We’ve noticed business cards at an all-time high recently, and I’m not mad about it. If you aren’t familiar with the Chase family, Chase provides points called “Ultimate Rewards.” These are some of the best points in the travel industry. Being super versatile, Ultimate Rewards or UR points can be used for flights, hotels, cash back, or even booking excursions. An example of our favorite redemptions have been to utilize UR points for First Class Fights to Japan on ANA airways. So let me break down the different Chase Business cards available. I will also explain WHY I don’t recommend the famous Chase Ink Business Preferred.
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Small Business Credit Cards
Small Business Credit Cards are a great way to maximize your business. Similarly, it can as well as keeping your business and personal expenses separate. You might be surprised to find out what actually qualifies as a small business, but it is probably more than you think. For example, driving for Uber, selling items online, or even having an evening gig of walking neighbors’ dogs could qualify. Our Basic Guide to Small Business Cards can give you a better idea of what a small business card is. Finally, you can also check out our step-by-step guide to applying for a small business card. This will walk you through with screenshots to understanding the application process.
Chase Business Cards
Chase has 3 Ultimate Rewards earning branded business cards. As a reminder, all UR points can be combined/transferred to maximize value. I usually transfer to our Chase Sapphire Reserve Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to utilize the higher redemption values. So what are the three cards?
Now, before I get too far, let me say you can actually have all 3 cards per business. Lets dig into how these cards differ.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is offering a 100,000 welcome bonus after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. It also comes with an annual fee of $95. In addition, you can earn bonus points of 3x on categories up to $150,000 per anniversary year. This is an incredible offer, and straight out of the gate offers $1,000 in value. If you transfer those points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred, you can get 50% or 25% more. So up to $1,500 in value.
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They also offer 3x on the below categories, up to $150,000 in purchases each account anniversary year:
- Shipping purchases
- Advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines
- Internet, cable, and phone services
So it sounds like a great card, right?
It absolutely is, and I don’t disagree with you. In fact, we have written about the Top 10 reasons why we love the Chase Ink Business Preferred card. However, if you are going to spend $15,000, I have a better way. In addition to Chase Ink Business Preferred, let’s chat about the other two business cards.
Chase Ink Business Cash (or CIC as it is often abbreviated) is offering 75,000 points after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months. This is promoted as a “Cash back” card but you can use those points for travel or hotels when transferred to another card. Next, this card comes with NO annual fee. Finally, each anniversary year, you can earn 2x or 5x bonus points up to $25,000 per category.
To maximize these bonus categories, you can earn 5x on up to $25,000 spend and another 2x on $25,000 spend.
Earn 5x cash back on:
- Office supply stores
- Internet, cable, and phone services
Earn 2x cash back on:
- Gas stations
Chase Ink Business Unlimited (or CIU as it is often abbreviated), is similar to the CIC. Also offering 75,000 points after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months of card opening. Next, it ALSO comes with NO annual fee. However, the main difference is CIU is really a straightforward unlimited 1.5% cash back card. Finally, this is great if you do a lot of random spending that wouldn’t necessarily fit into the categories above for 2x-5x points.
Remember, the 75,000 points can be turned into $750 value. Also remember, all Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to another card to combine your points or get better value out of them. Therefore, transferring to your Sapphire cards would earn you $937.50- $1,125 MORE in value for the same 75,000 points. Right now the Chase Sapphire Preferred is also offering an elevated welcome offer of 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. This can give you an extra 25% value for Ultimate Rewards points on travel, or my latest favorite perk, Chase’s “Pay yourself Back” promotion.
Why I don’t recommend Chase Ink Business Preferred
Don’t get me wrong, I think CIBP is a great card if you can maximize the spending categories. I also think if you are going to spend $15,000 in 3 months, you will want to maximize your spending. With Chase business cards, you can actually be a cardholder for each card per business. For example, if I have 3 businesses, each business could have its own set of 3 business cards for a total of 9 Chase Ink Business Cards. Similarly, means for the same $15,000 spend, you could actually get 50,000 more points with this little trick.
How it works
Instead of opening ONE card (CIBP) for 100,000 points after $15,000 spend and a $95 annual fee, I’d open TWO cards. Therefore, opening ONE Chase Ink Business Cash and ONE Chase Ink Business Unlimited. This would give you the same $15,000 spend ($7,500 each card), BUT you’d be getting 150,000 Ultimate Rewards points instead of 100,000. So for 50,000 more points, and the SAME amount of spend (sans the $95 annual fee), you actually make over $595 in extra value for opening two cards vs one. Another perk is you could even space out the two applications to give you a 4-6 months time frame for the spending requirements. *I will note I don’t know how long these elevated bonuses will last, so don’t wait too long.
Rules to applying
A few caveats I want to note. Again if you are new to the Chase world, you have to be under 5/24 in order to apply for a business card. Chase’s 5/24 rule means you cannot have opened more than 5 credit cards (from ANYWHERE, even certain store credit cards) in a matter of 24 months or they will deny you. What is interesting is that Chase Business cards will not count against your 5/24 status. However, you have to be under that threshold in order to be approved. To check your 5/24 status, our basic guide will give you step-by-step instructions with an easy-to-track spreadsheet.
The other rule is you cannot be approved for more than TWO Chase cards in a 30-day time frame. So if you were to apply for the two cards, make sure you have not applied for any chase cards in the past 30 days. In addition, you could apply for both cards on the same day if you knew you were going to be able to meet the $15,000 in 3 months.
I’m not sure about you, but I like doing less work for more value. If you are going to spend $15,000 anyway, opening two cards vs one is the better option. Now, this won’t work if you already have one of the CIC or CIU cards (unless you have another business). Also remember, sole proprietors, can qualify for business cards. But, this is the strategy I actually showed my parents and multiple readers to maximize the value. Let us know if you double-dipped for 50,000 extra value!
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