Chase Ink Classic® Business Card Review
The Ink® Classic Business Card Card is one of the best no annual fee rewards card for small business owners and it also comes with a 0% Intro APR* offer for both purchases and balance transfer for 6 months. Let's dig into this card further.
Rewards Formula - The Chase Ink Classic allows you to earn 5X points per dollar on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. You can also earn 2X points per dollar on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and for hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel For other regular purchases, you earn one point for every dollar that you spend on the card. You can earn unlimited points which do not expire.
Sign Up Bonus - New cardholders will 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3000 within 3 months.
Fees and Rates - There is no annual fee for this card. New cardholders get a 0% Intro APR on both purchases and balance transfer for 6 months.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Summary - The real question here is how good is the reward program. Well, the Ultimate Rewards program allows you to redeem points for travel items like airline tickets or hotel bookings, gift cards, merchandise and cash rebates. There are three ways in which you can redeem your points for travel. You can exchange points for gift certificates on airlines like Continental, British Airwways and SouthWest. You can use their travel booking site to book your travel with your card and you can earn double points for every dollar you spend booking an airline ticket. You can also book your own travel with any travel agent you want and you will get a statement credit using the reward points you have earned.
As with other reward programs, you can also redeem points for merchandise and gift cards. Compared to other reward programs, the offering and partners are pretty comprehensive and I would say the Ultimate Rewards program (along with the Membership Rewards program from Amex) ranks as the best today.
Chase Ink vs Chase Ink Bold - Before we compare this card with others, I think we should first look at this versus the Chase Ink Bold. The Ink Bold is essentially their "charge card" that was designed to compete with the Amex Green Business Charge Card. The Ink Bold has a $95 annual fee, requires that you pay in full every month, but has the same reward program as the Ink with Ultimate Rewards. But the Ink Bold allows you to transfer points to Continental, British Airways, Marriott, Priority Club, Hyatt and Amtrak. If you are looking to earn points on these airline and hotel partners, then the Ink Bold would be a better choice. But if that is not a consideration, then I think the Ink with Ultimate Rewards is actually slight better than Ink Bold because you get the same program but you do not pay any annual fee. Furthermore, the Ink Classic allows you to earn 5X and 2X points on various categories that the Ink Bold does not.
Chase Ink vs Citi AT&T Universal Business Card - The Citi AT&T Business Card is Citi's only business card at the moment. The Citi AT&T has the advantage that you can earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on AT&T products - which should be music to iPhone users! (though the Ink Classic allows you to earn 5X and 2X on various categories). But other than that, the cards are similar in how you earn rewards. The key difference between Chase and Citi rewards cards lie in their reward program (especially their travel portals). Citi's online travel booking portal is powered by expedia.com and in my opinion has problems now that make it not as appealing as other portals. The reason is because expedia.com is presently not showing American Airline flights on their portal. Citi's ThankYou Rewards also require more points to redeem for gift card below $100 in value. For example, 2,500 points gets you a $25 gift card with the Chase Ultimate Rewards. For Citi's ThankYou, you need 2,600 points instead.
Overall, I think the Chase Ink Classic is the winner against the Citi AT&T Business Card.
Chase Ink vs BOA WordPoints Business Card - BOA has a couple of no annual fee business cards that are based on the WorldPoints reward program. There are two key areas to highlight in both reward programs that are very relevant in this comparison. They involve their airline ticket travel rewards. For the Ink, you essentially earn double points when you book an airline ticket with their travel portal. With WorldPoints, you need 25,000 points for airline tickets costing up to $500. After $500, you need 2,500 points for $50 in value. So to sum up, the Chase Ink allows you to earn double points on airfare, but the WorldPoints potentially allows you to get double the standard 1% rebates on airfare. It really depends how much your airfare is.
But in terms of merchandise and gift cards, I think the Ultimate Rewards beats the WorldPoints because you need less points for a certain value in gift cards. Hence, I give Chase Ink the slight edge.
Chase Ink vs Amex Blue For Business - Both these cards are very similar. Both allow you to earn double points when you book airline tickets with their reward program portal. Both have online shopping portals that potentially allow you to earn up to 10 points per dollar, though the Chase Ultimate Rewards have more partners. The Blue for Business has a slight advantage in that their cardholders can get discount with OPEN partner merchants. The Ink's advantage is that because it is a Visa, it is more widely accepted than Amex. You can also earn 5X and 2X points with the Chase on various categories.
Chase Ink vs Capital One No Hassle Miles - The Capital One No Hassle Miles Business Card is their no annual fee rewards card. But it is inferior to the Chase Ink in a couple of ways. Firstly, you do not get double miles when you buy an airline ticket with them. Secondly, Chase Ultimate Rewards has better rewards and you also need less points to redeem for gift cards. Thirdly, you can earn 5X and 2X points on various categories which the Capital One does not allow.
Verdict - After looking at it's features and what it's peers are offering, I think we can safely say that the Ink® Classic Business Card is arguably the best (or at least top two) no annual fee credit card for the small business owner. A big reason is that the Chase Ultimate Rewards has really gotten really good. The fact that you can earn double points for booking airline tickets is a huge plus as well. It is also one of the very rare business credit cards that offer a 0% Intro APR on balance transfer for 6 months (and on purchases as well). If you apply now, you can get a 15,000 bonus points after their first purchase to jumpstart your points collection.