I’ve been writing about credit cards since 2008, and in that time I’ve looked at hundreds, if not thousands of different cards. But I also use travel rewards credit cards to earn a dozen or more free trips each year, and small business credit cards are a key part of my award travel strategy.
When it comes to travel rewards, I’d argue that Chase is the leading credit card issuer. It offers a broad variety of cards that help consumers earn points through its Ultimate Rewards program. And Chase keeps adding to its portfolio of small business cards that you can use to increase the rewards you earn. Chase currently offers three small business credit cards that earn points in the Ultimate Rewards program, and each is uniquely valuable. Let’s take a look at all three of them, and then find out which one (or more) is right for you.
Table of Contents
*Ready to apply? Click the links below to begin a secure application process directly with Chase.
- Best for Earning Bonus Rewards: Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
- Best for Flat-Rate Earnings: Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
- Best for Travel Benefits: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
1. Best for Earning Cash Back: Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
What makes the Ink Business Cash special is how many points you can earn from spending.
Rewards Rate: You earn an amazing 5% cash back on your first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. That can add up to 125,000 points per account year. It also offers you 2% cash back on your first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
Sign-Up Bonus: This card offers you $500 in cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. The $500 bonus comes in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
Travel Benefits: The reward points you earn from this card are worth one cent each as cash back or other options, but potentially much more if you also have another Ultimate Rewards card that has an annual fee. If you have a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Reserve (see below), then you can also transfer your rewards to miles with 10 airline partners or points with three hotel programs. And when you can redeem their points and miles for expensive flights or hotel reservations, they can be worth far more than a penny each.
Other travel benefits include an auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance and roadside dispatch.
Why We Like This Card. The Chase Ink Business Cash is legendary for its offer of 5% cash back for purchases at office supply stores and on many telecommunications services, with no annual fee. And while 5% cash back sounds great, these rewards can be much more valuable when paired with another Chase credit card that allows transfers to airline miles or hotel points.
Who Should Use this Card? This an incredibly good card for anyone who owns a small business and makes frequent purchases at office supply stores, which can include furniture, electronics, school supplies, gift cards and printing services. It’s also a great card to use when paying for your internet service, phone bill or television service. It might not seem like much, but earning 5x rewards on these bills every month will add up to serious rewards very quickly. You earn one point per dollar spent elsewhere.
Annual Fee: $0
2. Best for Flat-Rate Earnings: Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
The Ink Business Unlimited is among our favorite business cards because its generous flat-rate rewards structure allows small business owners the ability to earn a little bit extra for all of their spending.
Rewards Rate: This card offers 1.5 cents (as 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points) per dollar spent on all purchases, with no limits. So all of your purchases that don’t qualify for another bonus will earn 50% more than they would have.
Sign-Up Bonus: This card offers you $500 in cash back in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening.
Travel Benefits: Like the Ink Business Cash, this card also doesn’t allow point transfers by itself, but the points can be combined with rewards from other Chase accounts that do allow transfers. It also has travel benefits including an auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance and roadside dispatch.
Why We Like This Card: Here’s a card that you can use to earn a strong rate of return on all of your business purchases, with no annual fee. Like the Ink Cash, it’s technically a cash back card, but the rewards can be transferred to travel partners when you have another qualifying Chase card that offers this feature.
Who Should Use this Card? This is a perfect card for those who aren’t interested in bonus categories, or for those who are, but want a separate card just for purchases that don’t qualify for a bonus.
Annual Fee: $0
3. Best for Travel Rewards: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred is a premium small business rewards card that has a $95 annual fee, but you’ll probably find it well worth it.
Rewards Rate: You can earn 3x points on your first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines on each account’s anniversary year.
Sign-Up Bonus: Here’s your chance to earn a whopping 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on your card within three months of account opening.
Travel Benefits: Unlike the other two Ink Business cards, you can use this card to transfer your rewards directly to airline miles and hotel points. Travelers may also like this card’s cell phone protection policy that will cover up to $600 per claim.
Why We Like This Card: The rewards you earn from this card can be transferred to 10 different airline partners including United, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore and British Airways, as well as hotel partners Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott.
Who Should Use this Card? In my experience, I’ve found that those who own internet-based businesses and spend heavily on advertising are the ones that can really earn the most rewards from this card.
Annual Fee: $95
How To Choose the Best Chase Ink Business Card for Your Needs
If you’re going to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, then you need to have at least one card that allows you to transfer them to airline miles or hotel points. So if you already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve or an Ink Business Preferred, you’ll be able to get all of the benefits of the Ink Business Cash. If you don’t, then the Ink Business Unlimited should be where you start. You’ll get the best sign-up bonus, and you’ll be able to immediately transfer your rewards to airline miles or hotel points. This card is also perfect for those who will spend heavily in the 3x earning categories of travel, shipping, telecommunications and online advertising.
Those who spend heavily at office supply stores and on telecommunication services won’t be able to beat the Ink Business Cash card’s 5x offer. Otherwise, small business owners can consider the Business Unlimited with the opportunity to simply earn 1.5x on all purchases, with no limits. Alternatively, it can make sense to get the Ink Business Unlimited to complement another card, and use it for purchases that won’t qualify for a bonus. That’s always been my strategy.
Bottom Line: Ink Business Credit Cards Review
You can’t go wrong with any of these three cards, but there’s a way to make sure you get it right. First, be sure to have a card that allows point transfers, whether or not it’s an Ink card. But then, choose the card or cards that will offer you the most valuable rewards for your small business spending. By playing your cards correctly, you’ll earn far more rewards than you might have thought possible.
Popular Business Credit Cards
Not convinced that Chase’s suite of business cards is right for you? We get it. Choosing a credit card that is right for your business can be challenging. Which is why Slickdeals ranks its favorite business credit cards each month of the year. Visit our guide for more detailed information or review the cards in the table below to compare rewards rates, sign-up bonuses, benefits and annual fees.