The Chase Ink Cash: A No-Fee Winner for Small Business
The Chase Ink Cash is a pretty awesome business credit card, offering 5% cash back on typical office purchases as well as no annual fee. Its simplicity and high rewards rate make it one of the most popular small business cards we have – but it may not be ideal for bigger spenders. Read on for a breakdown of the pros and cons of the Chase Ink Cash.
|At a glance|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%|
|Rewards program||Cash back|
|Signup bonus||Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, best among no-fee business credit cards|
|Verdict: Ideal for businesses who spend on office supplies|
In this article:
The Chase Ink Cash Basics
The Chase Ink is, as we’ve noted, a cash back credit card that offers pretty good ongoing rewards:
- 5% on office supplies and cable/telecom services, up to $25,000 spent annually
- 2% on gas and restaurants, also up to $25,000 spent annually
- Unlimited 1% elsewhere
|Ink Cash® Business Card|
on Chase 's
|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|
It starts off with a bang: Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening Moreover, the Cash offers 12 months of 0% interest on purchases, so the card’s perfect for a company that needs to set up a new office. You can earn substantial rewards from Office Depot or your office supply store of choice, and take some time to pay off the big purchases interest-free. This makes it one of the most lucrative cards out there for any business that spends the bulk of its money on office supplies or cable/telecom.
There are two other cards in the Ink family: the Ink Bold and the Ink Plus. In the next section, we’ll talk about how to choose between the three.
Ink Cash vs. Ink Plus
Unlike the Ink Cash, the Ink Plus has a $95 annual fee. But it makes up for the fee in a much better signup bonus, a higher rewards cap, and business travel perks.
|Ink Cash||Ink Plus|
on Chase 's
|Type of card||Credit card||Credit card|
|Annual fee||No Annual Fee||$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $95.|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%||0%|
|Signup bonus||Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening||Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.|
|Bonus rewards||5% on office supplies and cable/telecom
2% on gas and restaurants
|5% on office supplies and cable/telecom
2% on gas and lodging
|Rewards cap on each category||$25,000||$50,000|
|Value of points||1 cent||1.25 cents when redeemed for travel booked through Chase|
|Extra perks||N/A||2 complimentary Lounge Club passes per year|
|Best for||Non-travelers; smaller spenders||Business travel|
Typically, we think that the Ink Plus is the best of the lot, because its signup bonus (worth $875 of travel booked through Chase) well outweighs the annual fee for the first five and a half years, not to mention the ongoing bonus of your points being worth 25% more if used for travel. The card has a higher limit on bonus rewards earning, and the two free lounge passes are nothing to scoff at.
Where the Ink Cash shines
The card’s main appeal is its simplicity and strong rewards program. If you don’t want to commit to an annual fee, the Ink Cash will still provide you with a solid 5% cash back on business-friendly spending categories. Plus, its signup bonus well exceeds most other no annual fee business cards’ – in fact, few no annual fee business card on the market give any signup bonus at all. Finally, I’ve had pretty positive interactions with Chase’s customer service (for personal credit cards) and our users generally say that they’ve had similar experiences. If you’re looking for top-tier rewards with no fee, the Ink is your card.
Where it falls short
There are three cases where the Ink Cash is perhaps not the best card for your company.
1. Companies that don’t spend much on the 5% bonus category
on Capital One's
on Capital One's
2. Businesses that spend more than $25,000 annually on office supplies and cable/telecom services
3. Business travelers
If you find yourself on a plane or in a hotel for most of your corporate life, look for card that’s specifically targeted towards travel. We already mentioned the Chase Ink Plus and Bold; another popular offer is the Starwood Business from American Express. The card earns up to 5 Starpoints per $1 spent at SPG hotels and 1 point per $1 elsewhere, but the kicker is that we value Starpoints at 2.3 cents each. This means you’re effectively getting 2.3% rewards anywhere you go, when you redeem for SPG hotel stays. Just be wary of the 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
Will the Chase Ink require a personal guarantee?
Unfortunately, almost everything on the market nowadays require that you personally guarantee the credit card debt. Businesses often fail, so lenders are going to require that you backstop the debt. The Chase Ink and all other business credit cards will end up on your credit score to some extent, but issuers’ reporting policies differ. Check out our Q&A section to learn more about personal guarantees and how business cards affect your credit history.