Chase Small Business Credit Cards can be misleading if you do not read the terms carefully

The marketing of the Chase Small Business Credit Card in terms of what companies you choose to make purchases from can be confusing for some who use the card for everything related to thier company.  I haven’t been inside an Office Depot or Office Max in the last four years since I normally shop at CostCo or Target or even for purchases.  That is where my small business shops.  When you think of a business card you think of using it for online advertising, print media, wireless and cell phone purchases, computer hardware and software, and office supplies at warehouse clubs.  The small business cards from Chase do not reflect that.

“Small business owners can now free up some of their personal credit with the Chase Platinum Business Card and tap into a new source of purchasing power. Your business can enjoy an Intro 0% Fixed APR for up to 12 Billing Cycles, No Annual Fee, Balance Transfer Savings, and Valuable Cardmember Services. The Chase Business Rebate Card lets card members earn up to 3% back on all business purchases, has a generous credit line for your business and no annual fee. This is a FULL 3% back on some purchases.”

We used to really praise the Chase Business Card that gives you a rebate back but now we have changed our minds after looking into it further and finding out there is much fine print to be read.  People use Chase business credit cards thinking they are getting these huge rewards but in reality if you look at your points compared to actual rewards credited to your statement then you better think again.  Below is a conversation I recently had about the Chase Business Card with 3% Cash Rebates.  In Summary, you will find that you do not get the extra two percent or full three percent on all business transactions and probably not even ONE of your business transactions per month will you get this bonus.  You should always evaluate your card statement each month and know if you are using the correct rewards card to get the maximum points for your business.

Business Owner: Do you know of a better rewards card than my chase business card?  It gives 3% for business purchase, 1% for everything else.  So, every 100,000 points I get $1000.
RewardsCards: It gives 3% for business purchases?  What specific business purchases you may ask.
Business Owner:  But you apparently already know this since it is specifically stated on your rewardscards website.  But yes it is 3% on purchases at places like office max, etc.  Among other specifically designated places.
RewardsCards:  Well I think when Chase says “business purchases” that is marketing and is probably grossly exaggerated thinking people will only shop for gas and at Office Max and Office Depot stores instead of the other 99% of real business purchases.
Business Owner:  Yeah I get 3% on whatever they deem to be “business” related.
RewardsCards:   Yeah you meant office max and office depot type places… ill have to re-read the card fine print
Business Owner:  and 1% on everything else.  But I didn’t know if there was  a card out there that gave more like 3% on everything.
RewardsCards:   well my all time favorite card is the Amex biz card it used to be 5% on gas but they reduced it.. And 1% credit ON THE CARD statement without dealing with checks and without having to hassle with programs.
Business Owner:  I used to market this particular small business card on the site but i do not remember seeing it use business purposes in such a misleading way.  If you are looking at the
“Chase Business Card with Premier Cash Rebate”

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Business Owner:  well the chase freedom sounds like it gives more cash back
RewardsCards:   of only $12 a month.   Unlimited 1% though.   I also use a Household card for 2% cash back unlimited.
Business Owner:  i wonder if Chase deems my PayPal stuff as “business”.  I should be getting 3% on all my advertising.
RewardsCards:   if that were the case id have that card.  The only card that does that is the  AMEX card on Yahoo Search Marketing 5% back.  Plus Marriott Courtyard hotel stays 5%
Business Owner:   i guess i could get the PayPal card
RewardsCards:   the PayPal card doesn’t give you any points extra for using PayPal so that makes no sense.  If l you use the chase 3% card call their customer service and see exactly what business expenses they give you 3% back on.. I think it’s only office supply stores and highly limited gas and dining out purchases.
Business Owner:   I spend so much that I get about $1000 every 3 months or so, but I am sure 99% of that is 1% cash back. I could probably double my earnings if I had 2% on everything.
RewardsCards:   The card I use is called the Simply Cash from American Express where you can Earn 5% cash back on wireless service and office supplies, earn 3% cash back on automobile gas purchases of up to $12,000 per year; 1% thereafter and 1% cash back on virtually all other purchases.*
Business Owner:   really isn’t any better than my Chase card. i mean, i buy office supplies MAYBE once a year.  And I never drive anywhere.
RewardsCards:   well the reason its better is because of the OPEN Network and where you get 5% back on wireless which includes Sprint and AT&T and T-mobile cell phone providers.  Anything you purchase
Business Owner:   “You will earn 1 base point for each $1 of net purchases. In addition, you will earn 2 bonus points for each $1 of eligible net purchases made at retail establishments that classify their merchant locations for Visa/MasterCard as gas stations, restaurants, hardware stores, home improvement stores, and office supply stores. Purchases not eligible to receive the 2 bonus points include, but are not limited to, purchases made at convenience stores, superstores, warehouse clubs, and discount stores. We do not determine whether merchants correctly identify and bill transactions as being made at gas stations, restaurants, hardware stores, home improvement stores, or office supply stores. However, we do reserve the right to determine which purchases qualify for the 2 bonus points. You do not earn points on balance transfers, cash advances, any checks that are used to access your account, travelers checks, overdraft advances, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind, including fees for products that protect or insure the balances of your account. Maximum point accumulation on net purchases earning 2 bonus points is 4,000 points per billing cycle. There is no maximum base point accumulation on purchases earning 1 point. See Rewards Program Rules and Regulations which will be mailed after your account is established. ”
but it is so vague!
RewardsCards:   Maximum point accumulation on net purchases earning 2 bonus points is 4,000 points per billing cycle
Business Owner:   but it does say 2 points for retail, gas, restaurants, it doesn’t even mention the 3 points for business purchases
RewardsCards:   so that is 2% extra: $2,000 worth of purchases at “retail establishments” that classify their merchant locations for Visa/MasterCard as gas stations, restaurants, hardware stores, home improvement stores, and office supply stores.  Only thing we would use is restaurants and gas stations. So no other retail locations.
RewardsCards:   sounds like a card to use to get gas and dine out.. I’d use other cards for maximum rewards
Business Owner:   yeah I am looking at my statement for February. I spent $14,818 on my card, and I got 14,818 points.  I got only 1 point for my PayPal purchases.  I don’t see any indication of getting 2 points or 3 points on anything
RewardsCards:    if you used the card at Jason’s deli you would get 2 extra points but all your normal business transactions you get a measly 1%.
Business Owner:   well a billing cycle is 30 days i assume.  or 1 month.  4,000 points per month, or 48,000 points per year
RewardsCards:    yeah that’s a rip off.. Time to change cards lol they mislead you in the “business purchases” bullet
Business Owner:    March, $13,139 spent.  Earned 12, 204.  That definitely is rip off –  not even a point per dollar.  Well the 12,204 is rebate for purchases, then there is 1,304 in “bonus rebates”.  it still works out to be right at 1 point per dollar. So I should be earning more with the amount I spend
RewardsCards:    My recommendation is that you should either use the Chase Freedom Card or goto the Amex Simply Cash Card.  The business card just does not help out in any situation that I see from any business.   I don’t have affiliate links to those cards anymore though (which is too bad because they are my favorites).
Business Owner:    I am afraid to apply for any cards. I haven’t applied for any credit since I bought my new car in October. And my credit scores range from 705 to 780 depending on which credit bureau you look at. But with banks not giving credit, I fear it would be a wasted inquiry to even apply for AMEX.  They might give me some piddly little $3000 credit line.  I had an AMEX card a year or two ago and never even activated it because it was a little bitty credit line.
I spend so much money that I really should be getting more rewards than 1 point. The problem is, I don’t have any particular thing I spend more on than others.  I mean I buy a lot of dog supplies, but I also buy a lot of advertising.  I don’t use a lot of gas at all. Maybe 2 tanks a month. I spend $15k a month on that MasterCard through Chase.

My Chase investment guy is looking at the new business card they have, and going back over my past several statements to see how much more I would have earned. He admits the statements are so confusing. The new card gives you more points for the top 5 places you spend each month, and it can change month to month based on your spending. I dont think the AMEX card is ideal for me unless and until I do yahoo marketing or something in one of the OPEN Business categories.

Thinking of opening up a Chase Small business checking account?

I recently paid a visit to a local Chase branch and not only did it take almost two hours to open up an account but they told me that you cannot get interest with small business checking now.  They have taken away the interest bearing accounts because they claim the interest was so small it would be best to give business owners credits such as paying their monthly fee if they keep a certain amount in the account.  In reality, that is not much of a credit it is what you used to get for free at WaMu.

Did you throw away an offer you received in the mail?

Did you throw away a Chase credit card offer for small business owners you received in the mail? Do not panic. I have received this offer in the mail at least ten times last year. The online version of the offer of the Chase Business 3% card which is easier and faster than applying by mail.

[This article does not include the new “Ink” related cards.]