Full Review of Chase Ink Business Cash Review
Huge bonus for a card with no annual fee
Potentially valuable rewards program
0% APR offer and low ongoing APR
Bonus rewards are capped
Chase card service to businesses has been below par
- Huge Bonus for a Card With No Annual Fee: The card offers a $500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. That represents an excellent (17%) return on your spending and is more than double the bonus of many other business credit cards that also don’t charge an annual fee. Indeed, the only other major business card that provides a comparable—in fact, identical—offer is the sister card to this one, the Ink Business Unlimited.
- Potentially Valuable Rewards Program: The card provides up to 5% in cash back on common business-related expenses. That’s about as good as it gets with rewards on business credit cards. Also, while this is technically a cash-back credit card, you’re actually earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points on your spending. If you also carry one of the bank’s travel-focused credit cards—specifically, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred, all of which earn Ultimate Rewards—you could transfer your rewards points from this card and one of those other cards to take advantage of one of their superior rewards redemption rates. That option could allow you to boost the value of your earnings by redeeming points from the card that best meets your needs. You could, for example, redeem points earned with the Chase Ink Business Cash on your travel card, and so take advantage of redemption options that provide more value for (travel redemptions) than would simple cash back.
- 0% APR Offer and Low Ongoing APR: The card offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. Only a handful of business credit cards offer introductory 0% APR promotions, and this one provides 12 months from the date of account opening without interest charges to facilitate buying new equipment, supplies, inventory, and other business necessities. And the APR you pay on any balance after the offer expires, ranging between 13.24% to 19.24%, is notably lower than many cards, of any kind.
- Bonus Rewards Are Capped: While the card offers bonus cash back on certain expenses, there’s an annual limit on how much you can earn at its highest rewards rates. Spending in the 5% category, which covers office-supply stores and purchases of internet, cable and phone services, is capped at a combined $25,000 in each account anniversary year. The same $25,000 limit applies to the card’s 2% rewards category, which includes gas stations and restaurants. Solo entrepreneurs and other truly small businesses may not ever spend more than these amounts every year. But if the business does exceed the caps, be aware that the additional spending earns only 1%, which is less than you might earn if you charged the overage to another card.
- Chase Card Service to Businesses Has Been Below Par: Businesses don’t necessarily interact with their credit card issuer very often. But when that’s necessary, it’s often a matter of some urgency and even stress, and you want a satisfying experience. Unfortunately, that’s less likely to be the case for businesses who deal with Chase than with most other card issuers scored in the J.D. Power Small-Business Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study. In its 2019 survey, Chase ranks in the lowest group, in a virtual tie with U.S. Bank as the least-satisfying issuer of business credit cards among nine that are scored. Chase’s score of 833 out of 1,000 was 14 points below the national average.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
Earning a primary or side income from a small business
Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
The Chase Ink Business Cash is best suited to business owners who make a lot of purchases eligible for the card’s best, 5% cash-back rewards rate—that is, at office-supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services. Keeping monthly combined purchases in those categories below about $2,000 is ideal, since there’s a $25,000 annual cap on spending that's eligible for the 5% rate.
With its 12-month 0% APR offer, this card also has strong appeal to businesses who plan a spate of purchases, since it allows them to carry the balance for a year without incurring interest charges. And if a balance remains at the end of the offer period, the card’s relatively low ongoing APR means its carrying cost on this card will be lower than on many others.
Chase Ink Business Cash Bonus
The card offers a $500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months from account opening. While that’s impressive as cash incentives go with a no-fee card, you can earn more if you’re prepared to pay a fee, spend more, and receive a bonus in points to be used for travel. For example, a sibling to this card, the Chase Ink Business Preferred, offers 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $15,000 in the first three months, a bonus that’s worth $1,250 in travel booked through Chase. This sibling card charges a $95 annual fee.
Rewards Earning Details
The card’s rewards program is a bit more complex than others, but it can be lucrative for the right business. You’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services in each account anniversary year, 2% back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year, and 1% back on everything else.
Before you apply for the card, take a look at your expenses over the last few months to see how they align with its bonus categories. If you can see that most of your purchases will net only 1% back or you spend enough to exceed the card’s annual limits, you may want to consider another card.
Rewards Redemption Details
The Chase Ink Business Cash offers some flexible redemption options. Again, while it’s technically a cash-back credit card, you’ll earn Ultimate Rewards points, which you can use to:
- Get a cash deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account
- Request a statement credit on your account
- Book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- Buy gift cards
- Purchase Apple products
- Shop online at Amazon.com
In most cases, your points are worth 1 cent apiece. An exception is when you use your rewards to pay at checkout on Amazon.com, where points are worth 0.8 cents each.
If you redeem your rewards for cash back, there’s no minimum amount required in order to do so. With other redemption options, though, the minimum can vary.
The Ink Business Cash doesn’t have any transfer partners. However, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer your points earned with this card to the other card and gain access to additional redemption options.
Such a move could allow you to get 25% more value per point used with the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred, and 50% more value with the Sapphire Reserve. Also, those cards come with a further option: To transfer your points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners. The list includes:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hotel Travel Partners
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
Transfers are at a 1:1 ratio. Depending on the program to which you move your points, you may be able to get much more value than the Ink Business Cash’s 1 cent per point. For example, according to Investopedia’s calculations, United MileagePlus miles are worth 2.16 cents on average, and World of Hyatt points 2.22 cents each. Other partners may be able to give you even more value, depending on how you use your rewards.
Check the fine print before you transfer, though. In some cases, you may be charged a transfer fee, and it can take up to a week with some programs to complete the transfer.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
As with any rewards card, the best way to make the most of its rewards is to use the card as much as possible and to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. With this card, you’ll have some time after you get approved to make purchases interest-free. But over the long term, it’s important to try to avoid carrying a balance.
To maximize the card’s value, align your spending with the card's bonus categories. For example, if you can purchase something at an office-supply store or somewhere else, favor the office-supply store, so you can earn the most-favored 5% rewards rate on the purchase.
Finally, consider opening the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred to pair with this card. While all three cards charge annual fees, the extra value you can get by transferring your points, as well as other benefits the cards provide, can help justify the cost of their annual fees.
They also have generous bonus offers. The Ink Business Cash’s bonus is worth $500 in cash back or $625 in travel booked through Chase with the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred. That’s sufficient to justify one of those cards’ annual fees for at least a year.
Chase Ink Business Cash's Outstanding Benefits
- Primary rental-car insurance: If you need to file a claim from a rental for business reasons, the card’s coverage kicks in immediately. With most cards, rental car insurance coverage is secondary, which means that you have to pay the damage before the rental company collects from your personal insurer. Note, however, that coverage is secondary if you’re renting for personal purposes.
- Avis Corporate Rewards: As a cardholder, you can enroll in the Avis Corporate Rewards program, which allows you to earn rental reward days twice as fast. You’ll also get access to discounts, complimentary one-car-class upgrades, and more.
- Roadside dispatch
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty protection
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Free employee cards
The United Club Business card is issued by Chase, which scored an 833 in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Study. This score is below the industry average of 849 for credit-card satisfaction in serving businesses, and is only slightly above that of U.S. Bank, which received the lowest score among the nine issuers ranked for service to businesses.
Anytime you need help with your card, you can call 800-999-6977 to speak to a customer service specialist. You can also access your card via the Chase mobile app.
The bank provides free access to your VantageScore credit score through its Credit Journey program, but anyone can register—you don’t need to be a cardholder. Also, it’s important to note that many major card issuers offer complimentary access to your FICO score, which is more widely used by lenders than VantageScore.
Chase will report your account activity to the business credit bureaus, which can help you establish a business credit history. The bank won’t report anything other than the initial hard inquiry when you apply to the consumer credit bureaus, unless your account is more than 60 days delinquent. Some other banks, including Capital One and Discover, report all of your account activity on your business credit cards to the consumer credit bureaus, which can affect your personal credit score.
The card issuer provides 24/7 customer service over the phone, which is standard for the credit card industry. You can also choose to send a secure message through your online account (you can read secure messages from the mobile app but not compose new ones).
Chase is one of many major card issuers that allow you to lock and unlock your card from your mobile app. The feature isn’t standard for all card issuers, and it can come in handy if your card is lost or stolen, and you want to keep someone else from using it without your permission.
The card is also contactless-enabled, so if you're using a contactless credit card reader, you can pay by simply tapping your card instead of swiping or inserting it. This method offers the same security features as the older methods. Contactless credit cards are becoming more popular but are not yet available from all national card issuers.
The Chase Ink Business Cash can provide a lot of value, aided by its absence of an annual fee. Provided you don’t exceed their combined $25,000 limit, the 5% cash-back rewards for purchases from office-supply stores and on telecom expenses are hard to beat with another card. The bonus offer provides a $500 bonus for a spending requirement (of $3,000) that most businesses should be able to meet. And the 0% APR offer could offer a year of both interest savings and breathing room for your business.
Beyond those pluses, however, the card is less impressive. Its 2% rewards rate, limited to gas stations and restaurants and also capped at $25,000 in spending, is fairly unremarkable for a business card, as is its 1% default rate on all purchases. The Blue Business Cash from American Express, for instance, offers 2% cash back on the first $50,000 you spend in any category every year and also has no annual fee.
If you do get the card, seriously consider pairing it with the Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, to which you could transfer Ultimate Rewards, in order to use with the card that offers the best return on particular purchases. For example, even if you make the Chase Ink Business Cash is your main business card for U.S. purchases, you might want to use the Ink Business Preferred when traveling abroad or ordering from foreign suppliers, since it (unlike this card) imposes no 3% fee on foreign transactions.
If you anticipate that a lot of your expenses with the Chase Ink Business Cash will earn just 1% cash back, it may be better to consider a card with rewards that are more aligned with your spending—or a card with a flat rewards rate on everything.