The Business Platinum® Card from American Express and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card from Chase both have something to offer business travelers. The key difference is just what that something is:
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express has a no-frills rewards program that’s paltry compared with alternatives, but you’d be pressed to find another business credit card with such extensive travel perks. For heavy travelers willing to pay for convenience, it’s worth a look.
- The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers more generous rewards and a solid incentive to redeem those rewards for travel, but its travel benefits are fairly utilitarian. If you’re looking for rewards on common business expenses, though, it may be the better choice.
Travel perks galore: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
For businesspeople who travel frequently, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express comes with a slew of perks that can help make up for its steep $595 annual fee.
$200 Airline fee credit
Cardholders can get up to $200 per year in credit for incidental fees charged by one airline chosen from a list of qualified partners. The credit covers charges like baggage fees, airport lounge guest passes and in-flight refreshments.
Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Don’t wait in the general security line: Cardholders can get a statement credit every five years for the application fee for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
Airport lounge access
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express grants customers access to more than 1,000 airport lounges including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges and Priority Pass lounges.
If you can meet the spending minimum, you’ll also start out with a nice bonus. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
The ongoing rewards program for The Business Platinum® Card from American Express isn’t spectacular, and like the perks, it’s focused mainly on travelers. NerdWallet values Membership Rewards at 0.5 to 1 cent apiece, and you get the highest value when redeeming for travel. You earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through the American Express travel website, and 1 point per $1 on everything else. However, purchases over $5,000 earn 1.5 points per dollar. If you use Membership Rewards Pay with Points to pay for airfare, you can get 35% of your points back as a bonus.
The travel perks offered by The Business Platinum® Card from American Express make its annual fee a bit more reasonable. But if you don’t travel much, or you wouldn’t make use of these particular services, you’d be paying an unnecessary premium for a credit card.
Rewards across the board: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardInk Business Preferred℠ Credit Card doesn’t come with the fancy travel perks of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. But what it lacks in luxury, it makes up for in rewards options. And its annual fee is $95 — much less intimidating than The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.
High rewards rate
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is undoubtedly the more versatile choice for those seeking to earn rewards from their business spending. It offers:
- 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined purchases on telecommunications, including wireless phone, landline, internet and cable TV services; shipping, travel, and advertising on social media and search engines each account-anniversary year.
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases, with no limit.
High redemption rate for travel
Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed as cash back or gift cards at a value of 1 cent per point. The value jumps to 1.25 cents per point when you redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel site. That means 80,000 points can pay for $1,000 worth of travel.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card doesn’t skimp on the welcome bonus: 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®. The spending threshold to earn the bonus is easier for a small business to meet than the minimum required by The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.
The typical business owner probably won’t struggle to spend on categories where the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card earns bonus points, either. If you or your employees aren’t traveling a lot, this card will reward you for the spending you do as a matter of course.
Other business protections
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers a lot of extra protections that can be important for businesses:
- If you’re traveling, you have trip cancellation or interruption insurance, reimbursement for a trip delay, and coverage for lost or delayed baggage.
- Within a certain time frame for purchases, you’re covered for damaged or stolen merchandise, the difference in price if you find a purchase at a lower price, and returns if a store won’t take back an item.
- You also have protection for all cell phones paid for with your card. Here’s how it works: You can get up to $600 per claim for a stolen or damaged cell phone with a $100 deductible per claim. Your claims are limited to three in a 12-month period, but considering how much you probably spend on cell phone bills, this protection is worthy of notice.
Making the decision
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card both have a lot going for them, but there isn’t much overlap, which makes picking between them fairly uncomplicated.
If your business has you traveling a lot and you already use the services covered by its perks, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express may be a good fit. Before you pull the trigger, compare how you value those perks against the annual fee to see how they balance out.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers a high redemption rate for travel and bonus points for common expenses, but no luxury perks like lounge access. If you spend heavily on common business expenses, you’ll have loads of rewards opportunities with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and hardly any with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.