Ink Business Cash® Credit Card vs. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card [2023]: Bonus Categories or Simple Rewards Rate?

CREDIT CARDS - BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS
The Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited are similar cards, but we think the Ink Business Cash is the better choice for most people.
Updated Nov. 14, 2023
A man using a business credit card

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We like the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card over the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card in most situations because its elevated earning rates can help you earn more rewards for your business purchases.

In particular, being able to earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year could mean a lot more rewards than earning Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. But it ultimately depends on your spending habits.

Let’s explore how Chase Ink Business Cash versus Unlimited cards compare to see which Chase Ink Business credit card makes the most sense for you.

In this Ink Business Cash vs. Unlimited comparison

Key takeaways

  • We recommend the Ink Business Cash over the Ink Business Unlimited because we think its earning potential is higher with its 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.
  • We think the Ink Business Unlimited makes sense in situations where you want a simpler rewards rate or your business purchases don’t align with the bonus categories on the Ink Business Cash.
  • The Ink Business Cash has a $0 annual fee and the Ink Business Unlimited has a $0 annual fee.
  • Both the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited provide intro APR offers on purchases, but not balance transfers.
  • You can use both the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited at the same time for different purchases to increase your earning potential. Add in the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card to have even more earning opportunities.

Ink Business Cash vs. Ink Business Unlimited comparison

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Annual fee $0 $0
Welcome offer Earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Earning rate 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Redemption methods
  • Travel
  • Cash back (statement credit or bank account deposit)
  • Gift cards
  • Apple products
  • Chase Dining
  • Pay Yourself Back
  • Online shopping (Amazon and PayPal)
  • Travel
  • Cash back (statement credit or bank account deposit)
  • Gift cards
  • Apple products
  • Chase Dining
  • Pay Yourself Back
  • Online shopping (Amazon and PayPal)
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable) 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable)
Other benefits
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
Foreign transaction fee 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Credit needed Excellent, Good Excellent, Good
Learn more Learn more

Our verdict

We recommend the Ink Business Cash because it can provide higher earning potential than the Ink Business Unlimited for many business owners while matching most other benefits across the board. The higher earning potential is largely due to the 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.

Learn more in our Ink Business Cash Credit Card review.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card benefits and drawbacks

Pros Cons
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Elevated rewards rate on common business expenses
  • $0 annual fee
  • Decent intro APR offer on purchases
  • Low base earning rate
  • No intro APR offer on balance transfers

We think the Ink Business Cash is one of the best business credit cards for multiple reasons:

  • It has a $0 annual fee.
  • It earns cash back in the form of valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
  • It has high earning potential for common business expenses.

There aren’t many cash back business cards that can compete with earning 5% back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.

Additionally, you can earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The downside here that there is a spending limit to earn the 5% rewards rate. So a high-spending business might prefer another credit card without this type of restriction.

Read our Ink Business Cash Credit Card review.

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card benefits and drawbacks

Pros Cons
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Simple rewards rate
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable)
  • No bonus categories
  • No intro APR offer on balance transfers

The Ink Business Unlimited is a straightforward rewards credit card that has a $0 annual fee and provides Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. You can also earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The beauty of this card is that you don’t have to worry about bonus categories, and there’s no limit as to how many rewards you can earn. Having no bonus categories means you don’t have to worry about the specific rewards rate you can earn for different purchases.

But the drawback of a simple rewards rate is that you might earn fewer rewards. Bonus categories tend to have elevated rates, which could mean more rewards if you’re spending habits align with the categories.

Read our Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card review.

What both cards excel at

The Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited are similar business credit cards and share many of the same benefits:

  • Welcome offers: Both cards often have similar, if not identical, welcome offers and spending requirements to qualify for these offers.
  • Introductory APR offers: The Ink Business Cash provides 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable). The Ink Business Unlimited provides 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable).
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points: Both cards earn cash back in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus points, which we recommend as one of the most flexible credit card currencies available.
  • Card benefits and perks: You can take advantage of purchase protection, extended warranty protection, roadside dispatch, rental car insurance, and more with either card.
  • Redemption options: Redeem your rewards for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, cash back, Apple products, gift cards, Pay Yourself Back options, and more.
  • Employee cards: Issue cards for your employees at no additional cost.

Keep in mind
Although both the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited are labeled as “cashback cards,” they actually earn cash back in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These can be considered a type of travel rewards currency, but you can also use them for cash back and other types of redemptions.

2 important differences between Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited

As two very similar credit cards, the main differences between the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited have to do with how they earn rewards.

1. Rewards rates

The Ink Business Cash provides 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The Ink Business Unlimited provides Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

At a quick glance, the Ink Business Unlimited clearly has a simpler and more straightforward rewards rate. But unless your business spending doesn’t align with the Ink Business Cash bonus categories or you’re a high-spending business, we think the Ink Business Cash has more earning potential than the Ink Business Unlimited.

Winner: Ink Business Cash because of its elevated earning rates.

2. Spending limits

You can earn an unlimited number of rewards with either the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited. But you might notice that the Ink Business Cash has spending limits on its elevated earning rates.

With the Ink Business Cash, you can earn:

  • 5% on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • 2% on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year

After you hit these spending caps, you revert to the 1% rate on all other purchases.

The Ink Business Unlimited earns Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, with no spending limits in sight. This could enable a high-spending business to earn more rewards with the Ink Business Unlimited than the Ink Business Cash.

Winner: Ink Business Unlimited because it doesn’t have spending limits.

Which credit card should you choose?

When you should choose Ink Business Cash

  • You want to take advantage of bonus categories
  • You don’t have a high-spending business and aren’t worried about rewards spending caps

When you should choose Ink Business Unlimited

  • You want a simple rewards rate
  • You have a high-spending business and want to avoid rewards spending caps

What factors to consider before choosing

The primary difference between the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited is how they earn rewards.

The Ink Business Cash makes sense if you want to maximize your earning potential with a high rewards rate but don’t necessarily spend enough to worry about the spending limits.

The Ink Business Cash makes sense if you want a simple rewards rate and don’t want to stress about spending limits. It also makes sense if you have a high-spending business where a spending cap might restrict the number of rewards you could earn.

Tip
You can hold both the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited at the same time. We recommend using the Ink Business Cash, Ink Business Unlimited, and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card together if you want to maximize your earning potential and redemption value.

Using two or three Ink cards allows you to use different earning rates, which is beneficial if you have a wide range of business expenses. So you can use whichever card earns the highest rate in a particular category to maximize your earning potential.

Even better, you can combine points between these three Ink Business credit cards. And having the Ink Business Preferred allows you to transfer your points to Chase travel partners, including Air Canada, Southwest Airlines, and Hyatt, for potentially more redemption value.

FAQ

Is the Ink Business Cash hard to get?

It’s generally not hard to qualify for the Ink Business Cash from Chase if you:

  • Have a good credit score, which is at least 670 according to the FICO scoring model
  • Have business income
  • Are under the unofficial Chase 5/24 rule, which means you’ve opened fewer than five consumer credit cards from any credit card issuer in the past 24 months

Does the Ink Business Unlimited have an annual fee?

The Ink Business Unlimited has a $0 annual fee. A quick Ink Business cards comparison shows the Chase Ink Business Cash also has a $0 annual fee, whereas the Ink Business Preferred has a $95 annual fee. And the Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card has a $195 annual fee.

Can anyone get an Ink business card?

Chase business credit cards are for small business owners, so you must have a legitimate business to qualify. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run a company with multiple employees to become a cardholder. You may also qualify for a business credit card as a sole proprietor with freelance, side hustle, or gig economy income.

Ink Business Cash vs. Ink Business Unlimited: bottom line

In most cases, we recommend the Ink Business Cash over the Ink Business Unlimited because of the elevated cashback rewards rate on common business expenses.

Specifically, you can earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.

But we do see where the Ink Business Unlimited might be the better choice for you, depending on your business spending habits. And the Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase is a much easier rewards rate to keep track of if you don’t want to worry about different bonus categories.

For more of our preferred card recommendations, use our dedicated page to compare credit cards and credit card offers.

Up to 5% Cash Back

4.8

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF Ben Walker, CEPF, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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