Ink Small Business Cards Can Help Weather the Storm

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Offers for the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Preferred℠‎ Credit Card are not available through this site. All information has been independently collected by AwardWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. Some offers may have expired. Please see our card marketplace for available offers.

State and local governments are imposing strict lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and many small businesses not deemed “essential” have been forced to close their doors. Contract workers, sole proprietors, and independent contractors are also facing unprecedented financial challenges.

With the $2 trillion stimulus package recently signed into law, more than $370 billion in help for small businesses is on the way. But many will need short-term financing to weather the storm. Business owners that normally focus their spending on premium travel rewards cards loaded with perks can buy themselves room to maneuver by pivoting to no-annual-fee cards with cashback bonuses and introductory 0% APR offers.

Today, we're taking a look at two of the best options from Chase's Ink Business card lineup: the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The best business card to earn Ultimate Rewards on non-bonus purchases, you receive a $500 cash back bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn 1.5% back on all business expenses.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business

The Ink Business Unlimited (full review) is the most recent addition to the Chase Ink family, filling a key role as the card with the best all-around earning rate on everyday spending. The current $500 cashback welcome offer sets the Ink Business Unlimited card apart from other small business cards with a 0% intro APR on purchases; most cards come with a bonus or an introductory rate on purchases, but few have both.

The card offers a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months (followed by a variable rate of 14.74% - 20.74%), allowing you to finance purchases for up to 12 months without paying any interest.

The rewards earned with the Ink Business Unlimited can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, merchandise or directly towards travel reservations through the Chase travel portal. With a return of 1.5% on every purchase, this card is ideal for businesses that have expenses spread over a broad range of categories.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Features a $500 cash back signup bonus, and you earn 5% cash back on a select range of business expenses on the first $25,000 spent each year.
  • 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
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn

The Ink Cash (full review) earns up to 5% cashback for every dollar spent on some of the most popular small business categories, making it a powerhouse for businesses that channel heavy spending through office supply stores or on internet, cable and phone services. If you can hit the $25K spending caps on the 5% and 2% bonus categories, you'll bank a $1,750 return on your business expenses.

Similar to the Ink Business Unlimited, the Ink Cash offers a lucrative $500 cashback bonus in addition to its 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months (followed by a variable rate of 14.74% - 20.74%), giving you plenty of time to spread out unexpected expenses without paying interest. The Ink Cash features high-value bonus categories, a top intro APR offer on purchases, and you pay no annual fee!

Why Pick the Ink Cards Over Other 0% Intro APR Offers?

If you don’t need your cashback bonus immediately, you can hold onto your points and potentially get far more value if you use them for travel in the future.

If you aren’t familiar with the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, it can be easy to overlook the huge advantage of having access to an 0% intro APR on top of the generous welcome bonus. If your business is under financial pressure, it may be tempting to take $500 as cashback to beef up your balance sheet.

But the best strategy is to set that bonus aside and see if you can pay down your balance before you reach the end of the intro APR period. If you succeed, you can acquire a premium Ultimate Rewards card and unlock far more than $500 in savings by transferring your Ink Cash or Ink Business Unlimited points to travel partners. If you are still struggling to balance the books at the end of your intro APR period, you can put the extra $500 towards paying down your balance.

Comparing Perks and Travel/Purchase Protections

While travel and purchase protections may not be at the top of your priorities, these cards offer best-in-class coverage compared to other cards without an annual fee. Both cards share a similar set of travel and purchase protections which include:

  • Primary CDW/LDW Auto Insurance – Worldwide when renting for business purposes
  • Extended Warranty – Up to 1 additional year on warranties of 3 years or less
  • Purchase Protection – Against theft or damage for 120 days, up to $10K per claim and $50K per the calendar year
  • Lost Luggage – Up to $3K per person, plus up to $500 per person for high-value items like jewelry and electronics
  • Baggage Delay – Min 6-hour delay, $100 per day for max 3 days
  • Travel Accident Insurance – Up to $500K per person
  • Roadside Dispatch – A dispatch service but you are responsible for any associated costs

You Can Hold More Than One Chase Ink Card

If you already hold one of these cards or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you’re still eligible to apply for any of the other cards in the Ink family (subject to the general Chase rules described below). These cards are designed to complement each other with the Ink Business Unlimited offering a top return on everyday spending, the Ink Cash offering higher rewards on select business categories, and the Ink Preferred offering travel perks and access to Ultimate Rewards transfer partners like World of Hyatt, Singapore KrisFlyer, United MileagePlus, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Chase Application Restrictions

While you won't have a problem getting more than one Ink card, Chase does restrict applications for all of its products under the 5/24 policy. In short, if you’ve been approved for five or more personal cards in the previous 24 months, you won't be approved for a new card.

Opening a new business card won't make it harder to apply for a different Chase card in the future since only new accounts recorded on your personal credit report count towards the five-card limit. But if you're already over the limit, you can't get approved for a business or a personal card from Chase.

If you're a little confused, you're not alone. Check out our dedicated post explaining 5/24. You can also find a summary of application rules for other major card issuers here.

Final Thoughts

While it’s never a good idea to take on credit card debt without a clear plan to pay down balances, a 0% intro APR can make a huge difference for businesses on the financial edge. The Ink cards are an ideal way to pivot away from premium cards with high annual fees while continuing to earn rewards that will hold excellent value until the world gets back to normal.

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  • While normally one should not open cards for introductory APR offers, I agree that given the situation this is great benefit of the INK cards that if leveraged appropriately, could be a lifesaver for businesses.

  • Don’t forget that office supply stores carry some cleaning products that can be lifesavers during these times, so you can earn 5x while keeping safe (note: they seem to be sold out online at this time, but they might become available if/when emergency production is ramped up).

    • Thanks for the article. My husband and I own a small business and both have Ink Preferred accounts, and many other Chase cards. I applied for the Ink Business Unlimited card this past week, and was so surprised to see it was a hard hit on my personal credit report. Our company is an LLC, so this made NO sense to me. I was also surprised when the immediate response was that they would contact me with an answer in writing. Or, something like that? I immediately called Chase to find out why, (we pay the balances in full each month, have never missed or been late on a payment, etc) the gentleman asked me why, though they all have very low balances, I held so many credit cards? Really? Now, everyone in the points and miles game knows why you carry so many credit cards, and Chase is one of the main players! I found that odd as well. He told me he had no problems in approving my application and that my card would be in the main within a few days. Odd. I have to chalk it all up to what’s happening on our planet at the moment. Perhaps they are screening the applications a bit more, cracking down a bit perhaps? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

      • Julie, If the banks were struggling like the airlines, I might think the crisis would cause them to screen applications and crack down more. However, they’re really not. And, in fact, the crisis is a real opportunity for them to be extending credit and issuing credit cards left and right to folks in greater need.

  • That’s a pretty sweet welcome offer, with $500 cash back and 0% APR!!

  • I use mine for staples all the time.

  • Wow Fantastic!!! offer from the small business groups!!!

  • thanks for this

  • Small businesses truly need all the financial tools they can access to in order to stay afloat these days.

  • good card may be more useful during the crisis

  • This is great for a small business, assuming they have a plan to pay it off.

  • Hopefully, the small businesses around the world will pull through from the crisis.

  • Awesome offer for a card with no annual fees

  • Didn’t know the Ink card had a 0% APR offer.
    This is good to know in case I need it. (Hopefully I won’t need it.)

  • Probably not the best time to live off credit cards, irregardless of APR …

  • It’s just harder these days to meet minimum spends.

  • Great offer for a card with no annual fees !!!

  • These options are great no fee cards. In my wallet, however, is the Ink Preferred. The cell phone coverage alone on this card makes it well worth the annual fee, IMHO.

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