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- If you enjoy free travel and own a business, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is one of the best business travel rewards cards available in 2018.
- The card is compelling enough that I signed up myself over a year ago and it still holds a slot in my wallet.
- Earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account — and easily cover the cost of a decade of annual fees.
If you own a small business, the right credit card can help you better manage expenses while also earning valuable rewards. The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers up to 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on bonus categories and 1x point everywhere else. While the card charges a $95 annual fee, it is easy to get that and more back in free and discounted travel depending on your spending habits.
Chase Ink Business Preferred rewards program
When you open a new account, you start with a huge bonus that easily covers the cost of a decade of annual fees. Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account. If you redeem the easy way through Chase Ultimate Rewards, that is worth $1,000 in free travel. In the next section, we’ll discuss how you can do even better.
When you use points for bonus category purchases, you earn 3x points per dollar spent on travel, shipping, phone/cable/internet, and search engine or social media advertising purchases up to $150,000 per year in combined purchases (450,000 points per year). Depending on your business, that adds up to a lot of free flights and hotel nights.
If you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to book travel, you’ll have a similar experience to any major travel aggregator website. The standard rate is 1 point = 1 cent, but you get an extra 25% bonus value when redeeming as an Ink Business Preferred cardholder.
Ultimate Rewards points are a part of one of the best travel rewards programs out there today. Only American Express Membership Rewards competes for the high-value of each point. You have a handful of redemption options in Ultimate Rewards with varying values.
On the low-value end, you can redeem points for cash back at a rate of 1 point = 1 cent. Redeeming for travel purchases yields an extra 25% value, or 1.25 cents per point. But the best results come from transferring points to travel partners at a 1:1 rate and booking premium travel through their rewards programs.
The most popular transfer partners include Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and British Airways. Other airline partners include: Aer Lingus, Flying Blue AirFrance/KLM, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic. Remember that these airlines are often members of alliances that give you access to additional airlines with reward availability around the world.
Hotels typically offer less value than airlines. For hotels, you can transfer to Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt. Marriott now owns Starwood and Ritz Carlton under a unified rewards program, so between these three programs, you can get a room in nearly any major city or resort destination in the world.
You can get the most free travel when using points to book coach flights on partners like United, Southwest, and even American Airlines when booking through British Airways. To get the most value per point, you should look toward international business class flights. In some cases, you can beat a value of 5 cents per point with that type of booking.
Additional Ink Business Preferred benefits
This card has great benefits, as you would expect with any premium travel rewards card. Here are a handful of the most valuable benefits:
- Auto rental insurance — Book the entire cost of a rental car on this credit card and skip the rental company’s insurance. This card includes insurance for damage or theft to the rental.
- Trip insurance — If your trip is canceled or interrupted for reasons beyond your control, you may be able to get reimbursed for related expenses up to $5,000 per trip. That includes prepaid hotels, tours, and airfare.
- Purchase protection — New purchases are covered by an insurance policy for up to 120 days. If you just got a new [insert electronic here] and your kid decided it should go swimming, you can get the item repaired or replaced up to $500 per occurrence and $50,000 per account.
- Extended warranty — Get an additional one-year warranty on purchases with this card for eligible manufacturer’s warranties up to three years.
- Cell phone protection — Get up to $600 toward a damaged or stolen phone when you pay your monthly bill on this account. It includes your own phone and employee phones.
Other benefits include a roadside dispatch service (kind of like AAA, but fees apply when used) and no foreign transaction charges for purchases outside the United States.
Costs and fees from Chase Ink Business Preferred
This card comes with one fee you can’t get out of: a $95 annual fee. But as we learned above, the 80,000-point sign-up bonus gives you more value than a decade of annual fees.
Purchases and balance transfers incur 17.74% to 22.74% variable rate APR based on your credit history and market rates. The variable rate cash advance APR is 26.74%. Rates can change at any time with market interest rates. Missed or late payments can trigger a 29.99% penalty APR.
Balance transfers cost 5% ($5 minimum) and cash advances charge 5% ($15 minimum). Late and returned payments cost up to $39 per occurrence. There is no foreign transaction fee.
Remember, if you pay off any credit card in full before the due date you don’t owe interest.
The bottom line: go or no-go with the Ink Business Preferred
This card is compelling enough that I signed up myself over a year ago and it still holds a slot in my wallet.
If you enjoy free travel and own a business, this is one of the best business travel rewards cards out there. If you want ultra-premium rewards, you may want to consider the high-end The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. That card offers even better benefits, however, it charges a $450 annual fee.
If travel rewards are exciting and the $95 annual fee didn’t scare you away, this is a top-notch card perfect for many small businesses.
Click here to learn more about the Chase Ink Business Preferred from Insider Picks’ partner The Points Guy.
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