Yesterday Bloomberg broke the news that later this year Chase will be introducing a new business card, called the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. The basic details of the card are as follows:
- The card will offer a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
- The card will offer triple points on the first $150,000 spent annually on travel, telecommunications, shipping and advertising on social-media and search engines
- The card will have a $95 annual fee
There are some things I find especially interesting about this new product, and how it’s being positioned.
How does this compare to Chase’s existing lineup?
Chase has two small business credit cards that they’re taking applications for right now — the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card ($95 annual fee) and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (no annual fee). These cards offer some great bonus categories.
The Ink Plus® Business Credit Card offers the following rewards:
- 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
- 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and hotels
Meanwhile the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers the following rewards:
- 5x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
- 2x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants
The Ink Plus offers outright Ultimate Rewards points, which can be pooled with points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Meanwhile the Ink Cash is really a cashback card, with each point being worth a cent. However, in conjunction with a card earning Ultimate Rewards points, each point can be converted into an Ultimate Rewards point, and transferred to one of their airline or hotel partners.
Will this be an entirely new product?
What I find especially interesting here is that Chase is creating yet another $95 annual fee business card. The branding on this card makes a lot of sense to me. Chase’s mid-range personal card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, so I’ve always wondered why they didn’t also have “Preferred” in the name of the comparable business card.
Does Chase really intend to run these two products parallel to one another? Personally I would guess not, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Preferred replaces the Plus. For example, Chase had the Ink Bold card in the past, though they stopped taking applications for it a while ago, while existing cardmembers can continue to use it.
That’s why I’m a bit surprised that Chase isn’t simply converting their existing Ink Plus product to the Ink Preferred.
I may have a completely wrong read on the situation, and perhaps Chase plans on continuing to offer both the Ink Plus and Ink Preferred.
How is this card’s rewards structure?
For someone looking for a business card, the Ink Preferred has a fantastic, practical rewards structure. Triple points on travel, telecommunications, shipping and advertising on social-media and search engines, covers a lot of categories that are actually useful to businesses.
While the 5x points at office supply stores offered by the Ink Plus and Ink Cash is nice in theory, in practice most businesses aren’t spending that much at office supply stores (though I know a lot of people liked to maximize that category).
Amex’s closest competitor (with a slightly higher annual fee of $295) (Rates & Fees) to this card is American Express® Business Gold Card, which offers 4X on the two categories with which you spent the most, on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from the two categories each year. The bonus categories are as follows:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
I’d say the Ink Preferred has a slight edge over the Business Gold Rewards Card, though it depends on which category you spend most in.
A huge new cell phone benefit?
The Points Guy reports that the Ink Preferred will come with a great new cell phone benefit as well. Apparently, the Ink Preferred will offer up to $600 in protection against damage or theft to cell phones, for you and any other lines listed on your bill. There’s a $100 deductible, and you can file up to three claims per year.
The card also offers 3x points on eligible telecom purchases, so this would definitely be a reason to pay your cell phone bill on this card, given how expensive cell phones can be to replace.
In my opinion it makes a lot of sense for Chase to align their marketing on business and personal cards, so the “Preferred” branding is logical. The triple points offered on this card are also practical, given that they include categories in which many businesses spend a lot of money.
The big question is whether the Ink Preferred is replacing the Ink Plus, or complementing it. While the benefits are different, offering two cards with the same annual fee seems like it would add some confusion for consumers.
What do you make of the Ink Preferred, and do you think Chase will keep around the Ink Plus?
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees).