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 card to see whether the annual fee is worth it in year two and beyond.
New applicants for the Ink Business Preferred can earn 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, making this bonus worth $2,000.
Related: How to meet minimum spending on the Ink Business Preferred
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 statement credit.
Related: Points of View: Can I cash out my points, and is it worth it?
However, you can get a much better value from your points than 1.25 cents apiece. Utilizing Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners allows for using your points on hotel stays and flights. You can gain much more value here.
Related: How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for maximum value
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If you pay your monthly wireless bill with your Ink Business Preferred card, you can enjoy cellphone protection against theft or damage. This applies to you and to 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.
Shopping and travel protections
The Ink Business Preferred offers two types of shopping protections: purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
Purchase 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.
Extended warranty protection adds an additional year to manufacturers’ warranties of three years or less. This benefit has a maximum of $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. The warranties must be issued in the U.S. to be eligible.
When traveling, you can take advantage of roadside dispatch benefits for pay-per-use help when needed. This can help with lockouts, dead batteries or flat tires, for example.
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. This is primary coverage when renting for business purposes, when renting outside your country of residence or when you don’t have auto insurance of your own. Coverage applies when your rental is 31 days or less and can cover any towing charges you may incur, but it doesn’t cover certain types of vehicles.
Related: 5 reasons to get the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Additionally, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per person and $10,000 per trip through trip cancellation and interruption insurance. This benefit covers trips that are canceled or cut short by severe weather and sickness, for example, and will reimburse your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses. You also can be reimbursed up to $500 for expenses when your trip is delayed by 12 hours or more, thanks to trip delay insurance.
You can see the full details of these benefits in the benefits guide to learn about limits and exclusions. For more information, see our full review of the Ink Business Preferred card.
When using your Ink Business Preferred card, 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.
Related: Purchases that qualify for triple points with the Ink Business Preferred
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.
Related: How to maximize your rewards-earning with the Ink Business Preferred
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.
Related: Credit card showdown: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Ink Business Preferred
Unlike other business credit cards from Chase, you have direct access to Chase’s transfer partners when you hold the Ink Business Preferred card. 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. Thus, it’s not just the points you can earn but also the redemption options that you should consider.
Holding a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points and has an annual fee is necessary to have the widest range of options for how you can use your points — and 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 after spending $15,000 on purchases within three months of account opening with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.