Ink Business Cash Card review
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Editor’s note: This post has been completely updated. It was originally published on Dec. 1, 2018.
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Ink Business Cash Card overview
The Ink Business Cash Credit Card provides 5% cash back on office supplies and select utilities, as well as 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations. These are categories where many businesses incur significant expenses, which can make the Ink Business Cash a solid no-annual-fee small-business credit card. Its cash-back rewards are impressive, and you can approximately double the value of your rewards if you transfer them to a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
If your business doesn’t have significant travel costs, you may not see the value in having a travel rewards card. But the Ink Business Cash Card offers generous returns on a broad spectrum of office expenses like supplies, internet, cable and phone services while charging no annual fee and offering various redemption options.
The Ink Business Cash Card is a cash-back business card, which means redeeming your rewards is straightforward. However, more lucrative redemption options are available if you pair the Ink Business Cash with a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. Let’s take a closer look at the Ink Business Cash Credit Card so you can decide if it’s a good fit for your business.
Who is this card for?
The Ink Business Cash Card is a solid choice for any small business that makes purchases at office supply stores and internet, cable and phone service providers. But the card tends to be particularly appealing to new business owners since there’s no annual fee. Because you can earn cash-back rewards initially and then transfer your rewards to Ultimate Rewards points if you also have a personal or business card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, the Ink Business Cash Card offers more redemption options than a cash-back card.
Those with other travel rewards cards may find that the Ink Business Cash Card provides bonus earnings in categories for which they currently don’t earn bonus rewards: office expenses, restaurants and gas. If you already have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can boost your earnings in these categories for no additional annual fee.
If your business is a start-up or has irregular cash flow, you may appreciate that the Ink Business Cash Card offers 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After the introductory period ends, the APR jumps to a variable rate of 13.24% – 19.24%.
If you’re currently below Chase’s unofficial 5/24 rule — which means you’ll likely be denied new Chase cards if you’ve opened five or more accounts across all issuers in the past 24 months — then you may want to take the opportunity to apply for the Ink Business Cash Card. Although you generally won’t get approved for the Ink Business Cash Card if you’re not below 5/24, Chase usually doesn’t count business cards from most issuers when calculating whether an applicant for another card is above or below 5/24.
Related reading: How to complete a Chase business credit card application
Sign-up bonus of as much as $1,500 in value
The Ink Business Cash Card currently offers $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.
However, you can turn the cash-back bonus into Ultimate Rewards points if you transfer your cash-back rewards to a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. According to TPG’s valuations, 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $1,500.
Main benefits and perks
The Ink Business Cash Card is a no-annual-fee card that offers a selection of modest perks. One of the card’s best perks for many small business owners is that you can request cards for employees at no additional cost. You’ll earn rewards for their spending and you can even set individual employee spending limits for greater control.
When you purchase eligible items with the Ink Business Cash Card, these purchases will be covered by purchase protection and extended warranty protection. Purchase protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft at up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account, while extended warranty protection extends the period of a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less. These protections can save your business some serious cash.
When you rent a car, you can be covered by the Ink Business Cash Card’s auto rental collision damage waiver when you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary when renting for business purposes and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad.
Whether you’re at home or abroad, you can call the Benefits Administrator for legal and medical referrals as well as other travel and emergency assistance. Agents can provide guidance and information when you need it, but you’ll be responsible for the cost of any services you obtain.
Finally, the Ink Business Cash Card features zero-liability protection, which means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information. Chase will help safeguard your account using real-time fraud monitoring.
Related reading: Reasons to apply for the Chase Ink Business Cash Card
How to earn
With the Ink Business Cash Card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you make in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. Plus, you’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 you make in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases, including on spending over $25,000 each account anniversary year in the 5% and 2% categories.
Although 5% cash back is impressive for a no-annual-fee card, one of the best cash back credit card earning rates on the market, and it’s even better if you have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Then you can transfer your cash back to Ultimate Rewards points and effectively earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. Since TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at two cents each, that’s a 10% return on spending in these categories.
Related reading: Chase Ink Business cards showdown: Cash vs. Unlimited vs. Preferred
How to redeem
Just because the Ink Business Cash Card is a cash-back card, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options when it comes to redeeming your rewards. You can redeem your cash-back rewards for gift cards, travel and cash at face value. If you redeem for cash, you can receive your money in the form of an account statement credit or through an electronic deposit into an eligible U.S. checking or savings account.
Other options will provide less than face value for your cash-back rewards, such as unique experiences, Amazon Shop with Points and Apple Ultimate Rewards Store. We generally don’t recommend redeeming your rewards for these lower-value options.
If you have a card like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you unlock an additional redemption option: You can convert the cash-back rewards on your Ink Business Cash Card to Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
The other card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points must be registered to the owner of the company, you or a member of your household to qualify. Once you move points over to an Ultimate Rewards-earning account, you can transfer them to airline and hotel travel partners or book travel directly through the Chase portal at a better rate.
Related reading: How to maximize your Chase Ultimate Rewards points
What cards compete with the Ink Business Cash Credit Card?
The Ink Business Cash Card is an excellent choice if your primary spending aligns well with the office supply and utilities bonus categories. But if you tend to spend more on travel, shipping and advertising, you may want to consider the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
The Ink Business Cash Card and the Ink Business Preferred Card work well together, since having the Ink Business Preferred allows the Ink Business Cash to effectively earn Ultimate Rewards points. For a $95 annual fee, the Ink Business Preferred earns earn 3x points on up to $150,000 in spending each account anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
The Ink Business Cash Card earns 5% cash back only on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. So, if you exceed $25,000 in these categories, you may want to switch your spending to another card.
If you’re looking for another card for additional office supply spending, you may want to consider the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® or the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card. Both cards offer similar spending categories as the Ink Business Cash Card and carry no annual fee.
If you’re more interested in a straightforward rewards program that pays a fixed cash back rate on all purchases, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business may be a better fit. The Spark Cash earns 2% cash back on all purchases. This card also comes with a welcome bonus of $500 when you spend $4,500 in the first three months.
The Spark Cash has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. If you like the idea of the Spark Cash but are looking for a no-annual-fee alternative, you may want to consider the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, which earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
The information for the Capital One Spark Cash Select 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: Best business credit cards
If you’re a small-business owner — or even if you do some contract or freelance work on the side — the Ink Business Cash Card could be a nice fit in your wallet. The combination of simplicity and the potential for elevated redemptions make the Ink Business Cash Card a good choice if you’re looking for cash-back rewards or the ability to convert cash back to transferrable travel rewards.
If you frequently shop at office supply stores or pay internet, cable or phone utilities by credit card, adding the Ink Business Cash Card to your wallet could elevate your earnings on these expenses without requiring you to pay an additional annual fee.
Apply here for the Ink Business Cash Credit Card with a $750 sign-up bonus
Additional reporting by Mike Cetera.
Featured photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy.
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