Chase Ink Business Preferred review

Note: This card was officially launched Nov. 15, 2016.

Our rating

chase business preferred card4 stars4/5
See explanation of our ratings system

See a breakdown of this card’s rating

Just months after rocking the boat with its premium Sapphire Reserve, Chase has revamped its business card offerings with a new product – the Chase Ink Business Preferred.

The card offers an 80,000-point sign-up bonus (after spending $5k in the first three months), 3X back on various categories (including travel) and will have a $95 fee.

The card combines various elements of its existing personal cards and business cards – read our review to see if that happens to be the perfect cocktail for you.

The highlights

When news broke about the new card, rumors swirled about whether it would replace the Ink Plus, Chase’s long-standing $95-annual-fee business card. Chase initially suggested that the new card would be in addition to (and not a replacement for) the Ink Plus. But it later said the new Preferred card WOULD replace the Plus. We finally have confirmation: Chase’s website now shows the Ink Business Preferred and the no-annual-fee Ink Cash — but the Ink Plus is gone from its card listings. The bank’s landing pages for Ink Plus card are dead.

So now, if you’re looking for a premium business-travel card from Chase, the Ink Business Preferred is your only option — and quite a good one. Like the Ink Plus, it allows you to transfer rewards directly to Chase’s airline partners, redeem through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal (where points get a 25 percent value boost), or cash in for cash back, gift cards or online purchases.

And here’s a unique perk – the Business Preferred will offer cellphone protection, according to The Points Guy. If you pay your phone bill (and that of your employees on your plan), you’ll get up to $600 in protection against theft or damage (up to three claims per year). Cellphone coverage is a rare perk and, up until now has been the territory of Wells Fargo and a collection of regional banks.

Like many of Chase’s other cards, the Business Preferred will likely be subject to the 5/24 rule – you won’t be approved if you’ve opened more than five cards in the past 24 months.

Rewards

Chase has been making its rewards richer in 2016 (see the Chase Sapphire Reserve). Whether the Business Preferred card’s rewards are richer for you than its existing business cards depends on your needs.

The Business Preferred lets you earn:

  • 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar on travel, telecommunications, shipping and advertising (on social media and search engines) on up to $150k in spending per year. That $150k cap is for combined spending across all the categories.
  • 1 Ultimate Rewards Point per dollar on other spending (including category spending after the $150k cap is hit)

Comparing your options

When you compare the Business Preferred to its closest extinct relative (the Chase Ink Plus card), you’re gaining some things rewards-wise and losing others. You’re losing the 5X categories the Ink Plus offered, most notably office supply stores. You’re gaining a much more flexible travel category, going from 2X on hotels with the Ink Plus, to 3X on all travel. Chase’s travel category is wide and even includes Uber and Lyft rides. You’re also gaining an advertising category, which encompasses social-media and search-engine ads.

Use the table below to compare the new Chase Business Preferred card to the now-defunct Chase Ink Plus.

Chase Business Preferred vs. Chase Ink Plus (Rewards)
Chase Business PreferredChase Ink Plus
Advertising (social media/search engines)3X (on combined $150k bonus-category spending annually)N/A
GasN/A2X (on combined $50k in 2X category spending annually)
Office supply storesN/A5X (on combined $50k in 5X category spending annually)
Shipping3X (on combined $150k bonus-category spending annually)N/A
Telecommunications3X (on combined $150k bonus-category spending annually)5X (on combined $50k in 5X category spending annually)
All travel3X (on combined $150k bonus-category spending annually)2X on HOTELS ONLY (on combined $50k in 2X category spending annually)
Other spending1X1X

So should you be mourning for the Chase Ink Plus? Or be excited about the new Chase Business Preferred? That depends on your needs. Businesses that buy a lot of office supplies and electronics at office supply stores may have found the Ink Plus’s 5X category more rewarding. Business owners who travel a lot and run up high bills for digital advertising (on Facebook and Google, for example) will probably earn more UR points with the new Business Preferred.

And let’s not forget about the Chase Ink Cash card. It has no annual fee and earns cash back in the Ink Plus’s 5X and 2X categories. You’ll miss out on the ability to transfer points to Chase’s travel partners and on the 25 percent value boost in the travel portal, but you can still shop with points at certain online retailers, redeem for cash back or use your points toward travel purchased in the Ultimate Rewards portal.

In addition to Chase’s business cards, if you’re shopping around, similar products are available from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner):

American Express Business Gold ($175 annual fee, waived first year):
This card is more expensive than Chase’s business cards but allows you to customize your bonus categories – which include digital advertising. You’ll earn points in American Express’s Membership Rewards program, which is similar to Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program.

American Express SimplyCash Plus card ($0 annual fee): This card allows you to earn cash back (automatically redeemed as statement credits) in a couple 5 percent categories and a 3 percent category of your choice. You’ll earn 5 percent back at office supply stores and on wireless telephone services. Its eight options for 3 percent cash back include advertising, including digital advertising.

Why we gave it 4 out of 5 stars

Because this card earns points in the Ultimate Rewards program, we rated it based on our standards for flexible rewards programs. It gained stars for its rewards program and lost one, due to the lack of perks with tangible monetary value.

Full starRewards-earning rate: This card earned a star by meeting our requirements for annual fee cards – at least 2X in at least 2 bonus categories.
Full starRedemption value: This card met our standards for having at least one redemption option with a value of 1 cent per point. In fact, you can frequently get more than that via the UR program.
Full starUnique perks: This card has two notable rare perks – primary rental car insurance coverage and cellphone protection
Empty starFair annual fee: This card doesn’t have any perks with concrete monetary value that offset the annual fee. In order to make it worth $95 a year, you need to make the effort to redeem rewards strategically.
Full starBonus opportunities: In addition to an advertised sign-up bonus, Chase business cards have access to Chase’s bonus shopping portal.

Updated Oct. 24, 2016

 
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