Chase is known for its wide variety of business credit cards, many of which are designed especially for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. If you’re searching for a business rewards card from this issuer specifically, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card are two good options to consider.

In a nutshell, the Ink Business Cash offers a higher rate of rewards for spending in select business categories. In contrast, the Ink Business Unlimited offers a flat rate of rewards on all business spending. Below, we’ll explore more of the similarities and differences between these cards.

Main details

Cards Ink Business Cash Credit Card Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Welcome bonus $900 cash back when you spend $6,000 within 3 months of opening your account $900 cash back when you spend $6,000 within 3 months of opening your account
Rewards rate
  • 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year)
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year)
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 12 months; 17.49% to 23.49% variable thereafter 0% intro APR for 12 months; 17.49% to 23.49% variable thereafter
Annual fee $0 $0

Ink Business Cash vs. Ink Business Unlimited highlights

Welcome bonus winner: Tie

Both the Ink Business Cash and the Ink Business Unlimited offer a $900 welcome bonus that requires you to spend $6,000 within the first three months of opening your account. This means that you’d have to spend at least $2,000 per month for three months to qualify for the welcome bonus with either card. This is a very reasonable spending requirement, one that even smaller businesses should be able to meet.

Rewards rate winner: Ink Business Cash

With the Ink Business Cash card, you’ll earn 5 percent cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services and 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants. Spending outside of these categories will earn 1 percent cash back. For the 5 percent and 2 percent categories, your cash back is capped at $25,000 in combined spending in each category, which limits how much cash back you can actually earn each year. Once you hit that limit, you’ll only earn 1 percent back for spending in those bonus categories.

The Ink Business Unlimited does have a lower rewards rate at 1.5 percent cash back, but it applies to all spending categories. You may earn fewer rewards with this structure, but you don’t have to track categories or worry about a spending cap that drops your earnings to 1 percent back on your spending.

Additionally, it should be noted that, even though both business cards are marketed as cash back cards, they actually earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. This means that both cards have more rewards redemption options than typical cash back cards.

Annual fee winner: Tie

Neither card charges an annual fee, so you won’t have to worry about justifying the cost of carrying these rewards cards from year to year.

Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie

Both cards charge a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, which means they’re not well suited for international travel — on their own. To support your business travel needs, consider pairing either one of these cards with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. With this card, you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees and earn more rewards in select business and travel categories. However, a $95 annual fee applies.

You’ll also have the ability to combine all of your Ink Business cards’ rewards. You can move points from your Ink Business Cash or Business Unlimited to your Business Preferred to gain higher-value redemption options. For example, with the Ink Business Preferred, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece toward Chase travel or up to 2 cents each if transferred to certain Chase airline and hotel partners.

Which card earns the most?

In the following example, we’ll see that you’ll stand to earn more than double the rewards with the Ink Business Cash — with a caveat. In order to get the most from this card, you’ve got to have enough spending in the bonus categories. If you don’t spend that much in the Ink Business Cash’s bonus categories, you could end up better off with the Ink Business Unlimited.

Ink Business Cash vs. Ink Business Unlimited spending example

Ultimately, choosing the best card will come down to how your business spends. We’ll take a look at both cards in terms of the cash back they can earn. Consider this example:

Category Annual Spend Ink Business Cash Credit Card Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Office supply $6,000 $300 $90
Internet $2,400 $120 $36
Cable $1,500 $75 $22.50
Phone $3,000 $150 $45
Gas $4,800 $96 $72
Restaurants $9,600 $192 $144
Total $27,300 $933 in cash back $409.50 in cash back

Why should you get the Ink Business Cash?

If you’re considering the Ink Business Cash, it would be because your business spends a lot on office supplies and internet, cable and phone services, along with gas and restaurant spending. This card would be even better for you if you can reach the $25,000 annual limit for both the 5 percent and 2 percent bonus categories.

You should also get this card if you’re not particularly interested in accruing rewards for business travel. Although you can redeem your rewards for travel through Chase, you can’t get the boosted 1.25- or 1.5-cent-per-point value for Chase travel like you could with other Chase cards.

Additional benefits

Here are some additional benefits the Ink Business Cash card offers:

  • Free employee cards
  • An auto rental collision damage waiver
  • 24/7 pay-per-use roadside emergency service
  • Travel and emergency assistance services for issues while traveling
  • Purchase protection for 120 days for items that are damaged or stolen (up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account)
  • Extended warranty protection that extends eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of three years or less by one additional year

Redemption options

You can receive rewards as cash back or redeem rewards for gift cards, travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or paying with points for select products or services. You can also combine points with a premium Chase credit card to transfer your rewards to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need good to excellent credit (670 to 850) to qualify for this card.

Why should you get Ink Business Unlimited?

The Ink Business Unlimited is for businesses that want a no-frills, no-fuss way to earn flat-rate rewards on all business spending. This card would also be worth it if you want unlimited rewards in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, which you can use for travel, cash back and more.

Additional benefits

The Ink Business Unlimited benefits are identical to the Ink Business Cash’s benefits:

  • Free employee cards
  • An auto rental collision damage waiver
  • 24/7 pay-per-use roadside emergency service
  • Travel and emergency assistance services for issues while traveling
  • Purchase protection for 120 days for items that are damaged or stolen (up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account)
  • Extended warranty protection that extends eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of three years or less by one additional year

Redemption options

Like the Ink Business Cash, you can redeem rewards for cash back, travel through Chase, gift cards and select merchandise. For example, you can redeem points for purchases through the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store, Shop Through Chase and select online merchants (like Amazon.com and PayPal) using Shop with Points.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need good to excellent credit (670 to 850) to qualify for this card.

The bottom line

Both cards offer the opportunity to earn a respectable rate of rewards on business spending. The Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers a higher rate of cash back on bonus categories (capped at $50,000 in combined annual spending). The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card offers a flat rate of 1.5 percent cash back and no caps on annual spending. Essentially, you’ll take a look at your business spending and choose the Ink Business card that best matches your spending habits. With no annual fee, you may even consider getting both cards and pairing them strategically for better earning and redeeming opportunities.