Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Keri Stooksbury
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I’ve had the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card in my wallet for more than a decade, and it’s still a vital part of how I earn travel rewards. It was also the first business card I opened in 2012 to assist me in separating my personal expenses from those of my sole proprietorship “side hustle” as a certified real estate agent.
Here are the reasons why the Ink Business Cash card is so popular among points enthusiasts and why it will continue to be a key component of my annual strategy to earn tens of thousands of dollars in travel rewards.
Only a few cards are available that offer 5% cash-back on specific spending categories, and it’s even rarer to find cards with no annual fee that provide this high earning rate. The Ink Business Cash card is one of those cards.
The Ink Business Cash card is one of several highly regarded Chase business card options available on the market. Its current welcome offer adds further value to this already impressive card.
The welcome bonus for this business credit card is advertised as cash-back, but it is actually disbursed in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These points can be redeemed for cash-back, purchases through the Chase travel portal, gift cards, and other options.
If you have a premium Chase credit card such as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can combine the points you earn from your Ink Business Cash card with these cards.
The significant welcome offer is only the cherry on top of the card’s long-term value due to its elevated earning rates and lack of an annual fee.
The Ink Business Cash card plays a crucial role in one of my most important points-earning strategies, referred to as the Chase Trifecta. This strategy involves using a combination of 3 popular Chase credit cards. These cards have bonus categories that complement each other, earning you substantial amounts of points.
One combination of cards that I use for my Chase Trifecta includes the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, and the Ink Business Cash card. These cards all have various bonus categories and work well together to allow you to earn extra points in practically every popular spending category.
For example, I get 3x points at restaurants, including delivery and takeout, and 2x points on travel purchases with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Then, I utilize my Freedom Flex card for 5% cash-back on rotating quarterly bonus categories (up to $1,500 each quarter; activation required) on common everyday spending categories such as gas stations, Amazon.com, and grocery stores. Finally, with my Ink Business Cash card, I earn 5% cash-back at office supply stores and on my cell phone, internet, and cable TV services.
With these 3 cards, I can move all the points I earn with the Ink Business Cash card and the Freedom Flex card to my Chase Sapphire Preferred card account and redeem them for travel. The best part is that I only pay 1 annual fee total (for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card) for a strong earning plan across 3 cards.
The Ink Business Cash card functions as a cash-back card by itself. However, you can turn your cash-back into points if you possess an Ultimate Rewards card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card. This allows you to transfer all your rewards to any of Chase’s hotel and airline partners.
If I don’t want to transfer my points to a transfer partner (which I usually do since that’s how I get the most value out of my points), I can book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Points can be redeemed at a rate of 1.25 cents each with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or 1.5 cents each with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
As a World of Hyatt Globalist member, my preferred method of redeeming Ultimate Rewards points is by transferring them to the World of Hyatt program for free hotel stays. However, I also find it beneficial to occasionally transfer points to airlines like United, Southwest, and British Airways, as they are valuable transfer partners. I appreciate the fact that I can earn cash-back and convert it into valuable travel rewards, especially when I combine it with other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards.Hot Tip:
You can also redeem Ultimate Rewards points via Pay Yourself Back, statement credits, gift cards, charitable donations, and merchandise. However, the most lucrative redemptions are available when transferring points to one of Chase’s transfer partners, which is why these points are highly valuable. Ultimate Rewards points transfer to many hotel and airline programs at a 1:1 ratio.
Earning 5% cash-back on your monthly bills has never been more simple. The Ink Business Cash card is a “set-it-and-forget card” for me when it comes to paying my monthly bills for T-Mobile, Xfinity, and even YouTube TV (while it codes as streaming services, it still earns 5% cash-back). This is because the card earns 5% cash-back on all of these monthly expenses.
I spend around $350 monthly on these expenditures, which amounts to about $4,200 per year. According to our valuations, this translates to 21,000 points annually, worth $210 in cash or $420 towards travel. For a card without an annual fee, this is really outstanding.Hot Tip:
Dig a bit deeper into our guide on the perks and benefits of the Ink Business Cash card!
In addition to earning 5% cash-back (which can be converted to 5x points) on several monthly bills, such as my cell phone and internet bills, the Ink Business Cash card also earns 5% cash-back at office supply stores (on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services combined each account anniversary year).
Despite the fact that I don’t shop frequently at office supply stores like Staples or Office Depot, whenever I’m near one and need office supplies, I stop in to purchase these items and some gift cards.
Because office supply stores sell gift cards from many third-party merchants, including Amazon, Home Depot, and Airbnb (among others), I can effectively earn 5x per dollar on all my purchases with the merchants I shop with by purchasing gift cards.
While there are cards with higher earning rates on purchases at gas stations and restaurants, it’s nice to know that the Ink Business Cash card earns a respectable 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent each account anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants combined.
If you have the Freedom Flex card and gas purchases aren’t part of its quarterly bonus categories, you could do worse than using the Ink Business Cash card to pay at the pump.
And while I’ll continue to pay for meals out with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card (3x points per dollar) or American Express® Gold Card (4x points per dollar), it’s good to know that the Ink Business Cash card still earns a reasonable 2% cash-back when eating out.
Due to its excellent earning rates on some of the most frequent monthly expenses, such as phone, internet, and cable bills, and the lack of an annual fee, the Ink Business Cash card is one of my favorite travel rewards cards.
The card continues to be the foundation of my Chase Trifecta strategy, which allows me to accumulate valuable travel rewards. I intend to keep using the Ink Business Cash card to earn hundreds of dollars towards travel for years to come.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
No, the Ink Business Cash card does not have an annual fee.
When redeemed for cash and gift cards, each point is worth 1 cent each, meaning 100 points equals $1 in redemption value. If you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card and transfer your cash-back from the Ink Business Cash card to one of these cards, you can redeem your points on the Ultimate Rewards website for 1.25 cents each or 1.5 cents each towards travel. You may be able to do even better by transferring your points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners for substantial value.
You need a business to qualify for the Ink Business Cash card. However, Chase has a broad definition of what a qualifying business is. So while you may not need an LLC or established company, you will need to be producing income in selling goods or providing a service to be considered a business owner with Chase.
Cardholders can earn 5% cash-back (which can be converted to travel rewards with an Ultimate Rewards-earning card) on the first $25,000 spent each account anniversary year on combined purchases in the following categories: office supply stores and internet, cable, and phone services.
While approval is not guaranteed, generally, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score of 700 or higher. This is because Chase considers your credit score when evaluating applications for the Ink Business Cash card. Check out our guide to the credit score requirements for the Ink Business Cash card.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.