Key takeaways

  • Both cards earn at least 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, but Freedom Unlimited offers additional higher earning in some categories
  • Ink Unlimited features include free employee cards and the option to set individual limits
  • Take advantage of an intro APR offer on purchases with either card
  • Freedom Unlimited also offers an intro APR on balance transfers

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®* are two lucrative cash back credit cards from Chase. These cards share many similarities, including cash back rewards, generous welcome bonuses and 0 percent intro APR offers. That said, there are a few big differences.

The obvious difference is that Ink Business Unlimited is geared toward business owners, but don’t rule it out immediately. Many freelancers, gig workers, contractors and more can qualify for a small business card. On the other hand, Chase Freedom Unlimited is designed for individual consumers but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for your small business if the features and rewards fit your needs better than those of a business card.

Main details

Cards Ink Business Unlimited Chase Freedom Unlimited
Welcome bonus $750 cash back when you spend $6,000 within 3 months of account opening Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
Rewards rate
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then a variable APR of 18.49% to 24.49% 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable APR of 20.49% to 29.24%; balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days and are subject to an intro balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5)
Annual fee $0 $0

Ink Business Unlimited vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited highlights

If you’re deciding between the Ink Business Unlimited and the Chase Freedom Unlimited, there are a few key differences you should keep in mind, including the respective welcome bonuses and rewards rates for these cards.

Welcome bonus winner: Ink Business Unlimited

With a welcome bonus of $750, the Ink Business Unlimited is the clear winner. However, it does come with a higher spending requirement: You must spend $6,000 within three months of account opening. This threshold won’t challenge businesses with over $2,000 in monthly expenses, but it may be a stretch for smaller operations without as much overhead.

If you’re unable to meet the spending requirement for the Ink Business Unlimited, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has a much more attainable spending requirement. You can earn $200 cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months.

Rewards rate winner: Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has the edge when it comes to earning rewards. That’s because Chase Freedom Unlimited offers at least 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. But, unlike the Ink Business Unlimited, it also offers higher cash back rates in certain categories, including 5 percent cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025) and 3 percent cash back on dining and drugstore purchases.

Annual fee winner: Tie

Neither card charges an annual fee, so they tie in this category.

Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie

Both cards charge a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. While this may not seem like a significant fee, it can add up quickly if you make a lot of purchases while traveling abroad. If you travel outside the U.S. frequently, you should consider a card with no foreign transaction fees.

Which card earns the most?

Which card earns more depends on how much you spend and what you purchase. In general, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has the edge for earning potential since it offers boosted rewards in certain categories. However, the Ink Business Unlimited’s generous welcome bonus is likely enough to surpass the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s higher rates during the first year.

Ink Business Unlimited vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited spending example

Expenses Ink Business Unlimited Chase Freedom Unlimited
Travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards: $1,000 $15 $50
Dining: $5,000 $75 $150
Drugstore purchases: $2,000 $30 $60
Other spending: $10,000 $150 $150
Total cash back earned $270 $410

As illustrated in the above example, Chase Freedom Unlimited has the potential to earn more cash back each year. However, once you add the welcome bonuses to the equation, the Ink Business Unlimited will be more lucrative overall for the first year.

Why should you get the Ink Business Unlimited?

If you’re a small business owner looking for a cash back card, there’s a lot to like about the Ink Business Unlimited. With a flat cash back rate of 1.5 percent and a generous welcome bonus, this card offers high earning potential without the hassle of monitoring spending categories.

While the card is only available for individuals who have their own business, that definition is fairly broad and can include side hustles and freelance gigs.

Additional benefits

This card also comes with benefits like free employee cards, fraud protection, purchase protection, extended warranty protection and personalized account alerts. The Ink Business Unlimited also comes with travel benefits like travel and emergency assistance services, an auto rental collision damage waiver and roadside dispatch.

Redemption options

There are several ways that you can redeem rewards with this card. The most straightforward option is cash back, which can be redeemed as a statement credit or a direct deposit to your bank account. Other redemption options include gift cards, booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and using points for Apple purchases through Ultimate Rewards.

Importantly, while this card advertises itself as a “cash back card,” you actually earn Ultimate Rewards points. That means you can pair this card with a premium Ultimate Rewards-earning card, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred, and combine all your points in that premium card’s bucket to open up additional redemption options or value.

Recommended credit score

To qualify for the Ink Business Unlimited, you should have good to excellent credit. If you haven’t yet established business credit, lenders will use your personal credit when reviewing your application for a business credit card.

Why should you get the Chase Freedom Unlimited?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is worth it for consumers looking for a cash back card with no annual fee and high rewards rates. The cash back rate of at least 1.5 percent back on all purchases is solid, and the additional cash back rewards for spending categories like travel, Lyft rides, dining and drugstore purchases are a great boost to your rewards earning potential.

Additional benefits

The Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with various other perks and features, including zero liability fraud protection, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, an auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance services and three free months of DoorDash DashPass (then, 50 percent off for the next nine months; must activate by Dec. 31, 2024).

Redemption options

The easiest way to redeem rewards is in the form of a statement credit or direct deposit. Other redemption options include shopping with points on Amazon, purchasing gift cards and booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

As with Chase Ink Business Unlimited, Freedom Unlimited earns rewards in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, so you can combine this card with others in the Ultimate Rewards family to maximize your earning and redemption values.

Recommended credit score

To qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you should have a credit score in the good to excellent range.

The bottom line

Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Ink Business Unlimited are solid cash back cards with nice welcome bonuses, rewards rates and no annual fee. The most important difference between the two cards is that the Ink Business Unlimited is geared toward business owners. This covers not only those who are completely self-employed or entrepreneurs, but also anyone who has a side hustle or freelance gig. In general, it’s a good idea to keep your business and personal finances separate, so you shouldn’t use a Chase business credit card like the Ink Business Unlimited to fund personal expenses.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited, however, is tailored to consumers rather than business owners. While it comes with a smaller welcome bonus, it also has higher everyday rewards rates in spending categories like travel, dining and drugstore purchases. Which card is right for you ultimately depends on whether you run a business, your spending patterns and how you plan to use the card.

*The information about Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer