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Frequently Asked Questions About the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

July 25, 2018
12 min read
Frequently Asked Questions About the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
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Now that Chase has three — count 'em, three — Ink-branded small business credit cards, it might be getting difficult to distinguish one from the other. We're here today to answer some of the top questions about what is (for now, anyway) the premium business rewards credit card in the issuer's portfolio.

Launched in fall 2016, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card both complements and exceeds the other small business cards Chase offers.

Below, you'll find answers to some of the most common questions asked about this card, including how it impacts Chase's 5/24 rule and whether one business owner can apply for multiple cards. Of course, this isn't meant to cover every question, so we'll do our best to answer your burning queries you ask in the comments below.

Q: Does Chase pull credit reports from when you apply for a business credit card?

A: As with most card issuers, Chase may do a hard pull on your personal credit when you apply. But the issuer does not report subsequent credit activity to consumer bureaus unless you are delinquent. It does report payment history to business credit bureaus.

Q: Does the Ink Business Preferred fall under Chase's 5/24 rule?

A: Yes. If you've opened five or more credit card accounts anywhere — that's including non-Chase accounts — in the past two years, you'll probably be declined regardless of how creditworthy you are. You'll need to have four or fewer cards in the last two years to qualify.

You could also be declined based on your credit score, income or debt levels, to name a few. For this and other Chase small business cards, you may also be asked to provide documentation to prove you have a legitimate business or sole proprietorship.

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Q: Will this card count toward my 5/24 score?

A: No. If you are approved for a Chase business card, it will not add to your 5/24 standing. In fact, small business cards from many issuers will not count toward 5/24, with the exception of those issued by Capital One, Discover and TD Bank.

Q: How much is sign-up bonus on this card?

A: Chase is offering 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. This is currently the largest sign-up bonus offer among UR cards. It's valued at $2,000, according to TPG's latest valuations — good enough to score you a round-trip business class fare on some airlines.

Q: What is this card's rewards structure?

A: Earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year spent in these categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping
  • Internet, cable and phone
  • Advertising on search engines and social media sites

All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.

Q: What does Chase consider a shipping purchase?

A: Chase says purchases made from businesses that "specialize in mailing packages, hauling freight, and transporting goods or documents" would receive 3x points. Such businesses "include couriers, postal and freight shipping companies, express shipping services and mailbox stores." Purchases from stores that offer shipping services even if that's not their primary business, like an office supply store, will not receive bonus points. The additional cost to ship something from a business like Amazon won't count, nor will purchases from businesses "that primarily sell boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap or other shipping supplies."

Q: What does Chase consider a purchase of internet, cable or phone services?

A: Paying your bill for internet, cable, satellite television, radio, cellular, wireless data, and landline services will qualify. Purchasing equipment for those services — like a new smartphone — will not count.

Q: What does Chase consider social media and and search engine advertising?

A: Qualifying purchases must be made directly with social media websites like Facebook and twitter or online search engines like Google AdWords and Microsoft Bing Ads. Subscription or app purchases — or any other social media or search engine purchases that are not for advertising — will not count.

Q: What does Chase consider a travel purchase?

The first moments of flight for an American 737
The first moments of flight for an American 737

A: Chase is pretty liberal with what qualifies for a 3x bonus reward on travel purchases. Purchases from the following types of merchants will count:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Timeshares
  • Car rental agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agencies
  • Discount travel sites
  • Campgrounds
  • Passenger trains
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Limousines
  • Ferries
  • Toll bridges and highways
  • Parking lots and garages

Some travel-related or travel-adjacent purchases won't count for the bonus points including "educational merchants arranging travel, in-flight goods and services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, excursions, tourist attractions, merchants within hotels and airports, and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling," Chase says.

Q: How much are points worth?

A: Points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel on the Chase travel portal (unless you also own the Chase Sapphire Reserve; then points are worth 1.5 cents apiece). When you redeem points through one of Chase's 13 travel partners, your redemption value can increase significantly. TPG pegs the value of Ultimate Rewards points at 2.1 cents each.

Q: Who are the travel partners?

A: Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to nine different airline partners and four hotel partners:

Points transfer to all partners at a 1:1 ratio, and most transactions are instant.

Q: How much is the annual fee?

A: $95. Unlike some other credit cards, Ink Business Preferred does not waive the fee during the first year of card membership.

Q: Is the annual fee worth it?

A: It depends on your business' spending habits. Jump these first few hurdles and your answer is yes. You'll earn the welcome bonus if you can spend an average of $1,667 per month for the first three months. That alone could justify the annual fee, but let's take it one step further.

Let's compare Business Preferred to another business card that charges no annual fee (See Rates & Fees) and offers a solid return on everyday spending (2x points up to $50,000; then 1x): the Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express.

For every dollar you spend on travel, shipping, internet or advertising, you’d earn an extra 2.5 cents with the Business Preferred when compared to Blue Business (Amex's Membership Rewards points are valued at 1.9 cents each vs. 2.1 cents for Ultimate Rewards points). If you spend enough in these categories, these extra earnings could wind up covering the $95 annual fee. Here's the calculation to find that "break-even" amount:

$95 / $0.025 = $3,800

If your business spends more than $3,800 annually, it's worth it to choose Business Preferred over Blue Business Plus. What's more, the Amex card doesn't offer a sign-up bonus.

Q: Does this card charge a foreign transaction fee?

A: No.

Q: If you have two separate businesses, can you sign up for a second Chase Ink Business Preferred and earn another sign up bonus? Do you need to have separate EINs?

A: If you have separate tax IDs, it has been reported you can earn multiple sign-up bonuses on Business Preferred.

Q: Can I apply for the Ink Business Preferred and the Ink Business Cash Credit Card?

A: Yes, although Chase has been known to deny applications from users who appear to "churn" cards. What's worse, some users have reported that applying for too many Chase cards too quickly can lead Chase to shut down all of your accounts, regardless of your 5/24 status. One general recommendation: If you're below 5/24, you can apply for one new account every three to four months.

One more thing: While there doesn't appear to be a formal restriction on the number of Chase-issued cards you can earn, the bank will often restrict how much total credit is extended to you across all your Chase cards.

Q: What are the authorized user benefits?

A: Employee cards are free. Employees will be able to use their card in the same manner as you "unless individual spending limits are established for them," according to Chase. You can set and change individual spending limits online.

Q: Does Chase separate bill separate charges by user?

A: No.

Q: How does cell phone protection work?

A: This is one of the most unique benefits Ink Business Preferred offers. You and your employees named on your phone bill are covered for up to $600 in theft or damages per claim, provided the number is listed on your monthly bill and you pay your bill with your card. You are limited to three claims/$1,800 worth of benefits per 12-month period, with a $100 deductible per claim.

Q: Does Ink Business Preferred offer primary rental car coverage?

A: Yes, like with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you get primary rental car coverage with Reserve. If you decline the rental agency’s insurance, you’ll be eligible to receive up to $75,000 in reimbursement for theft and collision damage when you charge the entire rental cost to your card. If you’re renting from a smaller agency, be sure to confirm eligibility with the benefit provider (by calling the number on the back of your card) before driving away from the lot.

Q: How does the trip cancelation, delay benefit work? How is this different than travel accident insurance?

A: If your trip is canceled due to a covered condition, you can be compensated up to $5,000 for pre-paid expenses such as airfare or hotels. For a delay of 12 hours or more, you can be reimbursed up to $500 for your hotel room, meals and transportation (documentation from the airline is required to verify the flight delay). In both cases, you'll need to pay with your card and keep receipts.

In the card's Guide to Benefits, Chase explains what constitutes a "covered trip" and how reimbursement for both charges made to the card and Ultimate Rewards redemptions would work. First, a covered trip is "any pre-paid tour, trip or vacation when some portion of the cost for such travel arrangements less any redeemable frequent flyer miles, points, coupons or certificates, or other types of redeemable rewards has been charged to your account." In other words, you can't claim the trip cancellation benefit if you didn't use your Business Preferred card to book the travel. Reimbursement is good for up to $5,000 per covered person per trip. Any portion of the trip you pay with the card would be covered here.

As for reimbursing redeemed points, Chase says it will "reimburse the insured person for rewards used. The company’s reimbursement shall equal the monetary value of the redemption through the common carrier, tour operator, travel agency, or travel supplier up to the benefit amount. If the monetary value of the redemption does not appear on the insured person’s itinerary or redemption confirmation...the company will reimburse the insured person ($.01) per point redeemed up to the insured person’s benefit amount."

With travel accident insurance, you and your traveling companions are covered up to $500,000 for accidental death or dismemberment on a common carrier.

Q: How does primary car rental insurance work?

A: This is another benefit offered on Business Preferred that isn't necessarily common to other cards, which typically offer coverage only after your personal auto insurance policy coverage is exhausted. Primary coverage means your card covers you for physical damage and theft, towing and loss of use charges up to the full value of the vehicle, and you don't need to file a claim with your personal insurance company. Liability (damage to other persons or vehicles) is not covered. Rentals must be for business purposes within the US, although personal rentals are covered for international trips.

Q: What does baggage insurance cover?

A: When traveling on a common carrier and charging your fare to the card, each traveler is covered up to $3,000 for the loss of either checked or carry-on baggage, including $500 for items such as jewelry, watches, cameras and electronic equipment. In addition, you’re covered up to $500 for the purchase of essential items if your baggage is delayed for more than six hours.

Q: What does purchase protection cover?

A: If you buy an item that is stolen or damaged, you're covered up to $10,000 per claim with a limit of $50,000 per account. Items not covered include animals and living plants; boats, cars and other motorized vehicles; items purchased for resale; medical equipment; perishable and cosmetics; computer software, and items under the control of a common carrier (such as checked baggage, which is covered elsewhere).

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Card, please click here.

Featured image by (Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

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