Ink Business Preferred® review: Best business credit card winner
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- This card offers plenty of bang for a modest annual fee, including cell phone insurance for the primary phone number as well as employee phones on the same account. It was recognized among our 2020 Editor's Choice picks for Best Small Business Credit Cards.
- Three points per $1 spent is available in select business categories ranging from the traditional – travel and shipping – to the more unique – advertising with social media and search engine sites (up to $150,000 spent annually).
- Redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and they're worth 25% more.
- If the bonus cash-back categories don't really fit your business needs, or you spend above the $150k threshold annually, you may want to look elsewhere for maximum cash back.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card benefits
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card foreign transaction fee
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card potential downsides
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card approval odds
- How the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card compares to other cards
- Is the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card a good card?
Though this card has a modest annual fee of $95, the signup bonus alone well makes up for this small expense, as does its quick points earning potential and impressive redemption offers. All elements that should make business owners – even small business owners or those who are self-employed – stand up and take notice.
New cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points, worth a whopping $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, once spending $15,000 in the first three months of card membership. Now, we understand that $15,000 is no small spend threshold, but if you plan it right, and open an account right before making some bigger business purchases, it could be totally doable, and absolutely worth it in the long run. A bonus of $1,250 is quite possibly the biggest we've seen. Especially for a card with such a comparably low annual fee. And that bonus is in addition to three points for every $1 spent on travel and other select purchases (more on those below) and one point for every $1 spent on everything else.
Points can then be exchanged for cash transfers, gift cards or, for 25% more value, can be redeemed towards airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. Again, to put that in perspective, 100,000 Ultimate Rewards® points are worth up to $1,250 in travel, or $1,000 in cash. Alternatively, points can be transferred to participating travel programs at a full one-to-one value, meaning one Chase Ultimate Rewards® point equals one partner point or mile.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card top features:
- 100,000 point signup bonus
- Three points for every $1 spent on travel and other select purchases
- One point per $1 on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Auto rental collision damage waivers
- Cell phone insurance for the primary cardholder and employee phones on the same account
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- Purchase, price, return and extended warranty protection plans
The most eye-popping thing about this card is the generous signup bonus, but choosing a card based on the intro bonus alone usually isn't a great idea; good thing the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card also comes with quality cardholder perks and point-earning ease. This card is great for business owners and frequent travelers as cardholders have the opportunity to earn three points for each $1 spent on up to $150,000 spent annually on travel expenses; shipping costs; Internet, cable, and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. After the $150k cap, and on all other purchases, cardholders earn one point per $1. Better still, employee cards can be distributed at no additional cost with the option to set individual spending limits, helping you to earn rewards even faster and keep track of your business' spending.
As far as perks go, business owners are sure to appreciate the included cell phone insurance - a truly unique feature that Chase included with its new card after hearing from customers that it was desired. The perk provides up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for all phones listed on the monthly cell phone bill paid with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
In addition to the specific cell phone coverage, cardholders also enjoy a number of other protection services such as purchase, extended warranty, price, and return protection plans.
Similarly, travelers can also rest easy knowing that the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card protects them with trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, as well as trip delay reimbursements and auto rental collision damage waivers.
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
- No foreign transaction fees
Not every businessperson travels overseas, but for those who do, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a card worth holding. There is no fee for foreign transactions, which is significant, as the typical foreign transaction fee, such as that charged by the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, is 3%.
What does that mean in terms of real savings? According to Travel Leaders Corporate, the average length of an overseas business trip is three days. Should a person spend $1,000 on food and beverages, entertainment, transportation, etc. during their trip, the savings would be $30. For someone whose job requires them to make one such trip per month, the savings would be $360 per year.
The savings generated by no foreign transaction fees magnifies the benefits that come with overseas usage. These include 3X Ultimate Reward points on all travel related expenditures, including lodging, airfare, taxi, Uber and even mass transit. You also earn 3X points on all shipping costs, Internet and phone services which can come in handy through an overseas business trip.
If the bonus cash back categories don't really fit your business needs, or if you spend more than $150,000 annually in those categories, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card might not be the best option if you're looking to maximize your rewards. Those looking to make the most of their point earnings might fare better with a card with unlimited, flat-rate cash-back potential, such as Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business (This card is not currently available on CardRatings), compared below.
Do you qualify for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card? Since you don't necessarily need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to qualify for a business credit card, your chances could be higher than you might think.
The list of people who can apply for a small business credit card is long, and includes freelancers/self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners/officers, owners/officers of established businesses, and owners/officers of startups. Most credit card companies define "business" quite broadly when it comes to considering applicants for small business credit cards. To qualify for a business credit card, you must be an "authorized officer" of a company. Basically, this means that you must have the legal right to enter into borrowing arrangements with financial institutions on behalf of a business. If you are the owner of a sole proprietorship business or the sole owner of a small business, you are already an "authorized officer." You are, after all, the only owner of the company. It can be more complicated determining who ranks for businesses that have multiple owners. In general, though, most owners are also "authorized officers."
Credit card issuers consider each application on its own merits, so don't assume you don't qualify just because your business might not fit that standard business model. Do keep in mind though that your personal credit history will likely be what is used to determine your eligibility and/or credit limit on a business card before you've built up a credit history for your business.
If your business doesn't have a tax ID number (EIN), you can enter your personal social security number instead. In general, try to have the following information handy when you apply:
- Business name
- Business name as you want it to appear on the card
- Business address
- Type of business
- Tax ID number (or your social security number)
- Number of employees
- Annual revenue/sales
- Monthly expenses
- Number of years in business
- Ownership type (publicly traded, privately owned, etc.)
- Business structure (LLC, corporation, non-profit, etc.)
To learn more about who can qualify for a small business credit card, and how to apply for one, be sure to check out our "Small Business Credit Cards 101" guide.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card vs. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and Ink Business Cash® Credit Card both have great new cardholder bonuses. With the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, new cardholders can earn $750 cashback after spending $7,500 in purchases in the first three months from account opening. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has a higher bonus value, albeit with a higher spend requirement; 100,000 points offered for $15,000 in purchases in the first three months from account opening. This bonus alone can be worth up to $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has no annual fee and an introductory offer of 0% APR for 12 months on purchases, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable. This does give a slight edge over the $95 annual fee for Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, however, does come with additional travel perks including no foreign transaction fees and a 1:1 point transfer value to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
The ongoing rewards rates on these two cards is a bit different as well. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is more so focused on earning cardholders high rewards on travel (three points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent) in addtion to select business expenses, whereas the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card focuses predominantly on business purchases, and on restaurant and gas purchases as well. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card earns 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; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants; and 1% cash back on all other card purchases.
For an in-depth breakdown of how these two cards line up side-by-side, see our full Ink Business Preferred® vs. Cash® comparison.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card vs. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
Similar to the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business allows for employee cards at no additional cost, but unlike the Chase card, there is no limit on how much users can spend before premium earnings stop.
Instead, the Capital One card offers unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases with no caps or categories to limit purchasing. Additionally, those looking for a nice welcome offer might enjoy the $500 cash bonus earned once you spend $4,500 on purchases within three months from account opening. Also, frequent travelers are sure to enjoy similar travelers' perks like those offered by Chase, such as purchase security and extended protection plans, travel and emergency assistance services, and auto rental collision damage waivers. The annual fee for these cards are similar. With the Capital One card you're looking at $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card vs. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express takes small business cards to the next level with a luxury polish and the annual fee of $595 to match (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser).
Compared to the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, the American Express card focuses even more on travel, offering five times the Membership Rewards® points for flights and prepaid hotel bookings made on amextravel.com (as well as one point per $1 on your other purchases). Right now, you can also earn 85,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first three months of card membership; additionally, earn 5x points in five select business categories, up to 80,000 points per category, for the first three monhts.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express also offers airport lounge access, up to $200 in statement credits each year to cover incidental charges with one pre-selected airline, credits for Dell purchases and lots more. In other words, there's a lot of perks and features that come with that high annual fee.
In terms of choosing between the two cards, you'll need to decide whether all the extra features you'll get with the American Express card are worth the annual fee. If not, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is probably a better option.
Even though this card has a modest annual fee, the large signup bonus more than helps make up for that expense during the first year, and the high ongoing rewards help to offset it moving forward. Since bonus rewards are focused on travel and business expenses, this is an ideal card for any business owner who frequently travels, and is even better for those often traveling abroad thanks to no foreign transaction fees.
For rates and fees of the American Express cards mentioned in this article, please see the following link: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates and Fees).