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Over the past decade, Chase has regularly updated their Ink business card lineup. Occasionally, a new card is announced. Other times, a card fades away and is never seen again. Recently, a brand new Ink card was added to the family—and as with any new card, you should be thinking about how it might work for your business.
As expected, the Chase Ink Business Premier* comes with differences in almost every aspect of the card. From the earning structure to the redemption options to the benefits available, this is truly a brand new card. Even the Ultimate Rewards points you earn are a bit different.
The Chase Ink Business Premier* has an annual fee of $195, more than double that of any of the other Ink cards that Chase offers. Let’s take a look at what you get for that hefty annual fee and see if it’s worth it to add the card to your wallet.
The Chase Ink Business Premier* comes with a $1,000 cash back after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
It’s fairly difficult to pass up this bonus. Don’t forget that in addition to the welcome bonus you will be earning 2%, 2.5% or 5% cash back on your spending as you work to earn the bonus as well.
In this case, the welcome offer far outweighs the annual fee for the card for the first year.
The Chase Ink Business Premier* is one of the few business cards that offers unlimited multiplied earnings. When you make purchases with your card you will earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 2.5% cash back on every purchase of $5,000 or more, and 2% cash back on every other purchase.
The key here is that not only are there multipliers applied to every single purchase, but the categories for the higher multipliers do not have any limits. If you have a business that spends huge amounts on large purchases ($5,000 or above) or on travel that can be booked through Ultimate Rewards, your rewards won’t be cut off when you hit a certain level of spend. Most other business cards that offer multiples on categories set limits on the spend in those categories.
As a result, this is a card tailor-made for high-spending businesses. No more hopes about switching cards when you hit a spend limit or only earning one point per dollar because you’ve already spent too much this year. With the Chase Ink Business Premier*your spending bonuses are truly unlimited.
Well, it can’t all be good news, and redemptions are where we hit a snag with this card. The Ultimate Rewards points that you earn with the Chase Ink Business Premier* are not the same as those earned with other Ink, Sapphire or Freedom cards.
When it comes time to redeem your points, you have four options. You can use your points for cash back or to book travel through Ultimate Rewards at a rate of one cent per point, you can use the points to shop at Amazon and Paypal at a rate of 0.8 cents per point or you can use them to buy gift cards and merchandise at a rate to be determined.
Unfortunately, with the Chase Ink Business Premier*, that’s the maximum value you can get out of your points. Even though they are called Ultimate Rewards points, you can’t transfer them to any of Chase’s airline or hotel partners. In fact, you aren’t even allowed to combine your points into another account that has the ability to transfer points or use them at an increased rate through the Ultimate Rewards portal like you can with no-annual-fee Chase cards like the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card and Chase Freedom Flex℠.
This is a huge negative for this card unless you are only looking to earn cash back for your business.
The Chase Ink Business Premier* is Chase’s first business charge card. This differs from a credit card in that it’s designed to be paid off every month. Chase will allow cardholders to carry a balance on eligible purchases with interest via their “Flex for Business” program, but it’s not how the card is designed to be used. If you need to regularly carry a balance this card isn’t a fit for you no matter the fee. Granted, if you are regularly carrying a balance on any credit card, the interest charges you are paying are far outweighing the value of any rewards earned. We don’t ever recommend carrying a balance on a credit card.
The Chase Ink Business Premier* It comes with several other travel and purchase protections. Many of these are duplicated on other cards, but if you don’t have them elsewhere, they can really come in handy when you need them. Either way, at least a few of these benefits will add value to the card for most businesses.
- Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance: Up to $5,000 per trip for prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses when your trip is canceled due to sickness, severe weather, or other covered reasons.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Legal, medical, and other travel and emergency assistance through your Benefit Administrator. Costs paid by the cardholder.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Primary coverage for theft collision and when the rental company’s collision coverage is declined and the entire rental business is charged to your card.
- Cell Phone Protection: Up to $1,000 per claim for covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your cell phone bill that is paid with your card. Max of three claims per 12 month period and $100 deductible for each claim.
- Extended Warranty Protection: On eligible purchases with warranties of three years or less, the warranty is extended by one year.
- Purchase Protection: Covers new purchases against damage or theft for 120 days and up to limits of $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Flex for Business: Subject to the limit for your business, pay off eligible purchases over time with interest.
One thing to note is that the rental car damage waiver coverage with this card is primary when you rent for business purposes. That means if you have a covered loss, your card benefits will pay out first. With many other cards, this benefit is a secondary coverage, meaning that your personal or business car insurance will have to pay out first.
Can you get more than $195 in value out of the Chase Ink Business Premier*? Yes, you certainly can—especially in the first year. Many would say that this fact alone makes the card worth the annual fee. But is it the best card for your business to keep long term? The answer to that is a bit more complicated.
You need to look at your spending patterns and see how much you can earn compared to other available business cards to determine if the card is right for you. Since the other benefits of the card can be found on a variety of other cards, this comes down to whether you can steadily earn more points and whether you are happy to earn cash back or not.
For businesses with higher spend that would exceed the limits on the category multipliers of other cards, and those that spend a lot on purchases of over $5,000 each and travel, this card is a no brainer. It puts more cash back in your pocket long after other cards would hit their limits.
For smaller businesses that may be able to earn more with the increased category multipliers on other cards, or for those that want to transfer to airlines and hotels in order to maximize their rewards value, the lower annual fee and better redemption options of some other cards may be a better fit.