card with expense management tools like expense report creation and analysis, personal reimbursement and expense policy creation. Ramp is strongest for Series A to Series C companies who are dealing with the rapid increase in the number of people paying for software, travel, etc.
Comparing Brex and Ramp’s cards
This chart details the key differences between the Ramp card and the Brex card.
|Built for Funded Startups||Yes||Yes|
|Rewards||Points for spending, including higher points for key startup expense categories||1.5% cash back on all purchases. No exceptions or complicated “point” programs|
|Personal Guarantee||Not Required||Not Required|
|QuickBooks Online Sync||Yes||Yes|
|Expensify Sync||Yes||No, but Ramp replaces Expensify|
|Instant Sign Up||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Carry Balance||No||No|
|Robust Spending Controls||Yes||Yes|
One of the most important things for founders to realize is that both of these options, Ramp and Brex, give good spending limits based on your company’s bank account balance (among other factors). Neither requires a PERSONAL GUARANTEE, which VC-backed founders need to consider at the top of their list of requirements.
Reviews of Brex and Ramp’s cards
Brex is a great option for early-stage companies because they are more established and have a more mature product on the market. Ramp, however, may be a better option for companies as they grow, have more employees and expenses as it offers great spend control and easy accounting. Ramp also offers a generous, no exception or complicated point 1.5% cashback and savings program.
Do we recommend Brex or Ramp?
Brex is better for early stage companies because they are more established and have a more mature product in the market. Early-stage companies (<15 people) typically don’t have the need or ability to use and/or manage many of the internal controls and process features that Ramp contains, until they have a finance-centric individual in-house. The full suite of benefits that Brex has means that it can more or less be a one-stop-shop for an early-stage company’s complete banking needs at no cost. That is a valuable for a small company early on. (Although we still recommend that a company consider a startup-focused bank like SVB or FRB).
Ramp, on the other hand, is a better credit card option for larger, more-established companies that have greater streamlined approval, expense management, and control needs.
There is another option for mid to later stage companies looking for tight expense management, accounting integrations and other finance controls/features - companies like Airbase or Procurify. These vendors combine cards with heavy-duty finance controls. They don’t make sense until you’ve got a full time VP of Finance or CFO in seat - provisioning and managing these tools takes time. But if you are looking for a heavy-duty, more “late-stage” (or dare I say enterprise) alternative to Ramp, they may be worth looking at.
Brex vs Ramp in Review
Brex Card - the better option for funded, early-stage companies. With a generous spending limit based on the company’s funding and performance, and no personal guarantee, it’s truly built for the Silicon Valley-style startup. Kruze Consulting clients can get a HUGE deal from Brex - 50,000 points for signing up now through Kruze. That’s basically $500 worth of rewards - get it now!
Ramp Credit Card - likely a good option for established companies. Ramp is more focused on later-stage companies with features like expense approval, reimbursement control, and other process controls that are helpful for growth stage companies that have finance teams in place and more internal control. Also, unlike other cards that entice you to spend with complicated reward programs, Ramp is the only card built around keeping money in your bank. It is a corporate card that strengthens your finances.
Want a detailed review of the best credit cards for startups? Click here to read our breakdown of the top players we see our clients using. We list out the pros and cons of each of the cards we see with major market share.