The Chase Ink line of business credit cards includes the Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Ink Cash, and Ink Classic. Each has different features, and all are ranked among the top credit cards available for businesses.
The Chase Ink Cash® Business Card offers the opportunity to earn cash back for standard business-related purchases, which, for small businesses, can be a very valuable feature.
- Sign-up Bonus. As a new cardholder, you earn a $200 bonus cash back reward after spending $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account. This is awarded in the form of 20,000 points, which equal $200.
- Fees. There is no annual fee for the Ink Cash Business card. However, there is a foreign transaction fee of 3% and a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.
- APR. Ink Cash has an introductory APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles, and 13.24% thereafter.
- Cash Back Rewards. Points are earned on purchases, which can be redeemed for cash – 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, cable service companies, and Internet and phone purchases (excluding equipment); 2% on purchases made at gas stations and restaurants on the first $25,000 spent annually; and an unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
- Redemption. Points can be redeemed for a check, statement credit, direct deposit, merchandise, gift cards, or travel through Ultimate Rewards. Each point is worth $0.01, or 1% of a rewards dollar. For example, if you choose to redeem for cash back, 2,000 points equals a $20 check.
- Track Expenses With Jot. Jot is a free business finance app that allows you to keep track of your receipts. If you have an iPhone or Android device, you simply snap pictures of receipts, tag them, and then file them to be saved for later. The Jot app then sends an alert that a purchase was made, allowing you to give it a job number and classify it as a business expense, then save and store the receipt for use later.
- Business Learning Center. The Business Learning Center provides a number of tools and advice for business management. These include the Coffee Break series of webinars, videos and articles, and updates of Chase-sponsored business events.
- Chase Blueprint Plan. All Ink cards – except for the Ink Bold – have access to the Chase Blueprint program. This allows cardholders the opportunity to manage and control how payments are applied to specific purchases, and how balances are paid off, from four different options. “Full Pay” may be chosen for everyday purchases such as gasoline from gas stations and small items you don’t want to pay interest on. “Split” allows the opportunity to pay off a large purchase quickly. “Finish It” allows you to create a plan in which you choose a monthly payment or number of payments in order to pay a balance down faster, and “Track It” allows you to manage spending and create a budget for the most common purchases.
- Bonus Cash Back. The bonus of $200 when you spend $3,000 within your first three months is one of the highest bonuses offered by similar no-annual-fee business credit cards. The Capital One Spark Cash Business card offers a bonus of $100 when $1,000 is spent in the first three months, and other cards such as the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business do not offer a sign-up bonus at all.
- Easy to Earn Cash Back. The categories that earn the highest amount of cash back are all generally products and services that your business uses regularly and would be buying anyway, such as phone-related purchases and purchases from office supply stores. The 2% received for gas station and restaurant purchases is also convenient for staff who use company cars and may be on the road often.
- Easy Redemption of Points. Points can be redeemed not only for cash, but for gift cards through Chase Ultimate Rewards. In fact, if you use your rewards on any of the sale gift cards – which currently include Kohl’s and Outback Steakhouse – you receive a 10% discount. For instance, if you redeem 4,500 points (which have a cash value of $45) you would receive a $50 Kohl’s gift card. There are also exclusive offers on merchandise and sale events, such as 30% off Avis rentals, available when you shop through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Chase Blueprint. Manage your account and decide which purchases are paid off first with Chase Blueprint – an option not offered by any other credit card issuer.
- Manage Employee Spending. Not only are employee cards free to add on with Chase Ink Cash, but as a business owner, you can manage employee spending and set individual spending limits. Additionally, employee cards earn points that can also be redeemed for cash back.
- Jot. The Jot app is a helpful feature for managing paperwork and receipts, especially if your employees have cards. You are less likely to forget about or miss an expense if you are able to immediately photograph the receipt and store it in its appropriate file. This feature, along with Blueprint, goes a bit beyond the business management tools and software offered by other business credit cards.
- No Travel Benefits. The Ink Cash card does not offer the travel benefits that other cards do, including those in the Chase Ink family. Ink Cash does not provide airport lounge access, trip cancellation or interruption insurance, or any special bonus on travel redemption that you may receive with Ink Bold or Ink Plus.
- Foreign Transaction Fee. If you travel frequently outside of the United States, there is a foreign transaction fee of 3% on the Ink Cash card.
- Penalty APR. There is a penalty APR of 29.99% on most Chase credit cards. This fee is applied in addition to any late fees or over-limit fees and can be affected by other Chase accounts or loans, which means if there is an issue with one of your personal accounts, you may end up with a penalty APR on your business account. Although there is no over-limit fee on the Chase Ink Cash card, the penalty APR could end up being extremely costly.
- $25,000 Cap on 5% and 2% Cash Back. Purchases made after you have reached $25,000 for the year, regardless of the category, only earn 1% cash back. Although this is probably acceptable for small businesses, large businesses are going to benefit more from one of the Ink cards that provides 5% and 2% on purchases totaling $50,000 per year, such as the Ink Bold or Ink Plus.
The Chase Ink Cash Business credit card is a great no-annual-fee credit card that provides benefits and services specific to managing a small business, and allows you to earn cash back on purchases as well. It is also one of the only basic business credit cards that offers a cash bonus for new cardholders. If your business expenses exceed the limits of its higher earning categories or if you travel frequently outside of the U.S., consider a business card that provides a higher cap on spending opportunities and has no foreign transaction fee.
The Chase Ink Cash® Business Card has excellent introductory offers and is great for your business if you are able to use the extra tools provided. If you travel frequently, however, or if your business spends more than $25,000 per year in any of the higher-return categories, other cards may better suit your business needs.
4.0 out of 5 stars: Good no-annual-fee credit card offering opportunities to small business owners with modest expenses to easily earn and redeem cash back, along with one of the highest introductory bonuses being offered.
Editorial Disclosure: This content is not provided or commissioned by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, or airline. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.