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.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

With a $0 annual fee and a sign-up bonus worth $750, this card is a good fit for any business that spends significant money on office supplies and telecom services.

Jump to: Full Review
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.49%-19.49% Variable APR
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
Apply now

on Chase's website

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Low rate outside bonus categories

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

13.49%-19.49% Variable APR

Regular APR

16.24%-21.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.99%-21.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Get more smart money moves — straight to your inboxBecome a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

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 $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 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% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49%-19.49% 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, also with no annual fee:

  • The Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus gives you 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limit. You can also earn 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. It has no foreign transaction fees. There's also a sign-up bonus.

  • The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card also pays 1.5% cash back with no limit. Its sign-up bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 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 - $500 Cash Bonus has no such fees.

For other options, see our page of best 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.

on Chase's website

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

Frequently asked questions
What are the rewards on the Chase Ink Cash credit card?

This card earns 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; and 1% cash back on all other spending.

Should I get this card or the Chase Ink Unlimited?

The two cards have comparable sign-up bonuses, and neither has an annual fee. The primary difference is in how you earn rewards. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers 5% cash back on office supplies and telecom services and 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, up to a limit; you earn 1% on everything else. The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card earns 1.5% cash back on all spending.

What credit score do you need for the Chase Ink Cash?

You’ll need at least good credit to qualify for the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. Generally speaking, “good credit” is defined as a score of at least 690. But a credit score alone isn’t enough to qualify for any credit card. Issuers take into account your income, existing debts and other information.

Can I apply for Chase Ink Cash without a business?

Applying for a small-business credit card can make sense for formal businesses or anyone who is self-employed. That includes freelancing, gig work or a side hustle. You don't need to be incorporated or have a formal business structure, like an LLC or partnership. Learn more about who can apply for a business credit card.

Which Chase Ink card is the best choice?

It depends on how you spend money with your business and whether you’re willing to pay an annual fee. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card are cash-back cards with no annual fee and different rewards structures. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is more of a travel card. It earns points, has an annual fee of $95 and includes more benefits. See our comparison article.

What is the annual fee on the Chase Ink Cash?

The annual fee is $0.

Is the Chase Ink Cash a Visa or Mastercard?

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is a Visa.