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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 (through March 2020) 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 3 months, which is pretty big compared to most cards in this range.
This card has no annual fee to pay, and you’ll get 12 months at 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||
|Ink Business Cash (Review)||$0||3%||0% for 12 months, then 14.74% - 20.74% Variable||
|Ink Business Preferred (Review)||$95||0%||17.49% - 22.49% Variable||
Keep reading to learn more about the Ink Business Unlimited, or check out one of Chase’s other business cards.
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.
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.
|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 (through March 2020) and 1.5% back on everything else.
Take the Ink Business Cash, for example. It provides 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2020), 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 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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
If you need more than 70 cards, you can request to have your account split. That will give you a separate credit limit, which will give you access to 70 more employee cards.
The Ink Business Unlimited will report positive account activity to Dun & Bradstreet, a business credit bureau.
But if the account enters a negative status by becoming 60 days past due, your card activity will be reported to the three major consumer credit bureaus:
All Chase Ink Business cards report activity to credit bureaus in the same way.
Other credit card issuers will report your activity differently. Capital One business cards, like the Spark Cash Select, report positive card activity to Small Business Financial Exchange and Experian, in addition to Dun & Bradstreet. American Express business cards, like the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card, report positive activity to Small Business Financial Exchange.
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.
To be eligible, an item must be purchased at least in part with the Ink Business Unlimited. This is different from some other cards, which might require the entire item to be purchased with the card. But there are quite a few other restrictions, making this benefit only narrowly useful.
Be sure to keep all documentation related to the purchase, as well as the damage or loss. If you have personal insurance that covers the occurrence, you must file it.
Reimbursement may come in the form of a statement credit to your account. Or, an item may be repaired or replaced if possible.
You must notify the Benefit Administrator by calling customer support within 90 days of the occurrence. You’ll be given instructions and a claim form. This form must be submitted within 120 days of the loss, theft, or damage.
Although many items are covered, there are quite a few types of purchases that are not covered.
So there are quite a few terms and restrictions when it comes to Purchase Protection, and this doesn’t even cover everything. If you bought an item that you think might be covered, it will be best to call customer support and ask about it.
Purchase Protection is a benefit that has become pretty standard. You’ll get it with most credit cards today.
Eligible items with warranties of three years or less can have those warranties extended by an additional year. A maximum of $10,000 is available per claim, and $50,000 per account.
You must charge some portion of an item’s purchase price to your card, and keep documentation related to the purchase. You’re encouraged to register an item’s extended warranty with Chase as soon as you purchase it, but this is not necessary to receive the benefit. If you do register, you’ll be able to get information about your coverage status by calling the Benefit Administrator.
If a product with an extended warranty fails, you must notify the Benefit Administrator within 90 days. If you fail to do this, your claim may be denied. When you call, you’ll be sent a claim form, along with instructions for what to do next. Be sure to keep any documentation related to the product failure.
To be eligible, the item must have a valid original U.S. manufacturer’s repair warranty of three years or less. Items purchased outside the U.S. are eligible if they meet that requirement, or if they have a store-purchased dealer warranty, or an assembler warranty.
Many items and costs are not covered by this benefit.
There are many terms and limitations with this benefit. So if you buy something and are interested in extending the warranty, it will be best to call customer support to learn if it’s eligible.
Like Purchase Protection, the Extended Warranty is another benefit that practically every credit card shares.
Roadside Dispatch is 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.
You won’t have to search for help yourself, the agent will contact a local company for you. This will save you time and hassle, and it might save you money too, because some fees are pre-negotiated.
The following services are included in Roadside Dispatch:
Most credit cards today, especially business cards, include a protection like this. It comes with the other Chase Ink Business cards. And you’ll find it on cards like the Capital One Spark Cash Select and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
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 they lose your checked or carry-on baggage, you can be reimbursed for eligible costs.
Most items will be covered by this insurance, although certain types of personal property won’t be.
So this protection might not be able to replace anything truly valuable to you, but it could making losing your bags a bit more tolerable. Be sure not to start a war if you want reimbursement for your lost luggage.
|Intro APR for Purchases||Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months||14.74% - 20.74% Variable||14.74% - 20.74% Variable||26.49% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$0||3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars||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 12-month 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.
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.
|Chase Business Credit Card Customer Support||1-800-432-3117|
We called Chase customer service to learn a bit more about the Ink Business Unlimited. If you need to speak with a Chase rep and you’re a cardholder, it will be pretty easy to reach them with the number on the back of your card. But if you’re not a cardholder it will take a bit longer.
If you don’t have a Chase card but you want to speak with them, call customer support and wait as the system asks for your card number and SSN — don’t press anything yet. Eventually, if you don’t do anything, it will ask if you want to speak with a representative. Press the specified key, and you’ll be on your way. This process is a bit tedious, especially if you end up having to call multiple times.
We used the method above to get in touch with a friendly Chase rep. There was only one question on our mind:
The rep told us that yes, this card is available to self-employed people. Just use your SSN where it asks for the business tax ID number.
In general, it seems like the business customer support representatives for credit card issuers are a bit better than the regular, consumer-side reps. We ended up speaking with a knowledgeable rep who was eager to help, and who answered our questions without delay.
Chase doesn’t usually do very well when it comes to customer satisfaction ratings. Every year, J.D. Power conducts a Credit Card Satisfaction Survey, ranking the major credit card issuers on a number of factors. In 2017, Chase came in 5th out of 11 credit card companies, which is also where they sat in 2016. Although many customer support interactions will go quite well, we suggest being patient if you need to call them.
|Chase Twitter Support||@ChaseSupport|
The Ink Business Unlimited is a pretty simple card, with a straightforward rewards program. You can see the main features along with some card benefits on Chase’s website.
If you have a simple question for Chase, not directly related to your account, their Twitter customer support is @ChaseSupport. Be sure not to share any personal or account information on Twitter or other social media platforms.
Chase cardholders can send a secure message to customer service through their online account. You can use this service to get specific information for your card account, unlike Twitter.
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 (through March 2020) 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.
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.
There are many credit cards designed for small business owners. Chase offers two others in its line of Ink Business cards, and many other credit card companies offer business credit cards as well. Here are some of the Ink Business Unlimited’s top competitors.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
So you’ll earn up to 5% cash back on certain business expenses, with 2% back on other, more common expenses.
It’s very different than the 1.5% back you’ll get with the Ink Business Unlimited, but that means you could use these two cards together quite well. Pay with the Business Cash for every purchase in the categories above, and use the Business Unlimited for everything else.
You’ll also have a total of $1,000 in introductory bonuses to earn with these cards, if you combine them. If you’ll spend at least $3,000 on each card in the first 3 months, you’ll be able to apply for both cards at the same time and get both bonuses. But if you won’t spend that much at once, it would be a better strategy to apply for one card, get the introductory signup bonus, and then apply for the other.
The benefits for the Ink Business Cash are the same as what you’ll get with the Ink Business Unlimited, as described above.
The terms of the Chase Ink Cash are, once again, the exact same as the Ink Business Unlimited.
That means you have no annual fee, and a 0% intro purchase APR for 12 months before the regular 14.74% - 20.74% Variable starts. Foreign transactions have a fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
Read more in our Review of the Chase Ink Business Cash Card
The Ink Business Preferred (Review) is a higher-tier business card from Chase, aimed towards small business owners who travel. It has a $95 annual fee, and comes with better reward redemption options, along with the ability to transfer points to travel partners.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
So you’ll earn points in a variety of different categories, with a pretty high spending limit of $150,000 per year. The points you earn will be worth 1 cent each usually, but the basic redemption method through Ultimate Rewards provides a 25% bonus. That means you’re getting 1.25 cents per point, for a cash back equivalent of 3.75% when spending in the 3X categories.
You can also use this card to transfer your points to an airline or hotel loyalty program, where they might be worth more. In some cases you can find deals that provide about 2 cents per point, so point transfers are definitely an option to check if you want to maximize your rewards. Redeeming points at that value would give you a 6% cash back equivalent for the 3X category.
If you have the Ink Business Unlimited along with the Business Preferred, you can transfer the rewards you earn with the Unlimited over to the Preferred card. Then you can redeem your points for a 25% bonus, or for a point transfer where you could get even more.
You can transfer rewards like this between any of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards cards, as explained above. That means an excellent strategy is to use these cards together, always spending with the card that will provide the most points and then transferring to get the best value for them.
The Ink Business Preferred comes with mostly the same benefits and protections as the Business Unlimited, as described above. You’ll get just a few more with the Preferred card:
If you want these extra benefits you’ll need to pay for the Preferred. That cell phone protection could come in handy if you break your screen, for example, and that would also help offset the annual fee.
You’ll need to pay $95 per year for the Chase Ink Preferred. This card does not come with a 0% intro rate.
There are no foreign transaction fees to pay with the Preferred card, unlike the Ink Business Unlimited. That makes it an obviously better choice for travelers, or anyone who will regularly make purchases outside the U.S.
Read more in our Review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
As you can see this card offers 1.5% back for every purchase, just like the Ink Business Unlimited. But with this intro bonus Capital One only provides $200 for spending $3,000.
That’s less than half of the $500 cash bonus you can get with the Chase card, which requires the same amount of spending. So the Ink Business Unlimited clearly has the winning signup bonus, providing a much better return on your spending.
You can get an unlimited number of free employee cards for your Capital One business card.
The Spark Cash Select is available at either the Visa Platinum Business or Visa Signature Business level, depending on your credit line when approved. If your credit line is less than $5,000 you’ll get a Visa Platinum Business. If it’s $5,000 or above you’ll get a Visa Signature Business, which comes with better benefits.
The Ink Business Unlimited comes as a Visa Signature Business as well, but the Spark Cash Select card offers better perks. This is because different cards can have different benefits despite being at the “same” level, like Visa Signature.
Spark Cash Select cardholders will get the following perks, but only at the Visa Signature Business level:
The Spark Cash Select has no annual fee, and comes with 9 months at 0% APR for purchases. It also has no foreign transaction fee, making it better for travel than the Ink Business Unlimited.
The Capital One Spark business cards report to more business credit bureaus than the average business credit card. They report card activity to:
So these Spark business cards can help you build business credit at a variety of credit bureaus. The Ink Business Unlimited, and other Chase Ink cards, will only report your positive activity to Dun & Bradstreet.
Read more in our Review of the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
There are two other Spark Business cards from Capital One:
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 your own review.
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