Whether your credit card’s annual fee is $1 or $1,000, it’s worth evaluating that fee every time you have to pay it to see whether you can justify the cost for the year ahead.
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has a low $95 annual fee, but is it worth it? Keeping this card in your wallet each year isn’t free, so what do you get for the $95 you pay yearly?
Let’s look at the perks and benefits offered by the Ink Business Preferred to see whether the annual fee is worth it in year two and beyond.
Currently, new applicants for the Ink Business Preferred will earn 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $8,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. This spending requirement is down to almost half of its previous $15,000, so now is a great time to apply if you’ve been considering it. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, making this bonus worth $2,000.
You’ll notice that Chase says this bonus is worth $1,000 as cash back or $1,250 in travel when points are redeemed in the Chase travel portal. The latter allows you to spend your points like cash at 1.25 cents apiece to book travel when you have the Ink Business Preferred (the same rate available for using points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card but shy of the 1.5 cents-per-point value available on this redemption with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Sapphire Preferred also allows you to redeem points at 1 cent apiece as a statement credit.
However, you can get a much better value from your points than 1.25 cents apiece. Utilizing Chase’s 14 airline and hotel transfer partners allows for using your points on hotel stays and flights. You can gain much more value here.
If you pay your monthly wireless bill with your Ink Business Preferred, you can enjoy cellphone protection against theft or damage without having to pay for coverage through your wireless provider. This applies to you and any employees listed on the wireless bill.
With this benefit, phones associated with the wireless account are covered up to $1,000 per claim. Each claim is subject to a $100 deductible, with a maximum of three claims in a 12-month period.
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The Ink Business Preferred offers two types of shopping protections: purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
The Ink Business Preferred’s protection covers new purchases for up to 120 days against damage or theft. This benefit can cover the cost to repair or replace your item and has a per-claim limit of $10,000 and a per-account limit of $50,000. There are exclusions, however, such as animals, living plants and motorized vehicles. Additionally, the card’s extended warranty protection adds an additional year to manufacturers’ warranties of three years or less.
While you hopefully won’t need to use these protections and get monetary value from them, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your large business purchases are protected.
When traveling, you can take advantage of trip cancellation and interruption insurance, roadside dispatch, and auto rental collision damage waiver protections with your Ink Business Preferred.
You can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per person and $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels, if your trip is canceled or cut short by covered situations, such as sickness and severe weather.
If you have an emergency while on the road, you can call Chase’s dispatch service to get the help you need. This benefit can help in situations like lockouts, dead batteries or flat tires. However, only the connection is an included benefit. When you use these services, service fees will be billed to your card.
Additionally, when renting a car, you can decline the rental company’s collision insurance and receive collision damage waiver coverage if you pay for the full rental cost with your Ink Business Preferred. This benefit can cover the cost to repair or replace your rental vehicle.
Similar to the card’s purchase protections, you may not get financial value from these travel protections each year, but you can travel with less worry knowing you’re covered if something goes wrong.
When using your Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, which TPG values at 2 cents apiece. You can transfer these points to 14 different airline and hotel partners. You also can redeem your points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a value of 1.25 cents to pay for travel using your points like cash.
You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 of purchases each account anniversary across these categories: travel, shipping purchases, internet services, cable services, phone services and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar on these purchases after passing the $150,000 spending limit and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
If your business has significant spending in these categories, it could yield 450,000 points annually after maximizing the $150,000 limit. TPG values these points at $9,000.
It’s worth evaluating these earning categories to see how well they work for your business. You also should consider how well these categories work for you while also holding personal credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
A standout benefit of the Ink Business Preferred is that, unlike other business credit cards from Chase, it gives you direct access to Chase’s transfer partners. Those who hold no-annual-fee cards like the Ink Business Cash Credit Card (as well as personal credit cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited) don’t have access to Chase’s transfer partners and require a premium card like the Ink Business Preferred or personal cards like the Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to redeem points in this way. This means that, in addition to earning points, this card can also help you maximize the value of your rewards from other Chase cards.
Holding a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points and has an annual fee is necessary to have the widest range of options for using your points — this card satisfies this requirement.
For a $95 annual fee on the Ink Business Preferred, you’ll gain access to shopping and travel protections, cellphone insurance and bonus categories that make sense for many businesses. You’ll also be able to transfer your points to more than a dozen hotel and airline partners, enabling outsize redemption values on award travel.
However, if you already have a card that enables these transfers and the bonus-earning categories don’t work for your business, then the annual fee on the Ink Business Preferred may not be worth it — no matter how much it costs.
Official application link: Earn 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card after spending $8,000 on purchases within three months of account opening
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson.