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The Chase Ink Credit Cards: Which is Best for Your Small Business?

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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, Plus and Bold.

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.

Ink Cash® Business Card
Chase  Ink Cash Business Credit Card
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on Chase 's
secure website

starstarstarstarstar
  • Named "Best for Cash Back for Small Business" MONEY® Magazine, October 2013
  • Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • No annual fee.
thumbsupPros
  • Bonus cash back categories
  • No annual fee
  • 0% for 12 mos on transfers
Annual Fee Signup Bonus APR , Variable* APR Promotions
No Annual Fee Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening 13.24% (Variable) 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months

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 in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 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

Ink Plus® Business Card
Chase Ink Plus with Ultimate Rewards Credit Card
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on Chase's
secure website

starstarstarstarhalfstar
  • Named "Best for Travel Rewards for Small Business" MONEY® Magazine, October 2013
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Flexibility to pay your balance over time or in full.
  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs with no transfer fees.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $95
thumbsupPros
  • No foreign transaction fee
thumbsdownCons
  • Has annual fee
Annual Fee Signup Bonus APR , Variable* APR Promotions
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year. After that, $95 Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 15.24% (Variable) Purchase: None
Transfer: None

Ink Bold: Stellar rewards with a charge card

The Chase Ink Bold is the same as the Ink Plus, but for one significant difference: It’s a charge card, not a credit card, so you should only get the card if you will pay off your balance every month.

Ink Bold® Business Charge Card
Chase Ink Bold with Ultimate Rewards Credit Card
Apply Now

on Chase's
secure website

starstarstarstarhalfstar
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Direct access to a live service advisor anytime.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs with no transfer fees.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $95.
thumbsupPros
  • No foreign transaction fee
thumbsdownCons
  • Has annual fee
Annual Fee Signup Bonus APR , Variable* APR Promotions
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $95 Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening N/A Purchase: None
Transfer: None

The big differences:

The Bold is a charge card, meaning your balance must be paid in full each month. The pros of the Bold and Plus are 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 and Bold’s signup bonuses effectively pay 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.

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