Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
Ink Business Preferred Card vs. Ink Business Unlimited Card [Detailed Comparison]
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Business credit cards make it easier to separate personal and business expenses, track business spending trends, and compile information at tax time. They are an even wiser choice if you can earn rewards on every purchase your business makes — rewards you can use to offset business travel expenses or even fund that annual family vacation.
Deciding which business credit card is a potential match for your business may present a more difficult decision.
Today we’re going to look at 2 very popular rewards earning Chase business credit cards, either of which could be a potential fit for your business operation. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card each have their strengths, but chances are, 1 card may be a better choice for your particular situation.
We’ll need to look closely at how each card earns rewards and whether earning categories match your business spending profile. We’ll also have to zero in on redemption values and assess each card’s benefits.
Ultimately, the overall package needs to make sense for your business.
Let’s look at all the attributes (and downsides) of the Ink Business Preferred card and the Ink Business Unlimited card.
Ink Business Preferred vs. Ink Business Unlimited Card — Overview
Before getting into the details of these cards, let’s look at an overview of Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Unlimited.
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|Shopping Benefits/Protections||Purchase protection and extended warranty|
The ability to earn a welcome bonus in the initial 3 months after card approval can result in significant value. Both the cards we’re comparing today offer welcome bonuses after meeting initial spending requirements.
Welcome bonuses can change, but let’s look at what you can generally expect with each card.
Ink Business Preferred Card
While welcome bonuses can vary, a welcome bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points equates to a value of $1,250 when redeemed for travel.
It is possible to receive even greater value when transferring points to the Chase travel partners.
Ink Business Unlimited Card
One clarification to note is that the Ink Business Unlimited card is a cash-back card, but rewards are initially earned as Ultimate Rewards points that can later be exchanged for cash-back.
Ultimate Rewards points received when qualifying for the Ink Business Unlimited card’s welcome offer can be redeemed for 1 cent per point for cash-back or travel via the Chase travel portal.
Points are also transferable to premium Chase credit cards where you can redeem points for greater value (up to 1.5 cents per point) and utilize hotel and airline partners.
Earning and Redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points
Comparing Earning Potential
Both of these Chase credit cards earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase you make.
Here’s how the Ink Business Preferred card and the Ink Business Unlimited card stack up against each other when we focus on earnings.
|Expense||Ink Business Preferred Card||Ink Business Unlimited Card|
|Travel||3x points||1.5% cash-back|
|Dining||2x points||1.5% cash-back|
|Office Supply Stores||1x points||1.5% cash-back|
|Internet Service, Cable, Phone||3x points||1.5% cash-back|
|Advertising Purchases With Social Media/Search Engines||3x points||1.5% cash-back|
|Shipping||3x points||1.5% cash-back|
|All Other Purchases||1x points||1.5% cash-back|
The Ink Business Preferred Card comes out ahead if your business spending is high in the specific bonus categories. There is, however, a $150,000 limit on total annual purchases in the 3 points per dollar bonus category.
For this reason, if you have significant spending exceeding $150,000 each card anniversary year or spending in categories that do not earn 3x on the Ink Business Preferred card, the Ink Business Unlimited card may be a better choice because the card does not limit earnings.
For example, if your business spending centers on buying equipment, office supplies, or other non-bonus categories, the unlimited 1.5% cash-back on the Ink Business Unlimited card could result in higher earnings.
Comparing Redemption Options
One unique feature of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is the ability to transfer points between accounts. This includes business credit card accounts as well as personal credit card accounts.
The transfer option is important because redemption values and transfer opportunities vary by card. Having the ability to transfer points between both business cards and personal cards allows you to maximize both earnings and redemptions.
Let’s look at the 2 business credit cards we’re focusing on today, plus 2 popular Chase personal credit cards, to compare the difference in redemption values between Chase cards.
|Chase Credit Card||Value of Ultimate Rewards Points Redeemed as Cash-back||Value of Ultimate Rewards Points Redeemed for Travel||Ability To Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Airline/Hotel Partners|
|Ink Business Preferred Card||1 cent per point||1.25 cents per point||Yes|
|Ink Business Unlimited Card||1 cent per point||1 cent per point||No|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||1 cent per point||1.25 cents per point||Yes|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||1 cent per point||1.5 cents per point||Yes|
Additional redemption options include redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for gift cards, Amazon purchases, merchandise, and Chase experiences.
How the Cards Can Work Harmoniously Together
Fortunately, you don’t have to decide which card might be perfect for your business, as Chase allows you to have more than 1 business card. That said, Chase has rules limiting whether you can be approved for its cards.
Securing both the Ink Business Preferred card and the Ink Business Unlimited card could ensure that every purchase you make will earn elevated rewards.
For example, using the Ink Business Unlimited card for office supplies and other purchases that earn just 1 point per dollar on the Ink Business Preferred card will allow you to earn 1.5% versus 1 point per dollar.
At redemption time, you can transfer any points earned on the Ink Business Unlimited card to the Ink Business Preferred card and redeem for a value of 1.25 cents per point on the Chase travel portal versus 1 cent per point. The Ink Business Preferred also allows you to transfer points for potentially greater to airline and hotel partners.
Hotel and Rental Car Program Benefits
Hotel Program Benefits
The Ink Business Preferred card and the Ink Business Unlimited card are Visa Signature cards and, as such, offer several luxury hotel benefits.
Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
Both of our featured cards offer VIP benefits at over 900 properties worldwide in The Luxury Hotel Collection.
You’ll receive the following on-site benefits:
- Complimentary breakfast for 2
- Late checkout when available, on request
- An upgraded room when available
- $25 food and beverage credit
- Free Wi-Fi
- VIP guest status
Cardholders will also have access to special limited-time property benefits, including free third/fourth hotel-night offers, additional food/beverage credits, and other on-site property amenities.
Rental Car Program Benefits
Both Ink Business credit cards offer car rental program discounts of up to 25% off base rates with Hertz. You’ll also sometimes see limited-time offers with other rental car companies like Payless and Budget.
This list is not a comprehensive list of Visa Signature benefits, just a sampling of some key hotel and car rental benefits.
Travel Benefits and Protections
Both the Ink Business Preferred card and the Ink Business Unlimited card offer these valuable travel benefits and protections:
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver — Reserve and pay for your rental car with your card, decline the rental agency’s CDW insurance, and receive coverage for damage, theft, loss of use, and associated towing. The coverage is primary when you use your Ink Business Preferred card. And coverage is extended for business and personal use worldwide and business use within your country of residence. But with the Ink Business Unlimited card, it’s only primary coverage when renting for business purposes. It’s secondary coverage if you’re using that card to rent for personal use.
- Baggage Insurance — Receive up to $3,000 if your baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen. Coverage is in excess of any carrier-provided coverage.
- Baggage Delay — If your baggage is delayed 6 hours or more, you could receive up to $100 per day for up to 3 days.
- Travel Accident Insurance — Receive up to $500,000 should a covered serious injury or death occur when traveling on a common carrier.
- Roadside Dispatch — Receive 24/7 assistance for summoning emergency fuel, towing, tire change, or other covered roadside emergencies. The cardholder is responsible for the actual cost of services.
- Visa Signature Concierge Services — Receive 24/7 assistance before and during your travels.
Additional Travel Benefits and Protections on the Ink Business Preferred Card
- Trip Interruption and Cancellation — Receive coverage before and during a covered trip for the cardholder and immediate family members. Covered events that cause cancellation or interruption may qualify for a benefit of up to $10,000 per incident, $20,000 total for all covered persons.
Shopping Benefits and Protections
Both the Ink Business Preferred card and the Ink Business Unlimited card come with purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.
- Purchase Protection — Purchase protection provides for replacement, repair, or reimbursement for a qualifying item purchased with your card for 120 days of coverage from the purchase date. Coverage is included for up to $10,000 per item, $50,000 per account.
- Extended Warranty — Purchase a qualifying item with your card or Ultimate Rewards points, and the manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less will be extended by 1 year. Coverage limits are $10,000 per item, $50,000 per account.
Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections on the Ink Business Preferred Card
The Ink Business Preferred card offers valuable cell phone coverage and does not charge foreign transaction fees.
- Cell Phone Protection — Receive coverage of $1,000 for cell phones damaged, stolen, or “involuntary and accidental parting” when service is paid for using your Ink Business Preferred card. Only phones listed on your bill will receive coverage. There is a $100 deductible per claim and a limit of 3 claims per year. Ink Business Unlimited card does not provide cell phone coverage.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees — Take your Ink Business Preferred card with you when you travel, as it does not add foreign transaction fees. The Ink Business Unlimited card charges a 3% transaction fee on foreign purchases.
Please note that this is not an all-encompassing list of benefits, just key benefits for comparison purposes. We have also abbreviated coverage descriptions. For a complete list of benefits and to access the terms and conditions for each coverage, you’ll want to review the Guide to Benefits that comes with each card.
Introductory 0% APR Period Benefit
Introductory 0% APR periods can save you money when managed well. Credit cards offer these no-interest periods as incentives to make purchases or balance transfers to the card, generally in the initial 12 to 21 months after card approval.
During this period, no interest is charged on purchases and/or balance transfers, depending on the terms of the offer.
The Ink Business Unlimited comes with a 0% APR period on purchases only for the first 12 months after card approval. After that, regular APR (as shown in the table in the Welcome Bonuses section) will apply.
This 0% APR period can save your business money by allowing you to make major purchases for your business and repay your balance over time without incurring interest charges.
The Ink Business Preferred card does not currently offer any special introductory 0% APR period offer.
Annual Fees and Authorized Users
With a low annual fee, plenty of earning power, and several flexible redemption options, the Ink Business Preferred card can be a solid core credit card choice for any business.
In contrast, the Ink Business Unlimited card has no annual fee but no bonus earning categories and comes with a flat earning level of 1.5% on every purchase. It also lacks some of the additional benefits and protections found on the Ink Business Preferred card, such as cell phone coverage and trip interruption and cancellation protection.
Adding Additional Users
There is no charge to add employees or other authorized users to either the Ink Business Preferred card or the Ink Business Unlimited card.
Purchases made by authorized users on either card earn rewards that are deposited into the primary cardholder’s Ultimate Rewards account.
Authorized users can also take advantage of card benefits such as cell phone protection on the Ink Business Preferred card and the primary car rental coverage that comes with both cards.
In most cases, the Ink Business Preferred card will come out ahead for the average business on earnings and for redemption value. However, supplementing the card with the Ink Business Unlimited card could ensure you’ll maximize earnings on both bonus and non-bonus categories.
Since the Ink Business Unlimited card has no annual fee, it can offer this added value without any added expense. The card also comes with a 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months after card approval, which could be a useful interest-free benefit for making needed business purchases.
Regardless of which Chase Ink Business card you select, if it aligns with your business spending and redemption preferences and offers usable benefits, the result will be value-added to your business bottom line.
Featured Image Credit: Upgraded Points
Frequently Asked Questions
Suppose your business spends a lot on travel, shipping, dining, advertising with social media or search engines, and internet, cable, and phone services. In that case, it’s difficult to match the 3x and 2x earning power of the Ink Business Preferred card. There is, however, a $150,000 limit per card anniversary year on these purchases.
If your business spend is significant in other categories, however, you may fare better with the Ink Business Unlimited card that earns a flat 1.5% on all purchases with no limits.
When we look at redeeming points, the Ink Business Preferred card yields at least 1.25 cents per point when redeeming for travel and potentially more when transferring points to airline/hotel partners. The Ink Business Unlimited card receives just 1 cent per point in value for redemptions.
Ultimate Rewards points are earned on purchases made with your Chase business credit card. All purchases receive at least 1 point per dollar spent on the card but some cards have bonus earning categories that earn multiple points per dollar spent.
At redemption time, the value you receive for your points can vary as well. Premium Chase credit cards may receive more value per point when redeemed for travel via the Chase travel portal. These premium cards also partner with airline and hotel programs which can allow you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to these programs. The resulting airline miles or hotel rewards program points can then be redeemed for potentially even more value.
Ultimate Rewards points do not expire as long as you have an active Ultimate Rewards earning credit card. Before closing a Ultimate Rewards earning credit card, however, you’ll want to transfer your points to a remaining active card or they will expire.
Yes, it can be. You must have a business to qualify for an Ink Business credit card, although a small business, even a business activity such as coaching baseball on the weekend or selling on eBay, may qualify.
You will also need excellent credit to qualify for an Ink Business credit card and be at least 18 years of age. A very good to excellent credit score is generally considered one that is 740 or above.
The cell phone protection that comes with the Ink Business Preferred card covers phones when the number is listed and service is paid for on the card’s monthly statement.
The coverage maximum is $1,000 per incident and there is a $100 deductible. There is a limit of 3 claims per calendar year.
Coverage is provided for damaged or stolen phones.
You can pay for employee, family, or friend’s phones on your monthly statement and receive coverage.
You do not need to register for coverage. If service is paid for with your card, coverage is automatic.
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