Choosing the right credit card is an important decision for small business owners, and it’s not an easy one, especially because many banks offer multiple options to appeal to different types of businesses.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card are both strong contenders, but they have important differences in how you can earn and use your rewards. Below, we’ll compare these cards to help you figure out when each could be right for you.

Welcome Bonus

Chase Ink Preferred

The Chase Ink Preferred offers 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 on the card in the first three months.

Previously, the welcome bonus had been pretty consistently 80,000 Chase points after spending $3,000 in three months. While the extra 20,000 points is a significant increase, the additional $12,000 in spending required makes the bonus harder to earn for many people.

Chase Ink Cash

The Ink Business Cash has a welcome bonus of 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (marketed as $750 cash) after you spend $7,5000 on the card in the first three months.

chase ink business preferred

Guide to Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

Chase Travel Portal

Both cards give you access to the Chase Travel Portal where you can redeem points at a fixed value towards airfare, hotels, rental cars, cruises and activities. However, the fixed value is not the same.

Points redeemed with the Ink Preferred are worth 1.25 cents each, while points redeemed with the Ink Cash are worth just 1 cent each. This is the same value that you’d get redeeming your points for cash in your bank account, so there’s not much point in booking through the Chase portal for Ink Cash cardholders.

If you use your points this way, the welcome bonus for the Ink Preferred is worth $1,250 in travel, while the Ink Cash’s bonus is worth $500.

The Ink Preferred’s ability to transfer points to partners makes it significantly more versatile than the Ink Cash unless you have one of the three premium cards to pair with it.

If this is your first Ultimate Rewards credit card, the Ink Preferred is far stronger – you’ll get more points from the welcome bonus, and the points are worth more because you can transfer them to airline and hotel partners or redeem them for travel at 1.25 cents per point.

Bonus Categories

After you receive your welcome bonus, it’s important to look at how many points you’ll earn for ongoing spending.

Chase Ink Preferred

With the Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar in the following categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising on social media and search engines

The 3X bonus is limited to the first $150,000 spent across any of these categories during your account anniversary year (that’s the first 12 months after opening the card, and each 12 month period after that). All other purchases will earn 1X point per dollar spent.

chase ink business cash earning structure

Chase Ink Cash

The Ink Business Cash earns a whopping 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar in these categories:

  • Office supply stores
  • Internet, cable and phone services.

And 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on:

  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants

You can earn bonus points on up to $25,000 in purchases across 5X categories and up to $25,000 in purchases across 2X categories per account anniversary year. All other purchases earn 1X point per dollar.

Other Card Benefits

Both Cards

Auto rental collision damage waiver: Both cards include automatic coverage for rentals of 31 days or less, as long as you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and use your card to pay for the rental. This coverage applies only to rentals for business purposes within the United States, but when traveling abroad personal rentals are also covered. You don’t have to file a claim with your personal auto insurance, and you’re covered for up to the actual value of the car.

Purchase protection: New purchases are covered against damage or theft during the first 120 days since you paid for them, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per card account.

Chase Offers: Both cards are eligible for occasional cash-back offers at specific merchants, like Starbucks, Intercontinental Hotels, or Xfinity. These are unpredictable and usually fairly low value, but it’s worth checking the Chase website or mobile app periodically for new opportunities.

Purchase-Protections-and-Extended-Warranty

Chase Ink Preferred

Cell phone protection: Simply pay your phone bill with your Ink Preferred card, and phones on that plan that you and your employees own will be covered against theft or damage, up to $600 per claim. There is a $100 deductible and a limit of three claims per rolling 12-month period.

Travel protections: When you use the Ink Preferred to pay for travel expenses, you’ll automatically be covered against unexpected fees and out-of-pocket expenses if your trip is delayed, canceled, or interrupted, as well as if your baggage is delayed, damaged or lost.

 

travel protection

Annual Fee

As you might have guessed from the different levels of benefits, these two cards have very different costs. The Ink Cash has no annual fee, while the Ink Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

Which Card Is Right for You?

If this is your first Ultimate Rewards credit card, the Ink Preferred is far stronger – you’ll get more points from the welcome bonus, and the points are worth more because you can transfer them to airline and hotel partners or redeem them for travel at 1.25 cents per point.

If you already have a personal Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred, it’s not as easy a decision. Since you can access transfer partners and increased value through the travel portal by combining points with one of those cards, you’ll need to look at the bonus categories offered by the Ink Cash and Ink Preferred and decide which make the most sense for your business.

Final Thoughts

Both of these cards offer compelling rewards for different kinds of businesses. Since there’s so little overlap in their bonus categories, some business owners decide to get both of these cards – though keep in mind that they’re both subject to the Chase 5/24 rule.

Even if the Ink Cash is a better fit for your business long term, you might want to open the Ink Preferred for the larger sign up bonus (which is worth far more than the annual fee). You can always get the Ink Cash later.