One of the most common misconceptions about business credit cards is that you must have a corporation or EIN to apply. Fortunately, this is not the case. You might sell merchandise online, drive for Uber, or are starting up a new side hustle. And for that reason, sole proprietors, freelancers, and other self-employed gig workers should absolutely give the Chase Ink Business Preferred a long and hard look.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is one of our favorite small business credit cards thanks to a unique set of benefits, excellent earning potential, and lucrative rewards with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the Chase Ink Business Preferred so incredibly valuable.
A huge welcome offer
With the current increased sign up bonus, the Chase Ink Business Preferred has one of the highest welcome bonuses we’ve ever seen for a Chase credit card: 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first three months of card membership.
While this spending threshold might be easily obtainable for larger businesses, it may not be so easy for others. Fortunately, you can use our referral link to get 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. So while you’d be forfeiting 20,000 points, you’ll be off the hook for the additional $10,000 spend requirement. We’ll also get a small referral bonus if you get approved using our referral link.
In fact, our personal recommendation would be to apply for the 80,000 offer after $5,000 spend. Why? Because Chase has a strong track record of matching better welcome offers. In fact, we recently applied for this credit card and were matched to the 100,000 offer after sending a Secure Message from our online account. This means we are at least guaranteed the 80,000 points after $5,000 spend. And if we are able to find a way to spend $15,000 in 3 months, we’ll also get the extra 20,000. If you’re not completely confident that you have $15,000 of expenses in the next 3 months, it makes sense not to risk potentially not getting a welcome bonus at all. Of course, we can’t guarantee Chase will always allow you to do this, but based on what our readers have shared with us, the odds look very good at this time.
Whichever offer you choose, there’s a lot you can do with Ultimate Rewards with your Ink Business Preferred. For example, by transferring to World of Hyatt, 80,000 points is enough to book 10 nights at the Hyatt Regency Bali!
Earning with the Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card has excellent earning rates in several bonus spend categories:
- 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel
- 3x Ultimate Rewards points on shipping purchases
- 3x Ultimate Rewards points on internet, cable, and phone services
- 3x Ultimate Rewards points on advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines
- 5x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
- 1x Ultimate Rewards points on everything else
While the 3x rewards rate is capped at $150,000 across all four categories each account anniversary year, this is a phenomenal return on such a wide variety of merchant categories. If you maxed out those categories, you could earn the full 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points in a single year. These earning structures easily makes the Chase Ink Business Preferred one of the best small business cards for everyday business expenses – especially considering its low $95 annual fee. In fact, no other business credit card quite compares when you look at the breadth of high-earning bonus categories, generous signup bonus, valuable card benefits and low annual fee.
Additionally, the 5x Ultimate Rewards points for Lyft rides is a new benefit as of January 2020 and is an excellent return on ride sharing – it’s also a benefit shared among several other Chase credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Chase’s premium card – the Chase Sapphire Reserve –earns a whopping 10x points on Lyft rides.
In addition to excellent earning rates and an enormous welcome bonus, the Chase Ink Business Preferred also comes with great benefits and protections. In most cases, these benefits will apply when all or part of your purchases are made using your Chase Ink Business Preferred:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Cell Phone Protection: Get up to $600 per claim for cell phone theft and damage – this even includes employees listed on your bill. This alone is a massive benefit considering how rare cell phone coverage is – added to the fact that you’ll already be earning 3x points on those bills.
* Note there is a maximum of three claims per 12-month period, and a $100 deductible per claim.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: If travel plans change due to sickness, severe weather, or other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for pre-paid, nonrefundable expenses. Given that travel is a 3x points category, this adds some major peace of mind for travel bookings.
- Extended Warranty: Purchased products that have U.S. manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less will receive an extra year of warranty coverage.
- Purchase Protection: New purchases are covered for up to 120 days against damage or theft. This is an excellent benefit for expensive equipment and other large ticket items. We found this to be a total lifesaver for film equipment in the past. Coverage is up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Get primary rental car coverage for most car rentals in the U.S. and abroad. This covers you against vehicle theft and collision damage and reimburses up to the actual cash value of the vehicle.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement: Get coverage for travel delays over 12 hours (ex. due to inclement weather), for up to $500 in eligible expenses per event. This also covers award travel when the taxes and fees are charged to your card. Chase does not list Trip Delay Reimbursement details for this specific card online, so you’ll want to call 1-888-320-9956 to speak to a Benefits Administrator about this benefit.
Chase Ink Business Preferred cardholders also have access to a couple of emergency services:
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: If you encounter issues while away from home, you can dial 1-888-320-9956 to speak to a Benefits Administrator who can provide legal and medical referrals in addition to other travel and emergency assistance.
* Note that you’re responsible for the cost of any services obtained.
- Roadside Dispatch: Call 1-800-847-2869 for 24-hour roadside dispatch. They can help with anything from a tow or jumpstart to a tire change, lockout service, winching or gas delivery. Roadside service fees will be provided upfront and will be billed to your card.
Redeeming Ultimate Rewards
Ultimate Rewards points are extremely valuable thanks to the many redemption methods available through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Points can be redeemed at a flat rate of 1 cent per point for things like statement credits, gift cards, or redeemed while shopping online at retailers like Amazon.com. However, there are better ways to get more value out of your Ultimate Rewards points.
One great benefit of the Ink Business Preferred is the ability to receive 25% more value by booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. That means you get 1.25 cents per point, making your travel 20% cheaper. For example, you could redeem this $650 flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo for 52,000 Ultimate Rewards points (52,000 x 1.25 = 65,000).
However, one of the best ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards for maximum value is for travel by transferring points to one of 13 Chase travel partners.
|Aer Lingus||Air France-KLM||British Airways|
|InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)||JetBlue||Marriott|
|Singapore Airlines||Southwest Airlines||United Airlines|
By transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Avios, you could book that same $650 flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo for just 11,000 Avios and $51.46 in taxes and fees.
The math might not always work out this nicely, so it’s important to always shop your options. But having the flexibility to book with points or use transfer partners opens the door for huge savings. We find ourselves transferring UR points primarily to Hyatt, United and sometimes Southwest Airlines, and think those are the programs that should be most interesting for most readers as well.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is one of the most rewarding credit cards for small businesses and sole proprietors. The huge sign on bonus and 3x rewards categories are two major reasons for freelancers, gig workers, and small business owners to consider it. Plus, its comprehensive cardmember protections make it an industry leader for peace of mind when traveling and making big purchases.
Additionally, the Chase Ink Business Preferred pairs well with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which offers a $300 annual travel credit and 3x points on dining. Plus, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can combine Ultimate Rewards points and redeem them for 50% more value for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
As far as competitors, the American Express Business Gold charge card makes a compelling case, offering 4x Membership Rewards points on two select categories each year. However, it has a much higher $295 annual fee and a significantly lower sign on bonus.
If you’re looking for a $0 annual fee card, you may also want to consider the Chase Business Ink Cash, which offers 5x Ultimate Rewards points at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services.
Overall, the Chase Ink Business Preferred is one of the best ways to earn Ultimate Rewards points, thanks to the increased welcome offer and ability to earn 3x points in several spending categories. It offers excellent travel and purchase protections, in addition to a rare cell phone protection benefit, and doesn’t count towards the unwritten Chase 5/24 rule. So if you have fewer than five credit account approvals within the last 24 months, it might be very wise to make the Chase Ink Business Preferred your next credit card application.
What do you think about the Chase Ink Business Preferred? Let us know if you have questions or if there are other small business credit cards you’re considering.