|Business Rating:||3.7 / 5|
|Issuer Customer Experience||4.0|
In a Nutshell:
This is one of the best small business cards available if you’re searching for a flat-rate cash back card with substantial purchasing power. However, its redemption restrictions hold back its long-term value.
$1,000 after spending $10,000 on purchases within the first three months
APRFlex for Business Variable APR: 19.49% - 27.49%
Chase Customer Service Ratings:
The Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card is a unique departure from other Chase credit cards, bringing exciting advantages and strange drawbacks.
On the one hand, it’s Chase’s first premium, flat-rate business rewards card. The Ink Business Premier sets itself apart from the competition with excellent travel protections, additional rewards on big purchases and a simple, flexible spending limit. However, it’s also the first premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card that doesn’t offer a point value redemption boost toward travel or let you use the issuer’s travel transfer partners.
The Ink Business Premier is an excellent engine for earning points, but your rewards are isolated since it won’t let you pool its rewards with other Chase cards either. This could be a deal-breaker if you already have another Chase rewards card or you plan to carry multiple down the road. In fact, one of the main reasons to get a Chase card is how well the issuer’s cards pair together, so these strange new restrictions could make other business cards a better option if you aren’t looking for a standalone rewards card.
Ultimately, the Business Premier is one of the best and easiest-to-use business cards if you need purchasing power and a way to reward your large expenses. However, you may need to crunch some numbers before applying since its higher $195 annual fee and redemption hang-ups may mean you’ll get more rewards value from another flat-rate business card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
- Improves on rival cards’ flat-rate cash back with boosted rewards on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel and purchases of $5,000 or more
- Its flexible spending limit offers purchasing power with a more convenient way to carry over purchases than competing cards provide
- You can redeem for both cash back and travel at a 1:1 value
- Carries perhaps the best cellphone protection available, plus other excellent travel protections
- Offers one of the best business sign-up bonuses available for the spending requirement
- Its rewards rates might not justify the $195 annual fee unless you plan on making several purchases of $5,000 or more
- Unlike other premium Chase cards, you can’t use transfer partners or redeem your points at a higher value toward Chase Ultimate Rewards travel
- You can’t pool your rewards with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
Why you might want the Ink Business Premier card
The Ink Business Premier could be the perfect fit if you’re a fan of simple cash back cards and want to save on large business purchases. You’ll not only get a ton of flexibility since the card carries no preset credit limit, but you’ll also earn at least 2% cash back on all purchases and 2.5% on expenses of $5,000 or more.
Thanks to its rewards rate and flexible spending limit, Chase’s new flat-rate card is great for startups, especially if your most significant business expenses don’t fall within the typical business card bonus categories.
Outstanding flat-rate rewards for big spenders
Flat-rate rewards cards offer steady long-term value, but since so many cards earn at the same rate — 1.5% or 2% back on all purchases — it can be hard to decide which is the best fit for you. The Ink Business Premier stands out thanks to its higher rewards rate on travel and large purchases. You’ll not only earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, but also 5% back on travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 2.5% cash back on individual purchases of $5,000 or more.
An extra 0.5% cash back may seem insignificant initially, but it can add up if you have big expenses. Each $5,000 purchase will net you $25 more in rewards with the Ink Business Premier than you’d earn with a 2% flat-rate cash back card. Suppose your business orders bulk inventory in a $5,000 purchase each month. By the end of the year, the Ink Business Premier would rack up $1,500 in rewards on these purchases, while a typical 2% flat-rate cash back card would earn just $1,200 back.
Flexible spending limit, more purchasing power
If you’re looking for a cash back business card with serious purchasing power, the Ink Business Premier is one of your best options outside of a traditional charge card.
Charge cards – like the Capital One Spark Cash Plus – don’t pose a defined credit limit and require you to pay off your balance in full every month. The Ink Business Premier also doesn’t have a preset credit limit, but it still allows you to pay off your purchases over time via its Flex for Business feature (with added interest or fees).
This can give you the flexibility needed to cover your largest business expenses and squeeze out even more cash back in the process. In fact, Flex for Business may be more convenient than other issuers’ alternate payment plans if you often handle big purchases.
For example, the American Express Pay Over Time feature allows you to carry over purchases of $100 or more to the next month, but you have to toggle the feature on and off in your account. Like Pay Over Time, the Flex for Business feature sets your limit based on your creditworthiness. However, you won’t have to activate Flex for Business since every purchase of $500 or more will automatically carry over if it fits within your Flex for Business limit (plus an 19.49% to 27.49% variable APR).
Although you’ll face a much higher minimum purchase requirement to be eligible for Flex for Business than you would with Amex’s Pay Over Time feature, this fits well with the Ink Business Premier card’s higher rewards rate on large business purchases. However, keep in mind that any amount beyond your Flex for Business limit will need to be paid off in full each month, and you’ll face interest charges on your Flex for Business balance.
Tip: Having no set spending limit and bonus cash back on big purchases can be a recipe for trouble if you’re not careful. Avoid taking on expenses you can’t easily pay off just for extra cash back. After all, the interest charges would far outweigh any rewards you’d earn.
Comprehensive purchase and travel protections
Chase is known for issuing some of the best credit cards for travel insurance, and the Ink Business Premier includes perhaps the best travel protection roster available on the issuer’s business cards. In fact, its protections are more robust than the Ink Business Preferred travel card’s perks. By paying for your trip with your card, you get the following:
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Baggage delay insurance
- Auto rental collision damage waiver coverage
- 24/7 pay-per-use roadside dispatch
- Visa Signature Business travel and emergency assistance services
You’ll also receive perhaps the best cellphone protection available on the market. Each employee phone will be covered against eligible loss or damage for up to $1,000 per claim if you pay your company cellphone bill with your card each month. You can receive up to three claims per 12-month period (subject to a $100 deductible). That’s impressive considering cards typically offer just $600 in coverage per claim and up to two claims per year.
Impressive sign-up bonus
You can earn a $1,000 cash bonus – awarded as 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points – by spending $10,000 in your first three months. This spending requirement is reasonable given the value you receive, beating out the return on spend offered by several competing cards. For example, the Ink Business Preferred card also carries a 100,000-point sign-up bonus but requires an $8,000 spend in the same timeframe. Meanwhile, another flat-rate cash back business card, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus, requires you to spend $30,000 in the first three months to receive a one-time $1,200 cash bonus.
Why you might want a different card
Despite offering some of the best flat-rate rewards available on a business card, the Ink Business Premier card’s relatively high annual fee and watered-down reward redemption options could make other cards more lucrative.
Can’t pool points
The Ink Business Premier is marketed as a cash back card, but it actually earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These are usually seen as some of the market’s most valuable and flexible credit card points. However, Chase has added redemption restrictions to the Ink Business Premier that hold back the value of its points.
Unlike most Ultimate Rewards cards, the Ink Business Premier doesn’t allow you to pool points with a premium Chase travel card. Chase’s other cash back cards — including the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card and Ink Business Cash® Credit Card — allow you to pool rewards with a premium Chase travel card and get 25% to 50% more value out of your points when you redeem for travel with Chase. This also means you can’t use Chase’s travel transfer partners — a key part of maximizing Ultimate Rewards point value.
Excluding the ability to pool points from the Ink Business Premier is a puzzling choice that stunts the card’s value and undermines one of the major reasons to get a Chase card: The cards are designed to pair with each other better than many other issuers’ cards do.
The Ink Business Premier would have been one of the most valuable flat-rate business cards available if it allowed you to pool points with other Chase cards or use Chase’s transfer partners. It could even have replaced the Ink Business Unlimited in the business version of the Chase trifecta and been part of one of the best credit card combinations available for small businesses.
As it stands, however, your points are only reliably worth up to 1 cent apiece toward cash back or Chase travel.
High annual fee may be hard to justify
The Ink Business Premier card’s $195 annual fee should be reasonable for many cardholders, but some business owners may have difficulty justifying it. After all, there aren’t any yearly credits or similar perks to help recoup the cost, and the card’s rewards rates may not stand out enough from competitors’ rates to support a higher price tag.
The closest alternative is the Capital One Spark Cash Plus, which carries a $150 annual fee and also offers a flat 2% cash back rate. However, that card also gives you a chance to get your $150 annual fee refunded every year you spend at least $150,000. While that’s a high spending requirement, it could be attainable for businesses with high expenses; and unlike with the Ink Business Premier, you won’t have to worry about reaching specific spending thresholds on individual purchases to earn additional cash back.
That said, you may not have a problem making up for the Ink Business Premier card’s annual fee through standard rewards spending. You’d only need to spend a little over $800 each month to recoup the annual fee with your 2% flat-rate cash back, or about $3,900 per year on Chase travel. You can even earn enough rewards to offset the annual fee by making just two $5,000 purchases.
Tip: If you make eight purchases of $5,000 or more, the cash back you’d earn via this card’s 0.5% boost will cover the annual fee on its own.
How does the Ink Business Premier compare to other business cards?
Although the Ink Business Premier card’s cash back rates are slightly above those of rival flat-rate business cards, the difference might not be enough to justify the Business Premier card’s annual fee. These alternatives may offer more value and flexibility in the long run:
|Rewards rate ||Rewards rate ||Rewards rate |
100,000 points if you spend $8,000 in first 3 months
$900 if you spend $6,000 in first 3 months
Earn a one-time cash bonus of $1,200 once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
The Ink Business Premier Credit Card vs. The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
If you often travel for business and don’t mind putting in extra effort to make the most of your rewards, then the Ink Business Preferred could be more rewarding and make it easier to maximize other Chase Ink business cards. The Business Preferred card has a lower annual fee than the Ink Business Premier ($95) and earns 3X points on shipping, social media and search engine advertising, travel and internet and cable and phone services (on up to the first $150,000 in combined purchases each year, then 1X points). You can also increase the value of your points by 25% when you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Based on an estimated annual spend of $48,000 and average business expense data, you may earn more rewards value with the Ink Business Preferred:
|Purchase category||Ink Business Premier rewards value|
(1-cent-per-point value; 2% back)
|Ink Business Premier rewards value|
(1-cent-per-point value; 2.5% back)
|Ink Business Preferred rewards value|
|Ink Business Preferred rewards value|
($8,793 per year)
($1,200 per year)
|Online Advertising** ($7,800 per year)||$156 (2% back)||$156|
($9,000 per year)
|$180 (2% back)||$180|
|$424.14 (2% back)||$524.14 (2.5% back via four $5,000 purchases with 2% back on the remainder)||$212.07|
|Yearly rewards value||$424.14|
(2.5% back via four $5,000 purchases with 2% back on the remainder)
|Total average annual rewards value (minus annual fee)||$1,028.79|
(after $195 fee)
(after $195 fee)
(after $95 fee)
(after $95 fee)
*Based on an average $1,293 three-day business trip on an average of 6.8 business trips per year (average business travel data from Zippia)
**Based on typical business expense data (Starter Story)
***Based on a $48,000 total annual spend, minus estimated spending in the Business Preferred card’s bonus categories ($26,793)
Ultimately, the Ink Business Premier may be more rewarding if you’ll only redeem your rewards for cash back. However, top-notch travel redemption options and a lower annual fee could make the Ink Business Preferred a more rewarding option, especially if you use the right travel partner or have other Chase rewards cards to pool rewards with.
The Ink Business Premier Credit Card vs. The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
The Ink Business Unlimited credit card is another flat-rate business cash back card. However, it may be a better fit for small business owners with lower budgets since it earns just 1.5% cash back on all purchases and carries no annual fee.
That said, unless you have very low monthly expenses (around $800 or less — too little to offset the Ink Business Premier card’s annual fee), you’ll likely find the Ink Business Premier more rewarding. For example, if you spend $48,000 per year on general purchases with the Ink Business Unlimited, you’ll earn $720 in cash back, versus $960 with the Ink Business Premier. Even if you subtract the Business Premier card’s $195 annual fee, you end up ahead with $765 in cash back.
However, it’s worth noting that you can pool the Ink Business Unlimited card’s rewards with another Chase Sapphire card and get more value for your points when you redeem for travel with Chase. If you’d prefer travel rewards over cash back, pairing the Business Unlimited with the Ink Business Preferred is a more rewarding and cost-effective choice.
The Ink Business Premier Credit Card vs. The Capital One Spark Cash Plus
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus also features a flexible spending limit, 5% cash back on issuer travel and unlimited 2% cash back on all other purchases. However, the Spark Cash Plus requires you to pay off your balance in full each month, and its travel bonus category only covers hotel stays and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, not airfare.
Despite the Ink Business Premier card’s 2.5% back on purchases of $5,000 or more, the Spark Cash Plus card’s lower annual fee of $150 makes it the more lucrative option based on the average small-business owner’s annual spending (estimated at $48,000 per year). Plus, big spenders can make up for the Spark Cash Plus card’s annual fee with the opportunity to get your $150 annual fee refunded every year you spend at least $150,000.
Since the Ink Business Premier doesn’t offer an annual bonus, you’d need to make at least 10 purchases of $5,000 or more each year for this card to be as rewarding on general purchases as the Spark Cash Plus: 10 purchases of $5,000 or more would earn you an extra $250 back thanks to the Ink Business Premier card’s 2.5% cash back rate (beating out the Spark Cash Plus card’s $150 annual fee refund).
If your business typically spends at least $180,000 each year and you don’t make many purchases of $5,000 or more, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is the stronger pick. However, you’d be better off with the Ink Business Premier if you’ll take advantage of its higher cash back rates and superior travel protections. The Ink Business Premier may also give you more flexibility if you may need to carry a balance occasionally.
Tip: If you want to avoid an annual fee period and redeem points for travel, then you may get more value from The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It earns unlimited 2X points on your first $50,000 in combined purchases each year and also offers flexible payment features.
How to use the Ink Business Premier
- Make individual purchases of at least $5,000 whenever possible to earn 2.5% cash back.
- Use the card for all your business spending, especially large purchases (employee cards earn rewards, too).
- Although you have a flexible spending limit, avoid carrying a balance when possible since interest charges can eat through your rewards.
- Book your business travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to earn 5% cash.
- Pay the monthly bill for company-issued cellphones with your card so that they’re covered so that its generous cellphone protection perk covers them.
- Spend at least $813 per month on general purchases or make at least two $5,000 purchases per year to make up for the annual fee.
Is the Ink Business Premier right for you?
The Ink Business Premier is perfect if you’re a big spender looking for a card that offers plenty of purchasing power and cash back on all your business expenses. However, the card’s redemption restrictions make it less appealing than other Ultimate Rewards travel and cash back cards.
Whether the Ink Business Premier is suitable for you hinges on whether you’ll take advantage of its 5% cash back on Chase-booked travel and 2.5% on purchases of $5,000 or more. If so, the Ink Business Premier could be the most rewarding flat-rate cash back card for your business. Otherwise, other flat-rate business cards offer lower annual fees and may be more valuable in the long run.
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