Small businesses are the bloodline of the economy, making up 46% of all non-farm gross domestic product within the United States and employing more than 48% of private sector employees, according to the most recent Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy report. As vital as small businesses are to a growing economic state, financing challenges are a prominent concern. A business credit card is often the first line of defense against cash-flow shortages and seasonal downturns in revenue. The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards Card is one of the most popular on the small business circuit given its plethora of perks.
Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards cardholders are privy to some of best benefits in terms of rewards potential available to business owners. Let’s take a look at how the Ink Plus Business card stacks up.
The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card has an impressive rewards program for cardholders, touting the opportunity to earn five rewards points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases at office supply stores, on cable television services, on cellular and landline phone services and on Internet services. Rewards are also earned on combined purchases made at gas stations and hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel each anniversary year. For both the five times and the two times reward categories, cardholders earn points on the first $50,000 spent in any given year. All other purchases earn one reward point per dollar spent with no annual or lifetime limitations. Rewards do not have an expiration date as long as the credit card account remains open and in good standing.
Chase is well-known for offering strong rewards programs, and the Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is no different. Rewards points can be redeemed for a number of different options, including cash back at a one to one ratio, meaning a 100 rewards equates to $1 in cash back. Cardholders can also redeem rewards for vacation packages, flights or cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. Gift cards are available from major retailers and merchants, and account holders have the option of shopping through the Amazon partner site with earned rewards as an alternative.
One of the most attractive features of the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is the bonus offer available to new applicants. Currently, new cardholders have the opportunity to earn up to 60,000 bonus points when a minimum of $5,000 is spent on purchases within the first three months of account opening. When the bonus rewards are used to book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards partner site, redeemed points are worth 25% more than other redemption outlets. For example, a flight or hotel accommodation purchased with 60,000 rewards points and redeemed through the site is worth $750 – a great way for business owners to put the Chase Ink Plus card to work for them.
The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card offers additional perks to business owners above and beyond the rewards program. First, cardholders are not assessed any foreign transaction fees, a feature not found with all business credit cards. Business owners also have the option of adding an unlimited number of authorized users at no additional cost, saving both the time and hassle of giving certain employees access to spending on the card. Employee cards also come with individualized spending limits that can be changed at any time. As an added security feature, the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card comes with embedded chip technology, perfect for the business owner who travels outside the country on a regular basis.
Ink Plus cardholders also have the benefit of specialized account management only available to certain Chase customers. Account balances can be paid in full or over an extended period of time, based on the specific needs of the business and available cash-flow. Also, the Chase mobile app offers an easy, streamlined way to capture and tag business receipts on the go, in an instant. The combination of these additional perks gives the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card an advantage over comparable business credit cards.
The Fine Print
Credit cards can be lifesavers for small businesses, but it is important to understand how fees, restrictions and interest rates impact cardholders. The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card comes with an annual fee of $95, making is less attractive than some competing business credit cards with lower or no annual charge. Any business owner planning to utilize the Ink Plus credit card for a balance transfer should be aware that a greater of $5 or 5% of the total amount transferred is applicable, and cash advances incur a $15 or 5% fee, whichever is greater. Late payments may result in a fee, ranging from $15 up to $39, per payment.
The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card does not offer an introductory interest rate or any balance transfer offers at this time. Instead, the standard annual percentage rate for purchases ranges from 15.49% up to 19.49%, based on the credit quality of the applicant; balance transfer rates fall into the same range. Interest rates on cash advances are a stark 25.24%, in addition to the aforementioned fees. Cardholders should know that because all interest rates associated with the credit card are variable from the onset, shifts in the market may have an impact on the actual interest rate applicable at any time. Chase states that the most qualified applicants are those with excellent personal credit history.
While the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is an attractive solution for business owners in need of an accessible credit line with ample rewards, this card is best suited for individuals who are capable of earning enough in rewards to offset the $95 annual fee. For businesses who spend a substantial amount of cash on office supplies, cable and Internet services and travel, the rewards program is second to none. However, if your business does not spend much on these specific categories, or has relatively low spending on all other purchases, a card with no annual fee or a cash-back only rewards program may be a better solution.