How to tell if you should pay $95 a year for the Ink Business Preferred, or if the $0 Ink Business Cash will be enough

Ink Business Preferred vs Ink Business Cash 4X3

Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

  • The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and the Ink Business Cash Credit Card are both popular picks, but their unique rewards structures set them apart.
  • The $95-a-year Ink Business Preferred offers bonus rewards on shipping, travel, select online advertising, and internet, cable, and phone purchases.
  • The $0-a-year Ink Business Cash offers bonus rewards on internet, cable, and phone purchases, and purchases made at office supply stores.
  • The right card for you will also depend on how you want to redeem your points. By and large, the Ink Business Preferred offers more options if you hope to redeem your rewards for travel.
  • See Business Insider's picks for the best rewards credit cards you can get »

Picking up a business credit card that earns rewards is a smart move if you want to rack up cash back or travel points, but there's more to having a dedicated business credit card than that. Having a card for your business makes it a lot easier to keep personal and business spending separate, for starters.

Plus, some of the top business credit cards offer travel insurance and other consumer protections, as well as employee credit cards that can make business accounting a whole lot easier.Advertisement

If you're in the market for a new business card, you might have wondered which is better - the Ink Business Preferred or the Ink Business Cash?

Both credit cards are offered by Chase and they both come with lucrative signup bonuses and ongoing rewards, but that doesn't mean they work the same. In reality, where you spend the most money and the type of rewards you want to earn will determine which of these cards is best for your needs.

Ink Business Preferred vs. Ink Business Cash

The following highlights each card's details including their bonus offers, earning rates, and annual fee:
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Ink Business Preferred

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Signup bonus: Earn 80,000 points when you spend $5,000 within the first three months
  • Earning rate: Earn 3x points on up to $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, select online advertising, and internet, cable, and phone purchases, plus 1x points on everything else
  • Redemption options: Cash in rewards for gift cards statement credits, merchandise, 1:1 transfers to airline and hotel partners; get 25% more travel for free when you use points to book through the Chase portal

Ink Business Cash

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Signup bonus: Earn $500 in bonus cash back when you spend $3,000 on your card within the first three months
  • Earning rate: Earn 5% back on up to $25,000 spent at office supply stores and internet, cable, and phone services combined each year, 2% back on $25,000 in combined spending at restaurants and gas stations each year, and 1% back on everything else
  • Redemption options: Cash in rewards for gift cards statement credits, merchandise, and travel

You should get the Ink Business Preferred if …

As you can see from the points above, the earning structures on these cards don't work the same way. Also note that the way you can redeem your rewards isn't equal, either. Here are some of the reasons you may want to consider the Ink Business Preferred over the Ink Business Cash:

You spend big money on travel, shipping, select online advertising, or internet, cable, and phone purchases

If you spend a lot of money in Ink Business Preferred 3x categories like online advertising and travel, this benefit could leave you significantly ahead. Keep in mind that you'll earn this exceptional rate of rewards on up to $150,000 spent combined in these categories each year, which can help you earn up to a maximum of 450,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points every 12 months.

You want free coverage for your cell phone

The Ink Business Preferred does charge a $95 annual fee, but you'll qualify for valuable cell phone coverage if you pay your phone bill with your credit card. This coverage is good for up to $600 per claim against theft or damage with a $100 deductible. A maximum of three claims can be filed every 12 months you qualify for this benefit.Advertisement

You want as many travel redemption options as possible

The Ink Business Preferred offers a few additional redemption options when it comes to travel. First, you get 25% more travel for free when you use points to book airfare, hotels, rental cars, and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Second, this card lets you transfer Chase points 1:1 to popular airline and hotel partners including Southwest Rapid Rewards, British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, and more.

You want a bigger bonus

The bonus on the Ink Business Preferred (80,000 points) is worth $300 more than the Ink Business Cash bonus ($500 in cash back) if you redeem points for gift cards or statement credits, but it's worth $500 more (for $1,000 in travel total) if you redeem your rewards for travel through the Chase portal. A $95 annual fee applies with the Ink Business Preferred card, but the bigger bonus more than makes up for it the first year.

Learn more about the Ink Business Preferred »

You should get the Ink Business Cash if …

If you're wondering if the Ink Business Cash might make more sense for your spending and goals, you could be right. Here are a few signs the Ink Business Cash might work better for your spending style:Advertisement

You spend a ton at office supply stores or internet, cable, and phone purchases

Keep in mind that the Ink Business Cash gives you 5% back on up to $25,000 spent at office supply stores and internet, cable, and phone services combined each year. You'll also get 2% back on $25,000 in combined spending at restaurants and gas stations each year and 1% back on everything else.

These earning categories might work better for your needs if you're a big Office Depot or Staples spender and feel you can max out these rewards. You could also maximize these rewards if your business spends a lot on gas or dining out each year.

You can benefit from having 0% APR on purchases for 12 months

Another benefit of the Ink Business Cash is the fact that you'll qualify for 0% APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.74% to 20.74%. If you need to make a large business purchase and pay it down over time, this card could help you earn rewards and avoid paying interest on your balance for an entire year.Advertisement

You don't want to pay an annual fee

Finally, the Ink Business Cash is the clear winner if you don't want to pay an annual fee on your credit card. This card doesn't charge an annual fee the first year or any subsequent years you have it, making it a good option for the long haul.

Learn more about the Ink Business Cash »

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. 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.

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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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