3 reasons why the Ink Business Preferred Card has been a game-changer for my rewards strategy

By Michelle Lambright Black

This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on this page are from our partners, like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent.

Like many travel rewards enthusiasts, I carry a lot of credit cards. These cards have helped me earn thousands of dollars toward travel in the last year alone. Still, I'm choosy about the cards I keep in the long term, especially if an annual fee is involved.

As a small business owner, one of my favorite credit cards is the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. There are many reasons I'm a fan, but here are my top three.

We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

1. Valuable travel rewards and benefits

One of the best ways to boost your points-earning potential is to find credit cards that offer higher rewards for the purchases you make often. For me, one of my big spending categories is travel.

Before I opened my Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, I already had two credit cards that earned impressive travel rewards on the personal side — the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express. But I didn't have a card with similar benefits for business travel.

As I researched business cards that earned higher travel rewards, the Ink Business Preferred stood out. For starters, the card has a modest annual fee of $95. (The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the The Platinum Card® from American Express each cost me $550 per year, by comparison.) The $95 annual fee is easily made up for with the rewards I can earn and other perks the card offers me, such as:

  • I can earn 3 Ultimate Rewards Points for every dollar I spent on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising (social media and search engines). The 3x rewards are capped at a combined total of $150,000 per year, then are earned at a 1x rate.
  • My Ultimate Reward Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel. Read below for a tip on how to make these points worth 50% more.
  • The card gives me primary rental car coverage when I rent a car for business reasons, provided I charge the full cost of a rental car to the card and decline the rental company's add-on insurance.
  • I can also take advantage of cell phone protection (up to $600 for damage or theft) if I pay my monthly phone bill with the card. Plus, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers travel insurance of up to $5,000 in coverage per eligible trip cancellation or trip interruption.

2. It hasn't impacted my personal credit score

I'm fortunate that my personal credit score is already in great shape. I don't need to add more accounts to my personal credit reports for the purpose of establishing credit.

The fact that, in my experience, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card does not report to the consumer credit-reporting agencies is a big plus to me for a few reasons:

  • The card doesn't impact my personal credit utilization ratio. Maintaining low credit utilization is good for my FICO scores with the three main consumer credit-reporting bureaus.
  • Opening the new card didn't lower my average age of accounts. Having an older average age of credit card accounts also helps my personal credit score.
  • My Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card isn't included in my 5/24 count. Chase unofficially limits the number of credit cards you can open from the bank to five within a 24 month period (hence, 5/24). But, if the Ink Business Preferred doesn't show up on personal credit reports, it's not factored into Chase's 5/24 limits.

When you already have plenty of personal credit established, a business credit card that doesn't show up on your personal credit report can be a good thing. I'm certainly happy about it. But, if you're looking to build personal credit, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card might not be the best fit.

It's worth noting that, if I stop paying my bill on time, Chase reserves the right to begin reporting my account history to Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. According to unofficial reports, Chase will report accounts to the consumer credit bureaus if you become more than 60 days past due.

3. Combining points

Perhaps the biggest reason I love my Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is because it pairs seamlessly with my other Chase accounts. Chase lets me pool the rewards I earn on multiple cards and redeem them all together. Even the points my husband earns can be added to the mix.

Because my husband and I carry multiple Chase cards, it's easy to choose the card that will give us the most bang for our buck when we make a purchase.

When we're dining, for example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers us 3x points on those transactions. For travel, either our Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is the go-to choice, depending on whether the trip is for business or pleasure. We also hold the Chase Freedom® and take advantage of its rotating bonus categories for 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter after activation.

As if maximizing our Ultimate Rewards Points wasn't enough, Chase adds a cherry on top of an already great deal. When we use our combined points to book travel through Chase, the points we earned are worth an extra 50% more because we hold the Sapphire Reserve. This strategy is so popular, rewards enthusiasts have given it a special name: the Chase Trifecta.

I plan to keep this card for years to come

Over the last year or so, I've earned over 93,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points courtesy of the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. The points came courtesy of the card's sign-up bonus and purchases I needed to make for my business anyway. If you're signing up for the card now, you have the potential to earn even more rewards than I did, since it's running a higher welcome bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months from account opening.

The 93,000 points I earned are worth $1,395 when I transfer them to my Sapphire Reserve and use them to book travel through Chase. I might score an even better deal if I transfer my points to a Chase travel partner, such as United or Hyatt.

No matter how you slice it, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card delivers a great value. Opening it was an easy choice, and it's a card I foresee keeping for many years to come.

Note: I pay off my full statement balance each month to avoid wasting money on interest — and you should do this too. Otherwise, you'll offset the value of your rewards and you might set yourself up for other debt-related problems.

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.