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Are you looking for a no annual fee business credit card? Your two top contenders might be the Chase Ink Cash or Amex SimplyCash as your final choice. Either small business credit card is a great choice for your business spending, but we’ll help you pick out the best one.
Neither business credit card charges an annual fee. They both charge a foreign transaction fee, although the Amex SimplyCash Plus is only 2.7% compared to 3% for the Chase Ink Cash.
Ink Cash vs SimplyCash Welcome Bonus
You should also look at the purchase rewards and additional card benefits when comparing any credit card to another, but the initial welcome bonus can be the tiebreaking vote that helps you choose one card over the other.
Chase Ink Cash
The Chase Ink Cash recently increased their offer to $500 bonus cash by spending $3,000 in the first three months. There’s also a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers during the first 12 months.
If you’re solely basing your decision on which bonus is better, the Chase Ink Cash is clearly the better offer at this moment because of the much lower spending requirements.
The most valuable benefit of business credit cards without an annual fee is their purchase rewards. If you can’t earn bonus points on most of your large purchases–or most common purchases–you’re losing money because you aren’t earning the most points possible per dollar spent.
In fact, the reason why you’re probably considering a new business credit card is probably that your current one is outdated and has weak purchase rewards.
Amex Simply Cash Plus
American Express lets you earn up to 5% on the first $50,000 spent on select purchase categories.
Earn 5% On These Categories
- Earn 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent at wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
Earn 3% In One Category Of Your Choice
Earn 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- Hotel rooms purchased directly from the hotel
- Car rentals purchased directly from the rental agency
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. purchases on advertising in select media
- U.S. shipping purchases
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing from select provider
With Expanded Buying Power you can spend beyond your credit limit* to make bigger purchases for your business earn cash back on those purchases too.
*The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
Chase Ink Cash
The Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers similar tiered purchase rewards but you can earn bonus cash on four purchase categories instead of three categories with the Amex Simply Cash.
Earn 5% Cash Back
You will earn 5% cash back each account anniversary year on the first $25,000 spent on these two spending categories:
- Office supply stores
- Internet, cable, and phone services
Earn 2% Cash Back
Chase also offers 2% cash back each account anniversary year on these two purchase types for the first $25,000 in annual spending:
- Gas stations
Spending $25,000 in both bonus levels gives you $1,750 cash back each year. All remaining purchases in the 5% and 2% categories earn 1% when you exceed the $25,000 spending cap.
As always, your non-bonus spending earns 1% on all purchases outside of these four spending categories.
Additional Credit Card Benefits
Because neither business credit card charges an annual fee, there isn’t much to speak of when it comes to additional benefits that come with business credit cards that charge an annual fee.
Even so, you can still benefit from several of these benefits that protect your business purchases.
Amex SimplyCash Plus
- Extended warranty protection will extend the warranty on select purchases when the manufacturer’s warranty is five years or less.
- Purchase protection will reimburse you for purchases that are stolen or accidentally damaged within 90 days of the original purchase date
- Amex Offers provides additional opportunities to earn bonus cash back on shopping, dining, and travel purchases. These purchases help you earn bonus cash outside of the 5% and 3% bonus categories.
- Secondary car rental loss and damage waiver covers the deductible portion of any collision or theft-related damage to your rental car
- Baggage insurance plan up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and $500 for checked baggage
- Roadside assistance for your business vehicles or rental cars that need a tow, tire change, or jump start
Chase Ink Cash
- Extended warranty protection extends the warranty on select purchases by one year when the original warranty is three years or less
- Primary car rental loss and damage waiver covers up to the cash value of your damaged rental vehicle
- Purchase protection reimburses up to $10,000 per claim on purchases within 120 days of the original purchase date
Possibly the most valuable benefit of the Chase Ink Cash is that you can pool your rewards points from your other Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards like the Chase Sapphire or Ink Business Preferred to transfer them on a 1:1 basis to airline and hotel loyalty programs. Or, you can redeem them directly through Chase for award travel and receive a 25% or 50% travel redemption bonus.
If you don’t pool your rewards points, the rewards points you earn with the Chase Ink Cash can only be redeemed for cash statement credits that help boost the bottom line.
Which No Annual Fee Business Card Is Better?
Both small business credit cards are good options, but one card will probably be better than other depending on how you plan to use your credit card.
Amex SimplyCash Plus
The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express is better if you can concentrate your spending at office supply stores. This is because you can earn up to 5% on the first $50,000 while the Chase Ink Cash only earns 5% on the first $25,000 on similar purchases. Of course, other purchases factor into Amex’s $50,000 combined spending so you most likely won’t be able to earn 5% on office supply store purchases exclusively.
Only being able to earn 3% on one bonus category is a small downside but since the spending caps are a little more flexible despite having fewer bonus categories to choose, it can be easier to earn more bonus cash.
Chase Ink Cash
You might prefer the Chase Ink Cash because it has four bonus categories instead of three for categories that will likely be your most common business purchases. You might prefer some of the additional card benefits like primary rental car collision damage waiver coverage as well.
Summary on Chase Ink Cash vs Amex SimplyCash
It doesn’t matter if you go with Amex or Chase, either business card can make a good primary or secondary business credit card. You’ll never have to pay an annual fee and you can earn up to 5% on your regular business purchases.
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