Why You Should Apply For The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

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In early February I wrote a post about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which I consider to be the single most valuable credit card in the market. For me it’s a “super card,” given that it offers double points on dining and travel, no foreign transaction fees, a reasonable annual fee, great purchase protection, primary car rental coverage, etc.

Chase’s comparable business credit card is the Ink Plus® Business Card, which also has great bonus categories, no foreign transaction fees, and a reasonable ($95) annual fee.

But one card that’s often overlooked is the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. It’s basically the no annual fee version of the Ink Plus, and if you play your cards right (no pun intended), can be just as rewarding without the annual fee.

The card has generous bonus categories

The Ink Cash offers the following bonus categories:

  • 5x points on spend at office supply stores, landlines, internet, and wireless phones
  • 2x points spent on gas and restaurants

The category bonuses are capped at $25,000 of spend per year, which I’m guessing is a moot point for most of us. There aren’t many business credit cards which offer double points on restaurants, which is pretty awesome, given what a common business expense it is.

Earn double points at restaurants with the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Admittedly you can always use the Chase Sapphire Preferred and reimburse yourself, but from an accounting perspective it’s much easier to put a business dinner directly on a business credit card.

You can earn Ultimate Rewards points!

This card is marketed as being a cash back card, meaning each point you earn gets you one cent cash back. That means the 5x points bonus categories are really 5% cash back categories.

However, in conjunction with a card that accrues premium Ultimate Rewards points — like the Chase Sapphire Preferred — these points can be converted into premium Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio.

Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners

If you’re looking to minimize annual fees, I don’t think there’s a better personal/business “power couple” of credit cards than the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Cash. Combined you’re looking 5x points at office supply stores, landlines, internet, and wireless phones, 2x points on travel, dining, and gas, and no foreign transaction fees. All for just the $95 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which is even waived the first year.

Bottom line on the Ink Cash

I think this is one of the most lucrative no annual fee business credit cards out there, especially in conjunction with another card accruing “premium” Ultimate Rewards points.

This is both a card that’s worth applying for, or otherwise a card you can “downgrade” to from the Ink Plus. The annual fee on my Ink Plus is due soon, at which point I plan on applying for the Ink Cash card to replace it.

In my case there’s no upside to the Ink Plus over the Ink Cash, given that I’ll hang onto the Chase Sapphire Preferred as long as the benefits stay the same.

Does anyone use the Ink Cash in conjunction with the Sapphire Preferred to maximize benefits while minimizing annual fees?

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  1. Ben I have a trip to Bangkok with Qatar, F CDG-DOH(stopover)Dubai and J AUH-DOH-BKK. Differents PNRs, to apply for a UAE visa the IVS ask me to merge both PNR for just 1, but BA said that they cant do it.
    You know if its possible? Because QR customer service is terrible!

  2. if 5 people apply a day… that’s $1k a day = $30k per month.’

    how can you possibly not afford Etihad residence for at least one flight???

  3. i hold chase bold ink (charge one and it’s being discounted).. I plan to downgrade that one so can I apply for this card and downgrade another one? Plucker up free 20k, who can complain :D.

  4. Two questions:

    1) If one “downgrades” by calling Chase (vs. closing Ink Plus and applying fresh for the Ink Cash card), will one still be eligible for the $200 bonus?

    2) If one gets $200 cash back, how does one “convert” it to 20,000 points? Or is it that one gets a 20,000 points bonus, which one can then choose to use as points or apply as a credit?

    Thanks again for such a helpful blog!

  5. My SO is looking to get a new credit card soon and I was thinking of telling her to start by getting the CSP for the first year to get the bonus and enjoy the no annual fee. I’ve heard of being able to downgrade the CSP to a Chase Freedom card, but is it possible to downgrade CSP to Ink Cash?

  6. For most people, the Ink Cash/Sapphire Preferred combo makes great sense. Flying out of the West Coast to Europe, and wanting to tap into an airline with availability of Saver Award seats, I have a different combo. Ink Plus for 5 UR points per dollar on office supply/cell phone expenses, and Citi Premier for 2 (soon to be 3) ThankYou/Flying Blue points per dollar at hotels and 3 (soon to be 2) points per dollar at restaurants/entertainment. United was once a great option for flying to Europe, but they no longer seem to offer Saver Award seats from the West Coast.

  7. To clarify, United still offers Save Award Coach seats between the West Coast and Europe, but does not appear to still offer Save Award seats in Business or First. At least I haven’t seen any Business or First seats for the last 12 months.

  8. On the UR cards, anytime Chase refers to cash back, it really means getting 100x that many UR points instead. So in this case, you get 20k UR points as a sign-up bonus. They just market it that way since the only other options are stuff like gift cards and the like, since there are no travel partner transfers on the free cards.

  9. @ Steven — You can’t downgrade it to an Ink Cash since one is a personal card and one is a business card. She could long term downgrade it to a Freedom and then apply for an Ink Plus separately, which would also make her eligible for “premium” Ultimate Rewards points.

  10. @ TravelinWilly — If you downgrade you don’t receive any sort of sign-up bonus, unfortunately. That’s why I usually like to apply “fresh” rather than downgrading.

    Regarding “converting” the points, you can do it directly on ultimaterewards.com. If the cards are linked under the same Chase profile they’ll automatically show up, and you’ll be shown how you can “fluidly” move points.

  11. @ Washeelers747 — What do you plan to downgrade the Ink Bold to? Might make sense to just cancel that one so you can apply for this one.

  12. @ Denis — Nope, there’s no way to merge PNRs. That being said, as far as I know really shouldn’t be necessary to.

  13. Lucky,

    Does the Ink Cash / Ink Plus / Ink Bold still come with the Lounge Club membership? I can’t find anything on chase.com about that anymore. Any perk like that helps the value proposition, and if it goes away (unannounced, at that), it makes me reevaluate. Thanks


  14. Lucky,
    thank you. this post, in particular, is very useful for me.
    i renewed my ink plus last novemeber. 5x earning on internet and cell phone spend more than justified paying for the $95 annual fee.
    now i know better. i will apply for ink cash and my ink plus won’t be renewed this year.

  15. I have the Ink Plus. Does anyone know if you can combine this with the Ink Cash to accrue points? In the above comments, I just see reference to combining the Ink Cash with the Sapphire to get the ultimate rewards points.

  16. Lucky,

    The CSP is classified as a business card? But if that’s the case, do you see any problems with this approach?

    Open a CSP card, then in month 11, open an Ink Cash so that the points from the CSP can be transferred over before closing the CSP?


  17. @ Steven — The CSP is a personal card, not a business card. You could absolutely do what you’re suggesting.

  18. Lucky, i’ve had the CSP and Chase Ink Plus for years, but would prefer not to pay the annual fee(s). I’ve already downgraded the CSP to a Chase Sapphire standard. If I got the Freedom and the Chase Ink Cash, would i be able to cancel my Chase Ink Plus? Or do I always have to have 1 annual fee card to accrue the UR points?

  19. @ Rhett — Neither of those cards individually qualifies for “premium” Ultimate Rewards points. So you will need either the Ink Plus or Chase Sapphire Preferred. That being said, if you do have just the Freedom and Ink Cash you could later get a “premium” card, and those points could still retroactively become “premium” Ultimate Rewards points.

  20. What’s the difference between regular and “premium” UR points? I didn’t even know there was a difference.

  21. @ Steven — Regular points can only be redeemed for one cent each towards a purchase, while “premium” Ultimate Rewards points can be converted into airline miles, hotel points, etc.

  22. Hello. I have had the Ink Plus for 3 mos now. Got it @ 50K bonus points. Since then, it went up and out @ 60K. I sent a secure msg asking for the extra 10K but have heard nothing. I called and a rep said hat I would hear something in 7 days. Is there another no. that I can call directly for this? And when using a cc abroad for such things as tolls, isn’t the Ink Plus best for this (chip & pen wise) as compared to the Ink Cash?

  23. UPDATE: checked my Chase secure msg and it finally said that the extra 10K have been added and that I will see it by the next statement. Glad since I missed out on the 70K offer. I will now continue to pay this off while adding to the US Air bonus. By Sept I will have cancelled this and have applied for the Ink Cash. Or can I apply for that in about 3-4 mos (got the Plus 12/14).

  24. @ mommafrica — Happy to hear! You shouldn’t have trouble getting approved for the Ink Cash soon since it’s a separate product.

  25. Hi Lucky,

    I just got Ink Cash card last week. however when I log in my business account it is showing 0 UR and all my UR are reflected in my personal account only. How did you link Ink Cash to sapphire in order to get miles? I called my banker he said my business account and personal account are different so they cannot combine. Should I call Chase to argue? Thanks

  26. @ Al — You have to use your business account as your primary profile. The business profile allows you to link and act upon your personal accounts. Just keep changing the usernames on both (there’s no limit to changes, the names just have to be unique) until you get your business profile to become what your personal profile is now.

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