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Who should (and who shouldn't) get the Chase Ink Business Premier?

Dec. 16, 2021
9 min read
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Businesses come in all shapes and sizes — so whether you're an owner of a fine dining restaurant, a nimble startup or an online consulting agency, there are plenty of opportunities to maximize your daily operating expenses with a small-business credit card.

Chase's suite of business credit cards has served the many needs of business owners. For the past few years, the three main options to choose from have been the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Now, the issuer has introduced a premium cash-back business card to its lineup, the Chase Ink Business Premier Credit Card.

With a $195 annual fee, the card is currently open only to those who have an existing business relationship with Chase. Online applications for a wider audience will open in early 2022. Given those circumstances, as well as the card's considerable welcome offer, this all begs the question of who should (and who shouldn't) apply for this new card.

In this guide, we'll look at the card's earning rates and ongoing benefits to determine who it might be the right fit for.

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Key benefits

(Photo by The Points Guy)

New applicants approved for the Ink Business Premier will receive a welcome bonus of $1,000 cash back (in the form of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening.

However, unlike the other Ink business credit cards, the Ink Business Premier is designed primarily as a business cash-back card. Therefore, the points you earn with it are not transferable to the Ultimate Rewards program's airline and hotel partners, such as United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards and World of Hyatt.

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And unfortunately, the points you earn with the Ink Business Premier cannot be transferred to other Ultimate Rewards accounts even if you have another Chase card, such as the Ink Business Preferred, the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can, however, transfer points from other Chase Ultimate Rewards accounts into the one linked to your Ink Business Premier card and redeem them from there. But there are a few reasons you might not want to do so, which we'll get into below.

Since the new Ink Business Premier is meant for businesses who want to focus on earning cash back (or redeeming for gift cards, travel and more through the Ultimate Rewards portal), let's take a look at the benefits it includes:

  • Earn 5% total cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 2.5% total cash back on purchases of $5,000 or greater and 2% cash back on all other eligible purchases. There's no limit to how much cash back you earn with these bonus categories.
  • The new Flex for Business feature that allows cardholders to pay for eligible purchases over time with interest, giving them access to greater payment flexibility.
  • Cellphone protection with up to $1,000 per claim, with a maximum of three claims per year and a $100 deductible per claim.
  • $195 annual fee.

With all that in mind, let's take a look at the folks whom this card might benefit the most.

Who should get the Ink Business Premier?

Many business owners face thousands of dollars of expenses — so maximize these purchases with a card like the Ink Business Premier. (Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images)

Existing Chase for Business customers

Although Chase just announced the launch of the Ink Business Premier Dec. 14, it will first be available exclusively for those who hold a Chase business checking or savings account. The Ink Business Premier will be broadly available in early 2022, but if you're a Chase for Business customer who's interested in applying, you can join the waitlist here.

Businesses with large operating expenses

As Chase's first premium business credit card, it's clear that the new Ink Business Premier is geared toward businesses that have thousands of dollars in operating expenses per year.

First, you'll need to spend $10,000 in the first three months to unlock the $1,000 cash-back bonus.

The $195 annual fee is another consideration. While not expensive, it is still $100 more than the Ink Business Preferred, so anyone who applies will want to make sure they can recoup the cost through their cash-back earning each year. That shouldn't be hard given this card's bonus categories.

Speaking of which, cardholders will earn a lucrative 2.5% back on purchases of $5,000 or more, making it clear this card is aimed at firms with substantial cash flow which typically make purchases in that range. It also brings the new Ink Business Premier into contention with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which earns 1.5 points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more and in select business categories (on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year, then 1x).

However, unlike with the Business Platinum, there's no limit to how much cash back you can earn on any of the bonus categories, so the Ink Business Premier's earning potential could be vast for big spenders.

Chase's Flex for Business payment feature is also designed for business owners who need greater flexibility to make large purchases and make a plan to pay them off over time.

Someone who already carries the Ink Business Cash Credit Card

The new Ink Business Premier pairs well with the no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash since the latter offers valuable bonus categories on business-centered purchases — but only up to a certain limit.

Ink Business Cash cardholders can earn 5% back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services, but only on up to the first $25,000 spent per account anniversary year.

You can then transfer all of your rewards earned from the Ink Business Cash over to the Ink Business Premier, but note that this will not work in reverse. Still, the flat-rate, unlimited 2% earning rate on the Ink Business Premier can be quite valuable to leverage if you've maxed out the spending limits on the Ink Business Cash and, of course, to earn points on those business purchases that fall outside of these bonus categories.

Who shouldn't get the Ink Business Premier?

Smaller businesses or those who are self-employed are better suited for other business cards. (Photo by DragonImages/Getty Images)

Small businesses or self-employed individuals

The new Ink Business Premier falls short for business owners who don't incur thousands of dollars of annual expenses. Fortunately, Chase's other business card options, such as the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card (both with no annual fee) or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card ($95 annual fee), are a much better fit. These cards offer excellent earning potential for a fraction (or none of) of the cost of the Ink Business Premier.

Someone who wants to double down on earning transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points

As mentioned above, the rewards earned on the new Ink Business Premier cannot transfer over to your other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards. This comes as a major disappointment for many since you can combine rewards earned on other Chase cash-back cards like the Ink Business Unlimited, Ink Business Cash, Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Chase Freedom Flex with those from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred and then transfer them to the Ultimate Rewards program's airline and hotel partners.

Regardless, you'll want to pass on applying for the new Ink Business Premier if you hope to unlock thousands of Ultimate Rewards points with this new card.

Even if you just want to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points directly for travel booked through Chase, the Ink Business Preferred might be a better choice. That's because, for these redemptions specifically, your points will be worth 1.25 cents apiece with the Ink Business Preferred, but only 1 cent apiece with the Ink Business Premier.

Related: Why doubling down on one rewards program may be better than diversifying

Someone who is over their 5/24 standing

While most business cards won't add to your Chase 5/24 count, you'll likely need to be under 5/24 to qualify for the new Ink Business Premier. Unfamiliar with this rule? Essentially, applicants will probably not qualify for a Chase-issued credit card (not just the Ink Business Premier) if they've opened five or more credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months. In any case, to maximize your odds of approval, you'll want to be under your 5/24 count.

Bottom line

It's been a long time coming for Chase to unveil a premium business credit card, though it's not exactly what we had imagined. The inability to transfer your rewards to your other Chase credit cards is rather limiting and won't help you earn more points if you were hoping to incorporate it into your Chase Trifecta cards.

Still, it's clear that Chase has developed this card to target those businesses that aren't interested in travel rewards and would rather earn cash back instead. With an up-to-2.5% earning rate on purchases and no limit to how much cash back you can accrue, the Ink Business Premier offers excellent earning potential — but only for the right business.

Featured image by THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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