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Side-by-side comparison: Which Chase Ink card is right for your business?

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Side-by-side comparison: Which Chase Ink card is right for your business?

Alex CurtisSide-by-side comparison: Which Chase Ink card is right for your business?Million Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: If you pay for your cellphone with your Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you’ll receive $600 of protection against damage or theft, up to three times per 12-month period.

The MMS team loves earning valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. They’re flexible rewards with plenty of redemption options, including the ability to get easy cash back or to save on travel.

There are several Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards that earn points, and while we love them all, the Chase Ink business cards are extra special. Lucrative sign-up bonuses and excellent ongoing bonus categories are just a few reasons why.

Chase issues three Ultimate Rewards points-earning credit cards for small businesses:

The Ink Business Preferred credit card has the largest sign-up bonus among any of cards earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points. The Ink Business Cash credit card and Ink Business Unlimited credit card have extremely valuable offers and no annual fee.

Each are different in points earning and benefits, however. It can be confusing to know which card (or cards) are right for you. It depends on your spending and travel habits, so we’re here to help you make the best choice for your small business.

Small-business owners have three Chase Ink cards to choose from, but which card is right for you? (Photo by vectorfusionart/Shutterstock)

Chase Ink cards — which one is right for you?

Before I started in the miles-and-points hobby, I had no idea how easy it is to qualify for a small-business credit card. As long as you have a for-profit venture (even a side hustle), chances are you’ll be eligible to take advantage of lucrative credit card offers for small businesses.

For example, a few of us on the team resell items for a profit on sites like Amazon, eBay and Etsy. One team member has a home-building business. The team has helped friends and family members who are Airbnb hosts, graphic designers and store owners get cards for their small businesses.

You can apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor using your Social Security Number on the application. That’s how most of us apply for business cards.

Further reading: How to complete a Chase business-card application

Let’s compare cards to see which is the best fit for your spending.

Welcome bonuses

Now is a great time to consider a Chase Ink Business card, because all three have huge sign-up bonuses after meeting minimum spending requirements:

  • Chase Ink Business Preferred: Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • Chase Ink Business Cash: Earn $500 bonus cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited: Earn $500 bonus cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

The Chase Ink Business Preferred definitely has the most enticing welcome bonus with 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting minimum spending. In fact, this is the highest public sign-up bonus we have seen for a Chase card for small-business owners.

The other two Chase Ink cards each offer the same sign-up bonus of $500 bonus cash back (in the form of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after meeting minimum spending, which is an incredible deal for cards with no annual fee.

Bonus spending categories

The big difference is in the bonus category. Think about where your business spends the most money and if your expenses are included in any of the following bonus categories:

  • Chase Ink Business Preferred
    • 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites or search engines
    • 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Chase Ink Business Cash
    • 5% cash back (5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on the first $25,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary at office supply stores and cellphone/landline/internet/cable TV services
    • 2% cash back (2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on the first $25,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary at gas stations and restaurants
    • 1% cash back (1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per dollar) on everything else
  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited
    • 1.5% cash back (1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on all purchases with no limits

Now that we look at spending categories, we see how these cards can really complement each other. Each card has a category in which it excels, but the Chase Ink Business Unlimited is a great “catch-all” for spending in a category that doesn’t offer bonus points on the other cards.

Travel protection

The Chase Ink Business Preferred offers more travel protection than the other two cards. It is the only card of the bunch that offers trip-delay insurance (after a minimum 12-hour delay or overnight stay up to a $500 maximum per ticket) and trip cancellation/interruption insurance (up to $5,000 per covered trip). Plus, you’ll receive primary auto rental insurance (CDW) when renting for business purposes, which can save you from paying for the in-house insurance offered by the rental agency (usually $15+ per day).

Further reading: MMS writer Jason’s experience with Ink Business Preferred trip-delay insurance

All three cards share these same travel protections:

  • Primary car rental insurance: On rentals used for business purposes
  • Lost-Luggage Reimbursement: Up to $3,000 per person
  • Travel-accident insurance: Up to $500,000
  • Baggage-delay insurance: Minimum 6-hour delay; $100 maximum per day for 3 days (or up to 5 days with Ink Business Preferred)

The Chase Ink Business Preferred is the better card if you travel a lot because it offers the best travel protection. The other two still offer great coverage though, especially for no-annual-fee cards.

Cellphone protection

Currently, the only card of the three that offers cellphone protection is the Chase Ink Business Preferred. As long as you pay your cellphone bill with this card, you will get automatic cellphone insurance.

Many use the Chase Ink Business Preferred just because of its cellphone protection benefit. (Photo by icecappuccino/Shutterstock)

This includes up to $600 of protection against damage or theft, up to three times per 12-month period. There is a $100 deductible, but that still means up to $500 back toward a replacement phone.

Further reading: Chase Ink Business Preferred cellphone insurance

Annual fees

Both the Chase Ink Business Cash and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited have no annual fee, so they’re free to keep forever.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred has an annual fee of $95. But it comes with extra perks and benefits that make it worth keeping year after year for many folks.

Foreign transaction fees

The Chase Ink Business Preferred has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s a good card to use when you’re overseas. If you travel abroad frequently or pay business expenses to foreign vendors, this is the better card.

You will pay foreign transaction fees with the Chase Ink Business Cash and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited, which is typical of most no-annual-fee cards.

Further reading: Best no-annual-fee credit cards

Common questions with the Chase Ink Business cards

Here are some of the most common questions we get about these cards:

Can you use points from the cash-back cards for travel?

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited and Chase Ink Business Cash are cash-back cards. However, the cash back is earned in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points (each point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for cash back or paid travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal).

But if you have one of Chase’s annual-fee travel credit cards, like the Chase Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can combine your points and redeem them at a higher rate through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. You can even transfer them to Chase’s airline and hotel partners like United Airlines, Hyatt and Singapore Airlines.

Further reading: Combine Chase Ultimate Rewards points to one card

Can you have multiple Ink Business cards?

Yes, you can apply for and use all three of these cards for the same business. And you can combine the points you earn with points from any other Chase Ultimate Rewards points- earning cards.

So if you already have one version of the Chase Ink Business cards, you can still get the others.

Does the Chase 5/24 rule apply?

All of these cards are treated the same way, in that they are subject to the 5/24 rule but do not contribute toward the 5/24 count — meaning if you’ve opened five or more cards in the past 24 months (except Chase business cards and certain other business cards), you likely won’t be approved for any of the Chase Ink Business cards.

However, getting these cards won’t contribute to your 5/24 count for other Chase cards. So they’re a good pick if you’re trying to stay below 5/24.

Further reading: Chase 5/24 rule

Bottom line

Chase offers three excellent small-business credit cards, all of which earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points:

Folks who travel often will benefit from the Chase Ink Business Preferred because of its increased travel protections, and the 3x points per dollar spent in travel. This is also the only card of the three that offers cellphone protection and no foreign transaction fees. We love the huge 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points welcome bonus that comes after meeting minimum spending requirements. The downside is its $95 annual fee.

The Chase Ink Business Cash and Chase Ink Business Unlimited cards are also excellent for small-business owners because they offer different bonus points categories. Each has a $500 cash-back bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after meeting minimum spending requirements. That’s a fantastic deal for cards with no annual fee.

The card you choose will depend on your spending habits, but they’re all excellent options for small-business owners. Remember, you don’t have to pick just one — If you already have a Chase Ink card, you’re still eligible to apply for the others.

Let me know which Chase Ink Business card is your favorite. And subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card comparisons to help you make the best choice for your spending.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 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
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Do any of the other cards besides business preferred get 3x points from Plastiq?