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Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card review: The “preferred” Chase business card?

One of the best small business credit card options for big spenders.

 /  13 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for and how we rate our cards. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

4.4

Bankrate rating
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Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Bottom line

This flagship Chase business card stands apart from the crowd by offering a chart-topping sign-up bonus, access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and top-tier travel and shopping protections. However, business owners with smaller budgets may have a hard time justifying the annual fee and specialized categories when other business cards — including no-annual-fee Chase cards — may provide comparable value at a similar or lower cost.

Best for business travel
  • Rewards value
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    Rewards flexibility
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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Recommended Credit

Intro offer

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$2000

Offer valuation

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1X - 3X

Rewards Rate

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Annual fee

Regular APR

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card Overview

Small businesses with upcoming high-dollar purchases are a prime market for the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, since it offers a 100,000-point welcome bonus, earned after spending $8,000 on qualifying purchases within three months.

According to Bankrate’s latest point valuations, the welcome offer can be worth around $2,000 if you maximize your redemption options. If you redeem your points through the Chase Travel℠ portal, your points are worth $1,250 in travel purchases, but other redemption options can be more lucrative. For fresh business startups looking for a solid business credit card, its welcome bonus provides rewards that can go right back into your bottom line. It also makes the $95 annual fee and lack of an intro APR offer a little easier to justify.

Outside of its valuable sign-up bonus, the Ink Business Preferred delivers plenty of value as a top-tier business Chase credit card for frequent travelers, thanks to its bonus redemption value toward travel and comprehensive travel protections. Its rewards potential may not be the most appealing for lower-expense businesses that can’t spend sufficiently in its bonus categories, but it can certainly swing above its weight class for people who can take advantage of its category rates.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year (then 1X points) 
    • 1X points on all other purchases 

    Expert Appraisal: Good 
    See our expert analysis 

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    • 100,000 bonus points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening 

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: $95 
    • Late payment fee of $39 
    • Returned payment fee of $39 
    • Regular APR: 21.24 percent to 26.24 percent (variable) 
    • 5 percent or $5 balance transfer fee (whichever is greater) 

    Expert Appraisal: Typical 
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Free employee cards
    • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
    • Extended warranty protection
    • Cell phone protection 

    Expert Appraisal: Good 
    See our expert analysis

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Checkmark

    It offers a low annual fee, which is a substantial advantage for a business card.

  • Checkmark

    It has an impressive welcome bonus that could significantly increase your earning potential during the first year of use.

  • Checkmark

    Employee cards come at no extra cost, so you don’t have to worry about an additional fee per card.

  • Checkmark

    Earn a 25 percent bonus for points redeemed toward Chase travel, which can greatly benefit you if travel is your primary spending category.

Cons

  • When compared to other business cards, the welcome bonus has a high spending requirement in a short timeframe.

  • Beyond the rewards and free employee cards, the business-focused benefits are slim.

  • The bonus category rewards rate is capped at $150,000 in combined purchases per year, which restricts your earning potential if you frequently spend beyond the limit.

Why you might want the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

While healthy rewards rates are the most obvious Ink Business Preferred benefits, you’ll also be able to secure your business travel and purchases with a great suite of travel and purchase protections. 

Although these travel insurances and shopping protections are some of the best you’ll find on a card of this caliber, there aren’t any yearly bonuses or other features with a monetary value that will help you offset your annual fee each year. 

Welcome Offer: High reward with high risk 

Cardholders who can manage to spend $8,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of opening the card can earn a whopping 100,000-point sign-up bonus. According to Bankrate’s latest point valuations, the welcome offer can be worth around $2,000 if you maximize your redemption options. If you redeem your points through the Chase Travel℠ portal, your points are worth $1,250 in travel purchases, but other redemption options can be more lucrative.

That’s a staggering value, especially since the spending requirement has been cut almost in half from the previous $15,000 requirement. Still, it can be relatively steep for such a short time frame. It may not be attainable if your business doesn’t have a big budget, and it may not be worth it if you redeem it for cash back. Other cash back business cards with no annual fee offer bonuses valued at around $750 for half the spending requirement. 

Fortunately, qualifying for the sign-up bonus is a bit more manageable if you use the Business Preferred as your primary card, factor in employee card spending and use it for any startup costs you have. 

Benefits: Well-rounded protections, home and abroad 

Whether your business calls for you to purchase supplies or hop on a flight, there are several travel and purchase coverage benefits outside standards like 24/7 roadside dispatch, such as:  

  • 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: By paying for your auto rental vehicle with your card and declining the agency’s insurance, you’ll get primary coverage up to the cost of the vehicle in the event of theft or collision.  
  • 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: 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. The Business Preferred provides one of the best cellphone protection plans you’ll find on a credit card, thanks to its high $3,000 coverage cap per year. 

Rewards: A valuable redemption options

Chase has a 1:1 point transfer system for the Ultimate Rewards points it earns, meaning 1 point equals 1 transfer partner mile or 1 cent of cash back. For business travelers, this can translate into great savings. It’s helpful if you may need to redeem for cash back on occasion since few issuers provide a 1:1 value on a wide variety of redemption options. You’ll earn 3X points on up to $150,000 worth of combined purchases within each account anniversary year on specific travel business expenses (then 1X points). The categories eligible for 3X points are:  

  • The categories eligible for 3X points are: 
  • Travel 
  • Shipping purchases 
  • Internet, cable and phone services 
  • Advertising purchases made with social media and search engines 

The card’s point values will vary based on how you redeem them. Redemption options with a 1:1 value, such as cash back, make your points worth 1 cent each. They’re only worth 0.8 cents apiece toward Amazon.com purchases using the “Shop with Points” option, but there are two major ways to increase your point value beyond 1 cent. It might take a little bit more effort, but Bankrate’s points valuation estimates that finding the right transfer partner for your business can make your points worth around 2.0 cents each — putting it in the upper echelon of reward values. The easiest way is to redeem points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, making them worth 1.25 cents. 

Why you might not want Ink Business Preferred

The Ink Business Preferred is great for small businesses with high budgets and predictable expenses. It also has great redemption for travel, especially when you factor in Chase Ultimate Rewards. Still, there are drawbacks like the annual fee and the high spend requirement for the welcome offer. This could make this card less ideal for business owners who don’t travel often or don’t want an annual fee. 

Perks: Not very business-focused.  

When looking at the bigger picture, the Ink Business Preferred’s value is rooted in the card’s point value. Beyond this, a lot of the features can feel pretty standard or travel focused. 

The one perk that focuses only on business outside of the rewards rate is the ability to get free employee cards. Businesses can issue cards to individual cardholders who will be automatically linked to the main card limit. These cards can also have individualized limits, which help you manage your business spending.  

While great for a chance to build up rewards quicker, business owners who don’t see themselves traveling often may not see enough benefits to keep the card when factoring the annual fee.

Annual Fee: Higher than sibling cards 

While the biggest fee is the card's $95 annual fee, there are also other fees to be aware of, such as the late or returned payment fee of $39. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about incurring extra charges while you travel. However, since the Ink Business Preferred doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. 

There isn’t a zero-interest offer for purchases or balance transfers, so you’ll take on interest for any balance you have for the billing period. This increases the likelihood of a revolving credit balance on your card if you can’t pay it off relatively quickly. Transferring your balance to this Chase card will pose a relatively high $5 or 5 percent fee for each transfer (whichever is greater). 

First-year value vs. ongoing value

Besides the stellar flexibility and values of the Ultimate Rewards program, the Ink Business Preferred card’s distinguishing feature is its top-shelf sign-up bonus. Very few business cards carry a welcome offer this rewarding, despite the intimidating spending requirement. This makes your first year with the card extremely valuable compared to the following years and to other cards with a similar annual fee. 

The downside is that the Ink Preferred doesn’t carry any annual credit-style perks, so you can only offset the annual fee through accumulating rewards. Still, this shouldn’t be too difficult for most cardholders since the 3X bonus categories reward various business expenses. The Ink Business Preferred is certainly worth it, though, since the annual fee is easily recouped by spending at least $212 per month in those boosted travel categories.

We’ve calculated that the average business cardholder* should earn $698 in rewards value per year. This is a solid but weak payout considering that the no-annual-fee Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card earns about $720 in cash back on the same budget with its 1.5 percent flat rate. However, if you plan on maximizing the Business Preferred’s 3X categories’ $150,000 yearly spending limit, you could rake in an astounding $5,625 of points toward Ultimate Rewards travel. if you plan on spending around $26,667 per year (about $2,223 per month) in its 3X categories to surpass competing cards’ average rewards potential for $1,000 in rewards toward Chase travel.

Benefits and Costs</td=h> First-year value Ongoing value (no welcome offers)
Yearly rewards* +$698 +$698
Welcome offers +$1,250 (100,000 points after spending $8,000 in the first three months, redeemed toward Travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards for a 1.25-cent value)
Perks (of monetary value)
Annual fee -$95 -$95
Total value $1,853 $603

*Based on our formula used to calculate each card’s average rewards rates and average ongoing rewards value, using Bureau of Labor Statistics spending data and an assumed $48,000 yearly spend over three years ($1,325 per month).

Expert experience

If you’re a solo entrepreneur, like Bankrate writer Holly D. Johnson, the Ink Business Preferred brings a lot to love.

“My husband and I have been self-employed in the digital media space for a decade, and this has left us managing every aspect of our finances on our own. While we also have other business credit cards, we are at the point where we use our favorite — the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card — for around 90 percent of our business spending and bills. If you’re intrigued by the Ink Business Preferred, here are a few reasons why I love it.

The first reason we use this card so heavily is its bonus categories, which apply to the bulk of our business spending. Chase also makes it easy to pool your points in a single account so you can use them how you want. I use a combination of cards known as the Chase trifecta for our personal and business spending. This combination of cards also includes the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which I use to earn 1.5X points on our personal spending that doesn’t qualify for bonus rewards. I also use the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to earn 3X points on personal travel and dining as well as 10X points on Lyft rides (through March 2025).

We travel quite a bit for business, and we love the travel insurance benefits this card offers. Specifically, we benefit from having primary auto rental insurance when we rent a car for business purposes as well as trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to $5,000 per person and up to $10,000 per covered trip. 

Another benefit of the Ink Business Preferred that I use is cell phone protection, which is applicable when you pay your cell phone bill with your credit card. I pay my phone bill with my business credit card since it’s a business expense.”

— Holly D. Johnson— Bankrate writer

 

How the Ink Business Preferred compares to other business credit cards

Without a doubt, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is one of the best credit cards for freelancers and small business owners. Along with the sign-up bonus, you can maximize Ultimate Rewards points if you spend significantly in its bonus categories. However, even though you have the potential to boost reward earnings with the Business Preferred card, other competing cards offer excellent benefits as well.

Image of Ink Business Preferred&reg; Credit Card
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
on Chase's secure site

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

Earn 100,000 bonus points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 3X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of American Express&reg; Business Gold Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$375

Intro offer

Earn 70,000 points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 4X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Ink Business Cash&reg; Credit Card
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
on Chase's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Earn up to $750 bonus cash back
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Best card to pair with this card

The Ink Business Preferred could be a prime travel card for business owners who take advantage of its bonus categories’ high annual spending limit. However, for those who want more versatility in their rewards, a flat-rate card or rewards could be good to pair with the Business Preferred.  

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Ink Business Preferred Card worth it?

If you’re looking for a card that has a great welcome offer and a fairly low annual fee, the Ink Business Preferred is it. The rewards rate compares well with other business credit cards in the market since your rewards don’t have to be used to settle an exorbitant annual fee, and the redemption options are incredibly valuable and versatile — especially if you travel for business. It also happens to have a decent APR all around, and you won’t have to pay extra to provide your employees with their own cards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Written by
Garrett Yarbrough
Writer, Credit Cards

Bankrate expert Garrett Yarbrough strives to make navigating credit cards and credit building smooth sailing for his readers. After regularly featuring his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft analysis on NextAdvisor.com, he joined the CreditCards.com and Bankrate teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit card guides focused on cash back, credit scores and card offers.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards
Reviewed by Former Editor, Credit Cards

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.