Reasons to apply for the Chase Ink Business Cash Card
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with changes in the credit cards mentioned below. It was originally published on Nov. 6, 2018.
Chase has a phenomenal lineup of credit cards that includes consumer, small-business and cobranded credit cards. There’s a Chase card for just about anyone, including no-annual-fee cards for everyday spending like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, travel cards such as Chase Sapphire Reserve and business cards like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
For small-business owners looking for a solid no-annual-fee card in the Chase lineup, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card is worth a look.
Not to be confused with the higher-end Ink Business Preferred, the Ink Business Cash earns you up to 5% cash back on certain business purchases (up to a yearly cap), and it’s currently offering a sign-up bonus of $750 after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. There are many reasons why this underrated business card should be the next on your wallet wishlist.
No annual fee
High-value cards with no annual fees are hard to come by these days, with some of the top travel cards for both business owners and consumers topping out at over $500 in yearly fees. If you hold more than a dozen cards like The Points Guy himself, credit card annual fees can really add up.
One of the biggest benefits of the Ink Business Cash is that you earn cash back on business expenses, gas stations and restaurants, get travel and purchase protections and earn a solid sign-up bonus without having to pay an annual fee.
Solid sign-up bonus
New cardholders earn a $750 bonus after spending $7,500 in the first three months. This certainly isn’t the most lucrative sign-up bonus available right now, but it’s still a good offer.
This bonus literally doubles in value if you also have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred. Because you can pool your Chase rewards into one account, your Ink Business Cash rewards can potentially become Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Those are worth 2 cents each, according to TPG valuations. Now, your $750 bonus (75,000 Ultimate Rewards points) is worth an impressive $1,500.
Valuable bonus categories
Another reason to consider the Ink Business Cash Card is that you can earn 5% back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year and you’ll get an unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.
When you max out your bonus spending in both 5% and 2% categories, that ends up being $1,750 in cash-back rewards earned each year. For a no-annual-fee credit card, that’s great potential for earned rewards. Of course, if you’re pairing this card with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card, that $1,750 turns into $3,500 in rewards value.
Travel and purchase protections
The Ink Business Cash comes with some solid travel and shopping protections. It offers purchase protection, covering newly bought items for 120 days against damage or theft (up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account). As a cardmember, you’ll also receive extended warranties for eligible purchases, as the card extends a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year (on eligible warranties of three years or less).
A final perk of holding the Ink Business Cash Card is that it offers an auto collision damage waiver. Essentially, when you rent a car for business purposes and charge it to this card, you can decline the rental car company’s collision insurance and be covered by the card in the case of theft or collision damage. This is valid on most rentals both in the U.S. and abroad — just make sure to check the fine print for more details. Note that if you’re renting a car for personal use, the Ink Business Cash won’t be of use. In that case, the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which both offer primary rental car insurance, would be better options.
Pairing the Ink Business Cash with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
One of my favorite things about the Chase lineup is the ability to pool your rewards between cash-back and Ultimate Rewards cards (including all of the Chase Ink Business cards). As mentioned above, if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred, you can convert your Ink Business Cash rewards into Chase Ultimate Rewards. We value Chase points at 2 cents each, one of the most valuable points currencies available.
Although the Ink Business Cash isn’t part of the official Chase Trifecta, it’s still a valuable card to pair with other Chase cards. You could effectively earn a return of 10% percent (based on TPG’s valuations) for the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on the other services mentioned above, and 4% on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants. As for everyday, non-bonus spending this card offers a pretty solid 2% return, great for a no-annual-fee card.
Also remember that your redemption options increase drastically when you pair the Ink Business Cash with other Chase cards. For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve for personal travel and dining and the Ink Business Cash for your small-business expenses, the rewards you can earn with your Ink Business Cash can now be redeemed for 1.5 cents each through the Chase travel portal or for travel partner redemptions when you transfer your points.
When you see a product advertised as a business card, you may think you’re not eligible to apply — but you’re more likely to meet the requirements than you think. You don’t need to have a formal business to be eligible. If you’re a freelancer or have a side gig, for example, you should consider applying (provided you meet the other requirements for a given product). In fact, you don’t need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to apply for most business products, since most issuers let you use your Social Security Number (SSN) instead.
No matter what type of business you have, there is a lot to love about the Ink Business Cash. Thanks to its elevated earning rates for select spending categories and the ability to transfer cash back into valuable Ultimate Rewards points, the Ink Business Cash card should be a no-annual-fee product worthy of your consideration.
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