The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a great credit card from Chase, designed for business owners. The huge sign up bonus (worth over $1000) is of course a big appeal, but there are plenty more great benefits with this card. This article reviews the card and its benefits, and looks at who will get the most out of it.
Card basics – costs and who it is for
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is designed for small business owners. Spending requirements for the bonus are higher than most personal cards, and many of the card benefits are tailored to the small business. There is no requirement, however, to have a registered company in order to apply for the card – is it fine to be self-employed, contracting or freelancing.
There is an annual fee of $95 – competitive against other mid-range credit cards. In our opinion, as long as you meet the spending requirement for the sign up bonus and spend enough in business categories which offer better rewards, this is well worth it.
There is no introductory discount for annual fee or lower APR rates. Standard APR offered for the card is between 18.24 per cent and 23.25 per cent.
80,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign up bonus – one of the best available
The sign up bonus offered with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is, quite rightly, one of the major appeals of the card. You will earn a massive 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months. The spending target is higher than many other cards – but remember that this card is designed to be used for business expenses, and potentially by multiple company employees.
This is one of the best bonuses on offer anywhere. 80,000 points are worth $1,000 if redeemed for travel through the Chase booking portal. And potentially much more than this if transferred to airline partners and used for flight rewards.
No foreign exchange fees
Whilst this is a card designed for businesses rather than the frequent traveler, it still offers some great benefits when you do travel. High up on the list is the inclusion of no foreign transaction fees on purchases overseas (this does not apply to ATM withdrawals).
This a great money saver for business travel expenses, and in our opinion is an essential benefit for anyone who will travel. Many other cards add a fee of around three per cent to such transactions – a costly extra.
Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points
It’s not just the sign up bonus that offers plenty of points; the ongoing earning rate is excellent too. This is clearly tailored to the small business and can be hugely rewarding for business expenses in the right categories.
All earning is in the Chase Ultimate Rewards points scheme. This is one of our favorite financial rewards schemes – long established with a solid network of partners and great high-value redemption options.
All spending on the card, both in the US and overseas, earns points at the same rate:
- Three points per dollar are earned for spending in certain categories – including travel, shipping, online advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, and internet/phone services. There is a total limit of up to $150,000 per year (across all categories) for this.
- All other spending earns one point per dollar, with no limit.
Spending Ultimate Rewards points
As the card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, it offers full access to the redemption options of this scheme. See our guide to redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points for more details and ideas. Ways to spend include:
- Converting to cashback as a statement credit, at a rate of one cent per point. This is lower than using points for travel so is not recommended. It is a useful option, though, if you really have no travel expenses.
- Points can be redeemed for travel bookings through the Chase travel portal, at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. This is a standard style travel booking portal and offers a wide range of airfares and hotels.
- Transferring points to one of nine airlines and three hotel partners, for a potentially higher value.
Using points for airline awards
For many people, the best value use of Chase Ultimate Rewards points lies in transferring them to other programs. This is one of the main strengths of Ultimate Rewards and there are plenty of options!
There are currently nine airline transfer partners:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- British Airways Executive Club
- Iberia Airlines Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United Airlines MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
And three hotel transfer partners:
- IHG Rewards Club
- Hyatt, World of Hyatt
- Marriott Bonvoy
All points transfer at an excellent rate of 1:1. This is better than with some other programs which offer lower transfer rates.
Once transferred, points can be used for flight or hotel reward bookings within any of these programs – opening up a lot of possibilities and some great chances to get good value compared to equivalent cash prices. For a more complete look at transfers and some ideas of the possibilities, see our guide to redeeming points.
Some of our favorite options are using points for premium cabin flight awards. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, for example, offers hard to get access to their first-class seats – one of the most luxurious ways to fly. And British Airways Executive Club is a great option for its distance-based award pricing on all OneWorld airlines. This offers some very good value awards on short and medium-haul international routes or expensive domestic US flight routes booked with American Airlines.
Cards for company employees
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a card designed for small businesses. It makes sense therefore that it is possible to add authorized employees as additional cardholders. There is no charge to add employees and the main account owner is able to set spending limits and monitor spending.
Their spending will attract the same rewards and benefits, all linked to the same account. This is a great way to build up more points in the account, offering a greater choice of rewards.
Included mobile phone cover
One main business-focused benefit not seen with many other Chase cards is the inclusion of cell phone protection. This will cover theft or damage to employee’s mobile phones, up to a limit of $600 per claim (and a maximum of three claims per year, with $100 excess per claim). For this to apply, the cell phone bill needs to be paid using the card.
Collision Damage Waiver cover included when you rent cars
Whenever a cardholder rents a car with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, at home or overseas, they will receive free Collision Damage Waiver. This covers theft or damage of rental vehicles and means you can decline any such additional insurance offered by the rental company. When renting for business use, the cover is primary – so will apply before any other insurance cover that you may have.
Basic trip cancellation/interruption insurance included
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card provides cover for trip cancellation or interruptions. This will cover up to $5,000 of pre-paid costs if a trip is canceled or cut short, for several reasons – including sickness and severe weather.
This is useful cover when employees are traveling for business, allowing you to plan travel in advance safely. It is not as extensive though as the cover provided by other cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve. These offer more cover for the individual traveler such as luggage and accident insurance.
Protection for purchases
In line with most other Chase cards the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers protection on purchases. This is especially valuable when you could be using the card for expensive business equipment.
It offers additional purchase protection on new purchases for 120 days, covering damage and theft. The cover is up to a limit of $10,000 per claim (and $50,000 per account), making this a great card for larger purchases.
Extended warranty is also offered on all eligible purchases with the card. This extends the original warranty of a US manufacturer by one additional year, for original warranties of three years or less.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is an excellent card for small businesses. The high welcome bonus and earnings for business expenses are very rewarding – and more than justify the annual fee. This works for businesses of any size, as long as you will meet the initial spending requirement for the bonus!
When considering the card, look as well at how well your business can use the included benefits! There is great value to be had in auto, travel and mobile phone cover if these apply to your business. And likewise, points earning will grow dramatically if your business spends in the bonus categories.
Individual or self-employed users though should think carefully whether they will get the maximum benefit from the points earning categories and the business-focused perks. Travelers as well may find more value in other cards that offer better travel-related benefits – such as no foreign exchange fees, Global Entry credit and other hotel and airline-specific benefits. There is no reason though not to combine this with other cards – take a look at some of the best from Chase here.