Purchases that qualify for 3x points with the Ink Business Preferred

Mar 25, 2020

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The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a popular card for small-business owners because it earns transferable Ultimate Rewards points in multiple common business spending categories. The Ink Preferred is currently offering an elevated 100,000-point sign-up bonus that will be useful for future travel once coronavirus concerns have subsided.

So, let’s take a closer look at the types of purchases that earn bonus points on the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card as well as the details of the elevated sign-up bonus.

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Bonus categories

With the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you’ll earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 you spend each account anniversary year in the following categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines

If you spend $150,000 in these categories during an account anniversary year, you earn 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points on your purchases. Based on TPG’s valuation of Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, these points would be worth a whopping $9,000.

Even if you only value Ultimate Rewards points at the 1.25 cents of value you can get from the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (1.5 cents if you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve), these points would still be worth $5,625 in travel — giving you a minimum return of 3.75% on your purchases.

Related reading: How to choose the right credit card for your business expenses

Qualifying merchants

You may be wondering exactly which merchants are covered by the Ink Business Preferred’s 3x bonus categories. Luckily, Chase provides more guidance on its website. Here are the definitions:


Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

Merchants that provide transportation and travel-related services are not included in this category; for example, real estate agents, educational merchants arranging travel, in-flight goods and services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, excursions, tourist attractions, boat rentals, merchants within hotels and airports, and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling. The purchasing of gift cards, points or miles do not qualify in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in the travel category.

Shipping purchases

Merchants in the shipping category specialize in mailing packages, hauling freight, and transporting goods or documents. Shipping merchants include couriers, postal and freight shipping companies, express shipping services and mailbox stores.

Merchants who sell a wide variety of general goods but also ship items, including office supply stores that also mail packages will not be included in this category. The additional cost to ship something you buy, or using a third party (such as Amazon) for bulk warehousing and shipping will not qualify. Merchants that primarily sell boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap or other shipping supplies are also not included in this category.

Internet, cable and phone services

Only purchases for internet, cable, satellite television and radio, cellular, wireless data, and landline services will qualify.

Purchases of equipment are not included. If you purchase or pay for your internet, cable and satellite television, phone or related services in a merchant’s store that is not classified by the merchant in the applicable services category, the purchase or payment will not qualify; for example, phone bill payments in a merchant’s store that is classified as a telephone equipment store.

Advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines

Merchants in the social media and search engine advertising category include social media websites (such as Facebook and Twitter) and online search engines (such as Google AdWords and Microsoft Bing Ads) that advertise a business, brand, products or services.

Advertising purchases that are not made directly from a social media website or online search engine merchant may not qualify; for example, advertising purchases made through a third party such as an ad agency or web designer offering related services. Also, purchases from social media websites or online search engines that are not for advertising will not qualify; for example, subscription or app purchases.

Related reading: One year of earning and burning with the Ink Business Preferred Card

Sign-up bonus

Currently, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months. These 100,000 points are worth $2,000, according to TPG’s valuations, if you transfer them to airline and hotel transfer partners.

There are 10 airline and three hotel Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, so you can snag many sweet spots when you utilize this redemption option. One valuable transfer partner is The World of Hyatt program for redemptions at low-category or high-category properties. Another popular option is to transfer to Iberia to redeem for distance-based, nonstop flights between the U.S. and Madrid. Finally, United Mileage Plus is a solid transfer choice for many U.S.-based travelers, even with last year’s removal of fixed-award charts.

Even if you plan to use your points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at 1.25 cents per point of value (1.5 cents if you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve), the sign-up bonus would still be worth $1,250 in travel.

Related reading: Why do Chase and TPG list different values for Ultimate Rewards points?

Bottom line

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card opens the door to accelerated earning in the Chase Ultimate Rewards landscape with just a $95 annual fee. Now that you understand the 3x earning categories better, you can use the Ink Business Preferred alone or add other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards like the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card to the mix to further maximize the points you earn.

Apply here for the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Related guides

Featured image by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.