About Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card
The Chase Ink Unlimited is a business credit card from Chase that offers a 1.5x rewards rate and a substantial sign-up bonus of $500 cash back if you can spend $3,000 in the first three months of owning the card.
In a press release from Chase launched the first day the card was available to the public, Chase Ink General Manager Jeff Hoffman said the card was created to make life simple for business owners.
“Small business owners today are hyper focused on growing their business and eliminating distractions. We are providing a tool that helps manage cash flow and expenses, in a straightforward way that matches their working style,” Hoffman said.
The card is one of three different business credit cards Chase offers. What makes it unique is that you don’t get varying rewards rates depending on what you buy, something that’s instrumental to the rewards in the other two cards in the Chase lineup.
Because you have so many options to choose from, it’s important to know how this card can benefit your small business through the rewards its offers and its rates and fees.
In this review, we’re going provide you with insight into our research of the card, a process in which we uncover the best and worst of the card in an effort to equip you to make a solid choice.
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited’s Rewards
As we mentioned a few seconds ago, this credit card has one rewards rate for all the purchases you make: 1.5%.
What this means is that, for every dollar you spend, you earn 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can redeem these points for many different things, but the most popular choices are travel and cash.
Redeeming for cash is as simple as logging into your mobile or desktop Chase account and choosing how much of your rewards balance you want to redeem for cash.
Booking travel with the points is also easy. You log into the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and use their travel booking engine to find flights, hotel stays, car rentals, activities and cruises.
You can also choose to use your points to buy gift cards. Although this is a less-popular option for redemption, it's actually a decent choice if you want to pick up a few gift cards to hand out as incentives or gifts for employees.
Now, the real key is to understand how many points you can earn each year with this card. In a post we wrote for CPA Practice Advisor, we pointed out that average business card user spends about $29,000.
Your 1.5x rewards rate will turn that spending into 43,500 Ultimate Rewards points, good for $450 in cash, gift cards or travel.
Aside from this rewards rate, you get one other significant perk: a $500 bonus if you can spend $3,000 in the first three months.
The bonus comes in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which means you can cash them out, use them for travel or buy gift cards with them.
Based on the average spending habits of a business card owner, you should have no problem hitting that $3,000 requirement.
Your three-month deadline starts the day Chase approves you for the card, not the day you get it in the mail. Also, it will take about 6-8 weeks for that bonus to show up in your account.
In summary, we believe that this card can earn you around 93,500 points your first year, which is equivalent to $935.
Chase will provide you with as many Ink Business Unlimited employee cards as you want. Keep in mind, though, the fine print is clear that you have to provide accurate information about the person who will use the card.
If they suspect any fraudulent activity as it relates to the information you provide about additional users, they may close your account.
Other information you should know:
- Statements for every card are sent to you
- You can set spending limits on employee cards
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited’s Rates and Fees
Every credit card is a risk-reward proposition. The reward is, quite literally, rewards: $930 in the first year. The risk is the card’s rates and fees, the most pertinent of which we’ll list here:
- APR: 14.74% - 20.74%
- Cash advance APR: 26.49%
- Penalty APR: 29.99%
- Promo APR: 0%/12 months on balance transfers
- Annual fee: None
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $39
What makes this card unique among Chase’s other business cards is that it combines a lack of annual fee with an APR range that’s better than most of Chase’s business and non-business cards. We’ll show you those differences in the next section but, for now, know that this card’s rates are good.
The other thing we want to point out is the penalty APR. This is a percentage rate – 29.99% -- that kicks in whenever you make your first late payment or you have a payment returned. The rate may apply to your account indefinitely and will be used to calculate interest payments on outstanding balances and future purchases.
How the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Compares to Chase’s Other Business Cards
Early on in this review, we talked about how the card was designed to give business owners a simple way to earn rewards.
That statement comes in the context of Chase’s other two business cards: the Ink Business Cash and the Ink Business Preferred. Both cards offered tiered rewards that provide bigger bonuses for certain purchases.
For example, the Ink Business Cash gives you 5x points on every dollar you spend at office supply stores and on internet, phone and cable bills, up to $25,000. You get 3x points for every dollar you spend at gas stations and restaurants.
The Ink Business Preferred, on the other hand, gives you 3x points on purchases in the following categories, up to $100,000:
- Cable and phone services
- Social media/search engine advertising
You’ll have to look through your most recent statements to determine how much you spend in these various categories in order to understand how valuable each card is. When it comes to consumer rewards credit cards, flat-rate cards tend to provide more rewards per year than cards with category bonuses.
Both the Business Preferred and the Business Cash have APR’s of 14.74% - 20.74% along with a sign-up bonus of $500. Also, neither of them charges an annual fee.
The Business Preferred has an APR of 17.49% - 22.49%, an 80,000-point sign-up bonus and a $95 annual fee. A key perk for this card is the fact that you can transfer your points to travel partners and, if you choose to redeem your rewards balance to buy travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, your balance gets a 25% boost. So, $400 in rewards cash is worth $500 when booking travel.
Knowing which of these cards is right for you is a matter of understanding your spending and your needs. If you don’t make big spends in the categories that get bigger bonuses, then the Business Cash and Business Preferred aren’t the right fit.
However, if you are looking for a card that gives you excellent travel rewards and you’re willing to pay an annual fee, the Business Preferred is a great fit.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of the Chase Ink Business Unlimited
Based on our research, we believe this card’s greatest strength is that it simplifies the rewards process by offering you one rate: 1.5 points per dollar. Now, this is a bit of misnomer in that the rewards process is always simple because Chase automatically calculates how many points each purchase gets. The trick, as we mentioned earlier, is knowing how much you spend in each category that gets a bonus. Only then can you make a smart choice about which card brings you the most rewards each year.
However, if you don’t want to put all that work in to figure out which card is best for your business, then the Ink Business Unlimited is an excellent choice. There is no annual fee and the interest rate is the lowest of all Chase credit cards.
We also think the card’s 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers is a good perk.
Remember, though, that if you make one late payment Chase will hit you with a 29.99% penalty APR that will apply to any balances you transfer. We’d say this is the card’s main weakness.
If you have a history of paying your credit cards late, this may not be the best fit for you. If you still want to give it a go, then we recommend setting up autopay to cover at least the minimum payment. This card is not worth it if you carry a balance and the penalty APR is active.
Business cards are big business and, as a result, you have plenty of Chase and non-Chase options out there. If you want to learn more about business rewards credit cards, then read through our guide to the best business rewards cards of 2018.
In the article, we compare seven different cards from Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Chase, American Express and Capital One. The guide is an in-depth exploration of each card’s strengths and weaknesses; it also gives you a comprehensive understanding of your options.