Is the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card worth its $0 annual fee? Obviously the answer is yes, but is it the best no-fee option for you? Many first-time travel rewards collectors like to start with a no-fee credit card as they learn the ins and outs of earning points and miles. But with dozens of no-fee cards to choose from, how do you know which one to pick?
We broke down all of the benefits and perks of the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card and compared them to other no-fee cards to help you determine if this card makes sense for you.
Sign-up bonuses tend to be one of the most valuable perks on any rewards card, and it’s always one of the first things to check when assessing if you’ll apply for a card.
The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card has a sign-up bonus as follows: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This is one of the highest bonuses you can get for a no-fee card and immediately puts you in the positive when evaluating the card’s value.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card are both also no-fee cards, but offer sign-up bonuses less desirable than the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.
0% intro APR
Another major perk of the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card is that it offers 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months you have the card. That means the card won’t charge you any interest on the balance you carry for the first year. However, you will be responsible for paying interest on any balance that remains on the card after 12 months.
This is another strong perk, but there are longer 0% intro rate offers available. The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card offers a 0% intro APR for your first 18 months, however that card has no sign-up bonus. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card both offer 0% APR for the first 15 months, but they both have substantially lower sign-up bonuses than the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.
» Learn more: Chase Ultimate Rewards: How to earn and use them
Points and cash back
The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card doesn’t have any spending bonus categories. Instead, it offers 1.5% cash back on every dollar you spend, and each dollar translates to 100 points. The value of this perk is highly dependent on how you spend your money, so it’s worth breaking down your budget and examining the bonus categories on other cards so you can understand what it would be worth to you.
For example, the Discover it® Cash Back offers 5% cash back on rotating categories every quarter (up to the quarterly maximum) and 1% cash back on everything else. Discover publishes their bonus category calendar for the entire year, and it includes popular bonus spending categories such as restaurants, grocery stores and Amazon. You must opt into the program.
The Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% back on dining and entertainment, 2% on grocery stores, and 1% back on all other spending.
The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card doesn’t compare when it comes to bonus spending categories, but it does make sense if the majority of your spending falls outside of those groups.
Ink vs. Ink
How does the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card stack up in its own family of cards? The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card card also has no annual fee and it is on par in both its sign-up bonus as well as its 0% intro APR.
The major difference is that the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers 5% back on internet, cable and phone bills, as well as purchases made at office supply stores. This benefit caps after $25,000 each card anniversary year. It also offers an additional 2% cash back on gas and dining out.
So just like the Discover it® Cash Back and Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll need to break down your spending categories to know which card offers you the most value.
» Learn more: Making the most of Ink Business Cash
The bottom line
One of the latest trends in travel rewards is rising annual fees for the most popular cards. The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can run you over $500 per year to keep open.
If you want to keep your costs down and your rewards high, you’ll need to pick the right no-fee card for you.
The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card is a very well-rounded rewards card:
- A high sign-up bonus.
- 0% intro APR for 12 months.
- 1.5% cash back ($1 = 100 points).
- No annual fee.
It may not be a class leader in any one category, but it does offer high value in several different categories, which makes the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card a card that certainly provides value for no annual fee, and should be under consideration for anyone interested in earning travel rewards.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
Baffled by points and miles? Let the 80/20 rule guide you
Maximize rewards with the AmEx Trifecta