September 20, 2021

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It’s Time to Fly

Chase Ink Business Cash vs Preferred vs Unlimited: Which is best for your business?

11 min read

As a small business owner, you want a credit card that will help you manage your cash flow and maximize rewards for purchases you’re already making. Chase offers three of the top business credit cards on the market. 

The Chase Ink Business suite of credit cards offers rewards on your spending and the ability to redeem your rewards for cash, gift cards, travel, and more. But each of the three cards — the Chase Ink Business Unlimited, Chase Ink Business Cash, and Chase Ink Business Preferred — offers unique benefits and higher rewards in certain spending categories.

We’ve made it easier to help you decide which Chase Ink Business card is right for your business. Below you’ll learn the pros and cons of each card, which one is best for your business, and even how you can maximize the benefits by pairing two or more of the cards together.

At a glance

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

$0

$95

Introductory APR

0% for 12 months

0% for 12 months

None

Regular APR

13.24% – 19.24%

13.24% – 19.24%

15.99% – 20.99%

Sign-up bonus

$750 cashback when you spend $7,500 in the first three months

$750 cashback when you spend $7,500 in the first three months

100,000 bonus points when you spend $15,000 in the first three months

Rewards rate

1.5% cashback on all spending

5% cashback for office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services

2% cashback for gas stations and restaurants

1% cashback on all other spending

3X points per dollar for shipping, social media and search engine advertising, telecommunications, and travel

1X points per dollar on all other spending

Redemption options

Cashback, gift cards, travel, and more

Cashback, gift cards, travel, and more

Cashback, gift cards, travel, and more

1.25X the value on points when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards

1:1 points transfer to Chase travel partners

Foreign transaction fee

3%

3%

None

Credit limit

$3,000+

$3,000+

$5,000+

Other perks

Rental car coverage

Travel and emergency assistance services

Roadside dispatch

Purchase protection

Extended warranty protection

Rental car coverage

Travel and emergency assistance services

Roadside dispatch

Purchase protection

Extended warranty protection

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Rental car coverage

Roadside dispatch

Cell phone protection

Purchase protection

Extended warranty protection

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular APR: 13.24%–19.24%
  • Credit required: Excellent
  • $750 new cardmember offer
  • 1.5% cashback on all purchases

Pros:

  • No annual fee

  • Generous new cardmember bonus

  • 1.5% cashback in all categories

  • Pairs with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards

Cons:

  • No bonus categories

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular APR: 13.24% – 19.24%
  • Credit required: Good to excellent
  • $750 new cardmember offer
  • 5% cashback in select categories
  • 2% cashback on gas station and restaurant spending
  • 1% cashback on other purchases

Pros: 

  • No annual fee

  • Generous new cardmember bonus

  • High rewards in certain spending categories

  • Pairs with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards

Cons:

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Intro APR: None
  • Regular APR: 15.99% – 20.99%
  • Credit required: Good to excellent 
  • 100,000 point new cardmember offer
  • 3X points on bonus categories
  • 1X points on all other spending categories

Pros:

  • Generous new cardmember bonus

  • High rewards in certain spending categories

  • 1.25x reward value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons:

How the Chase Ink Business cards compare

Annual fees and APR

Neither the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card nor the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card requires an annual fee, making them great options for small businesses that don’t want to incur an additional expense with their credit card. 

Both the Unlimited and Cash also have an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months. And while it’s certainly not advisable to carry credit card debt for your business, these cards could present a unique opportunity for businesses planning to finance a large purchase.

The Ink Business Preferred charges a $95 annual fee. It also doesn’t have a 0% introductory APR, meaning you’ll pay interest on any balance you carry from the start. Don’t let these factors scare you away, however. 

As long as you pay your card off in full each month, then the fact that the Ink Business Preferred doesn’t have an introductory rate isn’t much of a loss. Additionally, if you can take advantage of the larger new cardmember bonus and the increased rewards value, then the $95 annual fee is well worth the cost.

Sign-up bonuses

No matter which Chase Ink Business card you choose, you’ll enjoy an impressive sign-up bonus. In fact, the new cardmember bonuses Chase offers are some of the highest in the industry for business credit cards.

The Ink Business Preferred currently has the highest sign-up bonus. When you spend $15,000 in your first three months after opening the card, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus points. You can then redeem those points for either $1,000 in cash or $1,250 towards travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Both the Chase Ink Unlimited and Chase Ink Cash offer a sign-up bonus of $750 when you spend $7,500 on purchases in your first three months after opening the card. These bonuses provide an excellent value for a relatively low amount of spending. For any business that isn’t sure they can hit $15,000 in the first three months, the $750 bonuses are certainly nothing to scoff at.

Earning rewards

One of the biggest differences between the three Chase Ink Business cards is how they earn rewards. Each one offers rewards points for your spending, but the categories and amount of points are slightly different.

The Ink Business Unlimited has the most basic rewards structure. You’ll get unlimited 1.5% cashback on all of your spending in all categories. Because of the across-the-board reward, this card is perfect for businesses that spend in many different categories or just want one business credit card for all purchases.

The Ink Business Cash offers higher cashback in certain spending categories. You’ll get 5% cashback for office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services. You’ll also get 2% cashback for spending at gas stations and restaurants. Both of these bonus categories are limited to your first $25,000 in spending each year.

For all other spending on the Ink Business Cash, including spending in bonus categories above and beyond $25,000, you’ll get 1% cashback.

Finally, the Ink Business Preferred offers 3X rewards points for each dollar in spending for shipping purchases, social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, phone services, and travel. The 3X points are limited to your first $150,000 in combined spending. For all other purchases, you’ll earn 1X points per dollar.

Redeeming rewards

For each of the Chase Ink Business cards, you’ll have similar options to redeem your rewards. First, each of the three cards allows you to redeem your points for cashback (either as a credit toward your statement balance or to deposit into your bank account), for purchases through the Apple Ultimate Rewards store, or for gift cards to more than 150 of your favorite retailers.

You can also redeem your points for travel, and this is where your redemption options are a bit different for the different cards. All three cards allow you to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For the Ink Business Unlimited and Ink Business Cash, you can redeem your rewards for travel at the same rate you would for cashback.

The Ink Business Preferred is one of Chase’s more premium cards, meaning when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll actually get 1.25X the value as redeeming for cashback or redeeming points through one of the other cards. For example, if you have $1,000 of points to redeem, you could actually book $1,250 worth of travel through Chase. 

Not only can you book travel through Chase, but you can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to any of Chase’s travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. For example, you could transfer your points to the frequent travel program at United Airlines, Southwest, Marriott, and more.

It’s worth mentioning that if you have multiple Chase credit cards, you can transfer points between them. For example, because the Ink Business Preferred allows you to get more value for your points, you can transfer points from your Ink Business Unlimited or Ink Business Cash to your Ink Business Preferred to redeem.

Some of Chase’s personal credit cards also offer higher value for your points when you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 1.25X the value on your points, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you 1.5X the value. Luckily, Chase allows you to transfer your points not just between business cards, but also between business and personal cards.

Other card perks

Each of the Chase Ink Business cards comes with several other benefits. Standard across all three cards is:

  • Rental car insurance when you rent a car for business purposes and charge the entire cost to your Chase business card
  • Roadside dispatch if you find yourself experiencing a roadside emergency
  • Purchase protection on new purchases for 120 days up to $50,000 (or $10,000 per claim) for damage or theft
  • Extended warranty protection to extend your manufacturer’s warranties for an additional year

In addition to those perks, the Ink Business Unlimited and Ink Business Cash also include travel and emergency assistance services to connect you with referrals to legal, medical, or other emergency assistance. 

The Ink Business Preferred card also comes with some additional perks. First, it has cell phone protection for up to $600 per claim in cases of theft or damage, and it covers both you and your employees.

The Ink Business Preferred also has a couple of major travel perks. First, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees with this card, which isn’t the case with the other Chase business cards. Additionally, you’ll get trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect you in case your trip is canceled or cut short because of weather, sickness, or other reasons.

Which Chase Ink Business card is right for you?

With three rewards credit cards to choose from, you might find yourself struggling to decide which is right for you. Below you’ll find a few rules of thumb you can follow to help you decide. But remember, you don’t necessarily have to choose just one. Because Chase lets you transfer the rewards between cards, you can enjoy the perks of more than one card and combine your rewards.

If you want a no-frills cashback credit card…

The Ink Business Unlimited has the most basic rewards structure and ensures you’ll earn 1.5% cashback on all your purchases. There are no bonus categories and no spending limits, meaning you can use one credit card and earn decent rewards on all spending.

If you spend a lot of money on travel…

If travel is a top priority for your business, the Ink Business Preferred can’t be matched. First, you get 3X points on your travel purchases. You can also book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards for 1.25X the value. Finally, the trip interruption and cancellation insurance will protect you up to $5,000 per person or $10,000 per trip.

If you want a 0% introductory APR…

If you want to finance a large purchase on your Chase business card and pay it off over time, you’ll probably want either the Chase Ink Unlimited or Chase Ink Cash. Both cards offer a 0% introductory APR, while the Ink Business Preferred doesn’t.

If you want cell phone protection…

The Ink Business Preferred is the only card that offers cell phone protection. Not only does it cover up to $600 per claim for your phone, but it also covers the phones of any employees listed on your cell phone bill.

If most of your spending is on office supplies or telecommunications…

The Ink Business Cash offers an impressive 5% cashback on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services. If your business spends a lot on these categories, it’s probably the right card for you.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

Chase offers some of the best business credit cards on the market with its suite of Ink Business cards. But while they’re some of the most popular business credit cards, they certainly aren’t the only ones. Here are a few other business credit cards you may want to consider for your business:

  • AmEx Business Credit Cards: Just like Chase offers a suite of business credit cards, so does American Express. Cards like the Business Gold, Business Platinum, and Business Blue offer high rewards in certain categories, including cashback and travel.

  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business: This Capital One card has become a popular option for businesses that travel often. It offers high rewards on all spending categories so you don’t have to juggle bonus categories, and it comes with an excellent sign-up bonus.

  • Airline Credit Cards: There are many business and personal credit cards that are aligned with a particular airline. When you spend on the card, you rack up miles you can use with that airline. These cards are well-suited to businesses with lots of travel and who consistently use the same airline for their business travel needs.

FAQ

Which Chase Ink Business card is best for small businesses?

Each of the Chase Ink Business credit cards has excellent features to offer, and each one is likely best for a certain type of business. To determine which is best for you, choose the one that has rewards that most align with your business spending.

Can you have more than one Chase Ink Business card?

You can certainly have more than one Chase Ink Business card. In fact, it might even be to your benefit to do so. When you have more than one card, you can maximize your benefits by using each card for the purchases where you’ll get the most cashback. Pairing either the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited with the Ink Business Preferred also allows you to get more value for your points by redeeming them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

How do you qualify for a Chase Ink Business credit card?

To qualify for the Chase Ink Business credit cards, you’ll generally need either a good or excellent credit score. You’re most likely to be approved with a score of 740 or higher. Chase also requires that you have opened fewer than five new credit cards within the past 24 months to be approved for one of its cards.

How do I redeem my Chase Ink Business rewards points?

There are several ways to redeem your Chase rewards points. To get the most value, you can redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. In some cases, you can get 1.25X the value. You can also redeem your points for cashback and gift cards to your favorite stores.

Do I need a business to apply for a Chase Ink credit card?

While the Chase Ink credit cards are strictly for business use, the company also offers some excellent options for personal use. Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom Flex, and Chase Sapphire Preferred are the company’s most popular personal rewards cards. They have several similarities to the business cards, including bonus spending categories and the ability to get more value for your points by redeeming them with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

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