The Chase Ink® Classic Business Credit Card is part of the Chase Ink family and is very similar to the Chase Ink Cash Business Card, with just a few slight differences. Whether this rewards card is right for your business depends on these differences and how they stack up against other fairly standard business credit cards that provide travel benefits.
The Chase Ink Classic is a no-annual-fee card that rewards business owners for purchases with points that can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, and merchandise.
- Sign-up Bonus. You receive a bonus of 20,000 points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months. This is enough for $200 in gift cards or cash back.
- Fees. There is no annual fee for the Ink Classic business credit card. There is a foreign transaction fee of 3%, and a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.
- APR. The Chase Ink Classic card offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for six billing cycles, and 13.24% thereafter.
- Earn Points for Purchases. You earn points on purchases which can be redeemed for cash with one point equaling $0.01. You earn five points on each dollar of the first $25,000 spent annually on purchases made at office supply stores, cable service companies, Internet service providers, and phone purchases (excluding equipment). You also earn two points per dollar spent on purchases made at gas stations and hotel accommodations on the first $25,000 spent annually. All other purchases earn one point and are unlimited. The points do not expire and can also be redeemed for gift cards, travel and airfare, and merchandise through the Ultimate Rewards Portal.
- Track Expenses with Jot. Jot is a free app that allows you to keep track of receipts. Simply snap photos of receipts with your smartphone, tag them, and then store them away. The app also sends alerts when a purchase is made by employees so that you can immediately tag the purchases with job numbers or as business expenses and file those away as well.
- Free Employee Cards. Cards for employees are free with Chase Ink Classic, and they also earn points.
- Airport Lounge Access. As a cardholder of the Chase Ink Classic card, you receive complimentary membership in Lounge Club, plus two complimentary lounge visits in more than 350 VIP airport lounges worldwide. After the two complimentary visits, the cost is $27 per person, per visit for any of the lounges.
- Business Learning Center. The Business Learning Center provides a number of tools and advice for managing your business. These include the Coffee Break Webinar Series, videos and articles, and updates of Chase-sponsored business events.
- Chase Blueprint Program. The Chase Ink Classic card includes Chase Blueprint. This plan allows you to manage and control how payments are applied to specific purchases, and how the balance is paid off, with four different options. For example, “Full Pay” may be chosen for everyday purchases such as gasoline and small purchases that you don’t want to pay interest on. You could choose “Split” if you want to work on paying off a large purchase quickly, or “Finish It” if you want to create a plan to choose the monthly payment or number of payments in order to pay down faster. Finally, “Track It” allows you to manage spending by creating a budget for the most common purchases.
- Bonus Points for New Sign-ups. You earn a bonus of 20,000 points when $3,000 or more is spent during the first three months of account opening. This is enough for $200 in gift cards or cash back.
- Easy to Earn Points. The categories that earn the highest number of points are all products and services that your small business would likely be buying anyway, especially phone purchases and purchases from office supply stores. The 2% received for gas stations and hotel accommodations is also convenient if you have staff members who use company cars and travel often.
- Easy Redemption of Points. Points can be redeemed not only for cash, but also 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 (a cash value of $45), you would receive a $50 Kohl’s gift card. There are also special offers on merchandise and sale events, such as 30% off Avis rentals, that are exclusive to Chase Ink cardholders who shop through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Rewards can also be redeemed for travel and airfare, with no restrictions or blackout dates.
- Chase Blueprint. This is a handy free tool not offered by other card issuers that helps you manage your spending and the purchases you make with the Chase Ink Classic card. Chase Blueprint can also help to budget and track expenses of the entire business, which can be especially helpful if you add authorized users to the account.
- Manage Employee Spending. Not only are employee cards free to add with Chase Ink Classic, but as a business owner, you can also set individual spending limits and manage spending with the tools provided. Additionally, the employee cards earn points on spending, which can also be redeemed for cash back.
- Jot. The Jot app is a helpful feature for managing paperwork and receipts. You are less likely to forget about or miss an expense if you are able to immediately photograph the receipt and file it away. This feature, along with Blueprint, goes a bit beyond the business management tools and software that other business credit cards provide.
- Minimal Travel Benefits. Although the Chase Ink Classic card provides slightly more travel benefits than the Chase Ink Cash card, it is still missing some benefits, such as trip cancellation and interruption insurance, that cardholders look for in travel rewards cards. With other Ink credit cards, this benefit, as well as 20% off travel redemptions through Ultimate Rewards, is included.
- Foreign Transaction Fees. If you travel frequently outside of the United States, you’re going to want to be mindful of the foreign transaction fee of 3% on the Ink Classic card, which could be a significant drawback. The Ink Cash card also has a foreign transaction fee; however, there are no foreign transaction fees on the Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards.
- Default APR. There is a penalty APR, also referred to as a default APR, of 29.99% on most of the 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 as well. Although there is no over-limit fee on the Chase Ink Classic card, the penalty APR could end up being extremely costly.
- $25,000 Cap on Points Opportunities. Purchases that are made after you have reached $25,000 for the year, regardless of the category, are only awarded one point. Although this is likely sufficient for small businesses, large businesses are going to benefit more from one of the other Ink cards that provide five points and two points on purchases totaling $50,000 per year, such as the Ink Bold or Ink Plus.
The Chase Ink Classic business credit card is better overall than the Chase Ink Cash card, especially for travelers. There are a number of benefits with both cards that most simple business cards do not provide – for example, the ability to earn more points through office and business related expenses, a 0% introductory APR, no annual fee, and one of the highest bonus offers currently available. The free tools are handy for managing spending and payment options and, combined with the business management tips and advice, may be essential features that aid in business growth and success. However, this would not be the best credit card if your business spends more than $25,000 annually in any one category or travels frequently outside of the United States.
The Chase Ink® Classic Business Credit Card is great if you are able to use the extra tools and tips provided, as well as the introductory offers. It is also ideal if you do not travel outside of the United States and are seeking minimal travel rewards.
4.0 out of 5 stars: Great no-annual-fee credit card with opportunities to easily earn and redeem points, along with decent introductory bonuses. It is not the greatest travel rewards card available for businesses, however.
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.