As a columnist for the Small Business Credit Profile series, I interview some of the most interesting entrepreneurs in the United States. I’ll talk about the origins of their business and how they use credit cards for everything from startups to operations to emergencies.
In February 2020, I caught up with Amy Fore, founder of Sweater Hound, a company that creates custom clothing and accessories adorned with cool images of pet owners’ dogs. While some business owners have multiple cards, Four has one: the Chase Ink Business Unlimited® credit card. That’s why she remains loyal to him, and why she recommends this account to other business owners.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card at a Glance
Designed for small business owners who value cash back, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card makes it easy to earn rewards.
It offers unlimited cashback of 1.5% on every business purchase made with the card. You can also redeem your cash rewards for travel, gift cards, products and services through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the card issuer’s merchant portal.
New cardholders are eligible for a $750 sign up bonus after they spend $7,500 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of opening an account. The Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card also includes 0 percent APR on purchases you make within the first 12 months of account activation and a regular variable annual interest rate of 15.49 to 21.49 percent on rolled-over balances thereafter. There is also no annual fee.
Business perks that attracted Faure
I asked Four why, of all the business credit cards on the market, she chose Ink Business Unlimited. Familiarity with the brand and a high level of trust in the company served as a driving factor. Faure has a long history with other Chase credit cards, which she uses for her personal household expenses.
“Getting a business credit card was the first thing I did when I opened Sweater Hound,” Fore said in a previous interview. “Ink Business Unlimited was the best business credit card for me at the time and still is. I only needed one card and use it for all my expenses, from paying vendors to covering advertising costs.”
Here are some of the outstanding benefits she considered when she made her choice:
Opportunity to exchange earned money for business trips
While the Ink Business Unlimited credit card comes with a variety of perks, the feature Faure likes the most is the ability to accumulate and redeem earned money for business travel, especially United Airlines flights.
“Now that we’re back to travel, I’ll be taking advantage of that often again,” Faure said. “Chase has the best points-to-points ratio, 1:1, with United Airlines points. I often travel to New York and Los Angeles to meet my manufacturers, and using flight rewards saves me money. So, in addition to loving Chase as a company, I knew I could do it with rewards, which is another reason I chose the card.”
In order to achieve a high net point ratio, Ink Business Unlimited cardholders will need to transfer card rewards to Chase travel partners (including United Airlines), thereby converting them into air miles and hotel points.
Introductory Purchase Offer
Not all of the perks built into every credit card will be used, and for Four, this was a zero-interest purchase offer that comes with the Ink Business Unlimited credit card.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know about it when I got the card! I just wanted to shop and then pay my bills in full every month,” she said. “I would say it’s good, but I didn’t need it at the time.”
Bonus for registration
What Fore really noticed was the generous $750 welcome bonus. This was one of the main reasons she applied for an Ink Business Unlimited credit card a few years ago.
When she was approved, she made sure to charge enough money for three months to earn. However, with a minimum spend of $7,500, reaching that base by buying only what was on her finely crafted spending plan was not easy. However, she did this because she was not going to lose all this free money.
“Every dollar counts when you’re a small company,” Fore said. “I am very careful about how I spend money, so charging such a large amount was not easy. I had no employees, so only I used the card. I had to think about what I really need, like buying samples and paying for a photo.”
So what did she do with the cash after receiving the big bonus? It went into action again. “I don’t remember exactly, but I probably paid the marketing expenses because my company was very young at the time,” Fore said.
Current card potential
Since opening Ink Business Unlimited, Fore has maximized cash back. She fits seamlessly into the process, knowing that she will get 1.5 percent back on every business payment. As usual, she accumulates rewards for future business trips.
Constantly growing credit line
Another aspect of the Ink Business Unlimited card that Fore appreciates is the ever-growing credit line. When she first got the card, her credit limit was low, but through her consistent and responsible use, it has increased.
“Over time, Chase offered me larger lines of credit based on my credit history,” Fore said. “This is how you should operate in life and business. Purposeful. I make sure that my expenses do not exceed my budget. From time to time they send me a message that they extended my loan. It must be because I take a lot and pay the full amount every month.”
Today, her credit limit is big enough to handle everything her business needs and more, all from one account.
“I was very lucky that my business grew a bit at the end of last year,” she said. “When others struggled, mine expanded. I put all my expenses on the line, and not just groceries, but things like Facebook ads. Because of this, the frequency of using my card has increased, which is great. This card has helped me make sure my clients have a wonderful experience.”
She is excited to prepare for a busy Christmas season and will use her Ink Business Unlimited card to pay for the subsidiary’s additional expenses.
As the years have passed, Faure is also grateful that the card has no annual fees. “Every little thing adds up,” she said. “I have a small budget, so not having an annual fee helps keep costs down.”
Pursuit of customer service
The last benefit that Fore wanted to emphasize was customer service, which led her to open in the first place. “I’ve always had good experiences with Chase,” she said.
“For example, just recently I had problems with a couple of business apps that I signed up for but then cancelled. For months they were still billing me and not working with me when I told them to stop. I contacted Chase and they immediately dropped the charges. It was not a big amount, but I pay attention to these things. As a small business owner, you must. I was glad the charges were taken from my Ink Business Unlimited card because Chase made it easy to fix.”
Is Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card Worth It?
“I am very happy that I signed up for the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card. It has been very helpful in running my business,” Fore said.
“Rewards are valuable, especially when I travel and the ticket price is covered. Anytime you have something that gives you maximum flexibility, which is what this card does, that’s what you should move forward with. The rewards you can receive are unlimited and do not expire.”
Fore recommends being mindful of money and credit management and using the right tools available. “For example, have a year to use the card without charging interest on that card? This is a wonderful tool! As a small business owner, you must use whatever is at your disposal. Just because I didn’t need zero percent at the time, others could.”
With so many loan products available for businesses, choosing one can be a daunting task. Read our Chase Ink Business Unlimited review to see if it’s right for you.
APR’s introductory zero interest offer will appeal to you if you want to keep your balance in the first year without additional interest. And if you want cash rewards, plus the ability to convert them into travel points and buy stuff from the company’s merchant portal, this annual free card might be your best bet.