2021 Review: Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card – Better for Small Businesses?
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The Chase Ink Business Cash provides business owners with a decent benefits package and gets 5% cash back on Lyft rides, office supplies, and certain business services. It also earns 2% at gas stations and restaurants, and a 1% on everything else. There are $25,000 annual earning caps on the 5% and 2% categories, however.
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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card 5 out of 5 Stars because it offers good cash back rates on your small business expenses for no annual fee.
Why We Like It
- The 5% and 2% categories include some common business expenses, along with Lyft
- 0% intro APR for 12 months for card purchases (before the regular 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR starts)
- No annual fee
Why It Could Be Better
- It won’t be as useful if you spend a lot more than $25,000 in the 5% or 2% bonus categories per year
- Foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
- There aren’t much in the way of extra perks or benefits
The Chase Ink Business Cash provides a way for small business owners to earn cash back on some common business expenses, for no annual fee.
On your first $25,000 of spending at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services, you’ll get 5% cash back. You’ll also get 5% cash back on Lyft rides, with no limit. And on your first $25,000 in spending at gas stations and restaurants, you’ll get 2% cash back.
There’s also a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months to help with cash flow, and you can get up to 70 free employee cards with individual spending limits. After the 0% introductory period, the regular 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR applies.
This is one of three cards in Chase’s Ink line of business credit cards.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Earn rewards on a variety of card purchases: Use this card to earn cash back on Lyft rides, office supplies, internet/cable/phone services, gas, and dining at restaurants.
- Keep track of how much you spend: You’ll get 5% and 2% back on the first $25,000 you spend at each of those rates. If you’re going to spend much more than that per year, consider using a different business rewards card (or additional cards).
- Reach the signup bonus: Be sure to get the introductory bonus: $750 cash bonus for spending $7,500 in the first 3 months after account opening.
- Give your employees an easy spending method: You can get up to 70 employee cards, all for free. If you need more you may be able to request a split account.
- Build your business credit: Use this card responsibly, and your positive activity will be reported to several business credit reporting agencies: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax Business, Experian Business, and Small Business Financial Exchange. This can help improve your business credit scores.
The Ink Business Preferred earns 5% or 2% back in some useful business categories, with annual spending limits. But you can increase your return on spend quite a bit if you have certain other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards — if you move your rewards to one of them, you could redeem for travel or transfer to partner loyalty programs to get a better value.
So you’ll be limited in how much cash back you can earn at those rates each year, which isn’t uncommon for rewards cards. In this case, you’ll be able to earn a maximum of $1,250 cash back per year in the 5% categories, and $500 cash back per year in the 2% categories.
After you reach those limits you’ll get 1% back for additional purchases in those categories. If you know that your business will spend more than that each year, you’d probably be better off with a different cash back business card with no spending limits (or use a different card along with this one).
You can earn an unlimited amount of cash back, and it won’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.
The rewards you earn are actually counted as points by Chase, but this is branded as a “cash back” card, and in most cases it’s easiest to just refer to the rewards as cash back.
You’ll have a few different ways to redeem your cash back.
- Cash back statement credits: This is one of the best options, providing the full value for your cash back.
- Direct deposit to bank account: Another great option, this lets you simply transfer the full cash value to a linked bank account.
- Transfer to a different Chase card: Your cash back can be transferred to certain other cards, if they’re part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program — a great option if you have the right card(s).
- Gift cards: Gift cards will usually provide less than $1 for every $1 in cash back that you redeem.
- Ultimate Rewards travel portal: Cash back can be used to pay for travel expenses, but the value you get will vary.
- Pay with points: You can use your points to pay for purchases at certain merchants, like Amazon, but you’ll only get 80 cents per $1 redeemed.
Cash back statement credits and direct deposits are the simplest methods. You can redeem any amount of cash back in this way, at any time.
The other redemption methods will provide a lesser value for your rewards, so you should avoid them — with one exception. You can get the most out of your rewards by transferring them to other Chase cards, but this takes some extra work.
Transferring Rewards to a Different Chase Card
If you have another Chase card in the Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer the cash back you earn with the Ink Business Cash over to it. Every cent of cash back will be worth 1 point in the Ultimate Rewards program. This could end up giving you a better rewards value overall.
There are three other Chase cards that you can use to get a better value for your cash back, which all provide a bonus when redeeming through Ultimate Rewards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review): 25% point bonus
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review): 50% point bonus
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (Review): 25% point bonus
These cards also allow you to transfer points to a number of traveler loyalty programs at a 1:1 rate, including both airline and hotel partners. You can often get a better value by converting to airline miles or hotel points.
So, the basic strategy here is:
- Earn cash back with the Ink Business Cash
- Transfer that cash back to one of the three cards above, where it will be counted as Ultimate Rewards points
- Redeem your points through Ultimate Rewards to get a point bonus of 25% or 50%, depending on which card you have
- Or, transfer your points to an airline or hotel loyalty program where they may be worth more to you
If you put all the rewards you earn through this process, you’ll effectively be getting more than 5% cash back with the Ink Business Cash (when spending in the 5% categories). If you end up getting a 25% point bonus you would get a cash back equivalent of 6.25%. And if you get a 50% point bonus, your cash back equivalent would be 7.5%.
Point transfers at 2 cents per point, for example, would yield a cash back equivalent of 10%!
In many cases some terms and restrictions will apply to your card benefits. Check your Guide to Benefits to learn the exact details.
- Chase Offers: Get access to cardmember-only discounts, often at local merchants, based in part on your spending habits.
- Shop through Chase: Find dozens of partner merchants where you can earn more cash back; must enroll in individual offers.
- Free employee cards: You can get up to 70 employee cards, and set individual spending limits for them. You’ll earn cash back for all spending on employee cards.
- Purchase Protection: Eligible purchases are covered for 120 days against damage, theft, or “involuntary and accidental parting with property.” Up to $10,000 per claim is available, and up to $50,000 per account.
- Extended Warranty Protection: Eligible items with warranties of three years or less can have those warranties extended by an additional year. Up to a maximum of $10,000 is available per claim, and $50,000 per account.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Call the number on the back of your card for emergency help of many kinds while traveling. Third-party fees will apply for any services obtained.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Your eligible rented vehicles are covered against theft and damage, as long as you decline the rental company’s own insurance. You must pay for the entire rental using the Ink Business Cash.
- Fraud Protection: Real-time fraud monitoring for unauthorized activity
- Zero Liability Protection: You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized activity on your account.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% for 12 months, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable||13.24% - 19.24% Variable||24.99% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|$0||3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater||Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|Up to 29.99%||See Terms||See Terms|
The terms are pretty simple and straightforward, as far as credit cards go.
No annual fee, and you’ll have 12 months at zero interest for purchases. This is a nice feature for a business card, giving you time to pay off some startup expenses, for example.
After your 0% APR runs out you’ll begin accruing interest at the regular rate. But you can completely avoid being charged interest for your purchases if you pay your balance in full each billing period. Not only will that help you avoid credit card debt, it will also be good for your credit utilization.
The Bottom Line
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has some good features for a small business. If you spend a lot on office supplies or phone, internet, or cable TV services, you could stand to earn quite a bit of cash back with this card.
The 5% and 2% bonus categories might be perfect for your business, but there’s a $25,000 yearly limit for each set of categories. That might not be enough for some businesses. So if you’ll spend a lot more than that you should probably go with a card that will provide good rewards for all of your spending, or pick up another card.
The extra benefits are pretty basic, so you should mainly judge this card by the rewards. The 0% intro APR is a nice offer on top of that, giving you a little while to get your funds in order before interest will be charged.
There are quite a few other business credit cards out there, some with annual fees and some without. One of them might fit your business better than the Ink Business Cash, so check some out below.
How Do I Apply for the Chase Ink Business Cash?
You can apply now for the Ink Business Cash card securely on Chase’s website. Simply click the link below and you’ll be redirected to the credit card issuer’s website.
In many cases applicants can get an instant response, but sometimes it might take longer. In certain cases Chase may request more information to process the application.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Chase Ink Business Cash Card?
In order to qualify for this card, you should have excellent credit.
That would mean your credit scores fall within the ranges of 800–850 for FICO, and 750–850 for VantageScore.
However, credit card issuers will look at more than just your credit scores. Income, both personal and business, is counted, among other things. This additional information could mean your approval, despite having lower scores.
But it could also lead to denial even if your scores are within those ranges.
Qualifications and Requirements
The following are the qualifications for applying:
- Must be 18 to apply
- Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status, and potentially driver’s license number
- Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
- Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage or rent payment
- Business information: Your business’s legal name and Tax ID number or EIN (Employer Identification Number), annual business revenue/sales, years in business, and the number of employees
Frequently Asked Questions
What benefits does the Chase Ink Business Cash have?
The benefits for the Chase Ink Business Cash are made up of a few shopping and travel protections, basic business perks, and access to Chase’s shopping portals: Shop through Chase and Chase Offers. The other perks include up to 70 free employee cards, extended warranty protection, and rental car insurance.
You can see the complete list of benefits right here.
What are the Chase Ink Business Cash’s reward categories?
The Chase Ink Business Cash earns 5% cash back on up to $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services, and 5% cash back on Lyft rides. It also earns 2% cash back on up to $25,000 spent annually on dining and gas, and 1% cash back for everything else.
Curious about how to redeem your cash back? We can clear it up for you.
Does the Chase Ink Business Cash Card have a foreign transaction fee?
Yes, the foreign transaction fee for the Chase Ink Business Cash Card is 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
If you’re looking for a credit card without a foreign transaction fee, we can help with that.
Alternatives to the Chase Ink Business Cash Card
The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
Do you have the Chase Ink Business Cash Card? How has it improved your business dealings? Let us know in the comments below!Perhaps another business card would suit you better? Take a look at some of our favorites. Best Business Credit Cards
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.
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