Spark Cash vs. Chase Ink Cash

September 3, 2015, Written By Jason Steele

When selecting a credit card for business use, there are two different paths you can take to earning the most valuable rewards. One is to find a card that offers the highest level of return on all of your spending, and the other is to choose a card that offers bonus rewards for the kind of purchases you make the most.

Capital One offers its Spark Cash business credit card that features 2% cash back on all spending, while Chase’s Ink Cash business card can return as much as 5% cash back for some purchases. Let’s take a look at these two cards, and then see which one may be right for your needs.

Capital One Spark Cash

The Capital One Spark Cash card offers 2% cash back on all purchases, with limits and no expiration date for your rewards. In addition, new Spark Cash cardholders can earn $500 in cash back when they use their card to spend at least $4,500 within three months of account opening.

To redeem their cash back rewards, cardholders can do so either online or by calling Capital One’s rewards center. Otherwise, customers can set a specific threshold to automatically redeem their rewards.

The benefits of this card for business owners include free employee cards, and the ability to earn rewards for their expenditures. Furthermore, account holders can receive custom itemized quarterly and year-end summary reports in order to help plan and budget, as well as prepare taxes.

Other benefits include a purchase protection policy that can reimburse customers for lost or stolen items within 90 days of purchase. Cardholders also receive extended warranty coverage that can double the length of a product’s manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year. Travelers are covered by an auto rental collision damage waiver policy, and have access to a 24 hour travel and emergency assistance hotline that offers ticket replacement as well as legal, and medical referrals around the world.

There is a $59 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees. The standard interest rate for this card is 16.9% APR.

Chase Ink Cash

The Chase Ink Cash card offers 5% cash back at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, Internet and cable TV services on up to $25,000 spent each account anniversary year in combined purchases. 2% cash back is earned on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. In addition, new cardholders can earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months after account opening. Another benefit for new cardholders is 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee.

As a business card, Ink Cash includes many useful features including free employee cards, and even the ability to set individual spending limits on each card. Cardholders can also use Chase’s mobile app to take pictures of receipts, as well as tag and file them. In addition, cardholder can receive instant alerts for each purchase in order to help control and track spending.

Other benefits include a purchase protection policy that covers items against theft and damage for 120 days, for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. Customers also receive extended warranty protection that adds an additional year to eligible warranties of three years or less.

The standard interest rate for this card is 13.24%, and there is no annual fee. However, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on charges processed outside of the United States.

Which Card Should You Get?

The Chase Ink Cash is a great option for several reasons. First, it has no annual fee, and can offer as much as 5% on some common business expenses such as office supplies and telecommunications services. Furthermore, it matches the Capital One Spark Cash card at 2% for restaurant and gas station purchases. It also offers new cardholders 12 months of interest free financing, as well as a slightly lower interest rate than the Spark Cash card. Finally, its purchase protection policy is a little stronger than Capital One’s policy.

On the other hand, the Capital One Spark Cash is the clear choice for business users who don’t spend much in the bonus categories, and want to maximize their rewards for general spending. Capital One’s $500 sign-up bonus also outshines Chase’s $200 offer, which can be an important short term consideration. And if cardholders anticipate traveling outside the United States, or using their card to make foreign purchases, the Capital One card has a distinct advantage by not imposing a 3% foreign transaction fee.

So to choose a card based on rewards, business owners need to estimate the amount they anticipate spending in the Ink Cash’s 5% bonus categories and come to the best estimate of which card will offer them the most cash back. When applicants consider all of the features and benefits of these two very strong cards, the right choice will become apparent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 3, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.