[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Business credit card users have their own set of needs. They need tools to track and file spending, to issue and keep tabs on employee cards, and the ability to earn rewards for common purchases like cell phone service and office supplies. Chase offers a pair of dedicated business credit cards, Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Preferred, for two different types of cardholders. In this article, we’ll look at their pros and cons, and see which card makes sense for your business.
Chase Ink Business Cash
Chase Ink Business Cash card offers new applicants $500 after they spend $3,000 in the first three months. Cardholders can earn 5% cash back at office supply stores, cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV service (on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year). Cardholders can also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each year, and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Other account features include free employee cards with individual spending limits and a mobile app to image, tag and file receipts with ease. Cardholders also receive a purchase protection policy that covers new items for 120 days on up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. Extended warranty coverage protects purchases for an additional year beyond the manufacturer’s warranty.
There is no annual fee for this card. However, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges outside of the U.S. This card carries an introductory 0% for 12 months and then an APR of 14.74% - 20.74% Variable thereafter.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
Chase Ink Business Preferred offers new cardholders 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. This is equivalent to $1,000 toward travel rewards when they’re redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Cardholders earn three points for the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel and select business categories. They’ll earn one point for every dollar spent on everything else, with no limits to the points they can earn. Points can be redeemed for cash back, travel, gift cards, and more. There’s no minimum required to redeem points for cash. As with Ink Business Cash, cardholders will receive access to the Ink Mobile App, free employee cards, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection.
This card has a $95 annual fee but no foreign transaction fees. It carries an APR of 17.49% - 22.49% Variable for purchases and balance transfers.
Which Card Is Right for Your Small Business?
When looking for a business credit card, it’s important to consider whether it will meet your business’ needs. Are the rewards you’ll earn from spending — which you may do often — enough to offset the annual fee? If so, will you make your payments on time to avoid interest charges?
Chase Ink Business Cash is ideal for business users with modest spending needs and a preference for cash back over travel rewards. Chase Ink Business Preferred favors travelers by offering trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance and no foreign transaction fees (unlike Ink Business Cash). Of course, a drawback to the Ink Plus card is the $95 annual fee.
In the end, the typical Ink Business Cash cardholder is more likely to be a small business owner who doesn’t travel that often. An Ink Business Preferred user is more of a business traveler who will value the lack of foreign transaction fees and ability to earn travel rewards.
Before You Apply
Both credit cards require excellent credit in order to qualify, which is generally considered a mid-700s FICO score and above. This is why it’s a good idea to check your credit before you apply. By knowing where you stand, you can focus your search on credit cards for which you’re more likely to be approved. You can view two of your credit scores on Credit.com. Checking your scores will not harm them in any way.
Keep in mind, business credit cards may be exempt from many of the consumer protections that regular credit cards have under the CARD Act. We advise reading the fine print and knowing your obligations as a primary account holder. It’s a good idea to make your payments on time and monitor your financial accounts regularly to be sure the account information is being reported accurately.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
This article has been updated. It was originally published on September 3, 2015.