For years, the Nerds consistently rated the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card among the best small-business credit cards offered. Yet in 2016, Chase stopped accepting applications for that card and introduced a slightly revised alternative, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Guess what? The new card is better than the old one. For the same annual fee — $95 — small-business owners get more rewards and more protections, as long as they make the most of what the card has to offer. Here’s how to do that.
Earn the sign-up bonus
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers a generous sign-up bonus, though there's a very steep spending requirement: Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Points typically are worth a penny each, but you get 25% more value when you redeem them for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, so you can easily bump up your effective rewards rate.
Charge your big expenses
Telecommunications expenses — including landline and cellular phone services, cable TV and internet — are among the largest costs for many small businesses. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card gives you rewards for that spending and more. You earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for each dollar spent on:
Internet, cable and phone service
Advertising purchased with search engines, such as Google AdWords, or social media sites
The 3-points-per-dollar rewards rate applies to the first $150,000 a year in combined spending in these categories. After that, you get 1 point per dollar. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. Speaking of all other purchases, you should be aware that the terms and conditions state that the card may only be used for business purposes.
If any purchase falls in the bonus categories, put it on the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card to avoid passing up valuable rewards.
Give employees cards
You can earn rewards faster by making trusted employees authorized users of the account. There is no charge for additional cards, and spending on those cards will add rewards to your account. You can set spending limits for each employee with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Take advantage of protections
No one wants bad things to happen, but when they do, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card can help you recover. When you charge your company cell phones to your card, you get automatic protection in case of theft or damage — up to $600 per claim, with a $100 deductible each time and a maximum of three claims per 12 months.
Or maybe you’re booked to attend an important industry convention and you have to cancel because of illness or emergency. You can be reimbursed up to $5,000 for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses, including airfare and hotels. You can also seek up to $500 in reimbursement for costs incurred during travel delays of 12 hours or more or delays that require an overnight stay.
As with many premium cards, you get purchase protection, price protection, return protection and extended warranty coverage:
Purchase protection means you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per claim (up to $50,000 per account) for new purchases that are damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase.
Price protection will reimburse you the difference on a purchase by up to $500 (and up to $2,500 per year) if you see the same item advertised for less within 90 days of purchase.
Return protection covers items that the store won’t take back, up to $500 per item (and up to $1,000 per year) within 90 days.
Travel with your points
When you use your points to book travel through the program, they're worth 25% more — so 80,000 points turns into $1,000. You can also transfer points on a 1-to-1 basis to the loyalty programs of nearly a dozen partner airlines and hotels, including United, Southwest, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. If you do business around the world, you’ll appreciate that the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
If you don't travel, there are other options for redemption: Pay with points on Amazon.com, buy gift cards from more than 70 companies or simply redeem for cash at 1 cent per point.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card gives you many opportunities to earn rewards on your business expenses, especially in categories where you spend a lot of money. This card is a winner if you take advantage of all it has to offer.