Before there were credit cards, there was a product called a charge card. With this product, companies and individuals could charge purchases, but they were required to pay them in full by the due date. Later, credit cards gave customers the opportunity to carry a balance, but they would then owe interest on that amount.
Even with the option to carry a balance, however, many savvy cardholders continued to pay their credit card balances in full every month. For these types of customers, retailers and banks continue to offer charge cards which, like most other bills, are required to be paid in full by the due date.
Chase offers its Ink Bold Business Charge Card that allows card members to earn valuable rewards for their spending.
- Charge Card. As a charge card, customers are expected to pay their balance on time and in full every month. Doing otherwise will incur late fees and penalty interest rates. If the balance is not immediately paid, the account will be suspended.
- Sign-Up Bonus. This card has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points: You get 25,000 points after making your first purchase and another 25,000 points after you spend $10,000 within 3 months of opening your account.
- Earn Reward Points. For each dollar spent at office supply stores and on phone, Internet, and cable TV services (up to $50,000 annually), you earn five Ultimate Rewards points in Chase’s system. You also earn two points for every dollar spent on gas and travel accommodations (up to $50,000 annually). After that, you earn one point per dollar spent. Points are worth one cent each towards travel expense credits, merchandise, or gift cards. When these points are redeemed through Chase’s travel agent, points are worth an additional 25%. Finally, points can be redeemed for miles and points in a few different airline programs such as United and British Airways.
- Free Employee Cards. Businesses can order additional cards for authorized employees at no cost.
- Travel Benefits. Trip cancellation insurance and trip delay coverage is included as well as a Priority Pass membership that offers discount access to airport business lounges.
- Annual Fee. This card has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.
- Foreign Transaction Fees. There are no foreign transaction fees charged on this card.
- Generous Bonuses. 50,000 bonus miles can be redeemed for over $600 in airfare though Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel agency. Additional bonuses based on annual spending can further boost the rewards a business receives.
- Flexible Points. Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, or frequent flyer miles in some programs.
- Never Pay Interest. With a charge card, there is no interest rate as all balances are expected to be paid in full. If having a charge card gives you the incentive to avoid carrying a balance, it is worthwhile.
- Decent Travel Benefits. Being covered for unexpected travel problems can be nice, while getting into a business lounge can turn a lengthy delay into a reasonably productive experience.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees. Many cards from Chase, including the Ink Bold Business, now waive this fee.
- No Option to Carry a Balance. Using a charge card is a double-edged sword. You save on interest, but when times get tough there is no option to extend payment.
- Annual Fee. While the $95 fee is waived the first year, there are still plenty of small business credit cards on the market without an annual fee.
When a business or a sole proprietor needs a method of payment, not a means of finance, a charge card can be a wise option. This product, a remnant of a once vibrant market, still makes sense for those who will always pay their balances in full each month. By combining compelling rewards and simple payment terms, the Chase Ink Bold Business Card is one tool a business can use to maximize rewards.
Do you use the Chase Ink Bold Business Card to pay for small business expenses? What has your overall experience been like with the card and its benefits?