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Chase Ink Business Unlimited Review

overall rating
3.8

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With a flat rewards rate and a lot of upfront value, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited is a solid choice for cost-conscious business owners who still want to maximize value. The card provides not only an introductory 12 months of 0% APR from the time of account opening but a relatively low APR if you carry a balance after the introductory period is over.

Ink Business Unlimited

Overall Rating
3.8
Ink Business Unlimited
On Chase's Secured Site.
Current Offer

$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.24% - 19.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
how this card stacks up
When compared among all business cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Chase Ink Business Unlimited

Pros
  • Strong introductory offers

  • Versatile rewards program

Cons
  • No bonus rewards categories

  • Middling flat rewards rate

  • Chase card service to businesses has been below par

Pros Explained

  • Strong Introductory Offers: The Chase Ink Business Unlimited provides both a hefty cash welcome and a generous introductory period on purchases. You can earn a $500 cash bonus by spending $3,000 within the first three months; that’s more than twice as much as the bonuses with many other business credit cards that lack 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 Chase Ink Business Cash. The introductory 0% APR promotion allows you an entire year in which to carry new purchases on the card without paying interest charges. When the 12 months are up, you’ll pay a variable APR of 13.24% to 19.24% on the remaining balance, depending on your creditworthiness. That’s a lower range of rates than most cards charge.
  • Versatile Rewards Program: Even though it usefully applies to all purchases you make, this card’s flat rate of 1.5% in cash back is nothing special. But the card provides flexibility in how those rewards are used that can potentially earn you a higher return. 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—you could transfer your Ultimate Rewards points from this card and the other one. 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 Unlimited on your travel card, and so take advantage of redemption options that provide more value for travel than might simple cash back.   

Cons Explained

  • No Bonus Rewards Categories: For all its simplicity, a single flat rate, as this card has, deprives you of earning up to three times as much with bonus rewards that exceed the flat rate for certain purchases. For example, the Ink Business Cash offers 5% cash back on the first $25,000 a year spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year and 2% back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants. If you happen to spend a lot in those categories, you could get considerably more value with that card than with the Ink Business Unlimited.
  • Middling Flat Rewards Rate: The Ink Business Unlimited’s flat 1.5% cash back beats the standard 1% benchmark for most rewards credit cards. But it falls a little behind the most generous flat rates for cards with no annual fee. For example, consider the Blue Business Cash Card from American Express, as its 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent each year could more than compensate in the long run for the lack of an upfront bonus. 
  • 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

  • Avatar for Minimalist Persona
    Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
    Minimalist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Business Owner Persona
    Earning a primary or side income from a small business
    Business Owner

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited is best for businesses who want a no-fee credit card with a solid, though hardly exceptional, flat rewards rate and the flexibility to carry new purchases for up to a year without interest charges.

The card is also worth considering if you already have a Chase Sapphire card or the Ink Business Preferred. As a pair, this card and one of those allows the opportunity to pool points earned on both cards and then redeem them on the one that offers the best value for any particular purchase. That trick might result in an increased value for the points, along with the ability to transfer them, on a 1:1 basis, to other travel rewards programs.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited 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 offers a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, which can be a great fit if you prioritize simplicity over the additional work often required to maximize rewards. There’s no cap on the amount you can earn at that rate.

You can also earn rewards by referring the card to other business owners. If they use your link and are approved to receive the card, you’ll receive $150 cash back, up to $750 per year.

Rewards Redemption Details

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited allows you to get a lot more than just cash back with your points. Redemption options include:

  • 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

If you use your points on Amazon.com, they’re worth 0.8 cents each. Otherwise, you’ll get 1 cent per point. There’s no minimum redemption amount for cash back, but other options may impose one.

Transferring Points

The Ink Business Unlimited doesn’t allow points transfers directly to Chase travel partners, but you can gain that benefit by taking two steps. The first is to also carry the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred. If you then transfer the points you earn with the Ink Business Unlimited with the other card, you can then move your points at a 1:1 ratio to any of the following programs: 

  • 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

Using your rewards this way does get more complicated. But it can also ensure you get much more than the maximum 1 cent per point that the Ink Business Unlimited offers.

For example, United MileagePlus miles are worth 2.16 cents, and World of Hyatt points 2.22 cents each, based on Investopedia’s research. And depending on how you use your rewards with these and other partners, you could potentially get even more value.

Note, however, that you may be on the hook for a transfer fee in some cases, and transfer times can range from one to seven business days, which can be frustrating if you need to book now. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

After you apply for the card, be sure to meet the $3,000 spending requirement in the first three months to earn the card's $500 bonus. Also, keep in mind that the bonus period starts when you open the account, not when you receive the card.

Because the card has a flat rewards rate, you won’t make more by buying in some categories rather than others. Unless you own other cards that have such bonus categories, then, plan to use the Ink Business Unlimited as much as possible to maximize its rewards. And avoid interest charges by planning to pay off purchases bought during the introductory 0% APR promotion before that deal expires.

Especially if you plan to redeem rewards for travel, consider complementing this card by also opening the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, if you don't already carry one of those cards. All three cards have an annual fee, but the additional value you gain by pooling your points and using those for travel rewards with one of those Preferred cards can make the fee burden worth bearing. You’ll also gain other benefits that the Ink Business Unlimited doesn’t provide.

For example, if you can use your bonus on the Ink Business Unlimited to get $500 in cash back, or you can transfer it to the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred and get $625 in travel through Chase or potentially even more with one of the bank’s travel partners. Both of those cards charge a $95 annual fee, but in this scenario the additional rewards value would more than justify that cost.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited'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.

Standard Benefits

  • Roadside dispatch
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Free employee cards

Cardholder Experience

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).

Security Features

Like many other national card issuers, Chase gives you the option to lock and unlock your card from your mobile app. This feature can help you prevent fraud if your card is lost or stolen.

The card also has contactless capability, which means that you can tap your card to pay with a contactless-enabled reader instead of swiping or inserting it. The tap-and-pay method provides the same level of security as your card’s chip, but the process goes more quickly. While a handful of other major card issuers offer contactless credit cards, it’s not yet standard for the industry. 

Our Verdict

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited offers remarkable welcome offers for a card with no annual fee, including a generous 0% APR period for 12 months from the date of account opening. The decent flat rate of 1.5% cash back on purchases makes this a solid everyday card for businesses that prefer simple and predictable card rewards.

Consider, though, pairing the card with one of the Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Sapphire Reserve. While the Sapphire cards aren’t business credit cards, you can still transfer points between business and personal credit cards or use points earned on a business card for personal use. Making one or both of these moves affords you maximum flexibility to redeem points on the card that works best for any particular purchase.

Apply Now
For Ink Business Unlimited
on Chase's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Ink Business Unlimited
overall rating
3.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.24% - 19.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.