If you’re a small business owner looking to earn a generous rewards rate on company purchases, the Ink cards from Chase may be your answer.
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If you’re a small business owner looking to earn a generous rewards rate on company purchases, the Chase Ink cards may be your answer.
Chase currently features three Ink cards in its business card portfolio. The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card is a no-annual-fee, flat-rate card that offers $500 cash back when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Similarly, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card is a no-annual-fee card that offers $500 after $3,000 spend in the first three months. Instead of a flat rewards rate, though, the Cash card offers bonus rewards in popular business spending categories, such as phone services.
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which charges $95 annually, also offers bonus rewards in popular spend categories, along with an 80,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Which card is better in the first year?
The Ink Business Unlimited and the Ink Business Cash cards are very similar – both offer a $500 sign-up bonus and neither charges an annual fee. The cards, however, have very different rewards structures: The Ink Business Cash card offers a cash back bonus of up to 5 percent on certain spending categories, while the Ink Business Unlimited card offers a flat rate of 1.5 percent back on every purchase. The Ink Business Preferred card, on the other hand, offers an 80,000-point sign-up bonus and up to 3 points per dollar on popular business purchases.
See how the three cards compare in the table below:
Comparing Chase Ink cards
Ink Business Unlimited
Ink Business Cash
Ink Business Preferred
|Sign-up bonus||$500 cash back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months||$500 cash back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months||80,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months|
|Estimated earnings in first year ($48,000 spend)||$1,220||$1,206||$1,577|
As you can see, the average small business owner who spends $48,000 annually can earn virtually the same amount of cash back from the Ink Business Unlimited and Ink Business Cash cards in the first year.
However, the Ink Business Preferred card, thanks to its substantial sign-up bonus, offers the best rewards value in the first year, even with its $95 fee subtracted from the earnings. But keep in mind that the spend threshold required to receive the Preferred card’s sign-up bonus is $2,000 higher than what’s required by the Unlimited and Cash cards.
Who is eligible for the sign-up bonus?The sign-up bonuses for the Chase Ink cards are only available to new cardholders who have not received a new card member bonus for the cards in the past 24 months. Of course, you must be a business owner. You also must have a credit score in the excellent range (at least 750).
While Chase doesn’t seem to have a hard limit on the number of cards you own, they may deny your application if you have too large of a credit limit across your other Chase cards. Additionally, although there is no strict rule on the number of Chase cards you can apply for within a certain timeframe, many applicants report a limit of one to two new cards per month.
Bonus tip: If the sign-up bonus increases within 90 days of your card approval, you can ask to be matched to the higher offer.
Best ways to use 80,000 bonus points
Chase gives cardholders several different options for redeeming their Ultimate Rewards points. As you can see from the table below, a point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for statement credits, direct deposits and gift cards. However, to get the most value from your points, you should redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which boosts each point by 25 percent for Chase Ink Business Preferred cardholders.
Chase Ink Business Preferred card’s redemption options
|Redemption option||Point value||Value of 80,000-point sign-up bonus|
|Ultimate Rewards travel portal (25% redemption bonus)||1.25 cents||$1,000|
|Statement credit||1 cent||$800|
|Direct deposit||1 cent||$800|
|Gift cards||1 cent||$800|
|Amazon.com purchases||0.8 cent||$640|
|Chase Pay purchases||0.8 cent||$640|
Additionally, you can transfer your points at 1:1 value to one of Chase’s many travel partners to get even higher values on your points. For instance, we value Southwest Airlines points at 1.57 cents on average (note the value can vary widely on the ticket that you purchase), which means your $175 bonus can net you $275 of value on average when used for Southwest airfare:
Chase Ink Business Preferred card’s transfer options
|Transfer option||Point value||Value of 80,000-point sign-up bonus|
|British Airways transfer||2.29 cents||$1,832|
|Singapore Airlines transfer||2.17 cents||$1,736|
|Southwest Airlines transfer||1.57 cents||$1,256|
|United Airlines transfer||1.52||$1,216|
|Korean Air transfer||1.4 cents||$1,120|
|Hyatt Gold Passport transfer||1.37 cents||$1,096|
|Ritz-Carlton transfer||1.22 cents||$976|
|Air France transfer||1 cent||$800|
|Virgin Atlantic transfer||0.8 cent||$640|
|Marriott Rewards transfer||0.8 cent||$640|
|IHG transfer||0.65 cent||$520|
Should you apply now?
With $500 and 80,000-point sign-up bonuses, now is a good time to apply for the Chase Ink Business cards. The card you choose, though, depends on your business needs and what you’re looking for in a card.
For example, if you are a business owner who spends a large amount of money on internet, cable, phone services and office supplies each year, the Ink Cash Business card may be your best bet. On the other hand, those who spend a large amount on business travel each year can stand to earn more rewards from the Ink Business Preferred card. But if you’re interested in earning the same rate on every purchase and don’t want to keep track of spending categories, the Ink Business Unlimited may be the right card for you.