Applying For Chase Ink Business Cards: What You Need To Know

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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Chase has some of the all around best credit cards, in terms of the welcome bonuses, return on spend, and perks. This is especially true with their business credit cards.

For example, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has the single best welcome bonus of any credit card right now, and I’d argue is the most well-rounded business credit card. Meanwhile the no annual fee Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card have their best ever welcome bonuses right now, and are generally great cards for maximizing points.

I have all three of these cards, and in this post wanted to talk a bit about who is eligible for these cards, how you can go about acquiring all three cards, etc.

Who is eligible for a Chase business card card?

Eligibility for a small business credit card is easier than you might think. You don’t need to have a big company, and don’t even need to be incorporated. Even a small side business with limited business revenue makes you eligible for a business credit card, even if you’re just selling things on eBay, do some consulting on the side, have a rental property, or do freelancing, for example.

It goes without saying that you should always answer credit card applications truthfully.

What are the basic restrictions of applying for a Chase business credit card?

Chase’s general restrictions on applying for cards are as follows:

  • There’s no hard limit on how many Chase credit cards you can be approved for, but rather there’s often a maximum amount of credit they’re willing to extend you, in which case you may be asked to switch around your credit limits on some cards in order to facilitate an approval
  • There are inconsistent data points as to how long you have to wait between applications; my recommendation is to wait 30 days between Chase business card applications to be on the safe side
  • You won’t be approved for most Chase business credit cards (including the Ink Business PreferredInk Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months; the good news is that when you’re approved for a Chase business credit card, that application shouldn’t count towards the 5/24 limit, given that it won’t show up on your personal credit report
  • You can hold each of the different “Ink” cards, so if you have the Ink Business Preferred you’re eligible for the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited

How should you fill out a Chase business credit card application?

Those who already have business credit cards are probably familiar with the application process, but for those who aren’t, here’s what you need to know. It can be intimidating to apply for your first business credit card, though even if you’re a small business or sole proprietorship, you should be eligible.

When applying for a Chase business card, you’ll be asked the following questions, in addition to the typical personal questions about your income, Social Security Number, etc.:

  • Legal name of business
  • Business mailing address & phone number
  • Type of business
  • Tax identification number
  • Number of employees
  • Annual business revenue/sales
  • Years in business

If you’re a sole proprietorship, how should you approach this? First of all, and most importantly, answer everything truthfully. I think the concern that a lot of people have is that they think they need an incorporated business, a separate office, etc., in order to be considered for a business card. That’s not the case:

  • You can use your name as the legal name of your business
  • The business mailing address and phone number can be the same as your personal address and phone number
  • If you’re a sole proprietorship, you can select that as your type of business
  • For the tax identification number, you can put your social security number
  • For number of employees, saying just one is perfectly fine
  • For your annual business revenue, there’s nothing with saying zero, or whatever the amount is
  • For years in business, there’s no shame in saying that it’s new, that it has been 1-2 years, etc.

How hard is it to get approved for a Chase business credit card?

When it comes to getting approved for business credit cards, Chase certainly isn’t the easiest issuer. In general I find American Express business cards to be easiest to be approved for. However, getting approved for Chase business cards isn’t as tough as some people assume, at least if you have excellent credit.

In my experience instant approvals on Chase business cards are fairly rare, so don’t be worried if the approval doesn’t come through right away. You’ll usually get a pending decision response, and then eventually (hopefully) an approval.

For example, I’ve had the Ink Business Cash, for years, and late last year was approved for both the Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Unlimited. In both cases I didn’t get an instant decision.

What are the best Chase business credit cards right now?

There are three especially worthwhile Chase cards to consider right now, and you’re eligible for all three of them, potentially (which means that you can earn the bonus on a version of the card if you already have another version).

First there’s the Ink Business Preferred, which I consider to have the best welcome bonus of any credit card out there at the moment:

  • Welcome bonus: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Return on spend: 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per account anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Then there’s the Ink Business Cash, which has its best ever welcome bonus at the moment:

  • Welcome bonus: $500 cash back (which can potentially be converted into 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 within three months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Return on spend: 5x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per account anniversary year at office supply stores, and on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as 2x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per account anniversary year at restaurants and gas stations

Then there’s the Ink Business Unlimited, which also has its best ever welcome bonus at the moment:

  • Welcome bonus: $500 cash back (which can potentially be converted into 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 within three months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Return on spend: 1.5x points on all purchases

Is there an ideal order in which to apply for Chase cards?

Given that applying for Chase business cards won’t count towards your 5/24 limit, in general I’d recommend applying for Chase business cards before applying for Chase personal cards.

If it were me, I’d pick up the Ink Business Preferred first (since I consider it to be the most well rounded of the three cards), and then would pick up either the Ink Business Cash and/or Ink Business Unlimited, depending on whether you value the 5x points in select categories, or 1.5x points across the board, more.

Bottom line

Chase has some fantastic credit cards, and in particular, they have great business credit cards. This includes the card that I consider to have the single best welcome bonus out there, as well as a cards with best-ever welcome bonuses right now. Not only do the cards have great bonuses, but they have excellent bonus categories, ranging from 1.5x points on all purchases, to 3-5x points in select categories.

Applying for business credit cards in general can be intimidating for new businesses, though I recommend giving it a try using the above tips, and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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Comments
  1. Thanks for the article! Here’s where I’m at.
    To fill out the application honestly, I would be a sole proprietor. I do a few different things on the side (occasional speaking engagements, reselling goods online, etc. that normally bring in around $4,000 in revenue per year).

    (1) Do you think I would qualify for the Ink Business Preferred?
    (2) I would not be able to meet the minimum spend to get the 80k UR on my “business” related purchases. Could I do personal spend on the credit card to meet the minimum spend, and then use it solely for business purposes after that?

  2. if you had business cash before and closed the account long time ago, can you get it again? Is there any time limits between applications for the same card?

  3. Is there a risk in applying that they will look too closely at my Ink Plus spend at Staples and shut it down?

  4. What is the process for converting the cash back bonus to Ultimate Rewards points? And how would point (rather than cash) earning work on an ongoing basis?

  5. @Blake

    1) Yes, if you have a good personal credit score and are applying as a sole proprietor using your own SSN for the tax ID. I got approved for an Ink Plus with a high credit limit a few years ago and listed something ridiculous like $100 annual revenue selling items on eBay.

    2) Terms probably say to only put business spend on the card but in reality Chase does not care. Especially if you are a sole proprietor using your own SSN as the business tax ID. I have put personal spend on the card. I try to put things that look like they could be business expenses. Utility bills, gas, auto repairs, insurance payments, home improvement store items, hotels, some eBay purchases. Never had a problem.

  6. Hi Ben,

    When I click on the “Ink Business Unlimited” and “Ink Business Cash” links I get the following:

    Expired offer
    Whoops! It looks like the credit card offer you were interested in is no longer available.

    Current offers can be found here:

    Top 10 Offers This Month
    Flexible Points & Cash Back Cards
    Airline Cards
    Hotel Cards

    Really sorry about that, and please let me know if you have any questions!

    Best,
    Ben

  7. I applied following your steps and they said my application is on hold for me to provide more proof of my business. They are asking for me to go to the city and get a fictitious business name certificate?

  8. Hi Again;

    I was hoping someone might have feedback concerning this situation.

    “What is the process for converting the cash back bonus to Ultimate Rewards points? And how would point (rather than cash) earning work on an ongoing basis?”

    Thanks.

    Stu.

  9. Did you use different business names between the ink business products, or the same name?

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