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Best Small Business Credit Card

Credit Cards Fanned OutSeveral banks now offer a growing line of credit cards aimed at small businesses, including American Express and U.S. Bank.

Chase’s line is called Ink, and it’s probably best in class.

Chase actually has four Ink cards, two with no annual fee and two with a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. Each card is very similar to its sister card, with just minor but important differences.

The Ink Cash card and the Ink Classic card are nearly – but not exactly – identical. As the name implies, Ink Cash rewards you in cash, while Classic rewards you in points. As a result, Classic is aimed more at someone who travels frequently, while Cash is for someone who wants to earn cash.

Chase Ink Cash Credit Card

The introductory bonus on both cards is essentially the same. With Ink Cash, you earn a $200 cash bonus if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months. With Classic, you earn 20,000 points, which are redeemable for travel, gift cards and merchandise, and even cash.

After that, you earn 5% back on the first $25,000 you spend annually on office supplies and communications services, including cellular and landline phones, Internet and cable TV (although not equipment purchases like smartphones).

There is one minor difference in the rewards structure between the two cards, other than cash versus points.

With Ink Cash, you earn 2% back on the first $25,000 you spend annually at gas stations and restaurants. With Classic, you earn two points per dollar on gas and hotel purchases.

So if you have a small local business, Cash is probably the better choice. But if you travel a lot, Classic may make more sense.

You earn 1% on all other purchases.

There’s no limit on your rewards, and they don’t expire.

APRs on both cards are the same. There’s a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first six months, then 13.24%.

Both cards offer complimentary Lounge Club membership at 350 airports in 200 cities worldwide for the first year, plus two free lounge visits. After the first two visits, you will be charged $27 per person per visit. This perk is available only for the first year.

Best of credit card series

More in the series:

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But be careful using either Ink Cash or Classic in foreign countries. You will be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee, which will wipe out any points or cash you may earn.

If that’s an issue for you, and it is with a lot of small business owners who travel aboard, you should check out Chase’s two other small business cards, Bold and Plus, which waive those fees, although they do charge a $95 annual fee beginning in the second year.

Both Bold and Plus have basically the same rewards as Ink Cash and Classic, except that there’s a greater threshold on how much you can earn bonus rewards.

Instead of earning five points per dollar on office supplies, you earn them on the first $50,000. Likewise, you earn double points on gas purchases and hotel accommodations up to $50,000.

There is one big difference between Bold and Plus.

Plus is a conventional credit card, so you can revolve a balance if you want to. The APR is the same as on the other Ink cards, 13.24%, although there’s no 0% intro period.

By contrast, Bold is a charge card, meaning you have to pay the balance in full each month. If you don’t want that requirement, you better stick with Plus or one of the no-fee cards.

All of Chase’s Ink cards give you the ability to download Jot, a free mobile app that lets you snap and store a picture of your receipts and automatically syncs them up with your account. It also gives you instant alerts on your smartphone when one of your employees uses the card to make a purchase.

Compare Chase’s business cards with the many other credit cards in our database.

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