Practicality or luxury: Chase Ink Preferred vs. Amex Business Platinum

Apr 30, 2021

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1.5x points on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more; on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


Though the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are both TPG favorites for small businesses, they are two very different cards. For all intents and purposes, the Amex Business Platinum is more of a membership card for business travelers who can take advantage of its perks and benefits. The Ink Business Preferred, on the other hand, is geared toward those looking to maximize earning on a wider range of business expenses.

While there is certainly value in considering adding both to your wallet if you can endure the annual fees and use each card effectively, you should prioritize applying for the one that is better suited for your specific spending habits and preferences.

Let’s take a look at the details and benefits of each to see which you should add to your wallet.

In This Post

Sign-up bonus/Welcome offer

Chase Ink Business Preferred Amex Business Platinum
Sign-up bonus/Welcome offer 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points 120,000 Membership Rewards points
Spend requirement $15,000 on eligible purchases the first three months of account opening

$15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership.

Bonus value (based on TPG’s valuations) $2,000 $2,400

 

Both rewards currencies are worth 2 cents each according to TPG valuations and currently have the same spend requirement ($15,000 in the first three months). Both offers are worth the same

Winner: Tie

Bonus categories

Ink Business Preferred Amex Business Platinum
Rewards structure Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on:
  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Earn 1x Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases

  • Earn 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotel stays and airfare booked through American Express Travel (including Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts)
  • Earn 1.5x points on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more; on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 1x Membership Rewards points on all other purchases
Earning cap Earn bonus rewards on up to $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year; 1x on all other purchases No cap on 5x bonus, but can only earn up to $2 million with the 1.5x bonus category annually

 

While the Amex Business Platinum has a higher multiplier, the Ink Business Preferred has a much more attractive rewards structure for business expenses. Amex Platinum only earns 5x on travel booked through Amex, so it’s not the card to use for the vast majority of your spending. In contrast, the Ink Business Preferred offers a slightly lower 3x on a wider range of categories — including travel. Plus, Chase defines travel broadly, including direct purchases with airlines and hotels, trips booked through the Ultimate Rewards program, ride-hailing services and more.

delta a220 business travel laptop tray table
Business travelers can earn 5x on prepaid hotels stays and airfare booked through amextravel.com (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

My only real complaint with the Ink Business Preferred‘s rewards structure is that it caps out at $150,000 in spend each year. It’s not the only card with a spending cap on rewards (it’s actually pretty common for small business cards), but it does limit the earning potential for large-budget businesses. If you spend more than $12,500 a month across all four categories, you’ll end up capping out your bonus at 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points each year. While $150,000 a year may seem like a high cap, keep in mind that online advertising is a bonus category. If your company uses paid search or advertises on Facebook or Instagram, it’s very feasible that you would be able to hit $150,000 in bonus category spend a year.

While the Amex categories are very limited, if you’re spending $90,000 or more on hotels and airfare each year (or $7,500 a month) for your business, you’ll end up out-earning the Ink Business Preferred‘s bonus category potential.

Winner: For the vast majority of business owners, the Ink Business Preferred offers a better rewards structure for expenses.

Redeeming points

Ink Business Preferred Amex Business Platinum
Redemptions through rewards portal 1.25 cents Up to 1.5 cents (when you redeem for first class or business flights with any airline or economy with your selected airline)
TPG Value of Points 2 cents 2 cents
Number of transfer partners 13 21

Both of these cards are part of valuable rewards programs that offer a lot of redemption flexibility. Both offer an incentive for booking award travel through their portals and both have a solid list of transfer partners. However, I would say that you can get more value out of the Amex Membership Rewards program because of two primary features: a superior transfer partner program and a Pay with Points rebate.

Chase and Amex each have a solid list of transfer partners that include both airlines and hotels, but Amex soars above with 21 partners to choose from, including Delta, Emirates, Hilton and Marriott. Amex also frequently runs transfer bonus promotions. Chase, in comparison, has only 13 transfer partners and seldom offers transfer bonuses. Of course, if Chase offers certain partners that are more attractive to you personally — say you are a loyal United flyer rather than a Delta fan — that may be a reason to put Chase’s program over Amex. However, objectively speaking, Amex has a more beneficial program for most users.

You can get a lot of value by redeeming your Amex points for Singapore Airlines premium class flights (Photo by The Points Guy)

Another reason I rank Amex’s Membership Rewards program above Chase when looking at these two cards specifically is because of the Amex Business Platinum Pay with Points rebate. When you redeem Membership Rewards points for travel through American Express Travel Pay with Points, you’ll get a 35% rebate on first- and business-class flights on any airline and economy-class flights on your selected airline (up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year). This means points are worth around 1.54 cents when you book award flights through amextravel.com. You can also get more value out of these points if you are strategic in your transfer partner redemptions, but 1.54 cents is a great value for portal redemptions. In contrast, Ink Business Preferred points are only worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Even if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points are only worth 1.5 cents through the Chase portal.

If you hold the Amex Business Platinum, you’re getting better value on redemptions almost every time.

Winner: The Amex Business Platinum can’t be beaten with its transfer partner program and Pay with Points rebate.

Valuable benefits

Ink Business Preferred Amex Business Platinum
Statement credits
  • N/A
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100)
  • Up to $400 annual U.S. Dell statement credit for eligible purchases
    • Enrollment required for select benefits.
Purchase and travel protections
  • Purchase protection
  • Trip delay and cancellation insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Lost baggage insurance
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Premium roadside assistance
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Extended warranty
  • Travel accident insurance
    • Enrollment required for select benefits.
Lounge access
  • N/A
  • Centurion Lounges
  • Priority Pass Select access
  • Delta SkyClub (when flying Delta)
  • Airspace lounges
  • Escape lounges
  • Amex International Lounges
    • Enrollment required for select benefits.
Business tools
  • Expense tracker
  • Account manager access
  • Bookkeeping integration
  • Fraud alerts
  • No-cost employee cards
  • Quickbooks integration
  • American Express® Business App
    • Enrollment required for select benefits.
Other benefits
  • Cell phone protection
  • Gold elite status with Marriott and Hilton
  • Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts access
  • Cell phone protection
    • Enrollment required for select benefits.
Foreign transaction fees None None (see rates & fees)
Annual fee $95 $595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022) (see rates & fees)

Both the personal and business versions of the Amex Platinum have arguably the best perks of any travel card on the market. Between access to thousands of lounges all over the world, elite status with two top hotel brands and business tools to help you manage your business expenses come tax season, the Amex Business Platinum is an excellent value-add to any business traveler’s wallet.

(Photo courtesy of WeWork)

One thing that the Ink Business Preferred offers is primary rental car insurance coverage. Meanwhile, the Amex Business Platinum only offers secondary coverage. This means you have to file a claim with your primary insurance provider before Amex covers any other costs. While this perk isn’t necessary if you rarely drive rental cars, domestic business travelers who rent frequently should consider choosing the card with superior rental car coverage.

At the end of the day, the Amex Business Platinum takes the cake when it comes to valuable benefits — especially if you’re traveling a lot throughout the year for work. While the annual fee is significantly higher, utilizing most of the Amex benefits will easily offset that cost. If you maximize the annual airline fee credit and Dell statement credit, your out-of-pocket cost for the card is already only $195 each year. Spending $3,900 each year through Amex Travel would accrue enough points to make up for the rest of the annual fee.

Winner: The Amex Business Platinum is hard to beat when it comes to travel perks and benefits.

Bottom line: Which card is right for you?

These are two very different business cards that serve two different purposes. The Ink Business Preferred is great for business owners who want to earn many transferrable points on their regular expenses. The Amex Business Platinum is built for frequent business travelers who want to upgrade their experiences while away from home on business. If you’re only taking a few business trips a year, you’ll get more value out of the Ink Business Preferred’s rewards structure and lower annual fee. Business owners, freelancers and consultants who are constantly traveling can really take advantage of the awesome perks offered on the Amex Business Platinum.

If you are traveling a lot for business and also want to maximize spending on other categories, I would honestly consider adding both to your wallet over time. They don’t overlap in rewards or structure enough to necessitate choosing one over the other, and the Ink Business Preferred has a pretty low annual fee.

Keep in mind that the Ink Business Preferred counts towards Chase’s infamous 5/24 rule even though it’s a business credit card. That means you most likely won’t be approved if you’ve applied for five cards within the past 24 months across all issuers. Also, remember that Amex only allows you to earn one welcome offer per card per lifetime. If you’ve ever earned the bonus for the Amex Business Platinum, you won’t be eligible to earn the offer this time around.

TPG readers who want to add both cards to their wallet have a serious decision to make on which to get first. I’d say to get the Chase card first because of the Chase 5/24 rule. Anyone close to hitting 5/24 should prioritize Chase applications before other issuers.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, please click here.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.