As a small business owner, side hustle champ, or potential ‘solopreneur', you don't have time to waste researching the best credit card to help you achieve your dreams.
You need a credit card to reward you with cashback on the purchases you're already making — without complicated hoops to jump through or weird cashback redemption rules to remember.
That's why the Ink Business Cash credit card from Chase and the Citi Double Cash credit card are both so appealing.
While one rewards you for spending money on your business, the other doles out unlimited rewards for everything else you're juggling.
Which is better?
There's an obvious winner if you're a small business owner.
Higher Rewards, Better for Small Businesses
The Double Cash card can't compare to the 5% cashback rate Ink Business Cash offers for office supply purchases and phone, internet, and cable bills if you're a small business owner.
Plus, Chase sweetens the deal further by gifting new cardmembers a $300 sign-up bonus if they spend $3,000 within the first three months as well as a 0% introductory APR for their first year.
How the Chase Ink Business Cash compares to the Citi Double Cash
|Ink Business Cash||Citi Double Cash|
|What is the minimum credit score needed?||Good to excellent (690+)||Good to excellent (690+)|
|How big is the sign-up bonus?||$300 cashback||None|
|How much do you need to spend to get the bonus?||$3,000 in the first 3 months||N/A|
|How many points do you get for every dollar?||5% cashback on office supply and telecom services/purchases (up to $25,000); 2% cashback on dining and gas stations (up to $25,000); unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases||1% cashback on all purchases; 1% cashback when making your minimum payment|
|If you spent $100 on the card, how much would the points be worth in dollars?||For telecom services, you'd have $5. If that $100 was spent on dining or gas, it would be worth $2 cashback. And if the purchase was made outside of these categories, you'd earn $1.||Spend $100 on purchases and you'll bank $1 cashback. Pay the minimum due and you'll earn another 1%.|
The Ink Business Cash card boosts rewards for your business in ways the Double Cash card can't beat.
Plus, your cashback never expires.
Earn 5% cashback on office supply purchases and phone/cable expenses. For every $1 spent on paper, printer toner, highlighters, and telephone, cable, and internet, you'll bank 5% cashback.
Gain 2% cashback on dining and gas. So, if you spend $1,000 taking out investors or clients, traveling to conventions, and feeding your crew, you'll net $20 cashback in one month.
Bank 1% cashback on all your other purchases. Score unlimited cashback on purchases that don't fit in the above categories and for purchases made in those categories after you reach your earning cap.
Spend $3,000 for a $300 sign-up bonus. When you charge $3,000 to your card within the first three months of opening your account, you'll receive a $300 credit. That's equivalent to earning a 10% cashback rate.
Pay no interest for 12 months. New cardholders enjoy 12 months of 0% introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers. So, if you've got a big purchase in mind but can't afford to pay for it upfront, don't fear swiping.
People love the Ink Business Cash because they earn cashback on purchases their business already makes
New cardholders have the potential to earn $1,250 in cashback from their office supply and internet/phone purchases, $500 cashback from dining and gas purchases, and an unlimited amount of cashback on everything else.
That's cashback worth at least $1,750 per year if you're hitting your category maximums.
"This card has all the bells and whistles you can imagine and is perfect for small business and entrepreneurs who need flexibility and easy to manage," one cardholder writes.
"It seems you want a business card that helps keep operations smooth. So far, that is exactly what this card does," another notes.
The biggest customer complaints about the Ink Business Cash are the limited cashback categories and earning limits
Moonlighting solopreneurs may not need 5% cashback on office supplies and restaurants as much as they need a cashback credit card for plane tickets, hotel rooms, and promotional advertising.
The Chase card's highest-earning cashback category can also be its most limiting.
The SimplyCash Plus Business Card by AMEX offers the same 5% cashback back on office supplies and telecom purchases — and then gives cardmembers a choice of where they'd like to earn 3% cashback.
This option could help if you're looking for travel rewards like frequent flyer miles too.
Besides the limited categories, small business owners with larger operations have to worry about maxing out their rewards earning.
Once you hit $25,000 in spending in the 5% and 2% cashback categories — which is about $2,000 per category per month — you'll only earn 1% cashback in those categories until your next earning year.
The takeaway: You're the ideal customer for the Ink Business Cash if office supplies and phone/internet bills are your top expenses
You're a perfect candidate for the the Ink Business Cash card if you answer "yes" to the following questions:
- Are most of your monthly expenses for office supplies and cable/internet/phone service?
- Do you frequently expense dining and gas purchases?
- Do you have good credit? (at least 690 credit score or higher)
If you answered "no" to two or more questions, reconsider the Chase card and instead opt for a more flexible cashback credit card like the Citi Double Cash.
Then again, the Double Cash card offers unlimited 1% cashback on all purchases and another 1% back on payments
- Intro APRN/A
- Regular APRPurchase Rate: 15.24% – 25.24% variable APR based on your creditworthiness.
- Annual feeSee Terms
- Credit levelAny
Earn cashback twice. Double Cash cardmembers score unlimited 1% cashback for every purchase — sans specific spending categories and spending caps.
Then you earn another 1% cashback when you pay your credit card bill. As long as you pay the minimum amount due, it's like earning 2% cashback.
Enjoy 18-months of 0% intro APR for balance transfers. Complete a balance transfer within four months of opening your account and pay no interest on your transferred balance for a year and a half.
People love the Double Cash card because you earn an unlimited amount of cashback — twice!
Double Cash cardholders never have to worry about using their card for specific purchases; every transaction is eligible for the same unlimited 1% cashback.
Plus, when you pay off credit card bill, you'll earn another 1% cashback just for making the minimum payment.
One cardholder writes: "I love that the rewards add up so quickly and I don't have to remember to use a certain card for a certain type of purchase in life. It all just goes on this card. So simple!"
The biggest customer complaint about the Double Cash card is the rules for redeeming cashback
Redeem cashback only after you hit $25. You can only redeem your cashback when your rewards balance hits a specific threshold.
Use your cashback before it expires. If you haven't made any purchases or payments in 12 months, all the cashback rewards you earned will disappear as if you never banked them.
The takeaway: You're the ideal Citi Double Cash cardmember if you hate keeping track of cashback earning categories
This card may become your favorite if you answer "yes" to the following questions:
- Would you rather earn an unlimited cashback rate for all your purchases instead of directing your spending to certain cashback categories?
- Do you want to transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card?
- Do you have good credit? (credit score >690)
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, reconsider the Citi Double Cash card and opt for a rewards or cashback credit card instead.
Chase and Citi are both members of the Big Four Banks of the United States
Chase and Citi, the financial backers and credit card issuers of the Ink Business Cash and Double Cash cards, respectively, make up half of the Big Four Banks in the US.
These four hold almost 40% of all US customer deposits.
JPMorgan Chase is first in terms of sheer size when it comes to banks in the US. Chase boasts over 93 million cardholders in its family.
Citi is the world's largest credit card issuer. With more than 55 million credit card accounts, Citi cardholders make $421 billion in annual purchases.
JPMorgan Chase services protect your business; Citi services impress clients and investors
When you're approved for the Ink Business Cash or Double Cash card, you'll automatically be entitled to the Chase or Citi customer services.
Comparison of Services
The good and the bad about Chase services
Call the Chase Benefit Administrator if you need help on the road. A Chase Benefit Administrator can provide medical referrals or assist with travel and emergency help.
Secure peace of mind with roadside assistance. Lock your keys in your car? Need a jumpstart, extra gas, or help fixing a flat? No problem! Chase cardholders can call 1-800-847-2869 anytime and help will be on the way (for a price billed to your card).
The good and the bad about Citi services
Impress your clients with Citi Private Pass. Receive special early access to presale tickets and VIP packages for concerts, sporting events, exclusive dining experiences, complimentary movie screenings, and a whole lot more to wow your clients.
Accomplish more with Citi Concierge. Book reservations for dinner or find the best place in the city for cocktails. Ring up Citi Concierge and a staff of specially-trained experts will be ready to assist you with your travel, shopping, entertainment, and other needs.
Eliminate buyer's remorse with Price Rewind. Citi Price Rewind saves you money — automatically. Use your Citi card for purchases and the Price Rewind wizards will search for a lower price for a full 60 days after your transaction.
If the same item is found for less, you could receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower amount — up to $300 for each purchase and up to $1,200 per year for your account.
Citi services deliver the goods if you like impressing clients
The Citi Double Cash card provides extra perks and services to make you look like a pro in-the-know.
Rewards and Bonuses
Ink Business Cash rewards and sign-up bonuses beat out the Double Cash card for small businesses
The Ink Business Cash rewards card delivers way more in rewards and sign-up bonuses.
The good and the bad about the Ink Business Cash rewards and bonuses
Bank a $300 sign-up bonus. Make just $3,000 worth of purchases in the first three months after opening your account and you'll receive $300 in cashback just for being a new cardmember.
Pay zero interest for 12 months. With 0% intro APR, you won't have to pay any interest on your purchases or balance transfers for one whole year from your account opening.
Choose from multiple ways to redeem your cashback. Redeem your cashback as a statement credit applied to your balance, have it directly deposited to your US checking or savings account, or as one of over 70 different gift card options (like those to Home Depot, iTunes, and Staples).
Shop on Amazon with your cashback. Use your cashback to instantly pay for part or all of your eligible Amazon.com orders.
Redeem cashback for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Head over to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to book everything from vacation packages to cruises, car rentals, and airfare on most major airlines.
There are no restrictions or blackout dates when you book your airfare through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The good and the bad about the Citi Double Cash rewards and bonuses
Don't look for a sign-up bonus. You'll get nothing for becoming a new cardmember.
Redeem your cashback only when you bank $25. As soon as your cashback balance hits $25, you'll be eligible to redeem your cashback as a check, statement credit, or gift card. You can even redeem as a credit to a linked Citi savings or checking account.
Visit www.citi.com or contact them at 1-855-473-4583 to redeem your cashback rewards.
Use them or lose them, your cashback will expire. If you haven't made any purchases or payments in 12 months, all the cash rewards you earn will disappear as if you never banked them.
Your cashback rewards never expire on the Ink Business Cash card.
The takeaway: The Ink Business Cash beats the Double Cash when it comes to earning and redeeming cashback
The Ink Business Cash gives you a $300 sign-up bonus, multiple ways to redeem your cashback, and your cashback never expires.
Plus, you'll have 0% intro APR for your purchases and balance transfers for an entire year.
Ink Business Cash and Double Cash members also gain additional purchase protection benefits
When your business depends on the products you buy, it's smart to have your purchases protected.
The good and the bad about the Ink Business Cash benefits
Protect your new purchases up to $10k. Purchase protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft — up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account.
The good and the bad about the Double Cash benefits
You'll receive less reimbursement per claim. Citi's purchase protection against theft and damage lasts 120 days (or 90 days if you live in New York). Should anything happen during that time, you'll receive up to $1,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year.
The takeaway: Chase's benefits provide more protection for small businesses than Citi's
The Ink Business Cash card covers your purchases up to $10,000. Citi will only cover each individual claim up to $1,000.
Rates and Fees
Neither the Ink Business Cash nor Citi Double Cash charges an annual fee
Since there's no annual fee for the Ink Business Cash or the Double Cash cards, it's basically free to use their services to rack up cashback rewards.
You could theoretically use both cards to cover all your spending bases at no cost to your business.
Ink Business Cash costs, rates, APR, and fees
Enjoy average APR. Cardholders will have a variable APR between 14.24–20.24% depending on creditworthiness.
Reconsider before taking a cash advance. Pay either $15 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. Plus, the interest on your cash advance will be charged at a staggering 25.99% APR.
Fork over higher-than-average fees to transfer a balance. Be prepared to pay a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
Limit your spending abroad. With the foreign transaction fee, each purchase made outside the US will incur a 3% fee.
Late fees based on your balance. You'll incur a late payment charge of $15 if your balance is less than $100; $29 if your balance is $100 or more, but less than $250; and $39 if your balance is over $250.
You'll also have to pay a $39 return payment fee.
Beware the penalty APR. Fail to make the minimum payment by your due date and you could be charged a penalty APR of up to 29.99%.
You'll not only lose your 0% introductory APR offer, you'll also be charged an interest rate that's almost 10 points higher than the highest average APR.
What's even worse is that this penalty APR may apply indefinitely. In short: You'll be paying a ridiculously high APR even if you have good credit if you miss a payment.
Citi Double Cash costs, rates, APR, and fees
Cardholders will have a variable APR between 14.49–24.49%, depending on creditworthiness, with the Double Cash card.
Pay down a balance transfer with 18 months of 0% Introductory APR. Transfer a balance within the first four months from the date of your account opening and you'll enjoy 18 months of interest-free payments.
Watch out for higher cash advance fees. You'll be charged either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. The interest on your cash advance will be charged at 26.24% APR.
Keep it stateside. Every purchase made outside the US will incur a foreign transaction fee of 3% per transaction.
First late payment waived. You won't have to pay a late fee or incur penalty APR for your first missed payment.
Avoid super high penalty APR. You'll be charged up to $35 per late, missed, or returned payment.
Similarly, if you make a late payment or a payment that's returned (after your first mulligan), you could be charged penalty APR of up to 29.99% indefinitely.
The takeaway: Both cards have similar rates and fees, but the Ink Business Cash wins with 0% intro APR
Since both cards have no annual fee, similar transaction fees, and equally scary penalty APRs, their biggest difference is the introductory APR offers.
Though the Double Cash cardholders can transfer a balance and snag 18 months of 0% intro APR to pay it down, the Ink Business Cash cardholders will dig 12 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases.
Chase and Citi have expert customer service representatives
When things go wrong or you need help, both companies know how to treat their cardholders.
Chase's customer service
Reach someone on Chase's customer service team 24/7. Simply call the number on the back of your card or on your billing statement to get in touch. You may also call 1-800-432-3117.
Chase cardholders don't have many complaints about customer service. In fact, they're all pretty positive reviews:
"It comes down to relationship and trust. That is built upon customer service, and the help, guidance, and security offered by the team at Chase Ink is truly appreciated. To be able to get "a real person" and not be diverted through a number of "press 1 for this service" steps is, again, appreciated… Thank you!"
Bonus: You can tweet @ChaseSupport, the official customer service Twitter handle for Chase, if you need help and don't want to call.
Citi's customer service
Speak with a representative anytime. Call the number on the back of your card, or 1-800-950-5114 if you don't have your card, and simply say "representative" for prompt personal help 24 hours a day.
"Citibank has always had excellent customer service and is there to protect my account whenever something unexpected happens. This is my "go to" card when I want to feel secure with a purchase!"
Bonus: You can also chat online with a customer service representative if you're a Citi cardholder.
The takeaway: Chase offers help by Tweet and Citi offers online chat support
Reach anyone at these companies 24/7 when you need help. You decide if you'd rather have that help via tweet or online chat when you're splitting hairs.
The Ink Business Cash and Double Cash give cardholders digital tools to make the most of their accounts
Both Chase and Citi cardmembers can download each company's respective mobile app to monitor their account, make payments, and check cashback earning.
Chase's digital features
Pay for purchases with Chase Pay. Use the Chase Pay mobile app to pay with your Ink Business Card at the register, at the pump, or online.
Monitor your credit with Chase Credit Journey. Do you know what having a good credit score really means? Check your credit score for free, get weekly credit score updates, and play with the score simulator to find out how your score may be affected when you pay off debt, open new accounts, or close existing ones.
Citi's digital features
Make your purchases with Apple Pay. Pay in-app or at over 200,000 stores using Apple Pay as long as you have an iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 3 or later.
Protect your account with Lost Wallet Service. Citi's Lost Wallet Service will replace your card if it's lost or stolen usually within 24 hours. Citi may also provide you with emergency cash depending on your available cash advance limit.
The takeaway: When it comes to digital tools, Chase has the advantage thanks to its credit monitoring portal
Even though you'll want Citi's Lost Wallet Service in your corner should you ever lose your card, you'll use the Chase's Credit Journey tool more often (hopefully).
How to Apply for Either Card
Now that you know more about what each credit card is offering, the best way to get started by filling out an application for either card is to check out each card's respective website,
The best way to begin with the Ink Business Cash
Head over to Chase's website to apply for the Ink Business Cash card now.
Since this is a business card, the application will be slightly different than the one for the Citi Double Cash card.
Before submitting an application for approval, you'll be asked for the:
- Legal name of your business
- Type of business you run
- Tax identification number
- Number of employees
- Annual business revenue/sales
- Years in business
- Business mailing address
Submit all this info and you should hear about an approval by the end of the business day.
Keep in mind you need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Ink Business Cash credit card. That means your credit score should be in the 690–850 range.
The best way to begin with the Citi Double Cash
Go to Citi's website to apply for the Double Cash card now.
This card also requires good to excellent credit so you'll want to check or raise your credit score to the 690–850 range if you want to increase your chances of approval.
Canceling Your Card
Canceling credit card accounts has the potential to lower your credit score and negatively affect your credit history. Since neither the Ink Business Cash nor Double Cash card charge an annual fee, it's literally free for you to keep these accounts open.
Still, it's easy to cancel either card with a customer service representative.
Stop using the Ink Business Cash by calling customer service
To cancel your Chase Ink Business Cash card, call customer service at 1-800-432-3117.
Quit the Double Cash by contacting customer service
Speak with a Citi representative about closing your account by contacting customer service at 1-888-CITIBANK (1-888-248-4226).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does each card provider offer new customers as incentives?
The Ink Business Cash card offers new cardmembers a $300 sign-up bonus as long as they spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening their account. Plus, they'll have 12 months of 0% introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers.
The Citi Double Cash card only offers new cardmembers the ability to transfer a balance for 18 months of 0% interest.
2. Do you need a checking or savings account with either provider in order to obtain one of their cards?
You do not need to have a checking or savings account with either Chase or Citibank.
3. What should someone consider to decide which credit card is right for them?
One of the biggest questions you must ask before getting your first credit card is whether you're using it for business or personal purchases.
The Ink Business Cash card is made for small businesses. You'll get the most out of it by maxing out the 5% cashback category for office supplies and telecom services (i.e., internet, cable, phone). That takes spending around $2,000/month.
If you don't spend nearly that much on those expenses, the Double Cash card gives you unlimited 1% cashback for every purchase you make — without category spending restrictions — and 1% cashback when you make your payments.
4. What are typical credit card limits for both cards?
Your credit line will be at least $3,000 with the Ink Business Cash card. Chase may request additional information for a credit line above $25,000.
Cardholders have reported credit limits as low as $500 to start with the Double Cash card. You may want to lower your debt/outstanding credit ratio if you're looking for a higher credit limit before you apply.
5. What credit score range should you be in before applying for each card?
Both the Ink Business Cash card and the Double Cash card require good to excellent credit for approval. That means your credit score should be above 690.
Learn the anatomy of good credit and bad credit to increase your chances of being approved for both cards today.
Conclusion & Takeaways
The choice of cashback rewards card may seem like a no-brainer if you have a small business.
With a 5% cashback category for office supplies and internet/phone/cable bills, you'll earn rewards for expenses you're already charging with the Ink Business Cash card.
Plus, you'll score a $300 sign-up bonus and 12 months of 0% APR.
Then again, if you don't have a small business or your business spends too little or much in the Ink Business Cash card's limited categories, the unlimited cashback earning potential of the Double Cash card may be more appealing, especially if you don't want to think about different rewards categories or deal with cashback earning caps.
Double Cash benefits like Citi Private Pass are solid if you're frequently showing clients or potential prospects a good time before signing contracts.
Whichever credit card company you choose, remember that neither the Ink Business Cash nor Citi Double Cash offers cashback in the form of miles, frequent traveler points, or other travel rewards.
You may want to check out a travel rewards card if your business expenses fit those categories.
Do you use the Ink Business Cash or Double Cash card?
How has it worked out for you?
Let us know in the comments below.