Before I started blogging, I had a short-lived bookkeeping business (only to find that bookkeeping was not for me). How did I fund my business? I used a Chase Ink Business Cash card. I already had a Chase Sapphire Preferred and Freedom Unlimited, so the Ink Cash was a perfect fit.
The Ink Business Cash is great for entrepreneurs and small business owners who spend within its bonus categories. Even though it lacks in benefits, it practically prints Ultimate Rewards (UR) points for spending on the right purchases.
This card has the potential to be very powerful. It earns 5x UR points (or 5% cash back) at office supply stores and for your internet, TV, and phone bills. The Ink Cash also earns 2x UR points (or 2% cash back) on Dining and at Gas Stations. I use this card for Costco gas and Chase gives me 2x points.
The Ink Cash’s potential can be maximized if you have multiple UR-earning cards. If you have a Chase Sapphire card or a Chase Ink Preferred, you can transfer the points from your Ink Cash account to one of those accounts. This feature is the most powerful that Chase has to offer.
The Ink Cash has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 UR points (or $500 cash back). You will earn the points after spending just $3,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is fantastic for a no-annual fee card.
Earning points is fantastic, but points earned are useless if you cannot redeem them for anything of value. Chase has multiple options for points redemption:
Cash Back & Gift Cards
If you have the card by itself, cash back is one of just two redemption options. Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back.
The other option is to redeem for gift cards at 1 CPP. Sometimes, Chase discounts some of their gift card options, enabling cardholders to redeem for more than 1 CPP. This is the best-case scenario if you have the Ink Cash by itself.
As Chase’s original business cash back card, redeeming for cash back is not optimal, but not terrible either. Any card that gives you 5% cash back in multiple categories is a winner. But transferring to the travel partners is a better idea if you can do it.
Transfer partners are by far Chase’s most valuable redemption option. But they are only available if you also have either Sapphire card or the Chase Ink Business Preferred. Chase has just 13 travel partners (compared to American Express’ 21).
- World of Hyatt
- Aer Lingus
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- British Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Despite being a no-annual fee card, the Chase Ink Cash comes with a few handy travel benefits:
Primary Car Rental Insurance
This benefit covers the entire loss, damage, or theft of your car rental. Because Chase offers Primary coverage with this card, you don’t have to accept the car rental company’s insurance policy if you use your Ink Cash.
Newly bought items are covered for 120 days after they’re purchased. This benefit kicks in if your item is stolen or damaged. Each account has a limit of $10,000 per item and $50,000 per account each year.
If you buy something with a warranty using your Ink Cash, Chase will add one year to the warranty. This is fantastic for businesses that purchase electronics and other fragile or breakable items.
Rules & Regulations
The Chase Ink Cash is subject to the 5/24 Rule. This rule was enacted by Chase to prevent “churners” from scoring their sign-up bonuses too many times.
The 5/24 rule states that you will not be approved for any UR-earning card if you were approved for five or more new accounts in the last 24-months. Some Chase co-branded cards also fall under this rule as well.
Try these alternatives if the Ink Cash is not for you:
Despite the similar name, this card is more complicated than its simple “sibling”. The Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5x UR points on all purchases. It also comes with the same sign-up bonus as the Ink Cash. This card is the business equivalent of the Freedom Unlimited.
This card is great for those who have varied business expenses but want to earn Chase UR points.
This card is better suited for those who want to earn Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points. The Blue Business Plus earns 2x MR points on the first $50,000 in purchases. Those who have varied business expenses will like this card more.
The Chase Ink Cash is a points-earning machine! It’s one of my favorite business cards for earning because of its many and broad categories. I was excited to use this card to help fund my bookkeeping business and earn 50,000 UR points in the process. I still use my Ink Cash for my cell phone bill and for my weekly gas purchases.
Entrepreneurs rejoice! This is a fantastic card for most startups and small businesses. It has no annual fee, a large and balanced sign-up bonus, and potential to be a long-term keeper card.