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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card quickly became one of the most popular small business credit cards after its launch in October 2016. The reasons are compelling: a strong sign-up bonus, the ability to earn triple points in many categories, multiple options for redeeming those points and unique benefits such as cell phone protection that aren’t offered by other cards. Best of all, the annual fee is only $95 (not waived the first year) — a bargain, particularly when you compare it to the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express, which costs $175 annually (although that fee is waived the first year), and the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, which charges $595 (See Rates & Fees).
If you’re considering getting the Ink Business Preferred card, remember that it falls under Chase’s 5/24 rule. That means if you’ve opened five or more credit card accounts in the past two years, you’ll probably be declined regardless of how credit-worthy you are. To increase your odds of acceptance, make sure this is one of the first cards you apply for.
Here are the top reasons why the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card might be worth it for you.
1. A High Sign-Up Bonus
After you spend $5,000 in the first three months of cardmembership, you’ll be rewarded with 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points (enough for a round-trip business-class ticket on some airlines). Ultimate Rewards Points are among the most valuable points currencies around, and the bonus is worth $1,680 according to TPG’s most recent valuations. In addition, they transfer to many airline and hotel loyalty programs.
You know your spending patterns better than anyone, so you can assess whether the goal of $5,000 in three months is easily achievable. If you’re just getting started, or if your purchases are seasonal, the best course is to time your application ahead of a period when you know you’ll have major expenditures.
2. Earn Bonus Points Across a Variety of Categories
Not only are Chase Ultimate Rewards some of the most valuable points out there, but the Ink Business Preferred Card also enables you to accumulate them quickly. You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year spent in these categories:
- Travel (planes, trains, taxis, hotels and rental cars among other expenses)
- Internet, cable and phone
- Advertising on search engines and social media sites
All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. The $150,000 threshold is a yearly limit, so your your ability to triple your points will start over each time you pay your annual fee.
3. Plenty of Ways to Redeem Points
This is another area where the Ink Business Preferred card really shines. Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to nine different airline partners:
- Aer Lingus
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
- Iberia Plus
- Singapore KrisFlyer
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Korean Air SkyPass
When you take alliance partners into account, this gives you an incredibly wide range of airline options. British Airways Avios, for example, give you access to member of the Oneworld alliance such as American, Finnair and Japan Airlines. In addition, your points transfer to four hotel programs:
Points transfer to all partners at a 1:1 ratio, and most transactions are instant. You can also choose to redeem your points for 1.25 cents apiece (or 1.5 cents apiece if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and combine your points with that account) through the Chase Travel Portal. Plus, you’ll accrue frequent flyer miles on any flight bookings made through Chase, since they’re treated as paid tickets.
4. Cell Phone, Travel and Purchase Protection
How many times have you dropped, damaged or misplaced your cell phone? The Ink Business Preferred is one of the few credit cards to offer cell phone protection to help you in this very situation. You and your employees listed on your phone bill are covered for up to $600 in theft or damages per claim, provided the number is listed on your monthly bill and you pay your bill with your card. There’s a limit of three claims per 12-month period, with a $100 deductible per claim.
The Ink Business Preferred Card also offers a host of travel benefits for the road warrior:
Primary Car Rental Insurance — If you decline the Collision Damage Waiver at the rental company counter and pay for the rental with your card, you’re covered for physical damage and theft, towing and loss of use charges up to the full value of the vehicle. This is primary coverage, which means you don’t need to file a claim with your personal insurance company. Liability (damage to other persons or vehicles) is not covered. Rentals must be for business purposes within the US, although personal rentals are covered for international trips.
Trip Delay and Cancellation Insurance — If your trip is canceled due to a covered condition (such as illness or severe weather), you can be compensated up to $5,000 for pre-paid expenses such as airfare or hotels. For a delay of 12 hours or more, you can be reimbursed up to $500 for your hotel room, meals and transportation (documentation from the airline is required to verify the flight delay). In both cases, you’ll need to pay with your card and keep receipts.
Baggage Insurance — When traveling on a common carrier and charging your fare to the card, each traveler is covered up to $3,000 for the loss of either checked or carry-on baggage, including $500 for items such as jewelry, watches, cameras and electronic equipment. In addition, you’re covered up to $500 for the purchase of essential items if your baggage is delayed for more than six hours.
Travel Accident Insurance — You and your traveling companions are covered up to $500,000 for accidental death or dismemberment on a common carrier.
The card comes with purchase protection as well. If you buy an item for either personal or business use that is stolen or damaged, you’re covered up to $10,000 per claim with a limit of $50,000 per account. At least some part of the purchase price must be charged to the card. Items not covered include animals and living plants; boats, cars and other motorized vehicles; items purchased for resale; medical equipment; perishable and cosmetics; computer software, and items under the control of a common carrier (such as checked baggage, which is covered elsewhere). This benefit can be extremely important to a small business owner purchasing office furniture or electronic equipment.
5. Pool Your Points From Other Chase Cards
Chase offers three products that are essentially cash-back cards: the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited and Ink Business Cash Credit Card. However, those cards also earn points that can be transferred to Ultimate Rewards points (provided you have a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Ink Business Preferred). This enables you to enhance the value of other Chase cards in your wallet.
Along with the perks outlined above, the Ink Business Preferred offers other important benefits:
- Employee cards at no extra cost
- No foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside the US
- Zero liability protection (you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges)
- Fraud protection with real-time account monitoring
- Extended warranty protection (adds a year on eligible US manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less)
For a small business card, the Chase Ink Preferred Rewards offers an almost unbeatable combination: a strong sign-up bonus, generous point earning, the ability to transfer points to 13 travel partners and a comprehensive collection of travel protections.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, please click here.
Featured photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy
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The Points Guy Appraisal:
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card launched in October 2016 and it quickly became one of the most popular business credit cards on the market. It has a strong sign up bonus, triple point categories and unique perks. This card earns a respectable 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
- Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
- No foreign transaction fees
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- $95 Annual Fee