Chase has recently switched up their business card portfolio, and right now they have two primary business credit cards — the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. The cards are both fantastic, though are quite different in terms of benefits, return on spend, etc. Therefore in this post I figured I’d do a side-by-side comparison of the two cards.
Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: annual fee
The Ink Cash has a $0 annual fee.
The Ink Preferred has a $95 annual fee.
Winner: The Ink Cash has a $0 annual fee, so is tough to beat in that regard.
Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: welcome bonus
The Ink Cash is offering a welcome bonus of 30,000 bonus points (equivalent to $300 cash back) after spending $3,000 within three months. However, below I’ll talk about how you can make the points earned on this card even more valuable.
The Ink Preferred is offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months.
Winner: Even if we value the points earned on the Ink Cash and Preferred equally, the Preferred comes out way ahead. The difference in the value of the welcome bonus is $500+, so you’ll come out way ahead even if you keep the Preferred for a long time and pay the annual fee.
Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: value of points
On the surface these cards offer different types of rewards. The Ink Cash is intended to be a cashback card, where each point is worth a cent. Meanwhile the Ink Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points, which you can redeem for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or transfer to one of the other excellent Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, like Hyatt Gold Passport, Korean Air SkyPass, etc.
However, if you have the Ink Cash in addition to one of the cards that accrues Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer these points to Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.
Winner: Natively the Ink Preferred offers more valuable points, though in practice if you have the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, you can add your Ink Cash points to that balance. So for many of us, the value per point will be the same on both cards.
Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: return on spend
The Ink Cash offers:
- 5x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services, for each account anniversary year
- 2x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants for each account anniversary year
Meanwhile the Ink Preferred offers:
- 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, for each account anniversary year
Winner: The card offering the better return is highly dependent on what type of a business you have.
Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: perks
The Ink Cash is incredible in terms of the return it offers on spend for a no annual fee card. However, it doesn’t offer much in terms of other perks and benefits.
Meanwhile the Ink Preferred offers an incredible array of benefits:
- Primary collision damage waiver coverage on car rentals
- Trip cancellation & interruption coverage on travel
- Cell phone protection, where you can get up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card (maximum three claims in a 12 month period, and there’s a $100 deductible per claim)
Those are some top notch perks you don’t otherwise see on many business cards. See my previous post on the Ink Preferred for more details on the protection offered by this card.
Winner: The Ink Preferred offers an incredible array of benefits you don’t see on many business cards. The cell phone coverage is an especially cool benefit that isn’t offered by any other card that I know of.
Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: odds of approval
Both of these cards are subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you’re generally not going to be approved if you’ve opened more than five card accounts in the past 24 months. There are always exceptions, though that’s the general rule. Also keep in mind that among issuers, Chase is among the stricter issues when it comes to approving people for business cards.
Winner: Your approval odds on both of these Chase business cards should be roughly the same.
The Ink Cash and Ink Preferred are two of the most compelling business credit cards out there. It’s tough to say for sure which card is better, as it all depends on your circumstances. However, in general I’d say:
- Even though the Ink Preferred has a $95 annual fee, you’ll come out way ahead with the much bigger welcome bonus; I value the incremental 50,000 point welcome bonus at ~$850, which covers a lot of $95 annual fees
- The better rewards structure really depends on how big your business is, and what categories you spend most in; it’s worth considering the $25,000 cap on 5x points on the Ink Cash, vs. the $150,000 cap on 3x points on the Ink Preferred
- The 80,00 point welcome bonus on the Ink Preferred is really compelling
- The Ink Preferred offers incredible cell phone coverage; given how easy it is to drop a smartphone, this has the potential to be extremely valuable
So it really comes down to the individual person/business, what categories you spend most in, if you mind paying an annual fee, how much you value the Ink Preferred perks, etc.