Comparison: Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash

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Chase now offers two of the best business credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee, the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. Both business cards earn rewards on every purchase, but one can be more rewarding than the other, depending on your spending habits. Let’s dive a little deeper to compare the cards in the Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash debate.

Capital One Spark vs. Chase Ink Business Preferred

Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash

Both cards share many similarities including:

  • No annual fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $500 welcome bonus
  • Redeem rewards points for travel, cash back, gift cards, and Amazon.com credit
  • Travel and purchase protection

As a new cardholder with either card, you will receive a $500 cash bonus by spending $3,000 in the first three months. This bonus can be redeemed for any of the four award options. Note that it’s competitive with other business credit cards without an annual fee.

After these five parallels, these two Ink credit cards begin to take a different path. The comparison ultimately comes down to which purchase rewards complements your spending more.

Chase Ink Unlimited

Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash

The Ink Unlimited offers a flat-rate 1.5% back on every dollar spent regardless of purchase category. You will like this card if you want simplicity or you don’t benefit from the Ink Cash bonus categories. You will earn more with the 1.5% bonus, even if you rarely spend at office supply stores, restaurants, and gas stations.

Another reason to consider adding the Ink Unlimited to your business wallet is to earn an additional 0.5% on your non-bonus spending if you own the Ink Business Preferred. This credit card earns up to 3x points on select purchases.

If you prefer analogies, the Ink Unlimited is the “tortoise” while the Ink Cash is the “hare” because of its tiered purchase rewards.

Chase Ink Cash

Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash

The Ink Cash lets you earn up to 5% and 2% cash back each account anniversary year on select purchase categories. You will earn the bonus on the first $25,000 in annual spending for each bonus level. All non-bonus purchases and any bonus category purchases in excess of the $25,000 spending limit will earn an unlimited 1% back.

Get Up To 5% Back on Each Purchase

You will earn 5% back each account anniversary year on the first $25,000 in combined spending for these categories:

  • Office supply stores
  • Internet, cable, and phone services

Chase also gives you the opportunity to get 2% back each account anniversary year on the first $25,000 in combined spending for these purchases:

  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants

All other purchase types earn 1% back with no limit as to how much you can earn.

Because you won’t own bonus points on big-ticket airline and hotel purchases, you may want to consider another business credit card to earn bonus points for these travel purchases.

Get Up to $1,000 More Bonus Cash Than Ink Unlimited

If the bulk of your business spending is for these four categories, you the 5% and 2% bonus each account anniversary year can add up quickly. By maxing out both $25,000 bonus categories, you will earn an extra $1,000 in rewards compared to earning 1.5% back with the Ink Unlimited.

These bonus categories won’t benefit every business, but office supplies and basic travel expenses still accumulate quickly.

The Best Way to Redeem Ink Business Reward Points

At first glance, it looks like the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited are both cash back rewards cards because you get a percentage of each purchase back. In reality, you actually earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for one of four awards:

  • Travel
  • Cash Back
  • Gift Cards
  • Amazon.com Purchase Credits

Each point is worth one cent each, regardless of the redemption option.

As a business, you might prefer the no annual fee Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited because you get to keep all of the cash rewards. After all, cash is one of the most valuable assets any business can have because there’s never enough of it.

However, you also have the flexibility to redeem your purchase rewards for award travel for any award travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For the occasional business trip, this is an excellent award option.

Unlike the Ink Business Preferred, you can’t transfer your rewards points to any travel partners unless you have a Chase credit card combo. You must also own another Chase credit card with 1:1 transfer benefits like the Ink Business Preferred or either Sapphire product.

Additional Card Benefits of the Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash

Both the Ink Unlimited and Ink Cash have the same additional card benefits that can protect your travel and ordinary business purchases.

Some of the key travel and purchase coverage benefits include:

  • Primary rental car collision damage and theft protection
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Purchase protection up to $10,000 per claim
  • Extended warranty protection up to one additional year

These benefits are standard for a credit card without an annual fee. The real value of owning either card is in the purchase rewards. You also need to note if the tiered rewards or flat rate is a better fit.

When to Apply for the Chase Ink Unlimited

You should apply for the Ink Unlimited for these reasons:

  • Rarely make purchases in the 5% and 2% bonus categories
  • Prefer the simplicity of flat-rate rewards
  • Want a secondary card that earns more than 1% on non-bonus spending

The Ink Unlimited is the better option if you put your bonus spending on a different rewards card. Plus, if you don’t shop at office supply stores or visit gas stations and restaurants, you won’t greatly benefit from the tiered purchase rewards.

When to Apply for the Chase Ink Cash

Applying for the Ink Cash is a no-brainer if you’re regularly spending on the following purchases:

  • Office supply stores
  • Internet, phone, and cable services
  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants

Although the 1.5% rewards rate is still very competitive, it can’t compete with the 5% and 2% purchase rewards. If you do any amount of driving for work or paying for business luncheons, even the 2% bonus will accumulate quickly.

Summary: Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash

You may have to look at your current spending habits to estimate how many points you can earn with either card. Thankfully, you have the same point redemption options and card benefits. Your decision is pitted on choosing the card that earns the most purchase rewards. In the Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash, it comes down to where you spend. This might actually be one of the easiest and most valuable business decisions you ever make.

Mary Renking

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Comparison: Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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