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The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is recognized among our 2019 Editor's Choice picks for Best Small Business Credit Card, and for good reason.
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.
After spending $5,000 on the card in the first three months of opening the account, new cardholders receive 80,000 bonus points. That's 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. Put in perspective, 80,000 Ultimate Rewards® points are worth up to $1,000 in travel, or $800 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.
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.
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 , compared below.
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 $500 cashback after spending $3,000 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; 80,000 points offered for $5,000 in purchases in the first three months from account opening. This bonus alone can be worth up to $1,000 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 15.24% - 21.24% 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.
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 cash bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of opening a Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business account. 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.
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The main thing to consider when comparing these cards is where you are making purchases. These two cards differ in their rewards earning rates with the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card earning five points per $1 (up to $50,000) on purchases at office supply stores and internet, cable and phone services, two points per $1 (up to $50,000) on purchases at gas stations and hotels booked direct, and one point per $1 on all other purchases. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card earns three points per $1 (up to $150,000) on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines, and one point per $1 on all other purchases. If advertising and travel purchases are in your future, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card may be a great option for you.
|Rewards||Bonus Rewards||Annual Fee|
|Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases-with no limit to the amount you can earn.||Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||$95|
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.