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Last week, Chase introduced the Ink Business Preferred Card, further ratcheting up the intense competition in the travel rewards card space. Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, this new card will offer 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel, plus 3x on business-focused categories including shipping purchases, advertising purchases made with search engines and social media sites and spending on internet, cable and phone services. However, unlike the more premium Reserve card, the Ink Business Preferred (with a $95 annual fee) will only offer 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases across all the bonus categories per account year.
While the upcoming Ink Business Preferred Card is drawing some comparisons to the Sapphire Reserve, its features also overlap with those on the Chase Ink Plus Business Card. This card has long been a top choice for those looking to earn up to 5x Ultimate Rewards points on a variety of purchases, including office supplies. Especially considering the 3x travel category on the Business Preferred Card, you may be wondering whether it’s worth going for that option for the already available Ink Plus. However, there are a handful of reasons you might want to add the latter card to your wallet soon:
1. It won’t be available for new sign-ups after the Ink Preferred launches
We still don’t know exactly when the Ink Preferred card will launch (Chase simply said “later this year”), but the issuer has confirmed that the Ink Plus will no longer be available to new cardholders as of that date. So if you think the card’s various benefits — such as a 10.5% return on the first $50,000 spent on combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year — could come in handy, you’ll want to act sooner rather than later.
2. 5x isn’t available with the Ink Preferred
While the Ink Preferred’s generating a lot of buzz thanks to the ability to earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points (a 6.3% return) on travel with a much lower annual fee than the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, with the Ink Plus card you can actually earn a higher return of 5x points on the first $50,000 spent on the categories mentioned above (including office supply purchases) each account anniversary year. If you max out the 5x category on the Ink Plus, you’ll be raking in 250,000 Ultimate Rewards points per year — worth $5,250 based on TPG’s latest valuations. If you max out the Preferred’s 3x category (for the first $150,000 spent each account anniversary year), you’ll be earning 450,000 points — 200,000 more, worth an extra $4,200 — but depending on your business size and spending habits that may not be doable.
3. You can get the sign-up bonus for the Plus now and for the Preferred when it launches
If you’re having trouble deciding between the currently available Ink Plus and the soon-to-launch Ink Business Preferred, keep in mind you could always sign up for the Ink Plus now and then apply for the Business Preferred when it becomes available. While the Preferred will likely be impacted by 5/24, if you haven’t opened more than four accounts within the past 24 months you should be eligible for the card even if you already have Ink Plus.
With the Ink Plus, you’ll earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. When the Business Preferred launches, cardholders will earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. If you earned both sign-up offers, you’d be sitting on a stash of at least 150,000 Ultimate Rewards points (factoring in the minimum points you’d earn from meeting each card’s minimum spending requirement), worth $3,150. Not bad for cards with annual fees under $100!
4. You can product-change to the Preferred after the first year
The Ink Plus could be a good option if you’re planning to sign up for other cards before Preferred launches (again, we don’t know when that’ll be), especially if you’re able to put the 60,000-point sign-up bonus to good use now. But getting Plus now doesn’t mean you’re stuck with that card if you’re ineligible for Preferred due to 5/24. In theory, you can get the Plus right away and then explore any other exceptional offers from Chase or other issuers (that might push you over 5/24), and then product change to Preferred down the road.
Will you be signing up for the Chase Ink Plus while it’s still available?
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards