The Chase Ink Business Unlimited may not have bonus spending categories, but this catch-all credit card is great for business owners who want to keep their credit card strategy simple.
10xTravel is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is a simple yet powerful card for just about any business owner. Regardless of the types of expenses your business typically has, this card will help you earn a handsome amount of Chase Ultimate Rewards points without worrying about factors like earning multipliers and annual fees. Because yes, this card does come with an easy-to-use rewards system and a $0 annual fee.
In this article, we’ll dive into the details of this card and show you why the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is a great addition to your wallet.
The Ink Business Unlimited card can be thought of as a catch-all card that offers an elevated earning rate on all purchases. It also features a generous welcome bonus. Here’s a look at some key features of the card.
The Ink Business Unlimited card has a $0 annual fee. This means that you could theoretically keep this card in your wallet forever, even if you only use it sparingly. You’ll never have to worry about whether you’re getting positive value from the card.
Historically, the Ink Business Unlimited card has offered a welcome bonus of anywhere between $500 to $900 cash back after spending $3,000 to $7,500 in the first three months, respectively. Here, “cash back” also refers to Chase Ultimate Rewards points, where 1 cent equals 1 point. In other words, the card actually offers a welcome bonus of between 50,000 and 90,000 points. Overall, this card offers one of Chase’s strongest welcome bonuses across all business and personal cards.
When it comes to earning, the Ink Business Unlimited card keeps it sweet and simple:
- Unlimited 1.5X on every purchase.
This earning is similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the personal version of the Ink Business Unlimited card. Since this card earns 1.5X on every purchase, it’s viable as either a one-card setup for your business for simplicity, or as the catch-all card for purchases that don’t fall under special earning categories.
Foreign Transaction Fees
The Ink Business Unlimited card is not a travel credit card; it does have a 3% foreign transaction fee. We advise against using this card when traveling abroad to avoid additional charges.
Benefits of the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
You’ll get a few other notable benefits with the Ink Business Unlimited card:
- Primary rental car collision damage waiver (CDW): This feature offers reimbursement for collision or theft-related damages, covering expenses up to the actual cash value of the rented vehicle. It’s important to note that when using the Ink Business Unlimited card for business rentals, it provides primary CDW. The card’s insurance coverage takes precedence over your personal insurance for your rental car.
- Purchase protection: When you use your Ink Business Unlimited for eligible purchases, the items are safeguarded against damage and theft for a period of up to 120 days. The coverage applies to a maximum of $10,000 per claim, with a cap of $50,000 per account. This offers peace of mind for valuable purchases.
- Extended warranty protection: If you make a qualifying purchase with a warranty duration of fewer than three years, the Ink Business Unlimited card extends the warranty by an additional year.
- Employee cards: The Ink Business Unlimited card provides the option to issue employee cards at no additional charge. Moreover, you have the flexibility to establish individual spending limits for each card, making it easier to manage expenses and keep track of company spending.
For a $0 annual fee card, this list of benefits is impressive. Together with the welcome bonus and simple rewards structure, this list easily makes the Ink Business Unlimited card one of the best cards out there for businesses.
Another crucial point to consider is that adding a Chase business card to your collection won’t contribute to your 5/24 status, as business cards don’t appear on your personal credit report. Obtaining the Ink Business Unlimited card won’t affect your eligibility for Chase personal cards. That being said, it’s important to remember you’ll still need to remain below 5/24 to be eligible for a business card from Chase.
Drawbacks of the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
In terms of features, the Ink Business Unlimited card checks off nearly every box. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect for every business, however. In some cases, you may find that using the Ink Business Unlimited card may come with certain drawbacks:
- Potential opportunity costs: The Ink Business Unlimited card has just one catch-all 1.5X category. This earning rate is decent if you want to just have a one-card setup, but it’s also really easy to do better than this. For example, if your business spends a lot at office supply stores, putting that spend on the Ink Unlimited card incurs a serious opportunity cost. That’s because the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, which is also a $0 annual fee card, earns 5X in this category on the first $25,000 spent per account anniversary year. To further illustrate this point, $5,000 worth of spend at office supply stores would earn 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Ink Business Unlimited (at least $75 value). In contrast, if you used the Ink Cash, the same spend would earn 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (at least $250 value).
- 3% foreign transaction fee: The Ink Business Unlimited card does have foreign transaction fees, so don’t use it internationally.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the Ink Business Unlimited card still has its place as a catch-all card for business purchases. All small businesses can still get plenty of value using the card in this way.
Alternatives to the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Already, the Ink Business Unlimited card is a card you can’t go wrong with; however, it’s always good to be aware of your options when shopping for a new business credit card. Here are a few similar cards that you might consider as alternatives to the Ink Business Unlimited card:
Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash card has elevated multipliers in multiple categories: 5X on office supply stores and internet, cable and phone services on the first $25,000 spent per card anniversary year, and 2X at gas stations and restaurants on the first $25,000 spent per card anniversary year. It also has no annual fee. If your business has significant spend in these categories, you might find better value applying for this card instead.
Chase Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card
The Ink Business Premier is a bit of an odd card. It has a $195 annual fee, but earns 2X on all purchases. Additionally, it earns 2.5X on purchases of $5,000 or more. One issue to consider is that the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with this card cannot be transferred out to travel partners, so they’re essentially pegged at 1 cent per point of value. Still, you could extract decent value from this card, but you’d have to run the numbers. Assuming all your earning is in the 2X category, the math says you must spend more than $39,000 for the Ink Premier to be more worth it than the Ink Unlimited.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
As for options outside of Chase, the Spark Miles for Business card is another highly sought-after card by business owners. This card offers 2X Capital One Miles back on all purchases as well as a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit. The latter benefit makes this card particularly attractive for businesses that require travel. If you choose this card, do note that Capital One may include business cards onto your personal credit report, so it may affect your Chase 5/24 status.
Maximizing the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
If you get the Ink Business Unlimited, you’ll inevitably find yourself with a large stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points after a while. How do you maximize the value of those rewards?
As a standalone card, the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Ink Business Unlimited card are worth just 1 cent per point. You also don’t have the ability to transfer these points to any of Chase’s amazing travel partners.
You’ll need to consider getting another card to maximize your rewards. While these cards do come with annual fees, getting the correct card to pair with your Ink Unlimited is the key to unlocking some pretty valuable travel redemptions.
One card pairing to consider is the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. Having this card immediately boosts your points to a minimum value of 1.25 cents apiece when used in the Chase travel portal. For instance, if you had 100,000 Chase points, they’d now be worth at least $1,250 (normally $1,000).
On the personal card side, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives your points the same 25% boost as the Ink Business Preferred. The Chase Sapphire Reserve®, on the other hand, elevates that baseline value to 1.5 cents per point, making 100,000 Chase points worth at least $1,500.
Chase Transfer Partners
Transferring your Chase points to travel partners is often the best way to squeeze as much value out of them as possible. We discussed three card pairings in the previous section: the Ink Preferred, Sapphire Preferred, and Sapphire Reserve. Owning one of these cards also gives you access to Chase’s network of travel partners.
Depending on the redemptions you target, you can often achieve a value of at least 2 cents per point, if not better.
Let’s run through a quick example using one of Chase’s best travel partners: World of Hyatt. While their footprint is sometimes limited, there is still a range of economy and luxury properties available, especially in major cities in the United States.
Suppose you’re headed to New York City for business. You might consider the Park Hyatt New York, one of Hyatt’s most standout properties in their portfolio. This luxurious Category 6 Hyatt property can easily run you upwards of $900 to $1,000 a night. Here, a three-night stay from April 1 to April 4, 2024 would cost $3,191.36 out of pocket:
The same room costs 35,000 to 45,000 Hyatt points per night depending on off-peak and on-peak pricing. During our selected dates, it’s currently at peak pricing:
This pricing means that three nights would cost 135,000 Hyatt, or Chase Ultimate Rewards, points. Comparing this to the cash price of $3,191.36, our points got us a valuation of 2.36 cents per point.
This example was just a simple one at a Category 6 Hyatt property. If you do your research, you can get even better value for your hard-earned points.
Personally, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited was one of my very first business cards. I’ll continue to keep it handy in my wallet due to its ability to earn 1.5X on all my purchases, as well as its healthy list of benefits. Best of all, it costs me nothing to keep year-over-year.
Overall, this card is great for business owners who want to keep their credit card strategy simple. You can definitely earn a decent number of Chase Ultimate Rewards points with just this card alone. To really maximize your rewards, however, don’t stop there. Pair this card with a card like the Ink Business Preferred to unlock the best value from your points.
New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to start with.
With a bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. , 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.