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I’m 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.

Although Chase has added and removed cards from its Ink portfolio over time, there are currently three Ink Business cards available for sign-up: the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. In today’s post, I’ll look at the benefits offered by each of 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 internet, cable and phone 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 Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card account you have, or one held by a member of your household or the owner of the company. For example, you could transfer rewards to a Chase Ink Preferred, Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve account to redeem them as Ultimate Rewards points, which could then be transferred to 12 travel partners, including Iberia, 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 when you use your card. These include:

  • Primary rental car insurance: This is worldwide coverage that is primary when renting for business purposes. This means that it will cover you before your personal insurance.
  • Purchase protectionYour purchases are covered against damage and theft for 120 days, for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended warrantyOne additional year added to warranties of three years or less.
  • Baggage delay insurance: When baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for at least six hours, you may be eligible for up to $100 per day in reimbursement for essential items for up to three days. Covers you, your spouse or domestic partner and immediate family members.
  • Lost luggage: Coverage up to $3,000 per person, with a separate limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches and electronics. You and your immediate family members are covered.
  • Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 in coverage per insured person. You and your immediate family members are covered.
  • Roadside dispatchThis service will dispatch assistance, but you’ll be responsible for paying for any services received.

Additional reading:

The Ink Business Cash Card provides excellent earning at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. (Photo by The Points Guy staff)

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. As with the Ink Cash, you’ll 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 Ultimate Rewards credit card account you have, or one held by a member of your household or the owner of the company. This can give you the ability to transfer points to travel partners, or to receive 1.25 cents (if you transfer to the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred) or 1.5 cents (if you transfer to the Sapphire Reserve) toward travel reservations made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Center.

Benefits: This card offers all of the same travel and purchase protection benefits as the Ink Business Cash Card, which are described above.

Additional reading:

The Ink Business Unlimited is good for non-bonus category spending. (Photo by The Points Guy staff)

Ink Business Preferred Credit 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 similar travel insurance and purchase protections as the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited, along with a few additional perks:

  • Trip delay reimbursement: Provides up to $500 per ticket to reimburse expenses if a covered trip is delayed by a covered hazard for twelve or more hours, or requires an overnight stay. You only need to purchase part of your common carrier ticket with the card to be covered, so paying for taxes and fees on an award ticket will provide coverage.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Similar coverage to the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited, but provides reimbursement of up to $100 per day for up to five days when your bag is delayed or misdirected for more than six hours.
  • Cellular telephone protectionThis coverage offers up to $600 per claim against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly phone bill. There’s a $100 deductible and a limit of three claims per 12-month period, and coverage is only valid when you pay your monthly service bill with the card.
  • No foreign transaction fees

Additional reading:

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
The Ink Business Preferred earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points and provides bonus earnings on travel and select business expenses. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

How do these cards compare?

Each of these cards offers impressive earnings in at least one category. The no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash offers 5x points at office supply stores and on telecommunications services, albeit with a limit of $25,000 in eligible spending per membership year. Meanwhile, the Ink Business Unlimited offers 1.5x points on all purchases without category restrictions, spending limits or an annual fee. And the Ink Business Preferred Card offers rewards and benefits that can complement the Ink Business Cash and/or Ink Business Unlimited while only charging a minimal annual fee.

Let’s take a look at how the three cards stack up.

Ink Business 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 internet, cable and phone 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
Foreign Transaction Fee 3% 3% None
Car Rental Insurance Primary when renting for business Primary when renting for business Primary when renting for business
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
Lost Luggage Reimbursement Up to $3,000 per person Up to $3,000 per person Up to $3,000 per person
Trip Delay Insurance N/A N/A Minimum 12-hour delay or
overnight stay, $500 max
per ticket
Baggage Delay Insurance 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, up to 3 claims in 12-month period

The Ink Business Preferred’s cell phone protection plan can be valuable if you tend to damage your cell phone, but you’ll earn less points by using the Ink Business Preferred instead of the Ink Business Cash to pay your monthly cell phone bill. Assuming you pay $1,200 a year for mobile phone service, you’ll forgo 2,400 points by earning 3x with the Ink Business Preferred instead of 5x points with the Ink Business Cash. Using TPG’s 2-cent valuation of Ultimate Rewards points, you’d miss out on about $48 worth of rewards each year by using the Ink Business Preferred. For most cell phone users who are using eligible devices, this trade off is worth the protection.

Recommendations

(Photo by The Points Guy staff)

If you make significant purchases in the office supply and telecommunications categories, then you should strongly consider applying for the Ink Business Cash Card. However, especially if you already hold an Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited card, the Ink Preferred is worth considering for four 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. Points from Chase’s cash-back cards like the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited can be transferred to the card, and then used as full-fledged Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
  4. The 80,000-point sign-up bonus, worth $1,600 based on TPG’s valuations.

But, if your business doesn’t spend much on the bonus categories of the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Preferred, then you’ll be better off earning 1.5x on everything with the 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.

If you’re planning to apply, remember that it’s generally recommended to apply for no more than one personal and one business card with Chase within a 90-day window. If you need to call for reconsideration, you may get questions about your business and be asked to send in supporting documents.

Ready to apply? Here are the official application links: Ink Business Cash Credit Card with a $500 bonus, Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card with a $500 bonus and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card with a 80,000 point bonus.

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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel, shipping purchases,  internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
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.