My recent post about Capital One’s new policy of reporting business cards on owner’s personal credit reports seems to have hit a nerve. I’ve received some gut wrenching stories from business owners who have seen their credit scores plummet as a result of this change. Many are stuck. Because their credit scores have gone down, they are no longer in a position to get another card and transfer the balance.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the only bad news in the world of business credit cards. Advanta, formerly a very popular small business card issuer, closed all of its accounts earlier this year, after raising rates on many cardholders to as high as 37%. They recently filed for bankruptcy protection.
So what’s a small business owner who wants to get a business credit card to do? American Express is still in the game, and continues to offer several different business cards. Beyond that, though, the pickings have been slim.
But while others are bowing out, Chase is getting into the game with their new line of Ink cards aimed specifically at the 27 million small businesses in America that spend some $5 trillion a year.
There are four cards in the Ink lineup:
Ink Bold is a pay-in-full charge card and the first charge card that Chase has ever offered. Because you pay in full, you don’t pay interest, and there is no set spending limit. This card carries Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program that allows cardholders to use points for all kinds of rewards, with no expiration dates, blackout dates or limits on how much can be earned.
Ink is a credit card that features Blueprint, which I’ll describe in just a moment. It also includes the Ultimate Rewards program.
Ink Cash is a credit card that also features Blueprint, but the rewards program is a straightforward cash back program.
Ink Plus appears to be a premium credit card with Blueprint and Ultimate Rewards, as well as bonus rewards and travel perks.
Blueprint is a feature available now on many Chase cards. It allows you to choose which purchases you want to pay in full to avoid interest, even if you carry a balance. It essentially combines the convenience of a debit or charge card with a credit card. Unlike other credit cards, you don’t have to pay interest on all purchases immediately just because you have a balance. All three of the Ink credit cards feature Blueprint.
Interest rates vary on these cards, and Ink Bold and Ink Plus both carry annual fees, waived the first year.
Your business and personal credit will be reviewed when you apply for one of these cards. But my sources at Chase tell me these accounts will not appear on your personal credit report unless you default.
If you’ve applied for a Chase Ink card, please weigh in: Did you get approved? What interest rate and credit limit did you get? Please share your experience in the comments section below.