The Ink Bold offer mentioned below is no longer available. The information will remain for reference purposes.
Since their launch in 2009, the Chase Ink business cards have held their own among the competition — and that they 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 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 Tax ID number) 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 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 absolutely free.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Secondary coverage up to the actual value of most rental cars due to collision or theft.
- 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 versions (the Chase Ink Bold and 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: I cannot stress enough how valuable this is. If you have the Bold card for example, you can transfer your reward points to partner frequent flier mileage and hotel loyalty programs. Frequently, 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 Bold/Plus points when you use them this way — assuming you redeem them wisely. 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).
- 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.
- 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. More than 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: Many credit cards (including the Ink Cash) charge 3 percent for transactions made abroad, but the Chase Ink Bold and Plus don’t charge you a dime.
Rewards Comparison (as of October 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 side-by-side comparison of the three different Ink rewards programs.
|Annual Fee||$95||$95 (waived first year)|
|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||$200 cash back||50,000 points||N/A|
|Where To Get Offer||Apply here to get this offer||Apply here to get this offer||Unavailable|
*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 Sept. 26, 2014