Battle Of The Ink Cards: Which Chase Ink Business Cards Should You Have?

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The Ink cards are 3 of the best credit cards in the market, each offering valuable benefits and lucrative signup bonuses. This post will examine which card is best for you:

Chase Ultimate Rewards cards:

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are among the most lucrative point/mileage currencies out there today.

You can rack up points quickly thanks to a plethora of valuable cards with strong spending categories and a strong rewards program.

Chase split up their cards into 2 categories.

No-annual fee cards have points worth 1 cent each and they can earn up to 5 points per dollar. If you only have a no-annual fee card you won’t be able to transfer points into airline miles or use them at an increased value towards travel. Those cards include Ink Unlimited (1.5 points per dollar), Ink Cash (up to 5 points per dollar), Freedom (up to 5 points per dollar), and Freedom Unlimited (1.5 points per dollar). These cards have their signup bonus and spending categories marketed as cash back, but they actually earn Ultimate Rewards points which can be cashed out at 1 cent per point. That means 1.5% cash back actually earns 1.5 points per dollar and a $500 signup bonus actually earns 50,000 points.

You can do much better than 1 cent per point if you have a premium Chase card with an annual fee. Those include Sapphire Preferred (up to 2 points per dollar), Sapphire Reserve (up to 3 points per dollar), and Ink Preferred Card (up to 3 points per dollar). 

A premium card can transfer points to airlines from all of the major alliances, so you can book award travel on dozens of airlines. Chase points also transfer to Hyatt, which has the last remaining valuable hotel points. Plus you can redeem your points directly for paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, or activities at an increased value as well. Having a premium card increases the value of points earned on non-premium cards as you can transfer points between all of your cards.

Chase transfer partners include:

  • United (Star Alliance)
  • Singapore (Star Alliance)
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Skyteam)
  • British Airways (OneWorld)
  • Aer Lingus (OneWorld)
  • Iberia (OneWorld)
  • Emirates
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott

I aim to receive a value of 2 cents or more per point when I transfer them into airline miles or hotel points. But sometimes the value of an airline miles or hotel point can be under 1 cent each. In these cases it’s great to have a card that allows you to redeem points for paid travel at a value that beats the 1 cent per point level where you can cash the points out.


Business card and 5/24 info:

These are business cards, but you may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can open a business credit card for “Joe Smith” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that. Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field.

If you have business paperwork you can apply under your business name. Otherwise, it’s critical to just write your own name as the business name if you are just applying for your own small business as a Sole Proprietorship that doesn’t have any business paperwork. You can then send in bills in your own name for verification.

If you’re like me and you run more than one business, you can signup for multiple of the same card for each business to manage each businesses expenses separately.

All Chase cards appear to be subject to 5/24 restrictions, meaning that you are not likely to be approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months. Note that the Chase system automatically counts cards like authorized user cards and store cards as cards that count towards 5/24, but if you explain to Chase that those cards are merely authorized user cards or store cards they can manually approve you for a new card. You can check your credit report for free at the federally authorized annualcreditreport.com to check how many accounts are shows as being open in the past 24 months.

However, it’s important to note that business cards from most banks, including Chase business cards, do not get added to your 5/24 count of recently opened cards. That’s because business cards from most banks don’t show up on your personal credit report and the 5/24 count is based off of your personal credit report. That means that applying for these cards won’t “hurt” your 5/24 count.

Another benefit of the card not reporting on your personal credit report is that when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an business cards from banks like AMEX and Chase it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score. That also means if you close the card, it won’t have an effect on your credit score.


Chase has 3 Ink business cards to choose from:

All of these are excellent cards, but they each have their own unique benefits and uses:

You can get the bonus on all 3 of these cards. As long as you are approved for these cards you will get the signup bonus.

Chase also allows you to product change from any consumer Ultimate Rewards card to another consumer Ultimate Rewards card or from any business Ultimate Rewards cards to another business Ultimate Rewards card as needed. You can have multiple of the same card if you have multiple businesses or if you product change from another cards.

That means if you would rather get the larger Ink Preferred bonus and decide later on that you prefer the spending categories on the no annual fee Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited card, you can call to convert it. If you later decide you want to take advantage of the benefits of the Ink Preferred card you can convert it back to that again.

There is no hard credit pull needed to change cards. You will only get a signup bonus for opening a new card, not for a product change.

Chase allows you to transfer points to a spouse or business joint owner. Chase also allows premium cardholders to transfer points to their authorized user’s mileage accounts.

Let’s walk through the benefits to see which cards is best for you.


Signup bonus:

  • Ink Preferred: 80K bonus points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.
  • Ink Cash: 50K bonus points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
  • Ink Unlimited: 50K bonus points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

The Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited signup bonus is marketed as $500, but it will actually come in the form of 50,000 points.

Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited have a lower spend threshold, but Ink Preferred’s 80K bonus for an extra $2,000 in spending is the best bonus on any Chase card.

Winner: Ink Preferred


Annual fee:

Winner: Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited


Annual fee for additional cardholders:

Winner: Tie


Value of each points towards paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities:

You can combine all of your points and your spouse’s points from all of your Chase Ultimate Rewards cards onto your most valuable card, so that they are worth the most for travel! If you have a Sapphire Reserve card your points will be worth 1.5 cents each towards travel.

The increased value of points set a minimum value you can get from your points. You can get a higher value for your points by transferring them into airline miles and hotel points, but having the ability to use your points at an increased value for paid travel makes them into “hybrid points.” You can choose to redeem them for either paid travel or award travel, depending on which provides a better value.

Winner: Ink Preferred


Points per dollar on travel, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, subways, trains, taxis, tolls, parking, Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber:

  • Ink Preferred: 3 per dollar, capped at $150K annual spending across all triple point categories.
  • Ink Cash: 1 per dollar (5 per dollar on Delta and Southwest gift cards from office supply stores, capped at $25K annual spending across all 5 point categories.)
  • Ink Unlimited: 1.5 per dollar

Winner: Ink Preferred.


Points per dollar on dining:

Winner: Ink Cash.


Points per dollar on gas:

  • Ink Preferred: 1 per dollar.
  • Ink Cash: 2 per dollar, capped at $25K annual spending across all 2 point categories (5 per dollar on BP, Shell and more gift cards from office supply stores, capped at $25K annual spending across all 5 point categories.)
  • Ink Unlimited: 1.5 per dollar

Winner: Ink Cash.


Points per dollar on shipping:

Winner: Ink Preferred.


Points per dollar on internet, cable, streaming services, and phone:

  • Ink Preferred: 3 per dollar, capped at $150K annual spending across all triple point categories.
  • Ink Cash: 5 per dollar, capped at $25K annual spending across all 5 point categories.
  • Ink Unlimited: 1.5 per dollar

Winner: Ink Cash.


Points per dollar on social media advertising, search engine advertising, and AWS:

Winner: Ink Preferred.


Points per dollar on everyday spending:

Winner: Ink Unlimited.


Foreign Transaction Fees:

Winner: Ink Preferred.


0% Intro Purchase APR:

Winner: Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited.


Cell Phone Damage and Theft Protection:

Winner: Ink Preferred.


US Car Rental CDW Coverage:

  • Ink Preferred: Primary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasons
  • Ink Cash: Primary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasons
  • Ink Unlimited: Primary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasons

Winner: Tie


Worldwide Car Rental CDW Coverage:

  • Ink Preferred: Primary, plus no foreign transaction fees.
  • Ink Cash: Primary, plus 3% foreign transaction fees.
  • Ink Unlimited: Primary, plus 3% foreign transaction fees.

Winner: Ink Preferred.


Extended Warranty Coverage:

  • Ink Preferred: 1 extra year on warranties 3 years or less, up to $10K per item.
  • Ink Cash: 1 extra year on warranties 3 years or less, up to $10K per item.
  • Ink Unlimited: 1 extra year on warranties 3 years or less, up to $10K per item.

Winner: Tie.


Purchase Protection for items damaged or stolen:

  • Ink Preferred: 120 days of theft or damage coverage, up to $10K per item.
  • Ink Cash: 120 days of theft or damage coverage, up to $10K per item.
  • Ink Unlimited: 120 days of theft or damage coverage, up to $10K per item.

Winner: Tie.


Trip Delay Reimbursement:

  • Ink Preferred: $500 per person for reasonable expenses (Hotel, food, toiletries, medicine, etc) required for 12+ hours or overnight delays.
  • Ink Cash: None.
  • Ink Unlimited: None.

Winner: Ink Preferred


Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:

Winner: Ink Preferred


Travel Accident Insurance:

Winner: Tie.


Visa Savings Edge Rebates:

Winner: Tie.


Adds to 5/24 count of cards:

Winner: Tie


Spending affects credit utilization ratio:

Business card spending doesn’t get reported on your personal credit report, so having a bill close with an amount owed won’t hurt your score on a business card.

Winner: Tie


Lost Luggage Insurance:

  • Ink Preferred: $3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, electronics)
  • Ink Cash: $3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, electronics)
  • Ink Unlimited: $3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, electronics)

Winner: Tie.


Baggage Delay Reimbursement:

  • Ink Preferred: $100 per day per person (max of 5 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, charger, etc) for delays more than 6 hours.
  • Ink Cash: $100 per day per person (max of 3 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, charger, etc) for delays more than 6 hours.
  • Ink Unlimited: $100 per day per person (max of 3 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, charger, etc) for delays more than 6 hours.

Winner: Ink Preferred


Comparison chart of the card benefits:

 Ink PreferredInk CashInk Unlimited
Signup bonus80K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.$500 or 50K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.$500 or 50K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
Annual Fee$95$0$0
Additional Cardholder Fee$0$0$0
Allows you to transfer Chase points from any card to airline milesYes
NoNo
Value of points towards paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities1.25 cents1 cent1 cent
Points earned on everyday spending 1 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on travel (Airfare, hotels, car rentals, Uber, etc) 3 per dollar ($150K cap)1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on advertising with social media sites and search engines 3 per dollar ($150K cap)1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on shipping 3 per dollar ($150K cap)1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on internet, cable and phone services 3 per dollar ($150K cap)5 per dollar ($25K cap)1.5 per dollar
Points earned on office supply spending, including gift cards 1 per dollar5 per dollar ($25K cap)1.5 per dollar
Points earned on dining 1 per dollar2 per dollar ($25K cap)1.5 per dollar
Points earned on gas stations 1 per dollar2 per dollar ($25K cap)1.5 per dollar
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 monthsNoYesYes
Foreign transaction fee None3%3%
Cell Phone Damage and Theft Protection $600 of coverage with a $100 deductible.
NoneNone
US Car Rental CDW CoveragePrimary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasonsPrimary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasonsPrimary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasons
Worldwide Car Rental CDW CoveragePrimary, plus no foreign transaction feePrimaryPrimary
Extended Warranty1 extra year/$10,000 per item1 extra year/$10,000 per item1 extra year/$10,000 per item
Purchase Protection for items damaged or stolen within 120 days$10,000 per item$10,000 per item$10,000 per item
Extended Warranty Protection1 extra year for items up to $10,0001 extra year for items up to $10,0001 extra year for items up to $10,000
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance$5,000 per trip or $10,000 per trip with multiple travelers
NoneNone
Trip Delay Reimbursement$500 per person for reasonable expenses (Hotel, food, toiletries, medicine, etc) required for delays more than 12 hours.
NoneNone
Lost Luggage Insurance$3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, and electronics)$3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, and electronics)$3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, and electronics)
Baggage Delay Reimbursement$100 per day per person (max of 5 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, cell phone charger, etc) required for delays more than 6 hours.
$100 per day per person (max of 3 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, cell phone charger, etc) required for delays more than 6 hours.$100 per day per person (max of 3 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, cell phone charger, etc) required for delays more than 6 hours.
Travel Accident Insurance$500,000 per person
$500,000 per person
$500,000 per person
Visa Savings EdgeYesYesYes
Subject to 5/24 rulesYesYesYes
Adds to 5/24 countNoNoNo
Download Guide of Benefits LinkLinkLink

Win count:

All 3 Ink cards provide great bonuses and unique benefits that make them worth having. Unsurprisingly, Ink Preferred is the winner. Of course that comes at a cost of $95/year. The extra 30,000 point signup bonus over the no fee cards is easily worth many time that cost and you can convert to a no-annual fee card down the road should you choose to do so.


Which Chase Ink cards do you have and which benefits do you value the most? Which “battle” post do you want to see next?

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64 Comments On "Battle Of The Ink Cards: Which Chase Ink Business Cards Should You Have?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Anonymous

While Dan lists the Preferred as the winner, a Cash or Unlimited can be much more valuable to as you can avoid payment for 12 mos; having an extra ~$3,000 to invest is worth more than ~30,000 points.

dave

30000 points is at least $300-annual fee=approx $200
how much interest can you earn with $3000 over a year?

fjdo

Is there a limit as to how many times you can product change the ink cards? (Ink preferred to ink cash and then ink preferred again…?)

S

I have all 3 🙂
They might be the 3 best sign-up bonuses on the market, so anyone eligible for a business card should get them all.

me

One disadvantage that I see with buying tickets with Chase hybrid points is that there is no way to insure those tickets. If you buy a ticket with miles then you can insure the penalty and get your points back. However with these hybrid points because no money is exchanged you can’t insure the actual ticket. The insurance Chase gives is only for lost luggage and such but I don’t think it is for cancellation or medical. Any idea how to insure a trip using these points?
Thanks.

menachem thaler

If I downgrade to a ink cash to you get the sign up bonus for both?

me

Interesting, cuz I called them once and they said they did not so that is good to know that they do. Does the Reserve have cancellation insurance also? and what about if you buy with Amex points are you covered for cancellation and medical? and if not what are your options for that?
Thanks for all your help.

Adam

streaming is included in the 5% on ink cash? I couldn’t find it that in the card details.

dave

what should I use for car rental insurance in the USA if I dont have a Chase annual fee card?

david

When adding social security number in the Tax Identification Number field will they ask for my personal income?

David

On 10/1 how come I was charged $95 annual fee on my Ink Business Plus you write no annual fee?

Mendy

If I downgrade from an ink preferred to an ink cash. can I close the ink cash and then reapply to get the bonus?

:)

how many sole proprietorships can one have of the same card?

Jacob

I still have the Ink Business Plus.
Should i do the switch? Or get one of the above?
TIA!

JohnB

Getting a business card is not as easy as any blogger makes it sound. I applied for Ink Bus. Pref. and was told that I needed profit and loss statements, and a copy of incorporation. Chase is not giving out cards as easy as 1.2.3. If you have a legitimate business, with a Dun and Bradstreet rating, it is easy. But if you think that someone who sells ebay on the side will get one of these cards, then you are sorrily mistaken.

ROYA

Great post, thanks!
“Freedom Unlimited (1.5-3 points per dollar).”
When do you get 3 points per dollar on Unlimited card??

DS

I got a targeted offer for ink preferred for 80k plus another 80k for spending 50k in 6 months.
I can hit that threshold if I don’t use my amex platinum, amex blue and my capital spark. Is this worth my while?
My accounting gets more complicated when I have so many cards. I have the spark because not everyone takes amex.
Can I transfer the points to my personal reserve card after 6 months and then downgrade to a free ink? Would that be my best option?
Ty

emill

Just curious how much does chase want you to make in your “business” before accepting you?

Cool guy

Can i get the sign on bonus twice for two separate businesses? Same year same person.

Jeremy

Unlike some other card battles, I don’t see why one needs to choose. Only the Ink Preferred card has an annual fee. I use it for my cell phone bills because of the insurance (it has paid out over $500 so far). The Ink Cash gets 2x on dining and the Ink Preferred gets 3x on travel. If you have PP from another card, like Citi Prestige, Amex Platinum, CNB, etc. You have almost replaced the Sapphire Reserve for $95 + cell phone insurance. This is a better combo than a Sapphire Preferred card. The only exception being the insurance on the Sapphire Reserve is better.

Yitz

Chase has been giving me a very hard time opening cards recently. I never get instant approval anymore and reconsideration 888-270-2127 has not been helpful either. I have a great credit score and all but they dont like that I take advantage of the 0% APRs. I will get a 0 APR card with a 50k limit, max it out on my business and only pay minimum payments till the promo period is over. They think that makes me risky despite me never missing a payment in 10+ years and always paying in full otherwise. I think its crazy that taking advantage of the offer makes me a risk. Anyone else have that experience?

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