The Ink Business Cash Credit Card from Chase offers small business owners the opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back in select spending categories with no annual fee, a nice 12-month 0% APR introductory period, and a comparatively low APR of between 14.74% and 20.74%. The card also offers an impressive sign-up bonus of $500 when you spend $3,000 during the first three months.
There are just a few possible drawbacks to consider. First, the 5% cash back category is fairly limited and capped at $25,000 per year. This category only covers office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services. There’s also a 2% category (with the same cap), including gas and restaurants, but all other purchases only earn 1% back. You’ll also want to be aware of the 3% foreign transaction fees if you rely on international suppliers or work abroad continually.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card Overview
Rewards rate: 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in select business categories (office supplies, internet, cable, and phone) each year, 2% back on the first $25,000 spent in other select categories (gas stations and restaurants) each year, 1% back on all other purchases
Sign-up bonus: $500 after spending $3,000 in the first three months
Annual fee: $0
APR: 14.74% to 20.74% variable (0% intro APR for 12 months)
- Balance transfer fee: $5 or 5% (whichever is greater)
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Strong rewards rate in select categories: Earn 5% back on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services
- No annual fee: Business cards with up to 5% back typically come with an annual fee
- 0% APR for 12 months: Not many business cards offer a 0% APR period, especially not for this long
- Weak rewards rate outside of select categories: 1% back on purchases outside the select categories is comparatively low
- Foreign transaction fees: 3% on every foreign transaction is a drawback for those with international expenses
Who Should Get Ink Business Cash Credit Card?
Best for: Small business owners looking to earn cash back rewards without paying an annual credit card fee. Also good for small business owners planning a substantial purchase, for which the 0% APR for 12 months would be particularly beneficial.
Not for: Small business owners who regularly conduct business outside the U.S. The 3% foreign transaction fees can quickly add up if you’re using international suppliers or working abroad regularly. This card is also not a good fit for small business owners who spend most of their budget outside the designated 5% and 2% cash back categories.
Strong rewards rate in select categories
Receiving 5% cash back is a robust rewards rate, especially considering that the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card comes with no annual fee. If your small business spends a substantial amount on common business expenses like office supplies, internet, cable, and phone, this card provides a solid value for you. Another 2% back on gas and restaurants is also a good incentive for a no-annual-fee card.
No annual fee
Business credit cards with cash back rates of up to 5% typically come with an annual fee. For all the rewards the Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers, it’s impressive that there’s no annual fee required. In addition to the cash back program, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card also provides employee credit cards (with spending limits) at no additional cost. Again, this is especially notable because there’s no annual fee for this card.
0% APR for 12 Months
Business credit cards typically don’t need to entice customers with a 0% APR period. Those that do, often offer a shorter period of six to nine months. But Chase’s Ink Business Cash Credit Card provides a generous 12-month 0% APR period. This is ideal for business owners planning to make a substantial purchase soon—they’ll be able to pay off that high-ticket item over 12 months without incurring any interest charges.
Weak rewards rate outside of select categories
If most of your small business expenses fall outside the card’s designated spending categories (office supplies, internet, cable, phone, gas, and dining), you’ll be earning a comparatively low 1% cash back on most of your spending. With no annual fee, you might not be concerned about this low rate, but an annual fee may be worth the expense if your typical spending falls into other categories.
Foreign transaction fees
A 3% fee for every foreign transaction is an unnecessary expense for small business owners who conduct much business outside the U.S. If you pay overseas suppliers or service providers, or if you travel abroad regularly for your business, you’d likely be better off with a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
|Ink Business Cash Credit Card||American Express Business Gold Card||Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard||Capital One Spark Cash for Business|
|Rewards Rate||5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in select business categories (office supplies, internet, cable, and phone) each year; 2% back on the first $25,000 spent in other select categories (gas and dining) each year; 1% back on all other purchases||4x rewards points on 2 categories of your choice each billing cycle (advertising, technology, gas, restaurants, shipping, or airfare); 1 point per dollar on all others||3% cash back on your choice of category (computer services, travel, gas, tech services, office supplies, or business consulting); 2% back on dining; 1% back on all others||Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases|
|Sign-up Bonus||$500 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months||50,000 points after spending $5,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months||$300 (as a statement credit) when you spend $3,000 within 90 days||$500 if you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months|
|Annual Fee||$0||$295||$0||$0 for the first year, $95 after|
|APR||14.74% to 20.74% variable (0% intro APR for 12 months)||15.74% to 23.74% variable||13.74% to 23.74% variable (0% intro APR for 9 billing cycles)||18.49% variable|
All information is accurate as of March 2, 2020.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card Compared to American Express Business Gold Card
When compared to the American Express Business Gold Card, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card comes out ahead in nearly every category. The American Express Business Gold Card charges a higher annual fee ($295 compared to $0), has a higher interest rate (15.74% to 23.74% compared to 14.74% to 20.74%) and requires more spending to earn the same $500 sign-up bonus ($5,000 compared to $3,000).
However, the American Express card offers a few perks that the Chase Ink card doesn’t. First, you earn 4x rewards points (effectively 4%) on two categories of your choice (advertising, technology, gas, restaurants, shipping, or airfare) with no earnings cap. And you can change your chosen categories every billing cycle to maximize your rewards. Secondly, there are no foreign transaction fees with the Business Gold Card. If your business spends a lot in categories like advertising or shipping, or you conduct much business outside the U.S., the benefits of the American Express Business Gold Card may outweigh the negatives.
You can earn cash back perks on your everyday purchases with the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card by:
- Spending as usual for 1% cash back
- Spending on gas and dining for 2% cash back (up to $25,000 per year)
- Spending in specific business categories (office supplies, internet, cable, and phone) for 5% cash back (up to $25,000 per year)
The Bottom Line
There are several compelling reasons for small business owners to choose the Ink Business Cash Credit Card from Chase. With 5% back on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone, you get a great value, particularly on a card with no annual fee. The comparatively low-interest rates, generous sign-up bonus, and notable 0% APR for 12 months make this card a solid option for many small business owners.
If, however, your business has substantial expenses in other categories like advertising or shipping, the American Express Business Gold Card may be a better option, even with its high annual fee. And if you incur many international expenses, consider the Capital One Spark Cash for Business Card, which doesn’t charge for foreign transactions.