The American Express Blue Business Plus and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited are two of the best no annual fee business credit cards on the market. They are great options for entrepreneurs and business owners with varied expenses and unsteady cash flow. Plus, both of them can be combined with other cards within their respective “ecosystems” to maximize rewards. Deciding between them will depend on which points currency you want to earn and how much you plan to spend within a calendar year.
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited wins this category because it’s the only card of the two to offer a public sign-up bonus. It offers 50,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. That is the same amount of points offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve but for $1,000 less minimum spend.
Conversely, the Amex Blue Business Plus does offer a public sign-up bonus. But there have been targeted sign-up bonuses for this card in the past.
The Blue Business Plus earns 2x MR points on all purchases. However, this elevated flat rate only applies to the first $50,000 in annual expenses. This threshold resets each new calendar year. All other expenses will earn only one MR point per dollar after spending at least $50,000 within a calendar year.
Conversely, the Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5x UR points (or 1.5% cash back) on all purchases. But there are no spend limitations, hence its name.
Therefore, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited is the better card for those who value UR points over MR points. It is also better for those with more than $50,000 in annual expenses and a desire to keep earning simple. Otherwise, the Blue Business Plus is the better earner for those with less than $50,000 in annual expenses. It is also the better card for rewards optimizers who would rather use multiple credit cards to earn as many points as possible.
Both of these no annual fee business credit cards earn different points currencies, meaning that they have access to different transfer partners.
The Blue Business Plus is one of two Amex cards that have no annual fee and direct access to Amex’s transfer partners. It’s also the only no annual fee business card with such access. This is huge for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to redeem points for flights.
However, cash back, Pay Yourself Back, and gift cards are the only two redemption options if you have the Chase Ink Business Unlimited by itself. Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for any of these option. Sometimes, Chase discounts some of their gift card options, letting cardholders redeem for more than 1 CPP. But cardholders must also have either Sapphire card or the Chase Ink Business Preferred to transfer UR points to partners. This is the best way to redeem points earned using the Ink Business Unlimited.
The Amex Blue Business Plus wins this category because of its direct access to transfer partners. In other words, it is the better standalone card.
Neither of these cards are known for their perks. This is especially true because they have no annual fee and can be used as supplementary cards for travel. The only noteworthy perk is the QuickBooks access that comes with the Blue Business Plus, a standard perk among most American Express business cards.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs rejoice! The American Express Blue Business Plus and Chase Ink Business Unlimited are fantastic options if those who want to travel.
The Amex Blue Business Plus is the clear winner as a standalone card. It earns more points faster for those who spend less than $50,000 per year or want to optimize their earnings. And it has direct access to American Express’ transfer partners, meaning that cardholders don’t need any additional MR-earning cards.
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited wins for those who value the Chase UR “ecosystem” highly. It is also the better card for those who want a nice sign-up bonus. Furthermore, those with a premium Chase card will derive more value from the Chase combo.