You’ve seen the commercials but is Chase Ink really as good as they say? Here’s what you need to know…
When the Chase Ink business credit cards first came out there was some initial skepticism. Are their rewards and benefits truly better than the other guys? After an exhaustive amount of research, I would have to conclude they are indeed the best. If you have had the opportunity to use any of the Chase Ink products to help fund your small business expenses, you’ll probably agree.
Ink can help you build credit, most business cards can’t…
Did you know that most business credit cards do NOT report your account history – neither to the Big 3 credit reporting agencies, nor to the leading business credit agency Dunn & Bradstreet? That means most will be worthless for building your business credit in 2014.
Many learn this lesson the hard way after they apply for a loan thinking they have this rich trove of business credit, only to find out that there is nothing in their business credit files. It turns out AmEx does not report business cards whatsoever. The only time they report them is if you default on your debt and it is written off. They have wonderful business card products but the inability to build credit with them is a significant drawback.
However the Chase Ink card is different – it DOES report your account history, making it the best choice for building/maintaining your business credit record!
Don’t have a LLC or corporation? You can still apply if you are an individual in business (a sole proprietor). When going that route, most use their SSN (instead of a TIN) and their legal name for their business name (unless they have a separate DBA).
Chase gives you a ton of benefits that you’re not likely to see on other business cards.
On the no annual fee version (Chase Ink Cash) you get the following benefits for free:
- Purchase Protection: All of your eligible purchases are protected for up a full 90 days from date of purchase for covered reasons such as theft and some types of accidental damage. This benefit will repair, replace, or reimburse.
- Extended Warranty: Ever have a computer breakdown right after the warranty is up? For all eligible purchases with an original manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less, coverage will automatically be extended up to one full additional year absolutely free.
- Up to $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance: Coverage for accidental death or dismemberment during eligible common-carrier travel that is paid for using your credit card.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Coverage up to the actual value of most rental cars due to collision or theft.
- Free Cards For Employees: You can order additional cards at no additional cost.
- Premium Customer Service: Chase’s dedicated, top tier customer service 24/7.
For the annual fee versions (the Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus card) you get all of the above benefits PLUS the following:
- Option of Transferring Points To Partner Airlines/Hotels: I cannot stress enough how valuable this is. If you have the Bold card for example, then you can transfer your reward points to partner frequent flier mileage and hotel loyalty programs on a 1 for 1 conversion (example: 1,000 points = 1,000 United MileagePlus frequent flier miles). Since airline miles can often be worth more than 1 cent each, you can get a lot of value out of your Ink Bold/Plus points when you use them this way! The partner airlines/hotel programs are:
- Price Protection: Ever buy something only to see it go on sale afterward? If this occurs within 60 days on an eligible purchase, this credit card will reimburse you for the difference.
- Return Protection: Store won’t accept your return? If you bought it with your Ink card, you can be reimbursed for the purchase price on eligible items within 90 days from date of purchase.
- Airport Lounge Access: You get free membership in Lounge Club. That entitles you to two free visits annually ($54 value). Visits beyond that number are just $27 each with your membership. Over 350 airport lounges in 100+ countries participate. If you’re not familiar with Lounge Club, it’s basically the credit card version of Priority Pass Select (owned by the same folks). The biggest difference I have seen is that Lounge Club doesn’t include United Club, while Priority Pass Select does. Due to United’s arrangement with Priority Pass, there are no longer any credit cards which offer Priority Pass Select.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: Most credit cards charge 3 percent for transactions made abroad, but the Chase Ink Bold and Plus don’t charge you a dime.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement: During Common Carrier travel, this benefit provides up to an additional $3,000 per trip in reimbursement for lost/stolen luggage.
- Additional Travel Benefits: trip cancellation insurance, trip delay coverage, baggage delay, concierge service
- Identity Theft Protection
Rewards Comparison (offers as of March 2014)
This was a smart move by Chase. They know the small business credit card industry is competitive, so they really went all out with the reward programs. Here is a straight forward side-by-side comparison of the three different Ink rewards programs. CreditCardForum’s special sponsored signup bonuses (the best available) are also included below:
|Annual Fee||$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.||$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.|
|Interest Rate||0% intro for 12 months on purchases & balance transfers, 13.24% (Variable) after that||15.24% (Variable)||N/A - This is a charge card so balance must be paid in full|
|How To Earn Bonus||Spend $3k in first 3 months||Spend $5k in first 3 months||Spend $5k in first 3 months|
|Best Bonus Avail|
(as of Jan 2014)
($200 cash back)
($500 cash back or get $625 in travel rewards)
($500 cash back or get $625 in travel rewards)
|Where To Get Offer||Apply here to get this offer||Apply here to get this offer||Apply here to get this offer|
*Disclaimer: The above Chase Ink benefits list is a summary only. Consult issuer for details, exclusions and limitations.
This post was written or last updated March 4, 2014