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Business Card Smackdown: Ink Business Cash vs. Ink Business Unlimited

Terms and Restrictions Apply
Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. POF does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Provider's terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Chase’s Ink Business credit card line-up has something for everyone with a total of four cards offered.

For those interested in travel rewards and the finer things in life, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and Ink Business Premier Credit Card (both with annual fees) offer points earning in the Chase Ultimate Rewards world, where you can redeem for travel in the Chase portal or transfer at various ratios to a compelling network of airline, hotel, and other travel partners.

Right now, though, there are a couple of juicy sign-up bonus offers available on the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card  that are worth noting.

Both are excellent cards with zero annual fees.

Which one is the best fit for you will largely depend on the type of spend you have and your desire (or lack thereof) to track categories. This article was submitted by Jon Hassell with Physician on FIRE.

 

 

Here are the details – spoiler alert, the difference is in the rewards earning.

 

Ink Business Cash Ink Business Unlimited
Annual Fee 0 0
Sign-Up Bonus New cardholders can earn $900 cash back after spending $6,000 in the first three months.

Last call! Ending very soon.

New cardholders can earn $900 cash back after spending $6,000 in the first three months.

Last call! Ending very soon.

Rewards
  • 5% back in the first $25,000 in purchases at office supply stores and Internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2% back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1% back everywhere else
Flat 1.5% cash back on everything

 

Benefits Common to Both Cards

 

There are a number of other useful benefits that come with each card, including a couple of unique ones that when you need it, you need it really bad.

 

  • Primary car rental insurance. Unlike most cards’ insurance benefits, which default to secondary insurance (meaning you have to hit your regular auto insurance carrier up when you have a claim, and the card’s coverage only fills in the gaps), the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited card has primary coverage, so your regular auto policy is left entirely out of the discussion when it comes to rental cars. This is difficult to find and very useful.
  • Travel accident insurance. If you’re unlucky enough to die or be dismembered during a trip, you must take more interesting trips than I do, but also this insurance will pay out. I’d still wear a helmet if you’re doing crazy things.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement. One of these days, I’ll write up the time where I was on a honeymoon with my first wife (she always hated when I introduced her like that), headed to Egypt, and our luggage was left behind at Washington Dulles on the ramp during a June thunderstorm. There are some smells that cannot adequately be described, and opening those suitcases after several days when we were finally reunited with the luggage is one of them. Everything was shot. We weren’t Ink Business cardmembers at the time, as the cards didn’t yet exist, but had they and were we, we could have been reimbursed up to $3,000 instead of being stuck.
  • Baggage delay insurance. We also could have been reimbursed for the essentials we needed while we waited, like toiletries, undergarments, an IPA or two, and the like.
  • Purchase protection. If you buy something and it gets damaged or stolen with 120 days of the day you bought it, this feature kicks in and pays you back either the cost to repair the damaged item or the cost to replace it, as long as you purchased the item entirely with the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited credit cards–if you only paid for a bit of it, then the reimbursement will be up to whatever amount you charged to the card.

 

Are You a Business? Probably!

 

You might think you need a business with a storefront and a bunch of corporate papers along with whatever a comptroller might be in order to qualify for a business card. That simply isn’t so.

As long as you have some type of income that isn’t W-2 – or are intending to have such income and need to spend money and keep that money recorded separately for business accounting purposes – you can sign up for an Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited card.

If you sell on eBay, moonlight for Uber, are a 1099 contractor for a hospital or practice group, do medical surveys, or anything else for income, you have met the eligibility requirements for a business credit card.

 

Beware of the 5/24

 

One thing to be aware of if you like getting the best bonuses on new credit cards: the Ink Business cards are subject to the well-established “5/24” rule. Essentially this means that if there are five or more new credit card accounts listed on your credit report within the last 24 months, you will not be approved for this card, with some rare exceptions (like an in-branch offer). Somewhat frustratingly, authorized users count against this total as well. If you have less than five new accounts on your credit report in the last 24 months, then you won’t run into this issue.

One nice thing about Chase business credit cards is that they will not appear on your personal credit report.

 

The Last Word

 

Either the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited credit cards are superb tools. If you prefer simplicity and not worrying about trying to stuff specific types of spend on a certain card, then 1.5% cash back on everything is pretty decent – yes, you can earn more elsewhere, but not with the same benefits – and the other card, if you have a lot of Internet, phone, and office supply expenses, can put a lot more money back in your pocket.

And you’ll kick start that with $900 back after spending $6,000 in three months. That’s 15% cash back!

 

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User-Generated Content Disclosure: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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