Which Is the Better No Annual Fee Business Card?

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

For folks looking for cash back business cards, the AMEX SimplyCash and Chase Ink Cash are the no annual fee cards that currently have the best deals.

Which Is The Better No Annual Fee Business Card

Get a Sign-Up Bonus & Pay No Annual Fee With Either the AMEX SimplyCash or Chase Ink Cash

But which 1 is better for your situation?

AMEX SimplyCash or Chase Ink Cash?

Link:   AMEX SimplyCash

Link:   Chase Ink Cash

If you might want to use points for Big Travel, the Chase Ink Cash is the better card for you.  That’s because when you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold, you can transfer the points you’ve earned with the Chase Ink Cash to partner airlines and hotels.

But if you’re more interested in cash, here’s what you should consider.

1.   Sign-Up Bonus

AMEX SimplyCash currently gives you a $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 on the card within the 1st 6 months.

Chase Ink Cash gives you 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $200 in cash) after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months.

Which Is The Better No Annual Fee Business Card

1 Way to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements Is to Pay Your Car Insurance in Advance

If you’ll have no problem meeting minimum spending requirements on cards you plan to open soon, the AMEX SimplyCash gives you $50 more.  But you’ll have to spend an extra $2,000 to get it.

Note: With the AMEX SimplyCash you get a statement credit.  The Chase Ink Cash offers you a statement credit OR a deposit into your bank account.

2.   In Which Categories Do You Want 5% Back?

The AMEX SimplyCash gives you a 5% discount at Office Supply Stores in the US and on your US wireless phone bill.

This maximum you can spend in 1 card year (this means 12 billing cycles, NOT a calendar year) is $25,000.  After that, the rebate on these categories drops to 1%.

The Chase Ink Cash earns 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (or 5% cash back) on up to $25,000 in combined spending at office supply stores, wireless phone service, landline phone service, internet, and cable TV.

Which Is The Better No Annual Fee Business Card

Chase Ink Cash Saves You 5% on Your Cable & Internet Bills

So for the many folks looking to reduce the cost of cable TV and internet, the Chase Ink Cash is your card.

And remember, office supply stores sell everything from restaurant and movie gift cards to new iPhones, coffee, and laundry detergent.

3.   In Which Category Do You Want 3% Back?

Within your 1st 2 months of owning the AMEX SimplyCash, you can choose a 3% rebate category.  You can only change it once per year, and not until the official “annual selection period” from December 1st to January 31st.

You can get 3% back on the 1st $25,000 you spend on eligible purchases in 1 of the following categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel stays (excluding timeshares, banquets and events)
  • Purchases made directly from the car rental companies listed here.  (Includes Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, Thrifty, etc.)
  • Purchases at US gas stations
  • Purchases at US restaurants
  • US purchases for shipping
  • US purchases for advertising in select media.  (This includes placing ads on Google & Facebook.)

The Chase Ink Cash does not have a 3% cash back category.

4.   Where Do You Want to Save 2%?

You’ll get 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points with your Chase Ink Cash card on the 1st $25,000 you spend each card year at restaurants and gas stations combined.

Which Is The Better No Annual Fee Business Card

You’ll Save 2% at Restaurants (and Many Bars & Nightclubs) With Your Chase Ink Cash Card

5.   Other Discounts

The AMEX SimplyCash is another American Express business card that you can use to save money with AMEX Offers, AMEX Open, and on Small Business Saturday.

This year, using my SimplyCash card on Small Business Saturday will be worth $60.

That’s because I’ll get up to three $10 statement credits for $10+ purchases made at participating small businesses.  And with Emily’s authorized user card, she’ll collect $30 too!

Which Is The Better No Annual Fee Business Card

Previous AMEX Offers Were for Automatic Savings at Amazon, Whole Foods, Staples, and JCPenney

The Chase Ink Cash gets you discounts when you enroll in the Visa SavingsEdge program.

For most folks, you’d probably save more money in the “other discounts” category with the AMEX SimplyCash card.  Although you should check the details of each program to be sure!

So Which Card Is Better for Your Situation?

1.   Trouble Meeting Minimum Spending

For anyone who has difficulty meeting large minimum spending requirements, the Chase Ink Cash is the better card.  That’s because AMEX SimplyCash has a $2,000 greater threshold in order to get a sign-up bonus that’s $50 higher.  (Although you do have 2 months longer to spend the money.)

2.   Considering Travel Awards

Thinking you might change your mind later and want Big Travel instead of cash back?  Then the Chase Ink Cash is for you.  Because you can transfer the points to partner airlines and hotels when you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold card.

3.   When Minimum Spending Isn’t a Problem

For folks who can manage the minimum spending requirement for either card, figure out in which categories you spend the most money.

If you’re NOT going to spend the maximum of $25,000 per card year at office supply stores on gift cards, computers, bottled water, etc., then consider how much you spend on cable TV, internet, and landline phones.

Because those are 3 categories where you’ll save 5% with the Chase Ink Cash but NOT with the AMEX SimplyCash.

4.   When You Advertise Online

Which Is The Better No Annual Fee Business Card

Lawyers, Car Dealers, and Dentists Placing Ads on Google Search Will Save 3% With Their AMEX SimplyCash Card. Cute Animals Don’t Need to Advertise. Everybody Loves Them.

Professionals such as dentists, attorneys, and real estate agents who advertise their services using Google and Facebook ads will benefit from saving 3% with their AMEX SimplyCash card.

To counter, when you enroll in the Visa SavingsEdge program, the Chase Ink Cash card gives you 5% back when you advertise on the Yahoo Bing Network.

5.   When You Dine Out Often

Restaurants can be a considerable expense each year, and the advantage goes to AMEX SimplyCash (if you choose that as your 3% category).  Remember, you can buy gift cards to many chain restaurants in office supply stores to get 5% back!

6.   When You Pay for Hotels

Paid hotel stays get 3% back with the AMEX SimplyCash (when you select it as your sole 3% category) while Chase Ink Cash gives you the standard 1% back.

And when you stay at a Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz, or Grand Hyatt hotel, you’ll save an additional 5% when paying with your SimplyCash card thanks to the AMEX Open program.

Saving a total of 8% at Hyatt hotels is a pretty good cash back deal.

Which Is The Better No Annual Fee Business Card

AMEX SimplyCash & Chase Ink Cash Can Save You Money at Different Hotels

Although when you enroll your Chase Ink Cash card in the Visa SavingsEdge program, you’ll save a total of 6% at certain hotels including:

  • Days Inn
  • Hawthorn
  • Howard Johnson
  • La Quinta
  • Ramada
  • Super 8
  • Travelodge
  • Wyndham

Some of you will see that 1 of these cards is clearly better for your situation than the other.  But for folks where it’s a close call, do what I usually do…get both! 😉

Bottom Line

If you’ll find it challenging to meet the $5,000 in 6 months minimum spending requirement to get the $250 bonus with the AMEX SimplyCash, consider the Chase Ink Cash with the $200 bonus instead.

Both business credit cards have no annual fee and will save you money.  Neither have the hassle of signing-up for bonus categories every quarter.

The better card for you depends on in which categories you spend the most!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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3 responses to “Which Is the Better No Annual Fee Business Card?

  1. Larry Rosenbaum

    What does “US purchases for shipping” mean for the 3% category, Amex Simply Cash card? Does that mean anything I purchase on the internet that is shipped to me from somewhere in the US?

  2. Larry,

    It means you shipping things through FedEx.

    Darius, why don’t you advertise things such as the US Bank and BOA business cards? They both have some good ones. Oh wait you won’t make money from them. Nevermind.