The Ink Preferred’s Most Undervalued Bonus Category

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I consider the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card to be the single most well rounded business credit card. If you’re looking for a card for your business, it’s tough to go wrong with the Ink Preferred — it offers the biggest welcome bonus of any credit card, the card offers 3x points in useful categories, and has some unique perks, including cell phone insurance.

I got this card in early October, and at the time wrote a post with five reasons why I got it.

While there are lots of great benefits, there’s one perk that I think is often overlooked, and that involves the card’s 3x points categories. The Ink Business Preferred offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent every cardmember year in the following categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

The Ink Preferred’s 3x points on travel is extraordinary

While those are all great categories, I want to specifically point out how valuable I consider the 3x points on travel to be.

For many of us, one of the greatest perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card is that it offers 3x points on travel (with no caps). The fact that the Ink Business Preferred offers the same (with a cap) for just a $95 annual fee is a pretty incredible perk.

Keep in mind that Chase has a very broad definition of what constitutes travel:

Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages. Please note that some merchants that provide transportation and travel-related services are not included in this category; for example, real estate agents, educational merchants arranging travel, in-flight goods and services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, excursions, tourist attractions, merchants within hotels and airports, and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling. In addition, the purchasing of gift cards, points or miles does not qualify in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in the travel category.

A lot of businesses spend a significant amount on everything ranging from plane tickets to Ubers to lodging, and there’s not a single other business credit card that offers such a return in the generic “travel” category.

Actually, when you think about it, assuming most of your travel is for business, you could get the Ink Business Preferred to earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel (with a lower annual fee than the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card), and then you could get the American Express® Gold Card to earn 4x points for dining at U.S. restaurants, or if you wait, you can soon earn 5x points for dining globally with the Citi Prestige.

Bottom line

Everyone has different preferences as to the bonus categories from which they get the most value. Some companies spend a lot on shipping, while others spend a lot on advertising. However, for a small business, travel is often a huge expense, and earning 3x points on that with the Ink Business Preferred is an excellent return.

In many ways I might be reaching the point where I’m not spending a lot on my Sapphire Reserve anymore. Most of my travel is for “business,” so my tax guy sure will be happy that I can put more of my travel expenses directly on business cards to simplify things. Then I’ll earn 4-5x points on dining with other cards.

Does anyone else love the Ink Preferred 3x points on travel as much as I do?

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Comments

  1. With Amex Plat and Citi upgrading to large bonuses, Chase Sapphire no longer look nearly as interesting as it used to be. I actually don’t think I’ll renew Sapphire next year since combo of other cards are surpassing It and then some.

  2. I recently applied for the Chase Ink Preferred (approved immediately) and plan on canceling my Chase Sapphire Preferred.

    I know you’ve written about having the Chase Quadfecta using Chase Sapphire before and I plan on using a variation of that with mostly Chase Business Cards i.e. the Ink Preferred (which will allow me to continue to transfer my points), Ink Cash, Ink Unlimited, and Chase Freedom.

    For the annual fee of $95, I can now get 3x on travel as you mentioned in this article with the Ink Preferred. I can still get 2x on dining with the Ink Cash (domestically) if I really want to get some UR Points although my dining will mostly go to my AMEX Gold for now. Everyday spending goes on Ink Unlimited and rotating categories for the Freedom.

    My only concern and downside is spending on international travel for dining. My future plan for this is to rotate between the Citi Prestige and the Chase Sapphire Reserve every 2 years and collect on the signing bonuses.

  3. You forgot to mention that the CSR gets a bit more for travel redemption. That 0.0025 can make up the difference on the higher annual fee ($150 v $95). I have ~ 300,000 UR so that makes them worth $750 more when redeeming pts for travel. Now, if you only transfer your UR to partners it’s not worth keeping the CSR. I’m keeping mine.

  4. Each point is worth more when buying travel if you have the CSR though. If you use the points by transferring, then yes the IBP is better because of the lower annual fee, but if you buy travel with UR points, then it pays to have the CSR.

  5. Every time there’s an Ink write-up, I get confused. Remind me, please, what’s the best path to great rewards for someone holding the old INK Business PLUS? Keep or change or upgrade or what?

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