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Chase Ink Business Preferred Review: High Rewards for Core Spending

Business Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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Chase Ink Business Preferred: High Rewards for Core Spending

In 2016, Chase introduced the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and stopped accepting new applications for the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, which the Nerds considered one of the best business credit cards available. (People who already had the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card can still use their cards.)

Whether you have the old card and are considering an upgrade or you’re starting fresh in searching for a credit card for your business, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is worth a look. You get a big sign-up promotion, solid bonus rewards in common business categories and a slew of valuable perks.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Apply Now on Chase's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee

    Annual Fees

    $95

    APR

    • APR: 16.99% - 21.99% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    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®

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • 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®
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year
    • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
    • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Employee cards at no additional cost
    • $95 Annual Fee

Old vs. new

Let’s take a quick look at the differences between the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and its predecessor, then dive into the details.

 NEW CARD:
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
OLD CARD:
Ink Plus® Business Credit Card
Rewards• 3 points per $1 spent on telecommunications (internet, phone and cable), shipping, travel and advertising on social media and search engines, on up to $150,000 in combined spending annually.
• 1 point per $1 on all other spending.
• 5 points per $1 spent on telecommunications and office supply stores, on up to $50,000 in combined spending annually.
• 2 points per $1 spent on gas and hotel accommodations, on up to $50,000 in combined spending annually.
• 1 point per $1 on all other spending.
Annual fee$95$95
Sign-up bonusEarn 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®.Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Simpler bonus rewards

The bonus rewards structure is the most obvious difference. The old Ink Plus® Business Credit Card had two bonus tiers, one worth 5 points per dollar and one worth 2 points per dollar, and each with a $50,000 annual spending cap. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has one bonus tier that pays 3 points per dollar, with a higher combined cap.

Assuming you maxed out your bonus points on both cards, you’d be looking at:

  • Ink Plus® Business Credit Card: 5 points per dollar up to $50,000 = 250,000 points. 2 points per dollar up to $50,000 = 100,000 points. Total: 350,000 points, worth $3,500 as cash back or $4,375 when redeemed for travel booked through Chase.
  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card: 3 points per dollar up to $150,000 = 450,000 points. Total: 450,000 points, worth $4,500 as cash back or $5,625 when redeemed for travel booked through Chase.

On either card, all other spending — including spending in bonus categories above the annual cap — earns 1 point per dollar.

In a conference call in the fall of 2016, Chase executives said they developed the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card because small-business cardholders wanted rewards that were “rich and flexible” with different reward categories than they could get with Ink Plus® Business Credit Card or Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

The new card is an improvement for businesses with heavy travel expenses but a step down for those who go through a lot of office supplies or spend big on internet bandwidth. For those with expenses across the range of categories in the bonus tiers, the overall effect may turn out to be a wash. The higher cap on bonus rewards, however, will benefit those with significant expenses in those categories.

As a cardholder, you can get additional cards for your employees to use at no extra cost, and their spending will contribute to your bonus rewards and accumulate additional points.

» MORE: Chase credit cards mobile app review

A top sign-up bonus

Chase launched the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card with one of the biggest sign-up bonuses any business credit card has offered: 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®.

Flexible redemption methods

The rewards currency on the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Those points are worth a penny apiece when redeemed for cash back. But if you use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform, they’re worth 1.25 cents apiece. That makes 80,000 points worth a cool $1,000.

You can also transfer points to several partner travel programs — including United, Southwest, Marriott and Hyatt — on a 1:1 basis. Depending on the value of points in those programs, you could get even more than 1.25 cents per point. Speaking of travel, if you’re doing business internationally, this card has no foreign transaction fees.

Greater protection

Another feature small-business owners said they wanted was more protections, and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has their backs. Cardholders get trip cancellation or interruption insurance. If your flight is nixed or you have to cut your trip short because of illness or weather, you may be reimbursed up to $5,000 in prepaid, nonrefundable expenses like airfare, hotels or tours.

You also get trip delay reimbursement, which kicks in if your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay. This feature pays up to $500 per ticket for unreimbursed expenses like lodging or meals.

Other travel protections include primary auto rental collision damage coverage, coverage for lost or delayed baggage and 24/7 roadside dispatch — although you will pay for the actual service to your car, such as towing or a battery jump.

Since a cell phone is the lifeline — and a big expense — for many small businesses, protecting your investment makes good sense. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card pays up to $600 per claim for damage or theft of cell phones for you and your employees when the bill is paid using your card. There’s a maximum of three claims in a 12-month period, and there is a $100 deductible for each claim.

Your purchases are also protected in several ways. You get an extra year added to the U.S. manufacturer’s regular warranty. You get purchase protection if merchandise is damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase, up to $10,000 per claim. And you won’t have buyer’s remorse if you see, say, your new printer for less after you bought it: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card will reimburse the difference up to $500 per item (up to $2,500 per year) if you find a lower price within 90 days of purchase.

Finally, you may be reimbursed within 90 days for a return that the store won’t take, up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card vs. the competition

If you don’t want the hassle of tracking bonus categories and point redemption values, consider the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. You’ll earn 2% cash back on every dollar spent, regardless of the category, with no limit to the rewards you can earn. Redemptions are just as easy, as you can redeem any amount at any time. You can even set up automatic redemptions, starting at $25, so you don’t even have to think about it. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95, and there’s a sign-up bonus: A one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Visit our list of the best credit cards to apply for to see more information on business credit cards.

Should you get Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card?

With its high rewards in categories where many small businesses spend a lot of money, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card easily assumes the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card’s role as one of the best small-business credit cards.

Ellen Cannon is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ecannon@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ellencannon.

Updated Jan. 31, 2017.