Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card: A Great No Annual Fee Business Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card: A Great No Annual Fee Business Card

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

We think the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is an excellent choice for small businesses with irregular cash flow, and low spending needs. The card comes with an introductory APR of 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months on purchases, providing businesses that may have trouble paying down their balances some much needed breathing room. Furthermore, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card doesn’t weigh down too heavily on entrepreneurs whose spending won’t earn them enough rewards to justify paying an annual fee. As we'll explain, we think the card is ideal for companies with less than $25,000 in spending per year, with no significant travel expenses.

Features we like best about the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Intro APR of 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Where we think the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card fell short:

  • No travel rewards for companies whose employees fly or visit clients frequently
  • Not a good value for businesses spending more than $25k per year

Review: Is the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card a Good Value for Businesses?

We'd recommend the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card for small businesses - as long as your company spends $25k or less on bonus categories, you will find some of the highest savings with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card over any other business card. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card gives up to 5% back on most office expenses, such as cellular and landline phone services, internet costs, and purchases at office supply stores. This last bit gives users the most flexibility, as one can purchase a variety of products through large office supply stores such as Office Depot or Staples. The 5% applies to the first $25,000 in combined purchases per year - any spending after that will yield just 1% back. Unlike most business credit cards we see, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card comes with no annual fee, extending its value slightly past the $25k per year budget.

When it comes to the welcome bonus, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card fails to impress. It offers $500 cash back for those who spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that is a low bonus for a high spending requirement. This is unsurprising, however, since most no-annual fee cash back credit cards offer few or no sign up bonuses. Still, in the realm of business credit cards, bonus offers can make a huge impact.

We also like the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card's intro APR of 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, which creates more breathing room for small businesses. This is a feature we don't see often in other business credit cards. This can turn into big savings for companies that tend to operate in the red, and have irregular cash flows. If your business will be unable to pay off your credit card bill in full each month, having a 0% introductory APR for a year can save a significant amount of money from interest. We anticipate this being especially useful to young start-ups and small personal businesses, which may require larger capital investments in the beginning before generating cash flow.

What are the Benefits and Features of the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card?

There are a number of rewards and perks that make the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card a great choice for entrepreneurs or small business owners to consider.

How do I earn Cash Back Rewards on the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card? The card gives anywhere between 5% and 1% cash back on purchases. The highest returns of Earn 5% 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. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn. The two bonus spending categories (of 5% and 2%) are each capped at the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases per year – after that your savings drops down to the 1% camp. That means if you make $50,000 in purchases at gas stations in a one year, you will receive $750 back ($500 from the first $25,000 you spend, and just $250 from the spending over that).

Cash back bonus: Businesses that manage to spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening their account will be rewarded a bonus $500 cash back. As mentioned above, this is not outstanding when we look at bonuses offered by other business cards, but as far as $0 annual fee cash back credit cards go, the Chase Ink's bonus is quite generous.

Ultimate Rewards: The rewards you receive from spending and bonuses on the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is given in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. These can then be used for cash back, gift card, or more using Chase's online Ultimate Rewards portal. In order to redeem points, you must accumulate a minimum of 2,500 points. Tracking how many points you earn is easy, as it directly correlates to the cash back categories. Anything that is advertised as earning you 5% back gets you 5 UR points per dollar; 2% back correlates to 2 points per dollar, and so on.

Other Benefits of the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Businesses that use the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card will be afforded certain protections on their purchases that come in handy when running a company:

Car Rental Coverage: Firstly, by paying for auto rentals in full, using your Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, you and your company will be automatically covered for any damages to the rental car resulting from theft or collision. You don't need to purchase any insurance from the car rental agency.

Purchase Protection: All purchases to the card - ranging from employee computers to furniture for the office - are also insured by the bank for up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account. The coverage for each item lasts for up to 120 days from the initial date of purchase. Additionally, all purchases on the card will receive 1 year of extended warranty protection. This applies only to eligible warranties of up to 3 years (meaning that you may qualify for a maximum warranty of 4 years by using your Ink Business Cash® Credit Card).

Monitor spending: The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card gives business owners the ability to control and monitor their credit spending. Account holders are able to set up individual spending limits on employee credit cards. They can also take screenshots of different purchase receipts, and file them directly using the Chase Ink mobile app. This can help in making sure you are keeping track of all business expenses come tax season. In this way, Chase Ink business cardholders are given tools to better manage their expenses - a feature we believe to be extra useful for small companies with no dedicated accounting departament.

How does the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

All businesses know that they must always be aware of all options and details, in order to come to an optimal decision. To that end, we have outlined other credit cards which are competitive with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, in the sections below. We hope that by understanding the competition, small business owners will be better equipped to make the decision about which credit card is best for them.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card vs Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

For any business with a lot of travel expenses, we like the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card as the optimal choice. The card offers anywhere from a 1.8% to a 5.4% rewards rate (based on our estimated point value of $0.009 multiplied by the points earned) - 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.

One reason we prefer the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card to the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is the flexibility the former allows. If you want a credit card for your business that will earn you rewards in other forms than airline tickets and hotel stays, we recommend going with either of the Chase Ink credit cards.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, please click here.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card vs Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® is another popular cash back credit card from Chase bank, offering up to 5% back on rotating categories throughout the year. Unlike the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, the Chase Freedom® is a personal credit card - not meant for business. Because of that, the caps on spending are much lower for Chase Freedom® cardholders ($1,500 per quarter). Also, the categories which award 5% back tend to be consumer-focused, not always matching business related spending.

One reason to consider the Chase Freedom® over the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is if your companies' credit score isn't sufficient to qualify for a proper business credit card. In that case, we recommend applying for something like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (as an individual) in order to get a decent rewards credit line. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers unlimited 2% back on all spending, which is sure to fit a businesses’ needs than the limited, and capped bonus rotating categories of the Chase Freedom®.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Card vs Capital One Spark Cash for Business

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is yet another cash back business credit card, which allows businesses to earn rewards that can be used on things other than travel. One major difference between the Capital One Spark Cash for Business and the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is that the former comes with an annual fee ($0 intro for first year; $95 after that). This immediately puts it at a disadvantage for any business with small spending requirements.

You can Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. This bonus is enough to cover the cost of the annual fee for approximately 8 years. However, as long as your spending does not fall too much outside of the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card's bonus categories, we recommend it over the Capital One Spark Cash for Business due to its higher rewards rate (5% vs 2%).

If your spending far exceeds $25,000 per year, however, you should consider the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, a better deal. The 2% back with the Capital One Spark Cash for Business is unlimited, meaning that the more you spend beyond the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card's $25k bonus cap, the more savings you'll have.

Bottom Line: Is the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Worth It?

If your business has relatively low expenses (under $25k per year) and no travel expenses, then the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is a worthwhile investment. It will provide decent rewards, at no annual cost. It is also a good choice for companies with irregular cash flows, due to having a 0% introductory APR on purchases – this can save a small business a ton of money on interest.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Resources

How do I receive my cash back rewards? Your rewards are earned in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. You need to log into the Chase Online banking system, and choose to redeem your points for cash back, in order for the rewards to be applied to your account. You need a minimum of 2,500 points in order to redeem.

The information related to the Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).