The Chase Ink Credit Cards: Which is Best for Your Small Business?
The Chase Ink cards are some of the best business cards out there. Whether you’re looking to furnish a new office, get extra rewards on travel or earn a little back on dinner with your clients, there’s an Ink to suit your needs. But which one is right for you? Read on while we break down the benefits of each of the three Ink cards – the Cash and Plus.
The Ink Cash: Chart-topping rewards rate, for no annual fee
The Chase Ink Cash is one of the best no annual fee, cash back business cards on the market, giving travel perks as well as up to 5% rewards. For no annual fee, you’ll get:
- 5% rewards on office supplies and telecom/cable services (up to $25k spent a year)
- 2% rewards on gas and dining (also up to $25k/year)
- 1% elsewhere (unlimited)
- Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
- 0% APR on purchases and transfers for 12 months
Cash is king, and the Ink Cash’s flexibility, high rewards and offer of zero interest for 12 months put the card on top for company cards.
The Ink Plus: Go big or go home
Ready for the big leagues? Excellent: There’s an Ink card for you. The Ink Plus offers a hefty signup bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. But it’s even more impressive than it sounds. Points are worth 25% more if you redeem for travel booked through Chase.
The perks don’t end there:
- Access to 350+ airport lounges with the Lounge Club – 2 free passes, and discounted access for the rest of the first year
- No foreign transaction fees – travelers take note!
- Ability to transfer miles 1:1 to major travels, such as United or Marriott
And then we get to the ongoing rewards – your annual rewards cap doubles from the Chase Ink’s.
- 5% rewards on office supplies and telecom/cable services (up to $50k spent a year)
- 2% rewards on gas and lodging (up to $50k/year)
- 1% elsewhere (unlimited)
- Extra perk: The 25% travel boost doesn’t end with the signup bonus
The big differences:
The pros of the Plus is more flexible spending, as there’s no preset spending limit, and no interest charges. The con is up to $39 in late fees, should you carry a balance. It also has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), whereas the Cash is a no-fee card.
The signup bonus is much higher the Ink Cash’s, and you can stretch its value to 25% more if you redeem for travel. That offsets the annual fee for quite some time, not to mention the ongoing rewards. However, you’ll want to go for the Ink Cash if you plan to use your card as a source of capital – those 12 months of 0% interest can be really helpful.
So which of the cards should you choose?
We highly suggest that you opt for the Ink Plus (if you plan to carry a balance) or the Ink Bold (if you don’t). The reason, as we stated above, is that the difference in signup bonuses pays for the annual fee in the first few years, depending on how you redeem, and that’s before we take into account the higher rewards cap.
I spend a lot on dining out, not travel. Let’s assume you don’t spend any money at all on gas or hotels. If you spend a lot of money on eating out, you might make up for the difference in signup bonuses between the Ink Plus and the Ink Cash. And that’s assuming you’re not taking advantage of the 25% travel redemption boost, or the airport lounge passes.
I don’t like paying annual fees. Are you sure? Remember that the Ink Plus’s signup bonus effectively pays for the annual fee for a few years, depending on how you redeem the points. Also, the fees are waived for the first year.
I still don’t like paying annual fees. Okay, fair enough. Ink Cash it is.