This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Chase Ink small business cards. It’s great that they offer Ultimate Rewards points that I can combine with my personal cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. And I especially love the chance to earn 3x or even 5x points on some of my most common business purchases.

In late 2016, Chase introduced the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which replaced the Ink Plus Business Card as its top-of-the-line Ink card. And more recently, it added the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card to its lineup, without replacing its existing cards.

In today’s post, I’ll look at the benefits offered by the these three cards, so you can decide which ones are right for you.

(Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash)
One of Chase’s Ink cards could be a great fit for your business. (Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash)

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Sign-up bonus: $500 cash back after you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Rewards can be redeemed for 1 cent apiece as cash back, gift cards, travel reservations and merchandise. You can also combine your rewards with another credit card account you have, or one held by your spouse or domestic partner. For example, you could transfer rewards to a Chase Ink Plus, Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve account to redeem them as Ultimate Rewards points, which could then be transferred to 13 travel partners, including British Airways, Hyatt and Singapore Airlines.

Benefits: Despite being one of Chase’s entry-level business credit cards with no annual fee, the Ink Cash offers a respectable selection of travel insurance and purchase protection benefits. These include:

  • Primary rental car insurance: This is worldwide coverage that is primary. This means that it will cover you before your personal insurance.
  • Purchase protection: Your purchases are covered against damage and theft for 120 days, for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year.
  • Extended warranty: One additional year added to warranties of three years or less.
  • Lost luggage: Coverage up to $3,000 per person, with a separate limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders and other electronic equipment.
  • Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 in coverage per insured person.
  • Roadside dispatch: This service will dispatch assistance, but you’ll be responsible for paying for any services received.

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Sign-up bonus: $500 cash back when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no limits, just like with the Freedom Unlimited consumer card. As with the Ink Cash, you will receive Ultimate Rewards points which can be redeemed for 1 cent apiece as cash back, gift cards, travel reservations and merchandise. Better yet, you can also combine your rewards with another Chase credit card account you have, or one held by your spouse or domestic partner. This can give you the ability to transfer points to travel partners, or to receive 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents (the latter is only if you have the Sapphire Reserve) toward travel reservations made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Center.

Benefits: This card offers all of the same travel insurance and purchase protection benefits that the Ink Cash does, including:

  • Primary rental car insurance: This is worldwide coverage that is primary. This means that it will cover you first, before filing a claim with your personal insurance.
  • Purchase protection: Your purchases are covered against damage and theft for 120 days, for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year.
  • Extended warranty: One additional year added to warranties of three years or less.
  • Lost luggage: Coverage up to $3,000 per person, with a separate limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders and other electronic equipment.
  • Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 in coverage per insured person.
  • Roadside dispatch: This service will dispatch assistance, but you’ll be responsible for paying for any services received.
(Photo by @rawpixel via Unsplash)
Picking the best one for you requires a hard look at where you spend the most. (Photo by @rawpixel via Unsplash)

Ink Business Preferred Card

Sign-up bonus: 80,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95

Rewards: Earn 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.

Benefits: This card offers all of the same travel insurance and purchase protections as the Ink Cash, along with one other important perk not found on any other Chase card:

  • Cellular telephone protection: This coverage is unique to this Chase card and offers up to $600 per claim with a $100 deductible and a limit of three claims per 12-month period. Coverage is only valid when you pay your service bill with the card.

How do these cards compare?

With the Ink Plus and the Ink Bold no longer open for sign-ups, the Ink Business Cash is now the only Chase business card available to new applicants that offers 5x points at office supply stores and on telecommunications services, albeit with a limit of $25,000 in eligible spending per membership year. This is an incredible benefit for those who spend significantly on these purchases.

Meanwhile, the Ink Business Preferred Card offers rewards and benefits that can complement the Ink Cash. These include the ability to earn 3x points on travel and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines — and Chase has a broad definition of travel purchases.

But the new Ink Business Unlimited offers 1.5x points on all purchases, without category restrictions or spending limits.

Ink Cash Ink Business Unlimited Ink Business Preferred
Sign-up Bonus $500 back after you spend
$3,000 in the first three months
$500 back after you spend
$3,000 in the first three months
80,000 points after you
spend $5,000 in the first
three months
Annual Fee $0 $0 $95
Earning 5%/5x on the first $25k in
combined purchase at office
supply stores and on cellular
phone, landline, internet and
cable TV services each account
anniversary year, 2%/2x on the
first $25k spent in combined
purchases at gas stations and
restaurants each account
anniversary year, 1%/1x on
everything else.
1.5%/1.5x on everything 3x on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines; 1x on everything else
Auto Rental Insurance Primary Primary Primary
Purchase Protection Up to 120 days, $10,000 per
claim and $50,000 per account
Up to 120 days, $10,000 per
claim and $50,000 per account
Up to 120 days, $10,000 per
claim and $50,000 per account
Extended Warranty 1 additional year 1 additional year 1 additional year
Trip
Cancellation/Interruption
Insurance
N/A N/A Up to $5,000 per covered trip
Price Protection N/A N/A Up to 90 days, $500 per
item and $2,500 per year
Return Protection N/A N/A Up to 90 days, $500 per
item and $1,000 per year
Lost Luggage Reimbursement $3,000 per person $3,000 per person $3,000 per person
Trip Delay None None Minimum 12-hour delay or
overnight stay, $500 max
per ticket
Baggage Delay Minimum 6-hour delay, $100 max per day for 3 days Minimum 6-hour delay, $100 max per day for 3 days Minimum 6-hour delay, $100 max per day for 5 days
Travel Accident Insurance Up to $500,000 Up to $500,000 Up to $500,000
Roadside Dispatch Yes Yes Yes
Cellular Telephone
Protection
N/A N/A Up to $600 per claim, $100
deductible

The Ink Preferred offers one new, valuable benefit no yet found on other Chase cards: cellular telephone protection policy, which can replace the costly policies you might be purchasing from your mobile phone service provider (some Wells Fargo cards have a similar benefit). Competing add-on plans offered by service providers and third parties typically cost $75 – $150 per year.

If you were paying $1,200 a year for mobile phone service, you’d be sacrificing 2,400 points by earning just 3x with an Ink Business Preferred Card, versus 5x points with an Ink Cash or Ink Plus. Using TPG’s 2.1-cent valuation of Ultimate Rewards points, you would miss out on about $50 worth of rewards when you use the Ink Preferred in order to receive cellular telephone coverage potentially worth 2-3 times as much — a fair tradeoff in many award travelers’ books. The tradeoff is less dramatic compared to the 1.5x you could have earned with the new Ink Business Unlimited.

Recommendations

If you don’t have an Ink Plus Business Card and you make significant purchases in the office supply and telecommunications categories, then you should strongly consider applying for the Ink Business Cash Card. However, if you already hold an Ink Cash or Ink Plus card, the Ink Preferred is still worth considering for three reasons:

  1. The ability to earn 3x on travel and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
  2. The cellular phone protection benefit, which could easily be worth the $95 annual fee.
  3. The 80,000-point sign-up bonus, worth $1,680 based on TPG’s valuations.

If your business doesn’t spend much on the bonus categories of the Ink Cash or Ink Business Preferred, then you’ll be better off earning 1.5x on everything with the new Ink Business Unlimited. In fact, if you were to combine the Ink Business Unlimited with either the Ink Cash or Ink Business Preferred, then you could earn 1.5x on all purchases, and 3x or 5x on some of your other business purchases.

Bottom Line

Chase’s Ink line of business cards is growing, and it’s easy to see how it’s replicating its Sapphire and Freedom cards (could an Ink Business Reserve be far behind?). And just as with Chase’s consumer cards, you’ll earn the most value by combining two or more Ink business cards that offer you the most rewards for your small business spending.

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Brand New Small Business Card! Earn $500 after $3,000 spent within the first three months. That's equivalent to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you have another rewards earning card like the Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve. Similar to the Freedom Unlimited, this card earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and has no annual fee - a no-brainer for small business owners!

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 Months
Regular APR
15.24% - 21.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.