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In a Nutshell:
If you’re determined to keep costs to a minimum, the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers a lot of cash back on your business purchases — including purchases made on employee cards — for no annual fee.
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
Chase Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: No fee for employee cards, set individual limits per card, mobile wallet app to track receipts, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, car rental insurance
The Ink Business Cash Credit Card is a decent card for small-business owners who don’t want the hassle of trying to earn enough rewards to cover an annual fee and who spend heavily on office supplies and other typical business expenses like internet, cable and phone services. The cash back rate on the Ink Business Cash card is hard to beat in these categories and the card also boasts a generous rewards rate in the popular categories of gas and dining.
The card also comes with a next-level sign-up bonus and charges no annual fee, making this a solid choice for business owners looking to add a worry-free option to their wallet.
Why you might want the Ink Business Cash Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash Credit card carries a generous rewards rate in multiple popular business spending categories and can be especially valuable when paired with another Chase Ultimate Rewards card that earns highly in everyday spending categories. On top of that, the card has no annual fee and you have a chance to secure a very generous sign-up bonus of $900 (if you spend $6,000 in the first three months) while taking advantage of an introductory APR period of 12 months (16.99% to 22.99% variable APR thereafter).
Sign-up bonus is at an all-time high
The Ink Business Cash card is currently offering its most generous sign-up bonus to date – $900 if you spend $6,000 in your first three months as a cardholder. That’s a $150 boost to the card’s previous offer with a $1,500 lower spending requirement, so it’s a clear win all around. Assuming you can meet the spending requirement within the first three months, this is a terrific offer, especially since the Ink Business Cash doesn’t charge an annual fee. Indeed, this is one of the highest bonus offers we’ve seen on a no-annual-fee business card, easily beating out the bonuses you’ll find on popular no-annual-fee cards from Amex, Capital One and Discover.
Generous cash back for business expenses
The Ink Business Cash card offers 5% cash back on internet, cable and phone services and at office supply stores (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year), making it a great choice for small-business owners who spend heavily in these categories. The card also offers 2% cash back on gas and dining (up to $25,000 in purchases per year) and 1% cash back on other purchases.
This is a top-tier rewards rate for a card with no annual fee – as long as it matches your business spending. The 5% rewards category can be incredibly lucrative, even with a spend cap, but be careful not to increase your spending just to earn more rewards. While the cash back is generous, it should not encourage you to spend more than is reasonable to keep your business afloat.
Most redemption options retain value
Once you’ve earned cash back with the Ink Business Cash card, you have a few different redemption options. Beyond the traditional statement credit or direct deposit, you can use your rewards for travel purchases, Apple products and more. Just keep in mind that you might not get as much value out of your rewards depending on how you redeem them.
Ink Business Cash redemption options
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You also have the option to transfer rewards earned on the Ink Business Cash card to another Chase Ultimate Rewards card to potentially boost their value. For example, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers a 25% higher point value when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards. If you transfer points earned on the Ink Business Cash card to the Ink Business Preferred, you can boost their value to up to 1.25 cents per point.
See Related: Best ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points
Useful for financing large expenses
On top of a great rewards rate, the Ink Business Cash card comes with a 0% introductory APR on new purchases for the first 12 months (16.99% to 22.99% variable thereafter). This is a huge perk for cardholders looking to finance a bigger purchase over time without racking up interest charges, and isn’t ubiquitous among business cards. Of course, don’t take on more debt than you can pay off in the introductory period, or you could end up paying quite a bit in interest. While the intro APR can be a great way to slowly pay off larger expenses, you should avoid using it in place of a loan to fund your business.
Chase point-transfer is flexible
Chase has a very flexible point-transfer policy, allowing Ink Business Cash cardholders to transfer any rewards they earn on their card to another Ultimate Rewards card. This is a particularly valuable perk, as transferring your points can potentially increase their value. For example, transferring your Ink Business Cash Rewards to the Ink Business Preferred card and redeeming them for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal gives them a 25% higher point value, and if you transfer to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, your points can be worth as much as 50% more redeemed for travel through Chase.
See Related: Why are Chase Ultimate Rewards points so valuable?
Plus, premium Ultimate Rewards cardholders (Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve) have the option to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to a varied list of travel partners. Since many airline and hotel loyalty programs have a point value higher than 1 cent, this is another way to potentially stretch your rewards.
A handful of noteworthy perks for small-business owners
In addition to the bank’s normal app, Chase offers an app designed specifically for Ink cardholders. It comes loaded with helpful perks for small business owners, including the ability to visualize purchases and set purchase alerts, create your own purchase categories, save receipts in-app and update employee spend limits.
Another benefit to the Ink Business Cash card is that additional employee cards are issued at no extra cost. You can also set individual spending limits on each employee card to ensure you are keeping control of your funds.
The Ink Business Cash card also offers a variety of other perks that can save you money when shopping and traveling. Here’s a quick look at some of the most valuable benefits:
- Purchase protection – If an item you purchase with your Ink card is damaged or stolen in the first 120 days, you can be covered up to $10,000 per claim (max $50,000 per account).
- Extended warranty – For purchases made with your card, you can extend eligible manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less by an additional year.
- Car rental insurance – When you book and pay for a car rental with your Ink Business Cash card, you’ll receive primary coverage in the case of damage or theft.
- Travel and emergency assistance services – If you are on a business trip in an unfamiliar location and need medical referrals or other emergency assistance, you can call the benefits administrator for your card for quick help.
To take full advantage of these protections, put all major purchases on the Ink Business Cash card.
Why you might want a different business rewards card
The Ink Business Cash card is a solid no annual fee rewards card that will help you earn cash back on many common business expenses, but if you don’t spend heavily in its bonus categories, it will likely fall short of many flat-rate business cards due to its unimpressive rate on general purchases. Like most business cards, the Ink Business Cash card also comes with strict approval odds, requiring good to excellent personal credit to qualify.
Not ideal for general spending
We estimate the average business doesn’t spend enough in the Ink Business Cash card’s bonus categories to boost its overall rewards value. In fact, we estimate that the typical business owner who used the Ink Business Cash card for all of their spending and spent $4,000 per month would earn an average cash back rate of 1.47%, which falls short of the rock-bottom rate you’ll find on most flat-rate business rewards cards.
While it’s true that businesses that spend more than average on office supplies, internet or cable can significantly boost this rate, businesses that don’t spend heavily in these categories might be better off opting for a flat rate option like the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card. And though the Spark Cash Plus has a $150 annual fee, it earns a best-in-class 2% flat rate, which should give it an edge in rewards value even over no annual fee cards if you use it for most of your spending.
Requires good personal credit
The Ink Business Cash card is designed for users with good to excellent credit (670 – 850), so you’ll want to ensure you meet those qualifications before you apply. Additionally, since the card is a small business credit card, you’ll be required to provide information such as annual revenue, number of employees and tax identification number (or SSN if you are a sole proprietorship) in addition to personal information.
Since the Ink Business Cash card is issued by Chase, you’ll also be subject the 5/24 rule to qualify. That means if you’ve opened five or more credit cards with any issuer in the past 24 months, you likely won’t be approved for this card.
How does the Ink Business Cash card compare to other business cards?
Though the Ink Business Cash card is very rewarding for users who spend heavily on office supplies, internet, and cable and phone services, it might not be the best option for every small business owner. Here’s a quick look at some of our most popular alternatives:
2% cash back on all purchases
5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
1.5% cash back on all purchases
2 points per dollar on every purchase, up to $50,000 per year (1 point per dollar thereafter)
Up to a $1,000 cash bonus—$500 by spending $5,000 within the first three months, plus another $500 bonus after spending a total of $50,000 in the first six months
$900 if you spend $6,000 in first 3 months
15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership
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Ink Business Cash vs. Capital One Spark Cash Plus
If you don’t spend heavily in a particular category, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card offers one of the best flat cash back rates you can get on a business rewards card. It comes with a $150 annual fee, but that should be fairly easy to offset with steady rewards on all business spending. And since it’s a charge card, the Spark Cash Plus comes with no preset spending limit (though, on the other hand, you also can’t carry a balance with the card and it features no intro APR offer).
Ink Business Cash vs. Ink Business Unlimited card
Another card in the Ultimate Rewards family, the Ink Business Unlimited card offers a flat rate of cash back on all purchases, rather than bonuses in particular categories. Cardholders earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase. If you don’t weigh your spending heavily to one category, but still want to earn Ultimate Rewards, the Ink Business Unlimited is a great alternative to the Ink Business Cash card.
See related: Chase Ink Business Cash vs. Ink Business Unlimited
Ink Business Cash vs. Blue Business Plus card from American Express
The Blue Business Plus card from American Express also offers a flat rewards rate on all purchases, but it comes with a spend cap of $50,000 per year before the rate drops. While 2 points per dollar is generous for a card with no annual fee, the Blue Business Plus is best suited for businesses with a lower annual spend who won’t meet the cap early in the year.
How to use the Chase Ink Business Cash card:
- Use the card for all gas, dining, internet, cable and phone service and office supply store purchases to earn bonus points.
- Set individual spend limits on employee cards to manage your funds.
- Consider pairing the card with another Chase Ultimate Rewards card to take advantage of easy point transfers and a potentially higher point value.
- Avoid carrying a balance after the introductory APR for new purchases ends, so as not to accrue interest.
- Shop through the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal to earn extra points.
Is the Ink Business Cash card right for you?
For businesses that spend a lot on office supplies, cable and phone services and internet, you can’t beat the rewards rate on the Ink Business Cash card – especially since it doesn’t charge an annual fee.
If you don’t spend heavily in the bonus categories, however, you might be better off opting for a flat-rate card. This will earn you the same rate on all purchases without the added hassle of managing category-specific purchases – giving you more time to focus on running your business.
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