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Chase Ink Business Cash vs. Preferred vs. Unlimited: Which credit card is best for you?

Chase's Ink Business cards are three of the top credit cards available. We compare them to help you decide which one is right for your business.

As a small business owner, you want a credit card that will help you manage your cash flow and maximize rewards for purchases you're already making. Chase offers three of the top business credit cards that fit that criteria.

The Chase Ink Business suite of credit cards offers rewards on your spending and the ability to redeem your rewards for cash, gift cards, travel, and more. But each of the three cards -- Chase Ink Business Unlimited, Chase Ink Business Cash, and Chase Ink Business Preferred -- offers unique benefits and higher rewards in certain spending categories.

We've made it easier to help you decide which Chase Ink Business card is right for your business. Below, you'll learn the pros and cons of each card -- and even how to maximize the benefits by pairing two or more of the cards together.

Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
APR13.49% to 19.49% Variable
Recommended Credit Good, Excellent
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 Months
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Generous new cardmember bonus
  • 1.5% cashback in all categories
  • Pairs with Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

Cons:

  • No bonus categories
  • Foreign transaction fee
Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
APR13.49% - 19.49% Variable
Recommended Credit Good, Excellent
Reward Rates
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Generous new cardmember bonus
  • High rewards in certain spending categories
  • Pairs with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards

Cons:

  • Annual cap on rewards for bonus categories
  • Minimum rewards in non-bonus categories
  • Foreign transaction fees
Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
APR16.24% to 21.24% Variable
Recommended Credit Good, Excellent
Reward Rates
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
Annual Fee$95
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

Pros:

  • Generous new cardmember bonus
  • High rewards in certain spending categories
  • 1.25x reward value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons:

  • Annual cap on rewards for bonus categories
  • Minimum rewards in non-bonus categories
  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory APR

Annual fees and APR compared

Neither the Unlimited card nor the Cash card requires an annual fee, making them great options for small businesses that don't want to incur an additional expense with their credit card. 

Both the Unlimited and Cash also have an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months, with a variable APR of 13.49% - 19.49% thereafter. And while it's certainly not advisable to carry credit card debt for your business, these cards could present a unique opportunity for businesses planning to finance a large purchase.

The Preferred card charges a $95 annual fee. It also doesn't have a 0% introductory APR, meaning you'll pay interest on any balance you carry from the start. Don't let these factors scare you away, however. 

As long as you pay your card off in full each month, then the fact that the Preferred doesn't have an introductory rate isn't much of a loss. Additionally, if you can take advantage of the larger new cardmember bonus and the increased rewards value, then the $95 annual fee is well worth the cost.

Sign-up bonuses compared

No matter which Chase Ink Business card you choose, you'll enjoy an impressive sign-up bonus. In fact, the new cardmember bonuses Chase offers are some of the highest in the industry for business credit cards.

The Preferred card currently has the highest sign-up bonus. When you spend $15,000 in your first three months after opening the card, you'll earn 100,000 bonus points. You can then redeem those points for either $1,000 in cash or $1,250 towards travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Both the Unlimited and Cash cards offer a sign-up bonus of $750 when you spend $7,500 on purchases in your first three months after opening the card. These bonuses provide an excellent value for a relatively low amount of spending. For any business that isn't sure they can hit $15,000 in the first three months, the $750 bonuses are still a great option.

Earning rewards

One of the biggest differences between the three Chase Ink Business cards is how they earn rewards. Each one offers rewards points for your spending, but the categories and amount of points are slightly different.

The Unlimited card has the most basic rewards structure. You'll get unlimited 1.5% cashback on all of your spending in all categories. Because of the across-the-board reward, this card is perfect for businesses that spend in many different categories or just want one business credit card for all purchases.

The Cash card offers higher cashback in certain spending categories. You'll get 5% cashback for office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services. You'll also get 2% cashback for spending at gas stations and restaurants. But these bonus categories are limited to your first $25,000 in spending each year. For all other spending on the Cash card, including spending in bonus categories above and beyond $25,000, you'll get 1% cashback.

Finally, the Preferred card offers 3x rewards points for each dollar in spending for shipping purchases, social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, phone services, and travel. The 3x points are limited to your first $150,000 in combined spending. For all other purchases, you'll earn 1x points per dollar.

Redeeming rewards

For each of the Chase Ink Business cards, you'll have similar options to redeem your rewards. First, each of the three cards allows you to redeem your points for cashback (either as a credit toward your statement balance or to deposit into your bank account), for purchases through the Apple Ultimate Rewards store, or for gift cards to over 150 of your favorite retailers.

You can also redeem your points for travel, and this is where your redemption options differ. All three cards allow you to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For the Unlimited and Cash cards, however, you can redeem your rewards for travel at the same rate you would for cashback.

The Preferred card is one of Chase's premium cards, meaning when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll actually get 1.25x the value as redeeming for cashback or redeeming points through one of the other cards. For example, if you have $1,000 of points to redeem, you could actually book $1,250 worth of travel through Chase. 

You can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to any of Chase's travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. For example, you could transfer your points to the frequent travel programs at United Airlines, Southwest, Marriott, and more.

It's worth mentioning that if you have multiple Chase credit cards, you can transfer points between them. Because the Preferred card gives you more value for your points, you can transfer points from your Unlimited or Cash cards to your Preferred card to redeem.

Some of Chase's personal credit cards also offer higher value for your points when you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 1.25x the value on your points, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you 1.5x the value. Luckily, Chase allows you to transfer your points between business and personal cards.

Additional card perks compared

Each of the Chase Ink Business cards comes with several additional benefits. Standard perks across all three cards includes:

  • Rental car insurance when you rent a car for business purposes and charge the entire cost to your Chase business card
  • Roadside dispatch if you find yourself experiencing a roadside emergency
  • Purchase protection on new purchases for 120 days up to $50,000 (or $10,000 per claim) for damage or theft
  • Extended warranty protection to extend your manufacturer's warranties for an additional year

In addition to those perks, the Unlimited and Cash cards also include travel and emergency assistance services to connect you with referrals to legal, medical, or other emergency assistance. 

The Preferred card also comes with some additional perks. First, it has cell phone protection for up to $600 per claim in cases of theft or damage, and it covers both you and your employees. Also, you'll get trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect you in case your trip is canceled or cut short because of weather, sickness, or other reasons.

Which Chase Ink Business card is right for you?

With three rewards credit cards to choose from, you might find yourself struggling to decide which one is right for you. Below, you'll find a few rules of thumb to follow to help you decide. But remember, you don't necessarily have to choose just one. Because Chase lets you transfer the rewards between cards, you can enjoy the perks of more than one card and combine your rewards.

If you want a no-frills cashback credit card

The Unlimited card has the most basic rewards structure and ensures you'll earn 1.5% cashback on all your purchases. There are no bonus categories and no spending limits, meaning you can use one credit card and earn decent rewards on all spending.

If you spend a lot of money on travel

If travel is a top priority for your business, the Preferred card can't be matched. First, you get 3x points on your travel purchases. You can also book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards for 1.25x the value. Finally, the trip interruption and cancelation insurance will protect you up to $5,000 per person or $10,000 per trip.

If you want a 0% introductory APR

If you want to finance a large purchase on your Chase business card and pay it off over time, you'll probably want either the Unlimited card or Cash card. Both cards offer a 0% introductory APR, while the Preferred card doesn't.

If you want cell phone protection

The Preferred card is the only card that offers cell phone protection. Not only does it cover up to $600 per claim for your phone, but it also covers the phones of any employees listed on your cell phone bill.

If most of your spending is on office supplies or telecommunications

The Cash card offers an impressive 5% cashback on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services. If your business spends a lot in these categories, it's probably the right card for you.

Are there alternative cards worth considering?

Chase offers some of the best business credit cards on the market with its suite of Ink Business cards. But while they're some of the most popular business credit cards, they certainly aren't the only ones of value. Here are a few other business credit cards you may want to consider:

  • AmEx Business Credit Cards: Just like Chase offers a suite of business credit cards, so does American Express. Cards like the American Express® Business Gold Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card offer high rewards in certain categories, including cashback and travel.

  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business: This Capital One card has become a popular option for businesses with frequent travel expenses. It offers high rewards on all spending categories, so you don't have to juggle bonus categories, and it comes with an excellent sign-up bonus.

  • Airline Credit Cards: There are many business and personal credit cards that are aligned with a particular airline. When you spend on the card, you rack up miles you can use with that airline. These cards are well-suited to businesses who consistently use the same airline for their business travel needs.

Which Chase Ink Business card is best for small businesses?

Each of the Chase Ink Business credit cards has excellent features to offer, and each one is likely best for a certain type of business. To determine which is best for you, choose the one that has rewards that most align with your business spending.

Can you have more than one Chase Ink Business card?

You can certainly have more than one Chase Ink Business card. In fact, it might even be to your benefit to do so. 

When you have more than one card, you can maximize your benefits by using each card for the purchases where you'll get the most cashback. Pairing either the Cash card or Unlimited card with the Preferred card also allows you to get more value for your points by redeeming them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

How do you qualify for a Chase Ink Business credit card?

To qualify for the Chase Ink Business credit cards, you'll generally need either a good or excellent credit score. You're most likely to be approved with a score of 740 or higher. Chase also requires that you have opened fewer than five new credit cards within the past 24 months to be approved for one of its cards.

How do you redeem your Chase Ink Business rewards points?

There are several ways to redeem your Chase rewards points. To get the most value, you can redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. In some cases, you can get 1.25x the value. You can also redeem your points for cashback and gift cards to your favorite stores.

Do you need a business to apply for a Chase Ink Business credit card?

While the Chase Ink Business credit cards are strictly for business use, the company also offers some excellent options for personal use. Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Freedom Flex℠, and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are the company's most popular personal rewards cards. They have several similarities to the business cards, including bonus spending categories and the ability to get more value for your points by redeeming them with Chase Ultimate Rewards.