Editorial Review

Chase Ink Cash Review: A Cash-Back Contender for Small Businesses

Earn 5% cash back on office supplies and telecom services and 2% at restaurants and gas stations, up to a limit. This card also dangles a big sign-up bonus.

Erin El Issa, Gregory KarpNovember 25, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

3.8

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: With a $0 annual fee and a sign-up bonus worth $500, this card is a good fit for any business that spends significant money on office supplies and telecom services.

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 months

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$0
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
0% on Purchases for 12 months

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period on Purchases

  • High rewards rates in certain categories

  • Sign-up bonus

Cons
  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Spending caps in bonus categories

  • Low rewards rate outside bonus categories

Alternate Pick: Travel rewards

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

A no-fee card for those who prefer miles

Get an unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases and 5 miles per dollar spent on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel (SM). Miles can be redeemed for credit against any travel purchase. Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles - equal to $200 in travel - once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

14.74% - 22.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 months

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 9 months

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card can be a lucrative card for small-business owners who spend heavily in its top bonus categories and want a card with an annual fee of $0. And it welcomes new cardholders with a generous sign-up bonus.

But its most lucrative rewards are capped, which hurts big spenders. And while its other rewards and features are decent, better options exist for heavy travelers willing to pay an annual fee.

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is a capable cash-back rewards card, but some business owners will find a better fit elsewhere, even among other Chase business credit cards.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card: Basics

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 5% cash back on up to $25,000 a year in spending at office supply stores and on cable, internet and phone service.

  • 2% cash back on up to $25,000 a year in spending at gas stations and restaurants.

  • 1% cash back on all other spending.

Your cash will come in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. One point equals one penny.

Interest rate: 0% on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fee: 3%.

Key benefits of the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Notable sign-up bonus

The sign-up bonus is enough to pay for several client lunches and is especially generous for a card with an annual fee of $0.

Bonus rewards in common business categories

The 5% categories are valuable and align with typical small-business spending. It’s especially good for smaller spenders who won’t blow through the $25,000 rewards cap midway through Q1. Spending up to that cap reaps a cool $1,250 per year.

Double cash back on gas stations and restaurants (2% instead of 1%) isn’t special nowadays, but it’s a fine return if you don’t want to fiddle with other credit cards to earn higher rewards.

An introductory 0% APR period

These kinds of offers are missing from many business credit cards, making this a good option for an entrepreneur looking at startup costs and needing extra time to pay.

Pairing with other cards

For more cash back

A common strategy is to use a card like this for its high-value spending categories, in this case to get 5% or 2% cash back. Then, use another card for everything else that offers a better return than this card’s 1%. You don’t even need to leave the Chase family to do that. The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card offers 1.5% cash back on everything. The extra half a percentage point will add up, especially with typical business spending.

For high-value travel rewards

Typically, Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth around 1 cent each. But three Chase cards — the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, along with consumer cards Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® — offer boosts to that point value if you use your points to book travel through Chase. With the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel this way. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, they're worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed this way.

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card isn't eligible for these more-valuable travel redemptions, but if you also have any of those other three special cards, you can transfer points to that card from your Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. If you do this, then redeem for travel, your effective rewards rate gets even better.

Points on those three special cards can also be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to other loyalty programs, such as United Airlines, British Airways or Marriott. Potentially, that could net you an even higher effective rewards rate.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card: Drawbacks and alternatives

5% categories that don’t fit your business

If your business spends relatively little on office supplies or cable-internet-phone services, you’re missing the primary reason to use this card long-term.

Examples of cards with different and simpler rewards:

  • The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business gives you 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limit. It has a $0 annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees. There's also a sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

  • The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card also pays 1.5% cash back with no limit for an annual fee of $0. Its sign-up bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Poor choice for traveling abroad

If you're traveling internationally, the 3% foreign transaction fee is punitive. The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has no such fees.

For other options, see our page of top-rated credit cards as well as our list of the best small-business credit cards.

Is the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card right for you?

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card costs nothing to carry. So if your business spends significant money in the bonus categories, it makes sense to get one, especially with a lucrative sign-up bonus and ability to pair strategically with other cards. But if it’s not a match for your business spending, other good choices abound.