Your guide to the Chase Ink Business credit cards

Mar 31, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current information.

Chase offers a suite of small business credit cards that are each built for different business expenses and types of business owners. The Chase Ink Business cards are pairable with each other and their Chase consumer card counterparts. Today, I’m walking through each Ink Business card to help you decide which one might be best for you.

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I’m a big fan of Chase’s Ink cards. It’s great that they earn Ultimate Rewards points — or can, when paired with a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points — and can be combined with my personal cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred CardChase Sapphire ReserveChase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Unlimited. I especially love the chance to earn 3x points or even 5% cash back on some of my most common business purchases.

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related reading: Maximize your wallet with the perfect quartet of Chase credit cards

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 CardInk Business Unlimited Credit Card and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

Related reading: The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

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

In This Post

Chase Ink Business cards overview

Ink Business Preferred Ink Business Cash Ink Business Unlimited
Sign-up bonus 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months $750 back after you spend $7,500 in the first three months from account opening $750 back after you spend $7,500 in the first three months from account opening
Annual fee $95 $0 $0
Earning 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year for travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services and advertising purchases with social media sites/search engines

1x points on everything else

5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchase at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year

2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year

1% cash back on everything else

1.5% cash back on everything
Foreign transaction fee  None 3% 3%
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 One additional year One additional year One additional year
Trip cancellation/interruption insurance Up to $5,000 per person, $10,000 per trip N/A N/A
Trip delay insurance Minimum 12-hour delay or
overnight stay, $500 max
per ticket
N/A N/A
Baggage delay insurance Minimum six-hour delay, $100 max per day for five days Minimum six-hour delay, $100 max per day for three days Minimum six-hour delay, $100 max per day for three days
Cellular telephone protection Up to $600 per claim, $100
deductible, up to three claims in 12-month period
N/A N/A

Chase Ink Business Cards

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 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.

Who should apply? This is the only Ink card that earns Ultimate Rewards points on its own and is also the only card that earns bonus rewards on travel purchases. The annual fee is low enough that freelancers and side hustlers can easily offset the cost, but the higher spending cap and business bonus categories mean it’s also a nice card for established business owners with offices and employees. The Ink Business Preferred is a great all-around card for any business owner in my book.

Additional reading:

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: $750 cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases 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.

Who should apply? Despite being one of Chase’s entry-level business credit cards with no annual fee, the Ink Cash offers a solid return on purchases. In my opinion, the card’s bonus categories are best suited for those who have physical offices. This means people who work from home and have to pick up office supplies or pay for their own phone services or those who have a small office building with employees.

Additional reading:

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: $750 cash back when you spend $7,500 on purchases 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. But you can also combine your rewards with select Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards — the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred — as long as you, a member of your household or the owner of the company owns the account. 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.

Who should apply? This is an excellent card for freelancers who want a card that earns on every category. It’s also a great choice for business owners who need a card for the expenses that don’t fall under a bonus category with your other cards. You’ll get unlimited 1.5% back on every purchase, no matter the bonus category. For freelancers or those with side-hustles, this means maximizing every purchase without having to juggle multiple cards with annual fees. For established businesses, this is a great card to pair with others.

Additional reading:

Which Ink Business card is right for you?

Each of these cards offers impressive earnings in at least one category. The no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash offers 5% cash back at office supply stores and on telecommunications services, albeit with a limit of $25,000 in eligible spending per membership year. The Ink Business Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back 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.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

The Ink Business Preferred card comes with a cell phone protection plan that can be valuable if you tend to damage your cell phone, but you’ll earn fewer points by using the Ink Business Preferred instead of the Ink Business Cash to pay your monthly cell phone bill. Assuming you have both cards and you pay $1,200 a year for mobile phone service, you’ll forgo 2,400 points by earning 3x points with the Ink Business Preferred instead of 5% cash back 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.

Related reading: The best cards for each business credit card category

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, 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 points 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. Rewards earned on Chase cash-back cards such as 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 100,000-point sign-up bonus, worth $2,000 based on TPG’s valuations.

If your business doesn’t spend much on the bonus categories of the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Preferred, then you may be better off simply earning 1.5% cash back on everything with the Ink Business Unlimited.

Related reading: Clearing up the confusion: How to complete a Chase business credit card application

Do I qualify for a business credit card?

If you have a small business or side hustle, a small-business credit card is an excellent way to keep your personal and business expenses separate. You don’t have to have an LLC or 50 employees to have a qualifying business, either. An online Etsy store, a freelance writing gig, a side hustle as a Lyft driver and many other micro-businesses also qualify you for a card. The best business credit cards generally offer attractive welcome bonuses and high earning potential across multiple categories, which makes them valuable additions to your wallet no matter the size of your business.

Related reading: Your guide to applying for small-business credit cards

Bottom line

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. The Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card cards also count toward Chase’s 5/24 rule (and while we don’t know for certain, it’s also highly likely that the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card does also), so keep that in mind when planning out your application strategy. If you need to call for reconsideration, you may get questions about your business and be asked to send in supporting documents.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor

Featured image by The Points Guy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.

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