Update: This offer for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
While I’ve written about the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card in many contexts, I haven’t written a thorough review of the card, so wanted to do that in this post. I consider this to be one of the best no annual fee business credit cards, and at the moment it also has the best welcome bonus I’ve seen on it, so it seems like a good time to do so. This is a card I personally have, and one I also highly recommend for others.
Let’s take a closer look at the welcome bonus, annual fee, return on spend, and perks, of this awesome card:
Ink Cash Card welcome bonus & eligibility
At the moment the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is offering a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. I’ll talk more about how these points can be redeemed a bit later, but let me note that I generally value them at about 1.7 cents each.
That means I value the welcome bonus on this card at $850. That’s the best welcome bonus I ever recall seeing on a no annual fee card.
This card is subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning that you typically won’t be approved for this card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.
Having any other type of Chase card won’t make you ineligible for this card, so you can be approved for this card even if you have the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which is offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points upon completing minimum spend, and is also compelling.
Ink Cash Card annual fee
The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has no annual fee. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider the welcome bonus, perks, and return on spend offered by this card.
Ink Cash Card points earning opportunities
The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers 5x points and 2x points for spend in select categories:
- The card offers 5x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on office supply stores, internet, cable TV, mobile phones, and landlines
- The card offers 2x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on restaurants and gas stations
If you’re maximizing these points correctly I value them at 1.7 cents each, so that’s like an 8.5% return in the 5x points categories, a 3.4% return in the 2x points categories, and a 1.7% return on everyday spend. There aren’t many no annual fee cards that offer bonus categories this good.
Note the caps on the rewards for the 2x/5x points categories are per cardmember year rather than calendar year. That means the cap resets on your account anniversary (12 months from when you opened your card) rather than the traditional calendar year.
Maximizing points on the Ink Cash Card
I’ve been vague about the points earned on the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card up until now. As you may have guessed based on the name of the card, this is generally a cash back card. That’s to say that each point gets you a penny that you can use towards all kinds of things, including a statement credit, cash back, gift cards, or travel.
This is where there’s a trick that can greatly increase the value of your Ink Cash points. If you have this card in conjunction with another card that earns “premium” Ultimate Rewards points, then you can do significantly better. These cards include the following:
If you have the Ink Cash in conjunction with one of those cards, suddenly your points are much more valuable. At a minimum:
- If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards a travel purchase
- If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards a travel purchase
That increases the value of your points by 25-50% right there, and you can potentially get even more value out of your points by transferring them to one of the Ultimate Rewards airline or hotel partners (which is my preferred redemption, and where I get the valuation of 1.7 cents per point). This includes the following partners:
|Aer Lingus Aer Club||IHG Rewards Club|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||Marriott Rewards|
|British Airways Executive Club||Ritz-Carlton Rewards|
|Iberia Plus||World Of Hyatt|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
Transferring points between cards is easy and can be done online. You can learn more about that process in this post.
Redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for travel in Singapore’s A380 Suites
Ink Cash Card benefits
Not only does this card offer a great return on everyday spend, but it also comes with quite a few perks that you wouldn’t expect for a no annual fee card:
Ink Cash Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary when renting for business purposes and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad.
Ink Cash Purchase Protection
Covers your new purchases for up to 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
Ink Cash Extended Warranty Protection
Extends the time period of U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
Ink Cash Card best complement
It’s surprising to some, but in many ways the best complement to the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. That card has a $95 annual fee, and has a huge welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points. But that’s not even what makes it a good complement.
The reason these cards work so well together is because they have generous bonus categories in different areas. The Ink Preferred offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent each cardmember year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
On top of that, having the Ink Preferred increases the value of your Ink Cash points.
If you want to go a different direction, you could get either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card as a complement. These are personal cards, but the key is that having one of them increases the value of your Ink Cash points.
Ink Cash Card best substitute
I think the best substitute to the Ink Cash would be to go for an “all Amex” strategy. I’d consider maybe picking up The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express (no annual fee) (Rates & Fees) and The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN ($175 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months).
Those two cards are great complements to one another. The Blue Business Plus Card offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year, making it the single most compelling card for non-bonused spend, in my opinion.
Meanwhile the Business Gold Rewards Card offers bonus points in the following five categories:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You can choose one category in which you want to earn 3x points, and then you earn 2x points in the remaining four categories. The bonus points apply to the first $100,000 spent annually in each of the five categories, so that’s potentially a lot of bonus points.
Those two cards together are quite compelling as well.
For those who are eligible, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers an incredible welcome bonus (that I consider to be the best of any no annual fee card), a great rewards structure, no annual fee, and valuable perks, like primary car rental coverage. If you’re eligible for this card I can’t recommend it enough.
Personally I wouldn’t use this card as my only business card, though as a supplement to another card (like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card) it’s unbeatable. It’s a card I’ve had for years, and one that I plan to continue to hold onto, given the great value it offers.
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).