The Chase Ink Business credit cards are great options for entrepreneurs, business owners, and those with side gigs who want to earn Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. Chase offers three cards for businesses: the Ink Business Cash, the Ink Business Unlimited, and the Ink Business Preferred. All three cards have different sign-up bonuses, earning structures, and perks. This is nice for business owners and entrepreneurs who want an array of card options, but still want to earn UR points.
The Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited both have no annual fee. However, neither card has direct access to Chase’s transfer partners. Such access can be granted by getting the Ink Business Preferred (or either of the Sapphire cards). However, the Business Preferred has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year).
Normally, The Ink Business Cash and Unlimited both offer sign-up bonuses worth 50,000 UR points (or $500 in cash back). Both bonuses can be earned by spending $3,000 within the first three months. But Chase is offering promotional bonuses on both cards worth 75,000 UR points (or $750 in cash back), which is 50% more than the normal bonuses. The catch is that you must spend $7,500 within the first three months to earn either bonus. Both the promotional and normal sign-up bonuses are some of the best out there for a no annual fee credit card.
Furthermore, the Ink Business Preferred offers more UR points than any other Chase card. The normal sign-up bonus for this card is worth 80,000 UR points. It can be earned after spending $5,000 within the first three months. This bonus is twice as valuable as that of the American Express Business Gold Card, which offers much fewer Membership Rewards points for the same minimum spend.
However, the Ink Business Preferred is also offering a promotional sign-up bonus worth 100,000 UR points. That’s the same amount as the original bonus offered on the Chase Sapphire Reserve! The caveat is that you must spend $15,000 within the first three months to earn the bonus.
For the normal bonuses, the Ink Business Preferred wins handily if you can afford the $5,000 minimum spend. But the other two bonuses are amazing, especially if you can spend between $3,000 and $5,000 in the allotted time.
Similarly, the Ink Business Preferred wins for the promotional bonuses if you can afford the $15,000 minimum spend. Either no annual fee card is better if you can spend between $7,500 and $15,000 within three months.
The three Chase Ink Business credit cards have different earning structures by design. This is nice because business owners can get and use multiple cards without any redundancies.
The Ink Business Cash earns 5x UR points at Office Supply Stores and for Internet, TV, and Phone Bills. There is a $25,000 annual limit for the 5x categories, which could be a hindrance for some businesses. The Ink Cash also earns 2x UR points on Dining and at Gas Stations. This card is a fantastic earner because it has so many categories that are common business expenses. It shows that Chase knew their market when they were designing the card.
The Ink Business Unlimited has the simplest earning structure of the three cards. Like the personal Freedom Unlimited, it earns 1.5x UR points for every dollar spent with no limitations. Therefore, it is the best of the bunch for non-bonus expenses. Smaller businesses with uncertain cash flow and expenses will also do best with the Ink Unlimited.
And the Ink Preferred earns 3x UR points in the following categories:
- Cable & TV Services
- General Travel
- Internet Services
- Phone Services
- Social Media & Search Engine Advertising Purchases
There is a limit of $150,000 per year across all categories. That means you can earn up to 450,000 UR points per year if you spend within the categories Businesses that spend heavily within the above categories will do best with the Ink Preferred.
Chase has a broad list of what includes travel. Their list includes airfare, hotel stays, a car rental, and toll road fees. This is the same list for qualifying purchases as the Chase Sapphire cards.
Chase’s suite of business credit cards are a more complicated for redemption than American Express’ business cards.
Businesses with only the Ink Cash and/or the Ink Unlimited are limited to cash back and gift card redemptions. All UR points earned with these cards are worth 1 CPP (cent per point). Transferring to partners requires having either the Ink Preferred or a Sapphire card. In other words, those with the Ink Preferred (alone or with another Ink card) can transfer points to partners.
Conversely, the Ink Preferred is the best option if you want one card or direct access to Chase’s transfer partners. This card is also the best option if you want to redeem points for cash. UR points redeemed with the Ink Preferred are 25% more valuable when using Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature. In other words, UR points are worth 1.25 CPP when redeeming this way. Nonetheless, the most valuable way to redeem any transferrable points or miles is through transfer partners.
However, some people also have a Chase Sapphire Card, which does not require them to have the Ink Preferred. For example, I have the Ink Cash as well as the Sapphire Preferred. Therefore, I don’t need to get the Ink Preferred unless my spend warrants it.
The Ink Preferred wins this category because it has more perks than the other cards. All three cards have Primary Car Rental Insurance, Purchase Protection, and Extended Warranty. However, the Ink Preferred also Baggage Delay, Trip Delay, and Trip Cancellation Insurances.
Chase cards are known for having travel insurances and primary car rental insurance. This is one of the draws that makes them more attractive than Amex cards, especially those with annual fees.
The Chase Ink Business credit cards are some of the best in the industry for points and miles. They are incredibly versatile and can be used by entrepreneurs and business owners in many industries.
Some businesses have larger budgets than others. And that warrants these larger businesses to get multiple credit cards. Therefore, it’s not unusual to see an Ink Preferred and an Ink Unlimited in the same business wallet. Both cards can be used in tandem like the Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited.