Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Juan Ruiz
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The Chase Ink line of business credit cards features some of the most lucrative points-earning small business credit cards on the market.
But each of the 4 cards — the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card , and Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card — earns a different number of points and has varying benefits.
On the points-earning side, each of these cards has different bonus-earning categories. And the points you earn with the Ink Business Premier card can’t be transferred to travel partners, regardless of which Chase cards you have, making it altogether different than the other 3 Ink cards.
With all of these differences, you may find it tough to decide which credit card is right for your particular situation. After all, it can be tough to sift through the websites for each credit card to compare and contrast the bonus-earning categories.
Here’s a walk-through of the bonus categories for each card, their varying benefits and annual fees, and an explanation of what type of business each Ink card is right for.
With this guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision in determining which Ink credit card is right for your business and your wallet.
Of the 4 Chase business cards, the Ink Business Unlimited card and Ink Business Cash card are the lower-end cards, with the Ink Business Preferred card and Ink Business Premier card both having more premium features, especially in terms of purchase and travel protections.
Each of these cards has a varying sign-up bonus, too. A sign-up bonus is the amount of Ultimate Rewards points that you’ll earn after spending a set amount of money on your new Ink card within a certain amount of time after opening the credit card.
These sign-up bonuses can be super lucrative and often exceed 50,000 Ultimate Rewards per card. Since you can earn the sign-up bonuses for each card, you may choose to open multiple Chase Ink cards to take advantage of both the welcome bonuses and various increased earning rates that vary from card to card.
Here’s a look at the sign-up bonuses, annual fee, bonus categories, and features for each of the Chase Ink cards:
|Welcome Offer and Annual Fee
|Bonus Categories and Features
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
|Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card
While welcome bonuses are great, you shouldn’t choose a new Ink card solely based on its sign-up bonus. After all, depending on how much your business spends, picking the right card with the right bonus categories can have a huge impact on how many points you’ll earn.
Here’s a look at each of the card’s bonus points earning categories, annual fees, and other benefits.
The Ink Business Unlimited card is a stellar option for business owners looking for a no-fuss uncapped 1.5% cash-back card without an annual fee.
As a business owner, you likely keep pretty busy and probably prefer a credit card that just keeps things simple.
If so, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card might be just the card for you. From zero annual fee to a flat cash-back rate, the card is a no-frills option that you don’t have to think twice about.
Don’t forget too, 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
The Ink Business Unlimited card is the business equivalent of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. It keeps things easy by offering 1.5% cash-back on all business purchases. While it may earn cash-back out of the box, you can turn this cash-back into Ultimate Rewards points by transferring them to an Ink Business Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
The Ink Business Unlimited card is pretty barebones when it comes to earning points. As mentioned earlier, it earns 1.5% cash back per dollar spent on all purchases. That cash-back can be converted to 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points. It has no other bonus categories, but the 1.5% earning ratio makes it super valuable for purchases that aren’t covered by another Ink card’s bonus categories.
For example, construction equipment isn’t covered by the Ink Business Cash card or Ink Business Preferred card’s various bonus categories. So, making a $10,000 equipment purchase on an Ink Business Unlimited card would earn a massive 5,000 more points ($50 cash-back) than if the purchase was charged to an Ink Business Cash card or Ink Business Preferred card.
Likewise, the Ink Business Unlimited card is pretty barebones when it comes to features. It’s a Visa Signature card, so you get basic features like rental car insurance (primary when renting for business; secondary coverage for personal rentals), purchase protection, fraud protection, and even extended warranty protection.
Thankfully, though, the Ink Business Unlimited card has no annual fee. So, as long as you pay your balance monthly, you’ll pay $0 when using your Ink Business Unlimited card and can keep the card indefinitely.
However, as discussed earlier, you cannot transfer points earned with the Ink Business Unlimited card to one of Chase’s various transfer partners without combining points with a premium Ultimate Rewards card.
The Ink Business Unlimited card is best for businesses that have lots of spend that doesn’t qualify for bonus points. This includes things like construction equipment rentals, purchases from home improvement stores, and furniture. With this in mind, the card can be extremely useful for those in construction or new businesses that are in the process of building out a new office.
Savvy business owners may elect to open both an Ink Business Unlimited card and an Ink Business Cash card or Ink Business Preferred card. In doing this, the business owner can put all bonus spending on one of those 2 cards, and all non-bonus spend on the Ink Business Unlimited card, giving you even more points.
This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has a lot going for it that makes it a compelling choice for small business owners. The card features a very lucrative 5% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
When you factor in that the card has no annual fee, and 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter, you could be adding big value back into your business for no cost out of pocket.
The Ink Business Cash card is a little different than the Ink Business Unlimited card. This card has 2 sets of bonus categories — 1 earning 2% cash-back and the other earning 5% cash-back.
Like the Ink Business Unlimited card, you’ll need to move your points to another card before you can transfer to travel partners. However, even if you redeem for cash-back, the right business can make a huge profit with the included bonus categories.
The Ink Business Cash card has 2 sets of bonus categories: 1 category that earns 2% and the other category that earns 5% (up to $25,000 in annual spend) cash-back on purchases.
The 2% categories include purchases from:
These 2% categories are uncapped, meaning that there’s no limit on how much 2% cash-back you can earn on your gas station and restaurant purchases.
The 5% categories aren’t so lucky. The Ink Business Cash card has 2 different 5% cash-back categories, and you can earn this 5% cash-back up to $25,000 in annual purchases. After that, you’ll revert to 1% cash-back.
These 5% categories are:
As you’d expect, all other purchases earn a standard 1% cash-back on all purchases.
The Ink Business Cash card has the same features as the Ink Business Unlimited card. It also has no annual fee, but as we mentioned earlier, it can’t transfer points to transfer partners on its own.
The Ink Business Cash card is a great card for businesses that spend lots of money in any of the bonus categories. Earning 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations is great for travel-heavy companies with lots of staff on the road.
Further, 5% cash back at office supply stores and telecom services makes the Ink Business Cash card an amazing pick for office managers — most won’t have trouble maxing out the $25,000 annual limit, giving you a cool $1,250 cash-back (or 125,000 Ultimate Rewards points).
But even if you don’t have a physical office, 5% cash back at office supply stores can be super valuable.
Just think about what you can buy at modern office supply stores. Staples sells everything from gift cards to laptops to basic office furniture. This means that even freelancers and sole proprietors can make the most of their business spend when making business purchases at these stores.
Hot Tip: Earn even more Ultimate Rewards points (or cash-back) on business purchases when utilizing Shopping through Chase. Points earned through this portal stack on top of the bonus points you already earn with your Chase Ink business credit card.
The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a powerhouse for earning lots of points from your business purchases, especially for business owners that spend regularly on ads.
Plus the card offers flexible redemption options, including access to Chase airline and hotel transfer partners where you can achieve outsized value.
Business owners will also love the protections the card provides like excellent cell phone insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.
The Ink Business Preferred card is now at the mid-range of the Chase Ink family and has benefits and higher limits on spend bonuses. The card has an annual fee, but it’s largely offset by its included benefits, large welcome bonus, and bonus categories.
The Ink Business Preferred card earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on 4 different spend categories. Unlike the Ink Business Cash card, the card has a $150,000 cap on 3x points earning combined across all 4 of these categories. This means that you can earn up to 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points per year if you max out this spend limit.
The Ink Business Preferred card’s bonus categories include:
All other purchases earn 1x points per dollar spent when charged to an Ink Business Preferred card.
Unlike the Ink Business Unlimited card and Ink Business Cash cards, the Ink Business Preferred card has a $95 annual fee. Thankfully though, the card includes a few features that help offset this annual fee.
For one, the card can transfer points to Chase transfer partners. Using these travel partners, you can use points to book flights and hotel rooms from several different airlines and hotel chains and their respective partners.
You can also use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the Chase travel portal. This portal lets you redeem your points at 1.25 cents per point towards any paid flight or hotel room. So if you have 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points, you can use them for $1,000 worth of travel through the travel portal. Plus, if you book a flight, you’ll earn airline miles as you’ll be booked on a standard paid ticket.
Further, the Ink Business Preferred card has similar purchase protection and extended warranty benefits as the Ink Business Unlimited card and Ink Business Cash card. However, the card also includes up to $1,000 in complimentary cell phone insurance for you and your authorized users. This covers damaged and stolen cell phones and is limited to 3 claims per year. Note that you’ll pay a $100 deductible and you must charge your phone bill to your Ink Business Preferred card to be eligible.
The Ink Business Preferred card is great for businesses with lots of web advertising, shipping, and travel spend. As many web entrepreneurs know, internet ads can get expensive, so being able to earn 3 points per dollar spent can be a huge benefit. Likewise, if your employees travel frequently, having the ability to earn 3 points per dollar spent on their travel will be a huge upside.
You can also pair the Ink Business Preferred card with another Chase Ink card. You can combine cash-back earned with other Ink cards with this card, turning cash-back into Ultimate Rewards points. Then, you can transfer those points to one of Chase’s many transfer partners for added value and flexibility.
Earn up to 5% cash-back for your business without complex bonus earning categories!
Chase has introduced the Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card to its business credit card lineup. With straightforward cash-back earnings on everyday purchases and large expenses, tools to help you monitor your business, and multiple ways to redeem your rewards, this is a great card option to consider.
The Ink Business Premier card is the newest in Chase’s Ink business card lineup. With it, you can $1,000 in cash-back after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. After accounting for the minimum spend requirement, you’ll have at least $1,200 worth of cash-back rewards.
Similar to the Ink Business Unlimited card, the Ink Business Premier card offers a straightforward earning structure. First, cardholders will earn 5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase Travel. And outside of that bonus category, cardholders will earn 2.5% cash-back on purchases of $5,000 or more and 2% cash-back on all other purchases.
This type of bonus structure can come in handy if you have a lot of non-bonus spend that doesn’t fit into the bonus categories (like office supply stores) offered on the other Ink cards.
As an example, consider the purchase of $5,000 pairs of garden gloves for resale on Amazon. This likely wouldn’t be covered by the Ink Business Cash card or Ink Business Preferred card’s various bonus categories. But, making the purchase with the Ink Business Premier card would earn you $125 in cash-back, simply for using the card.
The Ink Business Premier card comes with a $195 annual fee — the highest of all of the Ink business cards. It also comes with purchase protection and extended warranty benefits similar to the other 3 Ink business cards listed above, plus travel insurance benefits like trip delay/interruption and cancellation insurance and car rental coverage.
Like the Ink Business Preferred card, it includes cell phone protection, up to $1,000 per year in total coverage with a $100 deductible. An often overlooked but potentially valuable perk.
If you don’t care about travel rewards and are only concerned with earning cash back, the Ink Business Premier card could make sense for you. In addition, it’s a good business card for those who want to simplify their business expense tracking without worrying about numerous bonus categories.
Thankfully, you don’t need to own a large company or even have an EIN to apply for one of these cards. All you need is to have some type of business and a Social Security number.
As discussed earlier, this includes everyone from freelancers to sole proprietors to brick-and-mortar shop owners. Just note that if you’re applying as a sole proprietor and don’t have an EIN, you’ll have to input your Social Security number in the “tax identification number” field of the application.
Also note that you can input your home address, personal phone number, and full name in the business application. Oh, and don’t worry: if you’re starting a new company, you can input $0 as your revenue.
Chase will pull your personal credit when applying, even if you have an EIN attached to the application. They will not, however, perform a hard pull on employees that are added to your Chase Ink card as authorized users.
In this article, you learned the ins and outs of the Chase Ink credit card family and you can now see why these cards are some of the best Visa business cards available. Now, you can make an informed decision on what card works best for your business spend.
As a general rule, stick with the Ink Business Unlimited card or Ink Business Premier card unless your business can take advantage of the bonus categories offered by the Ink Business Cash card or Ink Business Preferred card.
Also remember that unless you have an Ink Business Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Preferred card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you cannot transfer your points to one of Chase’s many transfer partners. However, you can combine points earned with an Ink Business Unlimited card or Ink Business Cash card with one of these cards and then transfer points to Chase’s transfer partners.
And as always, let us know if you have any questions in the comments!
The information regarding the Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer
You can do this by combining your cash-back with a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or Ink Business Preferred card. Your cash-back will transfer at a rate of 1 cent to 1 Ultimate Reward point.
The best business credit card for a small business is one that matches your business spending. Each of these cards offers different bonus categories, so it’s best to examine your spend patterns and see which card is best aligned with your biggest purchase categories.
For example, if your business spends a lot on flights and hotels, the Ink Business Preferred card may be your best bet. However, if you spend a lot on office supplies and phone service, you may want to consider the Ink Business Cash card to take advantage of its 5% cash-back categories.
That boils down to personal preference. If you want to take luxurious trips around the world, you’re better off transferring points to a travel partner for a better redemption rate. If your goals are to lower your bottom line, you may fare better with cash-back.
Thankfully though, you don’t have to choose. You always have the option of redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for cash-back in the form of a statement credit.
Yes, you can apply (and be approved) for multiple business credit cards. This makes a lot of sense if you can maximize the spend bonuses on multiple Chase Ink cards, giving you the most cash-back and Ultimate Rewards points possible.
Just make sure you’re familiar with Chase’s 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened more than 5 credit cards total from any issuer in the past 24 months, you may not be approved for a Chase credit card.
No. Unfortunately, you can’t transfer the rewards you earn with this card to any airline or hotel partner. Nor can you combine them with rewards from another card, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, so that they become transferable.
The Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Ink Business Premier card are always worth just 1 cent each, whether redeemed for cash-back, statement credits, gift cards and travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
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Andrew was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now splits his time between Chicago and New York City.
He’s a lifelong traveler and took his first solo trip to San Francisco at the age of 16. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew now travels just over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt. Andrew formerly worked for The Points Guy and is now Senior Money Editor at CNN Underscored.
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.