Brim Financial Mastercard Review 2023
Brim Financial Mastercard Review
- Annual Cost
- Earn Rate
- Perks and Rewards
- Customer Service
Brim Mastercard Review Summary
If you’re looking for a no-fee credit card with unique perks and a fully-featured app to help you manage your spending, our Brim Financial Mastercard review explains why this card is certainly worth consideration.
While the earn rate is not the most generous, Brim has packed their no-fee Mastercard with features from travel accident insurance to instantly-approved installment plans. With flexible redemption options and no annual fee, the Brim Mastercard is a leading contender for anyone looking for a free cash-back Mastercard.
Our Brim Financial Mastercard review lays out all the details on this ground-breaking card. We show you how the various Brim Mastercard tiers compare and then put the no-fee Mastercard up against another no-fee offering from another digital-only company: the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.
- No annual fee
- Flexible points redemption
- Decent perks
- Travel accident insurance
- Low earn rate
Brim Financial is a digital finance company that promises “More savings, more flexibility, more rewards.” Our Brim Financial Mastercard review reveals the details behind the slogan to see what this no-fee card has to offer. We also compare Brim’s three Mastercard tiers and put the Brim Mastercard head-to-head against another no-fee cashback card: the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.
The Brim Mastercard was featured on Credit Card Genius’s list of the best no-fee cards for 2021. Let’s look at the details.
Brim Financial Mastercard Quick Facts
- Annual Fee: $0
- Minimum Income: None
- Interest Rate: 19.99% on purchases and balance transfers, 21.50% on cash advances
Brim Financial Mastercard Welcome Bonus
Up to $200 in first-time bonus points through Brim’s partner stores.
Note: This looks impressive, but it’s not as spectacular as it seems. Brim’s partners have special Brim Rewards offers for new cardholders making their first purchase. If you add them all up, they total $200, but you’d have to really go out of your way to take advantage of all of them.
1 Brim Rewards point per $1 spent anywhere
Up to 30% back (30 points per $1 spent) in Brim Rewards points, with no caps or limits, from hundreds of partners including:
- Nike (4%)
- Contiki (up to 15%)
- Bodum (10%)
- Lululemon (10%)
- Indigo (5%)
One of Brim’s standout features is the flexibility of their points redemption. Redeem your points on any purchase at any time, anywhere Mastercard is accepted, by using the Brim app. Or use points as cash back towards your balance at any time (no restrictions).
Travel Insurance Coverage
$100,000 Common Carrier travel accident insurance.
Perks and Benefits
- Extended Warranty
- Purchase protection
- Mobile device coverage
- Event ticket cancellation insurance (unique to Brim)
- 0% foreign transaction fees
- Free global wifi
- Refer your friends and get 2.000 points ($20 value) for each one that activates
- InCard offers, eShop offers, milestone bonuses
- Brim installment plans
Brim has two standout perks. The first is the event ticket cancellation insurance, which isn’t featured on any other credit cards. If the event is cancelled and the reason qualifies for coverage, you’re entitled to reimbursement of the non-refundable portion of event tickets charged to the card, up to $1,000 CAD per occurrence.
Covered reasons for cancellation include:
- A medical emergency
- Cancellation by the venue (if no reimbursement, exchange, or rain check is offered)
- A travel accident or delay
- A lost, stolen, or destroyed ticket
- Death of the cardholder or an immediate family member
The second standout feature is Brim’s installment plan payment option, which can be set up instantly for any purchase over $500, either online or on the app. Installments can be paid over a 12-to-24-month period. They can help free up your available credit and make large purchases more manageable.
Just be aware: there’s a one-time installment fee of 7% attached to any installment purchase, plus a monthly processing fee of 0.475%.
That means that on a purchase of $1,500, you’d pay an installment fee of $105.00, and then every month of your installment period you’d pay an extra $7.125. If you paid over a 12-month period, you’d end up paying $190.50 in fees ($105 + (12 x $7.125) = $190.50).
About Brim Financial
Brim Financial is a Toronto-based financial platform that offers 3 tiers of credit cards, plus an app to manage your account. The Brim app includes:
- Special offers
- Budgeting and financial tracking information
- Security controls that allow you to instantly lock and unlock your card and block foreign transactions.
- Card management features like spending limits for additional cardmembers
- Real-time purchase notifications
- Instant payment installment set-up
Although Brim is relatively new to the scene (they launched in 2018 and experienced some initial growing pains), they seem to be finding their stride. The hands-on features of their app are ground-breaking, and we appreciate their mission to put more control in cardholders’ hands.
Brim Financial Mastercard vs. Brim World Mastercard vs. Brim World Elite Mastercard
Brim offers three tiers of Mastercards, from the no-fee Brim Mastercard to the World Elite Mastercard, which costs $199/year. As with any tiered cards, benefits and earn rates increase along with the fees. Here’s a rundown of what you get with each tier of Brim Mastercard so that you can see how they compare:
|Card Name:||Brim Mastercard||Brim World Mastercard||Brim World Elite Mastercard|
|Fee||$0||$99||$199 (first year free)|
|Minimum Income||None||$60,000 personal or $100,000 household||$80,000 personal or $150,000 household|
|Welcome bonus||Up to $200 in bonus Brim partner offers||Up to $300 in bonus Brim partner offers||Up to $500 in bonus Brim partner offers|
|Earn rate||1 point per $1 spent plus special offers||1.5 points per $1 spent plus special offers||2 points per $1 spent plus bonus offers|
|Perks||Extended Warranty (up to an additional year), Purchase protection, Mobile device coverage (up to $500), Event ticket cancellation insurance (up to $1,000), 0% foreign transaction fees, Free global wifi, Refer your friends, Special offers, milestone bonuses, Brim installment plans||Brim Mastercard perks plus:|
Complimentary Lounge Key membership. Mobile device coverage increases to $1,000
|Brim Mastercard perks plus: Complimentary Lounge Key membership. Mobile device coverage increases to $1,000|
|Insurance||$100,000 travel accident insurance||$150,000 travel accident insurance, 8 days emergency medical insurance (up to $5 million age 64 and under only), Flight delay ($500), Baggage delay ($1,000), Lost/stolen baggage ($1,000), Hotel burglary ($500), Rental car collision/loss/damage for vehicles under $65,000, Rental car accident ($100,000), Rental car personal effects ($1,000)||$150,000 travel accident insurance, 15 days emergency medical insurance (up to $5 million age 64 and under), 3 days emergency medical insurance (up to $5 million age 65 and over), Flight delay ($500), Baggage delay ($1,000 per occurrence), Lost/stolen baggage ($1,000), Hotel burglary ($1,000), Rental car collision/loss/damage for vehicles under $85,000, Rental car accident ($100,000), Rental car personal effects ($1,000), Trip cancellation ($2,000), Trip interruption ($5,000)|
*Insurance amounts listed are per person unless otherwise listed. Total cumulative amounts are often higher.
As the fees go up, so do the earn rates. While Brim Mastercard cardholders earn 1 Brim Rewards point for every dollar spent (a 1% cashback return rate), the Brim World Mastercard offers 1.5 Brim Rewards points, and the World Elite offers 2 points. Both the World Mastercard and the World Elite Mastercard have spend caps of $25,000, after which the earn rate drops to the base rate of 1 point per $1 spent.
The first-time bonus offers increase from $200 to $300 and $500 with each tier—but keep in mind that these are a collection of offers from various Brim partner retailers. Your actual total bonus will likely be much lower no matter which card you choose.
While the perks don’t change much between the various cards, the real difference is in the insurance offerings. The no-fee Brim Mastercard offers a single kind of travel insurance ($100,000 in travel accident insurance), but the higher tiers of cards offer much more comprehensive insurance packages.
It’s normal for a no-fee card to have little or no travel insurance, but if insurance is important to you, and if you can qualify for (and afford) a higher tier of card, it could be worth considering, especially if you’re 65 or over. You won’t find any emergency medical coverage for ages 65+ except on the Brim World Elite Mastercard. If you want to read a little bit more about Brim World Elite, you can check out our list of top premium cards with no foreign transaction fees, where this card is featured.
Brim Financial Mastercard vs. Tangerine Money-back Credit Card
Whenever we write a credit card review, our editorial team likes to put the card head-to-head against another, similar card. For our Brim Financial Mastercard review, we chose the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. They share several characteristics:
- Both cards have no annual fee
- Both cards are structured like a cash-back card
- Both cards are from digital-only companies
- Both cards are basic Mastercards, not World or World Elite Mastercards
Here’s how they compare:
|Card Name:||Brim Financial Mastercard||Tangerine Money-back Credit Card|
|Welcome bonus||Up to $200 in bonus Brim partner offers||Promotional balance transfer offer: 1.95% for 6 months (19.95% thereafter)|
|Earn rate||1 point per $1 spent plus special offers (redeemable anytime)||2 points per $1 spent in up to 3 categories, 1 pt per $1 spent on everything else (redeemable monthly)|
|Perks||Extended WarrantyPurchase protectionMobile device coverageEvent ticket cancellation insurance0% foreign transaction feesFree global wifiRefer your friendsSpecial offers, milestone bonusesBrim installment plans||Extended WarrantyPurchase protection|
|Insurance||$100,000 travel accident insurance||None|
The Tangerine Money-back Credit Card offers a better earn rate, with up to 2% cashback in 2 or 3 categories. However, Brim offers more flexible redemption, letting you redeem at any point on any purchase, while Tangerine only pays out monthly.
Brim offers cardholders more perks plus a bit of travel insurance, while Tangerine offers an extended warranty plus purchase protection only. And the welcome bonuses are different—the choice between Brim’s bonus earnings and Tangerine’s promotional balance transfer rate is going to come down to your personal financial needs.
Both are good no-fee cash back cards, and either one would be a solid choice. Tangerine’s earn rate is balanced by more rigid redemption rules and fewer perks. Brim’s perks and flexible redemption are balanced by a lower earn rate (unless you happen to shop at a lot of their partner stores).
Which one wins? We see advantages to both depending on the situation. We call this one a draw, but if you want to make up your own mind, take a look at our Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Review.
Brim Financial Mastercard Review: Some Questions to Consider
Comparisons like the one above really underline the importance of knowing your priorities when you start your credit card search. What’s best for someone else may not be what’s best for you, so it’s important to know what you want going in. To help with that, here are some questions to think about:
- Are you comfortable with a digital credit card company instead of an established bank?
- Do you value flexible points redemption above everything else, or would you prefer a higher earn rate with more limited redemption?
- How important are perks to you? Are there any in particular that you would like to see in your new card?
- Is travel insurance an important factor?
- Do you truly need a no-fee card, and are you willing to settle for lower earn rates and fewer rewards?
Keep your preferences in mind as you do your research. There’s no point in opening a new card if it doesn’t give you exactly what you need. If you want to look at some other options before making up your mind, our list of the Top Free Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada can help you out.
How to apply for the Brim Financial Mastercard
Personal Requirements: You can apply for this card if you are a Canadian resident who has reached the age of majority in your province/territory of residence.
Required Minimum Income: None
Predicted Credit Score Requirement: 725-759 (Very Good)
Brim Financial Mastercard Review: Final Verdict
Brim’s slogan, “More savings, more flexibility, more rewards,” is a relatively accurate one. Brim Financial saves cardholders money by charging no fees for their base Mastercard and no foreign transaction fees on any card. It has the most flexible points redemption program on the market, allowing you to redeem anytime on any purchase. And while its rewards program isn’t staggeringly generous compared to other cards out there, the bonus offers from Brim’s partner retailers do give the earn rates a nice boost.
After completing our Brim Mastercard Review, our editorial team agrees that the Brim Mastercard is worth a look. If you want a no-fee cashback card with loads of perks and a flexible rewards program, this one deserves a place on your list. Some other cards are more consistently generous with their earn rates, but Brim shines in other areas – it’s all a question of what’s most important to you.
Brim is responsive to fraud on my card. They ordered a new card for me but the website address sent to contact to activate the card is not available. The second option for activating is to call a service telephone number. When called, the message tells you that this number can only be reached until 4:00 Eastern standard time Monday to Friday. Sorry folks, and especially to this of you who live outside of the Eastern end of the world, you will have to take time off work or scurry for a private corner during your lunch break.
…Kind of shocking that basic service is not factored into any of the reviews of Brim I read.