There are lots of businesses that leave a lot of rewards on the table by not using the right credit card. In this post I wanted to take an in-depth look at the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card — this is a credit that I personally have, and that I love.
Of Chase’s excellent collection of three Ink business cards — the Cash, Preferred, and Unlimited — the Ink Cash is the card with the biggest bonus categories, and which can potentially earn you huge amounts of Ultimate Rewards points. Much like with the Ink Unlimited, there’s a trick to maximizing the rewards you earn on this card, though.
The “Cash” part of the card’s name can be deceiving since you’ll get the most value out of the card by not choosing to earn cash as your reward.
Let’s take a closer look at the welcome bonus, annual fee, return on spending, and perks, of this awesome card:
Chase Ink Business Cash Card Basics For January 2021
There are so many great reasons to get the Chase Ink Cash, from the fact it has no annual fee, to its huge sign-up bonus, to the valuable purchase protection it offers. While some credit cards are straightforward, the Ink Cash requires you to know what you’re doing. But if you do know what you’re doing, this card will prove hugely useful.
Chase Ink Cash Bonus: $750 Or 75,000 Points
$750 cash back is an almost unheard of bonus for a no annual fee card, but it potentially gets much better than that, as you can turn the $750 cash back into 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Since I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, that’s like $1,275 worth of value.
Are You Eligible For Chase Ink Cards?
Chase has three business credit cards in the “Ink” lineup, and you’re eligible to have all three cards, including earning the bonuses on all three of them. For example, I have all three of the cards.
Do be aware of the general rules when applying for Chase business credit cards, including the 5/24 rule.
With Chase’s 5/24 rule you typically won’t be approved for a Chase card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. If you choose to apply for an Ink card, make sure you’re under that limit.
Ink Cash No Annual Fee
The Ink Business Cash has no annual fee. This is a card that you can keep long term and it won’t cost you anything.
0% Intro APR With Ink Cash
The Ink Business Cash offers 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months. You’ll want to pay that off within that time period, though, because after that the variable APR is 13.24% - 19.24%.
While this isn’t something I personally value, I know that it’s something a lot of businesses do appreciate, especially while growing.
Up To 5% Cash Back (Or 5x Points) On Purchases With Ink Cash
What really sets the Ink Cash apart is the incredible points earning rates that the card offers. The Chase Ink Cash offers 2-5% cash back (or 2-5x points) in select bonus categories:
- The Ink Cash Card offers 5% cash back (or 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 Ink Cash Card offers 2% cash back (or 2x points) on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on restaurants and gas stations
- The Ink Cash Card offers 1% cash back (or 1x points) on all other purchases
Those are potentially some really awesome bonus categories — there are plenty of businesses that spend a lot on things like internet, cable TV, mobile phones, office supplies, etc.
Below I’ll get into more details on how you can earn either cash back or points with the Chase Ink Cash.
Ink Cash Cardmember Year Definition
There’s an annual cap on Chase Ink Cash bonus categories, of $25,000 of combined purchases in the 5% and 2% categories.
For those of you not familiar with the cardmember year term, this is different than a calendar year. That means the Chase Ink Cash bonus cap resets on your account anniversary, which is 12 months from when you opened your card.
Ink Cash 3% Foreign Transaction Fees
While the Ink Cash Card is a top notch card for purchases within the US, the card does have 3% foreign transaction fees, so I don’t recommend using this card outside the US. If you’re looking for a similar card with no foreign transaction fees, consider the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
How To Get More Value With The Ink Business Cash
The Ink Business Cash is marketed as offering cash back. As you can see, the card offers anywhere from 1-5% cash back, depending on the category that you’re spending money in. Earning 5% cash back on purchases is excellent, while earning 1% cash back isn’t nearly as exciting.
But if you value points similarly to how I do, there’s a way to increase the value of all of your rewards by 50-70%. This makes the bonus categories offered by the Ink Cash particularly exceptional.
How To Convert Rewards Into Ultimate Rewards Points
The Ink Business Cash is marketed as being a cash back card, though in reality the card earns points. As mentioned above, you can earn 1.5x points per dollar spent, and then you can ordinarily redeem each point for one cent cash back. That’s how Chase arrived at the valuation of 1-5% cash back with this card.
Fortunately there’s a trick to greatly increasing the value of your Chase Ink Cash rewards. If you have the Ink Business Cash in conjunction with another card that earns “premium” Ultimate Rewards points, then you can do significantly better. These cards include the following:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review)
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review)
If you have the Ink Cash in conjunction with one of those cards, suddenly your points are much more valuable, and can be redeemed as follows:
- If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred, points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each, either towards a travel purchase, or for everyday purchases through the “Pay Yourself Back” program
- If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each, either towards a travel purchase, or for everyday purchases through the “Pay Yourself Back” program
That increases the value of your rewards 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 include the following:
|Aer Lingus Aer Club||IHG Rewards Club|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||Marriott Bonvoy|
|British Airways Executive Club||World Of Hyatt|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
Ink Business Cash Card Benefits
The Ink Business Cash offers an incredible sign-up bonus and generous rewards structure, especially for a no annual fee card. On top of that, there are some other perks that are potentially quite valuable.
Ink Cash Car Rental Coverage
The Ink Business Cash offers a primary auto rental collision damage waiver (CDW) benefit. This is valid when renting globally for business purposes, and you just have to decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card.
Ink Cash Extended Warranty Protection
The Ink Business Cash offers an extended warranty protection program, where you can extend the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
Is The Ink Business Cash Right For You?
The Ink Business Cash is one of the most rewarding business credit cards out there. The key is that I wouldn’t recommend using this as your primary business credit card for everyday spending. Rather use this as a complement to your overall card portfolio.
The 5x points categories are really spectacular, so use those as much as possible. In conjunction with Ultimate Rewards, I value the 5x points at a return of 8.5%.
Complement The Ink Cash With Other Ink Cards
In many ways the best complements to the Ink Business Cash are the two other Chase Ink cards — the Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Unlimited:
- You can earn the bonuses on all three cards
- The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (review) also has no annual fee, and offers 1.5x points on all purchases, so it’s the best Ink Card for everyday, non-bonused spending
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) has a $95 annual fee, and 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
One smart strategy could be to use the Ink Cash for the 2-5x points bonus categories, and then use the Ink Unlimited for the 1.5x points on non-bonused spending.
Ink Business Cash Summary
The Ink Business Cash offers some of the best bonus categories of any business credit card. If you spend a lot in the categories in which this card offers 5x points, then I’d highly recommend this card.
If you’re looking for a card that’s really well rounded for your everyday business spending, consider the Ink Business Unlimited, which offers 1.5x points on all purchases. Lastly, the Ink Business Preferred is probably the single most well-rounded business credit card, in my opinion.