Is The New Ink Business Unlimited Card Worth It?

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Earlier this week we saw the introduction of the new Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card, which joins Chase’s excellent lineup of Ink Business Cards (which otherwise include the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card). A Twitter user just asked me what the appeal is of the new Ink Business Unlimited, aside from the excellent welcome bonus:

I’m excited about the introduction of the new Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card, so let’s look at what makes it special.

Yes, the Ink Business Unlimited has an excellent welcome bonus

No doubt one of the most appealing things about this card is that it offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months. These points can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points, which I value at 1.7 cents each. That means this is a no annual fee card that has a welcome bonus worth $850 by my valuation.

This is the same welcome bonus available on the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, which also has no annual fee. Best of all, you’re potentially eligible for both of these cards, meaning you can earn up to 100,000 bonus points.

This is one of the two best business credit card for non-bonused spend

I consider this to be one of the two best business credit cards for non-bonused spend.

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is awesome as well, as it offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each as well, so to me that’s a return of 3.4% on non-bonused spend.

For many small businesses the $50,000 limit won’t be a big deal, while for others it will be a huge restriction, as there are plenty of small businesses that spend millions of dollars per year on credit cards.

The Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card is the single best business credit card for non-bonused spend without any sort of caps. The card offers 1.5x points per dollar spent, and I value those points at ~1.7 cents each, so that means this card offers a 2.55% return. There’s no limit to the amount of credit card spend on which you can earn that return, which is why I consider this to be the best card without a cap on spend.

To get to Sean’s point above, this card is essentially the business version of the Freedom Unlimited. That card also offers 1.5x points on personal spend. In terms of the return on spend, these cards are identical. The difference is that one card is a business card and the other is a personal card. For those with small businesses who like to keep expenses separate, it’s great to now be able to earn these rewards with a business card.

What you need to do to maximize the Ink Business Unlimited

On the surface the Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card is a cash back card. The card offers 1.5x points per dollar spent, and each point can be redeemed for a cent, so that’s like a 1.5% cash back card. But you can do much better than that.

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:

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:

AirlinesHotels
Aer Lingus Aer ClubIHG Rewards Club
Air France/KLM Flying BlueMarriott Rewards
British Airways Executive ClubRitz-Carlton Rewards
Iberia PlusWorld Of Hyatt
Korean Air SkyPass
Singapore KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
United MileagePlus
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.

Bottom line

The way I see it, the primary appeal of the Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card is twofold:

  • The card has a welcome bonus of 50,000 points upon completing minimum spend, which is among the best bonuses you’ll see on a no annual fee card
  • If used in conjunction with a card earning premium Ultimate Rewards points, the card offers the best return on non-bonused spend without any spend caps of any business card

The rewards structure is virtually identical to that of the Freedom Unlimited, making this ideal for those looking to separate business and personal expenses. Given that both cards have no annual fees, there’s no downside to having both of them.

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Comments

  1. Blue business plus gives 2 points i.e 3.4 perceived cents back per dollar.

    There are cash back cards that give 2.7 actual cents back per dollar.

    You can only do much spending.

    KISS

  2. @JakePB

    Both impact 5/24. While the Ink Unlimited will not show up on your credit report, as it is a business card (which also means the balance each month doesn’t impact your credit score), as Chase is the issuer they will still see it in their internal systems and be able to count it against your 5/24 limit. A business card from a a separate issuer would not count against this.

  3. @ JakePB — Neither card should impact your 5/24 score. You need to be under 5/24 to be approved, but it won’t count as a further card towards that (my understanding is different than AdamH’s — it’s true that Chase can see you applied for that card, but they still don’t count it).

  4. @Debit Yes BofA preferred rewards gives you 2.625% if you have $100K on deposit and then for travel only. It’s a great option if you can swing it but rather different than Chase Ink Unlimited plus CSR or CSP combo unless I’m missing something.

  5. Dan that is correct
    But the cashback is not for just travel.

    Chase freedom makes more sense than unlimited. There are already many cards for everyday spend. Get cards with high bonus categories that cycle routinely.

  6. Before applying for Chase cards, though, be sure and get educated on Chase’s review and shutdown practices. Applying for a new Chase card is one of the actions that can potentially trigger a review of not just your entire Chase portfolio but ALL of your credit report. This happens AFTER you’re approved for the card in question. Chase has shut down – without notice – CC accounts of people who it deems risky especially those who may fit a “bust out” profile. This could include factors like having too much open credit across all CC issuers, applying for what Chase considers too many new accounts in too short of time (distinct from 5/24), and other factors. Again, this is separate from Chase’s approval for the new card. Miles to Memories had a recent post that’s a good starting point. Reddit and the FT Chase forum also have info.

  7. @Debit Just to be clear, at least according to what I see on BofA website, yes you can get actual cash back but only at 4166 points = $25 instead of 2500 points = $25 for travel, that’s 1.575% return on spend vs 2.625%. But if you have the $100K on deposit the advantage is any travel expense will be reimbursed at 2.625% – sometimes Chase UR or Amex MR can’t find best deals through their portals.

  8. @Lucky & @AdamH, thank you both! Need to be below the threshold on 1/1/19, as I go for years 5&6 of WN companion pass.

  9. @debit and dan…. the boa cash back comes in the form of statement credits against “travel purchases”. Travel purchases for at least the boa travel rewards zero annual fee card are the most broadly defined of any card I have. I have tested things like wineries, napa wine club shipments, attractions like local fall festivals, and boa will let me get travel credits for these expenditures, while both chase and citi do not count them as travel for the sapphire reserve or the citi prestige.

    Some wine club shipments citi counts as entertainment and gives 2x ty points, but there are at least two that boa counts as travel that citi gives zero bonus too.

    The point of all that is there are multiple things u can charge that allow travel credit reimbursement in the boa card at the 2.625% that you do not loose out on the opportunity cost of missing 3x ty or ur points.

  10. Great to know rabbmd. You should that data point to doctorofcredit. I consider that unbiased repository of credit card knowledge.

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