Mercury Corporate Credit Card Review 2023
Is It the Best Credit Card for Your Startup?
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
Fintech company Mercury has launched a corporate card, the IO Mastercard, to help startups scale their businesses. The IO Mastercard offers automatic 1.5% cash back on all settled transactions, with zero annual fees, no personal credit check, and a 23-day interest-free window on repayment.
Mercury offers a range of banking services, including free checking and savings accounts, debit and credit cards, ACH payments and checks, free domestic and USD international wire transfers, treasury management, access to an API, as well as guidance in finding funding, such as venture debt.
With all that in mind, let’s explore the Mercury IO Mastercard and whether it’s the best fit for your startup’s needs.
Recommended: Read our guide to the Best Business Credit Cards for Entrepreneurs.
Mercury Eligibility Requirements
The Mercury card is only open to US businesses that have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). But Mercury will not accept applications from a sole proprietorship or trust (even those with an EIN), and neither will it accept applications from companies in the money services, adult entertainment, marijuana, or internet gambling industries.
To open an account, you must submit details about your business, including a copy of its formation documents. Personal details, such as your SSN and ownership interest in the company, will also be required. There is no minimum balance requirement for a standard account. Sign-up is free.
Moreover, no personal credit check is made, nor is your personal credit score taken into account.
If your company can maintain $250,000 or more in deposits, it will have access to Mercury Treasury, an automated cash management account that puts surplus cash balances into money market funds for improved yield and security. Mercury Treasury accounts can earn up to 2.6% interest.
Pros and Cons of Mercury Corporate Credit Card
Pros of Mercury Corporate Card
- Approval not dependent on personal creditworthiness
- No minimum balance requirement
- No monthly or annual fees
- Mobile Android and iOS apps
- Access to Mercury’s suite of banking services
A Mercury account gives your company access to startup capital, the ability to customize the application to better suit your needs through its application programming interface (API), and a decent rewards program that delivers 1.5% cash back on all domestic and international purchases.
Cons of Mercury Corporate Card
- It’s a charge card rather than a credit card
- Sole proprietors are not eligible
- Requires a Mercury account
- Cannot be used to build credit
Mercury Corporate Credit Card Fees and Features
The Mercury IO Corporate Card, like many business cards, is a charge card rather than a credit card. The balance must be paid off in full every month. However, you can take advantage of a repayment moratorium that puts your due date up to 23 days after the close of each billing period. The amount that can be charged is determined by your Mercury account balance.
Benefits include a free FICO score, the ability to issue unlimited virtual cards, 1.5% cash back, Treasury accounts with high APY for high balances, and access to capital and venture debt investors. Mercury also offers numerous perks, including a wealth of discounts and promotional offers from a range of partnerships with business software companies, including Google Workspace integration.
The IO card requires opening a Mercury account, which gives access to a suite of banking, accounting, and administrative services. Mercury is not a bank, but in collaboration with The First Bank and Trust Company, offers FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts.
Since IO is a Mastercard, it will be accepted in the 210 countries and jurisdictions where the card network giant has a presence.
Rewards and Benefits
- 1.5% cash back on all domestic and international purchases
- 23-day interest-free repayment period on purchases
- Free two-day shipping from hundreds of online stores, through delivery service ShopRunner
- Purchase APR: 23.99%–28.99%
- Balance Transfer APR: 23.99%–28.99%
- Cash Advance APR: 25.99%–30.99%
Annual Percentage Rates (APR) are based on the Prime Rate and will vary with the market. There is a grace period of 23 days before interest is charged on funds expended on purchases.
- Balance Transfer Fee: 4% (min $5)
- Cash Advance Fee: 5% (min $10)
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%–3%
- Max Late Fee: $40
- Returned Payment Fee: $40
- No annual fees
Mercury is free to use; however, certain advanced features may incur fees. These include making mass payments through the Applications Programming Interface (API), accessing Treasury account management, exchanging money in non-USD currencies, and sending USD internationally with optional premium processing. There are no account minimums, overdraft fees, monthly fees, or account opening fees.
How Does Mercury Compare?
The Mercury card may be good enough for venture capital-backed businesses, but your company may not fit that bill. For mid-sized companies outside the VC ecosystem, the Rho card may be better.
Like the Mercury card, the Rho card is a charge card with nice cash back rewards and no annual fee. What it does have, however, is top-of-the-line repayment options. Despite being a charge card, you will have up to 60 days to pay off an account balance. And a range of digital tools that allows you to tailor services for optimum efficiency and results.
However, unlike the Mercury, signing up for the Rho card requires your company to maintain a minimum bank account balance of $50,000 ( $100,000 if your company is international) or spend $5,000 or more a month through corporate credit cards.
$0 Annual Fee
Free two-day shipping from hundreds of online stores through delivery service ShopRunner.
Best For: Small businesses that want the ability to design their own banking platform.
$0 Annual Fee
Offers an associated suite of commercial banking services that include checking and treasury accounts.
Best For: Businesses undergoing or expecting rapid growth.
Final Thoughts on Mercury Corporate Credit Card
The Mercury Corporate Credit Card is a good card for small businesses that want the ability to customize their banking services. Mercury offers a range of digital tools and integrations for companies to fashion their own bespoke banking platform.
The card also offers 1.5% cash back on purchases and free 2-day shipping from hundreds of online stores through ShopRunner. The card requires opening a Mercury account, which is free. However, certain advanced services, such as making mass payments through the API, Treasury account management, and converting foreign currencies to US dollars, may incur fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Mercury card?
The Mercury card is a corporate charge card issued by financial technology company Mercury that’s designed to help startups scale their businesses. The IO Mastercard offers automatic 1.5% cash back on purchases, with no annual fees, no personal credit check, and a 23-day interest-free repayment period on purchases.
The card also offers free two-day shipping from hundreds of online vendors. It uses the Mastercard network, which has operations in over 200 countries.
Mercury is a fintech that provides banking services through Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust. Services include FDIC-insured savings and checking accounts.
Can I get the IO Card if I don’t have a Mercury bank account?
Presently, it’s not possible to get the IO Card without first setting up a Mercury account. But, consider that Mercury checking and savings accounts are free for your business, and they’ll help you manage all your business spend from a single dashboard as you scale.
Does applying for IO affect my personal credit score?
No. There is no check of your personal credit status when you apply for an IO Card.
Is the IO Card a secured credit card?
No, similar to most business credit cards on the market, the IO Card is a charge card that requires payment in full every month. The limit is determined by your Mercury account balance. There is no requirement for a security deposit or personal guarantee.
What is the credit limit on a Mercury card?
The credit limit on your Mercury card is mainly determined by your Mercury account balance. It is also affected by large deposits and withdrawals.
What bank does the Mercury card use?
The Mercury corporate card is issued by First Bank & Trust, Brookings, SD, under a Mastercard license.
Does IO build business credit?
No, the IO Card from Mercury cannot be used to build business credit, as Mercury does not report IO payments to credit reporting agencies. Although utilized by some small business lenders, Mercury has found that business credit scores are very rarely considered in financing decisions for startups and ecommerce firms.
What does it cost to use Mercury?
Mercury is free to use; however, certain advanced features may incur fees. These include: making mass payments on API, accessing Treasury account management, exchanging money in non-USD currencies, and sending USD internationally with optional premium processing. There are no account minimums, overdraft fees, monthly fees, or account opening fees.
How does Mercury make money?
When you use your IO Card, Mastercard charges a fee to the merchant. Mercury receives a percentage of this fee, known as the interchange fee. Their partner bank also earns a small interest on deposits, and Mercury receives a percentage of this.