Credit card showdown: Chase Ink Business Preferred vs. Ink Business Premier
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With the newly announced Ink Business Premier Credit Card, there are even more options when it comes to business credit cards — especially if you are looking to earn cash back. But with so many business credit cards, it’s hard to determine which one is actually best for your business needs.
Up until now, the only other Ink business credit card that offered top-notch benefits was the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. But with a new card in town, we went ahead and compared the two to see how they stack up against each other. While there’s not one obvious better card between the two — they each have their pros and cons — there are a few key differences that should help you determine which might be best for your particular needs.
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Comparing the Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Premier
|Ink Business Preferred||Ink Business Premier|
|Welcome offer||100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.||$1,000 cash back (worth 100,000 bonus points) after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.|
|Bonus categories||Earn 3 points per dollar spent (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year) on:
Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
|Earn 5% total cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Earn 2.5% total cash back on every purchase of $5,000 or more.
Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases.
|Redemption options||Points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed through the Chase travel portal, or points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to 14 different travel partners.||Each point this card earns is worth 1 cent toward cash back and various Chase Ultimate Rewards portal redemptions, such as travel or gift cards.|
Related: Ink Business Preferred review
While the welcome offers for the Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Premier might look similar on the surface, they are actually quite different due to the difference in how you can redeem the rewards earned between the two cards.
With the Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 100,000 Ultimate Reward bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first three months. Points earned from the card are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, or they can be transferred to any of Chase’s travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. This means the 100,000 points earned are worth a minimum of $1,250 toward travel, although you can potentially get much more value from them by transferring to the Ultimate Rewards program’s 11 airline and three hotel partners, including United, Southwest and World of Hyatt.
The Ink Business Premier is also offering 100,000 Ultimate Reward bonus points ($1,000 cash back) after you spend $10,000 in purchases within the same three-month time frame. This cash back is earned in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. But unlike those from the Ink Business Preferred, you cannot transfer these to the program’s airline and hotel partners. Nor can you transfer them to your Ultimate Rewards account linked to another card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card so that they become transferable (though you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points from your other card accounts into the one linked to your Ink Business Premier). Instead, these points are always worth just 1 cent apiece, whether you redeem them for cash back or for things like statement credits, gift cards and travel through the Chase portal. So this welcome offer is worth $1,000 no matter how you use it.
Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta
Winner: When comparing the two cards side by side, the Ink Business Preferred card has the upper hand since its points are worth more when redeemed for travel. However, if you’re looking for a purely cash-back welcome offer, then the Ink Business Premier is a better option since the minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus is much less.
Bonus earning categories
The Ink Business Preferred offers more bonus categories than the Ink Business Premier, so that you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per account year in the following categories:
- Shipping purchases.
- Internet, cable and phone services.
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
On all other purchases, or after you spend $150,000 combined in the above bonus categories, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent. Since Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth 2 cents per point, based on TPG’s valuation, this means you’re earning a 6% return on your category bonus purchases and a 2% return on all other purchases.
The Ink Business Premier offers both interesting bonus categories and strong everyday earning. With this card, you’ll accrue:
- 5% total cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- 2.5% total cash back on every purchase of $5,000 or more.
- 2% cash back on every purchase.
To earn at least 2% cash back on every purchase you make is strong, but not unique. There are many other cash-back cards that also offer the same return, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card and Capital One Spark Cash Plus. But if you often make large purchases — those over $5,000 — then earning that extra half a percent in cash back can save you a lot of money in the end.
Winner: If you are looking to simplify your business expenses and to just have one card for everything, the Ink Business Premier is the winner. But that’s only if you are looking to earn cash back. If you prefer to earn travel rewards with your credit card purchases, then the Ink Business Preferred will give you more options.
Even though both cards are “Chase Ink” credit cards, the redemption options are very different.
With the Ink Business Preferred, in addition to redeeming your points for cash — where 1 point is worth 1 cent — you can also use them toward travel in two different forms. You can either redeem points toward travel reservations through the Chase Ultimate Reward travel portal where points are worth 1.25 cents each, or you can transfer them to 14 different travel partners — 11 airlines and 3 hotels.
These travel partners include:
- Aer Lingus AerClub.
- Air Canada Aeroplan.
- British Airways Executive Club.
- Emirates Skywards.
- Flying Blue (Air France-KLM).
- Iberia Plus.
- JetBlue TrueBlue.
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards.
- United MileagePlus.
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
- IHG Rewards Club.
- Marriott Bonvoy.
- World of Hyatt.
TPG estimates Chase Ultimate Reward points to be worth 2 cents apiece when you leverage these transfer partners, thanks to the number of options they open up.
With the Ink Business Premier card, however, the points you earn are worth 1 cent each, plain and simple, and there’s no option to redeem your rewards toward travel at a higher rate. Whether you redeem them for cash back or for other options through Chase Ultimate Rewards, like gift cards or travel, you still just get 1 cent per point.
Winner: The Ink Business Preferred has many more options and your points earned are worth significantly more.
Related: Maximizing Chase Ultimate Rewards
Both cards offer the exact same benefits when it comes to purchase and travel protection. With both cards you’ll receive:
- Purchase protection: If an eligible item is damaged or stolen within the first 120 days after purchase, you’re covered up to $10,000 per claim ($50,000 per account).
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: If you must cancel or cut a trip short because of a covered issue (such as illness or severe weather), you’re eligible for up to $5,000 of coverage per person for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses, which provides great peace of mind when unexpected problems arise. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per trip.
- Trip delay reimbursement: If a covered trip is delayed by a covered hazard for 12 or more hours — or long enough to require an overnight stay — you’ll be eligible for reimbursement, up to $500 per ticket in reasonable expenses. Note that you only need to charge part of your common-carrier fare to the card to use this benefit, so you’ll be covered on award tickets if you put the taxes and fees on the card.
- Primary car rental coverage: If you use either card for the entire rental cost and are traveling for business purposes, you’re covered for theft and damage in the U.S. and most countries around the world. Bear in mind that this doesn’t offer any liability coverage, but you are covered up to the actual cash value of the vehicle you’re renting.
- Extended warranty protection: Purchases with a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less will get coverage for an extra year. This can be extremely helpful when an item stops working shortly after the scheduled end of its warranty.
- Cellphone protection: If you pay your monthly cellphone bill with your card and your cellphone is stolen or damaged, you can receive up to $1,000 per claim, with a $100 deductible — for up to three claims per year.
Winner: Tie, as both cards offer the exact same benefits.
Which card should you get?
Like many other questions asked — it depends. If you don’t have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card that allows you to redeem points toward travel, then the Ink Business Preferred card is a great choice. Your points are potentially worth significantly more and open up a wide variety of travel redemption options.
Also, if you have high monthly expenses in the card’s bonus earning categories, then the Ink Business Preferred can also help maximize your points earned.
But, if your spending categories are much more varied (or don’t include those increased bonus categories) and you prefer to earn cash back, you’ll be better off with the Ink Business Premier card. Earning a minimum of 2% cash back on every single purchase made is huge. And if you often make purchases of over $5,000, earning an uncapped 2.5% back is a great deal.
Yes, the Ink Business Premier card costs an extra $100 a year, but if you have heavy business spending, that difference can be nominal compared to the extra rewards earned.
Aside from how you earn and redeem points, the cards are extremely comparable, with both offering excellent travel and protection benefits.
Ultimately, the real question is: Do you want to earn travel rewards or cash back? If you are able to simply answer that question, then the card of choice is quite obvious.
For a mid-tier credit card, both are strong choices when it comes to business credit cards, in their own way. The two cards offer great ways to earn points or cash back, while also offering benefits that will help protect you in a time of need. And for a relatively low annual fee, you’ll never have to worry about statement credits or extra perks to help “offset” the fee.
Also, if you already have the Ink Business Preferred card, that doesn’t prevent you from applying for the Ink Business Premier. Combining the benefits of both can truly allow your business to earn a plethora of points and cash back, giving you more money and points in your pocket so you can take a step away from work at some point, and truly enjoy a vacation.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
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