Hey Travel Junkies,

Chase has been on a roll recently with its small business cards recently. The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has its highest bonus offer ever,  the Chase Ink Preferred is as good a choice as ever, and Chase just recently released the Ink Unlimited.

Chase now offers 3 different Ink cards to choose from

With all the buzz around these cards you may be wondering which chase ink business card is right for your small business. Don’t worry, I’ve taken a deeper look at these cards and even done some math to help you decide which one will best fit your small business’s needs.

Sign-Up Bonuses

Many small business are new, and you may not yet be sure what your spend will be. This can make it difficult to decide which Chase Ink card is right for your small business.

What can help now is focusing on the sign-up bonus. This will be the best value you can get based on the information you have now. You can always decide later that you want to switch.

The sign-up bonus makes The Chase Ink Preferred a winner on this front. The 80,000 Ultimate Rewards you will earn from the sign on bonus can go a long way towards helping you grow your small business – especially if that small business involves travel.

Even if you factor in the annual fee, the sign on bonus of the Chase Ink Preferred beats out the others. If you have the Ink Preferred, you could cash out 9,500 of your points as a statement credit to cover the $95 annual fee, and still come out ahead.

And remember, unless you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Ink Preferred, you won’t be able to transfer points from the Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited to travel partners.

Consumer and Travel Benefits

There’s a lot of similarities between these cards when it comes to consumer and travel protections. You’ll find the same protections among the Ink Cash and the Ink Unlimited. The Ink Preferred does have some extra features that you won’t find on the no-annual fee cards.

The Ink Preferred has the following exclusive benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cell phone protection
  • Access to transfer partners
  • Points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel

These benefits should be considered when deciding which card to get. If you spend a lot abroad, the Ink Preferred’s annual fee can quickly be offset by having no foreign transaction fees.

The Chase Ink Preferred comes with cell phone protection, one of its many perks for cardholders

The biggest benefit that comes with the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited is 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. No interest can go really far for a new business that may need a little help financing some purchases.

With the Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited, you won’t be able to transfer your earned points to travel partners unless you have another card that allows you to transfer, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve®—don’t forget to check out our complete comparison of these cards.

Access to Travel Partners

Having access to travel partners is a much bigger deal than it may initially seem. It is so important, that I would advise you to not get the Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited unless you have another card that already has transfer partner access.

The Chase Ink Preferred gives you access to Chase's many transfer partners

Transfer partners are what help give the Ultimate Rewards points you’ll earn so much value. 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points from either of these cards are good for $500 in cash or travel booked through the Chase travel portal, but transfer partners can get you significantly more value. For example, if you transfer your points you could get 2 round-trip flights to Hawaii.

You can gain access to transfer partners by having one of two other Chase cards that allows you to transfer points to travel partners. These are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve®. If you don’t have either of these cards, the only Ink Business Card that should be considered is the Chase Ink Preferred.

Earning Potential from Bonus Category Spends

Without a doubt, the biggest difference between the Chase Ink Business Cards is their points-earning structures. This will be the biggest factor in deciding which Chase Ink card is right for your small business.

Before we get into the math let’s review what you’ll earn on different purchases with each card.

CardBase RateBonus RateBonus CategoriesBonus Maximum
Ink Cash1X5X, 2X5x: Office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services

2x: gas stations and restaurants
First $25,000 per year for each earning rate
Ink Unlimited1.5Xn/an/an/a
Ink Preferred1X3Xtravel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search enginesFirst $150,000 per year

To make your decision even more difficult, each card has a compelling reason to select it. The Ink Unlimited has the highest base rate. The Ink Cash has the highest bonus rate. And the Ink Preferred has the most bonus categories plus a higher limit to bonus category spend than the Ink Cash.

If you have a lot of spends that won’t fall under one of the bonus categories of the Ink Cash or Ink Preferred, you’ll find the great value with the Ink Unlimited’s 1.5X points per dollar. When you combine these points with a premium Ultimate Rewards card, you’ll be earning tons of transferable Ultimate Rewards in no time.

The Ink Cash and the Ink Preferred have one bonus category in common: telecom which includes internet, cable and phone services. The Ink Cash has a better bonus category at 5X points than the Ink Preferred which earns 3X points. However, the Ink Preferred has a $150,000 limit on bonus category earning while the Ink Cash has a $25,000 limit.

If you prefer a very simple setup, you might prefer to stick with one of these cards for the long-term. Others might prefer to utilize both cards since they each have other lucrative bonus categories.

For example, the Ink Cash also earns 5X points at office supply stores. Not only can you buy standard office supplies, but Staples and Office Depot offer a variety of merchant gift cards that can be used at other stores such as Airbnb, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Whole Foods. Might as well earn 5X on everything you can!

What’s the Annual Fee?

The annual fee difference is pretty small between these three cards. This likely won’t be a game changer for most of you, but for a newer small business every dollar counts.

CardAnnual Fee
Ink Cash$0
Ink Unlimited$0
Ink Preferred $95

If the annual fee is important to you, you will want to focus mostly on the Ink Cash and the Ink Unlimited. Although it isn’t without merit, there are definitely some perks to the higher annual fee from the Ink Preferred that you don’t get from the other cards.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right Chase Ink card for you can be a tough decision. There are many factors to consider such as 0% interest, bonus category spends and the sign-up bonuses. Just remember that the Ink Unlimited and Ink Cash pair nicely when you have one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards—Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred.

If you’re looking for the highest sign-up bonus that earns bonus points for travel off the bat, the Ink Preferred is your clear choice. But don’t sleep on the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited. With 5X bonus categories and 1.5 on all spend, respectively, they each provide easy ways to boost your Ultimate Rewards balance—not to mention the sign-up bonuses that come with each.

Earning Ultimate Rewards points is always a good decision and Chase has provided three great options to do so. Now, you just have to decide which are right for you.

Travel In Style,