There's a lot to consider when you're looking to set your company up with a business credit card.
With dozens of credit card offers out there, it's not easy to know which one is right for your company or organization.
Choosing a business card that doesn't cater to your company's needs can cause you a lot of stress.
Imagine signing up for the wrong card and realizing you've missed out on the opportunity to earn cash back or travel rewards on your business's spending!
In any discussion about the best credit cards for businesses, Chase Ink Business cards almost always comes up, and for good reason.
Chase's two sought-after business cards, the Chase Ink Business Preferred and the Chase Ink Business Cash Visa cards, can be great assets to your business.
As long as you have an "Excellent" credit score (a FICO score of 720 or higher), your choice between the two will simply depend on the particulars of your company's spending habits, priorities, and budgets.
If you're interested in a Chase Ink Business card, there's no need to look anywhere else.
We'll give you all the information you need to compare these two cards and choose which one is the best fit for your business.
Plus we'll treat you to some awesome tips for making the most of your Chase rewards points and maximizing your cash back earnings!
Assess Your Spending
Pay attention to higher rewards and cash back earning categories
Just like any modern business, yours probably has all sorts of distinct expense areas.
Different budgets for different areas. Travel expenses, telecom bills, inventory or materials purchases, office supplies, marketing and advertising, and shipping are all specific areas of business costs.
Many business credit cards, including the two Chase Ink cards we'll be looking at here, have accelerated earning rates for spending in certain common business expense areas.
Travel rewards for companies with key people on the move. For some companies, a credit card offering travel rewards miles for expenses and providing discount purchases on travel is a major financial advantage.
A corporate trainer, for example, assisting teams located in cities all over the country, could earn enough travel reward points for multiple free flights each year.
Cash back for big-budget businesses. For companies with large budgets, a cash back card offering a great rebate percentage on significant spending areas could earn them thousands of dollars a year.
Do some math when it comes to the annual fees
The biggest difference between the Chase Business Ink Preferred and the Chase Ink Business Cash Visa is the annual fee.
The Ink Preferred card has a $95 annual fee, while the Ink Business Cash has none.
It might seem like a no-brainer to opt for the card with the cheaper up-front costs, but the reality is, depending on your spending habits, $95 could be a small price to pay to earn rewards potentially worth thousands each year.
Take a close look at your budget. Ask your accounting department for a copy of your company's detailed annual budget.
Get two highlighters and use one to highlight budget lines with increased rewards rates for the Chase Business Ink Preferred (for example, social media costs earn 3X points).
Use the other highlighter to highlight budget lines qualifying for increased cash back from the Chase Ink Business Cash card (for example, office supply stores earn 5%).
Hopefully, you'll see some high-cost areas in your company's budget lining up with one or more of Chase Ink Business cards' bonus categories.
Calculate the actual value of the rewards minus the annual fee. Your next step is to take the expense lines earning extra points for each card and add up how many points you'd earn for your regular budget expenses.
Keep in mind many of the bonus categories have limits on the amount that can be earned at the increased rates.
When you max out any earning limits, calculate the additional earnings at the 1% base rate for all other purchases.
Then when you're done adding up the rewards or cash back, subtract the annual fee (if there is one).
Here's how you can do it. Let's say your company has a travel budget of $100,000 per year.
When you've got the highlighter out for the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card, highlight the travel budget line and indicate you can earn 3X up to $150,000.
Which means you'll earn 300,000 points for using the card to pay for your company's travel expenses.
300,000 points are worth $3,000 if redeemed for cash back at one penny per point.
$3,000 minus the $95 annual fee gives you a net savings of $2,905, which makes the annual fee more than worth it.
Note that if you redeem 300,000 points for travel expenses through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, they're worth 25% more ($3,750).
And that's just one budget line!
Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa
Perfect for team-oriented companies with high budgets
There is a saying in the business community:
You have to spend money to make money.
With Chase Ink Business Preferred, if your company spends a lot of money, it also gets to earn a high number of Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
The $150,000 spending cap on the accelerated 3X points earning rate for specific categories is very generous.
Making the most of that offer could mean 450,000 in Chase Ultimate Rewards point earnings alone (valued at $4,500 at one cent per point, or $5,625 in travel via Chase).
You'll continue to earn 1 point per dollar spent beyond the $150,000 limit, and on purchases outside the specified bonus categories.
Features to fit a team-oriented business. You'll always find that the best teams in the corporate world share a couple of characteristics.
The first is having great communication, where members of the team are able to talk and share information with one another with ease.
The second is the empowerment of team members to make their own decisions, including making their own purchases.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa can help teams function well in both areas.
Communications are rewarded. Bonus points are earned for spending on communications costs, including internet and cell phones.
When you get a cell phone for everyone on your team, and pay the bills using the Chase Ink Preferred Visa, you also get free cell phone insurance.
If a team member loses or breaks their phone, you can have it replaced up to $600 (with a $100 deductible and a max of three claims per year).
Free cards for employees. Chase Ink Preferred provides unlimited additional employee credit cards offered at no extra charge.
By empowering your team members to make their own decisions and purchases, you'll increase job satisfaction (and earn more points!).
The 80,000-point sign-up bonus is massive
There are a lot of credit cards out there trying to entice new customers with tens of thousands of bonus points for signing up.
But the 80,000-point sign-up bonus offered by the Chase Ink Business Preferred card is pretty hard to beat.
In order to qualify for the 80,000-bonus-point intro offer, a business has to spend $5,000 in the first three months.
If you're a start-up and getting ready to drop a lot of money to equip the company with everything it needs to operate, it's quite realistic to rack up $5,000 worth of purchases over the course of 90 days.
Redeem through Chase to make your points more valuable. Normally, at a rate of one cent per point, 80,000 rewards points would be valued at $800.
When you redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, they are worth 25% more.
Redeem the 80,000 points you earn (by spending $5,000 in the first three months of your account opening) for travel through Chase, and they will be worth $1,000.
Earn more Chase Ultimate Rewards points for spending on common business activities
As mentioned, the Chase Ink Business Preferred card offers businesses the chance to earn triple the rewards points for spending in specific categories up to $150,000.
Travel expenses earn you extra. Using the Ink Business Preferred card as an expense account for business travelis one area where 3X points are earned.
Hotel costs, rental cars, flight tickets, and baggage fees are all going to earn you three points per dollar spent.
Another feature of the Chase Ink Business Preferred is the lack of any foreign transaction fee—a boon to organizations with travel-heavy executives.
And of course, since the Ink Business Preferred from Chase is a Visa, it also comes with travel protections like rental car accident insurance.
Shipping costs are handsomely rewarded. Many online businesses today ship their products to customers rather than making them shop at a store (think Amazon.com).
Companies with high budgets for shipping can use the card to pay and earn 3X the Chase Ultimate Rewards points up to the $150,000 overall limit.
Go viral and get more points. Chase Ink Business Preferred recognizes how much money companies are spending today to advertise on social media platforms like Facebook or search engines like Google.
For all advertising costs on social media platforms or search engines, your company earns three points per dollar spent (up to the $150,000 total limit).
Internet, cable, and phone services earn two additional points. Communications expenses are a crucial necessity in today's high-tech business environment.
For all spending in these areas (up to the $150,000 total limit) you'll earn an extra two points on top of the one point per $1 earned on each purchase.
A typical company budget can earn an impressive number of points. The average number of employees for a small business in the U.S. is four.
The sales average for a small business is $1.1 million.
It is not uncommon for small businesses in certain industries to spend 20% of their gross sales revenue on marketing (which includes traveling to sales conventions).
For a $1.1 million small business, a 20% marketing and travel budget is $220,000.
In those spending areas alone, when the 3X points earning is maxed on the first $150,000 and the rest earns at 1X, the total number of points earned is 520,000.
Now let's say the company employees used the cards to charge an additional $280,000 (making the expense budget a nice even $500,000) the total points earned would be 800,000.
If redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal for an additional 25%, those 800,000 points become equivalent to $10,000.
Not a great card for companies with low expenses. The budget we just looked at earned the company over 100 times more than the $95 annual fee.
But it had to spend half a million dollars to earn $10,000 in travel.
If your company has a much lower budget (or can't take good advantage of the 3X categories up to the $150,000 expense limit), the Ink Business Preferred is probably not for you.
If your business can't spend at least $9,500 on the card, at the 1X rate, the points you'll earn won't even cover the annual fee.
You can cover the annual fee at the 3X rate with a minimum total credit card purchases of $3,166.
If your budget is small, check out the Chase Ink Business Cash (which has no annual fee) instead.
Redeem points on more than just travel. Besides travel, you can also redeem your points on other purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
The points will be redeemed at the regular rate of 1 cent per point, without the 25% bonus for travel purchases.
You can use the points for Amazon.com gift cards, cash back, and other products and services from partner merchants.
Transfer points to other travel rewards programs and they can be worth more. One strategy recommended by travel points experts is to transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points to another rewards program, where there might be great deals.
Transfer Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 rate with the air miles partner programs from British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United, and Virgin.
The hotel loyalty programs you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to are Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, and Marriott.
Your points can be worth almost double. Many of these travel rewards programs offer special discounts where your points can have a much higher value.
For example, the luxury hotel chain Hyatt offers its $700-per-night room for 30,000 points.
For comparison, at a penny a point (plus 25%), 30,000 points would just be worth $375 if you redeemed them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
The same amount of points can get you nearly double the value (a $700 a night hotel room) when transferred and redeemed through the Hyatt loyalty program.
Are the interest rates and fees charged for the Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa worth it?
The lowest possible annual percentage rate (APR, or interest rate) you can get with a Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa is 17.24%.
As usual, expect the best rates to be reserved for cardholders with the highest credit scores.
People with the lowest qualifying credit score typically get charged 22.24%—the highest rate Chase Ink Business Preferred charges its customers.
Above average interest rates. The average business credit card APR interest rate in 2017 was 13.12% at the low end, and 19.87% at the high end.
If your business is planning on borrowing to finance operations via a business credit card and carrying a balance, there are other cards available at lower interest.
For example, the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business is a top business credit card offering APR rates of 14.49–22.24%.
If you have excellent credit, you could save nearly 3% in interest by choosing the Capital One option.
And you still have the opportunity with the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits.
Watch for the fees. In addition to the $95 annual fee Chase charges a business each year to use the credit card, there are other fees.
For one, it will cost you $15 or 5% (whichever is greater) when you make a cash advance.
Cash advances are also charged at a very high-interest rate of 26.24% from the moment they're taken out.
For late payments, you'll get dinged with a penalty of $15 for a balance less than $100, $29 if it's over $100 but under $250, and $39 if the unpaid balance is over $250.
Miss a payment at your own peril. If you fail to make the minimum payment by the end of the card's 20-day grace period, the default APR Chase will apply to all future transactions on the card is 29.99%.
No 0% intro APR or bonus transfer offer to take advantage of upon sign-up
When a person or a business signs up for a new credit card, the card company often makes an offer to pay no interest on purchases or balance transfers for a number of months.
This gives the new cardholder a chance to move a balance from a high-interest card to a new card and pay it off within the intro period (usually 6–21 months).
Or it can serve as a zero-interest "loan" to make big-ticket purchases and pay them off over the introductory offer's window period.
Unfortunately, when you or your company signs up for a Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa account, you'll be paying full interest on transfers and purchases from day one.
Sign up to earn big points on a big budget. Still excited about this card despite its drawbacks?
Its 80,000-point signup bonus and the chance to earn triple points and transfer them for even higher value can definitely make it worth your while, should you decide to apply.
You have other Chase options. Is your budget too small to justify the annual fee?
Would you like to earn cash back on business expenses while spending less on interest when you carry a balance?
Fortunately, among the many banking products offered JP Morgan Chase, there is another great credit card for businesses: the Chase Ink Business Cash Visa.
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Chase Ink Business Cash Visa
Ideal for businesses looking for to earn cash back with no annual fees
In several ways, the Chase Ink Business Cash Visa is the opposite of the Ink Business Preferred card.
Show us the money! Rather than earning travel rewards, it earns cash back for the businesses using it.
More affordable, with no annual fee. Instead of charging a $95 annual fee, it charges $0 to its customers for the privilege to use the card each year.
Zero-interest intro offer for one year. And the card also includes a 0% APR introductory period on balance purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after the account is opened.
Designed for smaller businesses. If your company budget is too low to properly take advantage of the $150,000 cap on 3X earnings offered by the Ink Business Preferred card, this one could be perfect for you.
Receive a $500 sign-up bonus and earn 5% cash back on some purchases
When a business signs up for the Chase Ink Business Cash Visa and spends $3,000 in the first three months, it receives a cash back statement credit of $500.
It's not as lucrative as the 80,000-point sign-up bonus offered for the Chase Ink Business Preferred card (worth $1,000 if used to purchase travel through Chase).
But then again, a business with the Ink Business Cash card will never have to pay a $95 annual fee ever—so in this regard, it's ahead in the long term.
5% cash back on very common expenses. Whether you're a mechanic, a salesperson, or an artist, you're going to need to purchase things from office supply stores to run your business.
Office supply stores sell everything from coffee makers to computers and paper—and most businesses need them all.
When you use your Chase Ink Business Cash Visa at an office supply store, you earn 5% cash back on all purchases up to $25,000.
Communication services are a must. Other business expenses very few companies can totally avoid are internet, telephone, and cable services.
Businesses using the Chase Ink Business Cash Visa to pay for these important expenses also earn the 5% rate for cash back.
By spending up to $25,000 each year at stores like Staples and Office Depot, and on vital communications services, you can earn $1,250 cash back.
2% cash back earned on dining and driving. The next tier Chase offers for earning cash back is a 2% rate for gas station and restaurant purchases.
If you or one of your company's employees go on the road a lot for official business (like, say, a traveling salesperson), earning double points for eating out and filling up could be lucrative.
There's also a $25,000 cap on the 2% earnings rate each year, which could be worth $500 if you can reach it.
1% for all other purchases. For all other purchases, the Chase Ink Business Cash card offers a cash back earning rate of 1% with absolutely no limit.
Spend $75K and earn back $1,500 in cash. If your business was able to spend $25,000 in office supply store purchases, $25,000 in gas and restaurant purchases, and $25,000 in all other purchases in a year, you would earn, in total, $1,500 in cash back.
Redeem for cash or Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can redeem any amount of your cash back at any time.
You can also redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program or transfer points to partner travel loyalty programs.
Sadly, unlike the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, you don't get the 25% bonus value when you redeem your cash back for travel through Chase.
But the good news is you can still use the cash back to purchase gift cards and make other purchases from program partners through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
How can a business make the most of the 12-month 0% interest intro offer?
There are two things businesses can take advantage of when it comes to the 12-month 0% interest period offered when they sign up for a Chase Ink Business Cash card.
Transfer a balance and avoid high credit card interest for a year. If you're an existing company with an unpaid balance on a high-interest card or line of credit, you can move it over to the Chase Ink Business Cash account.
You still have to pay a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount transferred (whatever is bigger).
But that's very small compared to the interest you'll end up paying a high-interest credit card account, and then you'll have a whole year to pay it off with no interest.
For example, let's say your business has a credit card debt of $15,000 and it's being charged 19.99% APR.
Transfer the balance to the Chase Ink Business Cash card and you can pay it off in one year at 0% interest to save nearly $3,000.
Make a big purchase and don't pay interest. The second thing you can do to make the most of the 0% APR first-year intro deal is to go shopping.
Purchase a big-ticket item immediately after opening the card and pay it off over 12 months, interest-free.
For example, if you own a wood shop and you need to upgrade to a new and better wood lathe costing $10,000, put it on the card immediately after opening your account.
You'll be able to pay off this big purchase in 12 monthly installments of $833.33 and you'll end up spending nothing on interest payments.
At such an affordable monthly payment, your business' increased productivity (resulting from acquiring a better lathe) would be able to pay for the equipment itself!
After year one you'll be charged a semi-decent regular APR. The range of regular APRs charged by the Chase Ink Business Cash card is lower than the Chase Ink Business Preferred interest rates.
With a low-end APR of 14.49% and a high-end rate of 20.49%, Chase Ink Business Cash easily beats the 17.24–22.24% spread offered by the Ink Business Preferred Visa.
If you qualify for the best possible interest rates for each card and somehow you needed to carry a debt of $10,000 for a year, you'd save more than $300 with the Ink Business Cash card.
Still higher than average APR. Both are still charging higher interest rates than the average business card on the market.
The rest of the business credit card industry charges an average low-end APR of 13.12% and an average high-end APR of 19.87%.
After you apply for the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, apply for the Chase Ink Business Cash card too!
Here's a hot tip for you:
Rather than having to choose which one of the two Chase Ink business cards is better for your business, choose them both.
It will cost you exactly $0 more in annual fees to add the Chase Ink Business Cash Visa to your wallet alongside the Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa.
You can benefit from the advantages of both cards rather than settling for just one.
Get lower interest, a 0% intro deal, and different earning categories. That is, with the Ink Business Cash card. Rather than missing out on the 12-month 0% APR offer on balance transfers and purchases for year one, you can take advantage of it.
Transfer that existing credit card balance over and pay it off over a year at zero interest.
Buy that much needed piece of equipment for your business and pay it off in 12 monthly installments at 0% APR.
If you can't pay it off over 12 months, you have a better APR than if you were carrying an unpaid balance with the Chase Ink Business Preferred card.
You'll also be able to pull out the card anytime you need to pay for stuff whose category falls within its 5% cash back spending areas.
Whenever it's time to pay for office supplies or internet bills, you know it's the one to use to earn the most rewards.
Get the big sign-up bonus and earn 3X reward points in its bonus categories. That is, with the Chase Ink Business Preferred card.When you also get approved for the Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa, you'll get the huge 80,000-point sign-up bonus.
Need to pay for shipping, online advertising, and travel purchases? Whip out the Ink Business Preferred and collect triple the Ultimate Rewards Points.
Combine the Ultimate Rewards Points between the two cards. According to Chase's terms and conditions, you can transfer the cash back you earn on the Chase Ink Business Cash card into Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Every $1 you earn as cash back on the Chase Ink Business Cash card can be turned into 100 Ultimate Rewards points.
Take the $500 introductory cash back bonus you receive after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
Add it to the $1,500 you'd earn if you spent $25,000 in each of the 5%, 2%, and 1% earning categories.
You'll have $2,000 in cash back, which you can transfer into 200,000 Ultimate Rewards miles.
Add those to the 80,000 introductory points and the 3X earnings on up to $150,000 in specific business expenses you'll earn with the Business Preferred card, and that's 730,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points in just one year!
Transfer points for unbelievable value. Then you can take that huge pile of Ultimate Rewards points and transfer them all to a partner airline or hotel loyalty rewards program at 1:1 value.
More than three weeks at a luxury hotel. Remember the Hyatt loyalty program offering members $700 hotel rooms for just 30,000 points?
With 730,000 Hyatt points, you could stay at the hotel chain's luxury rooms for 24 nights for free.
If you had booked the exact same 24 Hyatt hotel room nights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal it would have cost you 1,680,000 points!
It's super-easy to transform cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Just follow five steps and you'll be able to combine the benefits from both Chase Ink Business cards.
Log in to the Chase Ultimate Rewards website. This site is for members only, meaning you'll have to enter your Chase user ID and the Chase password for your account when you want to visit the site.
Choose the account you want to transfer from. When you get through the login and onto the "Welcome" page, all your cards will be listed there, including the corresponding Chase Ultimate Rewards points for each.
Cards with cash back balances will also be listed, with the amount of cash back available to transfer to rewards.
Choose the account you want to transfer cash back out of (your Chase Ink Business Cash account) and the transfer destination account (the Ink Business Preferred card).
Select continue, then the next screen will ask you how much cash back you'd like to transfer into Chase Ultimate Reward points.
You can pick either "All" or "Other amount" and choose as much or as little as you want.
Confirm and submit to make it final. Review the details of the transaction summary and hit submit.
You will get immediate confirmation of the transfer, and every $1 you transferred from cash back will appear as 100 Ultimate Rewards points.
Redeem or transfer to another rewards partner. Now you can go to the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchase portal and spend your points at a value of 1 cent per dollar.
Or you can choose one of the 10 hotel and airline partner programs and transfer the points you have at a 1:1 point conversion value.
It's super easy to transfer to a hotel or airline loyalty program partner. Let's say, for example, you'd like to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the Korean Air SKYPASS program.
You should have already enrolled in the online Chase Ultimate Rewards site, but if you haven't, click "Not enrolled? Sign-up now" and set yourself up with an account.
Then you need to sign-up for Korean Air's SKYPASS online program.
Anyone can register for the program by just entering their information.
Log in to Ultimate Rewards. Once again, you'll see your points balance for each of the accounts you earn Ultimate Rewards with.
Choose the drop-down menu titled "Use Points" and you'll see an option to "Transfer to Travel Partners."
Select Korean Air from the list. You'll see the entire list of airline and hotel partners (Korean Air, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Southeast, United, and Virgin, along with Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, and Marriot).
Choose "Korean Air SKYPASS" and hit the button to "Transfer Points."
You'll now be taken to the login page for Korean Air SKYPASS, where you can enter your username and password and press "Continue."
Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points into Korean Air SKYPASS miles. You need to choose how many points you'd like to transfer into miles, and the amount must be in increments of 1,000.
Review the details of the transaction, confirm everything is right, and hit "Submit."
You'll instantly see a screen confirming the transaction was a success.
Now comes the fun part: booking with Korean Air. Real examples of deals offered by Korean Air include long-haul, first-class tickets for just 80,000 miles and $84 in additional fees.
Your 80,000-point sign-up bonus for the Chase Ink Business Preferred card alone can get you that incredible deal if you transferred it over to Korean Air.
Get ready for the good life. Before you know it, you could be sipping champagne and eating gourmet Korean food while relaxing in a first-class seat on-board a long-haul flight from the U.S. to Korea!
But you better work quickly, as the offer for transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points into Korean Air SKYPASS miles has become extremely popular!
As a result, it's hard to find an available first-class seat on a long-haul flight at the reduced redemption rate, so you might need to book far ahead.
You can have it all with Chase Ink Business credit cards
There are a few ways you can go about getting a Chase Ink Business Visa.
You can look at your budget and the spending areas and figure out which card has the best rewards for your expenses and spending levels.
You can choose the Chase Ink Business Preferred card if your business has a big budget…
You'll get a massive 80,000-point sign-up bonus and the chance to earn 450,000 more points if you can max-out spending in the 3X budget areas.
Or, you can choose a Chase Ink Business Cash card…
You won't get billed the $95 annual fee, you'll pay less in interest, and you'll get a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers within the first year.
Now, at this point, if you like both cards for their individual perks and you still can't decide on one, probably, your best option is to get both.
Yes, that's basically having your cake and eating it too!
All possible points-earning purchases will get the maximum rewards points.
Plus you'll be able to transform all your cash back and points into much more valuable miles with airline and hotel partners.
Have you used the Chase Ink Business Visa or the Ink Business Preferred before?
How did it work for you?
Any great tips (or stories) to share with the rest of us?
Let us know in the comments below!