Chase Ink Plus® Business Rewards Credit Card Review
When you’re running a small business, every penny counts. Using a rewards credit card to buy things your business needs is one way to maintain your bottom line.
The Chase Ink Plus® Business Card is designed for business owners who spend on things like office supplies, cable TV and phone services, gas and hotels. Besides a generous rewards rate, this card has a tempting one-time introductory points bonus for new members.
The Chase Ink Plus® Business Card also offers something that business travelers will appreciate. Points earned with the card are transferable to partner travel programs on a 1:1 basis.
Keep reading to learn how the Chase Ink Plus® Business Card can help you keep your business running smoothly.
Main Highlight: Superior Business Rewards
There are plenty of business credit cards on the market but only a few offer a premium rewards rate. Members earn five points per dollar on the first $50,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
That’s 250,000 points you can earn each year if you max out the $50,000 spending cap. Once you cross that mark, you’ll earn one point per dollar on those purchases.
If dining out with clients or business travel are a regular part of your agenda, you’re in luck. This card offers two points per dollar on the first $50,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and hotels each year. You do have to book through the hotel to snag the two points per dollar.
All other purchases made with the card earn one point per dollar. There’s no limit on how many points you can earn at this rate. As mentioned earlier, there is a one-time introductory points bonus. To qualify, you have to spend at least $5,000 in the first three months after opening your account.
Between the regular rewards and the bonus, you can rack up some serious points with this card. That’s good news for businesses that do a lot of spending each year.
The Chase Ink Plus® Business Card is part of the Ultimate Rewards® program. Through the program, you can redeem your points for:
- Gift cards
- Shopping at Amazon.com
- Exclusive experiences, including cruises, golf lessons and more
The value of your points depends on what you’re using them for. If you redeem for cash, for example, points are worth $0.01 each. So 2,000 points equals $20. If you’re redeeming for travel, you can get more mileage from those points.
When you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, points are worth 25% more. For example, 60,000 points would be worth $750 in travel credit.
There are no blackout dates or restrictions when you book through Ultimate Rewards®. You can redeem points for hotels, car rentals, cruises and flights with most major airlines virtually hassle-free.
1:1 Points Transfer
Chase partners with several airlines and hotels to allow for 1:1 points transfer into selected travel programs.
The current list of travel partners includes:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
- United MileagePlus®
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hyatt Gold Passport®
- Marriott Rewards®
- IHG® Rewards Club
- Ritz Carlton Rewards®
You won’t get the 25% in additional points value but the ability to transfer points is great if you need some flexibility in booking business travel.
What Else Do You Get With the Card?
While the rewards steal the show, the Chase Ink Plus® Business Card has some other benefits. Here’s a rundown of the card’s other features and protections:
- Free Employee Cards: Some business credit cards charge a fee to add employees. The Chase Ink Plus® Business Card gives you employee cards at no added cost so your business can earn rewards faster.
- Ink Mobile app: The Ink Mobile app lets you set up purchase alerts, file receipts and manage your employees’ spending all from your mobile device.
- Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance: If your business trip gets thrown off-course because of illness, bad weather or another covered situation, you can get up to $5,000 in prepaid non-refundable travel expenses reimbursed.
- Purchase Protection: Purchase protection covers the things you buy for 120 days against damage or theft, for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Extended Warranty Protection: Chase’s extended warranty program gives you another year of warranty coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty on eligible purchases.
- Return Protection: If you need to return something but the store won’t take it back within 90 days of purchase, you can get reimbursed for the cost, up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.
How Do the Fees and APR Break Down?
The Chase Ink Plus® Business Card has no foreign transaction fee but there is a $95 annual fee. If you’re a heavy spender, you should be able to earn that back in rewards fairly easily.
Other fees to be aware of include the balance transfer and cash advance fee. The fee for transfers is $5 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. The fee for advances is the greater of $15 or 5% of the transfer amount.
The regular variable APR range for purchases and balance transfers is competitive with what other business credit cards offer. Just remember that the better your credit score, the lower the rate you’ll qualify for.
Business vs. Personal Credit Cards
Business credit cards and personal credit cards may look the same but they’re not. For starters, business credit cards may not be covered by the same consumer protections as personal credit cards. The 2009 CARD Act outlines the rules for things like APR changes and late fees but those protections don’t necessarily carry over to business cards.
Another thing to consider is how business cards affect your credit. Your personal credit score is used to approve you but your account activity shows up on your business credit report. Business credit reports are issued by Dun & Bradstreet, as well as the three major credit bureaus. Business credit scores are calculated differently than personal scores.
Finally, business credit cards are meant to be used solely for business expenses. Their rewards structure usually reflects that. Instead of earning points on groceries, for example, you might earn points when you pay your business’s electric bill or stock up on copy paper.
Applying for a Business Credit Card
Applying for a business credit card is like applying for a personal credit card. The main difference is the kind of information you’ll need to provide.
Besides your name, address and Social Security number, you’ll also need to give the credit card company information about your business. That includes:
- Your business’s name
- Business structure (i.e. sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.)
- What industry it’s in
- The number of employees
- Annual revenue
- The number of years in business
- Your business address
If you have a newer business or you’re just starting out, having a lower revenue doesn’t necessarily bar you from getting a business credit card. In fact, it’s possible to put “0” in the revenue box and still get approved.
That’s because the credit card company is also looking at your personal finances. If you’re working a regular job full-time and trying to start a business on the side, for example, they’ll consider your salary if you don’t have any revenue yet.
Your personal credit score also plays a big part in whether you can get approved for a business credit card. If you’ve got a strong FICO score, a lower revenue number is less likely to count against you.
Tip: Business credit cards usually require a personal guarantee. This means that you agree to be personally liable for the debt in case your business defaults on the balance.
How Does It Compare to Chase’s Other Rewards Cards?
The Ink Plus® Business Card has some competition from Chase’s other rewards cards. Here are three other picks that you prefer for your business.
Chase Ink Cash®
The Chase Ink Cash® Card offers cash back on business purchases with no annual fee. This card offers 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
Members earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. If you’d rather have cash in hand than points, this card could be the way to go.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a premier travel rewards credit card. It offers unlimited two points per dollar on travel and dining purchases. All other purchases earn one point per dollar.
Members enjoy the 25% points value boost when they redeem for travel through Ultimate Rewards®. There’s no foreign transaction fee but there is a $95 annual fee which applies after the first year.
This is a personal card but it can still be used for business. It may be suited to business owners who spend a lot of time wining and dining clients or jetting around to meetings.
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠
The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ is also a personal credit card and it takes things up a notch in the travel department. This card has one of the most impressive introductory bonuses around. The regular rewards program is pretty stellar too.
Members earn three points per dollar on travel and dining worldwide. For everything else, you earn one point per dollar. You get extras like a $300 annual travel credit and complimentary lounge access. When you redeem through Ultimate Rewards®, points are worth 50% more.
One potential hitch? This card has a $450 annual fee. Between the rewards and card benefits, however, it can pay for itself if you’re traveling frequently for business or pleasure.
Should You Get This Card?
The main draw of the Chase Ink Plus® Business Card is its rewards program. This card is geared towards business owners who do the bulk of their spending at office supply stores, cellular and cable TV providers, restaurants and hotels. If you're spending on other things or you don’t charge purchases that often, we recommend checking out your other card options.