Whenever you or your teammates use your Brex card, the transaction will generate a card expense on your Brex account. To add clarity to these expenses, they’ll be assigned a merchant category — one of 48 different business categorizations reflective of the vendor’s industry. For example, if you use your card to buy dinner, it’s likely to receive the Restaurant categorization.
When creating a budget policy, you can specify how the budget will treat different merchant categories—such as requiring further review from any expense with a specific category. However, our default merchant categorizations might not always work for your team. It may make more sense to have your team members base their expenses on expense categories instead of Brex’s standard merchant categories.
An expense category is a customizable classification tool that you can use to help catalog your team’s expenses in a more detailed way. Unlike merchant categories, expense categories can be hand-picked by your team for any given expense. You’ll have roughly 80 expense categories by default upon opening your Brex account, and you can update these to better align with your business operations by reaching out to Brex Support.
When confirming your custom expense categories, you can make the assignment of a category mandatory for expenses within a specific budget. You can also enable this when creating an expense policy by toggling on Require expense category. This means that an employee needs to choose an expense category for all expenses within the budget to maintain compliance.
If you want to let your account and card admins drive policy rules off of their custom expense categories, please reach out to your account representative with a request to enable this option.
Once enabled, you can update your budget templates to indicate how purchases in a specific expense category should be reviewed. You can customize behavior, such as allowing all expenses below $50 within a specific expense category but requiring a review for any exceeding $50.