Business owners don’t get nearly as many credit card options as consumers, but some of the offers are much more lucrative.
The Ink Business Unlimited® credit card has one of those offers, giving new cardholders a whopping one-time $900 cash bonus when they meet the minimum spending requirement.
What’s more, the card doesn’t charge an annual fee, making this one of the best (if not the best) no-fee bonuses we’ve ever seen.
If you own a business, no matter how big or small, this card should be on your radar. Here’s everything you need to know.
Why We Like It
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1.5% Cash Back
- Sign-up Bonus
- Rewards Rate
- Intro 0% APR
- Credit Score
- Redeeming Rewards Points
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card Bonus
The Ink Business Unlimited® credit card is one of the best business rewards credit cards on the market, primarily because of its large upfront bonus. As a new cardholder, you’ll earn $900 in bonus cash after you spend $6,000 in the first three months from account opening. In the past, the card has offered $500 cash back after you spend $3,000, which was still impressive.
But you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better bonus offer right now on a small-business credit card with no annual fee.
After you meet the minimum spending requirement, it could take up to eight weeks to see the bonus show up in your account. However, we’ve seen it hit much sooner than that.
The $6,000 spending requirement could be difficult for some to meet, especially if you have a relatively new business or you simply don’t have a lot of expenses. If you can’t spend at least $2,000 per month on the card for the first three months, it may not be worth applying for this Ink Business Unlimited.
One thing to keep in mind is that certain charges don’t count as purchases, including:
- Balance Transfers
- Cash advances
- Travelers checks
- Foreign currency
- Money orders
- Wire transfers (or similar cash-like transactions)
- Lottery tickets
- Casino gaming chips
- Race track wagers or similar betting transactions
- Any checks that access your account
- Unauthorized or fraudulent charges
- Fees of any kind
A lot of Chase credit cards (and rewards credit cards in general) offer a referral bonus when you refer another business owner to apply for the card, and they get approved. In 2019, for example, cardholders could get $150 for each valid referral, up to $750 total.
Unfortunately, Chase is not currently offering a referral bonus on the Ink Unlimited, but based on the past, it’s very possible it could happen again.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card Features
The Chase Ink Business Preferred® credit card is one of the best business credit cards on the market, and if you use it right — paired with the Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve — you can squeeze a lot more value out of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points than you would with the Chase Business Unlimited alone. It’s definitely better than what you’d get redeeming your rewards for cash back or gift cards.
In addition to a large introductory bonus, the Ink Unlimited credit card also offers a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. While that’s the advertised rate, though, it’s important to note that you’re technically earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which is a whole lot better than straight cash back — we’ll cover that a bit more in a minute.
Introductory 0% APR
New cardholders will also be able to take advantage of an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases for 12 months. Zero percent APR promotions are common on consumer cash-back credit cards, but that’s not the case with business credit cards, so it’s an impressive offer, especially on top of the $900 cash bonus.
The 0% APR promotion can especially come in handy if you have some big business expenses coming up — say, inventory, equipment, supplies or anything else, really — or your revenue is irregular right now, and you need some time to pay down some regular business expenses. As long as you pay off the balance in full by the end of the promotional period, you’ll pay no interest at all on the purchases.
Here are some other features to keep in mind:
- No annual fee
- Free employee credit cards
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty protection
- Rental car insurance
- Roadside dispatch
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Fraud protection
- Personalized account alerts
Credit Score Requirement
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited® credit card requires that you have at least good personal credit to get approved. According to FICO, a good credit score starts at 670, but each card issuer has its own way of determining qualifying credit, and Chase hasn’t disclosed what it considers to be good credit.
One thing to keep in mind is that Chase will run a credit check on you personally to determine whether you qualify, not just your business. Also, most business credit scores require a personal guarantee, which means that if your business can’t repay the debt it incurs on the card, you’ll be personally responsible for making payments — and that’s regardless of how your business is structured.
The initial credit inquiry when you apply for the card will be added to your credit reports, but Chase won’t report the account itself to the consumer credit bureaus unless you’re behind on your payments.
Also, it’s important to know that while you need to own a business to qualify for this card, it doesn’t need to be a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC). You can get approved as a sole proprietor, and since you can turn anything into a business to make money, you can find a way to be eligible for the card.
Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is arguably the most versatile and valuable credit card rewards programs on the market. With the Ink Business Unlimited credit card, you can redeem your rewards for straight cash back, travel through the Ultimate Rewards program, gift cards or Apple products.
The program offers 1 cent per point regardless of how you use them.
Where your rewards could get really valuable, though, is if you have one of the rewards program’s travel credit cards. That could be the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card. All three of these cards give you extra value when you redeem your points for travel booked through Chase — that’s 25% more with the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred, and 50% more with the Sapphire Reserve.
What’s more, each of the three cards allows you to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to one of Chase’s 11 airline partners or three hotel partners. This list includes:
Air Lingus Aer Club
British Airways Executive Club
Flying Blue Air France / KLM
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
IHG Rewards Club
World of Hyatt
If you have both the Ink Business Unlimited and one of these three other cards, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Chase Business Unlimited to your other card and use those points to get more value than you would with the Chase Business Unlimited alone.
As a result, your 1.5% rewards rate could turn into 1.875% or 2.25% when redeemed for travel through Chase or potentially even more if you transfer your points for a great redemption with one of the card issuer’s partners.
The Ink Business Unlimited® credit card’s sign-up bonus is tough to beat, but depending on your needs and business expenses, it may not be the best card for you in the long run. Here are a few potential pitfalls to keep in mind as you consider the card:
It charges foreign transaction fees: If you travel a lot internationally for your business, getting a card with no foreign transaction fees is likely your best bet. Unfortunately, this card charges a 3% fee on every purchase you make in a foreign currency.
No bonus categories
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited offers a flat rate on every purchase you make, and it’s better than the standard 1% back that you’ll get with a lot of cards. However, if you spend a lot of money in certain categories, you may be able to get more value from a card that offers bonus rewards on those expenses.
High spending requirement
Businesses tend to spend more than people, so you’ll usually see higher credit limits on a business credit card. However, you’ll also often see a higher spending requirement to earn the card’s sign-up bonus. The card’s regular incentive — $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 after account opening — doesn’t require you to spend much. But it’s much more affordable than $6,000 in three months. Consider the card only if you’re confident you can meet that threshold.
The regular APR can be high
While you’ll get an introductory 0% APR promotion on the card, its regular APR is relatively high, which means if you carry a balance after that initial period, you’ll pay dearly for it. In general, it’s best to pay your balance on time and in full every month to avoid interest charges.
Comparison With Other Chase Ink Cards
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited® credit card is one of three cards in the Ink family, the other two being the Ink Business Preferred® and the Ink Business Cash® credit card. Here’s how each of the three cards stacks up against the others.
|Ink Business Unlimited®||Ink Business Cash®||Ink Business Preferred®|
|Sign-up bonus:||Earn a $900 cash bonus after you spend $6,000 in the first three months from account opening||Earn a $900 cash bonus after you spend $6,000 in the first three months from account opening||Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months from account opening — that’s worth up to $1,250 in travel when booked through Chase.|
|Rewards rate:||Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make||Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each cardmember anniversary year; 2% back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each cardmember anniversary year; and 1% back on all other purchases.||Earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each cardmember anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.|
|Intro APR:||0% interest on purchases for 12 months||0% on purchases for 12 months||None|
|Bonus value on travel redemption:||None||None||25%|
|Cost of employee cards:||$0||$0||None|
|Foreign transaction fee:||3% on each non-U.S. transaction||3% on each foreign transaction||None|
Is the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Right for You?
The Ink Business Unlimited provides a lot of value for a business card with no annual fee. It offers additional employee cards for free, gives unlimited flat-rate cash back (instead of fussing with complicated bonus categories) and pairs well with travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The Ink Business Unlimited card’s current sign-up bonus of $900 is the best we’ve seen, and it’s a stellar incentive for a card with no annual fee. However, it may be tough for some businesses to be able to meet the spending requirement. Also, the card does have some flaws that may not make it a good choice for some businesses.
As with any other business or financial decision, it’s crucial that you take the time to consider more than just the sign-up bonus. Compare the card with other business credit card options and consider your own needs, spending habits and preferences, as well as your credit score, to determine which is the best fit for you.