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JP Morgan Chase Bank currently offers a range of business cards that might interest points enthusiasts and frugal travelers like myself.
One of these business cards, and a personal favorite, is the no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash® Credit Card.
This card currently gives 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar in the following categories:
- internet, and
- office supply store purchases.
It also earns 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar on gas & restaurants and 1 point on everything else.
|The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
|Annual Fee: $0
|Intro Offer: Earn $750 Cashback (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points) after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
|Earn: 5% on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services per cardmember year.
|Earn: 2% on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants within the cardmember year.
|Earn: 1% per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit.
Welcome Bonus: $750 Cash Back or 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Once approved, new Chase Ink Business Cash credit card applicants will receive a generous welcome offer of $750 cashback.
Cardmembers must make eligible purchases totaling $6,000 during the first three months of account opening to receive this generous reward.
According to Chase, “purchases” exclude balance transfers, cash advances, travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers, or other similar cash-like transactions. Additionally, it does not include lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers, or similar betting transactions, any checks that access your account, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, and any kind of fees, including an annual fee.
Once you’ve met the $6,000 minimum spending requirement, your welcome bonus should appear on your Chase account as pending points.
To qualify for this generous bonus offer, please ensure your account remains open and in good standing.
Earn 5X Chase Travel Points on the Chase Ink Business Cash
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is a points powerhouse for a no-annual-fee business card.
It allows cardmembers to earn up to 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar on $25,000 worth of combined purchases in the following categories:
|Chase Ink Cash
|Office Supply Stores
|5x per dollar
That means a Chase Ink Business Cash cardholder can potentially accrue over 125,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points every 12 months.
These points can be redeemed in various ways, but my preferred method is to exchange them for free or discounted travel.
$25,000 worth of purchases* X 5 points = 125,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points (*Phone, Cable, Internet & Office Supply Stores)
How Do I Convert $750 Cash Back to 75,000 Travel Points?
Even though the Chase Ink Business Cash generates cashback, there is a way to convert those cashback points into Ultimate Rewards “travel” points.
The related article below will walk you through the steps.
I Do Not Have a Company or an EIN. Am I Eligible to Apply for a Chase Business Credit Card?
If you own a company or are a self-employed full-time contractor, applying for a business credit card should already be easy.
But for part-time side hustlers who occasionally moonlight, filling out a business credit card application can be quite intimidating.
I can imagine how daunting it could be to provide information, such as your company’s name and EIN (Employment Identification Number) when you do not have them.
It also does not help that there is a common misconception that seasonal side hustlers are not classified as business owners, thereby automatically disqualifying them from business credit cards altogether.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
Regardless of the revenue, anyone who earns a profit from any type of venture is considered a sole proprietor and, therefore, eligible to apply for business credit cards, including Chase Business Credit Cards.
Side Hustlers are Eligible to Apply for Business Credit Cards
Virtually anybody with a side hustle or thinking of starting a future business may be eligible to apply for a Chase Business Credit Card.
That’s right, you may qualify even if you are just at the initial stages of your business!
Simply put, your side hustle does not need to be entirely off the ground yet – you can also qualify while conceptualizing it.
Broadly speaking, though, having an existing side hustle, regardless of income, fundamentally makes you a more qualified candidate, but it is not a requirement.
Hence, any start-up is eligible.
What Businesses Qualify As a Side Hustle?
As previously mentioned, any side hustle is considered a business.
When I first applied for a business credit card over a decade ago, I was doubtful if I would be approved.
I was only selling “junk” on eBay and Craiglist periodically, and the income I received from it was inconsistent and barely sufficient to pay for gas.
When I qualified for my first-ever business card, I was beyond ecstatic.
Do you mean I can get travel points to book free business class tickets just by merely selling random used stuff online? Absolutely!
List of Popular Side Hustles Eligible for a Business Credit Card
- buying and selling online (Facebook marketplace, Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc.)
- driving for Uber/Lyft
- tour guide
- being an Airbnb host
- freelance writer
- any manual labor you do on the side – plumbing, electrician, mowing the lawn, etc.
- having your own blog/podcast/YouTube channel
- having a rental property
- any freelance gig that yields a 1099 come tax time
- your side hustle!
In a nutshell, you need not own a multi-million dollar company to qualify for a business card. Nor would you need to have a physical office – your business address can be your primary residence.
Furthermore, you don’t need to work in your business full-time.
It can be part-time, seasonal, or even a few hours throughout the year.
You are eligible as long as you are engaged in some form of activity to earn a profit!
To sum it up, any side hustle will do, regardless of the nature and structure of your enterprise.
What If I Do Not Have a Business? Start One!
As mentioned above, applying for a business card is possible if you are still in the beginning stages of planning for a business.
As with all businesses, we all need initial capital to fund our “start-up” expenses, and sometimes the fund source can come from a credit card. Banks are aware of this.
Whether you are planning to start a podcast or a dog-walking side job (or any of the examples above) soon, consider applying for business credit cards, as the welcome bonus can be truly rewarding.
Pro-Tip: Selling Stuff at Facebook Marketplace is an easy side hustle anyone can start anytime!
It also goes without saying that if the COVID-19 pandemic taught us something, the future is fundamentally unpredictable.
No one can foresee if our business will be a roaring success or an unfortunate letdown. Neither the bank nor you can foretell that.
Thus, viability is not a determining factor in getting approved.
Alternatively, if you do not plan to have a business in the future, I recommend exploring personal travel credit cards instead.
How Do I Answer a Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Application as a Sole Proprietor?
There are two components to a Chase Business Credit Card Application.
- Business Information Section
- Personal Information Section
Rule Of Thumb: Be Truthful
Below are the typical questions included in a business credit card application and my cheat sheet on how to answer them.
Business Information of a Chase Business Credit Card Application
The form below may not be identical to what Chase shows as they update it frequently, but the required information will be the same.
|Legal Business Structure
|Business Legal Name
|Your Full Name (e.g. Kris Abad)
|Desired Business Name on Card
|Your Full Name
|Does Your Business Use Another Name, Like a Trade Name, Assumed Name or DBA (Doing Business As)?
|Tax ID Type
|Social Security Number (SSN)
|Is Your Business’s Physical Address The Same As Your Personal Address?
|Number of Employees
(Enter the number of all additional employees, not including yourself. Enter “0” if you’re the only employee.)
|Same as Personal
|Business Established Date
|Indicate the date when you started to conceptualize your business
|Annual Business Revenue
|Estimated Annual Profit of your Business ($1000 or higher).
|Choose One/Select the Category of Your Particular Side Hustle.
If your side hustle is Facebook Marketplace, then I would select “Retail: Automotive, Clothing, Food, Gas, Health, Home Goods”
|Choose any items on the drop-down menu. (Examples: Clothing, Home, etc.)
|Select from the drop-down
|Estimated Monthly Spend
Personal Information of a Chase Business Credit Card Application
|Authorizing Officer Title
|First & Last Name
|First & Last Name
|Date of Birth
|Your Date of Birth
|Primary Phone Number
|Mother’s Maiden Name
|Your Mother’s Maiden Name
|Tax ID Type
|Social Security Number
|Total Gross Annual Income
|Your Annual Gross From All Revenue Streams (Full Time Job, Side Hustles, etc.)
Chase will also ask if you would like to add employee cards. This is optional and can be obtained anytime after getting approved.
Then, you will be asked to review their E-Sign Disclosures, Pricing & Terms, and Certifications. Lastly, check the box that certifies that you have read and agreed to Chase’s terms and conditions.
Wait for a few seconds and cross your fingers for instant approval. If not, do not worry.
I will walk you through the next steps in the following sections.
Before applying, I recommend that you read the entire blog post so you can determine your eligibility and know how to troubleshoot when denied.
How Do I Meet The $6,000 Minimum Spend Requirement (MSR) in 3 months?
What is MSR (“minimum spend requirement”)?
To receive the Chase Ink Cash card’s welcome offer and rewards, you must meet a minimum spending requirement within a specific time frame.
Failing to complete these conditions will forfeit your reward.
So, how can you meet this spending requirement if you have yet to start your business? That’s a valid question!
Banks typically do not have a way of knowing which spending is wholly for business or personal, and truthfully, sometimes, the boundaries between those two categories are blurred.
If you feel you cannot meet the minimum spending requirement and are in danger of missing out on the bonus, the related post below lists strategies for fulfilling the required spending.
Fastest Way to Earn 5X on the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Without a doubt, the fastest way to earn 5x per dollar on the Chase Ink Cash credit card is to leverage gift card sales at Staples or Office Depot/Office Max.
Staples and Office Depot/Office Max often have promotions where they offer discounted gift cards when you purchase them in-store.
Purchasing these discounted gift cards – usually Visa Gift Cards (VGCs) or Mastercard Gift Cards (MCGC) – is the fastest way to earn 5x per dollar on your everyday purchases.
Let me explain. When I use these gift cards to pay for my everyday expenses, I effectively earn 5x per dollar on all of my purchases since those gift cards were purchased using the Chase Ink Cash credit card.
In contrast, I would have earned zero points had I opted for a debit card or my bank account.
Another great way to maximize this bonus category is to purchase store gift cards for everyday expenses such as groceries and gas.
Staples and/or Office Depot sell gift cards for online retailers (Amazon), grocery stores (Target), and gas stations (Shell, Chevron, etc.), which can then be used for your regular purchases throughout the year.
We announce these office supply store gift card deals in the Travel Miles and Points Facebook Group. It’s free to join!
Travel Miles & Points Facebook Group
We announce office supply gift card sales at our free Travel Miles and Points Facebook Group.
Everyone is welcome to join!
Advanced-Level: $25,000 Cardmember Anniversary Limit on 5X Categories
As mentioned above, the Chase Ink Business Card® Credit Card has a yearly limit of $25,000 on 5x categories that resets every cardmember anniversary.
It also has a $25,000 annual cardmember anniversary limit on 2x categories.
Since the best use of Chase Ink Cash is on 5x categories, we would focus our efforts on being mindful not to exceed the $25,000 total yearly threshold on the aforementioned merchants that give 5 points per dollar.
Sadly, purchases beyond the $25,000 cap on 5X categories will only earn 1X per dollar.
Therefore, I recommend that Chase Ink Business Cash cardholders pay attention to when they are just about to max out this $25K amount, so they can plan to utilize an alternative card that can give more than 1X per dollar.
Heads Up: Do Not Use This Card Overseas
As with most credit cards with no annual fees, the Chase Ink Business Cash credit card does charge foreign transaction fees when used overseas.
These fees can add up quickly, especially if you frequently travel. Make sure to use another travel credit card instead.
The table below summarizes the best travel credit cards to use abroad to avoid those pesky foreign transaction fees.
|The Best Travel Credit Cards that Do Not Charge Foreign Fees
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Ink Business Cash is a fantastic card because it offers 5 Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar on categories such as phone, cable, internet, and office supply stores.
This makes it one of the most generous no-annual-fee cards available in the market.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are incredibly valuable and can be easily transferred to various airline and hotel partners.
When you combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points from the Chase Ink Business Cash with a Chase premium card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can convert cashback into transferrable travel points.
This makes the Chase Ink Business Cash an excellent choice for anyone looking to earn cash back or travel rewards without paying an annual fee.
I hope this quick guide was helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below.
EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE – Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. The content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.