This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card has been available for nearly a year now, and it’s become one of my favorite business credit cards on the market. It’s a strong addition to my wallet and is now part of what I refer to as the Chase trifecta.

We haven’t seen any changes with its most direct competitor, the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. I wrote about the similarities and differences between the Ink Preferred and the Amex Business Platinum last year, and thought I’d now compare the Ink Preferred and Amex Business Gold — two cards I personally use frequently.

Although they have similarities, there are key differences that consumers should be aware of when deciding to apply for a business credit card. Here’s how the two cards stack up against each other.

In This Post

Welcome Bonuses

The welcome bonus for a card is very important, and can even influence a card’s long-term value. Let’s compare the two cards’ offers:

Chase Ink Business Preferred Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Bonus Points 80,000 50,000
Spend Requirement $5,000 in the first three months

$5,000 in the first three months

Number of Transfer Partners 11 21
Bonus Value (Based on TPG Valuations) $1,760 $950

 

According to our most recent valuations, Chase points are worth 2.2 cents apiece whereas Amex Membership Rewards points come in at 1.9 cents apiece. When comparing the two cards bonuses, the Ink will give you a whopping $810 more in value than the Business Gold. Just keep in mind that with Chase Ultimate Rewards you only have 11 transfer partners, whereas with Amex you have 20 to choose from. Note that the minimum spend requirement is the same for both cards — $5,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Category Bonuses

Chase Ink Business Preferred Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
3x points Earn on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in these categories each account anniversary year:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
Choose to earn 3x on one of the following categories, for the first $100,000 in purchases each calendar year:

  • Airfare
  • US purchases for advertising in select media (online, television and radio)
  • US purchases at gas stations
  • US purchases for shipping
  • US computer hardware, software and cloud computing services
2x points N/A

Earn 2x points on the first $100,000 spent in each of the four remaining categories each calendar year

1x point Everything else Everything else

 

When it comes to category bonuses, these two cards are relatively similar, but do hold a few key differences. The Ink Business Preferred offers 3x points on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone and social media/search engine advertising purchases. There is a $150,000 cap on combined purchases in those categories for 3x points, so you’ll only be able to earn 450,000 UR points through bonus purchases — after that you’ll earn 1 point per dollar.

The Business Gold Rewards Card is set up in an odd way: You actually get to choose which bonus category you’d like. So you can choose to get 3x MR points on one of the five categories listed above, and once you’ve chosen your 3x category bonus, you’ll still receive 2x points on the remaining four categories. The 3x and 2x bonuses apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each individual category, meaning you’d be able to receive a max of 300,000 bonus MR points for the 3x category. Being able to choose your bonus category is nice, and it’s even better that you get 2x on the remaining categories — the only frustrating part is that the max you can earn from the 3x bonus spend is 300,000 MR points, whereas the Ink could get you up to 450,000 UR points at 3x. But you can also earn another 200,000 MR points in each of the remaining 2x categories on the Business Gold, so if you maximize all of them, that’s potentially 1.1 million points each year.

Overall I like the Ink Preferred’s bonus categories more. It’s got a higher bonus spend cap and the category bonuses are more broad — the 3x bonus category includes all travel purchases (airfare, hotels, trains, car rentals, tolls, etc.) plus shipping, internet, cable, phone and social media/SEO advertising purchases. The only real advantage of the BGR is that it offers 3x on gas or computer hardware and software — but you’d have to select those as your sole bonus category, whereas the Ink Preferred gives you access to almost everything the Business Gold does.

Redeeming Points

These business cards come with some of the most valuable transferable point currencies around. The various redemption values break down like this:

Chase Ink Business Preferred Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Direct Redemptions for Airline Tickets 1.25 cents 1 cent
Direct Redemptions for Hotel Rooms 1.25 0.75-0.85 cents
Transfer Points to Partners (TPG Valuations) 2.2 1.9

Both Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards have very valuable transfer partners. With Chase you have access to 11 transfer partners including United and Hyatt. You can get some amazing redemptions when transferring to Hyatt — like booking the gorgeous Park Hyatt Maldives for only 25,000 points a night. Or transfer to United where you and two friends could fly roundtrip in economy from Newark (EWR) to Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO).

The Membership Rewards program has a ton of partners as well, including Aeroplan, Delta and Flying Blue. You can transfer 30,000 MR points to Flying Blue and redeem for a round-trip flight from the US to Hawaii. When factoring the cost of what an economy flight from the East Coast to Hawaii can go for, sometimes $1,000+, this is a fantastic redemption of points. Or you can transfer 70,000 points to Aeroplan to redeem for Lufthansa first class, another insanely luxurious product, which can cost $10,000+. Amex also frequently runs transfer bonus promotions for partners such as Virgin Atlantic, which can be very lucrative; Chase never offers transfer bonuses, though all of its transfer rates are 1:1, while some Amex transfer rates are lower.

While both Amex and Chase partner with US airlines, United miles (which you can get via transfers through Chase) are much more valuable than Delta miles (available through Amex transfers). Plus, Chase has the advantage when it comes to hotel transfer partners — it has Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, while Amex only has Best Western, Hilton and Starwood, and SPG has a transfer rate of just 1,000:333.

For more on maximizing the two programs’ partners, see these posts: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for Maximum Value and Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards for Maximum Value.

lufthansa first
By transferring Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan, you could book Lufthansa first class for 70,000 miles one-way.

Valuable Benefits

Both of these cards have some valuable benefits that can help you save money. The most unique and interesting perk is the cell phone protection on the Ink Business Preferred. If you pay your mobile phone bill with the card, each phone on the account will be insured up to $600 against any covered damage or theft. You can file three claims per year, and each claim is subject to a $100 deductible. It’s a great card to pay for your business’ mobile phone plan since all of your employees’ lines will be covered as well. And remember that you’ll get 3x points when paying for your phone plan, sweetening the deal even more.

IMGGettyImages-690181918
If you pay your phone bill with the Ink Business Preferred, you’re covered up to $600 for damage. Image by Isabel Pavia/Getty Images.

Both the Ink Preferred and Amex Biz Gold include a range of travel and purchase protections, such as trip cancellation coverage, auto rental collision damage waiver insurance, extended warranties and more.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Purchase Protection Up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account Up to $1,000 per purchase and up to $50,000 per year
Trip Delay and Cancellation Coverage Up to $500 per ticket for delays of 12 hours or longer; up to $5,000 per trip in cancellation insurance N/A
Travel Accident Insurance Up to $500,000 in common carrier loss of life coverage and up to $100,000 in 24-hour loss of life coverage Up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage
Extended Warranty Extends manufacturer’s warranty by one additional year Extends manufacturer’s warranty by one additional year
Lost Baggage Insurance Up to $3,000 per person per covered trip/up to $500 per person per covered trip for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders and other electronic equipment Up to $1,250 for carry-ons and up to $500 for checked baggage
Car Rental Insurance Primary coverage Secondary coverage
Foreign Transaction Fees None None

The Business Gold Rewards Card is part of the Amex OPEN program. It gives access to business tools and discounts or extra points for purchases made with select merchants. With Amex OPEN Savings, some purchases will qualify for an additional 2x points or a 5% discount that comes as a statement credit. Featured partners that qualify for these perks include FedEx, Hertz, HP and 1-800 Flowers.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the Ink Preferred is a traditional credit card, meaning it has a set limit for how much you can spend, while the Business Gold Rewards Card is a charge card. With a charge card, there’s not a preset spending limit, meaning you have the ability to charge large purchases — especially convenient for businesses that may be spending a ton each month. Keep in mind that with charge cards, you can’t carry a balance each month as you can with credit cards; you have to pay off your entire balance each cycle or you’ll be hit with huge fees.

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

The Ink Preferred comes with a $95 annual fee, while the Amex Biz Gold charges $175 a year, although Amex waives the annual fee for the first year of cardmembership. There aren’t any travel credits that some other cards offer to offset the annual fee, so you’ll be paying full price.

If you’re running a small business, it’s likely that you have a few employees that you’ll need to make authorized users on your account. The Ink Preferred allows you to receive employee cards at no extra cost — but with the Business Gold you’ll have to pay $50 a year for the first employee card (that fee is also waived the first year), and every other authorized user added after that is free. So if you have at least one employee, with the Biz Gold you’ll be looking at $225 in fees, whereas with the Ink Business Preferred you’ll be paying only $95.

If you get employee cards, you’ll probably want to keep tabs on what spending they’re charging to these cards. With both the Ink Business Preferred and Business Gold Rewards, you can set spending limits for each employee card. The Business Gold lets you go one step further, though; you can request alerts via text or email for each time employees make a purchase.

Which One Should You Choose?

In general, I think the Ink Business Preferred is clearly the winner.  But in my situation, and for many other small business owners, I actually use both. Since I spend a lot on social media advertising, I max out that bonus category pretty quickly on the Ink Preferred, and that’s where the Amex Business Gold Rewards comes in since I can max the category out again on that card. Or you can choose to earn the 3x points on a category that might not be covered by the Ink, like gas. These cards can really work in tandem with each other.

But if I could only have one, I’d choose the Ink Business Preferred for the higher spending cap, the lower annual fee and no extra charges for employee cards, not to mention the more valuable Ultimate Rewards points. But if your business is thriving, having both of these may be a no-brainer.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

This card earns a respectable 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. That’s a potentially huge earner for small-business owners, making this card a nice option if you're looking for a business credit card.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 22.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.