Business meeting

Chase’s line of Ink business cards have long been revered by credit card churners since they provide some great opportunities to rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards points. So if you want to maximize the points earned on business expenses, the simple answer to the title of this post is – all of them! However, it’s completely understandable that some people like to stick to one card, especially if you are providing cards to employees. Here’s a breakdown of the three Chase Ink business credit cards and why each one may be the right card for you.

Chase Ink Preferred

Chase Ink Preferred

The Chase Ink Preferred has been around the longest and is the only Ink card with an annual fee. For $95 per year the benefits include:

  • Sign-up bonus: 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earning structure:
    • 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases per account anniversary year:
      • Travel
      • Shipping purchases
      • Internet, cable, and phone services
      • Advertising through social media or search engines
    • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redemption value: Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through the Chase travel portal. Ability to transfer to Chase’s travel partners.
  • Other benefits:
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance (up to $5,000 per trip)
    • Roadside dispatch and auto rental collision damage waiver
    • Cell phone protection (up to $600 per claim, 3 claims per year with a $100 deductible per claim)
    • Purchase protection (covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account)
  • Employee cards: No additional cost

Verdict: If a majority of your business expenses fall within the categories outlined above, this card is a good choice. The main reason this card is superior to the no fee versions is the ability to transfer Chase points to travel partners. This ability might be redundant if you have Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred. For those who don’t, consider getting the Chase Ink Preferred since the true value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is the ability to transfer them.

Chase Ink Cash

ink cash

Chase Ink Cash is still somewhat of a new card. With no annual fee, it’s an intriguing option if the spending categories work for you. Benefits include:

  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earning structure:
    • 5x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases per account anniversary year:
      • Office supply stores
      • Internet, cable, and phone services
    • 2x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases per account anniversary year:
      • Gas stations
      • Restaurants
    • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redemption value: Points are worth their face value when redeemed through the Chase travel portal. You cannot transfer points to Chase’s travel partners unless you have Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Sapphire Preferred and you transfer your points into one of these accounts.
  • Other benefits:
    • Roadside dispatch and auto rental collision damage waiver
    • Purchase protection (covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account)
  • Employee cards: No additional cost

Verdict: As you can see, the benefits are definitely paired down compared to the Chase Ink Preferred. The spending categories on this card are great for a small business, but the $25,000 cap per category does not make this card as worthwhile for larger businesses. While this card doesn’t earn points for travel purchases, if your goal is travel rewards, make sure you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Reserve, or Chase Ink Preferred or else your redemption options are limited. Otherwise, this is effectively a cashback card.

Chase Ink Unlimited

Chase Ink Unlimited

Chase Ink Unlimited is very similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited. This no annual fee card is great if you don’t like being tied down to specific categories for earning points. Benefits include:

  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earning structure: 1.5x points on all other purchases
  • Redemption value: Points are worth their face value when redeemed through the Chase travel portal. You cannot transfer points to Chase’s travel partners unless you have Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Sapphire Preferred and you transfer your points into one of these accounts.
  • Other benefits:
    • Roadside dispatch and auto rental collision damage waiver
    • Purchase protection (covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account)
  • Employee cards: No additional cost

Verdict: Like with the Chase Ink Cash, the benefits are minimal. If you are looking for a no annual fee business card and you run a larger business, this might be a better option for you since there are no spending caps on earning 1.5x points. Again, if your goal is travel rewards, make sure you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Reserve, or Chase Ink Preferred or else this is effectively a cashback card.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Ink Preferred, Cash, and Unlimited complement one another in terms of earning structure. Like with my personal spending where I use a combination of Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Chase Sapphire Reserve, I think it makes sense to have all three to maximize points earned. However, if you look at it from the perspective of which of the three cards would I give an employee (as it’s not reasonable to ask them to charge on three cards), you will need to evaluate the spending categories and the size of your business to see which will provide maximum rewards. As a credit card churner, I have to add this last part. Even if you only want to use one card for everyday spending, consider getting all three at some point to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses!

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