Selecting the right Chase business credit card to leverage the purchasing power of your company is an important step. You’re securing more than just a vehicle for facilitating business purchases; you’re initiating a long-term productive relationship with a leading financial institution that dominates in the credit card rewards arena.
You’re also deciding to earn rewards on every purchase your business makes — and that’s a brilliant decision! You’d be spending those dollars regardless, so why not earn rewards? Any prudent business person would choose to earn cash-back that could be reinvested back into the business, or rewards that could be used to offset the cost of travel expenses.
Regardless of which Chase business credit card you select, you’ll earn rewards on every purchase. However, selecting the card that aligns best with your business spending patterns will ensure you earn the most rewards possible.
That’s our objective today. We’ll dig deep into the benefits for each of 3 popular Chase business credit cards. We’ll highlight the earning power of each card, and cover what you can expect when it’s time to redeem those rewards.
You’re sure to recognize benefits you can use, bonus spending categories that match your highest business purchases, and an annual fee amount you’re comfortable paying (including $0).
Let’s get started with our comparison of the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card to find out which one fits your business perfectly.
Applying for a Chase Business Credit Card
What Qualifies as a Business?
The IRS is generous in its definition of what constitutes a business, as evidenced by this quote from their website:
“A trade or business is generally an activity carried on for a livelihood or in good faith to make a profit. You do not need to actually make a profit to be in a trade or business as long as you have a profit motive.”
While the IRS considers any endeavor that has the intention of making a profit to be considered a business, you’ll want to have your information well-organized when applying for a Chase business credit card. Chase is not just issuing you a credit card; they’re considering the overall picture and your potential for future business.
Completing the Application
Follow these tips when applying for a Chase business credit card:
- Apply only if your personal credit is strong. Approval for a Chase business credit card will be based on the strength of your personal credit.
- Take the application seriously. Chase will be determining if they’re going to grant you credit, so you’ll want to complete the application as truthfully and accurately as possible. If a particular application question does not apply, don’t leave the space blank — write in N/A.
- Save a copy of the application. You may be approved instantly, or Chase may need more information before their decision. You may even need to speak with a representative to answer questions about your business. You’ll want to have a copy of your initial application to reference.
- Document the welcome offer. If you’re applying for a card with a specific welcome offer, document that offer with a screenshot or printed copy to reference later in case you do not receive it.
- Leverage your current Chase relationship. If you currently do business with Chase, leverage that relationship by visiting your local branch to apply in person.
Expect to provide the following information.
- Your legal business name, or your personal name if your business does not have a name
- Your business entity information (sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, or limited liability company)
- A Tax ID number, Employer Identification Number, or your Social Security number
- Number of years in business
- Your estimated business income and total personal income
- Business address and phone number
- The category of your business, the business type, and the sub-type
- For example —
- Business category: professional
- Business type: accounting
- Business sub-type: tax preparation
- The number of employees
For additional tips on applying and qualifying for a business credit card, see our complete guide.
Once you’ve applied for a Chase business credit card, you can monitor the status of your application. Here’s our primer on how to do that, plus how to handle a denial (if applicable).
Bottom Line: The IRS definition of what constitutes a business is broad, but Chase can be more discerning. You’ll want to be well-organized when applying for a Chase business credit card, and take the application process seriously. A long-term relationship with Chase is an asset you’ll be able to utilize for years to come.
Which Chase Business Card Is Right for Your Business?
Chase’s popular business credit cards — Ink Business Preferred card, Ink Business Cash card, and Ink Business Unlimited card — all offer elevated earnings on business purchases, a variety of redemption options, and travel/shopping benefits.
The mix of your business spending, how you’ll use your rewards, and your tolerance for paying an annual fee should all influence your card selection.
Earning Ultimate Rewards
Chase business credit cards earn rewards in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed in a variety of ways (including travel and cash-back). We’ll focus on redemption options later in this article, but first, let’s take a look at how each card earns these rewards points.
Pay particular attention to how each Chase business credit card aligns with the specific purchases your business makes on a regular basis.
|Chase Business Credit Card||Ultimate Rewards Points Earnings|
- 3x points on common business expenses including travel, cable, shipping, internet, phone, and advertising
- 5% cash-back on purchases at office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services (maximum of $25,000 per year)
- 2% cash-back on restaurant and gas station purchases (maximum of $25,000 per year)
- 1.5% cash-back on every business purchase
Let’s look at how these earning rates translate into the rewards you’ll earn. For the purpose of illustration, let’s assume your highest annual business expenses are the following:
- $44,000 on travel
- $6,000 on dining
- $40,000 on advertising
- $30,000 on internet and phone services
Here’s how your earnings would look with each card:
- Ink Business Preferred card: 348,000 Ultimate Rewards points
- $114,000 spent @ 3x earnings
- $6,000 spent @ 1x earnings
- Ink Business Cash card: 326,000 Ultimate Rewards points or $3,260 cash-back
- $89,000 spent @ 1x earnings
- $6,000 spent @ 2x earnings
- $25,000 spent @ 5x earnings
- Ink Business Unlimited card: 180,000 Ultimate Rewards points or $1,800 cash-back
- $120,000 spent @ 1.5x earnings
If we change the mix of your top business expenses, your results will be different. Now let’s assume the following spending:
- $30,000 on internet and phone services
- $20,000 on advertising
- $15,000 at office supply stores
Here’s how the cards compare on earnings with this different spending mix.
- Ink Business Preferred card: 165,000 Ultimate Rewards points
- $50,000 spent @ 3x earnings
- $15,000 spent @ 1x earnings
- Ink Business Cash card: 165,000 Ultimate Rewards points or $1,650 cash-back
- $40,000 spent @ 1x earnings
- $25,000 spent @ 5x earnings
- Ink Business Unlimited card: 97,500 Ultimate Rewards points or $975 cash-back
- $65,000 spent @ 1.5x earnings
As the examples illustrate, the best Chase business credit card for earning rewards on your business purchases will depend on the mix of your highest expenses and whether these expenses fall into the bonus earning categories.
Keep in mind that you’ll be earning rewards on every purchase your business makes, not just bonus category purchases. These examples focus on the highest expenses only.
The mixture of your business spending will determine which is the better card in terms of earning power for your business.
Bottom Line: If your business spends a lot on travel, shipping, or advertising expenses, the Ink Business Preferred card will be the best option for earning and redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points. There is a $150,000 spending limit on 3x bonus category purchases per year; beyond that 1x earnings apply.
When It’s Time to Redeem Your Points
Regardless of the Chase Business card you have, you’ll earn rewards in the form of Ultimate Rewards points (even with a cash-back rewards card). These points can be redeemed for travel, statement credits, cash, gift cards, and more.
However, the best value can be had by transferring points to Chase’s travel partners or redeeming for travel via the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
|Chase Business Credit Card||Redemption Values|
- Ink Business Preferred card
- Redeem points for 1.25 cents per point for travel
- Transfer to airline and hotel partner programs
- Redeem points for 1 cent each toward statement credits or cash
- Transfer to a premium Chase credit card to redeem for up to 1.5 cents per point toward travel, or to transfer to travel partners
- Redeem points for 1 cent each toward travel, a statement credit, or cash-back
- Ink Business Unlimited card
- Transfer points to a premium Chase credit card to redeem for up to 1.5 cents per point toward travel, or to transfer to travel partners
- Redeem points for 1 cent each toward travel, a statement credit, or cash-back
The Ink Business Preferred card is the winner when it comes to redeeming points for travel since points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each via the Ultimate Rewards travel portal with no transfers necessary.
Ultimate Rewards earned on the Ink Business Cash card and Ink Business Unlimited card can be redeemed for 1 cent each toward travel. For more value, these points can also be transferred to an Ink Business Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and then redeemed for up to 1.5 cents per point.
How you plan to redeem your rewards will play a role in which credit card is best for your business. If your priority is to redeem your rewards for travel, you’ll want to have a premium Chase card such as the Ink Business Preferred card.
If you prefer to redeem your rewards for cash, all 3 business credit cards offer 1 cent per point at redemption time. You can also use the points earned on any of these cards to purchase gift cards. Additional shopping redemption options are available as well (sometimes at lower values), such as purchases from Amazon.
The Value of a Welcome Bonus
Now that you have an idea of what your Ultimate Rewards points are worth at redemption time, let’s talk about welcome bonuses.
Each business card we’re discussing offers a welcome bonus once you’re approved for the card and meet minimum spending requirements within your first 3 months. This initial influx of rewards is immediately available to redeem as soon as it is credited to your Ultimate Rewards account.
The value of this spending bonus will vary depending on how you redeem your points, but if your redemption of choice is travel, you’ll find the Ink Business Preferred card offers the greatest welcome bonus worth $1,250 in travel.
The Ink Business Cash card and Ink Business Unlimited card have welcome bonuses of $750 cash-back. When transferred to a Chase premium credit card and subsequently redeemed for travel, these bonus points could be worth up to 50% more.
Bottom Line: Although you will have to pay an annual fee on the Ink Business Preferred card, the welcome bonus is much higher than the no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash card and Ink Business Unlimited card.
The 0% APR Benefit
A little-publicized benefit of the Ink Business Cash card and Ink Business Unlimited card is the 0% introductory APR offer. Businesses that have major purchases coming up can save hundreds of dollars on finance charges by utilizing this benefit.
The 0% introductory APR is valid for your first 12 months after the opening of your card. After that, the normal variable APR applies.
Bottom Line: The 0% APR benefit on the Ink Business Cash card and Ink Business Unlimited card can help fund a major purchase for your business without incurring interest rate charges. Manage your repayment well, and you can save hundreds in financing charges.
Travel Protections and Benefits
Several useful travel protections and benefits are offered on all 3 Chase business credit cards.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: All 3 Chase business cards provide primary coverage for damage, theft, loss of use, and towing when renting a vehicle for business or personal purposes worldwide. You also receive primary coverage if you are renting within your country for personal reasons and do not have auto insurance. With primary coverage, you do not have to file a claim any other source of auto insurance first.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Receive help 24/7 during your travels with services such as finding an English-speaking medical professional or attorney, emergency transportation, or wiring funds.
- Roadside Dispatch: For a flat fee per service call, you can receive roadside assistance services including short-distance towing, winching, gas delivery, lockout service, and tire changes. The cardholder is responsible for the costs of all other services rendered.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement: If your covered trip on a common carrier is delayed more than 12 hours or overnight, you could receive up to $500 in reimbursements for incidentals.
- Baggage Delay: If your checked bags are delayed more than 6 hours, you could receive up to $100 per day for a maximum of 5 days.
- Lost Luggage: Receive up to $3,000 per person as reimbursement if your checked or carry-on luggage is lost or damaged while traveling on a common carrier.
- Travel Accident Insurance: The Common Carrier Benefit covers you while you are a passenger on any common carrier or at the airport/terminal/station immediately before or after your trip. The 24 Hour Travel Accident Benefit covers you from embarkation, during your qualifying trip, and until you return. You and your immediate family are covered for a severe injury or loss of life, with limits of $500,000 for the Common Carrier Benefit and $100,000 on the 24 Hour Benefit.
One benefit is offered only on the Ink Business Preferred card, and it’s an important one.
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption: If your trip is disrupted due to a covered incident, you could receive reimbursement for prepaid and/or nonrefundable expenses. Receive up to $5,000 per person, per occurrence, for a maximum of up to $20,000 per 12-month period.
Bottom Line: While all Chase business cards come with several travel protections, the Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption benefit is not offered on either the Ink Business Cash card or the Ink Business Unlimited card. If you travel frequently, having this benefit on the Ink Business Preferred card could be a real plus.
Shopping Protections and Benefits
You’ll receive purchase protection and extended warranty coverage with all Chase business credit cards.
- Purchase Protection: Purchase an eligible item with your card and receive up to $10,000 per claim ($50,000 per account) should accidental damage occur.
- Extended Warranty: An eligible item purchased with your card will have its U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less extended by 1 year. Claims are limited to $10,000 each and a $50,000 maximum per account.
The Ink Business Preferred card also provides cell phone protection. Receive up to $600 when you pay your wireless bill with your card if it is “damaged, stolen, or involuntary and accidental parting occurs.” There is a $100 deductible for this coverage and a limit of 3 claims per 12-month period.
You may also qualify for limited cell phone protection under Chase’s Purchase Protection or Extended Warranty.
Everything Else You Need to Know
All 3 Chase business cards come with free employee cards, ensuring that all your business spending earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points. You can also view or download quarterly and annual spending reports to help you track and manage expenses.
Both the Ink Business Cash card and Ink Business Unlimited card charge 3% foreign transaction fees. The Ink Business Preferred card does not charge foreign transaction fees.
There are plenty of prudent reasons for having a business credit card. Keeping personal and business expenses separated is a primary reason, but having a business credit card also makes business bookkeeping easier and creates a comprehensive reference at tax time.
Having a Chase business credit card allows you to earn rewards on every dollar your business spends. When it comes time to redeem your rewards, you can use them to offset business expenses or even fund a family vacation.
As we frequently emphasize, the right business card for you will be the one that matches your highest business expenses and aligns with how you’re going to utilize the rewards you’ve earned. The card should have benefits you can use and an annual fee you’re willing to pay.
In the case of Chase business credit cards, there really isn’t a wrong decision — only a choice that is better suited for your business at the moment. You may find that as your business changes and grows, you’ll need to re-evaluate which is the best card for your operation.