Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card review: Best for unlimited 1.5% cash back on business purchases?
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Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card Overview
The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, a Chase card, holds its own in the lineup of business credit cards. It has helpful benefits, a top-tier welcome bonus, unlimited flat-rate rewards, terrific redemption flexibility and more, all for no annual fee.
That said, depending on your spending habits, it may not be the most rewarding option overall. In fact, a card with a higher base rewards rate will likely prove far more valuable overall—even if it requires you to pay an annual fee.
What are the pros and cons?
- Flat-rate cash back may be beaten by business cards with bonus categories, depending on your spending
- No intro APR on balance transfers
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases
- Welcome offer: $750 cash back when you spend $7,500 within three months of opening your account.
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: 0 percent on purchases for 12 months
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 13.49 percent to 19.49 percent variable
Current sign-up bonus
The Ink Business Unlimited card currently allows you to earn $750 in cash back by spending $7,500 on purchases within your first three months. For a business card with no annual fee, this is a sizable welcome bonus. Indeed, it’s one of the highest bonuses available on any business card in the Bankrate credit card database. And although the spending requirement may be higher than similar cards, requiring you to spend at least $2,500 per month for your first three months, the payday is bigger to match.
Instead of direct cash back, the Ink Business Unlimited earns Ultimate Rewards points that you can redeem for cash at a 1:1 value. That means that while the card can function perfectly as a cash back card, it also offers impressive flexibility if you’d rather redeem your rewards for travel, gift cards and more. Plus, you can get even more value out of your rewards if you pair this card with a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve) or a Chase business travel card and redeem for travel.
How you earn
Whenever you use your card to make a qualifying purchase, you will earn flat-rate cash back at 1.5 percent. So if you spend $12,000 in your first year, you would get a total of 18,000 points, worth $180.
Since you earn cash back at the same rate on nearly every purchase, this card is ideal for small-business owners who put simplicity and ease-of-use at the top of their list of credit card requirements. You can simply use the card for all of your business spending and slowly but surely build up a sizable chunk of rewards. To get a sense of just how valuable this no annual fee card could be, let’s say your business spends about $4,000 per month. If you were to use the Ink Business Unlimited cash for all of that spending, you would end the year with $720 in cash back. That’s nothing to snub your nose at for simply using the card for purchases you would have made regardless.
The card also makes sense as a supplementary option if you already have a business credit card that earns rewards in specific spending categories relevant to your business like dining, gas or office supplies. You can use a tiered-bonus cash back card to maximize rewards in specific high-spend categories and then use a flat-rate card like the Ink Business Unlimited to earn a little extra on all purchases that fall outside those categories.
How you redeem
Since you technically earn Ultimate Rewards with this card, you have a nice mix of redemptions to choose from in addition to cash back, including travel, gift cards and purchases through the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store, Shop Through Chase and select online merchants (like Amazon.com and PayPal) using Shop with Points.
If you do opt for cash back, you can claim your rewards as an statement credit or have cash back directly deposited into your qualifying U.S. checking or savings account. There’s also no minimum point threshold you need to reach before you can redeem your rewards—you can cash them out in any amount, at any time.
Read more of the Ink Business Unlimited in our benefits guide.
Other cardholder perks
Ink Business Unlimited cardholders enjoy a lineup of benefits that can help make your business run more smoothly—from travel and purchase protection to employee cards.
Free employee cards
A helpful benefit for business owners with multiple employees, free employee cards empower employees to make their own business purchases. You can set spending limits on each card so employees can only spend as much as they need to.
Chase will send you personalized account alerts. For example, you could program in an alert that sends you a text when an employee hits their spending limit.
Does your business take you on the road? Gain peace of mind with 24/7 pay-per-use roadside emergency service, primary rental car insurance that reimburses you for up to the cost of the vehicle for theft or collision (if you decline the rental company’s insurance) plus travel and emergency assistance if you run into a problem while traveling.
The Ink Business Unlimited can also help you confidently shop for your business. It offers purchase protection for 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account if your item gets damaged or stolen. Additionally, get extended warranty protection that can extend eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of three years or less by one additional year.
How much are rewards worth?
Most Ink Business Unlimited reward options carry a 1:1 value, meaning your points will be worth 1 cent apiece. Cash back, gift cards and travel through Chase should get you a 1 cent value, but you may lose a bit of value when using your points through shopping portals. For example, your points are only worth 0.8 cents apiece through Amazon’s Shop with Points program, so you’ll be better off redeeming for the more flexible cash back option instead most of the time.
One of the key perks of the Ink Business Unlimited as an Ultimate Rewards card is that if you pair it with a premium Ultimate Rewards card like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can pool all of your rewards into a single account and enjoy a higher point value. If you have a premium personal travel card like the Sapphire Reserve, you can boost the value of your points by up to 50 percent when you redeem for travel with Chase, while Ink Business Preferred cardholders can boost their Ultimate Rewards points by 25 percent when they redeem for travel through the issuer’s portal. This makes the Ink Business Unlimited a great starter card if you want to stick with simple cash back and avoid an annual fee for now, but may want to pursue more lucrative travel rewards down the line.
Rates and fees
One of the best features of the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card is that it imposes no annual fee to eat into your rewards. If your business is a startup and you may need to occasionally carry a balance, the regular APR on purchases and balance transfers of 13.49 percent to 19.49 percent (variable) is well below the current average interest rate. Even better, businesses with big purchases coming up may save even more with the 12-month 0 percent intro APR on purchases before it returns to the regular APR (regular variable APR thereafter).
Additional fees to be aware of include a 3 percent fee on all foreign transactions if you use your card abroad, and a 5 percent or $5 fee for balance transfers (whichever is greater).
How the Ink Business Unlimited compares to other business cash back cards
Out of the catalog of Chase business credit cards, the Ink Business Unlimited is one of the best for startups and small businesses that haven’t cemented a specialized spending budget yet. It can cover virtually any expense, so its boosted base cash back rate with no spending limit means you could still use it as an everyday card once your business expenses have upgraded.
Ink Business Unlimited vs. Ink Business Cash
If you want a no annual fee business cash back card, but spend heavily on office supplies, internet and phone services and at gas stations and restaurants, you may want to consider the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. It offers the same APR and $750 welcome offer as the Ink Business Unlimited (when you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months) but carries a much higher rewards rate in those categories. Read more about the comparison here.
Ink Business Unlimited vs. Capital One Spark Cash Select
The Capital One Spark Cash Select is a solid alternative to the Ink Business Unlimited if you’re looking for a comparable rewards rate and a sign-up bonus that features a lower spending requirement. Cardholders stand to earn $500 for spending $4,500 in the first three months of opening their account, and as with the Ink Business Unlimited, your rewards never expire. Unfortunately, the card doesn’t have an intro APR period and doesn’t include the opportunity to pool points across cards and redeem for travel at a higher point value as you can by pairing the Ink Business Unlimited with a premium Ultimate Rewards card.
Best cards to pair with this card
The best card to pair with the Ink Business Unlimited depends on your business spending since maximizing your flat-rate cash back card relies on pairing it with a bonus category card.
However, coupling your Business Unlimited with the Ink Business Preferred card opens the door to travel redemption opportunities that can increase your points’ value. Pooling your points with the Business Preferred means your points will get a 25 percent boost to 1.25 cents each toward travel through Chase, and finding the right Chase transfer partner could bump them up to 2 cents each, according to The Points Guy’s latest valuation.
Bankrate’s take—Is the Ink Business Unlimited worth it?
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card is an all-around good card for business owners. It offers decent rewards, benefits and first-year offers, especially for no price of entry.
However, if you want to earn more back on your purchases, you may be able to get a higher rewards rate with another card. The best business rewards card will depend on how much you plan to spend, where you shop most frequently and if you spend more in certain categories than others.