Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Stripe Corporate Card (stripe.com)
525 points by eloycoto 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 241 comments

Well, 2% on some things + 1% on everything else is better than I am getting with Amex now. Plus, $50k in free processing is like $1,450 in free money.

Honestly, I wouldn't believe that deal, except that I have a multi-year history with stripe as our CC processor and it has been nothing but positive and as-promised.

So, I submitted an application. It sounds like a great deal to me.

I push all our spending through a 2% cash back capitalone business visa. Can't find a better cashback rate, though you could run multiple cards through different vendors with their own credit cards, but you get diminishing returns. If you are a big amazon spender (products, not AWS), it makes sense to do an amazon visa, and then the capital one for everything else.

It's really easy to believe the deal when you look at your interchange rates. The Capital One that I mention above has 2.3% interchange rate, so the merchants who take it get hit much harder than other cards. Capital One, stripe, amex etc are all still making a killing on these cards, they just do it on the backs of the merchants who accept them.

Based off our business spending on our card, which isn't extreme by any measures (18 employees, bootstrapped and cash flow positive, doing fairly decent), it probably beats that stripe card even with the processing fee bump.

A warning for using the Amazon visa: their record retention is horrible. I had to call in and talk to someone for them to send me a paper statement for charges from the previous year when doing taxes. Their export for current records is also terrible last I checked. It's basically terrible for any sort of accounting.

As a small business owner, it wasted hours of my life for no good reason.

Not sure which card you are referring to. I’ve had the amazon chase visa for over 10 years and have no problem pulling up my records.

Probably the "Amazon.com Store Card" issued by Synchrony Bank, and not the "Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card"/"Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card" issued by Chase. I've heard bad things about Synchrony's usability.

You are correct - my mistake. It was the "Amazon.com Store Card" by Synchrony Bank.

It was awkward to read this it sounds eerily similar to my company.

We’ve been using two capital one cards for all of our expenses (in the hundreds of thousands per month), and have really enjoyed the benefits of 2% cash back.

The biggest issue is the credit limit. Even after 12 months of making 4-6 payments for the entire credit limit throughout the month (we max the card out every week at least), they still won’t give us the limit we need. Sometimes they even make up bogus excuses on the credit request response form Such as “account cost too high” (or something like that)

> Even after 12 months of making 4-6 payments for the entire credit limit throughout the month (we max the card out every week at least), they still won’t give us the limit we need.

Had the same experience with the same card, asked multiple times for a credit increase ... which they denied. Then they increased it months later when I didn't ask. Go figure.

My personal card pulls the same shit constantly. Last raise request I made was for $300 to put a bill on it, was declined, a month later I get an automatic offer for a $1000 credit raise. They'll be losing my business pretty soon.

> If you are a big amazon spender (products, not AWS)

The Amazon Business card from Amex is great for Amazon spending, products and AWS included.

Wow, 3% back on AWS is definitely nice!

The Amazon Business Prime Amex offers 5% AWS cashback. It’s great.

> The Amazon Business Prime Amex offers 5% AWS cashback. It’s great.

Is there an equivalent for Azure?

Anyone know of an equivalent for GCP?

Ughh, almost every card for individuals with good credit is better than that [1]. Unless you mean strictly among corporate cards?

[1] https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/cash-back

Do these cards require a personal guarantee?

Do they require personal social security number?

Can they be ordered in bulk (ie, 5-10 at a time when onboarding folks).

Not to be rude, but the corporate card market is different than the personal card market in a number of ways.

Wait, how do these cards work, then? The corporate cards I've used (eg AmEx Corporate) did indeed require a personal guarantee and a personal social security number from each individual who had an account.

That seems really odd. The employees who have these cards are often expected to spend multiple times their yearly salary on company business. Personal guarantees simply wouldn’t work.

The last place I was at did it that way. I imagine it was to incentive early expense reports, otherwise you were stuck paying the bill. Also protects the employer if the expense isn't legitimate. But, it was pretty stressful as an employee.

It’s certainly the case for my company card. I wouldn’t be able to pay off the cost faster than I add new expenses.


> Am I personally liable for purchases made on the card?

> No. Only your business is liable for purchases made on the card.

I have only had an Amex decades ago, but it was issued when I was too young to drink in the US. Maybe eighteen? Could have been nineteen. Something around that age. The company decided to send me to the US and somebody went "Oh, this kid should have a card so we can sort out expenses that way" and they ordered me an Amex. I never signed anything to my knowledge, just a corporate Amex arrived for me in internal mail.

In fact it wasn't even delivered until after I arrived in the US. At check-in (to the hotel, not the airport) my boss had fax'd them a picture of her Amex card and that was good enough for them. When she flew in a few days later I tried to meet her in the bar, and that's when I found out my first crazy thing about America - I wasn't allowed in the bar.

Very different times. But I'd be surprised if Amex now cares about exactly who the people are its corporate customers want cards for. Why would they? These cards aren't for you to use as personal payment cards, they're your employer's card and you're just authorised to use it for work.

>she flew in a few days later I tried to meet her in the bar, and that's when I found out my first crazy thing about America - I wasn't allowed in the bar.

It's usually based on receipts, and certain bars that are majority alcohol 21+, a restaurant that happens to serve drinks is any age. Pub type places really can vary depending on the state/county/city/township. But yeah exclusively alcohol bars will almost always be 21+.

I'm surprised this is surprising, I saw several 21 or even 25+ bars in Europe. But they were mostly aimed at turning away groups of rowdy backpackers, if you went in for a quiet pint nobody pressed if you were 22 or 20.

American Express has both "Business" and "Corporate Business Cards."

The "Business" ones require a personal guarantee. For some color, I've signed up for multiple Amex Business cards in the past as a "sole proprietor" even though I was really just churning the cards for the rewards. You just input your SSN for the EIN.

The Corporate Amex cards don't require a personal guarantee.

The AmEx card I used was 100% a Corporate card (not a Business card) and definitely did require a personal guarantee.

edit: After some searching, it appears AmEx offers corporate cards both with and without personal guarantees, and it's up to the company to decide which they want to do. In my case, at one of the largest consulting companies in the world, they required personal guarantees.

Who is the guarantor? The employee? That seems like a very shady thing to do given every expense put on that card is for work.

Yes, the employee. Why do you think it's shady? In my years of working in and around people with the same setup I've never heard of any complaints, and I know most of the other large consulting companies do it the same way.

AFAIK the thought behind it is that not every expense on the card is for work - as a consultant, I travel every week and I put all kinds of expenses on the card (not all of which are strictly "for work" or allowed to be reimbursed by the company). This way, my company still pays the bill for whatever expenses I mark as reimbursable, but the company doesn't have to worry about being on the hook for when I use my card to buy a pair of pants.

To me, it's basically the same as having a personal CC and my company reimburses me for the expenses - except in this case, it's a lot easier for my company to pay part of the bill directly (instead of me being an intermediary) and I also don't have to worry about hitting a credit limit.

The point is you're trusting the company to not screw you over and refuse to reimburse you or pay the bill, for whatever reason. Everyone has some horror story of waiting months to get reimbursed for something from an employer. It's less annoying if it's very occasional or the amount is small, but when you're racking up thousands a week there's a non-zero risk.

I suppose that's true and I would probably be worried about that if it was a smaller company or a company that had a real possibility of not being able to pay the bills. At my company that pulls in billions per year and has hundreds of thousands of employees that use this expense system that I've never heard one case of someone having an issue getting reimburses, it's not much of a worry to me.

We live in a post Lehman Brothers world...anything can happen. Personally would rather keep my personal expenses to my personal card and refuse a personal guarantee for any corporate spending, especially if it's going to average thousands a month.

Seriously, how hard can it be to bring both a personal and corporate card on a trip, and use each as appropriate? I've never had an employer issued cc but it's baffling to me that some employees have no problem personally guaranteeing company expenditures. I can imagine all sorts of scenarios, including a complete unexpected collapse, that would leave the employee out to dry.

>it's basically the same as having a personal CC and my company reimburses me for the expenses

The company collects all the rewards for the spend but you take on all of the risk of repayment. If you used your personal card you'd collect the rewards.

Using personal cards and being reimbursed is a nice perk for many.

>The company collects all the rewards

Erm, no they don't. I personally collect all of the rewards from it. I have a nice fat account of AmEx MRs (and plenty of hotel and airline points) thanks to all of my corporate card spend.

edit: I have no idea why this is being downvoted. Do you want me to show you a screenshot of my MR account as proof, or something? AmEx corporate cards absolutely give the card rewards to the employee, not the company.

See https://millionmilesecrets.com/news/you-can-earn-american-ex...

My AMEX corporate card didn't allow me to earn rewards. I didn't know some did. It also had a personal guarantee.

From your link

>However, if your company has blocked the American Express Membership Rewards program, you will NOT be able to enroll your corporate cards.


>To earn American Express Membership Rewards points, you have to pay $90 to enroll your American Express Green Corporate card or American Express Gold Corporate card.

So only worth it for people who know they will be big spenders and who won't leave the company for a long time. For someone who travels only once a year (like me) totally not worth it. I'd rather collect the ~$30 cash back on my 2.5% cash back card.

Why would you be buying any personal items with a company credit card? Isn't that what your own personal credit card is for?

It isn't extremely common to do so, but the most basic example I can give is incidentals at a hotel. The hotel room and some incidentals are reimbursed by the company, but other incidentals are not (ie some consulting clients do not allow the reimbursement of alcohol). It's typically easier to just put it all on the corporate card and mark some of the transactions as reimbursable and some of them as personal than it is to finagle a way to settle the hotel bill with multiple credit cards.

There's also the one-off situation where I really needed a new pair of pants while traveling (my only clean pair of business-appropriate pants split down the middle) and for some reason the only card I had on me was my corporate card. Obviously extremely rare, but I've heard of similar situation (but with a belt) happening to another colleague.

> The Corporate Amex cards don't require a personal guarantee.

I have Amex corporate and it absolutely required a personal guarantee. Social Security number and all.

I learned something! I had no idea Amex did a guarantee.

I routinely order multiple employee cards with nothing more than employee names. Sometimes they use last 4 digits or DOB to allow employee to authenticate for online access - you can use any 4 digits though you want (ie, employee ID works fine). No personal guarantee. Oddly, I'd never heard of a corporate card requiring an employee guarantee though I guess Amex is one of them.

This stripe card is a corporate card in the "normal" sense for me - no personal guarantee. This makes getting them (usually) very easy, just upload a list of 20 names and the cards come. I even do things like "Office Manager" for the name on non-stripe cards - works fine.

That is interesting. I've only used AmEx Corp cards with a personal guarantee and wasn't aware there was any other way.

For anyone else who stumbles across this comment: AmEx offers Corporate cards both with or without a personal guarantee, depending on what the company wants to do. And (also mentioned farther down in this thread) they also give the option to give the card rewards to each individual employee cardholder, or give all the rewards to the business, again depending on what the company chooses.

I could be wrong on this, and someone more knowledgeable feel free to correct, but the way I understand it is:

When you start a corporation with no history, any credit obtained is obtained through the founders personal credit history, with all the liability that entails.

When the corporation reaches a certain point of maturity, the corporation starts having it's own 'credit' and non-personally backed credit lines can be obtained.

I'm ignorant as to the variables used to determine 'maturity' (though processing volume and tax history are probably two, since I know you can get a corporate credit line backed by outstanding accounts receivable alone)

This is for a DE corporation and I'm a California resident.

The company I have experience with using personally-backed corporate cards has been around for a century, has hundreds of thousands of employees, and billions of yearly profits. While I'm sure that your comment is true, 'maturity' is definitely not the only deciding factor in personally-backed vs company-backed cards.

Yup, I've been in a similar (or the same?) situation. I think it's because when you get to a certain scale, it's the only way to force employees to file their expenses.

No approved expenses report, no payment, your own problem.

When I started in sales at IBM in 2004 this was the case. I had to put down a personal guarantee in order to be issued a corporate AMEX. I hated it, but it was a take it or forfeit the job deal.

From Stripe's corporate card page "All you need to sign up is a Stripe account—no paperwork or personal guarantee required. Get up and running with a virtual card in minutes."

Um the GP is talking about credit card purchases for their business, not their personal expenses.

As long as they don't renege later. Every single cash back card I have jumped on board with started with 2% ... changed the terms a year in to 1% ... then went down to 0.5% even later. And increased fees later as well. Maybe just bad luck on my part.

For example: https://www.reddit.com/r/PersonalFinanceCanada/comments/6164...

Canada has been capping interchange fees. 1.5% in 2015, 1.4% last year. They're the main way the card issuers pay for the rewards, so it makes sense that as they get limited the rewards go away.

Oh. Why do stores still refuse amex then? Are visa and mastercard going below the cap on their high end cards?

The agreement was apparently just with Visa/MasterCard, and Amex works differently there, it seems.


> Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. agreed to cut Canadian credit-card transaction fees in a move that could save smaller businesses C$250 million ($192 million) a year and crimp revenue for Canadian lenders.

> American Express Co. agreed separately to support “objectives of greater fairness and transparency," the government said. AmEx doesn’t operate on an interchange model for its fees. The New York-based company remains “committed to improving the fairness of the Canadian credit card ecosystem,” company spokesman David Barnes said in an email.

As paranoid as it sounds, it's a bad idea to pin so much of your business to one vendor / service provider. If they decide to ban you, you aren't just locked out of payment processing but also the other services.

For the same reason, I wouldn't use Stripe Atlas (their company formation solution) or other services.

If you fly, ever, business gold AmEx cannot be beaten. 4x points on the first $150k spent on two categories of your choice. Then, 25% off(!) flights booked with points at AmExTravel.com.

I will definitely be getting the Stripe card because the intro offers are so good. But, the airfare discounts alone at AmEx Travel are so good it will continue to be my go-to corporate card.

I’ve had to use AMEX travel several times to book flights for business reasons, and it’s always substantially more expensive than I could get if I booked it myself. Even with 25% off I’m still not certain it’s a good deal.

Edit: just realized you were referring to booking with points. In that case it gets a little more hazy, who knows what the value is really worth there. But I definitely have a negative opinion of Amex travel and will avoid them if possible, at this point I just assume they’re giving me a bad deal

Does that apply on the corporate version, here? https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/business/cor...

I'm not super clear on the difference between business cards and corporate cards.

Biz cards are personally guaranteed and corp cards are not.

So a corp can get either type depending how they want the guarantee can go? Like, a regular biz card can work for corp expenses?

> Then, 25% off(!) flights booked with points

Just looked it up. Same flight, same time.

Google Flights: $309 AmExTravel: $386

25% off isn't so great when the competitor is already 20% lower.

The major difference between Brex/Stripe card and typical business cards on the market whether or not there's a personal guarantee.

There’s literally no risk for them. It’s yet another vertical business that isn’t addicted to the fees and they know you’re going to continue to use them for payment processing so the CAC for a corporate customer at ~$1500 or so is dirt cheap for the LTV that they(you) provide.

The entire cc industry is addicted to the processing fees and everyone else pays for it with higher prices.

Uber Visa gets you 4% on dining, 3% on hotels and airfare, 2% for online purchases, and 1% on everything else. It's not a corporate card, but it's hard to beat those rates.

> It's not a corporate card

So invalid as a comparison to a corporate card.

That’s a pretty good rewards rate and there’s no annual fee. Reading up a bit, you don’t have to spend it as Uber fun bucks either. You can claim the rewards as cash.

The Uber card has almost nothing to do with Uber (the company) and their services, they are just the co-brand partner on the card. (So they get a kickback on card activities). I mean, you get a higher cash back rate from taking the flight than you do from the Uber ride to the airport.

Usually company cobranded cards (ex. airlines, hotels) are tightly tied with that company's services, Uber seemed to just want to make a good credit card that people would like to use often, which is unique.

However, it's a personal card, completely different market than corporate cards, so not comparable.

The Uber Visa card also includes up to $50 in credits for popular recurring services, including Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, Sirius, and others.

Up to a $50 statement credit for online subscription services after you spend $5,000 on your card per year

You are correct, I forgot about that caveat.

We're a happy Brex customer, but we'll definitely run the numbers. I think it really depends on what kind of startup you are.

Capital one Spark has 2% cashback on everything. Combine that with Chase Ink which gives you 3% cashback on office supply, cable/internet bills.

Your message couldn't look more as a PR comment. Maybe it's true, but it feels like an ad.

I’d say the same thing. I’m not a shill. Have processed millions with Stripe and there has never been a glitch.

I kind of have to agree.

Not saying it is false or denying the actual premise of the OP. Just saying it feels personally to ME, very PR like and included for those reasons alone as a top comment here on HN.

It’s impressive to see the velocity of new products that Stripe is putting out. I’d be really interested to see a blog post or similar on how they decide which initiatives to invest in, how they structure those teams and set milestones, etc

[Stripe cofounder]

Thanks! We're always paranoid that we're too slow, for whatever it's worth.

We're still iterating on the supporting models and frameworks. We think a lot about pace layering -- how do we have teams that think on multi-year horizons (infrastructure, security, etc.) alongside teams that are rapidly iterating at much earlier stages of development. I think a lot goes wrong when organizations insist on too much consistency in their operating approach.

We've now identified a few semi-formal mechanisms that have helped substantially. (For example: larger companies tend to want to aggressively standardize roles. This makes sense when operating at scale but less so in the early days. So, we've made it easy to hire for ill-defined roles in nascent product areas -- we figure we can codify those roles later as needed and that doing so sooner is a premature optimization.) We'd certainly consider writing a blog post once we feel that they might be generalizable.

(If anyone reading this is interested in helping us figure things out, please do apply. We're particularly interested in hiring engineers who are interested in these questions.)

Makes sense! For the eventual blog post, I'd be particularly interested in hearing how you decide which small bets to make (e.g. did Corporate Cards start from an employee saying "I want to go work on this"? An internal new-products strategy team? An executive?), and what structures you have in place for deciding when to invest more heavily in a bet.

We are trying to figure out how to do this at Clever, and I know others like Segment (https://segment.com/blog/finding-product-market-fit-again/) are thinking about this as well, so hopefully we can start putting together some advice on how to create an "engine" for layering new products onto an established platform.

I really wish you'd focus time and energy on documentation and examples for the current products. I wrote this blog post after a very frustrating experience with Stripe Connect: https://testdriven.io/blog/setting-up-stripe-connect-with-dj...

Moving from the legacy checkout to elements was complex since you do not mention in the docs that validation checks no longer get checked on the client and instead have to happen on the sever.

Any tips on landing a callback from your hiring team then? :)

I have years of experience with “big data” but I’ve always thought payments would be a good, similar vertical that would be far more interesting

Pro-tip: trying to get through the "front door" is usually a waste of time. Try to find a recruiter on LinkedIn (sometimes their profile is actually linked to a job listing) and contact them directly through a message.

Hey Patrick, could you elaborate more on hiring in nascent product areas? What does making it easier actually entail compared to hiring in more established areas of Stripe?

>If anyone reading this is interested in helping us figure things out, please do apply.

Do you have a link? Thanks.

Do you know what's annoying to me? Seeing how awesome products you have but can't use them because I live in Romania. Come on... :D

I know there's Atlas, but for a bootstrapper I can't afford it (especially when I don't know anything about legal stuff).

I wonder if e-residency in Estonia would help you

It might, but it might cause some headaches with our local fiscal agency.

Also, their (estonian) corporate taxes are higher than ours.

Our company Moonlight was an early beta tester of the Stripe Corporate Card. Each person on our distributed team of five has a card, and it's made things like arranging travel or covering minor SaaS charges simple.

Happy to answer any questions about the end user experience!

Thank you for being such amazing beta testers! Glad to have started with Checkout, met in the TOMS store in LA, and now on Corporate Card. :)

I'll be at Sessions today if you want to catch up!

Unfortunately will be watching live from the office, but you should say hi to Cristina!

Is this card tied to an individual or the company? We use Amex and it's tied to individuals so when that person leaves we have to do the dance of migrating the payment to another person. Can we avoid that w/ stripe?

You can have named users or you can have (conceptually) a role account, like saas_subscriptions@example.com.

We recommend businesses set up the latter for recurring purchases on e.g. infrastructure that aren't tied to a particular person, for the same reasons that you don't want your logins for all of your SaaS or infrastructure to be under individuals' email addresses.

That feels like a headline feature - cards not being tied to specific humans at the org is great for the (SaaS/IaaS/Cloud) reasons above.

The 1:1 person:credit-card mapping for those without invoice billing will continue to cause chaos for smaller orgs when people leave or cards are lost.

Oh, I didn't know this. Cool!

We love working with you. <3

Thanks for listening to and acting on our feedback!

Does the card need a personal guarantee for each holder?

(I work on Corporate Card)

It does not for anyone!

Thank you. And who sets limits? Is it Stripe or the company?

Stripe sets a limit for the company, then you can see limits for individual users

How does the card validation work? Do most payment processors accept it?

It's just a standard Visa card with chip+signature and contactless. It works everywhere I've tried it!

Ah, it seems to be based on Visa.

As a small business owner, what I like about the Chase business cards is rewards come back in the form of points that I can easily transfer to my personal cards. It sounds like Stripe applies them towards the statement, i.e., benefit goes to the business, not to me personally.

However, the 50k free processing is very enticing as thats way higher than any other signup bonus I've seen. But again, credit goes to business, not to me. With a typical chase card, I'll get ~$1,000 worth of points (tax free) added directly to my personal points balance for simply switching a few business expenses to that new card for a couple of months.

> As a small business owner, what I like about the Chase business cards is rewards come back in the form of points that I can easily transfer to my personal cards. It sounds like Stripe applies them towards the statement, i.e., benefit goes to the business, not to me personally.

Extracting a thing of value that was remitted to the business to a personal account for personal use sounds like embezzlement, but IANAL.

I never had a corporate CC, so I'm curious: do those rewards count as personal income for tax purposes?

Usually I'll let the points sit and use them when I have to travel - so the points never touch my bank accounts. I'm not a tax expert, but for that reason I don't bother reporting any income on it

If you use it for personal travel, I'm pretty sure it counts as income.

I stand corrected, thanks

Credit card rewards do not get a 1099 as they’re a rebate/discount on spent monies.

Banking sign up bonuses usually do as they’re classified as interest.

Yeah, but the company spent the monies, and the employee got the rebate. Seems like an employment benefit to me.

Travel status/miles are sort of similar. It’s a basic racket: the airline rewards you for steering your company’s money to them. It seems to be broadly acceptable but I agree looks pretty sketchy when you boil it down to the basics.

No. CC points are not taxable if earned via spending - they're like rebates for spending so they are not taxed.

For the same kind of points (Chase Ultimate, for example), you are taxed if earned via:

* Referrals

* Opening an account (i.e. Chase checking account)

* Other non-spending activities

But if the business spends $100 and the rebate is $2, but I personally pocket the rebate instead of giving the money back to the business, wouldn't that $2 become taxable personal income? (and perhaps also theft, depending on my relationship to the business?)


Seems like only cash rewards are taxable, but even then, it doesn't see like the IRS would be interested in pursuing it.

If you run a small business and have a SB card, spending just $100k can get you more than $1k in rewards a year. $1k is still probably not worth the IRS tracking down, but getting on the IRS being too busy to tackle your tax fraud is still tax fraud.

The thing that sticks out to me as a core differentiator here is the "real-time expense reporting" feature. It looks like it allows employees to SMS a receipt the moment they make a transaction and it'll automatically match it. That's a marked improvement compared to how serious of a pain point expense reporting is for so many employees.

FWIW, Brex also offers this. I use my corporate card and immediately get a text reminding me to snap a picture of the transaction.

However, it almost never correctly identifies the transaction on the card and pings me immediately with another text "Could not match a transaction". I usually just ignore that though.

They have an app now, works much better than the text receipt feature in my experience so far: https://brex.com/mobile/

1-2% cashback is highly appealing from here in the UK but shame to see is US only.

Anyone shed any light on why getting cashback cards in the UK is rare compared to elswehre? Personally I found Tandem which gives 0.5% cashback which is nice but not much.

Business wise we decided to use Amex as the rewards are OKish (comes out to like ~0.5% again I think?) and being able to pay for US services on our USD card is nice and does save money. Benefits overall not great though, probably save ~£1k per year compared to just using a bank issued debit/credit card.

[Stripe co-founder]

As multiple commenters note, UK and EU interchange is significantly lower than that in the US. So the rewards market tends to be different as a result.

That said, launching this in the UK would still be attractive to us. We don't think rewards are the primary thing businesses are looking for.

As we talked to founders, it seems like they all want a corporate card early on for their business spending (to get it off personal cards). As the business adds employees, they need a sensible way to keep tabs on spending without the expensing process being really painful. I think that's just as relevant in the UK, with the added detail of multi-currency spending being more relevant.

Thanks for reply!

From our point of view, a card where we could use our USD and EUR balance to make USD/EUR payments would be one of the biggest pulls if possible. I think recurring USD charges for UK based businesses are probably quite prevalent.

I don't think many UK startups realise how much they lose out on being charged in GBP on these transactions (especially with debit cards). There's likely an opportunity here to educate UK businesses and use that to promote this sort of card.

> all want a corporate card early on for their business spending (to get it off personal cards)

I'm surprised by this, been a while since we were an early business but didn't have any issue getting a corporate debit card which is more than adequate early on.

> From our point of view, a card where we could use our USD and EUR balance to make USD/EUR payments would be one of the biggest pulls if possible. I think recurring USD charges for UK based businesses are probably quite prevalent.

> I don't think many UK startups realise how much they lose out on being charged in GBP on these transactions (especially with debit cards). There's likely an opportunity here to educate UK businesses and use that to promote this sort of card.

That's what we use Transferwise and their Borderless Account for.

The challenger banks have similar offerings, with multi-currency accounts behind them. We don't have enough in other currencies to need that (yet, it's on my TODO list) . Not being stung for foreign currency transaction fees is why we put all non-GBP expenditure through Transferwise

Right now in order to charge USD (not the local currency), we have to give up 2% of total revenues to Stripe (or your local issuing bank) every month.

Is any progress underway to allow merchants to deposit funds to a USD account outside of the US?

When will this be available in Canada?

European interchange fees are capped at 0.3%, so unless you are making money hand over fist from other means, giving back more than 0.5% cashback rarely makes financial sense.

Amex own-branded cards are excluded from this as they avoid the three-party relationship that falls under these rules, but some (e.g. airline amex cards) are capped at 0.3% interchange fees. See this article for more info https://www.headforpoints.com/2018/02/08/american-express-eu...

Credit card transaction fees are way higher in the US than in the UK. This allows the companies budget for much higher cashback earning, mileage programs, etc.

Here is a great post that explains the economics of credit card rewards: https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/5oucdq/the_econom...

Interchange fees are capped to 0.2-0.3% in the EU by regulation. Merchants pay less (to the issuer, ultimately) for the benefit of accepting credit cards, so there is less fees to hand out as cash back (from the issuer to the card owner).

As I understand it usual US de-regulation means card issuers get to charge the merchant more or less whatever they want. So if they charge your grocery store $4 for the transaction when a rival does it for $1 then giving you $2 "cash back" is very affordable for them.

The end result is a regressive wealth transfer from lower income people who can't qualify for rewards cards to high credit score, high income folks.

This is obviously horrible for merchants, but what's really gross is how regressive it is when it comes to poor people and small businesses. Unlike national chains, local outfits don't have the ability to negotiate favourable fee arrangements, so accepting CC payment puts them at another built-in disadvantage relative to well-heeled competitors. And of course, those fees end up baked into the price of everything, and are then carried by anyone who doesn't have a big-spender cashback/rewards card, but especially by people paying cash (whether by choice or because they are unbanked).

Hilarious to have this state of affairs going on while there's simultaneously a right wing panic about how carbon pricing will make everything a few percentage points more expensive. But I guess making everything a few percentage points more expensive so that executive credit card holders can get thousands per year in cashback and travel rewards is no biggie.

"The Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation is a United States class-action lawsuit filed in 2005 by merchants and trade associations against Visa, MasterCard, and numerous financial institutions that issue payment cards. The suit was filed due to price fixing and other allegedly anti-competitive trade practices in the credit card industry."

Another area where giving freedom to these businesses ends up screwing the average person. This is why I like the EU, they are strong on consumer rights. The naive would assume these businesses would naturally want to compete on these fees.

Sometimes the EU can be a bit too strong on consumer rights. For example, while charging excessive "processing fees" for accepting payment by card was a common scam, cards often do cost more to process than various other forms of payment here, and under the EU's latest PSD rules all surcharges for card use have been banned, even those that really did only cover the additional cost of the transaction.

I'd rather they err on the pro-consumer side, to be honest. I doubt those big banks and credit card companies will struggle to fight this and make their case for the appropriate exemptions if their scenarios warrant them.

Banning processing fees is anti-consumer, because it means that consumers who pay by a cheaper method have to subsidize the consumers who pay by the more expensive method (since companies will have to raise the prices for everyone).

Credit card companies won't fight bans on processing fees, because it actually helps them (the extra cost of the credit card is now hidden, and reduced, which means more people will use credit cards).

Additionally, this is a regressive policy, since it's easier to access financial products like credit cards when you're richer.

The blanket policy does have the effects you described, but more _often_ it gets rid of hidden charges or makes it trivial to prosecute them. Americans are apparently so used to these that it doesn't register, but Europe has been pretty effective at ensuring that headline prices must reflect the price you pay so as to be comparable.

Europe wants to ensure that if you say Product X is €10 and your competitor says it's €12 that's not just because you were better at lying than they were, the customers buying from you should pay €2 less for Product X. Transparency is essential to having a working market.

The most common place to see "processing fees" was online where in fact cash isn't an option anyway. A company would offer a product for seemingly less than competitors and then charge a "processing fee" which was really their profit. Committees looking at this stuff found that companies charging processing fees were fiercely resistant to a regulation that made them charge their actual cost, insisting that this couldn't be measured anyway and so the options were:

* Let companies advertise a price and then add processing fees of their choosing. As I said Americans are used to this, but Europeans see it as destroying market transparency.

* Forbid tacking on fees altogether (the option they took) so that prices must end up including the merchant's card processing fees the same way they include customer service call costs, warehousing, taxes or anything else.

* Regulate to try to ensure customers have a real way to avoid any processing fees, likely leading to years of court cases as courts rule out each individual sneaky new trick to make an "optional" processing fee in practice mandatory.

In the end I think the route the US chose ends up being more regressive, but I agree the European option isn't a panacea.

It's not the big businesses I'm worried about. It's all the small ones, who are now obliged to take a hit of potentially 5% or more of a small transaction, because they have neither the power to negotiate the much lower fees that big companies have nor any longer the right to pass on the actual cost to their own customers to incentivize paying by a more cost-effective method.

Out of interest, where in EU are 5%+ rates a thing?

Here in Finland the base card-present rates of traditional merchant card service providers are around 0.3% for debit and 1% for credit, with no per-transaction fees so these apply to even small transactions.

Hmm, or maybe you were talking about card payments over internet? You might have a point there as per-transaction fees are more common there (e.g. Stripe takes €0.25).

Out of interest, where in EU are 5%+ rates a thing?

Hmm, or maybe you were talking about card payments over internet?

Yes, I was. For example, Stripe's current pricing here in the UK is 20p + 1.4% for European cards (so a transaction of around £5 has a 5% fee) or 20p + 2.9% for non-European cards (so a transaction of around £10 has a 5% fee).

Other online card payment services are broadly similar for small businesses paying the standard advertised rates.

Depending on the industry sector, cash can effectively be several times more expensive to handle than the US market interchange fees. I don’t think it’s obviously horrible for merchants.

There are definitely lots of merchants who don't take (or strongly discourage) cash— think Apple Store, IKEA, the self-serve tills at the grocery store, anything online. But the common element in all of those is that they're big companies who can negotiate better rates.

Independent retailers, restaurants, etc are put in an awkward position where not accepting credit cards can cost them business, but accepting them forces raising prices which can also cost them business.

Canada has an interesting option in the form of our Interac system for debit, which has more favourable fees especially for small purchases. Since every Canadian with a bank account has an Interac card, one common option for indies is to accept only cash and debit.

> Since every Canadian with a bank account has an Interac card, one common option for indies is to accept only cash and debit.

Except I hate using my Interac card for... well, anything... because if it gets compromised, it's my own chequing account that gets locked with the missing money.

Visa interchange fees for the higher end rewards cards top 2.5% of the transaction. That's cost that the merchant has to pass on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

The EU caps it at 0.3%, and the banks still manage to stay in business.

Can you explain what makes handling cash is so expensive? honest question.

Till theft, the physical act of counting it and securely storing it, screening counterfeits, securely transporting it to the bank, etc. I don’t have direct links handy, but there have been some good insightful comments on the topic on this site previously. Hopefully they will turn up without much difficulty with a search. Sorry to have to pass the buck on a more detailed answer.

Handling cash is very labor intensive, you're paying your highest paid employees (managers) to count cash multiple times before/after shifts, bank runs to deposit, making change, rolling coins, etc. Plus the cost of physical security for that cash.


>New Research from IHL Group Shows Retailers’ Cash-handling Costs Range from 4.7% to 15.3%, Depending on Retail Segment

Loss from theft is a huge deal as well, there was a coffee shop in Baltimore that went cash-free because they were getting robbed so much.


If you handle enough of it, you probably wind up contracting with an armored car company to come collect it. Some gets lost or stolen, coins have to be rolled up for deposit, etc.

Nice, I assume this give Stripe the ability to shortcircuit Visa/MC on a payment between a Stripe card and Stripe as the processor and capture more of the revenue without needing to share it.

Yep, Stripe are also investors in Monzo. This is the obvious long term play and there is no way the incumbents can keep up. It would also allow massive innovation in payments too.

Visa and mastercard should be very worried about being displaced.

This card is a Visa card. I don't think Stripe is close to replacing them. Not by a very long distance.

I believe it is Visa to use them when transaction can not be "short-cut". I think If the merchant already is related to stripe(uses Stripe for its' payments on the website) and customer uses stripe card, stripe can bypass visa network and thus save on transaction fees.

Similar to how an account to account transfer in the same bank does not go though whole SWIFT network etc.

Visa might be the best business model ever made, I don't think it's going anywhere soon.. Extremely high barrier to entry, extremely low marginal costs, infinite scalability.

Look at China, India and other Asian countries. Visa and MasterCard never had that much of a strong foothold there and now debit and credit cards are pretty much antiquated by wallets and QR codes.

This isn't true for India. Until last year, all the cards I'd seen in India were either Visa, Mastercard or AMEX. This year my bank tried to send me a "Rupay" card which is an Indian processor; on speaking to the bank staff, it appears that the central bank (RBI) are asking banks to promote Rupay by default to avoid transaction data from leaving the country. But it's still possible to change to a Mastercard or Visa card.

Many businesses and individuals would still prefer to have a Mastercard or Visa at this time as most international websites that sell services and goods don't accept Rupay.

Sure, there will always be a middleman, but when plastic cards go away I suspect visa etc will be pushed out.

How is Monzo related? They’re still a bank and still use MasterCard.

When a Monzo card is processed by Stripe they can cut-out the middleman (MasterCard) and directly settle the payment between themselves.

I assume that represents a very tiny % of their transactions.

Of course it does today. If you fast forward a few years and include this new stripe card it may not and as they own both ends of the transaction they could start to offer better features on transactions that don’t leave their network, incentivising both sides to use it.

Highly optimistic.


Visa/MC is the payment network; cards like Stripe run atop it. (Just as Stripe relies on that network for its transaction processing)

This product is more of a direct competitor to American Express.

How does this work on a technical level with regards to contactless/chip payments? Who owns (and who has a copy of) the secret data inside the chip?

It also seems to me that if Visa/MC were smart they would write (or have written) into their TOS provisions disallowing this. Both refusing to allow stripe to issue cards which would bypass them as well as refusing to allow stripe to process cards without going through them. I'm sure there could be some justification for that (security or privacy or some other nonsense), but, it seems like this is a slippery slope to cannibalizing Visa/MC out of existence, not that I'm objecting to that per-se, but I assume Visa/MC would want to avoid it.

Has anyone actually done this kind of thing before? That would break rewards and benefits offered directly by Visa/MC.

Direct attack on Brex, good to see competition.

Also on TeamPay.

I’ve been dreaming of corporate card that would also collect the PDF receipts from vendors.

Here the credit card statement is not enough for accounting, you need to have detailed receipt for each charge. Hunting these every month for various SaaS services and other purchases takes time. And it’s not easy to outsource since in many cases the billing stuff is only visible to service admin.

We're working on it! (;

My personal amex seems to be collecting Square receipts on the dashboard automatically!

This looks great. The integrations to finance software already built in are killer. The spend controls and categorization are the most interesting part - will it be possible to reduce the amount of overall credit you need to get? With Amex you have to have a full sized limit available for each employee with a card. If this pulls from the same pool and respects spending limits, it could allow you to have a lot more flexibility with your credit as a business.

Consistently impressive stuff from Stripe.

Just the real time expense reporting is a reason strong enough to get this card. Even with expensify and all expensing tools out there, the friction for reimbursements is still very high. This card removes that friction. Essentially, I just spend and upload my receipts. No need to reconciliate transactions, create an expense report, submit that etc. If only this integrated directly with LDAP or something like that to automate the approval workflow.

>> real time expense reporting

Agreed. This is huge if they get it right. Definitely going to sign up for the trial.

Wait, let me get this straight. You get $5000 of AWS Credits that don't expire and don't require any minimum level of spending by signing up for this card?

From the Terms of AWS Promotional Credits:

> 10. Promotional Credit is valid for a limited time only and expires on the

> date indicated when you receive the applicable Promotional Credit code (or

> such other date designated by us or in these Terms). Failure to use

> Promotional Credit before its expiration date will result in its forfeiture.

> We reserve the right to cancel Promotional Credit at any time. No refunds

> will be granted for any expired or cancelled Promotional Credit.


Hi there! There is no minimum spend requirement to take advantage of the AWS credits. They are promotional credits and will eventually expire; see Amazon's terms: https://aws.amazon.com/awscredits/.

After how long do the credits expire?

Can anyone from Stripe confirm how the AWS Credits will work? If it's good, this seems like a no-brainer for most SaaS startups.

Confirmed above!

Does the card require personal guarantees for each holder?

Stripe want to be a fullstack business bank.

Stripe Payments. Stripe Capital. Now a card.

I welcome it, business banking is huge and needs pushed forward!

Does anyone know how similar this is to Brex? Related: what make Brex so special as a credit card for startups?

My guess is that Brex is more geared towards Silicon Valley VC funded startups - they look at how much money you have in your bank when setting your credit limit (it’s essentially a charge card if I’m using the terminology right - your credit limit is basically what’s in your bank account). The rewards are also more appealing than this iteration of the Stripe corporate card - 7x rideshare, 4x travel, 3x restaurants. Again, my guess is that Stripe is aimed to businesses that don’t fall into the traditional VC startup model - but maybe the rewards will become enticing enough that they will be competitive with Brex in that area in the future as well.

You also can’t discount Stripe’s Connect API - could see this being used in tandem with that for some interesting ideas

Edit: taking a closer look - they also integrate into services like Expensify and if you use their card, first $50k of payment processing is free so that’s also interesting. If you’re paying sticker price, that comes out to something like $1500

Brex also has a Ecommerce card that's based on projected monthly sales: https://brex.com/ecommerce/

That might be more directly comparable to the Stripe card.

Brex differentiated itself by using your bank history to determine your credit limit, meaning that founders didn't need to personally guarantee their corporate cards early on in a company's life. It seems like Stripe is doing something similar.

But this relies on the startup's Stripe history, right? This is more a benefit for existing Stripe customers than it is a broadside at the entire corporate card industry.

Stripe's Corporate Card can use your history on Stripe and other signals as well!

How do the Partner Benefits work?

Are they only valid if we are not an existing customer of the partner, or is it for any spend with those vendors we put onto the card?

Do we work with the Partner to get that discount or is it automatically applied on the Stripe side while processing charges we make to the card?

(Amber from Stripe here. For folks following along, we're talking about the "Additional Benefits" section on the page.)

Anything that says "cash back" is automatically applied to your card spending and for both new and existing customers. For everything else, we'll give you a discount code to type into the partner's site directly!

I’m fairly certain that a majority of the “X months free” offers are for new customers only.

I’m not sure about the AWS credits. Has anyone ever stacked them? (I’m sure AWS locks us to one per account since it goes through a review process)

And remember that Stripe just launched Stripe Capital (https://stripe.com/capital) last week to offer lending services, I cannot wait to see these new services to launch outside US.

Was there a HN thread for Stripe Capital?

Do you need to be incorporated to use this, or can a non-incorporated business use it?

The fee rebate and partner credits are very compelling.

Your business doesn't need to be incorporated to apply. Sole props are welcome! It's worth noting that the personal liability changes, though: the individual behind the sole prop will be personally responsible for charges on their account.

Stripe is doing some great stuff. But I’d be weary to put all eggs in one basket.

Tend to agree but I don't think a card is that big of a deal as in this case it's less Stripe owned as it's a Visa card so pretty sure you'd have some additional protection there.

Let’s say you have an issue because stripe suddenly you’re business is fraudulent (read: you got great coverage on HN and suddenly have 1000 extra customers) Stripe flags you and blocks your account. Done. Now your income and money to spend depends on their customer service.

Many people have had the same with PayPal, and some with regular banks.

So yes, take the card, but also take 5 other cards.

I work at Stripe. Prior to doing so, I fed my family out of a Stripe account for 6+ years.

We're keenly aware of the importance of not messing with our customers' finances in this fashion, not the least because startups are both a core customer segment to us and the heart of what we do. Our policies are tuned around the realities of startups; we get launch days.

If anyone on HN ever feels like we’re slipping, I will do anything in my power to fix that; my email address is my HN handle at stripe.com

Stripe has been receiving a suspicious amount of praise from HN. Really beginning to wonder if this is all organic at this point. Obviously lots of employees in the comments which they are not hiding that fact. But still makes me want to dig deeper than the surface (as everyone should).

If you've ever had to setup an ecommerce site before Stripe was around you'd understand why they get so much praise. Your only options were either navigating the complex and expensive world of merchant accounts or dealing with PayPal's horrible API and customer service.

Stripe almost always receives a lot of praise from HN. That makes perfect sense: it's a YC success story, but more than that, it's a service many of us can relate to, it's a service many of us use or have used ourselves, and probably quite a few of us have been here from its early days and watched it grow.

That doesn't mean the near-universal praise is always justified, of course. The Stripe of today is to some extent a victim of its own success, and the clean API, excellent documentation and first rate customer service that it was famous for in its early days are all sadly shadows of their former selves today.

That in turn doesn't mean Stripe is bad relative to its competitors, of course. It's just not as good as it used to be.

Depending on how old you are: Stripe occupies a market segment that was previously _extremely_ difficult to access.

Authorize.net, merchant acquiring banks, etc. - all of this was _horrible_ for a small, fledgling company.

A potential issue that might be overlooked, that also exists when dealing with your bank and depends on the T&Cs, is a right of set off over the whole relationship.

This is a right to recover money you owe on one account from another account you have with them.

It's likely (though I have not read the T&Cs) that they have a clause that they can recover money you owe on this credit card from your Stripe payment account.

I wonder why companies prefer to use a corporate credit card over debit cards (which are very easy to get)? Do they just like having the line of credit? Is it really worth the extra complication/hassle/thing to worry about just to push off payments by ~15 days (Stripe seems to require that the balance be paid off each month)? I also wonder how that is enforced (by reducing credit limits as a company's bank balance starts to decrease, or by charging interest, or by just eating the defaults)?

Or is it about managing/reporting expenses better across groups an organization? Or do companies just like the rewards?

I understand that interchange fees are higher for credit cards - so are corporate credit cards basically a way to extract additional fees from merchants and distribute them in the form of rewards/cash back to the cardholders?

It can be up to 55 days free, as payment is due ~20 days after statement.

For debit, you would need a bank account for each employee/team and keep them funded. Credit cards let you make employee cards with set limits.

You also get stuff like chargeback protection and whatever else comes with the card. Amex tends to have various insurances for example.

Note that I don't work in a corp, am just thinking through what debit would require.

This is one of amex's corp cards: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/business/cor...

I believe it's a matter of internal controls. Debit cards are typically allowed to do more things than credit cards, especially if you disable cash advances on the credit card.

I'd be curious to know if the AWS credits are available to people who have used AWS before, or had AWS credits before. In my experience, once you're a customer, they won't let you use any more credits (regardless of size, or how many/few credits you used the first time around).

I'm worried about the proliferation revenue-based credit in Silicon Valley. Traditionally credit needs one of the following (ideally two): 1) established history of profit, not just revenue, and 2) collateral. How else are you supposed to convince creditors that you have the capability of paying it back? Stripe Capital, Brex just look at revenue streams.

Easy credit is an obvious predictor of trouble. 2008 to bring a memorable example. Anyone here has plans for shorting corporate credit? Best I could come up with is LEAPS puts on $BKLN. I'm holding some small amount, will double down if things start going south. Wish I could short the revenue-based Silicon Valley style credit. That one is quite ridiculous.

Brex user here. Anyone run a direct comparison of the benefits (cash back, partner deals)?

The spending controls look attractive to me. I have an org that might be a good candidate, as we have several teams that need to manage expenses. Historically, we've used business pre-paid debit cards to control maximum spending, with individual authorizations managing how much folks can spend. It's okay, but it doesn't scale well.

Regarding the controls on the Stripe cards, do they have a concept for Roles? I'd like to be able to say "Managers have a monthly/yearly spending authority up to X, and Directors have a spending authority up to Y", and as we onboard new folks, to put them into a role to manage that quickly and easily.

We love the idea of having roles for spending controls. It's not currently part of the product, but we're planning to work on this very soon!

Oh nice a competitor to Brex!

Brex is also only charge cards so you have to pay them off every 30 days or in other boutique arrangements where the default is not carrying a balance.

On top of the more normal percentage cash back, the partner benefits (like 5% off DigitalOcean) make this really appealing.

Potentially interesting wrinkle: you're not allowed to carry a balance (from https://stripe.com/docs/corporate-card/faqs).

>you're not allowed to carry a balance

This type of card is called a "charge card" (not "credit card") and is extremely common in business card land.


AMEX's best known cards are charge cards as well - Green, Gold, Platinum.

it's basically a charge card.

Now Brex has to up their UI/UX game

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but the response to the invite request currently has a typo. It says "We've received your invite request and we'll be touch soon." Instead of "we'll be in touch soon." Just an fyi.

Thank you! Fixed. (:

Anyone know of a similar card on offer for Australian startup founders?

I see a plethora of these types of cards hitting the market lately, but nearly all for the US market only (understandably, given the strict banking rules in each country).

Hey, I work at DiviPay where we are trying to solve these kinds of problems for Australian businesses. Shout us a message at https://divipay.com/ and someone will be in touch to help you and your startup out.

This doesn't seem that compelling compared to Amex Plum, to me. Signup bonuses are alright but nothing startups aren't showered in from all sources already.

This is going to be an absolutely massive business. I wouldn’t be surprised if in five years it’s bigger than payment processing.

How is this different from Divvy?

Would the money be taken directly from the Stripe balance or the linked bank account?

Right now, you pay through a linked bank account. We are planning to let you pay from your balance in the future, though. (Most of our early users preferred the former.)

interesting move....they are like a whole new financial system where millions / billions of $$ are flowing from all the online/app transactions to the new financing thing they did and not the card...

I hope this will be gradually available outside US too.

Plus you can carry it in your wallet or your pocket.

US-only for now...

(Amber from Stripe here.) We're definitely planning to expand to other countries—this is just the start.

Canada, s’il vous plait.

Singapore please! I'm guessing there are plenty of companies targeting the Asian market that are headquartered here, which might hopefully push it a little higher on the priority list.

(Happy to chat more about this.)



just like almost all of their products in the beginning

I wonder what would it take for the user (company) to choose the materials of the card (like wood etc)?

This is the second time Stripe has been at the top of HN in the last week. Any theories on why? Is this really that novel of a business?

Because stripe is essentially in the business of fixing broken, old stuff in the payment business. It made a really good core product that developers love, then branched out to other payment-related products and applied that same excellence to those products, too. It is user-friendly, has helpful support, and can be easily integrated. In short, it solves real problems without making itself one more head-ache for people.

Stripe was first to market with a simple payments API. It established their brand. But I don’t think anything else they’ve done is different than the status quo. Getting a credit card, loan, or incorporated is more or less the same at Stripe vs elsewhere.

If you watch Kat's recent "How to Launch (Again and Again)" talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xU050kMbHM&feature=youtu.be

Stripe YC S2010 gets cited as often doing it right with launches across all social channels including Hacker News, with the founders jumping into the threads to answer questions.

It's because we had our conference this week and chose to launch a lot of new stuff. :)

I had to look it up, but Stripe got Y Combinator funding, so that's likely it. I was also confused about why it comes up so often here.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact