Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Juan Ruiz
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As a small business, it’s prudent to look for ways to operate efficiently and leverage any opportunity to bring more value to your bottom line.
A business rewards credit card can help you accomplish these objectives by keeping your business and personal expenses separate and letting you utilize cash-back, points, or miles to offset bottom-line costs.
If you’re looking for a Chase business credit card that compliments and supports your small business operation, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card are especially good choices since they may reward many of the business-related purchases you’re currently making.
But which one is best for your business? Let’s find out now.
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|Top Redemption Options||
|Top Travel Benefits & Protections||
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|Annual Fees & Authorized Users||
A business credit card can help with organizing your purchases, tracking expenditures by employees, and even saving you money.
There are several reasons a prudent business owner needs a dedicated business credit card:
You don’t have to run a large operation to qualify for a business credit card. You can apply for a business credit card even if you have a small side business, such as selling on eBay or umpiring baseball part-time.
Some states require you to have a business license, and it’s always good to register your business if it’s required. Having a DBA (Doing Business As) or an LLC (Limited Liability Company) can add credibility and help improve your chances of getting approved for a business credit card.
Both of our featured cards offer a welcome bonus that can be earned after meeting initial minimum spending requirements.
While welcome bonuses may change, let’s take a look at what you can expect with each card:
These are cash-back cards, but the rewards are earned as Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for 1 cent per point for cash-back or travel via the Chase travel portal. If you have a premium Chase credit card, you can transfer your points to that card and redeem them for up to 1.5 cents per point and utilize hotel and airline partners.
While either of these Chase business credit cards could make a positive contribution to your small business operation, one card may be better suited to the specific spending patterns of your business.
We’ll compare their differences in bonus earning categories and spending limits shortly, but first, let’s take a look at the cards’ similarities.
Both cards earn generous cash-back welcome bonuses for minimum initial spending in the first 3 months after card approval. You’ll also have ongoing earnings of valuable Ultimate Rewards Points that can be redeemed for cash-back, travel, merchandise, and more. Further, both cards are 2 of the best 0 apr business credit cards.
Neither card charges an annual fee, so that’s a positive — but both cards charge foreign transaction fees of 3%.
Both cards provide free employee cards, so you can monitor those expenses and earn rewards on every purchase your business makes.
With all the great attributes these cards have in common, it’s their earning differences that will determine which is the better business credit card for you.
Let’s compare rewards-earning categories on each of these cards and look at how the mix of your business expenses determines your earnings on each of these cards.
At first glance, we see that the Ink Business Cash card has 5% and 2% cash-back categories (which are capped on the first $25,000 spent annually), compared to the Ink Business Unlimited card’s flat 1.5% on every purchase.
You might jump at the chance to earn 5% or 2% cash-back, but let’s dig deeper and see if that’s the right decision for the specific mix of your business spending.
If your business spends a lot on travel, advertising, and shipping, the Ink Business Unlimited card may be better suited to your business spending priorities.
Conversely, if your business spends a lot on office supplies, internet/cable/phone, gas, and restaurants, you could fare better with the Ink Business Cash card.
|Business Spending Category||Ink Business Cash Card||Ink Business Unlimited Card|
|Travel Booked Through Chase Ultimate Rewards||5% cash-back||5% cash-back|
|Lyft (Through March 31, 2025)||5% cash-back||5% cash-back|
|Travel||1% cash-back||1.5% cash-back|
|Restaurants||2% cash-back||1.5% cash-back|
|Office Supplies||5% cash-back||1.5% cash-back|
|Internet Service/Cable/Phone||5% cash-back||1.5% cash-back|
|Gas Stations||2% cash-back||1.5% cash-back|
|Advertising on Social Media/Search Engines||1% cash-back||1.5% cash-back|
|Shipping||1% cash-back||1.5% cash-back|
|All Other Purchases||1% cash-back||1.5% cash-back|
Remember that the Ink Business Cash card’s bonus earning is capped to the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases on 5% categories, as well as the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases on 2% categories.
It’s a clear positive that the Ink Business Cash card has 5% and 2% earning categories, but each of these categories has a $25,000 limit per account year. Above that amount, you’ll only earn 1% cash-back.
The Ink Business Unlimited card offers unlimited 1.5% earnings.
A business that requires a lot of travel, gas, and restaurant spending may exceed the $25,000 annual limit on the 2% categories of the Ink Business Cash card, while they could earn 1.5% on every purchase with the Ink Business Unlimited card. You’ll also only earn 1% on the Ink Business Cash card for travel-related expenses.
Here’s an example of heavy spending in these categories that shows how earnings are affected by the mix:
|Expenses||Ink Business Cash Card||Ink Business Unlimited Card|
|$40,000 spent on travel||$400 (1% of $40,000)||$600 (1.5% of $40,000)|
|$15,000 on restaurants + $15,000 gas||$500 (2% of first $25,000)|
$50 (1% of $5,000)
|$450 (1.5% of $30,000)|
Both the Ink Business Cash card and the Ink Business Unlimited card earn valuable Ultimate Rewards Points that can be used as cash-back or redeemed for travel, purchases on Amazon, gift cards, and statement credits.
Either card can deliver value to your bottom line by redeeming your points for cash-back at the rate of 1 cent per point. If earning rewards to use for travel is your priority, however, the best option is to pair one of these cards with a Chase premium card and receive up to 50% more value.
Let’s take a look at how the value of your Ultimate Rewards Points differs by card when redeeming for travel:
|Chase Credit Card||Value of Ultimate Rewards Points When Redeemed for Cash-back||
Value of Ultimate Rewards Points When Redeemed for Travel
|Ink Business Cash card||1 cent per point||1 cent per point|
|Ink Business Unlimited card|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||1.25 cents per point|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||1.50 cents per point|
Hot Tip: Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Ink Business Cash card and the Ink Business Unlimited card increase in value when transferred to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. The points can then be redeemed for travel for up to 1.5 cents per point versus 1.0. Transferring your Ultimate Rewards points also allows you to transfer points to the Chase airline and hotel partners for potential added value.
Helping you organize your business expenses and earning rewards on your purchases are huge benefits of having a business credit card. But there are additional protections and card features that can be equally beneficial.
Travel benefits and protections on the Ink Business Cash card and Ink Business Unlimited card are identical and include the following:
Extended Warranty — Receive an additional year of warranty coverage on U.S. manufacturer’s repair warranties of 3 years or less. You must charge some portion of the item’s purchase price to your card.
Purchase Protection — Your qualifying purchase made with your credit card receives 120 days of coverage against damage or theft, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
Neither card charges an annual fee, and both cards charge foreign transaction fees. The real bottom-line difference in these business credit cards is the mix of bonus spending categories and limits on some of those categories. If your business spends a lot on travel, advertising, and shipping, the Ink Business Unlimited Card might deliver better earnings.
However, if your business spends a lot on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services, restaurants, and gas (and doesn’t exceed $25,000 in each bonus earnings category), the Ink Business Cash card will be the better choice.
You can’t go wrong with either business credit card, and you may even want both of these cards to make sure you earn top rewards on every purchase.
Just 1 more recommendation: think about pairing these cards with a premium Chase credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card to maximize the value of all those Ultimate Rewards Points you’ll be earning.
Before applying for any Chase credit card, you’ll want to review Chase’s 5/24 rule. This rule concerns how many credit cards (from any issuer) Chase allows you to have opened in the past 24 months before they will not approve you for a new credit card.
On Chase credit cards, rewards are first earned as points on all of the purchases you make on your Chase credit card. These points can be redeemed for cash-back at the rate of 1 cent each (hence the term “cash-back”).
The points earned on Chase credit cards are Ultimate Rewards Points, and they accumulate in your rewards account until you choose to redeem them.
A 0% APR credit card is a normal credit card that offers a special introductory period when no interest is charged on purchases made and/or on balances transferred from other credit cards.
Instead of being charged interest when you carry an ongoing balance month to month, no interest is charged for the first 12 months after card approval.
If you have high-interest credit card balances and your new card is a 0% APR credit card, you can transfer those balances and take 12 months to repay the debt without interest.
It’s important to pay off any balances prior to the 12 month period ending, or you will be charged significant interest. See details above for the specific offers on the cards we discussed here.
When you make purchases on your credit card, you earn Ultimate Rewards Points that can be redeemed for cash-back, gift cards, statement credits, or travel.
To redeem for travel, you would sign in to your Chase online account and click the Ultimate Rewards banner. You will be taken to the Ultimate Rewards site, where you can book travel using your points at the rate of 1 cent per point in value.
You can receive even greater value (up to 1.5 cents per point), if you have a Chase premium Ultimate Rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
The best business credit card for a small business is one that matches your business spending. Since each of these cards has different bonus spending categories, you’ll want to select the card that aligns with your greatest expenses.
For example, if your business spends a lot on travel, the Ink Business Unlimited card may work well for you. If you spend a significant amount on office supplies, internet, and phone services, you may fare better with the Ink Business Cash card.
You’ll need to estimate your annual expenses in each category and select a business credit card that rewards those categories.
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