Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card review

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Best Chase card for business travel

Annual Fee:
$95
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.99%-20.99% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply

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Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card Overview

Chase throws its weight behind small businesses with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. Businesses that have regular, high-dollar purchases are the prime market for this card thanks to its 100,000-point welcome bonus (earned after spending $15,000 on qualifying purchases within three months).

According to Chase, the welcome offer is valued at $1,250 in travel purchases when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Even if you don’t use it for travel, it’s still worth around $1,000. If you’re a fresh business startup looking for a solid business credit card, this is money that can go right back into your bottom line. It also makes the $95 annual fee and no intro APR offer a little easier to swallow.

Outside its valuable sign-up bonus, the Ink Business Preferred delivers plenty of value as the top-tier business Chase card thanks to its bonus redemption value toward travel and solid travel protections. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, like Bankrate writer Holly D. Johnson, the Ink Business Preferred brings a lot to love.

Want more details? Jump to the following sections:

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Advantages

  • Low annual fee for a business card
  • Impressive welcome offer
  • Additional employee cards at no extra costs
  • 25 percent bonus for points redeemed toward Chase travel

Disadvantages

Cons

  • High expenditure to qualify for the welcome bonus
  • Capped rewards rate

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year (then 1X points), plus 1X points on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 15.99 percent to 20.99 percent variable

Ink Business Preferred current sign-up bonus

Cardholders who can manage the $15,000 spend requirement on qualifying purchases within the first three months of opening the card will get a whopping 100,000-point sign-up bonus. This massive bonus is worth $1,000 in cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

As far as no-annual-fee business cards go, that’s a staggering value, but the spending requirement is extremely high. It may not be attainable if you have a small side business and it isn’t particularly worth it if you’re going to spend it on cash back. Other cash back business cards with no annual fee offer bonuses valued at around $750 for half the spending requirement.

Rewards

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.

Earning rewards

You’ll earn 3X points on up to $150,000 worth of combined purchases within each account anniversary year on qualifying purchases (then 1X points). These bonus categories are:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media and search engines

Cardholders also earn unlimited 1X points on all other purchases.

Redeeming rewards

Ultimate Rewards points are known for being some of the most valuable credit card rewards available on account of how flexible your options are. Hands-down, the best redemption option is to book travel through Chase’s portal in order to earn an extra 25 percent value (unless you can transfer your points to a Chase transfer partner for potentially more value). That means your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece toward travel while these other options may only offer up to a 1:1 value:

  • Cash back, in the form of a statement deposit or a direct deposit (eligible for most U.S. checking and savings accounts)
  • Gift cards and vouchers to over 150 participating merchants
  • Merchandise via Shop Through Chase and the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store
  • Shopping with points at eligible websites’ checkout screens, including Amazon and PayPal

How much are points worth?

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.

The easiest way is to redeem points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, making them worth 1.25 cents. It might take a little bit more elbow grease, but The Points Guy’s latest valuation estimates that finding the right transfer partner for your business will make your points worth a fantastic 2 cents each.

Ink Business Preferred: Benefits

While healthy rewards earning 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.

Employee cards at no additional cost

Gone are the days where staff members had to carry around petty cash. Businesses can issue cards to individual cardholders who will automatically share in the main card limit. These cards can also have individualized limits, which helps you track your business spending coupled with the card’s other expenditure reporting service perks.

Travel and purchase insurance

Whether your business calls for purchasing supplies or hopping 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.
  • Cellphone protection: Cardholders or the employees listed on the monthly cell phone bill paid by your card can enjoy up to $600 per claim (three claims per 12 months, with a $100 deductible) in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage.

Rates and Fees

While the biggest fee is the $95 annual fee, there are also other fees to be aware of, such as the late or returned payment fee of $39. However, the Ink Business Preferred is worth it since the annual fee is easily recouped by just spending at least $132 per month in your 3X categories. You also won’t have to worry about incurring extra charges while you travel since the Ink Business Preferred doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

In case your business faces any unexpected expenses, there isn’t a zero-interest offer for either purchases or balance transfers, so you’ll have to take on the variable 15.99 percent to 20.99 percent APR. Transferring your balance to this Chase card will pose a relatively high $5 or 5 percent for each transfer (whichever is greater).

How the Ink Business Preferred compares to other business credit cards

The Ink Business Preferred is a tough card to beat, but the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and the American Express® Business Gold Card do offer some advantages, although the Amex card may run you more.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business ticks all those boxes for the traveling business professional, such as rewards and manageable annual fees. It also happens to offer an annual points bonus, which comes in handy when you’re just short of booking a free trip.

The Amex Gold Business plays on the ability to earn rewards at a record rate. While there is an annual cap once cardholders have reached $150,000, it will still take a while to reach that cap for a small business owner, making it an attractive option. The annual fee of $295, however, might be a bit high for some business owners if they don’t spend well beyond $308 each month in their bonus categories (based on The Points Guy’s 2 cent point valuation).

Card Rewards rate Annual fee Welcome bonus Other details
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • 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
$95 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first three months
  • 25% more value for travel redemptions when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Employee cards at no extra cost
  • 15.99% to 20.99% variable APR
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
  • 2X points per dollar on Southwest Airline purchases
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$99 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 6,000 bonus points on card account anniversary
  • Employee cards at no extra cost
  • 15.99% to 22.99% variable APR
American Express® Business Gold Card
  • 4X points on up to $150,000 per year in two select categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle (1X thereafter)
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$295 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. Terms Apply.
  • 25% points back (up to 250,000 per year) after redeeming Membership Rewards on eligible flights booked through Amex Travel.
  • Employee cards at no extra cost
  • 14.24% to 22.24% variable APR

Best card to pair with the Ink Business Preferred

Other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards pair well with the Business Preferred, but its best partner is definitely the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card. Like its name suggests, it earns unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, which can be pooled with the Business Preferred for a better value toward travel. Considering the Business Unlimited doesn’t pose an annual fee, it’s an easy way to rake in virtually 1.75X points on all purchases that fall outside the Business Preferred’s bonus categories and spending limits.

Bankrate’s take—Is the Ink Business Preferred 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 outfit your employees with their own cards.

about the author
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.com teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit ...
about the editor
Nouri Zarrugh is a writer and editor for CreditCards.com and Bankrate.com, focusing on product news, guides and reviews. His areas of expertise include credit card strategy, rewards programs, point valuation and credit scores, and his stories on building credit have been cited by Mic.com, LifeHacker, People.com and more. Through his thorough card reviews and...