Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Review: A Business Credit Card With Top-Notch Travel Rewards
Lyle is a writer specializing in credit cards, travel rewards programs, and banking. His work has also appeared on MSN Money, USA Today, and Yahoo! Finance.
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While Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program and its personal credit cards get most of the attention, it also offers excellent business credit cards. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is part of the Ultimate Rewards program, allowing small business owners and entrepreneurs to earn travel rewards on all their company expenses. There’s a lot to like about the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, and I consider it a fantastic alternative to the more expensive premium credit cards.
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Great for: Sign-up bonus and travel rewards Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor.
Our Bottom Line
With a huge sign up bonus and massive on going rewards rate of 3x points per $1 on business essentials this card is a home run for businesses that spend a lot and want to maximize their rewards.
Credit Rating Requirement:
What we Like:
- 80,000 points bonus
- Up to 3x points per dollar
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual Fee: $95
- Regular APR: 17.74% - 22.74% Variable
- Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A
- 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 on travel and select business 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
What I like
80,000 bonus points -- You earn 80,000 bonus points by spending $5,000 within the first three months of having the card (the annual fee doesn’t count towards that $5,000 in spending). Not only is that one of the biggest signup bonuses you’ll find, but it’s possible to get 100,000 bonus points by applying through a special in-branch offer.
3 points per $1 -- This card earns 3 points per $1 on the following expenses:
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Advertising purchases through search engines and social media sites
- Airlines: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hotels: IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, World of Hyatt
Cell phone insurance -- I’ve come to expect certain travel and purchase protections, such as trip cancellation insurance and auto rental coverage, from credit cards because they’re practically standard features at this point. The card takes purchase protections a step further with a cell phone insurance policy. You must pay your cell phone bill with the card to qualify for the insurance, and it provides up to $600 in coverage with a $100 deductible. These plans usually cost about $10 to $15 per month if you go through your carrier, so you can save $120 to $180 per year.
That rewards rate applies to your first $150,000 spent in those categories every account anniversary year, with all other spending earning 1 point per $1.
Free employee cards -- If you have any employees who need company credit cards, you can make them authorized users and get cards for them free of charge. Their cards will have the exact same benefits and rewards rate.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners -- You can transfer points to any airline or hotel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, and that’s quite the list. Here are the current partners:
25% bonus on travel -- If you book travel by redeeming points on the Ultimate Rewards site, Chase gives you a value of $0.0125 per point. That’s nothing incredible, but this gives you a backup option so you aren’t limited solely to transferring your points. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® does get a higher rate of $0.015 per point, so if you have both cards, you should transfer your points from the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® first.
Why you can trust me
I’m all about getting the most back on the money I spend, and to do that, I keep a close eye on all the latest credit card offers. By choosing the right cards, matching my spending with specific cards, and maximizing signup bonuses, I’ve been able to: Earn hundreds of thousands of points per year, travel free of charge, access VIP airport lounges, and get complimentary cell phone insurance.
$95 annual fee -- No one likes paying for a credit card, and you’ll need to pay $95 every year for the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠. The annual fee isn’t waived for the first year.
Is it worth the annual fee?
The signup bonus on the card is already worth $1,000 towards travel through the Ultimate Rewards site, and that’s enough to cover the annual fee for 10 years.
What about over the long haul? Even if you get just $0.01 per point (the card’s cashback rate), you would only need to spend $3,166.67 per year in categories where the card earns 3 points per $1 or $9,500.00 per year in other categories to recoup the annual fee.
The decision gets more complicated if you’re weighing the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card against other credit cards. In that case, you should look at your spending habits to see which cards will earn you the most points.
Suggested credit score for approval
Cardholders of the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card usually have excellent credit scores, meaning 720 or higher. While that will give you the best odds of approval, it is possible to get the card with a lower score, as some applicants have reported success with scores from 660 to 680.
This is a business credit card, but businesses of all sizes and types qualify. Even if you don’t own a traditional small business, you could still get this card if you’re a freelancer or if you earn any income on the side.
Why you should know about Chase’s 5/24 rule before applying
When you apply for a card with Chase, it checks how many personal credit cards you’ve opened within the past 24 months. If you’ve opened more than five, then Chase will automatically deny your application. This measure is unofficially known as the 5/24 rule, for obvious reasons, and it’s intended to weed out the applicants who are only interested in scoring signup bonuses.
Even with business credit card applications, the 5/24 rule still applies, but Chase won’t count any business cards towards your number of open accounts. Let’s say you’ve opened four personal credit cards in the last 24 months and you apply for the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠. Chase would consider you under the limit, and if you’re approved for the card, you would still technically be at four credit cards opened in the past 24 months according to Chase.
The value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points
The Ultimate Rewards program is a big selling point for all Chase’s rewards credit cards. For cardholders of the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, there are three popular ways to redeem points:
Transfers to partners to book award travel: Award airfare and hotel stays give you the opportunity for incredible value from your points. There’s quite a bit of variance depending on the transfer partner and the travel you book, but the typical range is from $0.01 to $0.05 per point. On the most expensive travel, such as international first-class flights, you can sometimes find redemptions worth over $0.10 per point.
Travel redemptions with Chase Ultimate Rewards: One simple way to use your points is to search for travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website, and then pay for what you want with your points. As mentioned earlier, the redemption rate is $0.0125 per point, and this counts as a cash purchase for the airline or hotel, so you can earn rewards on what you book.
Cash back: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $0.01 each when you use them for cash back. It’s actually one of the better cash-back rates from a rewards program, but this is still a subpar way to redeem your points.
Earning more points by carrying companion Chase cards
If you don’t mind having multiple credit cards, the flexibility of the Ultimate Rewards program provides a great opportunity to earn more points on every purchase.
Here’s why -- when you have any credit card in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and a Chase cash-back card, you can transfer the cash back you earn to your rewards card. That cash back then becomes Ultimate Rewards points.
Chase currently has two business cash-back cards that make the perfect companion cards for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card earns 5% back on spending at office supply stores and on cable, internet, and phone service, with a yearly cap of $25,000. It also earns 2% back on spending at gas stations and restaurants, again capped at $25,000. The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card earns 1.5% back on all purchases.
With the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you could turn all that cash back into Ultimate Rewards points. On every purchase, you’ll earn either 1.5, 2, 3, or 5 points per $1. And neither of those companion cards have annual fees, so this won’t cost you any more money.
You should apply for this card if...
The business credit card you choose depends heavily on your needs and your spending. There’s a diverse selection of different cards available, and it’s worth comparing them to see which one you like the most.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a smart choice if you spend quite a bit in its bonus categories, prefer a card in the Ultimate Rewards program, or want a business card with an annual fee under $100.
There are a few situations where you may want to give other business credit cards a look:
- Your business has expenses in many different spending categories: The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express® earns 3 points per $1 in one category of your choosing from a list of five and 2 points per $1 on the other four categories, up to a limit of $100,000 in each category.
- You need to finance business expenses: The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited® both have 12-month introductory periods with 0% annual percentage rates (APRs).
- You travel for business frequently: The Business Platinum Card from American Express® may have a $450 annual fee, but it earns 5 points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel, includes a $200 annual credit for incidental fees with one airline, and has the best airport lounge access you’ll find on a credit card.
How Ink Business Preferred℠ compares to Chase Sapphire® cards
If you’re open to personal and business credit cards, then you’ll have a tough decision to make, because there are also the wildly popular Chase Sapphire Reserve® to consider. Here’s a look at how those two cards compare:
|Card||Annual fee||True cost after any credits||Rewards rate||Ultimate Rewards redemption rate|
|Ink Business Preferred℠||$95||$95||3 points on travel, shipping, Internet, cable, phone, and advertising on search engines and social media||$0.0125|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$450||$130||3 points on travel and dining||$0.015|
How to apply
You can apply for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card online or in a Chase branch. It’s a short application process either way, but Chase will ask you for some basic information about your business. Required business information includes the name, the type of business it is, the tax identification number, the number of employees, and your annual revenue.
Here are a couple pointers on the areas that occasionally trip up applicants:
- If you’re a freelancer or have any sort of sole proprietorship, you can use your own name as the business name and your Social Security number as the tax identification number.
- You can use projected annual revenues if your business is just starting or even enter $0 in that field. There have been reports of successful applications with annual business revenues of $100 or less, so low revenues won’t necessarily disqualify you if you have sufficient income.
All Chase credit card applications, whether for a personal or business card, require the following:
- Personal information -- Your name, address, phone number, email address, Social Security number, date of birth, and mother’s maiden name.
- Financial details -- Your annual income, what types of bank accounts you have, and how much you pay for your home each month.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is easily on the shortlist of the best business credit cards. You can earn points very quickly with its signup bonus and rewards rate, and Ultimate Rewards points are as valuable as it gets. Even with all the card offers, it has a reasonable annual fee of only $95.