Chase Ink: Best Business Cards?

Credit Cards Apr 17, 2021

The Chase Ink family of cards have some of the best signup bonuses, earning categories, and lowest annual fees on the market right now. Combined, you can earn up to 250,000 points (worth at least $3750) on the signup bonus alone!

However, these bonuses come with hefty spend requirements (more on that later), so be sure to check out this post if you need help finding ways to meet the spend requirements. Also consider using services like Plastiq to pay any bill with a credit card, especially if you have large spend such as rent, tuition, or taxes coming up!

Chase Ink Business Cards

Before diving into the specifics, let's discuss who is actually eligible...

Who Is Eligible?

The short answer is - most people with a SSN who are under 5/24* are actually eligible! Let me explain...

Many people think that business cards are only for those with traditional, established businesses with an EIN. However, the actual definition of a "business" is actually very broad, including many side-hustles like YouTube, running a blog, or dog-sitting. If this sounds like something you qualify for, you can actually apply as a sole proprietor using your SSN number! Major banks like Chase and Amex allow sole proprietors to apply using their SSN and legal name as the business entity. Here are just some examples:

  • Baby-sitting
  • Dog-sitting
  • Selling items online such as on Free/for Sale, Ebay
  • Driving for Uber / Lyft / Instacart etc.
  • Side hustle like YouTube, photography, or personal blog
  • Other entrepreneurial activity you are engaged with where you are the business

The definition is pretty open, and banks in most circumstances don't really care as long as you are being honest. Note that lying on your application is considered credit fraud, so fill everything out truthfully! It is perfectly OK to put $0 in revenue if that is indeed the reality. Even if you've been operating this side hustle for a couple of years and only earn a few hundred in annual revenue, just fill it in honestly and chances are you will be approved!

*5/24 = You have opened less than 5 credit cards across all banks in the last 24 months. If you are over, you will be instantly denied any Chase cards (including business cards). However, if you are under 5/24, getting any business cards will NOT count towards this number.


The Cards

There are 3 cards in the Chase Ink Business family:

As with all Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) earning cards, the cashback generated on these cards can be combined into a higher-end card to be redeemed at higher value, or transferred to airline and hotel partners. Check out this article on the best way to earn and redeem Chase points.

All these cards also come with benefits such as extended warranty, purchase protection, rental insurance, etc.

I personally got all 3 Ink cards a couple years ago when the bonus (and spend requirements) were lower. I'll be providing the current offers below:

Ink Business Unlimited

Sign-Up Bonus: 75,000 UR points / $750 cashback after spending $7,500 in 3 months

Annual Fee: $0

Bonus Categories:

  • 1.5% on everything

Review:

This is essentially the business version of the Freedom Unlimited (review) card, just with higher bonus and higher spend requirements. If you already have the Unlimited, the real benefits of this card is the signup bonus and if you want to keep your personal and business transactions separate.

Ink Business Cash

Sign-Up Bonus: 75,000 UR points / $750 cashback after spending $7,500 in 3 months

Annual Fee: $0

Bonus Categories:

  • 5% at office supply stores
  • 5% on internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2% on gas
  • 2% on restaurants
  • 1% on everything else

Review:

One of my all-time favorite cards! The earning categories are incredibly unique and useful.

The "internet, cable and phone services" category is particularly useful to me. I earn 5x on my T-Mobile family phone plan and internet with AT&T! This alone translates to almost 30,000 UR pts (worth $450+) earnings every year - for $0 annual fee!

In addition, the 5x on office supply stores such as Staples is also very useful. I pick up a variety of gift cards (such as from Doordash, Amazon, and REI) to effectively get 5x back (~7.5% return) on my spending at these merchants! Be warned though that this technique should not be used excessively (i.e. running thousands of dollars on gift cards every month), but normal day-to-day spend will be just fine.

Ink Business Preferred

Sign-Up Bonus: 100,000 UR points / $1,000 cashback after spending $15,000 in 3 months

Annual Fee: $95

Bonus Categories:

  • 3% on shipping
  • 3% on internet, cable, and phone services
  • 3% on advertising with social media sites and search engines
  • 3% on travel
  • 1% on everything else

Review:

This card has the highest sign-up bonus available on any Chase UR card, so if you can meet the spend requirement, definitely get this (even if it is just for the bonus!).

If you have a business that relies on lots of ad spending, this is a great card to earn bonus points on! Unique to this card is also the cell phone protection benefit so that you may be reimbursed if your phone is damaged or stolen.

Furthermore, this card overlaps (and beats) the Chase Sapphire Preferred in many ways. For instance, both have the same $95 annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, ability to redeem points for 25% more value or transfer to partner hotels and airlines. Furthermore, it actually offers better returns on travel (3% vs. 2%). Noticeably missing is the dining category, but if you are a sole proprietor and are OK not separating your expenses, the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited both offer 3% on dining!


Summary

All 3 cards have terrific sign-up bonuses and earning categories, so I highly recommend getting all 3 over time if your spending allows it. With the exception of the Preferred, the other two Ink cards have no annual fees, so are great cards to keep long term! If you have to start with one, I suggest going for the Ink Cash due to its incredibly sizable signup bonus, unique (and useful) earning categories and lack of an annual fee.


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