Update from Greg: There has been a lot of confusion over whether the rewards earned with the Ink Business Premier card can be transferred to other Chase cards and/or to airline and hotel programs. Unfortunately, the official answer from Chase is that points cannot be combined or transferred. Here’s a bit more detail:
- Ultimate Rewards? Yes. Rewards earned with the Ink Business Premier card are in the form of Ultimate Rewards points even though Chase advertises this as a cash back card. This is also true with the Freedom cards, Ink Business Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash cards.
- Transfer to Airlines/Hotels? No. The Ink Business Premier does not allow transferring points to hotel or airline partners. This is also true with the Freedom cards, Ink Business Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash cards.
- Move Points to Card with Transfer Power? No. The Ink Business Premier does not allow moving points to another card that earns Ultimate Rewards (Chase calls this “combining points”). This is where the new card diverges from the Freedom cards, Ink Business Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash cards. Points earned on Freedom and older Ink cards can be moved to other card accounts in order to make the points more valuable. For example, you can move points earned on an Ink Business Cash card to your Sapphire Preferred account and then transfer those points to a hotel or airline partner. You cannot do the same with points earned with the Ink Business Premier.
As a result of the Ink Business Premier card’s limitations, it really should be thought of as just a cash back card. If you have a lot of business spend, especially with many transactions of $5,000 or more (so that you can earn 2.5% back), it can be worth the annual fee. For most of us, though, there are better alternatives.
The original post follows…
Doctor of Credit broke the news yesterday that Chase has launched the Ink Business Premier card for in-branch applications. This card had previously been rumored to be coming and it looks like for now the card is only available via a Business Relationship manager, but Chase has published an official press release, so we now know a lot about the card.
As expected, the new Ink card is what Chase is calling a “Pay-in-full” card reminiscent of the “charge card” concept where cardholders must pay the balance in full each month, though Chase will also offer something they call “Flex for Business”, which appears to be their version of what Amex calls “pay over time” — business owners will have the ability to pay for some purchases over time with interest.
In terms of bonus and earning structure, the card could be interesting, though I’m not yet sold.
Chase’s press release notes a welcome bonus of $1,000 after $10,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. That puts it (maybe sort of) in line with the 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points bonus on the Ink Business Preferred (after $15K in purchaes) and above the 75,000 point bonuses after $7500 in purchases on the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited (neither of which have an annual fee).
The earning structure will raise an eyebrow one way or another:
- 2% cash back on everyday spend
- 2.5% cash back on purchases of $5K or more
- 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
On the one hand, the earning structure looks like weak sauce for a card with a $195 annual fee. You can get unlimited 2% cash back with many cards on the market with no annual fee, albeit mostly personal cards and perhaps not with as high of a spending cap. That last piece may be the selling point: if this is treated more like a traditional charge card where the balance must be paid in full each month, I imagine that business owners will be able to charge much more than a traditional credit limit would allow. That may be the advantage for very big spenders.
The extra half a percent on large purchases is also potentially nice. In either case, most readers will wonder whether this “cash back” will really be awarded in the form of Ultimate Rewards points as it is on other Chase cash back cards and — more importantly — whether those Ultimate Rewards points will be transferable to airline and hotel partners.
If the card earns 2x transferable points on all purchases, that will put it in line with…..the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card that has half the annual fee and the Blue Business Plus card that has no annual fee. That doesn’t scream premium business product to me.
On the other hand. 2.5x transferable points on large purchases could be more interesting, particularly to those who value Chase-exclusive partners like United, Southwest, and Hyatt* (asterisk here since Bilt also has transfers to Hyatt). Is it worth enough to justify the $195 annual fee? I haven’t done much analysis, but at first glance it feels questionable. Chase has not said whether cardholders will be able to transfer rewards from this card to other Chase cards or to partners (or whether a prerequisite for transferring to partners will be having another card).
At the moment, the card is only available in-branch via a Business Relationship Manager. It is expected that the card will launch for online applications in “early 2022”, which Doctor of Credit reports to be January.