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I’ve always been a big fan of the Chase Ink business cards. It’s great that they offer Ultimate Rewards points that I can combine with my personal cards, such as the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Freedom and Freedom Unlimited. And I especially love the chance to earn 3x or even 5x points on some of my most common business purchases. In late 2016, Chase introduced the latest Ink card, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which replaced the Ink Plus Business Card as its top-of-the-line Ink card.
In today’s post, I want to look at the benefits offered by the Ink Business Preferred Card and compare the card to the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, since these are now the only two cards in the Ink lineup accepting applications.
Sign-up bonus: $500 cash back when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening.
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Rewards can be redeemed for 1 cent apiece as cash back, gift cards, travel reservations and merchandise. You can also combine your rewards with another credit card account you have, or one held by your spouse or domestic partner. For example, you could transfer rewards to a Chase Ink Plus, Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve account to redeem them as Ultimate Rewards points, which could then be transferred to 13 travel partners, including British Airways, Hyatt and Singapore Airlines.
Benefits: Despite being Chase’s entry-level business card with no annual fee, the Ink Cash offers a respectable selection of travel insurance and purchase protection benefits. These include:
- Primary rental car insurance: This is worldwide coverage that is primary. This means that it will cover you first, before filing a claim with your personal insurance.
- Purchase protection: Your purchases are covered against damage and theft for 120 days, for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year.
- Extended warranty: One additional year added to warranties of three years or less.
- Lost luggage: Coverage up to $3,000 per person, with a separate limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders and other electronic equipment.
- Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 in coverage per insured person.
- Roadside dispatch: This service will dispatch assistance, but you’ll be responsible for paying for any services received.
Sign-up bonus: 80,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Annual fee: $95
Rewards: Earn 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
Benefits: This card offers all of the same travel insurance and purchase protections as the Ink Cash, along with one other important perk not found on any other Chase card:
- Cellular telephone protection: This coverage is unique to this Chase card and offers up to $600 per claim with a $100 deductible and a limit of three claims per 12-month period. Coverage is only valid when you pay your service bill with the card.
How does the Ink Cash Compare to the Ink Preferred?
In the past, there was little reason to have both the Ink Cash and the Ink Plus, since the Ink Plus offered nearly all of the rewards and benefits of the Ink Cash, along with some added perks like trip cancellation insurance. But with the introduction of the Ink Business Preferred and the unavailability of the Ink Plus to new applicants, business credit card users can only choose between two different Chase Ink cards.
The Ink Business Cash is now the only Chase business card available to new applicants that offers 5x points at office supply stores and on telecommunications services, albeit with a limit of $25,000 in eligible spending per cardmember year. Meanwhile, the Ink Business Preferred card offers rewards and benefits that complement the Ink Cash. These include the ability to earn 3x points on travel and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines — and Chase has a broad definition of travel purchases.
|Ink Cash||Ink Business Preferred|
|Sign-Up Bonus||$500 back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months||80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months|
|Bonus Categories||5%/5x on the first $25k in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year; 2%/2x on the first $25k spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; 1%/1x on everything else||3x points on the first $150k spent in combined purchases on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each calendar year|
|Auto Rental Insurance||Primary||Primary|
|Purchase Protection||Up to 120 days, $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account||Up to 120 days, $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account|
|Extended Warranty||1 additional year||1 additional year|
|Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance||N/A||Up to $5,000 per covered trip|
|Price Protection||N/A||Up to 90 days, $500 per item and $2,500 per year|
|Return Protection||N/A||Up to 90 days, $500 per item and $1,000 per year|
|Lost Luggage Reimbursement||$3,000 per person||$3,000 per person|
|Trip Delay||None||Minimum 12-hour delay or overnight stay, $500 max per ticket|
|Baggage Delay||Minimum 6-hour delay, $100 max per day for 3 days||Minimum 6-hour delay, $100 max per day for 5 days|
|Travel Accident Insurance||Up to $500,000||Up to $500,000|
|Cellular Telephone Protection||N/A||Up to $600 per claim, $100 deductible|
The Ink Preferred offers one new, valuable benefit: cellular telephone protection policy, which can replace the costly policies you might be purchasing from your mobile phone service provider (some Wells Fargo cards have a similar benefit). Competing add-on plans offered by service providers and third parties typically cost $75 – $150 per year.
If you were paying $1,200 a year for mobile phone service, you’d be sacrificing 2,400 points by earning just 3x with an Ink Business Preferred Card, versus 5x points with an Ink Cash or Ink Plus. Using TPG’s 2.1-cent valuation of Ultimate Rewards points, you would miss out on about $50 worth of rewards when you use the Ink Preferred in order to receive cellular telephone coverage potentially worth 2-3 times as much — a fair tradeoff in many award travelers’ books.
If you don’t have an Ink Plus Business Card and you make significant purchases in the office supply and telecommunications categories, then you should strongly consider applying for the Ink Business Cash Card. However, if you already hold an Ink Cash or Ink Plus card, the Ink Preferred is still worth considering for three reasons:
- The ability to earn 3x on travel and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
- The cellular phone protection benefit, which could easily be worth the $95 annual fee.
- The 80,000-point sign-up bonus, worth $1,680 based on TPG’s valuations.
The Ink Business Preferred Card is a great card for earning travel rewards, but it’s unfortunate that the Ink Plus is no longer open to new applicants. However, business credit card users can now enjoy two complementary products: the Ink Cash and the Ink Business Preferred.
Increased Offer - $500 Cash Back Bonus! Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services, plus 2% back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each calendar year. Plus, you’ll earn an uncapped 1% cash back on everything else.
- Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Named "Best Rewards Card for Small Business Owners" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2017
- Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
- Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
- Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
- 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- No Annual Fee