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Updated November 15, 2016

Chase Ink Plus Review: 60,000 Bonus Points Worth $95?

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A $95 annual fee may be too rich for some. But read on to see why many small businesses view the Ink Plus a must-have rewards credit card because of its amazing sign-up bonus and travel benefits.

11/15/2016 Update: Ink Plus Business Credit Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Overall Score

3.9

Rewards

4.0

Interest Rates

3.5

Fees

3.5

Benefits

4.0

Airline Transfer Partners

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee
  • No intro APR

Bottom Line

Excellent small business rewards card with travel-friendly benefits

Did you know: There is newer Chase business credit card. The Chase Ink Preferred. Now you can earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Read our Ink Business Preferred review to learn more.

Read this eye-opening review about the Ink Plus Business credit card.

In this detailed review, you'll learn:

  • How you can earn 60,000 bonus points.

  • The facts you need to decide whether the $95 annual fee is worth it.

  • How to best use this card and get the most value out of it.

Huge Signup Bonus

Right off the bat, the Chase Ink Plus offers a jaw-dropping bonus:

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. These 60,000 points are good for $600 in cash back or $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards (more info below).

This is the largest business credit card sign-up bonus we’ve seen on CreditDonkey.

How the Reward Program Works

When you make a purchase using the Chase Ink Plus business credit card, you earn reward points. You earn 1 point for every $1 you spend on most purchases. There is no annual limit to the number of points you can earn, and they don't expire.

But that’s not all. You have the opportunity to earn more points in certain categories:

  • Earn 5 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases-with no limit to the amount you can earn.

If you hit the $50,000 threshold in each tier, you'll earn the regular 1 point per $1 rate until the next account year.

Get the Most Out of Your Card

Your points can be converted into a variety of rewards, including turning them into cash (for every 100 points you earn, you can get $1 in cash back), booking travel, or transferring to Ink Plus airline partners.

We’ll go over the best way to get the most value out of your points.

  • Book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards: When you use your points to book a trip through the Chase travel portal, you get a 20% discount on your travel purchase. For example: the 60,000-point bonus offer could either equal $600 in cash back or $750 for a travel purchase if redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

  • Transfer to an airline partner: Chase lets you transfer your points (at a 1:1 ratio) to frequent flier airline transfer partners and hotel rewards programs including United, British Airways, Hyatt, and Marriott. Each point could be worth even more with this method.

    FYI: If you have a personal Chase Freedom card, you can pool your points with the Chase Ink Plus. The Chase Freedom has 5% bonus categories that change throughout the year. Take advantage of the Freedom's 5% categories, and pool the points together with your Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus. Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred (personal credit card) and Chase Ink Plus (business credit card) allow you to transfer points to Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners (such as United and Southwest).

  • Shop through Chase Shopping Portal: Chase has an online shopping portal where over 200 partner merchants offer the opportunity to earn more points on everyday purchases. Most stores offer 2-5x points per $1, but some go as high as 15x points. Merchants include Apple, Sears, Drugstore.com, ProFlower, and Groupon.

Business Benefits

This card has the business owner in mind with these additional benefits:

  • Free employee cards: You can get unlimited employee cards at no extra fee, and the rewards program will apply to those cards as well. The account holder is able to set a spending limit for each employee card and be notified whenever an employee makes a purchase with their card.

  • Mobile Ink app: This app was designed to help a business owner keep track of financial operations. You can manage employee business cards, keep track of receipts, and activate alerts.

  • Shopping Protection: Ink Plus cardholders enjoy purchase protection on eligible lost or damaged items up to $10,000 for 120 days after purchase. In addition, you’ll get return protection for 90 days up to $500 per eligible item and extended warranty on all eligible products with a warranty of less than 3 years.

Travel Benefits

In addition to business benefits, the Ink Plus offers many travel benefits that make this an ideal card for businesses that send employees overseas.

  • No foreign transaction fees: Most credit cards charge an extra 3% fee on purchases outside the country, but the Chase Ink Plus has no foreign transaction fees.

  • Redeem points for discounted travel booking: Remember, if you use your points to book through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you will receive a 20% discount on you travel purchase, including hotels, airfare, and car rentals.

  • Travel insurance: Chase offers travel accident insurance up to $500,000, reimbursement for eligible expenses if your baggage is lost or delayed, and trip cancellation/interruption coverage.

  • Travel assistance: If issues come up while traveling, such as needing a medical referral or passport replacement, Chase’s free hotline service can help sort them out (though if you book anything, you are responsible for the payment). In addition, you can call a Roadside Service hotline if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

Downsides

Before applying for the card, consider these reasons why Chase Ink Plus may not be right for your business:

  • The categories don’t match your business spending: This card is good for businesses that spend a lot at office supply stores and telecommunication services (as you receive 5x points for these purchases).

    If your business doesn’t spend much in these categories, then you won’t be getting the best value out of this card. For example, Ink Plus does not offer more points for dining out, so if you often have business meals, you won’t get extra rewards. Another card with a more straightforward rewards structure may be better suited to your needs.

    If your business regularly takes clients out to eat, you may want to consider the SimplyCash Plus from American Express, a CreditDonkey partner. You can choose "U.S. restaurants" as a category to get 3% cash back (on up to $50,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1% applies thereafter). And there's no annual fee.

  • No introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers: The Ink Plus does not have an introductory APR offer, which may be a downside for businesses that have not established a steady cash flow and may need breathing room once in a while. The variable APR of 15.49% - 19.49% (based on your creditworthiness) is also a bit higher than some other cards.

  • $95 annual fee: There’s a $95 annual fee and there’s no introductory promotion on it for the first year. Because of the annual fee, it’s only worth it if you’re putting a lot of expenses on the card. To just break even, you would have to spend $9,500 a year.

How It Compares

In the Chase family of “Ink” business credit cards, the Ink Plus is the muscular older child. The Ink Cash is its no-annual-fee “little brother.” At first glance, the reward categories offered by the Ink Cash and Ink Plus cards appear remarkably similar – but there are subtle differences. The main advantage of the Ink Plus lies (mostly) with the size of the rewards and the higher spending limits.

The Ink Plus doubles the annual purchase limits that qualify for the 5-point and 2-point tiers – from $25,000 for Ink Cash to $50,000 for Ink Plus. In addition, Ink Plus cardholders can take advantage of a 1:1 point transfer to more than 20 frequent flyer programs, while Ink Cash doesn’t offer this ability.

Want a credit card for your personal use? Take a look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred. While the sign-up bonus is not as huge as the Ink Plus, it offers one of the highest we've seen for a consumer card. Like the Chase Ink Plus, the points can be redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 20% discount, or be transferred to a frequent flyer partner program.

Bottom Line

To recap, here are the pros and cons when considering the Ink Plus:

Pros:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. Earn 2 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases-with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Convert points into travel rewards, cash back, or move your points to other travel reward partner programs.

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory APR
  • Limits the bonus rewards rate to the first $50,000 in combined purchases in each rewards tier.

In our opinion, the Ink Plus Business Card is a superior choice for companies that regularly incur tens of thousands of dollars in business expenses, especially on office supplies and telecom services. This is also a great card for businesses with travel needs, as you can get a 20% discount when points are used to book travel through Ultimate Rewards. Or you can transfer points (on a 1:1 basis) to airline transfer partners like United Airlines or Southwest Airlines.

Just the 60,000-point introductory bonus offer alone is enough to help justify the cost of the annual fee for more than 6 years. You just have to make sure your business will spend enough in the first three months to meet the spending minimum. When you combine that with the generous rewards program, the Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card is a fantastic deal.

11/15/2016 Update: Ink Plus Business Credit Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

David R is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on September 7, 2012. This content may have been updated on November 15, 2016. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom and Ink Business Cash Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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