Update: This chart has been updated with the end date for the return and price protection benefits.
-The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card is currently offering 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $5,000 of spending within 3 months. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other business travel cards!
-The brand new Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card is currently offering 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within 3 months. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other business travel cards!
-The Chase Ink Business Cash Card is currently offering 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within 3 months. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other business travel cards!
Which card is better?
All of these are excellent cards, but they each have their own unique benefits and uses, so there’s no clear cut answer for everyone.
The good news is that you can convert between all 3 of these card types as needed. 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.
To get a better grasp on the pros and cons of each card, let’s start off with a comparison chart:
|Ink Preferred||Ink Cash||Ink Unlimited|
|Signup bonus||80K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.||50K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.||50K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.|
|Additional Cardholder Fee||$0||$0||$0|
|Allows you to transfer Chase points from any card to airline miles||Yes||No||No|
|Value of points towards paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities||1.25 cents||1 cent||1 cent|
|Points earned on everyday spending||1 per dollar||1 per dollar||1.5 per dollar|
|Points earned on travel (Airfare, hotels, car rentals, Uber, etc)||3 per dollar ($150K cap)||1 per dollar||1.5 per dollar|
|Points earned on advertising with social media sites and search engines||3 per dollar ($150K cap)||1 per dollar||1.5 per dollar|
|Points earned on shipping||3 per dollar ($150K cap)||1 per dollar||1.5 per dollar|
|Points earned on Plastiq Bill Pay||3 per dollar ($150K cap)||1 per dollar||1.5 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 dollar||5 per dollar ($25K cap)||1.5 per dollar|
|Points earned on dining||1 per dollar||2 per dollar ($25K cap)||1.5 per dollar|
|Points earned on gas stations||1 per dollar||2 per dollar ($25K cap)||1.5 per dollar|
|0% intro APR on purchases/balance transfers for 12 months||No||Yes||Yes|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||3%||3%|
|Cell Phone Damage and Theft Protection||$600 of coverage with a $100 deductible.||None||None|
|US Car Rental CDW Coverage||Primary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasons||Primary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasons||Primary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasons|
|Worldwide Car Rental CDW Coverage||Primary||Primary||Primary|
|Purchase Protection for items damaged or stolen within 120 days||$10,000 per item||$10,000 per item||$10,000 per item|
|Extended Warranty Protection||1 extra year for items up to $10,000||1 extra year for items up to $10,000||1 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||None||None|
|Price Protection for price drops within 90 days||Ends 8/26 |
$500/item up to $2,500/year
|Return Protection||Ends 8/26 |
$500/item up to $1,000/year
|Trip Delay Reimbursement||$500 per person for reasonable expenses (Hotel, food, toiletries, medicine, etc) required for delays more than 12 hours.||None||None|
|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 Edge||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Subject to 5/24 rules||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Adds to 5/24 count||No||No||No|
And now let’s go into some more detail:
-The Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited cards are marketed as cash back cards, which is why it says that they have a $500 signup bonus for spending $3,000 in 3 months. Don’t be fooled by that, those cards actually earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be cashed out for 1 cent each and you will receive 50,000 points for signing up and spending $3,000 in 3 months. Previously the public signup bonus on the Ink Cash card has ranged from 20K-30K points. 50K Chase points is the best public signup bonus for these cards! In fact it’s one of the richest signup bonuses I’ve ever seen on a card that has no annual fee. Click Here to get more details on these cards and compare to other business travel cards!
-The Ink Preferred card card is marketed as a points card, so it has a 80,000 point bonus for spending $5,000 in 3 months. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other business travel cards!
You can apply for all 3 of these cards for the same business. You can combine points between all of the Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards in your household.
Cell phone insurance:
One unique benefit only found on the Ink Preferred card is cell phone protection.
If you paid your previous month’s cell phone bill with your Ink Preferred card and your phone is damaged or stolen, Chase will cover the cost of fixing or getting a replacement phone. The maximum Chase will pay is $600 and there is a $100 deductible. In other words if your phone is stolen and originally cost $800, Chase will pay you $600. If your phone originally cost $600, then Chase will pay you $500.
You can file up to 3 claims per 12 month period.
This covers all of the phones on your plan, so this card can save you a small fortune in insurance premiums.
You can read the full details of the benefit in the Ink Preferred’s benefit guide here.
-The Chase Ink Cash card is part of my Chase Quadfecta and is highly recommended for anyone trying to maximize their spending.
It earns a whopping 5 points per dollar at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and cell phone bills. It also earn 2 points per dollar on at gas stations and restaurants. You can earn the bonus points on up to $25K in annual spending on the 5 point categories and up to $25K in annual spending on the 2 point categories. Again, these categories are advertised as 5% cash back and 2% cash back, but you will actually get 5 or 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent in those categories.
You can even earn 5 points per dollar for cell phones that are charged on your bill or bought from sites like Samsung.
You can earn 5 points per dollar for hundreds of other stores by buying gift cards at office supply stores like Office Depot/Max and Staples. If you shop at Amazon, Airbnb, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, BP, Cabela’s, Delta, DisneyLand/DisneyWorld, eBay, Express, Gap, Google Play, Groupon, Home Depot, iTunes, JCrew, Kohl’s, Lands End, LLBean, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Nike, Nordstrom, Safeway, Sears, Shell, Southwest, Starbucks, StubHub, Target, TJMaxx, Uber, Whole Foods, and much more, you can be earning 5 points per dollar by buying their gift cards at office supply stores on an Ink Cash card. Some gift cards are available online and many more are available in store.
Your local school or charity will be more than happy to accept donations of Amazon gift cards for supplies or any other useful gift cards for chinese auctions, raffles, fundraisers, etc. They will give you a tax deductible receipt for the full face value-the price you paid for the gift cards. And at the same time you’ll earn 5 points per dollar. So while doing good you can still get a nice chunk of points and you’ll save on your taxes!
You can even buy $300 Visa gift cards from Staples from the comfort of your home, which will earn 5 points per dollar.
-The Chase Ink Unlimited card is also a critical part of my Chase Quadfecta and is highly recommended for anyone trying to maximize their spending. It fulfills the same function as the Chase Freedom Unlimited card by earning 50% bonus points, or 1.5 points per dollar everywhere.
However as the Ink Unlimited is a business card, it has several advantages over the Freedom Unlimited as described below.
-The Chase Ink Preferred card earns 3 points per dollar on up to $150,000 in annual spending on travel, internet, cable, phone, shipping, and advertising on social media and search engines.
A unique benefit of this card is that it earns 3 points per dollar on Bill Pay with Plastiq. People have gotten 3 points per dollar for rent payments, tax payments, or even buying a car! Plastiq will send out a check to the merchant of your choice. Read more here.
Cash back on top of points:
All of these cards are also eligible for additional cash back via Visa Savings Edge.
That means you can earn points plus cash back at Chevron, Sheetz, AutoZone, Texaco, Boost Mobilem Alamo, National, MGM hotels, Lenovo, Wyndham hotels, and more.
The Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited cards offes 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
While carrying balances on consumer cards can have a very harmful effect on your credit score, because the Ink cards are business cards, those balances won’t hurt your credit score!
Business card information, benefits, and 5/24:
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.
It’s important 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.
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 that earn Ultimate Rewards are subject to 5/24 restrictions. That means it will be hard to get approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months. Read more about that here.
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.
Cash back or miles:
You can cash out the points earned on these cards for 1% cash back. I hope that you won’t do that.
The Ink Preferred card allows you and anyone in your household to transfer Chase points into miles. It also allows you to use points at a value of 1.25 cents each towards travel.
However if you have a Sapphire Reserve card you’ll be better off transferring the points there for a value of 1.5 centseach towards travel. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
The Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited cards can’t transfer points directly into miles, but Chase allows you to transfer points to cards where they can be transferred into miles or redeemed for a greater value. My goal is to receive a value of 2 cents per point via transfers to miles and that makes the 1.5 point categories worth 3% back, the 2 point categories worth 4% back, the point categories worth 6% back, and the 5 point categories worth 10% back. The minimum value you can receive for your points is 1.5 cents each thanks to Sapphire Reserve and that makes spending on this card worth a minimum of 2.25% back for the 1.5 point categories, 3% back for the 2 point categories, 4.5% back for the 3 point categories, and 7.5% back for the 5 point categories.
The Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited signup bonus is marketed as $500, but it will actually come in the form of 50,000 points which are worth $750-$1,000.
The Ink Preferred signup bonus is 80,000 points, worth $1,200-$1,600.
If you or anyone in your household has one of the following cards, you can transfer your points into miles:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (Earn 50K points for spending $4K in 3 months. $450 annual fee, less $300 annual free travel spend=$150 net annual fee. Allows all points to be used at a value of 1.5 cents each towards travel).
- Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
- Chase Sapphire Preferred (Earn 55K points for spending $4K in 3 months and adding a free additional user card. $95 annual fee waived for first year).
- Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
- Chase Ink Business Preferred (Earn 80K points for spending $5K in 3 months. $95 annual fee).
- Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
- Other no annual fee Chase cards that also earn Ultimate Rewards points include:
Why I prefer miles over cash back: Chase Ultimate Rewards are highly versatile and valuable:
- If I want to stay in a 5 star Park Hyatt in the Maldives, Melbourne, NYC, Paris, Sydney, or Tokyo that would cost over $1,000/night, I can instantly transfer 25-30K points to Hyatt to do that, a value of up to 6 cents per point.
- If I need a last minute flight from Cleveland (or Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Montreal, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Toronto, etc) to NYC that can cost $500 each way, I can instantly transfer 7.5K points to British Airways to book a short-haul on American with no last minute booking fees. Or if American doesn’t have availability I can instantly transfer 10K points to United for their short-haul award. That’s a value of up to 7 cents per point.
- If I want to stay in a non-chain hotel that costs $300/night and don’t want to pay cash, I can redeem 20K points for the room thanks to my Sapphire Reserve card’s minimum redemption value of 1.5 cents per point.
- If I want to fly in a $25,000 ANA First Class Suite round-trip from the US to Tokyo, I can instantly transfer 110K or 120K points to Virgin Atlantic. That’s a value of up to 23 cents per point.
- If I want to book a $2,285 business class ticket on Air Canada to Tel Aviv I can redeem 152K points for the flight thanks to my Sapphire Reserve card’s minimum redemption value of 1.5 cents per point. Plus I’ll earn 25K United miles as it’s considered a paid flight.
- If I want to fly in a $11,000 Korean first class suite one-way from the US to South Korean, I can instantly transfer 80K points to Korean and take advantage of their amazing award availability. That’s a value of up to 14 cents per point.
- And thousands of other possibilities from Singapore couples suites to booking Southwest awards with 2 free bags and free cancellations, to stealing 2nd base in middle of an MLB game.
Both of these cards are excellent cards with strong signup bonuses and spending categories. Best of all you aren’t loicked into your choice as you can convert between these 2 cards.
Will you be signing up for an Ink Cash, Ink Unlimited, or Ink Preferred card?