This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Disclosure, visit this page.

Chase 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 Ink Unlimited and Chase Ink business credit 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.

cards worth annual fees
American Airlines (AA) JFK SOHO Lounge. Credit: Johnny Jet

Chase Ink Unlimited vs Chase Ink Cash Business Credit Card

Both Ink business credit cards share many similarities including the following:

  • No annual fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Redeem rewards points for travel, cash back, gift cards
  • Travel and purchase protection
  • Same bonus

New Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card cardholders can earn a $750 bonus cash back after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

New Ink Business Cash® Credit Card cardholders can earn up to a $750 bonus cash back! Earn $350 after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Then, earn an additional $400 after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.

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 complement your spending more.i

Ink Unlimited

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

Additionally, cardholders may redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards. Employers can set individual spending limits for greater control and earn rewards faster with employee cards that come at no extra cost. Fraud protection is also included with the card as well as zero fraud liability. Cardholders won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with their card or with their account information.

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.

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

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card 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 travel rewards credit card to earn bonus points for these travel purchases.

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

If the bulk of your business spending is for these four categories, the 5% and 2% bonus for 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 Business Unlimited® Credit Card.

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
  • Apple Ultimate Rewards Store

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 for 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 Go for the Chase Ink Unlimited

You should try for the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card 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 Go for the Chase Ink Cash

Trying for the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card 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.


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.

1 Comment On "Comparison: Chase Ink Unlimited vs Ink Cash"
  1. Dru|

    Great comparison… It’s a hard one to decide. Chase ought to make another card same rewards as the cash biz but 1.5% on everything else, charge a $45 annual fee. Or, maybe keep the biz cash and let the consumer decide their 5% and 2% rewards Lol. Just a thought!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *