The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card from Chase is a solid option for business owners or executives who don’t care to fuss with more complex rewards programs. It offers a flat percentage of cash back on all business spending with no tiers for select categories. Chase is the leading issuer of cards globally, with more than $730 billion in purchases made in 2018. While you won’t have to deal with spending caps in revolving categories, you can find some more optimal rewards programs with other cards, especially within the Chase family itself. Rates compare favorably to those of most other business cards, but you’ll need top-tier credit scores to get rates in the mid-teens. All of the typical purchase and anti-fraud protections come with the card, and redeeming rewards within the Chase Ultimate Rewards program will increase the value of your accumulated points.
The Essentials of the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
- APR: 14.74% – 20.74% variable
- Annual fee: $0
- Primary feature: 1.5% cash back on all business spending with cash back that does not expire
- Introductory bonus offer: $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
What’s Interesting about the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
In the digital age, fraud and the unauthorized use of credit cards have become more commonplace. As a business owner, the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card affords you some peace of mind while you pursue a daily regimen of sales, operations, and customer relationships. You’ll be immediately notified by text or email of any perceived shady purchasing activity. This is important when hackers attempt to steal credit card info, but it’s equally important from an internal standpoint. Much fraudulent use of credit cards is initiated from within companies. So, if you issue multiple cards to employees, you’ll be able to monitor activity form authorized users as well.
Should you incur unauthorized expenses, the card features zero-liability protection. This means that you will not be held responsible for any purchase amounts that may have been racked up without your approval. Having this feature prevents you from devoting valuable time and resources to contesting and reversing unauthorized charges made by parties outside of your organization.
Things to Consider
The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card might work well for small business or one-man shops that use the card for minimal purchases on airfare or recurring expenses such as utilities and marketing or advertising campaigns. However, for larger businesses or those that spend heavily on office supplies, Internet, phone, and cable services, much larger cash-back rewards can be garnered with other cards. The 1.5% cash-back bonus on all purchases isn’t trivial, but many cards offer higher comprehensive rewards across the board. Also, if you don’t mind devoting attention to where you’re spending, some cards give you double or triple the cash-back rewards on certain spending categories. Finally, should your business take you to foreign destinations, you’ll pay a 3% transaction fee on all international purchases.
How to Get the Most from this Card
The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card has an easily attainable welcome bonus for businesses of any size. Spend $3,000 in the first three months of account opening and you’ll receive a welcome bonus of $500 cash back. With no annual fee to eat into it, that’s a nice reward to reap right out of the gate.
If you’re just starting up and need to spend money on office equipment, signage or marketing materials, the card gives you an introductory rate of 0% for 12 months on all purchases. After that, there is an APR of 14.74% – 20.74% variable. Just be sure to pay off these charges within the intro period because carrying a balance could get costly — especially if your credit score places you at the top end of the annual percentage rate (APR) range.
You could optimize your cash-back rewards by using the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card alongside other cards like the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. You can spend a combined $25,000 on 5% cash-back categories that include phone and cable services, and then receive 2% cash back for gas and restaurant expenditures. Since all other purchases outside of those categories earn 1% back with the Business Cash℠ card, using the Business Unlimited℠ card to get 1.5% back is a potent one-two punch.
If you choose to redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, purchase on travel or hotels could be up to 25% more. So, the $500 cash back you earn as a welcome bonus would be worth $625 cash back when applied to a trip booked through the platform.
Other Card Options that Might Interest You
If a simple cash-back card is what you desire, you may want to look at the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. While it does demand an annual fee of $95 (waived in the first year), all purchases regardless of category are credited with 2% cash back. To offset the annual fee, you’d merely need to spend about $20,000 annually, earning $400 cash back with the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card as opposed to $300 with the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card. It comes with a flat APR of 18.49% variable, which is a couple of points below the highest rate for the Ink Business Cash℠ card.
Staying within the Chase family of cards allows you to use two cards to maximize your rewards. Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers 80,000 points or $800 after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. Thereafter, you can earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year on things like travel, shipping and certain advertising outlets. Every purchase outside of these categories earn 1% cash back, so this would be an ideal card to pair with the Ink Business Unlimited℠ card to optimize your rewards program.
The Final Word
For small businesses and sole proprietorships that just want a basic cash-back card for minimal purchases, the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card fits the mold. There’s no need to pay attention to where you’re spending your dollars, and the 1.5% cash-back reward is appealing. However, if you don’t mind paying an annual fee or carrying two cards, you could get a lot more for your money when traveling or making significant purchases.