Chase’s lineup of Ink Business credit cards is well-regarded in the business credit card industry and by reviewers. After having done the math and the research, we here at Merchant Maverick concur with this assessment. However, that doesn’t answer the question you may be asking:Â Which Chase business credit card should I get?
We thought we’d explore this question so that you know which of Chase’s small business offerings suits your particular goals. Our Chase Ink business credit card comparison will cover four cards. Let’s take a look at theÂ Chase Ink Business CashSM, the Chase Ink Business UnlimitedSM, and the Chase Ink Business PreferredSM.
Chase Ink Business CashSM
- Annual Fee:Â $0
- Bonus Offer:Â $500 cash back when you spend at least $3,000 within 3 months of opening your account
- APR:Â 14.99% â 20.99%, Variable
- Introductory APR:Â 0% APR for the first 12 months
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
- 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone purchases each year
- 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each year
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
The main selling point of theÂ Chase Ink Business CashSMÂ credit card is the 5% cash back earning potential — it’s one of the few business cards available to offer such a high cash back rate. You stand to earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on the purchase categories listed above each year — a potential $1,250 value. Max out the 2% cash back tier, and you’ll be sitting pretty with $1,750 cash back each year. You can continue to earn cash back on your purchases in these categories after spending $25,000 in a year, but at a 1% rate. It’s a great deal for the business owner whose spending is concentrated in these high-earning categories, but if your spending on said categories is significantly above this $25,000 limit, you might want to consider a card offering unlimited cash back.
TheÂ Chase Ink Business CashSMÂ has no annual fee. Combine that with the $500 cash back you stand to earn if you spend $3K or more within 3 months — a bar most businesses will clear –and you’ll be rewarded nicely for your card use right off the bat.
When you go to redeem your rewards, you’ll find that your cash back rewards are technically counted as points.Â 5% cash back is counted as five points per $1 spent, 2% back is two points per $1, etc. Your points will never expire so long as your account is open, and you can redeem your points not only for cash back, but for rewards like gift cards and travel.Â You can also transfer your points over to other cards with Chase Ultimate Rewards, which could then be transferred over to one of 13 different airline travel partners.
Additional benefits of the Ink Cash card include:
- Fraud protection
- Zero liability protection
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
Read Our Full Chase Ink Business Cash Review
Apply For Chase Ink Business CashÂ
Chase Ink Business UnlimitedSM
- Annual Fee:Â $0
- Bonus Offer:Â $500 cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- APR:Â 14.99%â20.99% variable APR
- Introductory Rate:Â 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers in the first 12 months
- Foreign Transaction Fee:Â 3%
- Earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on all purchases
Launched in May 2018,Â the Chase Ink Business Unlimitedâ Â card is Chaseâs newest business credit card. Like the Ink Cash, the Ink Business Unlimited is a cash back business card. However, with the Unlimited card, there are no purchase categories, and you earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits on the amount of cash back you can earn. As this card will always draw comparisons with the similar Ink Cash card, let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between the two cards.
Chase Ink Business Cash vs Ink Business Unlimited
If you want a Chase Ink business credit card with no annual fee, you’ll have to go with one of these two cards, as the ChaseÂ Ink Business PreferredSMÂ carries a $95 annual fee. To compare these two cards, let’s take note of where the Ink Cash and the Ink Business Unlimited don’t differ at all. Neither card carries an annual fee. Both cards offer the same welcome offer ($500 cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months), the same variable APR, the same 12-month introductory 0% APR period, the same 3% foreign transaction fee, and the same package of travel/shopping benefits.
The difference between the two cards lies entirely in their respective cash back reward structures. The Ink Cash offers 5% and 2% cash back spending categories along with 1% cash back on all other purchases, but the amount of annual spending in the 5% and 2% categories that will earn you this extra cash back is limited to $25,000 each. By contrast, the Ink Business Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits — very simple indeed. If your business spending is diffuse and variable, the Business Unlimited is clearly a better deal, while the business owner whose spending is concentrated in the Ink Cash’s high earning categories will obviously find the Ink Cash to be a better deal. This is true only up to a point, however. Due to the fact that only your first $25,000 in annual purchases in these high-earning categories earns you cash back at these enhanced rates, the Ink Business Unlimited may earn you more cash back even if your spending is concentrated in the Ink Cash’s bonus categories. If you spend over $83,333.33 annually on the Ink Cash’s 5% cash back categories, you’ll actually earn more cash back by charging these same purchases to an Ink Business Unlimited card. Likewise, spend over $33,333.33 annually on the Ink Cash’s 2% cash back categories, and the Ink Business Unlimited starts earning you more cash back.
Essentially, the choice between the Ink Cash and the Ink Business Unlimited comes down to what your business expenses are and the total volume of said business expenses. Spend a light-to-moderate amount on the Ink Cash’s high-earning categories, and the Ink Cash is a better deal. Spend a large amount on these categories (or on other things entirely), and the Ink Business Unlimited will earn you more cash back.
Read Our Full Chase Ink Business Unlimited Review
Apply For Chase Ink Business Unlimited
Chase Ink Business PreferredSM
- Annual Fee:Â $95
- Bonus Offer:Â 80,000 points (if you spend at least $5,000 within the first three months of opening your account)
- APR:Â 17.74% âÂ 22.74%, Variable
- Introductory Rate:Â None
- Foreign Transaction Fee:Â None
- 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media and search engines each account anniversary year
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
- Points are worth 25% more if redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards
TheÂ Chase Ink Business PreferredSMÂ card was introduced by Chase in 2016 as a replacement for the now-discontinued Ink Business PlusSM. Being Chase’s flagship business card, the Ink Business Preferred offers an eye-watering rewards package: 3 points for every dollar spent on the first $150,000 in purchases in the categories listed above, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. Plus, your points will be worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards. Let’s compare this card with the first two Chase Ink cards I’ve discussed.
Chase Business Ink Preferred vs Chase Ink Cash vs Chase Ink Unlimited
You’ll notice some significant differences between the Ink Business Preferred and the other two Ink business cards mentioned in this article. Obviously, the reward structure is different, as is the fact that your rewards will be worth 25% more when redeemed for travel. There’s also a more valuable bonus offer (the 80,000 points you’ll earn if you spend over $5K within 3 months are worth $800 or more, depending on what you use them for), and the 3% foreign transaction fee borne by Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited is absent in the Ink Business Preferred. Furthermore, along with all the same travel and shopping benefits of the Cash and Unlimited cards, you’ll get cell phone protection of up to $600 per claim, trip cancellation insurance, and trip delay coverage.
All these extra benefits aren’t free, however. The Ink Business Preferred carries a $95 annual fee. Its variable APR is a bit higher than that of the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited, and unlike those two cards, the Ink Preferred has no introductory 0% APR period. But if you spend heavily on business travel, theÂ Chase Ink Business PreferredSMÂ should provide you the most value of all the Ink Business cards. And if you already have the Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited, pairing the Ink Preferred with either of them will get you extra points, an 80,000-point signup bonus, cell phone protection, and additional travel benefits you won’t get with Chase’s other two Ink Business cards. If you’re a frequent business traveler, such a pairing may work in your favor. Just bear in mind Chase’s infamous 5/24 rule: if you have opened five or more credit cards (from any bank) within the last 24 months, you won’t be approved for a new Chase card.
Read Our Full Chase Ink Business Preferred Review
Apply For Chase Ink Business PreferredÂ
An Alternative To Chase’s Ink Business Cards
If you’re looking for a good cash back business card but aren’t convinced by Chase’s Ink Business offerings, theÂ Capital One SparkÂ® Cash for Business card is a flat-rate cash back business card that lets you earn an unlimited 2% cash back — even more than the Chase Ink Business Unlimitedâ . It’s a simple yet attractive advantage, made somewhat less appealing by the $95 annual fee (a fee the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited do not carry) and the fact that you can’t transfer your rewards to travel rewards programs like you can with Chase’s business offerings. Still, Spark Cash for Business is an attractive proposition for the business owner who can’t be bothered with keeping track of spending categories and wants the highest universal cash back earning rate possible.
Check out ourÂ SparkÂ® Cash for Business reviewÂ to learn more.
So, which is the best Chase credit card for business? That depends on the amount and nature of your business spending. I hope the information given here has given you some guidance as to what options make the most sense for your particular business needs.
To compare high-ranking business credit cards in more detail, check out our credit card comparison chart or read the Best Business Credit Cards for 2018.
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