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Review of the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness May 29, 2018 | Updated Mar 27, 2020
Our rating
Min. credit level: Good
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 14.74% - 20.74% Variable

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 $500 cash for spending $3,000 in the first three months, 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 14.74% - 20.74% 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 14.74% - 20.74% Variable
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides
  • 1.5% cash back for every other purchase
Ink Business Cash (Review) $0 3% 0% for 12 months, then 14.74% - 20.74% Variable
  • 5% and 2% cash back on certain business expenses
Ink Business Preferred (Review) $0 0% 17.49% - 22.49% Variable
  • 5X points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 3X points per dollar on certain business expenses

Keep reading to learn more about the Ink Business Unlimited, or check out one of Chase’s other business cards.

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.74% - 20.74% Variable

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
  • $500 cash bonus for spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
  • 12 months at 0% Intro APR on Purchases APR for purchases, then 14.74% - 20.74% 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.

Insider tip

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: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • For everyday spending: Use this card for every business purchase, unless you’ll get a better value with a different card.
  • Snag the bonus: Spend $3,000 in the first three months to get a solid $500 cash bonus, a 16.67% 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.

The Rewards

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.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides
  • 1.5% cash back for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $500 cash bonus for spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening

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.

Insider tip

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.

Redeeming

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:

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:

  1. Earn cash back with the Ink Business Unlimited
  2. Transfer that cash back to one of the three cards above, where it will be counted as Ultimate Rewards points
  3. 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.

The Benefits

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 14.74% - 20.74% Variable 0% for None, then 14.74% - 20.74% Variable 26.49% 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% Variable None $39

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.

Insider tip

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 of $500. And you’ll get a year at 0% Intro APR on Purchases APR for purchases before the regular 14.74% - 20.74% Variable starts. 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.

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.74% - 20.74% Variable

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
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.74% - 20.74% Variable
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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.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 14.74% - 20.74% Variable

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (Review) is a very similar offering from Chase, with the only difference being the rewards program.

With this card you’ll earn over double the cash back you would with the Ink Business Unlimited. The only caveat is, you’ll only earn 5% cash back on a specific set of categories. These include office supply stores and internet, cable, and phone services. You’ll earn 2% on more common purchases of dining and gas, and 1% on all other purchases.

Everything else is exactly the same as it is with the Business Unlimited. So you could use these cards together, earning 5% on those specific categories and 2% on gas and dining, and then using the Business Unlimited for all of your other purchases.

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year for:
    • Office supply stores
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no limit
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $500 cash back for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Shopping protections: Get extended warranty, and eligible purchases are covered against damage, theft, or “involuntary and accidental parting.”
  • Travel protections: Travel and emergency assistance services, roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and rental car insurance.
  • Free employee cards: You can get up to 70 employee cards, and set individual spending limits for them.
  • Purchase APR: 12 months, then 14.74% - 20.74% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 14.74% - 20.74% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $95
Regular APR 17.49% - 22.49% Variable

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (Review) is a higher-tier business card from Chase, aimed towards small business owners who travel.

With this card you’ll earn points over a variety of different categories, including travel, shipping, internet, and phone services. So the rewards are pretty different compared to the Ink Business Unlimited.

The Ink Business Preferred has a few more options when it comes to redeeming those rewards, including some great point transfer partners, which could net you a higher return if you find a good deal with one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

You will, however, have to pay $95 per year for the Chase Ink Preferred, and there is no 0% intro APR.  But there are also no foreign transaction fees, unlike the Ink Business Unlimited. That feature, along with the transfer partners, make it an obviously better choice for travelers or anyone who will regularly make purchases outside the U.S.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent per year in combined purchases on:
    • Travel
    • Shipping
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
    • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $15,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • 25% point bonus: When redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Point transfer: Transfer points at a 1:1 rate to a variety of airlines and hotels, like United, JetBlue, Marriott Bonvoy, and Hyatt.
  • Free employee cards: You can get up to 70 employee cards, and set individual spending limits for them.
  • Cell phone protection: Provides up to $600 in coverage for theft or damage when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.
  • Shopping protections: Get extended warranty and purchase protection: Eligible purchases are covered against damage, theft, or “involuntary and accidental parting with property.”
  • Travel protections: Travel and emergency assistance services, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and rental car insurance
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 17.49% - 22.49% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 14.49% - 22.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business (Review) has a rewards program that’s almost identical to the Ink Business Unlimited. There are a few differences in their benefits and terms.

This card earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase, just like the Chase card. However, it does offer far less for the intro bonus while still requiring the same spending limit to qualify, and has a shorter 0% introductory APR. What it does have is no foreign transaction fee, making it more valuable than the Chase card if you do business overseas.

The Spark Cash Select also has a slightly more impressive perk selection. If you qualify for the Signature version of the card, you’ll get access to some helpful features like up to 15% off at certain merchants, gas stations, and restaurants, and access to benefits and complimentary services at participating hotels.

So if you’re looking for a business card that has somewhat shinier perks and is less expensive abroad, this might be one to consider (see other business cards without foreign transaction fees).

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $200 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: Benefits and complimentary services at participating hotels and resorts, like a $25 food and beverage credit, VIP guest status, and room upgrades when available.
  • Visa Savings Edge: Up to 15% off at participating merchants, including gas stations, restaurants, tech websites, hotels, and more
  • Fine Wine & Food: Discounts and free amenities at over 50 wineries in Sonoma County, California
  • Sports Experiences: A selection of sports-related discounts and benefits, like savings on a Troon Rewards golf membership
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Call for all sorts of non-emergency help, like making dining reservations and finding relevant travel information.
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 9 months, then 14.49% - 22.49% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 14.49% - 22.49% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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.

For more business cards with great rewards and benefits, see our choices for the Best Credit and Charge Cards for Small Businesses and Startups.
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At a glance

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 14.74% - 20.74% Variable).

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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