Update: This article contains mentions of Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express whose terms have expired and are in the process of being updated. All other offers reflect accurate offer terms. Learn more about the current offers here.
I’d argue that the two best business credit cards for everyday spend are The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express and Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.
These cards both have no annual fee and both offer excellent returns for non-bonused spend, so in this post I wanted to do a comparison of the two cards, to help anyone who may be deciding between these two cards which might be a better fit.
Let’s compare the annual fees, welcome bonuses, eligibility, return on spend, and perks.
Comparing annual fees
Winner: This is an area where both cards tie.
Comparing welcome bonuses
The Blue Business Plus Card does not typically offer a welcome bonus, and instead is valuable for other reasons outlined below.
Meanwhile the Ink Business Unlimited Card is offering a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months. In conjunction with a card earning Ultimate Rewards points, the points earned on this card can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points, which I value at 1.7 cents each. So to me the welcome bonus is worth up to $850, which I consider to be the best welcome bonus on any no annual fee card.
Winner: The Ink Business Unlimited wins by a long shot in this regard.
Any welcome bonus on the Blue Business Plus Card is “once in a lifetime.” The good news is that applying for the card doesn’t count towards the 5/24 restriction. Furthermore, anecdotally I find that American Express business cards are among the easiest to be approved for.
Meanwhile the Ink Business Unlimited Card is subjected to the 5/24 rule and anecdotally Chase business cards are among the more difficult ones to be approved for.
Winner: The Blue Business Plus is significantly easier to be approved for, in my experience.
Comparing return on spend
This is an area where both cards shine.
The Blue Business Plus Card offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year. After that the card earns one point per dollar spent. I consider this to be the single most rewarding card for the first $50,000 of spend annually, since I value the return at 3.4%. The catch of course is that you’re capped at earning those double points on the first $50,000 spent, and after that the card just becomes average.
Meanwhile the Ink Business Unlimited Card offers 1.5x points per dollar spent with no limits. If you just have the Ink Unlimited then points can be redeemed for one cent each. However, if you have the card in conjunction with a card earning Ultimate Rewards points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Ink Business Preferred, then points can be redeemed for 1.25-1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, and can be transferred to the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners.
For example, if you have it in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® then you can redeem points for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of any travel purchase, meaning you’re looking at a 2.25% return. You can do even better with some of Chase’s travel transfer partners.
Winner: It really depends. Assuming you value points similarly to how I do, then the Blue Business Plus is better if you spend $50,000 or less per year in non-bonused categories. However, if you spend a lot more, then the Ink Unlimited is probably a better option. Or since these are no annual fee cards you can get the best of both worlds, and you can put $50,000 annually on the Blue Business Plus, and put remaining spend on the Ink Business Unlimited.
These are both no annual fee cards that are incredibly rewarding for spend, so there aren’t that many perks beyond that.
I’d note that the Blue Business Plus Card gives you access to Amex Offers as well as Amex’s “Do More Business” program, which can save you money and earn you bonus points for all kinds of purchases. In many cases this program saves me hundreds of dollars per year on some cards.
Both the Blue Business Plus Card and Ink Business Unlimited Card are incredible business cards. I have the Blue Business Plus and plan on picking up the Ink Business Unlimited within the next couple of months, once I’m eligible.
The way I view it, the Blue Business Plus is pretty easy to get approved for and is the single best card (personal or business) for the first $50,000 spent every calendar year. The card also directly earns Membership Rewards points, so you don’t need to have it in conjunction with another card to maximize points.
Then the Ink Business Unlimited is the best business card for everyday spend, assuming you have it in conjunction with one of the cards earning Ultimate Rewards points. However, the card has an incredible welcome bonus that’s much better than that of the Blue Business Plus, so if you can get it, there’s huge potential here.
Where do you stand — do you prefer the Blue Business Plus or Ink Business Unlimited?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).