Ink Business Cash® review: Earn up to 5% cash back
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- This card is routinely among our top picks for small business credit cards without an annual fee thanks in large part to its rewards of as much as 5% cash back in popular small business spending categories.
- Capitalize on a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then, 13.24% - 19.24% Variable). It's a nice feature for a business owner with some start-up costs or a major purchase on the horizon.
- New cardholders can jump start their rewards earning with $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 in the first three months of card membership.
- Be mindful of the cap on bonus cash back. If you know you'll spend more than $25,000 in the 2% and 5% categories, you might consider adding the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card to your wallet so you can earn 1.5% cash back on the non-bonus category purchases or on those purchases after you hit the spending cap.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- INK BUSINESS CASH® CREDIT CARD BENEFITS
- WHAT OUR EDITORS LIKE MOST ABOUT THE INK BUSINESS CASH® CREDIT CARD
- INK BUSINESS CASH® CREDIT CARD FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE
- INK BUSINESS CASH® CREDIT CARD APPROVAL ODDS
- HOW THE INK BUSINESS CASH® CREDIT CARD COMPARES TO OTHER CARDS
- IS THE INK BUSINESS CASH® CREDIT CARD A GOOD CARD?
If you're a business owner looking for a cash-back rewards card that rewards you for actual business spending plus comes with a low APR, flexible rewards and no annual fee, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card might be the right fit for you. Plus, new card owners can take advantage of bonus cash-back offerings and a 0% intro APR on purchases in the first 12 months of card ownership (then, 13.24% - 19.24% Variable).
Earning cash back for business spending is easy with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. Even easier for new cardholders who can earn $750 in bonus cash back after spending $7,500 on purchases in the first three months of opening an account.
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers flexible cash-back rewards, tracked as points, with no annual fee. The reward opportunities include:
- 5% back on the first $25,000 spent annually in combined purchases at office supply stores (including computer, hardware, and software purchases) , as well as on cellular, landline, internet and cable television services
- 2% back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
- Unlimited 1% back on all other purchases
Once you earn 2,000 points, you can redeem those points for a statement credit or an electronic deposit to your checking or savings account. Points can also be redeemed for gift cards and travel, but for those redemptions each point is worth a penny, so you have to earn 100 points to receive $1 in redemption value.
Here's a quick snapshot of some other perks of the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card:
- No annual fee
- 0% intro APR for the first 12 months on purchases (then, 13.24% - 19.24% Variable).
- Points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
- Cards are available for your employees at no extra charge, plus you can control spending limits while also earning points on those purchases.
- Access to the Ink Mobile App so you can avoid surprises with instant purchase alerts, while also allowing you to file receipts and manage employee spending.
- Purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver so you can decline collision insurance when renting a car.
As a business owner, the ability to earn cash-back rewards on purchases related to your business, including internet and phone services, can mean just a little extra padding on your bottom line - or at least the chance to feel a little better about purchases you'd be making anyway. The added benefit of having cards for your employees, where you can also manage their spending, helps you stay on top of all business expenses.
The no annual fee offering is also a great perk of this card. That, along with intro no APR for the first 12 months of card ownership for purchases (then, 13.24% - 19.24% Variable), means this could be a solid choice for new business owners funding start-up expenses or perhaps business owners who have a bit of debt they need to consolidate.
That said, it will be important to pay off your card each month or any rewards you accumulate will quickly be absorbed by interest charges after your intro period ends.
Having a business credit card is likely an essential part of your small business success, but it also shouldn't be something that requires a lot of your time and attention. Simple rewards-earning opportunities and numerous other tools make this card worthwhile.
While the $0 and generous cash back rewards program make the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card an attractive option for most small business owners, you might want to leave it at home if you plan a business trip overseas.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card carries a 3% fee on all foreign transactions. The transaction amount is converted to US Dollars and then the 3% fee is applied. That can add up quickly over the course of an average length business trip.
What does that mean in terms of real expense? According to Travel Leaders Corporate, the average length of an overseas business trip is three days. Should a person spend $1,000 on food and beverages, entertainment, transportation, etc. during their trip, the added expense of the 3% foreign transaction fee would be $30. For someone whose job requires them to make one such trip per month, the added expense would be $360 per year.
It should also be noted that the 5% top tier of the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card back does include travel related expenses, which is a nice perk, but limited for those traveling abroad often.
So you like the sound of the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, but now you might be wondering, do you qualify?
The list of people who can apply for a small business credit card is long, and includes freelancers/self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners/officers, owners/officers of established businesses, and owners/officers of startups. Most credit card companies define "business" quite broadly when it comes to considering applicants for small business credit cards. To qualify for a business credit card, you must be an "authorized officer" of a company. Basically, this means that you must have the legal right to enter into borrowing arrangements with financial institutions on behalf of a business. If you are the owner of a sole proprietorship business or the sole owner of a small business, you are already an "authorized officer." You are, after all, the only owner of the company. It can be more complicated determining who ranks for businesses that have multiple owners. In general, though, most owners are also "authorized officers."
Credit card issuers consider each application on its own merits, so don't assume you don't qualify just because your business might not fit that standard business model. Do keep in mind though that your personal credit history will likely be what is used to determine your eligibility and/or credit limit on a business card before you've built up a credit history for your business.
If your business doesn't have a tax ID number (EIN), you can enter your personal social security number instead. In general, try to have the following information handy when you apply:
- Business name
- Business name as you want it to appear on the card
- Business address
- Type of business
- Tax ID number (or your social security number)
- Number of employees
- Annual revenue/sales
- Monthly expenses
- Number of years in business
- Ownership type (publicly traded, privately owned, etc.)
- Business structure (LLC, corporation, non-profit, etc.)
To learn more about who can qualify for a small business credit card, and how to apply for one, be sure to check out our frequently asked questions about small business credit cards resource.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card vs. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
For small business owners who like to travel, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a great alternative to the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. New cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points after $15,000 spent on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Rewards®. With no foreign transaction fees and additional travel perks like trip cancellation/interruption insurance included, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card provides excellent travel benefits for the $95 annual fee. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is no slouch itself with a valuable bonus offer of $750 cashback after $7,500 in purchases made in the first three months from account opening, with a $0 annual fee.
The bonus point categories for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card categories are also geared towards frequent travelers, with cardholders earning three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, and one point earned per $1 spent on all other purchases. For an in-depth breakdown of how these two cards line up side-by-side, see our full Ink Business Cash® vs. Preferred® comparison.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card vs. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business are both excellent small business cards that earn uncapped cash back on purchases. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers a $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within three months from account opening. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers $750 cash back, but it's earned with a higher spending threshold, $7,500 in purchases made in the first three months from account opening, plus it also offers a 0% intro APR period on purchases for the first 12 months, (then, 13.24% - 19.24% Variable).
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card does get the edge in simplicity with a flat uncapped rate of 2% cash back earned on purchases while the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has tiered rewards categories that earn between 1-5% cash back. If you're interested in simplicity, the Capital One card is likely a better fit, keeping in mind that you'll pay an annual fee for that ease.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card vs. Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
With the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card new cardholders can earn a $300 statement credit when making at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of opening an account - with no annual fee and cash rewards don't expire. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. You'll get 3% and 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter.
This is a good card for business owners who have substantial expenses from office supplies to internet, cable and phone services. The more you spend, the more you earn and those higher points can be redeemed for cash rewards or other products and services that support your business needs or bottom line.
With no annual fee, and the ability to control employee spending and limits, this card is a good option for business owners who want to effectively and efficiently manage spending, while earning money back that can be reinvested into their business.