How to meet minimum spending on the Ink Business Preferred: $15,000 in 3 months
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has long been touted as one of the best business cards on the market. It has expansive bonus categories, a long list of travel as well as purchase protections and a reasonable $95 annual fee – and the card only gets more desirable after you factor in its six-figure welcome offer.
New applicants can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first three months from account opening. TPG estimates that Ultimate Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece, so this sign-up bonus presents $2,000 in value.
While this sign-up bonus is alluring, cardholders must meet that substantial spend threshold before they see those bonus points posted to their account. One of TPG’s 10 commandments for credit cards is to never miss out on a sign-up bonus, so you’ll want to strategize how you can meet the $15,000 spending minimum within the allotted time frame without stretching your finances.
Whether you’re a freelancer, self-employed or manage a physical storefront, we’ll go over how to help ensure you responsibly achieve the Ink Business Preferred’s sign-up bonus.
Related: 5 reasons to get the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
How to meet the Ink Business Preferred minimum spend requirement
If you have a lot of ongoing business expenses (such as for equipment or advertising), spending $15,000 in three months should be doable. But what if you’re self-employed and don’t have many operating expenses, or none at all?
Here are some creative ways you can meet the Ink Business Preferred’s minimum spend requirements:
Move all of your business expenses to your new card
If this is your first business card, then it’s a no-brainer that you should be putting all of your business expenses that you can pay with a credit card on your new Ink Business Preferred. Even if you already have another business credit card, it’s worth prioritizing the Ink Business Preferred during this three-month spend period – even if that means forfeiting any bonus points from another earning rate.
Consider paying rent or mortgage
If you have a physical storefront or an office, one of the easiest ways to take up a chunk of the requirement is to pay your rent or mortgage on your card. If you’re self-employed, you could consider paying your personal rent or mortgage with the Ink Business Preferred. While there is likely a fee for using a credit card as a payment method, do the math and calculate if the incurred fees are worth getting you to the finish line of $15,000.
Even if your landlord doesn’t accept credit cards, you can leverage tools like Plastiq, a payment platform that accepts virtually every debit or credit card to pay for bills. Note there’s a processing fee of up to 2.85%.
Let’s say that your gross rent for three months adds up to $9,000. By using Plastiq, you may have to pay around $250 in fees – but you will have been able to cover more than half of that minimum spend requirement from one expense alone, and earn points in the process.
Prepay routine utilities or bills
On a similar note, you can prepay utilities or bills you will end up paying in the future anyway. Whether that’s your cellphone bill — as an added bonus, this will trigger the card’s cellphone insurance — car payment, insurance or other similar expenses, you can try to pay as much as you can upfront with the card (keeping in mind what you can afford).
Book a trip ahead
Whether you’ve been considering booking your first cruise or going on a dream international trip, you can use your card to book ahead. Best of all, the Ink Business Preferred offers 3 points per dollar spent on travel, so you would be racking up a significant number of points by planning ahead.
If all else fails, use your card for expenses you normally wouldn’t charge on it
If you’re falling short of meeting the spend requirement, now is the time to use your Ink Business Preferred for every expense possible in your day-to-day life. Sure, you won’t earn bonus points on groceries, restaurants, gas and other everyday purchases for the time being, but every dollar counts when it comes to earning that bonus.
When you’re not actively chasing a sign-up bonus, we recommend not using your credit card in ways that wouldn’t be sensible in normal scenarios. For instance, you would typically want to avoid unnecessary fees or using the Ink Business Preferred for non-bonus purchases.
So here are some other considerations when pursuing this sign-up bonus:
For the sake of earning a sign-up bonus — even if it is an incredible six-figure offer — you don’t want to spend what you can’t afford. You should only put $15,000 of expenses on this card if you can afford to pay that off now or by your monthly statement due date. You don’t want to fall into a trap of debt that could affect you and your credit score.
Avoid carrying a balance
When charging thousands of dollars of expenses to your card, you’ll want to avoid carrying that balance and incurring potential late fees and interest charges. The best practice is to pay your statement on time and in full because these fees will start to offset the value of earning this sign-up bonus.
Beware of timing
The clock starts ticking for earning the sign-up bonus as soon as you’re approved, but it could take up to 10 business days for your card to arrive in the mail — significantly shortening the three-month window. Be extra vigilant about the exact date by which you have to meet the minimum spend requirements.
A $15,000 spending requirement n three months is nothing to brush off. If you’ve been considering applying for the Ink Business Preferred, devise a game plan for meeting this requirement without putting yourself in debt. This sign-up bonus can provide immense value for the right cardholders, especially if you’re working the Ink Business Preferred into your Chase trifecta strategy.
And if you're still on the fence, check out our full review of the Ink Business Preferred for more details on whether this card is a good fit for you.
Official application link: Ink Business Preferred
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson.