What are travel credit cards, and how do they work?
Travel credit cards are financial products that offer various rewards and benefits geared towards frequent travelers. They typically earn you points or miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses. Travel credit cards may also include perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, and no foreign transaction fees.
How do I choose the best travel credit card for my needs?
Choosing the best travel credit card depends on your travel habits, spending patterns, and preferences. Consider factors like the type of rewards offered (points, miles, or cash back), the card’s annual fee, sign-up bonuses, earning rates, redemption options, and additional travel perks. Analyzing these features will help you find a card that aligns with your lifestyle and offers the most value.
What are the benefits of using a travel credit card over other types of credit cards?
Travel credit cards provide unique advantages for travelers, such as earning rewards specifically tailored to travel expenses. Additionally, many travel credit cards offer travel-related perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and travel insurance. Some cards also waive foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for international travelers.
What is a sign-up bonus, and how can I qualify for it?
A sign-up bonus is a promotional offer provided by the credit card issuer to entice new cardholders. To qualify for a sign-up bonus, you usually need to meet specific spending requirements within a certain timeframe after opening the account. The bonus can be in the form of points, miles, or cash back, and it’s a great way to jump-start your rewards earning.
Do travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees?
Not all travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees. Many of the top-tier travel cards waive these fees, making them ideal for international travel. However, it’s essential to read the card’s terms and conditions to confirm this before using it abroad.
How can I maximize the rewards earned with my travel credit card?
To maximize rewards, use your travel credit card for everyday expenses and large purchases. Take advantage of bonus categories and special promotions to earn more points or miles. Consider combining your travel credit card with loyalty programs to stack rewards and get even more value out of your purchases.
The landscape of rewards credit cards and award travel is constantly changing. Intro bonuses rise and fall, travel sweet spots emerge and disappear. But one recent bright spot is the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card’s massive $900 (or 90,000-point) welcome bonus.
For no annual fee, this card gives you one of the loudest bangs for your buck. It earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which is considered by many in the points and miles world to be the most valuable of all travel currencies because of its flexibility.
Though the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is a small business card, the card is easier to get than you might think. Many people operate a small business without even realizing it. For example, if you sell items on Etsy or eBay, perform freelance work on the side, or deliver for DoorDash, you can qualify for this card.
Let’s take a quick look at how to earn the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card bonus and the awesome things you can do with that large chunk of cash back (or potentially transferrable points).
Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
$900 bonus cash back
after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
The Ink Business Cash Card pulls attention with its big intro bonus, currently sitting at $900 of cash back. The card has no annual fee and rewarding spending categories, like 5% cash back (5x points) on purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services (up $25,000 per year).
However, if you have a companion Chase card like the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, you can pool your points and make them more valuable by transferring them to Chase’s travel partners like Hyatt, United Airlines, British Airways and more.
Annual Fee: $0 | Terms Apply | Rates & Fees
How to earn the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card bonus
The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers $900 in cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
This is arguably one of the best credit card bonuses available at the moment—$900 of cash back on a no annual fee card is a heck of a deal. However, as we’ll soon cover, this bonus can potentially be worth $1,800+ in travel if you have another Chase card that allows you to transfer points to travel partners.
Sounds too good, I know. But we’ll show you how you can easily achieve just that.
Adding to the appeal, this same bonus has a reasonable minimum spending requirement of $6,000 in the first three months, which is relatively low compared to many other business credit cards. The spending requirement makes the welcome bonus accessible to a much wider audience—namely, you.
To break it down, you’d have to spend an average of $2,000 per month for three months to hit the $6,000 spending requirement. While that may seem a little hefty, remember that you can put all of your daily expenses on the card, and prepay for things like utilities or your cell phone bill. Or, if you have a big purchase coming up, like a new laptop or car repair, those transactions can help you leap towards earning that big bonus.
Qualifying for the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is easier than you might think
When you think of a “small business,” you may envision a revenue amounting to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, multiple employees, a storefront, etc. But in fact, none of these things are required to get a small business card. You can qualify for the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card if you perform services such as:
- Freelance writing
- Driving for Uber or DoorDash
- Selling items on Etsy or eBay
- Dog sitting or babysitting
A small business doesn’t even have to be your main job. As long as you’ve got a for-profit venture, you qualify for the card—though whether you’re approved will depend on additional factors.
You also don’t have to have an EIN or be an LLC. You’ll be able to fill out a business card application with the same information as a personal credit card. When the application asks you to enter the legal business structure, you have the option to choose sole proprietorship. And when it asks for the Tax ID type, you have the option to choose your social security number.
How to use the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card bonus
The value you’ll receive from the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card bonus depends on how you redeem it. There are lots of ways you can use Chase points, after all. Let’s take a look at some solid options (and reveal the redemptions to stay away from).
$900 of cash back
If you don’t have an accompanying Chase credit card that allows you to transfer points to travel partners, your best bet is to redeem your Chase welcome bonus for $900 of cash back.
You can redeem your points for a statement credit or as a deposit in your bank account. With a statement credit, you’ll be offsetting purchases you make on the card and it will lower your bill once your statement comes due.
If you choose a bank deposit, once the cash is in your account, you’re free to do whatever you please with it!
Transfer to travel partners (with a catch)
While the Chase Ink Cash is marketed as a cash back card, it technically earns Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more.
Ultimate Rewards points are usually known for being highly valuable since they can be transferred to Chase’s travel partners like Marriott and United Airlines. However, you must have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card to transfer your points to airlines and hotels.
But if you hold both an Ink Business Cash and one of the three aforementioned cards, you can convert the Ultimate Rewards points earned from your Ink Cash into transferrable Ultimate Rewards points. So that $900 cash back welcome bonus can become 90,000 Ultimate Rewards points which can be converted into hotel points or airline miles for some pretty incredible redemptions.
Chase partners with 14 airline and hotel programs. You can transfer your Chase points to any of these loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio:
|Air Canada Aeroplan||IHG One||United Airlines|
|British Airways||JetBlue||Virgin Atlantic|
|Emirates||Marriott Bonvoy||World of Hyatt|
|Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)||Singapore Airlines|
Transfers are instant with the exception of Singapore Airlines and Marriott. In practice, Marriott tends to transfer extremely quickly (within the hour), while Singapore Airlines miles should appear in your account within a day.
So, why are these transfer partners a big deal? Here are a few things you can achieve with the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card’s 90,000-point bonus by converting your points into airline miles and hotel points:
- Transfer 90,000 points to Virgin Atlantic for a roundtrip business class flight between the US West Coast and Japan on ANA (worth $6,000+).
- Transfer 90,000 points to Hyatt for 7 nights at a Hyatt Category 3 hotel, such as the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead (worth $2,100+).
- Transfer 90,000 points to British Airways for 12 one-way short-haul flights on American Airlines (worth $1,800+).
- Transfer 50,000 points to Virgin Atlantic for a one-way flight between the US and Europe in Delta One business class with lie-flat seats (worth $2,000+).
- Transfer 78,000 points to Singapore Airlines for two roundtrip economy flights from the East Coast to Hawaii on United Airlines (worth $1,200+).
- Transfer 68,000 points to Iberia for two roundtrip economy flights between Chicago (ORD) and Madrid (MAD) on Iberia (worth $1,000+ after paying fare taxes).
- Transfer 78,000 points to Aer Lingus for three roundtrip flights between New York (JFK) and Dublin, Ireland (DUB) on Aer Lingus (worth $1,000+ after paying fare taxes).
There are countless other ways to get huge value from Chase transfer partners. The above examples are just the beginning.
Book through the Chase Travel Portal
If you hold the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to “buy” airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. at a rate of 1 cent each through the Chase Travel Portal. While the ceiling for your points is much lower than when transferring to Chase travel partners, this guarantees that you’ll get a reasonable value for your rewards.
Using your 90,000-point bonus to book travel through the Chase Travel Portal will give you $900 in total value. However, if you also have one of the three Chase cards that allows you to transfer points to travel partners, you can boost the value of your points even more.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point when booking through the Chase Travel Portal, while points are worth 1.5 cents each with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That means 90,000 points can be worth from $1,125 to $1,350 of travel, depending on what card you have.
Booking through the Chase Travel Portal is similar to booking a flight, hotel, or rental car on a website like Expedia or Booking.com—you’ll have thousands of options and any seat or room you find through the portal can be bought with points. You also won’t have to worry about blackout dates and available award seats.
Trade points for gift cards or Amazon purchases
Among the less desirable ways to redeem your points is for gift cards or purchases made in your Amazon shopping cart. However, it can be a good option if you don’t have any travel coming up for the foreseeable future. Here’s the value you’ll receive:
- Gift cards — Between 1 and 1.1 cents per point
- Amazon shopping — 0.8 cents per point
That means the Ink Cash’s bonus is worth up to $990 in gift cards or $800 for shopping with Amazon.
Under no circumstances should you ever redeem your points for less than 1 cent each. While it’s certainly convenient to use your points at Amazon checkout, it’s a much better idea to simply request a statement credit to offset your purchase. Not only will you receive a better value for your points, but you’ll also earn points for your shopping.
Is the Ink Business Cash good for earning points after the intro bonus?
The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has bonus spending categories that are focused on popular small business expenses and other everyday purchases. If they align with your spending, it offers great potential. You’ll earn up to 5% cash back or 5x points per dollar for the following spending:
- Earn 5% cash back (5x points) on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services each account anniversary year.
- Earn 5% cash back (5x points) on Lyft rides through March 2025.
- Earn 2% cash back (2x points) on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
- Earn 1% cash back (1x points) on all other purchases, with no cap to how much many rewards you can earn.
Ongoing benefits of the Ink Business Cash
The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has a few practical ongoing benefits that can save you real money.
You’ll receive insurance and purchase protection. For example, you’ll get:
- Secondary rental car insurance – Get car rental insurance when you waive the rental agency’s in-house CDW. The only catch is that you must be renting for business purposes.
- Extended Warranty Protection – Purchases made on the card can receive an additional year of warranty on top of what the manufacturer offers.
- Purchase Protection – Purchases you make with your card are protected from damage and theft for the first 120 days of ownership, with up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 in claims per account.
The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card makes for a great travel credit card and comes with a large and very valuable welcome bonus to boot. Its ongoing benefits and reasonable annual fee also make it an attractive card to keep long term.
Remember, many may qualify for this small business card by having a side hustle like dog sitting, delivering for DoorDash, or selling items online.