How to meet minimum spending on the Ink Business Preferred
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The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has long been touted as one of the best business cards on the market. It has expansive bonus categories, a long list of travel and purchase protections and a reasonable $95 annual fee – and the card only gets more desirable after you factor in its six-figure welcome offer.
New applicants can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first three months from account opening. TPG estimates that Ultimate Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece, so this sign-up bonus presents $2,000 in value.
While this sign-up bonus is alluring, cardholders will need to meet that substantial spend threshold before they see those bonus points posted to their account. One of TPG’s 10 commandments for credit cards is to never miss out on a sign-up bonus, so you’ll want to strategize how you can meet the $15,000 spending minimum within the allotted time frame without stretching your finances.
Whether you’re a freelancer, self-employed or manage a physical storefront, we’ll go over the ways that can help ensure you’ll achieve the Ink Business Preferred’s sign-up bonus responsibly.
Card details — and why it’s worth getting
Before we get started, let’s quickly glance over the details of the Ink Business Preferred — Chase’s top business card offering.
- Rewards rate: Earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on combined purchases of shipping, advertising with social media sites and search engines, internet, cable and phone services and travel each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
- Access to transfer partners: Transfer your Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to Chase’s 11 airline and three hotel partners.
- Redeem your points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal: You can redeem points for travel at a 1.25-cent -per-point rate for flights, hotels, rental cars and more through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Primary rental car coverage: When renting a car for business purposes, you’ll get theft and damage protection for your rental car in the U.S. and most countries.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If a covered trip is canceled or cut short due to eligible reasons, you could be eligible to receive up to $5,000 per eligible person for reasonable expenses.
- Trip delay reimbursement: If your covered trip is delayed by 12 or more hours, you can receive up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses.
- Purchase protection: If an item you purchased with your card is damaged or stolen within the first 120 days after the purchase, you’re covered up to $10,000 per claim, with up to $50,000 per account.
- Extended warranty: This benefit extends a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less on an eligible item by an additional year.
- Cellphone protection: When you charge your monthly cellphone bill to your card, you and eligible employees on the plan receive up to $1,000 per claim for damage or theft of cell phones. You’re limited to three claims in a 12-month period and must pay a $100 deductible per claim.
- No foreign transaction fees: When traveling internationally, you won’t incur any fees for purchases made in a foreign currency.
These perks alone – some of the robust travel and business benefits on the market – can justify the $95 annual fee for many business owners.
Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a traditional business owner, you may qualify for a business credit card in more ways than you think. Many award travelers gravitate toward the Ink Business Preferred because it pairs nicely with other cards within the Chase family — whether you own the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom Unlimited or a combination of these cards.
Finally, it’s essential to factor in Chase’s stringent 5/24 rule when weighing your odds of application approval. This unofficial rule basically states that applicants will typically not be eligible for this card (or any Chase-issued card) if they’ve opened five or more credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months.
Fortunately, most business cards (including the Ink Business Preferred) won’t contribute to your 5/24 standing once opened, but you’ll still likely need to fall under the 5/24 rule in order to apply and gain approval.
Strategies for meeting minimum spend requirements
If you have a lot of ongoing business expenses (such as equipment or advertising expenses), spending $15,000 in three months should be doable. But what if you’re self-employed and don’t have many operating expenses, or none at all? Here are some creative ways you can meet the Ink Business Preferred’s minimum spend requirements:
Move all of your business expenses to your new card
If this is your first business card, then it’s a no-brainer that you should be putting all of your business expenses that you can pay with a credit card on your new Ink Business Preferred. Even if you already have another business credit card, it’s worth prioritizing the Ink Business Preferred during this three-month spend period – even if that means forfeiting any bonus points from another earning rate.
Consider paying rent or mortgage
If you have a physical storefront or an office, one of the easiest ways to take up a chunk of the requirement is to pay your rent or mortgage on your card. If you’re self-employed, you should consider paying your personal rent or mortgage with the Ink Business Preferred. While there is likely a fee for using a credit card as a payment method, do the math and calculate if the incurred fees are worth getting you to the finish line of $15,000.
Even if your landlord doesn’t accept credit cards, you can leverage tools like Plastiq, a payment platform that accepts virtually every debit or credit card to pay for bills. Note there’s a processing fee of up to 2.85%. However, let’s say that your gross rent for three months adds up to $9,000. By using Plastiq, you may have to pay around $250 in fees – but you will have been able to cover more than half of that minimum spend requirement from one expense alone, and earn points in the process.
Prepay routine utilities or bills
On a similar note, you can prepay utilities or bills that you will end up paying in the future anyway. Whether that’s your cellphone bill (and as an added bonus, this will trigger the card’s cellphone insurance), car payment, insurance or other similar expenses, you can try to pay as much as you can up front with the card (keeping in mind what you can afford).
Book a trip ahead for 2022 (or beyond)
Travel has picked up considerably, and whether you’ve been thinking about that first post-vaccination cruise or rescheduling canceled international trips, now is the time to book ahead. Best of all, the Ink Business Preferred offers 3x on travel, so you would be racking up a significant number of points by planning ahead.
If all else fails, use your card for expenses you normally wouldn’t charge on it
If you’re falling short of meeting the spend requirement, now is the time to use your Ink Business Preferred for every expense possible in your day-to-day life, even if it’s personal. Sure, you won’t earn bonus points on groceries, restaurants, gas and other everyday purchases for the time being, but every dollar counts when it comes down to earning that bonus.
When you’re not actively chasing a sign-up bonus, we recommend that you don’t use your credit card in ways that wouldn’t be sensible in normal scenarios. For instance, you would typically want to avoid unnecessary fees or using the Ink Business Preferred for non-bonus purchases. Here are some other considerations when pursuing this sign-up bonus:
For the sake of earning a sign-up bonus — even if it is an incredible six-figure offer — you don’t want to spend what you can’t afford. Simply put, you should only be putting $15,000 of expenses on this card if you can afford to pay that off now or by your monthly statement due date. You don’t want to fall into a trap of debt that could affect you and your credit score.
Avoid carrying a balance
When charging thousands of dollars of expenses to your card, you’ll want to avoid carrying that balance and incurring potential late fees and interest charges. The best practice is to pay your statement on time and in full because these fees will start to offset the value of earning this sign-up bonus.
Beware of timing
The clock starts ticking for earning the sign-up bonus as soon as you’re approved, but it could take up to seven to 10 business days for your card to arrive in the mail — significantly shortening the three-month window. Be extra vigilant about the exact date by which you have to meet the minimum spend requirements.
A $15,000 spend in three months is nothing to brush off. If you’ve been thinking about applying for the Ink Business Preferred, come up with a game plan for how you’re going to meet this requirement without putting yourself in debt. For the right cardholders, this sign-up bonus can provide immense value, especially if you’re working the Ink Business Preferred into your Chase trifecta strategy.
Official application link: Ink Business Preferred.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
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.
- 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.