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Chase is really making things interesting right now! After increasing the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer to a best ever 80,000 points sign-up bonus and unveiling a super competitive no annual fee Chase Freedom Flex card, the great news continues with a monster surprise about Chase business cards.

Chase has added all three Ink cards and their co-branded Southwest and United airline cards back to Travel Freely’s affiliate channel. This is great news to see because Chase must be looking to promote their cards more.

I am really shocked by this. I thought it may not be until 2021 until we see better news on business cards. Maybe it’s not as big of a surprise because Chase seemed to have the most cash on hand when the pandemic hit. They are ready for more customers and can take on more risk than other banks.

Looking for instructions on how to apply for a business credit card? Click here to skip down below for step-by-step instructions and a video walkthrough.

Here are the cards now available:

100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months. A highly recommended business card card for signup bonus and 3X categories. All Ink cards can earn Ultimate Rewards or cash back.
50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Awesome business card with no annual fee and 0% APR. 5x earning categories and your choice to receive cash back or points.
50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. A no-brainer, great business card with a great bonus, no annual fee, and 0% offer. Your choice to receive 1.5% cash back or 1.5x points.
Edit
CardSign-up BonusSpending RequiredAnnual Fee
Ink Preferred100,000$15,000 in first 3 months$95
Ink Cash50,000$3,000 in first 3 months$0
Ink Unlimited50,000$3,000 in first 3 months$0

Chase Airline Business Cards:

60,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Great Southwest business card with lowest annual fee. High signup bonus and good way to combine with personal card for Companion Pass.
75,000 United MileagePlus Miles after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. For business owners with high monthly spending, this is worth a strong look with the big signup bonus and ongoing benefits.
70,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Miles after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Highest bonus among the Southwest business cards. You are eligible even if you have the Southwest Premier Business card. Great to combine with personal card for Companion Pass.

The Big Question: Will they be approved?

Update 9/22/20: Lots of positive news overall for those with established businesses. I have heard from many people who are getting approved for the Ink cards. I have heard of some denials, but these denials tend to be from people who already have a lot of Ink cards and/or Chase business credit already. I also applied for the Chase Ink Business Unlimited myself yesterday and got approved! I had been denied for this card twice in the last 2 years. So I’m pumped about that.
 
 
Sole Proprietor Update (9/22/20): For sole proprietors I have only seen one approval via another site for a person applying as a sole proprietorship. So, I still feel it’s too early to see any big trends with sole proprietorships. This is important because so many people have sole proprietorship where they would use their Social Security Number as their Tax ID number when applying for a business credit card. See this article for more on sole proprietorships and eligibility.
 
 
With all this good news, we do not know about application odds yet. It’s a no brainer that it will be more strict than pre-covid times. Previously, the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited were anecdotally easiest to get for anyone with a small side business – aka “sole proprietorship” – where you just use your social security number as the Tax ID (no need for an official EIN) and your name as the business name.
 
 
I’m very curious to see if sole proprietorships will be getting approved.
 
 
Historically, the Chase Ink Business Preferred has been the hardest to get because it comes with a larger bonus and higher minimum credit limit. It’s signup bonus offer is very intriguing at 100,000 bonus points, but it’s spending requirement of $15,000 is MUCH harder to hit than all the other card offers that are requiring from $3,000 to $5,000 for their main bonuses. 
For both the spending required and application odds, it may make sense to start with the Chase Ink Business Cash or Chase Ink Business Unlimited.
 

Let’s break down what you need to know:

Applications rules

For all cards, the application terms state: For all cards, the application terms state: I understand that any new cardmember bonus offers for this product are not available to either current or previous cardmembers of this product who received a new cardmember bonus for this product in the last 24 months.​​
 
 
5/24 number must be under 5. If you are a Travel Freely member, you can check this number on your dashboard. If you are not, you need to be careful if you have opened 5 or more cards in the last 24 months. Read more on this rule here.
 
 
The Chase Ink cards are NOT considered a family in the same way that the personal Sapphire cards are. That’s good news. This means that you can theoretically get all three Ink cards for each business that you own. However, do not go on an application spree as you are likely to get denied. Go slow and start with the next best card for you.

Application tips

As opposed to personal applications, it is best NOT to call Chase to check your application status. You want to wait until you get an email or letter in the mail. The reason for this is because people have reportedly gotten a much more strict manual review of their application when taking the approach.
 
 
There’s a lot of helpful information in this article, including how to deal with a pending or denied application. Knowing these tips can turn around a denial quite easily.
 
Your personal information is important in an application. You must fill out a personal part of the application. This includes total household income (in addition to any revenue your business earns). A personal credit check will also be done for the applicant, which will be in your favor if you have great credit.
 
 
Applying as a Sole Proprietor: It is VERY important to follow best practices if you are applying as a sole proprietor with your social security number. For example, you will need to use your personal name as the business name. Any of the complete guides above and this Chase Ink card comparison article will walk you through this.
 
Don’t stress. I’m here to help. Please email me at [email protected] if you have any questions! Unlike behemoth Nerdy-Karma sites, I’m a real person who wants to help you as much as possible. =)

My advice

Quick note to beginners: If you are new to Travel Freely, then you may not know how valuable Chase Ink cards (or Chase Sapphire cards) are because they all earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. I am a huge fan of Chase cards, especially the Sapphire and Ink cards because of the Ultimate Rewards program. This is the number one program I recommend to beginners for many reasons. See more beginner tips at the bottom.

What I would do with card strategy

a. I would consider getting any Ink cards you do not have for your business. I would start with Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited because those are easier spending requirements and historically better application odds compared to the Ink Preferred. This is because I love Chase Ultimate Rewards and how they can combine with all my personal Ultimate Rewards. In my opinion, it’s the best, easiest, and most rewarding rewards ecosystem.
 
 
b. I would hold off on Southwest business cards unless you need one to hit companion pass status this year. Otherwise, it’s better to wait on those cards to earn a companion pass for early next year. (For more on this strategy, see All Aboard for Southwest Companion Pass.
 
 
c. If you have all the Inks and/or love United, I would consider the United business card.

What I would do with application timing

a. If you have an established business with a good business history and solid revenue, I’d go for the card you want now. I would say “established” is 3+ years in business with some current credit in good standing. This gives the bank a good feeling about your credit worthiness.
 
 
b. If you have a newer business, sole prop, or already have a ton of business cards, I would wait a few days to a couple weeks until we understand how strict the applications are.

Extra Tips for Beginners

Are you a beginner getting started? Your head is probably spinning like a top. Email me with any questions to letstalk @ travelfreely.net.

#1 Mistake – Southwest and United fans ignore Chase points

Don’t ignore Chase points if you are a beginner. You may think you only need Southwest or United miles and get those cards. This is a HUGE mistake. Chase points can be used in many different ways, including transferring 1:1 to programs like Southwest, United, Hyatt, etc. For example, if you got the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Cash, you are looking at 130,000 Southwest miles from the bonuses alone. Get a quick overview on Chase Ultimate Rewards here.

Strategy with personal cards

Combining Chase personal and business cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards is the best strategy because Chase makes it so easy to combine and maximize the value of your points. On the personal side, the Sapphire and Freedom cards can combine with the Ink cards. You can multiply your bonus opportunities, combine points from all accounts, and move points across cardholders from the same household. Here’s how.

Your business size may not be as important as you think

I’m surprised how many people think that their small business is not eligible for a business card. There is some stigma around business cards that you must be a huge corporation to qualify. This is not the case. While the applications may be more strict than normal right now, you need to learn about your eligibility if you are in this situation. In fact, the majority of small businesses in America are Sole proprietorships. Read more: Am I Eligible for Business Credit Cards?

Personal and business card rules for Chase

Previously, it’s been published that Chase has allowed a maximum of two applications within 30 days. So, if you are looking to get the new 80,000 bonus on the Sapphire Preferred, you could space out your applications by a few days and also go for a business card. If you apply the same day, this can trigger an automatic denial by the system thinking it’s a duplicate application.

Spouse tip most people do not know

If you have a partner, you and your partner have completely separate credit profiles. One of you may be eligible and the other may not. Or, both of you may be eligible. Just be careful about how much spending you are required to hit. Read more.
 

How to Apply

Click through the on your favorite card to apply. (Use Travel Freely links to support the site!)

 

Tell them about your business
The first part of the application is about your business.  If you already have a well established business, then the answers should be straightforward.  If you are just getting started with your business, below are examples of how to fill this out.  These answers assume that you do not have any employees and you operate as a sole proprietorship (which is the most basic form of a business).  Use your judgment to answer differently if the examples given don’t match your circumstances:

Business Information

  • Legal Name of Business:  If you don’t already have a business name, I recommend using your own name as the business name.
  • Business Name on Card: Again, this can be your own name if you don’t have a business name to use.
  • Business Mailing Address: This can be your home address if you don’t have a separate business address.
  • Type of business: Sole Proprietor
  • Tax Identification Number: This can be your SSN, but I you can also create an EIN for your business (found here)
  • Business category/type/subtype: Pick whichever categories are closest to your business
  • Number of Employees: 1 (you)
  • Annual Business Revenue: 0 (or project an amount based on monthly revenue to-date)
  • Years in Business: (number of years you’ve been operating the business with or without revenue)

Personal Information
This part of the application is about you, personally:

  • Authorizing Officer: Owner
  • Gross annual income: Include all of your income, not just business income
  • The rest should be self explanatory

How to improve your chances of success

The following tips can help with approval, but none are guaranteed:

  1. Use an EIN instead of your SSN when entering your Business Tax ID on the application
  2. Do not call if your application goes to pending
  3. Call if your application is denied
  4. Try a Special Consideration Form if you are denied (and if calling doesn’t help)

Do not call if your application goes to pending

When applications go to pending, people frequently find that they get approved without calling. When people do call, they often get tough analysts who deny the application.

The approval process goes through up to 3 “gates”:

  1. Instant Approval (this is rare with Ink business cards)
  2. Automatic Approval, sent by mail (may take several weeks)
  3. Analyst Phone Approval

If you’re not instantly approved, then calling bypasses gate 2 and may reduce your overall chance of approval. Instead, I recommend waiting to get a letter in the mail. Hopefully it will say “congratulations”.

Of course, if you are contacted for more information then you absolutely should talk to them on the phone. In some cases they may simply need more information about you or your business before your application can go through the next review stage.

Call if you are denied (and call again)
If your application is outright denied (either instantly or by mail), then call the reconsideration line (numbers are here). There are many cases where analysts have overturned denials over the phone.

The analyst will likely ask a lot of questions. Make sure your answers match your application. Also, if you already have multiple business cards, make sure to let the analyst know that you don’t need more credit. Tell them that you are willing to move available credit from another card or to cancel another card if necessary. Be prepared to answer financial questions about your business. Be prepared to answer questions about why you want the card and how you expect to use it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that you were attracted “by the spending bonus and by the 5X spend categories” (for example).

If the analyst doesn’t approve your application, call again. Many people have had luck simply calling a few times until the reached an analyst willing to take a chance on their business.

Want to know even more? Check out our Free PDF Guide for Small Business Owners.

 
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