After 3 years of full-time freelancing, I decided to open a Chase Ink business card. Here's why I'll never look back

freelancer at laptopSeparating personal and business expenses is key when you're a freelancer. Author not pictured.Christine Mooijer/Getty Images

After being in business as a full-time freelancer writer for about three years, I finally got around to opening a credit card to use for all my small business expenses. My former colleagues, who were accountants and CPAs, told me time and time again: You should have a separate credit card for your business. But since I was an army of one and the sole employee of my content creation business, I continued mixing my personal and professional expenses on a personal credit card for quite a while.

After doing some research on the best business credit cards, I decided on the Ink Business Preferred from Chase. Besides enjoying some great perks and rewards, having a credit card just for my work as a "solopreneur" has made managing my business-related finances so much easier.

How a business credit card has simplified my life

It's easier to stay on top of financial housekeeping for my business

Putting all my business-related expenses on the Ink Business Preferred simplifies my record-keeping big-time. Instead of having to sync up multiple accounts to my bookkeeping software, or comb over a ton of transactions and separate my personal and professional expenses (a big no-no, by the way), everything is on a single account.

It saves time during tax season

When it comes time to file taxes for my business, while I've saved all my receipts, I can also pull up my credit card statements to review transactions. No more wading through piles of receipts, or trying to read ones where the numbers are starting to fade.

Here are some of the purchases I make that count as business expenses:

  • Marketing-related expenses, such as web hosting
  • Business-related travel
  • Meals and entertainment related to business
  • Professional subscriptions and memberships
  • Paying contract workers
  • A percentage of my cell phone bill
  • Accounting and bookkeeping software
  • Office supplies and equipment, such as cloud service to backup files on my computer

Why I chose the Ink Business Preferred

Ease of use

The Ink Business Preferred is on the Visa network, which is pretty much accepted anywhere. Whether I'm at a professional conference, buying computer supplies online, or meeting with a potential client at a restaurant, I never have to worry about whether my card will be accepted.

What's more, there are no foreign transaction fees. So when I go traveling overseas, won't have to fork over the 3% foreign transaction fee that's typical of some other credit cards.

Bonus points

I also chose the Ink Business Preferred because of the rewards points it offers:

  • There's a generous sign-up bonus offer: 80,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months after you open your account. If you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, that's $1,000 in travel rewards.
  • 20,000 bonus points if you refer fellow business owners to the card. You can refer up to five friends per calendar year, for up to 100,000 points. So far I've referred one colleague this year, which made for an easy boost in points.
  • 3x points on qualified purchases on certain business categories (up to $150,000 in combined spending within a year of your anniversary date as a cardholder, then 1 point per dollar): shipping; phone services, cable, internet, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines; travel
While there's a $95 annual fee, if you spend enough on the card, and earn enough points, I find it to be worth it.

Purchase protection

Besides the points, the Ink Business Preferred offers protection on certain purchases you make with the card. For instance, if you a big-ticket item gets damaged or stolen within 120 days after the purchase date, you can use the purchase protection. You can do this with any purchase up to $10,000, and claim a max amount of $50,000 per calendar year. Plus, it can extend the manufacturer's warranty up to three years.

Travel protection

Besides protection for certain purchases, there's insurance to cover you for snafus during your travels. For instance, should your travel plans delayed, you'll be covered up to $500 to cover meals, overnight stays at a hotel, or transport.

Baggage delay

If your baggage gets delayed while you're in route, you could get reimbursed up to $100 a day up to five days for certain necessities, such as clothing and toiletries.

Trip cancellation and trip interruption

If your trip gets cancelled or interrupted under a covered loss such as sickness or severe weather, you and your immediate family members can be covered, up to $5,000 per occurrence.

And finally, the card also offers cell phone protection to cover damage and theft.

Click here to learn more about the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from our partner The Points Guy.

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