If you want to earn rewards on business spending with a credit card, you have quite a bit to think about. Are you willing to pay an annual fee? And, do you prefer to earn flexible rewards or cash back?
Most importantly, what does your business spend the most on? After all, your rewards haul is often tied to the type of purchases your business makes.
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card tends to check off a lot of boxes for small business owners, and it’s easy to see why. This business card comes with no annual fee, and you can earn a $750 cash bonus when you spend $7,500 on purchases within three months of account opening. Cardholders even get an introductory APR offer on purchases, and rewards are pretty flexible.
In the meantime, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card lets small business owners and entrepreneurs earn 5 percent back on common business-related spending (up $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year). Read on to learn how this business credit card doles out cash back on purchases, how its earning structure compares to similar cards and how you can make the most of this offer.
Ink Business Cash rewards structure
- Welcome bonus: $750 bonus cash when you spend $7,500 on purchases within three months of account opening
- Rewards: 5 percent 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 percent back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; 1 percent back on everything else
- Annual fee: $0
While earning 5 percent cash back on certain business purchases is truly excellent, it’s important to note the $25,000 cap for each bonus category. If you spend more than $2,084 per month (on average) at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each year, you’ll max out the 5 percent category, after which you’ll only earn 1 percent back. The same is true for earning 2 percent back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
For the most part, these limits make the Ink Business Cash Credit Card a better option for businesses with low-to-average regular expenses. Of course, you can also use the Ink Business Cash Credit Card within its bonus categories until you meet the $25,000 spending threshold for each one. After that, you could switch to another business credit card that offers more than 1 percent back on those purchases.
Which purchases earn bonus rewards?
If you’re wondering which purchases count in the bonus categories for this card, Chase is very transparent when it comes to details. In fact, the card issuer has a whole page on their website dedicated to rewards category FAQs. Here’s how Chase defines eligible purchases in each bonus category offered by the Ink Business Cash Credit Card:
Gas stations: “Merchants in the gas stations category sell automotive gasoline that can be paid for either at the pump or inside the station, and may or may not sell other goods or services at their location. Merchants that do not specialize in selling automotive gasoline are not included in this category; for example, truck stops, boat marinas, oil and propane distributors and home heating companies.”
Internet, cable and phone services: “Only purchases for internet, cable, satellite television and radio, cellular, wireless data and landline services will qualify. Purchases of equipment are not included. If you purchase or pay for your internet, cable and satellite television, phone or related services in a merchant’s store that is not classified by the merchant in the applicable services category, the purchase or payment will not qualify; for example, phone bill payments in a merchant’s store that is classified as a telephone equipment store.”
Office supply stores: “Merchants in the office supply stores category specialize in selling a variety of office supplies. Merchants that sell a wide variety of general goods which may include office supplies, for example, discount stores, department stores or electronics stores, are not included in this category. Also, merchants and wholesale distributors that specialize in only a few large office supplies, such as computer software and hardware, office furniture, photocopiers and office equipment, are not included even if they also sell some smaller office supplies.”
Restaurants: “Restaurant category merchants’ primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food restaurants and fine dining establishments. Merchants that sell food and drinks located within facilities such as sports stadiums, hotels and casinos, theme parks, grocery and department stores will not be included in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in a restaurant category. Purchases made at bakeries, caterers or gift card merchants are not included in the category. Delivery service merchants will be included if they classify as a restaurant merchant.”
How does the Ink Business Cash compare to other Chase business cards?
The Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers an interesting rewards proposition for business owners, but other Chase credit cards for business might suit your needs better. At the end of the day, the best card for you depends on your spending habits, the type of rewards you want to earn and whether you are comfortable paying an annual fee.
The chart below shows how the Ink Business Cash Credit Card stacks up to other popular Chase business cards.
|Ink Business Cash Credit card||Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card||Ink Business Preferred Credit Card|
|Sign-up bonus||$750 bonus cash when you spend $7,500 on purchases within three months of account opening||$750 bonus cash when you spend $7,500 on purchases within three months of account opening||100,000 points when you spend $15,000 on purchases within three months of account opening|
|Intro APR||0% APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.49% to 19.49%||0% APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.49% to 19.49%||N/A|
||1.5% cash back on all purchases||
|Redemption options||Redeem rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise and travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards||Redeem rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise and travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards||
As you can see, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card opts out of bonus categories but gives you a higher rate of rewards (1.5% cash back) on all purchases instead. This card also lets you redeem your rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise and travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Finally, the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card offers a 12-month 0 percent introductory APR on purchases (13.49 percent to 19.49 percent variable thereafter).
On the other hand, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card doesn’t offer traditional cash back. Instead, this card offers Chase Ultimate Rewards points that are good for regular options like statement credits and gift cards as well as point transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners. You also get 25 percent more value when you use points from the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card to book travel through Chase. A $95 annual fee applies.
How to maximize rewards earned with the Ink Business Cash
If you do decide on the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, there are steps you can take to get the most of it. For example:
- Make sure you always use your card in its bonus categories. At the very least, use this card until you reach the $25,000 combined spending threshold in both the 2 percent and 5 percent categories.
- Pair it with another card that offers more than 1 percent back. You can also pair this Chase credit card with a flat-rate card that offers more than 1 percent back on non-category purchases.
- Have a plan to pay off purchases within 12 months. While the Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months, the good times won’t last forever. Once the first year is up, your balance will begin accruing interest at the regular variable APR of 13.49 percent to 19.49 percent.
- Take advantage of the perks you get. While Ink Business Cash benefits are not overly generous, you do get perks like primary auto rental coverage when you rent a car for business purposes, travel and emergency assistance services, roadside dispatch, purchase protection and extended warranties.
The bottom line
If you want to earn a ton of rewards on your business spending, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card can help you get there. You can earn bonus rewards (up to 5 percent back) in quite a few popular categories, and there’s no annual fee, to boot.
Even so, you may want to look at other business credit cards before you decide. Many credit cards for business offer rewards with no annual fee, including cards from issuers like Capital One and American Express.