Review of the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
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Created for small business owners who are looking to earn a little something back, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited gets 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It offers a standard benefits package and a 0% intro purchase APR for 12 months (then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable).
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The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card provides small business owners with a simple way to earn cash back on every purchase. If you don’t want to worry about bonus categories, or you just need a card for all-around spending, this might be a good option for you.
Cardholders get 5% cash back on Lyft rides and 1.5% cash back for every other purchase, with no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. There’s also a sizable introductory offer of $750 cash bonus for spending $7,500 in the first 3 months after account opening, which is pretty big compared to most cards in this range.
This card has no annual fee to pay, and you’ll get 0% APR for purchases before the regular 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR applies. That makes it an inexpensive option to help pay off some business expenses over time. Foreign transactions will cost 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars, however.
You’ll get Visa Signature Business benefits with this card, which mostly consist of shopping and travel protections.
There are currently three cards in Chase’s lineup of Ink business cards. Together they offer rewards on a nice variety of purchases, and you may want to consider using more than one of them for business expenses. If you have the Preferred card, you can transfer rewards to it from the other two cards to get more value from them.
|Card||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Purchase APR||Rewards|
|Ink Business Unlimited (This review)||$0||3%||0% for 12 months, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable||
|Ink Business Cash (Review)||$0||3%||0% for 12 months, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable||
|Ink Business Preferred (Review)||$0||0%||15.99%-20.99% Variable||
Keep reading to learn more about the Ink Business Unlimited, or check out one of Chase’s other business cards.
Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Ink Business Unlimited card 5 out of 5 Stars because it provides cash back at a decent rate for every purchase, with a solid introductory bonus offer.
Why We Like It
- 5% cash back on Lyft rides and 1.5% cash back on everything else you buy
- $750 cash bonus for spending $7,500 in the first 3 months after account opening
- 12 months at 0% Intro APR on Purchases APR for purchases, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable after that
- No annual fee
- Visa Signature Business benefits
- Reports positive card activity to Dun & Bradstreet
Why It Could Be Better
- No bonus categories to earn more cash rewards in
- There’s a 3% fee on foreign transactions
- The extra benefits are fairly basic
If you need a card for general business spending, rather than for any particular purchases, the Ink Business Unlimited might be a good pick. There are a few other similar options, however, along with cards that can offer more rewards and better benefits. Check out some of those alternatives below.
Like other business credit cards, the Ink Business Unlimited is available to freelancers. But it’s not the only freelance-compatible credit card, so explore all the best credit cards for freelancers before you submit any applications.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- For everyday spending: Use this card for every business purchase, unless you’ll get a better value with a different card.
- Snag the bonus: $750 cash bonus for spending $7,500 in the first 3 months after account opening, a nice return on your spending.
- Pay over time: You’ll get 12 months at 0% APR for purchases, giving you some time to pay off expenses without being charged extra.
- Manage employee spending: Get up to 70 employee cards, all for free, to help manage your business spending. You’ll earn rewards from employee card purchases, and can set individual spending limits.
- Use your benefits: Check out the travel and shopping protections that come with this card so you can get the most out of it.
- Build business credit: Your positive card activity will be reported to the business credit bureau Dun & Bradstreet
- Business cards are different: Take some time to understand how business cards are different than regular consumer cards.
This card earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase, except for 5% cash back on Lyft. But you might be able to get a better return than 1.5% on other purchases if you have another Chase card in the Ultimate Rewards program.
The rewards you earn can be transferred over to certain other Chase cards. Then you can redeem them for a 25% or even 50% bonus, or transfer them again to one of Chase’s travel partners where they could be worth the most.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
It’s a very simple and easy to understand rewards program. You won’t have to think about bonus categories, and which card to use for which purchases.
However, a great strategy is to pair a flat-rate cash back card like this with other credit cards that do have bonus categories. That will let you earn more rewards on certain purchases, while still getting 5% cash back on Lyft rides and 1.5% back on everything else.
Take the Ink Business Cash, for example. It provides 5% cash back on Lyft rides, 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and internet, cable, and phone services, along with 2% back on the first $25,000 spent at a restaurants and gas stations. You could use the Business Cash for all those purchases, and then the Business Unlimited for everything else.
There are many different cards available, with different bonus categories. The right combination of cards for you will depend on your particular business expenses.
The Ink Business Unlimited is the business version of a different Chase card meant for regular consumers, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review). It also offers 5% cash back on Lyft rides and 1.5% back for every other purchase, and has a $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months.
The cash back you earn will actually come in the form of points — 1.5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar. But it’s easiest to just think of this as a cash back card, except for when it comes to reward transfers.
We recommend transferring your cash back to a different Chase card, as explained below. If you don’t have an eligible card to transfer to, your next best option will be statement credits.
Your regular cash back redemption options are:
- Statement credits
- Gift cards
- Travel expenses
- Merchandise from participating retailers
The best regular redemption option is for statement credits. They simply reduce your account balance, and will always provide the full value of $1 for every $1 in cash back that you earned.
The other methods will offer varying redemption values, and you won’t typically get the full $1 for every $1 that you earned. They’re also more of a hassle to select, and they take longer to process.
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 Unlimited 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. It doesn’t matter that some are consumer cards and others are business cards, you can transfer rewards between all of them.
These cards provide a bonus when redeeming through Ultimate Rewards:
- Chase Ink Business Preferred Card (Review): 25% point bonus
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Review): 25% point bonus
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (Review): 50% point bonus
These three 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 the best value for Ultimate Rewards points by converting them to airline miles or hotel points.
So, the basic strategy here is:
- Earn cash back with the Ink Business Unlimited
- Transfer that cash back to one of the three cards above, where it will be counted as Ultimate Rewards points
- Redeem or transfer your points:
- Redeem through Ultimate Rewards to get a point bonus of 25% or 50%, depending on which card you have.
- 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 1.5% cash back with the Ink Business Unlimited. If you end up getting a 25% point bonus you would get a cash back equivalent of 1.875%. And if you get a 50% point bonus, your cash back equivalent would be 2.25%.
In some cases you may get as much as 2 cents per point when transferring to an airline or hotel program. That would give you a cash back equivalent of 3%, twice as much as you can get through a normal redemption method.
In many cases some terms and restrictions will apply to your card benefits. Check your Guide to Benefits to learn the exact details of your benefits.
- Chase Offers: Find exclusive discounts to nearby merchants, based on your spending with the card.
- 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 against damage, theft, or “involuntary and accidental parting with property.”
- Extended Warranty Protection: Eligible items with warranties of three years or less can have those warranties extended by an additional year.
- Roadside Dispatch: Access a convenient service that you can call if you ever get in trouble while driving. Call 1-800-847-2869 to speak with a dispatch agent.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Insurance against damage and theft of rented vehicles, as long as you decline the rental company’s own insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance: If your bags are delayed for more than six hours you can be reimbursed for the purchase of essential items, like toiletries and clothing.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement: Having an airline lose your bags can be a nightmare, but you can sleep a bit easier with Lost Luggage Reimbursement. If you’re traveling by common carrier and it loses your checked or carry-on baggage, you can be reimbursed for eligible costs.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Call the number on your card for emergency help while traveling, including legal and medical referrals.
- Travel Accident Insurance: Coverage against accidental death and dismemberment while traveling by common carrier
- Fraud Protection: Real-time fraud monitoring for unauthorized activity
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|
You’ll pay no annual fee to use this card, and there’s a solid 0% intro APR offer to use for purchases.
The terms are pretty straightforward. Take note that you’ll pay a fee on foreign transactions, so look to a different card with no fees, like a travel card, if you need to make purchases outside the U.S.
A different business card from Chase, the Ink Business Preferred, has no foreign transaction fee but also comes with a $95 annual fee.
What is the Credit Limit of the Ink Business Unlimited?
The Ink Business Unlimited comes with a credit limit of at least $3,000. Your credit limit will be based on your creditworthiness when approved. Chase may request more information for credit lines above $25,000.
You can increase your credit line later on by requesting it from Chase. And Chase may automatically increase your limit with responsible credit behavior.
The Bottom Line
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card is a good option for small business owners who want a flat-rate cash back card for general spending.
You’ll get 5% cash back on Lyft rides and 1.5% back for every other purchase, so other than the temporary Lyft rewards, there’s no need to think about bonus categories. There’s a hefty intro bonus, and a nice 0% intro APR. The extra benefits aren’t bad, but they aren’t the star of the show either.
All this comes for no annual fee, making it easy to profit with this card. Just avoid being charged interest, which can quickly eat up any cash back you earn.
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 Unlimited, so check some out below.
How to Apply for the Ink Business Unlimited
You can apply for the Ink Business Unlimited card securely on Chase’s website, and they’ll check your personal Equifax credit report when you apply.
Usually applicants can get an instant response, but sometimes it might take longer. In certain cases Chase may request more information to process the application.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply (19 for AL and NE; 21 for PR)
- Personal information: Including SSN and finances
- Business information: Your business’ legal name, Tax ID number or EIN (Employer Identification Number), years in business, number of employees, annual revenue/sales
- Self-employed: People who are self employed, contractors, or freelancers can use their SSN instead of a Tax ID number
- Chase 5/24 rule: Many people report being denied for Chase cards for having five or more new credit card accounts in the last 24 months
Alternatives to the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
If you want to consider more options, or if you’re just not that into the Chase Ink Business Unlimited, take a look at some alternatives we’ve listed below.
If you have the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card, how do you like getting 1.5% cash back for every purchase? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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