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Make the most of the Chase Ink cards’ bonus categories

These tips can help ensure you maximize rewards


Learn how to maximize the bonus categories on each of the Chase Ink business cards – to ensure you get the most from your rewards.

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For small business owners eager to start racking up flexible rewards, Chase offers three competitive business credit cards. Each come with their own rewards rate suited to different kinds of spenders.

All three Chase Ink business cards let cardholders earn Ultimate Rewards points, which are lauded as one of the most flexible rewards currencies on the market. Though the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card are marketed as cash back cards, you can use your rewards for any of the many redemption options in the Ultimate Rewards portal – far beyond cash back.

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, on the other hand, is designed to maximize your points via travel. Cardholders can get a 25 percent higher point value when they redeem Business Preferred points for travel through Ultimate Rewards.

No matter which of these cards you choose, the rewards you earn can take you a long way. But how do you make sure you are bringing in rewards as quickly as possible?

Read on to learn how to maximize the bonus categories on each of the Chase Ink business cards – to ensure you get the most from your rewards.

See related: How to multiply rewards on everything you buy for your business

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

The first Chase Ink card – the Ink Business Cash card – offers a generous rewards rate tailored to business owners who spend heavily on internet, cable and phone services and office supplies:

  • 5 percent cash back on internet, cable and phone services and office supply stores (up to $25,000 in purchases per year)
  • 2 percent cash back on gas and dining (up to $25,000 in purchases per year)
  • 1 percent cash back on other purchases

To ensure you get the most value out of your Ink Business Cash card, make sure to put all internet, cable and phone service, office supply, dining and gas purchases on your card. If you have automatic payments set up for any office orders that fall under the categories, make sure to use the Business Cash card.

The Business Cash card doesn’t charge a fee for employee cards, so you can also get more out of the bonus categories by issuing a card to any employees who spend heavily on gas or dining – for client dinners, travel or any other business expenses.

By making the Business Cash your go-to for any purchases it offers bonus points on, you can ensure you maximize the categories.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

The Ink Business Preferred card is the premium option among Ink cards, offering some valuable travel benefits in exchange for a $95 annual fee. The card offers the following rewards rate:

  • 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services and advertising purchases (up to $150,000 in purchases per year)
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases

The list of bonus categories covered in the Ink Business Preferred card’s earning rate is extensive, making it easy to get a lot of value out of your card. Plus, the spend limit on the bonus category is incredibly generous.

To get the most out of the Ink Business Preferred card’s bonus categories, you should always do the following:

  • Put all travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone service and advertising purchases on your card.
  • Spend at least $15,000 in the first three months of card ownership to earn the 100,000-point introductory bonus.
  • Redeem all your points for travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal to get a higher value and stretch your earnings further.

Like with the Ink Business Cash card, you should put all bonus category purchases on your Ink Business Preferred. Employee cards for the Ink Business Preferred come at no extra cost, so you can issue cards to any employees who spend in these categories to rack up more rewards.

Where the card goes a step further than the Business Cash is its redemption options. Since you get a 25 percent higher point value for travel redemptions through Ultimate Rewards, your bonus categories get you further if you redeem all your rewards this way.

See related: Best ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

The Ink Business Unlimited card offers a slightly different rewards structure to the other two Chase Ink cards. Rather than offer bonus points or cash back in particular categories of spending, this card offers the same flat rate on everything you buy – 1.5 percent cash back.

Because the Ink Business Unlimited offers a flat rate of cash back, there are two strategies you can take to get the most out of the card’s rewards:

  • Use the card for all of your business purchases.
  • Pair the card with one that offers bonus categories and use it for non-bonus category purchases.

If you prefer not to juggle multiple rewards cards, then stick to option one. By putting all of your business spend on the Ink Business Unlimited, you can ensure you earn a competitive rate of cash back on all your purchases.

For those who don’t mind the bit of extra work that goes into pairing rewards cards, the Ink Business Unlimited makes a great addition to any rewards card combo. Since the card offers a good rate of cash back on general purchases, you can pair it with a card that offers bonus categories to boost your overall rewards rate.

For example, imagine you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card – which offers 3 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases (excluding those covered by the $300 travel credit). By using the Reserve any time you book travel or dine out, and the Ink Business Unlimited for everything else, you’ll earn the following rewards rate.

Chase Sapphire Reserve + Ink Business Unlimited
  • 3 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases (excluding purchases covered by $300 travel credit)
  • 1.5 points per dollar on general purchases

We estimate the average small business owner who spends $48,000 per year can bring in about $1,242 in rewards value with this combo, compared to $1,036 with the Sapphire Reserve alone.

Pro tip: Consider pairing more than one card

Whether or not you include the Ink Business Unlimited card, stacking more than one of these Chase offerings – or any Chase Ultimate Rewards card – can ensure you earn even more Ultimate Rewards points. The more bonus categories you earn a high number of points on, the more you can bring in in rewards each year.

See related: 6 ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Plus, the Ink Business Preferred card offers a 25 percent higher point value when you redeem them for travel purchases. By including the Preferred in your rotation, you can rack up points on all sorts of purchases and then transfer all your rewards to the card to stretch your points further.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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