Yesterday I reported a rumor that the Chase Ink Plus would be officially discontinued today, and be replaced with a new business credit card.
That seems to be true, and we now have official details on the new Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. The card is launching with an 80,000 bonus point welcome offer, which is higher than we’ve seen lately on the Ink Plus, so they’re clearly excited about the product.
The details on the welcome bonus are as follows:
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The closest competitor to this card is American Express® Business Gold Card, which does have a slightly higher annual fee of $295 (Rates & Fees), so I think 80,000 points for the Ink Preferred is a generous starting offer.
Is the Ink Preferred rewarding?
Compared to previous products, the rewards structure is simplified on the Ink Preferred. Rather than earning 5x on some purchases and 2x on others like the Ink Plus, you’ll earn 3x points across a variety of categories:
Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.
We’ll have more analysis on the categories, card benefits, etc., in the coming days, but at first glance I think this make sense.
I love my 5x earnings with the Ink Plus, but I think the reality is that most small business owners are spending more on digital services like online advertising than they are on office supplies nowadays. I’m glad internet and telecom are sticking around as a category, and I know a lot of people will get a lot of use out of the extra point on business travel.
I’ve had other Ink products in the past, can I apply for the Ink Preferred?
Yes — the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is considered a new product, and if you meet the other requirements you should be eligible for the signup bonus.
The big caveat here is that the Ink Preferred will reportedly be subject to Chase’s 5/24 restrictions (I don’t have data points on that yet, obviously, but that’s the buzz). So that will be a limiting factor for some people.
Are Ultimate Rewards points actually valuable?
With this welcome bonus you earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points. If nothing else, each of those can be redeemed for 1.25 cents towards the cost of a travel purchase. So that’s $1000 worth of travel, though that’s definitely not how I would redeem the points, since there are much better uses of them.
Ultimate Rewards has almost a dozen transfer partners, which gives you several options:
|Aer Lingus Aer Club||IHG Rewards Club|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||Marriott Rewards|
|British Airways Executive Club||Ritz-Carlton Rewards|
|Iberia Plus||World Of Hyatt|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
80,000 Ultimate Rewards points is enough for a one-way award in non-peak season for travel in Korean Air first class between North America and Korea, Japan, China, or Northeast Asia, for example.
Or you could transfer them to Hyatt Gold Passport and redeem for four nights at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi.
Korean Air SkyPass and Singapore KrisFlyer are probably the best for first class redemptions, but United MileagePlus is still a strong option for business class awards. And there are some amazing hotels available through Hyatt Gold Passport.
We’ve said before that 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.
So overall I think it’s a great card, and the 80,000 bonus points are also compelling. That being said, the Ink Preferred will be subject to Chase’s 5/24 restrictions so not everyone will be eligible.
What do you make of the new Ink Preferred?
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).