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The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card is designed for small business owners who travel at least a few times per year.
It has a $95 annual fee, so you’ll want to use it enough each year to make that fee worth it. This card might be right for you if you spend a lot in the bonus reward categories, because you’ll earn 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 of spending for:
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
You can also earn a nice signup bonus of 80,000 points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, worth $1,000 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That will give you 1.25 cents per point, or a maximum of 3.75% cash back equivalent. Or you can transfer your points to a travel partner, where you could get 6% cash back or more.
This means you could offset the annual fee by spending as little as $1,584 per year.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars per year on business trips to use this card. But you will need to redeem your points for travel expenses if you want to get the best value for them.
If you don’t travel very often or you’re looking for different reward categories, check out the Chase Ink Business Cash Card. It has no annual fee, and offers 5% back for office supplies and internet, cable, and phone services.
But now, back to the Ink Business Preferred.
Our Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
We give the Ink Business Preferred card 5 out of 5 Stars because its a good option for any small business that spends much money in its bonus reward categories.
Why we like this card
- The 3X award rate includes four business-related bonus categories.
- Large signup bonus
- Chase Ultimate Rewards provides a 25% point bonus on travel redemptions.
- You can transfer points at a 1:1 rate and potentially get a great value.
- No fee for foreign transactions.
- Positive card activity is reported to the business credit bureau Dun & Bradstreet.
Why this card could be better
- It’s got an annual fee of $95.
- You’ll have to redeem for travel expenses to get the best value for your points.
- The extra perks aren’t very special.
This card is good for travelers but it doesn’t have everything. Other cards have different reward categories, or better additional benefits to make travel more enjoyable. Check out some other card options for business owners below.
Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy
- Choose this card if your business spends money on travel, shipping, internet/cable/phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. Otherwise, a different card may earn you more rewards value.
- You’ll earn 3X points on those purchases for the first $150,000 in combined spending each year. After reaching that point, consider using a different business card to continue earning rewards.
- Get the signup offer of 80,000 bonus points by spending $5,000 in the first 3 months after opening your account.
- Transfer your points to a travel partner when you can get a good deal for them. Otherwise use them through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Points won’t expire, so you can hold on to them.
- Use this card when traveling abroad because there are no foreign transaction fees. And as a Visa, it will be accepted everywhere that takes credit cards.
- Distribute up to 70 employee cards to your employees, and earn rewards when they spend with the cards. You may be able to get more if necessary.
- This is a business credit card, so it has a few important differences from regular consumer credit cards.
- Your positive card activity will be reported to Dun & Bradstreet, a business credit bureau. This is a good way to increase your business credit scores.
Depending on how you earn and redeem your points, you can get the equivalent of up to 3.75% cash back by redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Or you can potentially get 6% cash back or more through a good point transfer.
- 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent per year in combined purchases on:
- internet, cable, and phone services
- advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
- Introductory bonus: 80,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
- 25% point bonus when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel
There are several ways to redeem your points, as explained below. But the easiest redemption method for most people will probably be paying for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
This provides a 25% bonus to your point value. Normally points are worth 1 cent each, but this bonus makes them worth 1.25 cents each. That means you’ll be earning the equivalent of 3.75% cash back in the bonus reward category, and 1.25% cash back for other purchases.
The signup bonus of 80,000 points would be worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel in this way. That’s a good offer for only spending $5,000, basically like getting a reimbursement of 20%.
This is a pretty good value, but you might be able to get an even better result using point transfers. We’ll go over that option in the next sections.
You can redeem your points in a few different ways. The most valuable normal method is to redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you might be able to get more value through a point transfer.
The redemption options are:
- Travel expenses: redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for a 25% point bonus.
- Point transfer: transfer your points to a variety of partner loyalty programs at a 1:1 rate.
- Cash back: get a statement credit applied toward your account, or deposited into a U.S. checking or savings account.
- Gift cards: available for a selection of retailers, like The Home Depot®, Staples®, or iTunes®.
- Shop with Points at Amazon.com: use your points to pay for some or all of your purchases at Amazon.com.
The best redemption options are for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or for point transfers. Those travel expenses will always provide a value of 1.25 cents per point.
You may be able to get more than that with point transfers, but that will depend on the particular way you use them. In some cases you could get more, in some cases you could get less.
The other methods will provide less value. The cash back option will provide 1 cent per point, while gift cards may provide less than that.
The Shop with Points option may seem convenient and tempting, but if you pay with points you won’t earn any rewards on your purchase. Instead you could pay as normal with this card, earning 1X point per dollar, or with a different card that will provide more cash back, like the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature (Review).
So we recommend going with the first two methods listed above every time. Your points won’t expire for the lifetime of your account, as long as it remains in good standing, so you can hold on to them until you can use them in a valuable way.
It may be easiest for small business owners to redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 50,000 points will be worth $625, for example. The 80,000 points you earn from the signup bonus can be redeemed for $1,000 worth of travel expenses.
Or you can transfer your points to a frequent traveler program. We’ll discuss that next, and go through a point transfer example.
Point Transfer Examples
You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to quite a few airline and hotel travel partners. Every transfer is at a 1:1 rate, so every point you transfer will get you one partner mile or point. This is a relatively good deal, because other credit cards don’t always guarantee a 1:1 transfer rate (we’re looking at you, Amex Business Gold).
The participating travel partners are:
|Airline Travel Partners|
|Aer Lingus AerClub||British Airways Executive Club||Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM||Iberia Plus||Korean Air SKYPASS|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®||United MileagePlus®||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
|Hotel Travel Partners|
|IHG® Rewards Club||Marriott Rewards®||The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®||World of Hyatt|
Since you can get a value of 1.25 cents per point through Chase Ultimate Rewards, it only makes sense to do a point transfer if you can get a better value than that by transferring.
We’ll go over an example below to show how you can get a great value with a point transfer. But take note that not all transfers will be this good, and the value you get will depend on the particular airline or hotel, time of year, and other factors.
Good Point Transfer Example
Here’s an example showing a way to get a good value for your points. In this case we’ll do a transfer to United MileagePlus miles, so we can book a flight for an upcoming business trip.
United has Saver Award routes, which are discounted routes that let you get more for your points. We’ll use a Saver Award route for this example, for a one-way, economy-class ticket from Houston, Texas, to Colorado Springs, Colorado. We’ll travel on Wednesday, March 28th.
This flight would normally cost $501. Or, you could get it for 25,000 miles, plus a fee of $80.60.
So how much would you need to spend with the Ink Business Preferred to earn this flight?
Let’s say you spend in the bonus categories to earn points at the best rate, 3X points per dollar. You’ll need to spend $8,334 at that rate to earn the 25,000 points.
Then you can transfer those points to United to turn them into MileagePlus miles. And finally you can book your flight, paying the extra fee.
In this particular case you spend a total of $8,414.60 to get a flight valued at $501. That means you get a cash back equivalent of about 6%. That’s a pretty good deal, better than the 3.75% you can get through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
In this case your points are worth about 2 cents each. You also had to pay that fee, but that’s normal and this was still a pretty profitable point transfer.
We used a Saver Award route to get a good deal, and chose economy class because cheaper bookings usually provide better redemption values. You can probably use a similar strategy when transferring your points, even if you’re not transferring to United.
How to Offset the Annual Fee
The Ink Business Preferred has an annual fee, so you should aim to offset that with the rewards you earn every year. You could potentially offset the $95 annual fee by spending as little as $1,584 per year, assuming you earn and redeem rewards in a certain way. Keep reading to learn how.
In the sections above, we saw how we have two good redemption methods:
- Redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards for a maximum of 3.75% cash back
- Point transfers for a variable amount of cash back, in some cases 6% or more
You could offset the annual fee in either of these two ways. You’ll have to spend more at the 1X rate than the 3X rate to offset the annual fee — three times more.
Here’s what you’ll need to spend to offset the annual fee with both redemption methods, and at both the 1X and 3X rates. We’ve also included the cash back method, which provides 1 cent per point, but we don’t recommend using it. It’s only there for comparison, to show why you should avoid it.
|Redemption Method||Point Value||Maximum Cash Back Equivalent||Points Required to Equal $95||1X Required Spending||3X Required Spending|
|Cash back||1 cent||3%||9,500||$9,500||$3,167|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||1.25 cents||3.75%||7,600||$7,600||$2,534|
|Point transfer||2 cents||6% (variable)||4,750||$4,750||$1,584|
So in the best case, you can earn the equivalent of $95 in rewards by spending $1,584. This assumes that you earn points at the 3X rate, and get a point transfer deal that provides 2 cents per dollar.
Most people won’t fit into this exact scenario, of course, so it will probably take a bit more spending than that for you. But this table should give you a ballpark idea of how much you can expect to get back with this card.
In many cases, terms and restrictions will apply to your card benefits. Check your Guide to Benefits to learn the exact details.
20,000 Bonus Points per Referral
Invite other business owners to apply for this card, and you’ll get 20,000 bonus points for every successful application. You can earn a maximum of 100,000 bonus points per year in this way.
To refer someone, you must log in to your account online and click the “Invite friends now” button. Then follow the instructions provided, and you’ll be able to submit the email address of the person you want to refer. You can submit up to 25 email addresses in a 24-hour period.
Free Employee Cards
You can get up to 70 employee cards, and set individual spending limits for them. You’ll earn cash back for all spending on employee cards.
If you need more than 70 cards, you can request to have your account split. You’ll get a separate credit limit, which will give you access to 70 more employee cards.
Reports to a Business Credit Bureau
The Ink Business Preferred will report positive account activity to Dun & Bradstreet, a business credit bureau.
But if the account enters a negative status by becoming 60 days past due, your card activity will be reported to the three major consumer credit bureaus:
This is pretty typical for many business cards, but some other business credit cards will report your card activity differently.
Cell Phone Protection
When you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card, this benefit provides coverage for theft of, damage to, or “involuntary and accidental parting” with your cell phone. It applies to you and your employees listed on your monthly bill.
But take note that some cell phone payment plans will charge less for debit card/ACH, meaning you get charged extra for paying with a credit card. This extra cost might not be worth it to get this protection benefit.
Check your card terms if you want to use this benefit, because there are many guidelines and limitations. Call customer support if you need help determining whether or not your situation is covered.
This is supplemental insurance, and you must use any primary insurance first if available. This insurance provides up to $600 per claim. There’s a $100 deductible per claim, with a maximum of 3 claims in a 12 month period.
You must call the Benefit Administrator within 60 days of the incident. Otherwise, your claim may be denied.
Theft and damage are pretty straightforward, but what about “involuntary and accidental parting?” This is defined as unintended separation from your phone, in which its location is known but recovery is impractical. If you lose your phone but the battery is dead and you know it’s in your house somewhere, they probably can’t help.
Not all stolen or damaged cell phones will be eligible for this benefit — in fact, many won’t be. Damage from normal wear and tear or inherent product defects isn’t covered, which is unfortunate. And phones on prepaid plans won’t be covered either.
There are quite a few cases that won’t be covered, including but not limited to the following. The first few items seem like the most relevant.
Cases That Are Not Covered (Partial List)
- Cell phones that are rented, leased, or received as part of a prepaid wireless plan or “pay as you go” type service plan
- Damage from normal wear and tear or inherent product defects
- Cosmetic damage that does not impact the functionality of the phone
- Damage or theft resulting from misdelivery or voluntary parting with the phone
- Damage or theft resulting from abuse, intentional acts, fraud, illegal activities, or RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION (so be careful with your plutonium)
- Cell phones under the care and control of a common carrier (like an airline or shipping company, or USPS)
- Cell phone accessories other than standard batteries and antennas provided by the manufacturer
- Cell phones purchased for resale
- Cell phones that are lost or “mysteriously disappear” (defined as vanishing in an unexplained manner with no evidence of wrongdoing)
So there are many cases that won’t be covered, and this list doesn’t include all of them. You’ll have to check your Guide to Benefits or contact customer support to learn if your particular case will be covered by this benefit. You can probably count yourself lucky if it is!
Eligible purchases are covered for 120 days against damage, theft, or “involuntary and accidental parting with property.” Up to $10,000 per claim is available, and up to $50,000 per account.
To be eligible, an item must be purchased at least in part with the Ink Business Preferred. This is different from some other cards, which might require the entire item to be purchased with the card. But there are quite a few other restrictions, making this benefit only narrowly useful. You’ll find that many things you wish were covered are not.
Be sure to keep all documentation related to the purchase, as well as the damage or loss. If you have personal insurance that covers the occurrence, you must file it.
Reimbursement may come in the form of a statement credit to your account. Or, an item may be repaired or replaced if possible.
You must notify the Benefit Administrator by calling customer support within 90 days of the occurrence. You’ll be given instructions and a claim form. This form must be submitted within 120 days of the loss, theft, or damage.
- If the item is damaged, you must keep the item. You’ll probably be asked to send it in at your own expense.
- If the item is stolen, you must file a police report within 48 hours of the theft.
- “Involuntary and accidental parting with property” refers to being separated from the item unintentionally, while knowing where it is but being unable to recover it.
Although many items are covered, there are quite a few types of purchases that are not covered.
Purchases That Are Not Covered (Partial List)
- Items purchased for resale
- Items that “mysteriously disappear” (defined as vanishing in an unexplained manner, with no evidence of wrongful acts — so no coverage against ghost thieves)
- Items damaged by inherent product defects
- Items damaged by normal wear and tear
- Animals and living plants
- Computer software
- Automobiles, boats, aircraft, and any other motorized vehicles (including equipment and accessories, like trailers)
- Items under the care and control of a common carrier (airplanes, delivery services, USPS, etc.)
- Rented or leased items, or anything bought on an installment plan
- Used or pre-owned items
So there are quite a few terms and restrictions when it comes to purchase protection, and this doesn’t even cover everything. If you bought an item that you think might be covered, it will be best to call customer support and ask about it.
Extended Warranty Protection
Eligible items with warranties of three years or less can have those warranties extended by an additional year. Up to a maximum of $10,000 is available per claim, and $50,000 per account.
You must charge some portion of an item’s purchase price to your card, and keep documentation related to the purchase. You’re encouraged to register an item’s extended warranty with Chase as soon as you purchase it, but this is not necessary to receive the benefit. If you do register, you’ll be able to get information about your coverage status by calling the Benefit Administrator.
If a product with an extended warranty fails, you must notify the Benefit Administrator within 90 days. If you fail to do this, your claim may be denied. When you call, you’ll be sent a claim form, along with instructions for what to do next. Be sure to keep any documentation related to the product failure.
To be eligible, the item must have a valid original U.S. manufacturer’s repair warranty of three years or less. Items purchased outside the U.S. are eligible if they meet that requirement, or if they have a store-purchased dealer warranty, or an assembler warranty.
Many items and costs are not covered by this benefit.
Purchases And Costs That Are Not Covered
- Items purchased for resale
- Automobiles, boats, aircraft, and any other motorized vehicles (including equipment and accessories, like trailers)
- Rented or leased items, or anything bought on an installment plan
- Computer software
- Medical equipment
- Used or pre-owned items
- Any costs other than those specifically covered in the original warranty
There are many terms and limitations with this benefit. So if you buy something and are interested in extending the warranty, it will be best to call customer support to learn if it’s eligible.
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
Call the number on the back of your card for emergency help of many kinds while traveling. Third-party fees will apply for any services obtained.
This benefit provides:
- Pre-trip assistance
- Emergency message service
- Medical referrals
- Legal referrals
- Emergency transportation assistance
- Emergency ticket replacement
- Lost luggage locator service
- Emergency translation service for all major languages, and help finding local interpreters
- Prescription drug assistance
- Valuable document delivery service
Even if you need help beyond what’s listed here, the Benefit Administrator will do his or her best to provide whatever emergency assistance you might need.
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
This benefit provides reimbursement if your trip is cancelled or cut short because of an eligible reason. Up to $5,000 is available in reimbursement.
Funds are available for pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses. That includes passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
To be eligible, the trip must be:
- to a destination farther than 1 mile away from your primary residence
- for a time period that doesn’t exceed 60 days in duration
You won’t be able to use this benefit just because you feel like cancelling your plans. You’ll need to show that you were forced to cancel or interrupt your travel arrangements for an eligible reason.
Eligible reasons are:
- Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness of you, your traveling companions, or immediate family members of you or your traveling companions
- Severe weather, which prevents a “reasonable and prudent person” from traveling
- If you find your dwelling to be uninhabitable
- Change in military orders for you, your spouse, or domestic partner
- Terrorist actions or hijackings
- A call to jury duty that can’t be postponed
- Quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons
- Financial insolvency of the travel agency or travel supplier whose services you booked
Some of these seem a bit more like personal judgements rather than perfectly objective, clear-cut cases. For example, what stops a reasonable and prudent person from traveling? And what exactly constitutes an uninhabitable dwelling? If you really don’t like the curtains at your Airbnb, can you be reimbursed? Probably not.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Your eligible rented vehicles are covered against theft and damage, as long as you decline the rental company’s own insurance. You must pay for the entire rental using the Ink Business Preferred.
To take advantage of this benefit, be sure to call the Benefit Administrator immediately if your rented vehicle is damaged or stolen.
This coverage is primary if you’re renting for business purposes, or if you’re renting a vehicle outside the U.S. Otherwise it will be supplemental to your own personal auto insurance.
This benefit covers vehicles that are rented for periods of 31 days or less. Physical damage and theft of the vehicle are covered, along with any reasonable related towing charges.
There are many types of vehicles that are not covered by this waiver.
Vehicles Not Covered by the Waiver
- Vehicles with open cargo beds
- Vans not exclusively designed to carry people, or which can transport more than 8 people
- Motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes
- Recreational vehicles
- Expensive and exotic automobiles (Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Rolls Royce, among others)
- Antique automobiles (any vehicle over 20 years old, or any vehicle that has not been manufactured for 10 years or more)
So unfortunately it won’t cover your moving truck, which is one expense that many people will share.
There are other terms and limitations as well. If you want to use this benefit, we recommend you call the Benefit Administrator to learn if it will apply to your situation.
This card comes with a few other minor benefits, mostly about security or account management. They include:
- Fraud Protection: real-time fraud monitoring for unauthorized activity
- Zero Liability Protection: you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized activity on your account
For more, check out the full set of benefits for the Ink Business Preferred card.
The Costs & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|18.24%–23.24% Variable||18.24%–23.24% Variable||26.99% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$95||0%||5%, $5 minimum||5%, $15 minimum|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|29.99% Variable||Up to $39||Up to $39|
The costs and fees are pretty simple and easy to understand.
There is no 0% introductory rate currently offered for this card. You’ll be charged interest at the rate above if you revolve a balance from month to month. But you can completely avoid interest on purchases if you pay off your balance in full each billing period.
The annual fee of $95 is pretty competitive, compared to similar cards. You can offset that by spending as little as $1,584 per year, as described above.
|Chase Credit Card Customer Support||1-800-432-3117|
Chase tends to have decent customer support compared to other credit card issuers.
Every year, the financial analysis company J.D. Power ranks credit card companies according to customer satisfaction, and Chase usually comes in around average. Last year, in 2017, Chase ranked fifth out of eleven issuers.
We’ve called Chase a few times to learn more about their card offers. In general we’ve spoken with helpful reps who can either tell us what we need to know, or will guide us to the person who can. It’s usually a relatively painless experience.
However, if you want to get in touch with an actual human, you may have a bit of a hassle navigating their phone menus. We recommend trying to press “0” in their phone menus, even if they don’t give you that option. In some cases this will connect you with a representative.
|Chase Twitter Support||@ChaseSupport|
When searching for Chase credit cards, you’re likely to find two or more card pages for the Ink Business Preferred. They include the same information, for the most part. Overall, it’s pretty easy to understand what you’ll be getting from this card.
Anyone can send a message to their customer support team on Twitter, @ChaseSupport. And Chase account holders also have the option of sending a secure message to Chase with any questions they have about their accounts.
The Bottom Line
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card has an attractive rewards program for some small business owners. If you make business trips at least a few times per year and your business spends in the bonus categories, you can earn rewards and cut down on the cost of travel.
Consider the 3X bonus categories. Do you spend a lot in them, but less than $150,000? This is a pretty high reward spending limit, but it’s not as high as they come. If you spend much more than that, you should probably consider either using another card in addition to this one, or instead of this one.
The extra benefits are pretty simple for the most part. If you can refer some friends you have the potential to get up to 100,000 bonus points per year, which would be a pretty nice bonus. But overall, the rewards are the main selling point of this card.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program offers a valuable way to redeem your points. But you can do even better than that if you take advantage of the 1:1 point transfer. Think about where you could use some airline miles or hotel points, and see if you could get a great deal.
This is a mid-range business credit card, and it has the potential to be fairly rewarding. There are other options too, however, some with lower annual fees and some with higher. They have different bonus reward categories too. Check out some of those alternatives below.
How to Apply for the Chase Ink Business Preferred
You can apply for the Ink Business Preferred card securely on Chase’s website.
In many cases applicants can get an instant response, but sometimes it might take longer. Chase may request more information to process the application.
Qualifications and Requirements
When applying, you’ll need to provide:
- Your personal information, including SSN
- Your business’s legal name and Tax ID number or EIN (Employer Identification Number)
- Years in business
- Number of employees
- Annual business revenue/sales
Alternatives to the Chase Ink Business Preferred
- American Express® Business Gold Card (Review): $295 annual fee; 4X points in the two categories you spend the most in; $3,188 in statement credits
- Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card (Review): No annual fee; not meant for travelers; 5% cash back categories
- Airline and Business Credit Cards: Various fee and service levels, co-branded with specific airlines and hotels
- Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business (Review): $95 annual fee after the first year; 2% cash back for all purchases
So you’ll earn 4X points in the two categories that your business spends the most in each month, out of the six possibilities above. This makes the card very flexible, and able to adapt to the changing needs of your business. The Amex Travel service is included as well, for 2X points. Some of the categories overlap with the Ink Business Preferred, but there are some different ones too.
This card has the same rewards spending limit as the Ink Business Preferred — $150,000.
The Membership Rewards points you earn can be redeemed in different ways, including point transfers, which will provide different values. The normal methods will provide a maximum equivalent of 4% cash back, while point transfers may provide a value as high as 8% in some cases, or even more.
Membership Rewards points are often transferred at a 1:1 rate, but this is not always true. In some cases the rate may be more in your favor, and other times it may be less so. This is different than the Ink Business Preferred, which always offers a 1:1 rate.
For the most part, the extra benefits you get with these cards will be pretty comparable. They both offer basic shopping and travel protections.
But the Business Gold card also has two very valuable perks that you won’t get from the Ink card, which provide up to $3,188 in first-year statement credits. You’ll get up to $2,988 in credits for ZipRecruiter, enough for a year’s membership of ZipRecruiter Standard. And you’ll also get up to $200 in credits for G Suite, which is enough for one year of G Suite Basic with three users. These credits are only valid for the first year of card membership.
The Business Gold card also comes with the Amex OPEN set of benefits. These are business-oriented features designed to help you manage your company, including expense management tools and specially-trained customer support reps.
Costs & Fees
The Business Gold has a $295 annual fee. So that’s almost more than three times as much as the Ink Business Preferred.
The Amex is also a charge card, rather than a credit card. That means you’ll need to pay off your balance in full each billing period, rather than having an option to revolve it from month to month. Cardholders may also get an option to pay for certain purchases over time, at a given APR.
Neither card has a foreign transaction fee, which is a nice feature for travel cards. But Amex isn’t accepted as widely around the world as Visa, making the Ink Business Preferred a better option for traveling outside the U.S.
Business Credit Bureau Reporting
Amex reports business card activity differently than Chase. Amex cards will report positive activity to two business credit reporting agencies, Dun & Bradstreet and Small Business Financial Exchange.
But if an account enters negative status, like having unpaid collections, the activity will be reported to all three of the major consumer credit bureaus, along with Dun & Bradstreet.
Rather than points, this card simply provides cash back:
- 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year:
- at office supply stores
- on internet, cable, and phone services
- 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year:
- at gas stations
- at restaurants
- 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no limit
- Introductory bonus: $500 bonus cash back for spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
You won’t need to worry about how to best redeem your points with this card. Instead, you’ll just get your cash back as a statement credit to your account.
This card’s reward spending limits are quite a bit lower than the Ink Business Preferred’s. In this case you’ll be limited to the first $25,000 you spend at each rate. So this card can be a good option if you tend to spend in those categories, but only if you don’t go over those limits each year.
The signup bonus isn’t nearly as good as what you’ll get with the Ink Business Preferred. But for no annual fee, it’s pretty typical.
The benefits are mostly the same for the Cash and Preferred cards. The Preferred just has two more:
Costs & Fees
When it comes to the interest rates and fees, there are two main differences to notice:
- The Ink Business Cash offers a 0% intro APR for 12 months for purchases and balance transfers, then the regular 15.49%–21.49% Variable APR applies
- The Ink Business Cash has a foreign transaction fee of 3%
So you’ll be able to carry a balance for a year at no interest with this card, giving your business some time to pay off expenses. And you’ll also be charged a fee for purchases outside the U.S., which makes sense because this card isn’t designed for traveling.
Business Credit Bureau Reporting
These are both Chase business credit cards, and so they report card activity to business credit bureaus in the same way.
Airline and Hotel Business Credit Cards
If you like to travel (or if you just have to, like it or not), there are many credit card opportunities. Many airlines and hotels offer co-branded credit cards, which are designed to be used primarily with that particular airline or hotel.
There are many business travel cards of this type, and their main attractions center on the rewards and benefits they offer. Let’s take a look at an airline card, and then a hotel card.
Airline Business Card
Take the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, for example. It has an annual fee of $95, waived the first year. And it offers:
- 2X SkyMiles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta
- 1X SkyMile per dollar spent on every other purchase
- Introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
- Introductory bonus: $50 statement credit after making a purchase in the first 3 months
Each SkyMile will be worth about 1 cent, meaning you’ll be earning the equivalent of about 2% cash back when making purchases from Delta. You’ll also have other opportunities to earn SkyMiles, such as from partner airlines and hotels.
The extra benefits are what make this card worthwhile for frequent Delta passengers. These include:
- Reduced fee for Delta Sky Club® airport lounge access ($29 per person, up to two guests)
- Priority boarding on Delta flights (Zone 1 Priority Boarding)
- First checked bag is free, for you and up to nine passengers
- 20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases, like food, beverages, and audio headsets
- Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver: a fast track to higher-tier Delta membership status
There are some other perks included as well. Big spenders should check out the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (Review), which has a $195 annual fee but provides better rewards and benefits.
Hotel Business Card
For a hotel credit card, let’s look at the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ Credit Card credit card. It has a $99 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.
- 5X points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) hotels
- 2X points per dollar spent on:
- airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
- car rental agencies
- office supply stores
- internet, cable, and phone services
- 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Introductory bonus: 75,000 points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
So you can earn a lot of points with this card. They’ll be worth around 1 cent each at the most, perhaps a bit less, giving you a maximum cash back equivalent of about 5% when spending at the 5X rate.
This is a good card offer because it includes quite a large selection of hotels, covering Marriott and SPG brands. And four other bonus reward categories are available, in addition to the points you earn at the 5X rate. If you typically stay at these hotels and your business makes purchases in those categories, this card could be a solid addition to your wallet.
There are also quite a few other perks that are sure to make frequent Marriott visitors happy. They include:
- Annual free night stay
- Complimentary Marriott Silver Elite status, which comes with free WiFi and bonus points on eligible stays
- Fast track to Gold Elite status: spend $50,000 on purchases in a given year to qualify for Gold Elite status
- 1 Elite night credit earned for every $3,000 spent on purchases
There are many hotel credit cards offering nice benefits like these. If you have a favorite hotel brand, chances are they’ll have a card you might enjoy.
- 2% cash back on every purchase, with no limit
- Introductory bonus: $500 cash bonus for spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
It’s pretty easy to understand. Just 2% back for every purchase, with no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
This rewards program makes it a good choice to pair with other cards, like the Ink Business Preferred. If you had both, you could use the Chase card for the categories where you’ll earn 3X points. Then use the Spark Cash for every other purchase. If you hit the $150,000 reward spending limit, just switch to the Spark Cash for those purchases. That way you’ll always get 2% back for every purchase.
Although these are both Visa Signature Business cards, the extra benefits you get from them won’t be quite the same. There will be many similarities, especially when it comes to the basic protections, but there are also a few key differences.
- The Spark Cash includes the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, providing discounts and complimentary services at participating hotels.
- The Ink Business Preferred provides 20,000 bonus points for referring other small business owners.
- The Ink Business Preferred provides cell phone protection.
Costs & Fees
The Spark Cash has an annual fee of $95, waived the first year, making it pretty affordable. This is the same as the Ink Business Preferred (but the Chase card’s fee isn’t waived the first year). You can offset that $95 fee by spending $4,750 with the Spark Cash (2% of $4,750 is $95).
Neither card charges a fee for foreign transactions. And they’re both Visa cards, so they’re equally useful for spending outside the country, as far as card acceptance goes.
Business Credit Bureau Reporting
Business credit cards from Capital One are reported to more credit bureaus than is typical for card issuers. The Spark Cash reports card activity to:
- Dun & Bradstreet
- Small Business Financial Exchange
That’s a wider spread than the Ink Business Preferred. If you happen to use both cards together, you’ll have an opportunity to improve your credit at more bureaus.
Another Option: Spark Cash Select for Business
- 1.5% cash back for all purchases
- Introductory bonus: $200 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
- Intro APR: 0% introductory APR for purchases for 9 months, followed by a regular rate of 15.24%–23.24% Variable
- Annual fee: None
You could use this card together with the Ink Business Preferred, just like we described above. In this case you’d earn a bit less cash back but wouldn’t have to deal with the fee.
If you have the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card, how do you like using it? Let us know by leaving your own review.
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