Chase Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card review: An unfussy cash back rewards card for big spenders
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Ink Business Premier Credit Card Overview
The Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card, Chase’s latest addition to their portfolio of business credit cards, comes with a $195 annual fee and includes unique features along with a few drawbacks. As Chase’s first premium flat-rate business rewards card, the Ink Business Premier stands apart from the competition with boosted rewards on large purchases, simplified flexible spending features and excellent travel protections. On the other hand, it’s also the first premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card that doesn’t offer a boost in rewards value when redeeming toward travel nor does it allow access to the issuer’s travel transfer partners.
Designed for business owners with high expenses,, the Ink Business Premier is an outstanding tool for earning points on large purchases. However, cardholders are unable to pool those rewards with other Chase cards. The ability to pair Chase cards to increase rewards earnings is a significant feather in the issuer’s cap, so this restriction may be cause to look elsewhere for a combination that better suits your business.
If your business requires strong purchasing power and straightforward, generous rewards on big purchases, the Business Premier card is among the top options available. However, it is important to consider your business spending habits and whether you spend enough monthly to justify the $195 annual fee and limited redemption options. If not, a different flat-rate business credit card or one that allows you to redeem for travel, like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, could be a better fit.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- If you don’t anticipate making several purchases of $5,000 or more, the $195 annual fee is hard to justify
- Cardholders can’t take advantage of transfer partners or redeem points for more value toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Users can’t combine rewards with other Chase cards to increase rewards value
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards Rate: 5 percent cash back on travel booked through Chase travel portal, 2.5 percent cash back on purchases over $5,000, 2 percent cash back on all other eligible purchases
- Welcome Offer: $1,000 cash back after spending $10,000 on purchases in first 3 months of account opening
- Annual Fee: $195
- Purchase Intro APR: None
- Balance Transfer Intro APR: None
- Regular APR: 17.99 percent to 25.99 percent variable Flex for Business APR
Current welcome offer
Ink Business Premier owners can earn a $1,000 cash bonus in the form of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $10,000 on purchases in your first three months. This requirement can seem intimidating, but the roughly $3,334 per monthly spend fits in with small business’ assumed average yearly spend of $48,000 when divided evenly.
When taking other business credit card sign-up bonuses into account, this spending requirement is quite reasonable given its value to cardholders. In fact, Chase’s Ink Business Preferred credit card offers the same 100,000 point value but requires a significantly higher spend of $15,000 in the same three-month window. In addition, the American Express Business Gold credit card requires the same $10,000 spend in your first three months, but awards 70,000 Membership Rewards points valued at around $700 unless you transfer those points to an Amex partner.
Chase has a 1:1 point transfer ratio for the Ultimate Rewards points it earns, meaning 1 point equals 1 mile or 1 cent of cash back. However, the cash-back points earned through the Ink Business Premier cannot be transferred to airline or hotel partners or combined with your Chase Ultimate Rewards® balance on other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards.
How you earn
This card’s rewards structure is designed for business owners who want to earn more on larger purchases, accruing an unlimited 2 percent cash back on every purchase, unlimited 2.5 percent back on large purchases of $5,000 or more and unlimited 5 percent cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. In addition, there’s no limit on how much you can earn and the rewards don’t expire as long as your account is active.
How you redeem
Cardholders can use Ink Business Premier points to redeem for cash back, travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal, Amazon.com and PayPal purchases, gift cards to over 175 brands, Apple products and more.
Travel purchases and gift cards can be redeemed at one cent per point. Redeeming through Shop With Points allows cardholders to use points towards Amazon and PayPal purchases at a rate of 0.8 cents per point. You’ll get a preferable rate when redeeming points for cash back and using your card to make purchases that earn 2 percent cash back.
How much are the rewards worth?
Redemption options with a 1:1 value, such as cash back, make your points worth 1 cent each, which isn’t always the case, especially when redeeming travel rewards. In addition, they’re only worth 0.8 cents apiece toward Amazon.com purchases using the Shop with Points option. As stated previously, you cannot transfer points earned with your Ink Business Premier into your Ultimate Rewards account linked to another Chase card or to transfer partners to increase their value.
Other cardholder perks
While the simple cash back earning rate and lucrative welcome bonus are the standout perks, the Ink Business Premier card offers a range of helpful benefits and protections.
Flex for Business
Technically, this card is a charge card, meaning that the full balance is required to be paid by the close of each billing cycle. However, rather than charge a standard annual percentage rate, the Ink Business Premier functions similarly to some of Amex’s top-tier rewards cards. While cardholders will have to pay their balance in full each month, this card offers Flex for Business, a flexible-spending payment plan option for business owners to pay off purchases over $500 over time with interest.
Travel and purchase protections
- Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance: Pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares and hotels, can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per person and $10,000 per trip in the event of covered situations like sickness and weather.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: You’ll receive primary coverage up to the cost of the vehicle in the event of theft or collision by paying for your auto rental vehicle with your card and declining the agency’s insurance,
- Extended warranty protection: Eligible purchases with U.S. manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less will be protected for an additional year.
- Purchase protection: New purchases are covered for 120 days against damage or theft for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Cell phone protection: The Business Premier provides one of the best cellphone protection plans you’ll find on a credit card. Cardholders or the employees listed on the monthly cell phone bill paid by your card can enjoy up to $1,000 per claim (three claims per 12 months with a $100 deductible) in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage.
Employee cards at no additional cost
This perk allows businesses to issue additional cards to employees for free. Business owners have the ability to set individual limits, which can help track business spending while earning additional rewards in the process.
Rates and fees
While the most notable fee this card carries is the $195 annual fee, there are other fees to be aware of such as the late payment fee of $40 or 2 percent of the minimum payment due, whichever is greater. Plus, there is a cash advance fee of either $15 or 5 percent of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Fortunately, you’ll be able to use this card abroad with no issues as there is no foreign transaction fee.
The card requires the balance to be paid in full each month, but individuals that take advantage of the Flex for Business perk can expect a 17.99 percent to 25.99 percent variable APR.
How the Ink Business Premier compares to other business credit cards
The Ink Business premier is undoubtedly one of the top cards around for large businesses with high monthly expenditures. Along with its consistent cash back rewards rate and boosted rates on big purchases and travel, the sign-up bonus is quite attainable for its target audience. However, smaller businesses with lower monthly and annual revenues might receive more value from a competing card.
Ink Business Premier vs. Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Business owners seeking a simple cash-back credit card may find just what they’re looking for with the Capital One Spark Cash Plus. In fact, it shares many similarities with the Ink Business Premier. First, it’s a charge card without a preset spending limit and it comes with an up to $1,000 welcome bonus — $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first three months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first six months of account opening. Plus, you’ll still earn unlimited 2 percent cash back on all purchases.
On top of that, the Spark Cash Plus earns an annual $200 cash bonus if you spend $200,000 or more in a year and the annual fee is slightly lower than the Ink Business Premier at $150 per year. Business owners with a high annual budget that can do without the 2.5 percent rewards rate on purchases $5,000 or greater could find the Ink Business Premier to be a better option.
Ink Business Premier vs. Ink Business Preferred
Naturally, Chase offers a variety of business credit cards that suit a variety of spending habits and preferences. For a $95 annual fee, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers a hefty, albeit harder to reach sign-up bonus of its own (100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months) and 3X points on the first $150,000 of combined spending in various bonus categories that include travel and internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.
Perhaps even more importantly, it earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points and allows cardholders to redeem points directly through the Chase travel portal at an elevated 1.25 cents apiece. While not as specifically tailored to the stature of businesses that will benefit from the Ink Business Premier’s unique rewards structure, this card still offers plenty of value and added flexibility when redeeming rewards.
Best cards to pair with the Ink Business Premier
In most cases, pairing Chase rewards credit cards is an excellent way to boost rewards and make the most of your spending. For example, combining points from the Ink Business Preferred with a cash back card like the Chase Freedom Flex would allow you to transfer those points to a Chase travel partner or boost points to 1.25 cents when making travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
However, the Ink Business Premier’s lack of ability to pool points with other Chase rewards credit cards make its best pairing a more difficult choice. The Ink Business Cash is a no-annual-fee option that could increase rewards earnings on business-focused categories such as office supply stores, internet, cable and phone services, gas stations and restaurants. Or, assuming your high business spending will help offset a significant annual fee, you could opt for a premium travel rewards card in the Chase Sapphire Reserve to gain access to its top tier travel perks.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Ink Business Premier worth it?
The Ink Business Premier is an ideal choice for business owners that don’t mind paying a higher annual fee for what is essentially a line of credit with straightforward rewards and a hefty sign-up bonus. If your business can use this card for a large amount of monthly expenses, you can be heavily rewarded while saving loads on interest payments.
While this card occupies a specific niche in the business credit card landscape, not every business owner will benefit from this type of card. It may not be suitable for businesses that do not anticipate making many purchases over the $5,000 threshold. In fact, the Ink Business Premier serves as an entry point into Chase’s suite of sophisticated financial products aimed toward larger businesses.