Chase’s newest cash-back business card: Ink Business Premier card review
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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that cardholders did not earn Ultimate Rewards points. While the card earns points that are primarily designed as cash-back rewards, the cardholder is able to redeem for travel, gift cards, and more through Ultimate Rewards.
Chase Ink Business Premier credit card overview
Chase’s latest Ink card is geared toward business owners who want to earn cash back rewards on their day-to-day purchases. The earning rates are solid, but the $195 annual fee is high for what you get out of this card since you won’t be able to transfer your points to Chase’s travel partners for maximum value. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐
* Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Chase has long been offering “cash-back” credit cards that actually earn Ultimate Rewards points. That meant if you had another Chase card that earned transferable Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you could combine your rewards and then transfer your points to the program’s various airline and hotel partners, giving you more flexibility in how you could redeem the rewards you earned.
However, the issuer’s newest business card, the Chase Ink Business Premier Credit Card, is a different story.
While it earns Ultimate Rewards points, these points are intended primarily for cash-back and redemptions for things like gift cards and travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal at a rate of 1 cent apiece. Unlike some other Chase cards that earn cash-back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, you won’t be able to transfer the points you earn with the Ink Business Premier into your other Chase accounts, and thus these will never be convertible into fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points.
That’s likely to limit its appeal for a lot of travelers, despite a sizable sign-up bonus and strong earning rates. That said, this card might be worth considering for some businesses looking to save money on large expenses.
Here’s what you need to know about the Chase Ink Business Premier and its benefits.
The information for the Ink Business Premier card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed by the card issuer.
Who is the Ink Business Premier for?
Starting out, the Ink Business Premier will only be available to Chase for Business customers who have an existing business relationship manager. While a broader launch is planned for early 2022, only existing customers will have first access to Chase’s newest business product.
This card is unique from others in the Chase Ink business card lineup in a few different ways.
For one, it’s Chase’s first pay-in-full card (though there will be flexible payment options for large expenses, similar to how Amex offers Pay Over Time).
As mentioned above, the points earned are strictly worth 1 cent each and are redeemable for gift cards, cash back, travel and more through the Ultimate Rewards portal. However, you will not be able to transfer your points to Chase’s loyalty partners, nor can you transfer your points out to other Chase cards. While you can transfer points earned from other cards into your Ink Business Premier rewards account, know that your redemption options will be limited to the aforementioned options.
That means if you’re a small-business owner hoping to earn points to put toward award travel, this probably isn’t the right card for you. However, it could be a decent option for business owners who want to save on their day-to-day expenses by earning cash back rewards.
Ink Business Premier sign-up bonus
New cardholders can earn $1,000 cash back (in the form of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That easily offsets the cost of the $195 annual fee for your first year, and it’s a decent welcome offer compared to similar card options.
However, there are plenty of travel rewards credit cards out there offering sign-up bonuses of higher value — both for business and personal use. And while this is a large bonus for a business cash-back card, most cash-back business cards come with lower annual fees.
Main benefits and perks of the Ink Business Premier
Aside from certain protections, this card lacks travel-specific perks. However, it does have a few features that should benefit business owners:
- Flex for Business — Rather than charge a standard annual percentage rate like other Chase credit cards, the Ink Business Premier will operate similar to how some of Amex’s top-tier rewards cards function. You’ll have to pay your balance in full each month, but there will be a payment plan option for business owners to pay for eligible purchases over time with interest.
- Employee cards — Similar to other Ink credit cards, employee cards won’t cost the primary cardholder any additional fees.
- Cellphone protection — Coverage will extend up to $1,000 per claim for up to three claims per year with a $100 deductible per claim.
Considering you can get (more limited but still valuable) cellphone protection and additional benefits with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card at a much lower $95 annual fee, the benefits offerings on this card aren’t especially exciting compared to the competition.
If you’re a business owner just looking for cash back on purchases, benefits may not matter as much to you. But for that higher $195 annual fee, we’d like to see a few more value-added perks.
How to earn rewards with the Ink Business Premier
Let’s be clear: The Ink Business Premier does not earn transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Instead, it accrues an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, unlimited 2.5% back on large purchases of $5,000 or more and unlimited 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Unlimited 2% cash back on purchases isn’t incredibly lucrative, but it is a solid return considering you don’t have to worry about bonus categories or caps. Regardless of your business’s spending habits, you know you’re earning a decent return on your purchases.
Plus, 2.5% cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more is a nice perk for businesses that tend to have larger expenses, while that 5% category is great for businesses that can make a lot of travel bookings via Chase.
How to redeem rewards on the Ink Business Premier
Through the Ultimate Rewards portal, cardholders of the Ink Business Premier can redeem their points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more. Your points are worth 1 cent each toward any of these redemption options.
The major downside to this card is the already mentioned lack of transferable points opportunities, which Chase has made inaccessible with the new Ink Business Premier card.
For instance, Chase’s other “cash-back” credit cards — even the ones without annual fees such as the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card or Chase Freedom Flex — allow you to combine your rewards from them with those from your accounts linked to higher-tier cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
When you do so, your combined points become fully transferable to the Ultimate Rewards program’s many airline and hotel partners, such as United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards and World of Hyatt. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you can maximize the value of your rewards points further.
By contrast, you cannot transfer points earned with your Ink Business Premier into your Ultimate Rewards account linked to another Chase card — you can only transfer points from other Chase accounts into your Ink Business Premier rewards account, where they will be worth that simple rate of 1 cent apiece.
For some context, if you had the Ink Business Preferred instead, you could combine points from a “cash-back” Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Freedom Flex with those from your Ink Business Preferred. Then your points would become transferable to the Ultimate Rewards program’s partners, but they would also go up in value to 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed specifically toward travel booked through the Chase portal. Compare that to the 1 cent apiece you’d get with the Ink Business Premier, and the latter looks a lot less attractive.
Which cards compete with the Ink Business Premier?
Overall, given what we know Chase is capable of, the new Ink Business Premier feels pretty lackluster. Unless you’re a high-spending business owner who doesn’t care about travel rewards, there are other options out there that may fit your needs better.
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from Chase offers a fantastic sign-up bonus of its own (100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months), solid earning rates of 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 of combined spending in various bonus categories that include travel and internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, and it earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can also redeem points from it directly through the Chase travel portal at an elevated 1.25 cents apiece.
If you’re looking for a strong business credit card and are interested in earning Chase points specifically for travel, this $95-annual-fee credit card could be a good bet.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
If you’re on the hunt for a business card that earns you a fixed rate of return on every purchase, Amex’s Blue Business Plus may be a better option. You’ll earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent each year. The welcome bonus isn’t stellar (just 15,000 points after $3,000 spent on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership), but there isn’t an annual fee (see rates and fees).
This card is great for side hustlers and freelancers who may not have a huge budget and want to maximize everyday purchases to cover future travel.
Capital One Spark Cash Plus
For business owners just looking for a simple cash-back credit card, Capital One does offer the Spark Cash Plus. It’s similar to the Ink Business Premier in a lot of ways: It’s a charge card without a preset spending limit, it comes with an up to $3,000 cash bonus ($500 once you spend $5,000 in the first three months, and $2,500 once you spend $50,000 in the first six months of account opening) and you’ll earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.
The Spark Cash Plus also earns an annual $200 cash bonus if you spend $200,000 or more in a year. The annual fee is slightly lower than the Ink Business Premier at $150 per year.
For business owners who have a high yearly budget but not many individual purchases over $5,000, this could be a better option.
The new Ink Business Premier Credit Card doesn’t quite hold up to the competition. Or at a minimum, it doesn’t set itself apart. Some business owners who have high expenses and who make large purchases regularly should be able to get solid value out of the card.
However, the lack of redemption flexibility for award travel, the limited benefits and a comparatively high annual fee are all likely to be strikes against it for many small-business owners.
If you own a small business or run a side hustle and want to earn travel rewards on your expenses, you’ll want to look elsewhere to meet your business credit card needs.
For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Plus card, click here.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
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