I’d argue that the two best business credit cards for everyday spending are The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review) and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (review). In this post I wanted to do a comparison of them, to help anyone who may be deciding which card is a better fit.
Let’s compare various aspects of the cards, ranging from the annual fees, to the welcome bonuses, to eligibility, to return on spending, to perks.
Comparing annual fees
Both the Ink Business Unlimited Card and Blue Business Plus Card have no annual fees (Rates & Fees), which is awesome. It always amazes me how often the best cards for everyday spending also don’t cost you anything.
Winner: This is an area where both cards tie.
Comparing welcome bonuses
The Blue Business Plus Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s an improvement, as previously the card didn’t offer a bonus at all. Keep in mind that this is a card you get for the ongoing value it offers, rather than the bonus (though the current bonus is the icing on the cake).
Meanwhile, the Ink Business Unlimited Card is offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 points after spending $7,500 within three months, which is the best bonus we’ve seen on the card. 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. To me the welcome bonus is worth up to $1,275, 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.
Different card issuers have different policies when it comes to card approvals.
The 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 Chase’s 5/24 rule, meaning that getting this card doesn’t impact your ability to get approved for a Chase card. Furthermore, anecdotally I find that American Express business cards are among the easiest to be approved for.
Winner: The Blue Business Plus is significantly easier to be approved for, in my experience.
Comparing return on spending
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 spending annually, since I value the return at 3.4%. The catch 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 (review), Chase Sapphire Reserve® (review), or Ink Business Preferred (review), 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 (this is the approach I take).
These are both no annual fee cards that are incredibly rewarding for spending, so there aren’t that many perks beyond that.
I’d note that the Blue Business Plus Card gives you access to the Amex Offers programs, 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.
Meanwhile, the Ink Business Unlimited Card offers primary collision damage waiver coverage for car rentals, which is pretty rare for a no annual fee card. There’s also the Chase Offers program, which could prove useful, but not as valuable as Amex Offers, in my experience.
Both the Blue Business Plus Card and Ink Business Unlimited Card are incredible business cards. I have the Blue Business Plus and the Ink Business Unlimited, and get lots of use out of both of them.
The way I view it, the Blue Business Plus is pretty easy to get approved for and is the single best business card 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 (you could even use it as a hub card for keeping Membership Rewards points when closing other accounts).
Then the Ink Business Unlimited is the best business card for everyday spending with no caps, assuming you have it in conjunction with one of the cards earning Ultimate Rewards points. 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).