The Chase Ink lineup used to include the Chase Ink Bold, however Chase removed it from the marketplace last fall.
Since their launch in 2009, the Chase Ink business cards have held their own among the competition — and have a lot to offer small-business owners. Our review offers a closer look at the benefits so you can decide which of these cards is the best fit.
Don’t have an 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 Tax ID number) and their legal name for their business name (unless they have a separate DBA).
Chase gives you several useful benefits you won’t find on all business credit cards.
On the no-annual-fee version (Chase Ink Cash) you get the following benefits for free:
- Purchase Protection: Eligible purchases are protected for up to 120 days from date of purchase for covered reasons, such as theft and some types of accidental damage. Coverage extends up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account.
- Extended warranty: Ever have a computer break down 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 — at no additional cost to you.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Coverage up to the actual value of most rental cars due to collision or theft, when you pay for the rental with your card and decline the rental company’s coverage. When renting for business purposes, that coverage is primary, meaning you won’t need to file a claim with your regular auto insurance.
- Baggage delay insurance
- Free cards For employees: You can order additional cards at no extra cost — and set individual spending limits.
- Premium Customer Service: Chase’s dedicated, top-tier customer service 24/7.
For the annual fee version (the Ink Plus card) you get all of the above benefits PLUS the following:
- Trip cancellation/Trip interruption insurance: You can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for any prepaid, nonrefundable expenses if your trip gets cancelled or cut short for a covered reason (including sickness and severe weather)
- Option of transferring points to partner airlines/hotels: This benefit has particular value. You can transfer your reward points to partner frequent flier and hotel loyalty programs. Often, you can do this for 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 Plus rewards when you use them this way — assuming you redeem them wisely. You basically have the reach of several airline and hotel cards, all within a single card. The partner airlines/hotel programs are:
- Price protection: Ever buy something only to see it go on sale soon afterward? If this occurs within 90 days on an eligible purchase, these credit cards will reimburse you for the difference (up to a certain amount — check your card’s terms). This perk is found on few other cards.
- Return protection: Store won’t accept your return? If you bought it with an eligible Ink card, you can be reimbursed for the purchase price on eligible items within 90 days from date of purchase. Limits apply — consult your terms and conditions.
- No foreign transaction fees: Many credit cards (including the Ink Cash) charge 3 percent for transactions made abroad, but the Chase Ink Plus doesn’t charge you a dime.
- Point discount when redeeming for travel: When you redeem for travel via Ultimate Rewards, you can use 20 percent fewer points than the ticket would otherwise require. In other words, you can redeem 50,000 points for a flight costing $625.
Rewards comparison (as of April 2015)
Chase knows the small business credit card industry is competitive, so they really went all out with the reward programs. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Ink rewards programs.
|Ink Cash||Ink Plus|
|Annual Fee||$0 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)|
|How To Earn Bonus||Spend $3k in first 3 months||Spend $5k in first 3 months|
|Best Bonus Avail||$200 cash back||50,000 points|
|Where To Get 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.
These cards are in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which means you have a lot of options. You can redeem for cash back (at a solid value of 1 cent per point), starting at 2,000 points for $20 in the form of a statement credit or direct deposit. Or, you can redeem for gift cards, shop with points on Amazon.com or use points to book travel (remember, you get a 20 percent point discount with the Ink Plus). With the Ink Plus, you can also transfer your points into Chase’s partner frequent flier programs.
The bottom line
What makes these cards stand out is that you’re earning rewards on common expenses for business travelers. Then, thanks to the flexibility of the Ultimate Rewards Program, you can redeem your points for business o– or pleasure.
This post was written or last updated April 2015