The Chase Ink line of business cards includes the Chase Ink Cash Card - a no-annual-fee card that allows you to earn minimal rewards for business purchases – as well as the Chase Ink Bold and Plus cards, which do charge an annual fee but offer more rewards and bonuses to compensate for it.
If you like the features and benefits of the Bold – which is a charge card, not a credit card – but are not sure you can pay your balance in full every month as required, take a look at the Chase Ink Plus® Business Card, which offers the benefits of a charge card without all the limitations.
- Sign-up Bonus. As a new cardholder, you are awarded 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening your account. This is enough for $625 worth of travel if you redeem the points through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. The account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment.
- Fees. The annual membership fee for the Chase Ink Plus card is waived the first year and is $95 thereafter. There are no foreign transaction fees, and balance transfer fees are $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. There is a $15 late payment fee if the balance is less than $100, $29 if it is between $100 and $250, and $39 if it is $250 or more. There is also a returned payment fee of $39, and a returned check fee of $39.
- APR. The APR on the Chase Ink Plus card is 15.24% on both balance transfers and purchases.
- Earn Points on Purchases. You can earn five points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores and on phone, Internet, and cable TV services, as well as two points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and hotel accommodations when you purchase directly from the hotel. For example, if you spend $10,000 on office supplies, you would earn 50,000 points, which if redeemed for cash would get you $500. All other purchases earn one point per dollar with no limitations on how much you can earn. Points do not expire, so you don’t have to worry about redeeming them within a certain time period.
- Redeem for Rewards. While you are able to redeem your points for cash, merchandise, travel, and gift cards, you receive the highest return if you redeem through Ultimate Rewards, especially on travel, which provides a 20% discount. For example, 2,000 points may be redeemed for $20 cash, which would make your bonus of 50,000 points worth approximately $500. However, if you use your points on travel with Ultimate Rewards, that same amount is worth $625.
- 20% Off Travel With Chase Ultimate Rewards. When you redeem your points with Chase Ultimate Rewards, you receive a 20% discount on airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. The Chase Ink Cash card does not receive this discount.
- Transfer Points Without Fees. If you are a member of other select travel programs, such as United MileagePlus and Hyatt Gold Passport, you can transfer your points at a rate of one-to-one without paying transfer fees. Other travel programs included are the British Airways Executive Club, Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. 50,000 Chase Ink Plus points equals 50,000 Marriott Rewards points, which pays for a couple of category four hotel stays.
- Lounge Club Membership. You receive annual membership in the Lounge Club, plus two complimentary lounge visits each year. This membership includes access to more than 350 VIP airport lounges worldwide. After those two free visits, your cost is $27 per person, per visit.
- Free Employee Cards. The employee cards that you add to the account are free and also earn points that can be redeemed for rewards. You are also able to set spending limits on the employee cards allowing yourself, as the business owner, the ability to manage the account.
- Jot. The Jot app is available with all Chase Ink cards and allows you to track receipts by snapping photos with your smartphone, tagging them, and filing them. You are also able to receive notifications when employees make Jot-applicable purchases so you can save and file them for future use.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption. Only the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus cards include trip cancellation and interruption benefits – the Chase Ink Cash card does not. This benefit simply allows you to be reimbursed for airline tickets and hotel stays that are purchased with the card and are cancelled due to certain circumstances.
- Chase Blueprint. Chase Blueprint allows you to choose how you want to split up and pay for the purchases on your statement. If you don’t pay your balance in full, you can choose to pay off individual purchases faster than others. The only Ink card that does not include the Blueprint program is the Ink Bold card, simply because it’s a charge card, which requires that balances be paid in full every billing cycle.
- 50,000 Bonus Points. The points offered at sign-up are worth $625 toward travel if you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or approximately $500 in cash, gift cards, or merchandise.
- All the Benefits of Ink Bold in a Credit Card. The Chase Ink Plus card provides many of the same features and bonuses as the Ink Bold except that the Plus is a credit card, not a charge card. This means that if you must, you are able to carry a balance without paying a penalty fee.
- Lower APR Than Most Rewards Cards. The APR on rewards credit cards generally starts around 15.24%, especially with Chase cards and those included in the Chase Ink family. The Chase Ink Plus card starts a bit lower at 13.24%, which is worth considering if you are deciding between cards.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. There is no foreign transaction fee with the Chase Ink Plus card. The Chase Ink Cash card charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%, which is the highest typically found on credit cards. The CitiBusiness ThankYou Card carries a 3% foreign transaction fee as well, and the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card charges 2.7%. If you travel frequently outside of the United States, you can save quite a bit of money by using a card without such a fee.
- No Introductory APR. There are very few business rewards cards that offer an introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers, which would be a welcome feature if you have high-APR credit cards from which you would like to transfer balances. The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Select Rewards Visa offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for the first nine billing cycles, and the CitiBusiness ThankYou card offers 0% on purchases for six months. However, neither of these cards provides an introductory APR on balance transfers.
- $50,000 Cap on Higher Earning Categories. There is an annual cap of $50,000 on the amount of purchases that are able to earn two or five points per dollar. This could be a disadvantage if your business spends more than $50,000 per year in office supply stores, for example. Anything purchased after the cap is hit receives only one point per dollar spent. The American Express Business Gold Rewards card, on the other hand, allows up to $100,000 in purchases per year in each category, and the CitiBusiness ThankYou card – while awarding three points per dollar on rotating categories – does not include a spending cap on those categories.
- High Annual Fee. Although the annual fee of $95 is waived the first year and may be considered covered for at least five years with the 50,000 point sign-up bonus, there are many business rewards cards that either have no annual fee or a lower annual fee than $95. The Chase Ink Cash card is a business card which provides minimal rewards with no annual fee, and the annual fee for the Capital One Spark Cash Business credit card is only $59.
You can benefit most from the Chase Ink Plus credit card if you spend up to $50,000 per year on office equipment or office supplies, and use it for phone services and cable. Additionally, the ability to earn two points per dollar at gas stations and hotels is helpful if you or your staff members are on the road frequently.
If your business spends more than $50,000 annually in any of the higher return categories, or if you do not want to worry about an annual fee, other business credit cards may suit you better. If you like all of the benefits and features of the Ink Bold card but prefer to have the opportunity to pay over time, you’re going to want the Plus version. However, if you pay your balances in full each month (which is recommended with rewards cards), you may prefer the benefit of not having a preset spending limit with the Bold card.
The Chase Ink Plus® Business Card provides a number of bonus opportunities and benefits for your small business and offers one of the best sign-up bonuses available, all while allowing you to carry a balance.
4.6 stars out of 5: One of the best business credit cards available that offers valuable rewards and bonuses for purchases.
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.