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Ink Business Cash Card vs. Ink Business Preferred Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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If you’re a business owner, you know the importance of keeping accurate records and separating your business expenses from your personal expenses.

One primary method of accomplishing this is to use a business credit card for those associated business expenses.

In addition to separating expenses, a rewards-earning business credit card can deliver benefits such as business management tools and services, rewards earned on business spending categories, and other features you won’t find on personal credit cards.

Arguably, 2 of the best Chase business credit cards available are the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

While either card would serve as a welcome addition to your business expense protocol, one is probably better suited to your business than the other.

Let’s find out which card best fits your business operation, or if the combination of both cards can add value to your business’ bottom line.

Ink Business Cash Card vs. Ink Business Preferred Card — Overview

SCROLL FOR MORE
BenefitInk Business Cash® Credit CardInk Business Preferred® Credit Card
Welcome OfferEarn $350 when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.NEW OFFER: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earning
  • 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases every cardmember anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services; and Lyft (through March 31, 2025)
  • 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases every anniversary year at restaurants and gas stations
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases
  • 5x points on Lyft through March 31, 2025
  • 3x points on travel and select business categories (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases every cardmember anniversary year)
  • 1x points on other purchases
Redemption Options
  • Chase Travel Portal bookings
  • Gift cards, statement credits/cash-back, Pay Yourself Back, Apple purchases, Amazon.com, PayPal.com
  • Transfer to travel partners
  • Chase Travel Portal bookings
  • Gift cards, statement credits/cash-back, Pay Yourself Back, Apple purchases, Amazon.com, PayPal.com
Top Travel Benefits and Protections
  • Primary rental car insurance; travel and emergency assistance services
  • Primary rental car insurance; trip interruption and cancellation insurance; travel and emergency assistance services
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Purchase protection; Extended warranty
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection; Extended warranty
Annual Fees and Authorized Users
  • $0 annual fee
  • No additional annual fees for employee cards
  • $95 annual fee
  • No additional annual fees for employee cards

Why You Need a Business Credit Card

Even if you’ve been managing just fine by putting your business expenses on your personal credit card, you’ll inevitably run into complications.

Here are just a few of the reasons you need a business credit card:

  • Keep Personal and Business Expenses Separate — One of the primary reasons for using a business credit card is to separate your business expenses from your personal expenses. Doing so makes tax time easier and allows you to easily find documentation in the case of an audit.
  • Record-keeping Tools — Business credit cards typically provide record-keeping tools that can sync with QuickBooks or other financial management software.
  • Higher Credit Limits — Business credit cards can offer higher credit limits than personal cards.
  • Free Employee Credit Cards — It’s easier to keep track of expenses when your employees make purchases with their business credit cards.
  • Rewards for Business Purchase Categories — Business credit cards may have bonus spending categories such as office supplies, shipping, and advertising that you won’t find on personal credit cards.

Bottom Line: While there are plenty of reasons to get a business credit card, the most important one is to separate your personal and business expenses. You’ll definitely save time and frustration at tax time and in case of an IRS audit!

Who Can Apply for a Business Credit Card?

Tutoring
Even your small side gig may qualify for a business credit card. Image Credit: Maria Symchych via Shutterstock

You may be surprised to learn what qualifies as a business when it comes to applying for a business credit card.

The IRS, for example, defines a business like this: “Generally, an activity qualifies as a business if it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit.”

Even if your side hustle is small, you may still qualify for a business credit card — because your personal credit will play a significant role in whether you get approved for a business credit card.

Registering your business as a DBA (doing business as) or LLC (limited liability company) prior to applying for a business credit card can add credibility and improve your chances of approval.

The rules differ by state as to what is required to register or license your business (if necessary), but once you have these in place, you can open a business checking account, too, adding even more credibility.

For more information on how to apply for a small business credit card and additional business credit card recommendations, our in-depth guides can help.

Hot Tip: The U.S. Small Business Administration offers several tips for registering your business name and determining if a state or even federal license is required.

What To Look For in a Business Credit Card

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • In which categories does your business spend the most? Selecting a business credit card that rewards your biggest spending categories is important, but you’ll also need to consider if the card has limits on the rewards you can earn in each category.
  • Does your business involve travel? Are you running a business from your home, or are you a frequent flyer who could use some premium travel benefits? Perhaps you’re a road warrior who spends a lot on gas purchases — either way, make sure to get a card with the right benefits.
  • Do you prefer travel rewards or want to earn cash-back? Travel rewards can be used for both personal travel and business travel, but you may want to invest cash-back into your business instead.
  • Can you redeem the credit card rewards for benefits you can use? You can always use the cash earned on cash-back credit cards to offset your business expenses, but would travel rewards be worth more to your business bottom line?
  • Are you comfortable paying an annual fee? You may prefer a business credit card with no annual fee, but the premium benefits of a travel rewards credit card with a higher annual fee could save you money that you’re currently spending on travel benefits, such as airport lounge membership.

As you keep these answers in your mind, let’s take a look at the Ink Business Cash card and the Ink Business Preferred card to see how each one matches your priorities.

The Value of a Welcome Bonus

NEW OFFER
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

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 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.
Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel
100,000 points
$2,000
$95
21.24%-26.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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.

Pros
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on up to $150,000 in combined purchases on internet, cable and phone services, shipping expenses, travel, and ads purchased with search engines or social media sites
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection
Cons
    • No elite travel benefits like airport lounge access
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24%-26.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.

This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.
Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.
Up to $750
Up to $750
$0
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 18.49% - 24.49% variable thereafter.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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.

Pros
  • Earn 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
  • Earn 2% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • 10% Business Relationship Bonus if you have the Ink Business Cash card plus a Chase Business Checking account on your first card anniversary
Cons
  • Spending caps in bonus categories
  • Low points earning outside of bonus categories
  • Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 10% Business Relationship Bonus If you have the Ink Business Cash card plus a Chase Business Checking account on your first card anniversary
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 18.49% - 24.49% variable thereafter.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

When applying for a card that offers a welcome bonus, you have a unique opportunity to jumpstart your earnings. Both of our featured cards offer the option to earn a generous welcome bonus after meeting required spending limits within the first 3 months after card approval.

While the Ink Business Cash card is a cash-back card, it earns rewards in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, just like the Ink Business Preferred card. The value of Ultimate Rewards points when redeemed for cash on either card is 1 cent, a data point for comparing the base value of the welcome bonus on either card.

However, the Ink Business Preferred card will receive an additional 25% in value when redeeming its points for travel via the Chase travel portal and potentially more value when transferring to airline and hotel partners.

The Ink Business Preferred card is a clear winner when it comes to the value of its welcome bonus. While the card does charge an annual fee, (the Ink Business Cash card does not), there is plenty of added value at redemption time to offset that

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • annual fee.

    Bottom Line: If your business requires travel, you could more than offset the annual fee of the Ink Business Preferred card with the 25% increased value of your Ultimate Rewards points redeemed on the Chase travel portal and the added value of transferring points to travel partners. 

    Earning Potential

    man at office supply stationary store
    With your Ink Business Cash card, you can earn 5% cash-back on up to $25,000 in purchases each year at office supply stores. Image Credit: JackF via Adobe Stock

    One of the most prominent factors in selecting a business credit card is aligning the rewards earning with your actual business expenses.

    For this reason, it’s important to look at the type of expenses your business incurs on a regular basis and which card matches up best with those categories.

    Let’s look at how our featured cards reward some common business purchases:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Business Spending CategoryInk Business Cash Card
    Ink Business Preferred Card
    Travel Booked Through Chase Travel5% cash-back5x points
    Lyft Purchases (Through March 31, 2025)5% cash-back5x points
    Travel1% cash-back3x points
    Restaurants2% cash-back1x points
    Office Supplies5% cash-back1x points
    Internet Service/Cable/Phone5% cash-back3x points
    Gas Stations2% cash-back1x points
    Advertising on Social Media/Search Engines1% cash-back3x points
    Shipping1% cash-back3x points

    Remember that these cards have limits on bonus category spending:

    • Ink Business Cash card
      • 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases across 5% categories (excluding Lyft)
      • 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases across 2% categories
    • Ink Business Preferred card
      • 3x points on the first $150,000 spent across 3x categories

    Bottom Line: Anticipating your annual bonus category expenses and selecting a card that rewards all of that spending without reaching the specified limits is critical to maximizing total rewards earning. 

    Best for Start-up Businesses

    New businesses that spend a lot on startup expenses such as phone systems, internet service, and office supplies would fare well with a business credit card like the Ink Business Cash card which earns 5% cash-back in these categories. Further, the Ink Business Cash card is one of the best 0 APR business credit cards.

    If your new business spends heavily on online advertising, travel, and shipping, the Ink Business Preferred card may be a better fit. See the benefits of the Ink Business Preferred card.

    Best for Everyday Business Purchases

    The best business credit card for your everyday business purchases will once again depend on the mix of your largest expenses.

    For example, a business with frequent regional road trips may have its biggest everyday business expenses in gas, hotels, and dining.

    In this case, the Ink Business Cash card appears to be the best business card for your operation, with 2% cash-back at gas stations and restaurants.

    A brick-and-mortar business with ongoing office supply and internet, cable, and phone expenses will earn 5% cash-back as well.

    If your ongoing everyday business expenses are heavier in advertising, phone, internet, cable, shipping, and travel, the Ink Business Preferred card will be better suited to receiving maximum rewards.

    Bottom Line: A primary consideration for selecting the best business credit card for your operation will be whether the card delivers the highest rewards for your biggest expenses. 

    The Best Card if Your Business Involves Travel

    Hotel lobby at Christmas
    If your business involves travel, the Ink Business Preferred card may serve you well. Image Credit: Christine Krzyszton

    The Ink Business Preferred card is clearly the winner when it comes to earning rewards on travel purchases. With 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent in this category, the card delivers a lot of value for businesses with travel expenses.

    Chase defines the “travel” category broadly, and it covers purchases made with a wide variety of merchants, including:

    • Airlines
    • Buses
    • Campgrounds
    • Car rental agencies
    • Cruise lines
    • Discount online travel sites
    • Ferries
    • Highway tolls
    • Hotels
    • Limousines
    • Motels
    • Parking lots/garages
    • Passenger trains
    • Taxis
    • Timeshares
    • Toll bridge
    • Travel agencies

    If you purchase travel in any of these categories on a regular basis for your business, the Ink Business Preferred card earning 3x points could deliver the best reward structure for those expenses.

    The Ink Business Cash card earns just 1% cash-back on travel purchases and charges a 3% transaction fee on foreign purchases.

    When it comes time to redeem your rewards, the Ink Business Preferred card is also the winner, giving you 25% more value for your Ultimate Rewards points and the option to transfer points to the Chase transfer partners for even greater potential value.

    Is It Better to Earn Cash-back or Points?

    While cash-back is the most liquid reward you can earn, it doesn’t always deliver the best redemption value. Fortunately, with these Chase business credit cards, you don’t have to decide which type of rewards you prefer to earn.

    That’s because the Ink Business Cash card and the Ink Business Preferred card both earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be converted to cash-back.

    Additionally, you can redeem points earned on either card for travel, although the Ink Business Preferred card provides greater value when doing so.

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Chase Business Credit CardValue When Redeemed for Cash-BbckValue When Redeemed via the Chase Travel Portal
    Ink Business Cash card1.0 cent per point1.0 cent per point
    Ink Business Preferred card1.0 cent per point1.25 cents per point

    Hot Tip: You can increase the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Ink Business Cash card by transferring points to premium Chase cards such as the Ink Business Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The points can then be redeemed for travel for up to 50% more in value (Chase Sapphire Reserve card) via the Chase travel portal. Transferring your Ultimate Rewards points also allows you to then transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners for potential additional travel value

    Redemption Options

    Both business credit cards offer free employee cards that can help you earn rewards faster and manage your business expenses.

    At redemption time, each card provides the same redemption options for cash-back, but the Ink Business Preferred card delivers more options and greater value when redeeming for travel.

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Redemption Option Ink Business Cash Card Ink Business Preferred Card
    Redeem Ultimate Rewards Points for Cash-backYesYes
    Redeem Ultimate Rewards Points at Amazon, for Various Gift Cards, and for TravelYesYes, 25% additional value when redeemed for travel via the Chase travel portal
    Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Travel PartnersNoYes

    Bottom Line: When it comes to redemption options, you’ll receive 25% additional value when redeeming Ultimate Rewards points via the Chase travel portal with the Ink Business Preferred card, plus have the flexibility of transferring points to hotel and airline partners for even greater potential value. 

    Travel Benefits and Protections

    Both of our featured cards come with several useful travel benefits and protections:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    BenefitInk Business Cash Card
    Ink Business Preferred Card
    Primary Car Rental CoverageYesYes
    Travel and Emergency Assistance ServicesYesYes
    Roadside DispatchYesYes
    Trip DelayNoYes
    Baggage DelayYesYes
    Lost Luggage CoverageYesYes
    Trip Cancellation and InterruptionNoYes
    Travel Accident InsuranceYesYes
    Cell Phone ProtectionNoYes
    Foreign Transaction Fees3%None

    Bottom Line: The Ink Business Preferred card has additional travel benefits when compared to the Ink Business Cash card, including valuable cell phone coverage that can provide up to $1,000 per claim for damage or theft. The card also does not charge foreign transaction fees. 

    Purchase Benefits and Protections

    Shopping benefits and protections for each of the compared cards are the same. Both of our featured cards offer purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

    Hot Tip: For additional in-depth benefits info on the Ink Business Cash card, check out our article specific to its most valuable benefits

    Final Thoughts

    If your small business has annual expenses in bonus categories that do not exceed the limits of the no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash card, it would be a worthy choice — especially if your business doesn’t have a lot of travel expenses.

    However, if your business includes purchasing a lot of travel, the Ink Business Preferred card may be a better fit — especially if you spend more than $25,000 in any of the bonus categories.

    Additionally, the Ink Business Cash card charges foreign transaction fees. So if your business makes international purchases or includes international travel, consider the Ink Business Preferred card.

    Also, the Ink Business Cash Card earns just 1% cash-back on travel purchases compared to the Ink Business Preferred card’s 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points in the travel category.

    Since the business bonus spending categories on these cards differ, the combination of having both cards may be an appropriate option for earning maximum rewards.

    Having both business credit cards opens up the possibility of transferring points to hotel and airline partners (with the Ink Business Preferred card) to receive even more value for your Ultimate Rewards points.

    Finally, before applying for any Chase card, check out the details of Chase’s 5/24 rule, which can affect your chances of being approved for new Chase credit cards.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which business credit card is best?

    The best business credit card is the one that matches your business spending categories and gives you the highest rewards for those purchases. Additionally, redemption options offered on the card will deliver benefits you or your business can actually use.

    The best business credit card will also match your preference for paying or not paying an annual fee, and have an achievable level of the minimum required spending to earn any welcome bonus offered.

    Which is better: points or cash-back?

    Fortunately, with this pair of business credit cards we’re comparing, you don’t have to decide. The Ink Business Cash card and Ink Business Preferred card both earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for cash-back.

    Can I have more than 1 business credit card?

    Yes, you can have more than 1 business credit card, and it might make sense to do so.

    Chase does have limitations on how many credit cards you can qualify for within a specific timeframe, however, plus special conditions that apply to business credit cards.

    Prior to applying for any Chase card, personal or business, you’ll want to learn more about how the Chase 5/24 rule works and how it applies to your situation.

    How do I turn Ultimate Rewards into cash-back?

    When you log in to your Chase credit card account, you will see your Ultimate Rewards points balance. You just need to click on the balance to be taken to the Ultimate Rewards site where you can redeem your points.

    You will be given the option to redeem for travel, a wide variety of gift cards, cash-back, transfer to travel partners (Ink Business Preferred card), or use your Ultimate Rewards points to shop on Amazon.

    Christine Krzyszton's image

    About Christine Krzyszton

    Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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