Chase Ink Business Cash Card Review: $500 Cash Bonus, 5% Back Categories, No Annual Fee

inkcash2018Chase has freshened up their line-up of small business credit cards. The Ink Business Cash Card is offering a $500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. The special feature of this card is are 5%/2% bonus categories targeted towards small business expenses. Here are the details:

  • $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
  • 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • No annual fee.

Ultimate Rewards points. The cash sign-up bonus actually comes in the form of Ultimate Rewards points at 1 point = 1 cent in cash. 50,000 points = $500 cash. If you have one of the other annual fee cards that offer a boost in value like the Ink Business Preferred, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer your points between Ultimate Rewards accounts and redeem using that other card’s 25% travel bonus. This can increase the value of your points.

You could think of this card as the small business version of the Chase Freedom card.

Leveraging the 5% back bonus categories. Putting all of your small business cell phone, landline, and internet bills on the card and getting 5% back is pretty handy. For example, even just $200 a month x 12 months x 5% back is $120 back a year without changing your spending habits. Now let’s take the office supply store category and the fact that you can buy gifts cards to Amazon.com and other retailers at such office supply stores like Staples and OfficeMax… now you can effectively discount many of your other purchasing needs by 5% as well. Putting those purchases on such gift cards upfront can also help you meet the spending requirement for the bonus.

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

Bottom line. This Chase small business card has a large sign-up bonus and ongoing features of 5X/2X categories with no annual fee. If you have certain other Chase credit cards, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points over to those cards and increase your value. Be sure to compare with other Chase small business cards – Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Unlimited.

Comments

  1. It says there’s a $95 annual fee at the link you posted. Does it get waived indefinitely?

  2. how do you combine points from a personal account such as a the Chase Freedom with the points in the Ink Plus(business)? I was not able to add the Ink Plus to my personal profile at chase.com; needed to create a different profile for the Ink.

    • I believe you must just transfer them between the separate accounts. You are allowed to transfer points for free and instantly between your own accounts, and also your spouse or domestic partner. From their site:

      “Can I combine the points I earn from other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards?

      Yes, you can move points, but only to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, your spouse or domestic partner, as applicable.”

  3. How do you compare Ink cash card with the SPG Amex business card ? If you were to pick between these two, what would you keep ?

    • For a keeper card, it depends on your spending levels and your spending patterns. Ink Cash has no annual fee and 5% back on office supply stores and cell/landline/internet + 2% on gas and restaurants. SPG AmEx Biz has a $95 annual fee but I would value an SPG point definitely higher than 1 cent per point. So big spending amount across many categories, then SPG AmEx Biz wins. Smaller spending with a lot of office supply stuff (furniture, paper, printers, printer ink) or even just small spending on the 2% categories then the Ink Cash would win out.

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