As a business owner, you’ve got plenty of decisions to make. How big of a space should you rent? What kind of equipment should you get? How many employees should you hire?

However, a question just as important as those above is what kind of a rewards credit card should you use for your business? With so many options on the market, it’s hard to choose the right card for you and your business.

When it comes to earning maximum points for travel, you’ll have a tough time beating the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or the American Express® Business Gold Card.

So, let’s compare these two popular business card options.

Welcome Bonus

Let’s start with the obvious. A welcome bonus is one of the most attractive features of any credit card, so let’s compare their sizes and their values.

Amex Business Gold

The welcome bonus that comes with the American Express Business Gold Card varies. We’ve seen it fluctuate between 35,000 and 50,000 Membership Rewards points. You should expect the minimum spend requirement to be $5,000, if not a bit more.

Chase Ink Preferred

Business owners who sign up for the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card will receive 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 on the card in the first three months.

Previously, the welcome bonus had been 80,000 Chase points after spending $3,000 in three months. This had been pretty stable until the recent change.

Now, the bonus that comes with the Ink Business Preferred card is significantly higher, and so are the minimum-spending requirements. If your business spending allows you to meet the requirement with ease, the Chase card offers significantly more points.

Amex Travel vs. Chase Travel Portal

Amex Business Gold

When you redeem Membership Rewards points via the Amex Travel portal, they hold specific value.

Normally, points are worth 1 cent apiece when you book flights or hotels that participate in the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Whenever you book prepaid hotels, cruises or vacations through the travel portal, the points are then worth 0.7 cent.

As an Amex Business Gold cardholder, it’s possible to increase that per-point value when booking either business-class or first-class flights via the Amex Travel portal. In this scenario, you receive a 25% rebate on the points used, which increases each point’s value to about 1.33 cents.

The perk also applies to economy flights booked on your pre-selected airline (the one you choose every year for the airline incidentals credit).

Using the above valuation, a bonus of 35,000 Membership Rewards points is worth about $465.

Guide to Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

Chase Ink Preferred

The Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card are worth a flat 1.25 cents each whenever you redeem them via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal toward any travel purchase.

So, in this case, the sign-up bonus is worth $1,250.

The math does itself.

United Airlines

Transfer Partners

Besides the option of redeeming points via each of the program’s respective travel portals, you can transfer them to airline and hotel loyalty programs and increase their value even more.

Amex Business Gold

AirlinesTransfer Ratio
Aer Lingus AerClub1,000:1,000
Aeroméxico Club Premier 1,000:1,600
Air Canada Aeroplan 1,000:1,000
Air France/KLM Flying Blue 1,000:1,000
Alitalia MilleMiglia 1,000:1,000
ANA Mileage Club 1,000:1,000
Avianca LifeMiles 1,000:1,000
British Airways Executive Club 1,000:1,000
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1,000:1,000
Delta SkyMiles 1,000:1,000
El Al Frequent Flyer Club1,000:20
Emirates Skywards 1,000:1,000
Etihad Guest1,000:1,000
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles1,000:1,000
Iberia Plus1,000:1,000
JetBlue TrueBlue 250:200
Qantas Frequent Flyer 500:500
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1,000:1,000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,000:1,000
Hotels Transfer Ratio
Choice Privileges1,000:1,000
Hilton Honors1,000:2,000
Marriott Bonvoy1,000:1,000

Although American Express partners with more programs, some of these programs present little to no value to travelers. Hotel partners are weak, but a few airlines present opportunities to redeem points for premium experiences.

For example, Star Alliance programs Air Canada Aeroplan, ANA Mileage Club and Avianca LifeMiles all have sweet spots good enough to compete with United MileagePlus. It’s hard to beat Avianca’s business class from the United States to Europe for 63,000 LifeMiles and no fuel surcharges, and let’s not forget round-the-world trips still bookable with ANA Mileage Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore KrisFlyer miles.

Another edge that Amex has over Chase is transfer bonuses. Every now and again, American Express offers bonus points when Membership Rewards are converted to miles. You can get up to 40% bonus points when transferring points to airlines and hotels, and that’s a useful perk for those who’ve mastered the art of award bookings.

Chase Ink Preferred

AirlinesTransfer Ratio
Aer Lingus AerClub1,000:1,000
Air France/KLM Flying Blue1,000:1,000
British Airways Executive Club1,000:1,000
Emirates Skywards 1,000:1,000
Iberia Plus1,000:1,000
JetBlue TrueBlue1,000:1,000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1,000:1,000
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1,000:1,000
United MileagePlus1,000:1,000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,000:1,000
HotelsTransfer Ratio
IHG Rewards Club1,000:1,000
Marriott Bonvoy1,000:1,000
World of Hyatt1,000:1,000


Most people prefer quality over quantity, and no doubt Chase does offer quality in World of Hyatt and United MileagePlus.

Although United MileagePlus just increased award prices on partner flights by 10% with no notice, it remains one of Chase’s most useful transfer partners. The program doesn’t impose high fuel surcharges. It offers a convenient 30-day calendar search, and you can book a free stopover, aka the Excursionist Perk, on a round-trip or an open-jaw itinerary.

World of Hyatt is another gem that lets you maximize your return on points. Because of how the program is set up, you often can get around 2 cents per point when transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt.

Bonus Categories

After the welcome bonus is posted, it’s important to consider the ongoing rewards earning structure on everyday spending.

Amex Business Gold

With the Amex Business Gold Card, you’ll earn 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in categories personalized to you. American Express will detect two bonus categories where your business spent the most money during that particular billing cycle and apply 4X points to those purchases automatically. You don’t have to make any selections yourself.

The categories are as follows:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for media advertising (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. shipping
  • U.S. purchases of computer hardware, software and cloud storage

The quadruple bonus is limited to the first $150,000 in combined purchases annually. The rest of your purchases will earn 1X per dollar spent.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

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

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

Although Chase doesn’t make you select your preferred spending categories, it also caps your bonus earnings on the first $150,000 spent in a membership year.

It’s worth noting that most of the bonus categories with the American Express Business Gold Card are limited to purchases made in the United States, except for airfare. If you travel abroad for your business often, you might not earn as many rewards as you previously thought.

Furthermore, the Ink Business Preferred card offers a multiplier on all travel, not just airfare. Overall, Chase offers more room to earn rewards at an increased rate.

Amex Offers vs. Chase Offers

Amex Business Gold

If you’ve previously had an Amex card, you know about Amex Offers—they’re available on business cards as well. Amex Offers are targeted offers that give you opportunities to save money with specific merchants and, in some cases, bonus points are offered.

Enroll your card in the offers with stores you’re likely to shop at and then use your enrolled card to pay for the goods/services. The promised reward in the form of bonus points or a statement credit will apply shortly.

Chase Ink Preferred

Chase Offers are a rather recent addition to the card perks and doesn’t provide many savings options. Whenever I log into my Amex account, I see hundreds of offers. When I’m in my Ink Preferred account, I see only a few. American Express easily wins this round.

Other Card Benefits


You may want to read this related article about car rental protection: A Review of My Audi Q5 Silvercar Rental Car by Matt Brown

Amex Business Gold

  • Premium car rental protection: Your car rental of no more than 42 consecutive days is eligible for premium car rental protection for a fee (a flat rate of $19.95 to $24.95). The coverage includes theft and damage done to the vehicle during your rental period for up to $100,000 of primary coverage. Secondary insurance is included at no cost for 30 days (covers deductible of your personal auto insurance).
  • American Express Presales: Get access to event ticket presales with your American Express credit card before the general public.
  • American Express Preferred Seating: When purchasing event tickets online, you’re eligible to select seats in the zone reserved for Amex card members only.
  • Purchase protection: Purchases made with the Business Gold Card are protected against damage or theft for 90 days for up to $1,000 per purchase (and up to $50,000 per year).
  • No foreign transaction fees (Rates and fees)

Cellphone damage or theft protection when the bill is paid using Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Chase Ink Preferred

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Primary coverage is automatically included as long as you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and use your card to pay for the car that’s rented for business purposes in the United States. You don’t have to file a claim with personal auto insurance. Personal rentals abroad are covered as well. Maximum rental period is 31 consecutive days, and you’re covered for up to the actual value of the car.
  • Cell phone protection: Receive up to $600 per claim against damage or theft for all employees on the same cell phone bill as long as you pay the bill with the card. (May file up to three claims per year with a $100 deductible per claim.)
  • Purchase protection: Your new purchases are covered for damage or theft for the first 120 days since you paid for them (for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per card account).
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual Fee

Now that we’ve talked about rewards and benefits, let’s talk about annual fees. The Amex Business Gold comes with a steeper $295 annual fee while the Ink Preferred comes with a lower $95 annual fee. Neither are waived the first year.

Which Card Is Right for You?

You don’t have to be a mathemagician to see that the Amex Business Gold Card will cost you $200 more per year to use. If you’ll utilize the 4X bonus categories and want to earn Membership Rewards points, it can still be a great option for you.

However, the Ink Preferred credit card packs a punch with 3X bonus categories that are easy to use and it comes with a more manageable annual fee. And, don’t forget, the Ink Preferred is restricted by the Chase 5/24 rule, which means it’s a top priority card for business owners interested in Ultimate Rewards points.

Final Thoughts

You can easily make an argument for either the American Express Business Gold Card or the Chase Ink Preferred credit card. The key is taking a look at your spending habits and figuring out which one is right for you at this point in your miles and points journey.

Because both Amex Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points provide a ton of value, many people look for opportunities to earn both. So, don’t be surprised if you find yourself considering both cards for your business at some point.