Practicality vs. luxury: Chase Ink Business Preferred vs. Amex Business Platinum

29 March 2023

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Though the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are both TPG favorites for small businesses, they are very different.

For all intents and purposes, the Amex Business Platinum is more of a membership card for business travelers who can take advantage of its perks and benefits. The Ink Business Preferred, on the other hand, is geared toward those looking to maximize earnings on a wider range of business expenses.

There’s definitely value to be had from adding both cards to your wallet. However, those looking for just one card should prioritize applying for the one better suited for your specific spending habits and preferences.

Let’s look at the details and benefits of each to see which you should add to your wallet.

Sign-up bonus/welcome offer

These are the bonuses new applicants can earn on these cards:

Chase Ink Business Preferred
Amex Business Platinum

Sign-up bonus/Welcome offer
100,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
120,000 Membership Rewards points.

Spend requirement
$15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months from account opening.
$15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership.

Bonus value*
$2,000.
$2,400.

*Welcome offer value is determined using TPG valuations and is not provided by or reviewed by the issuer.

Amex and Chase points are both worth 2 cents each in TPG’s valuations, and both bonuses require the same amount of spending ($15,000 in the first three months).

Winner: Amex Business Platinum.

Bonus categories

Ink Business Preferred
Amex Business Platinum

Rewards structure

3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on:

Travel.
Shipping purchases.
Internet, cable and phone services.
Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.

1 point per dollar on other purchases.

5 Membership Rewards points per dollar on prepaid hotel and airfare booked through American Express Travel (including Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts).
1.5 points per dollar on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (on up to $2 million of these purchases annually, then 1 point per dollar).
1 point per dollar on other purchases.

Earning limits

Up to $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year
Then 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

5-point categories: no limit.
1.5-point categories: up to $2 million annually.

While the Amex Business Platinum has a higher multiplier, the Ink Business Preferred has a much more attractive rewards structure for business expenses.

Amex Platinum only earns 5 points per dollar spent on travel booked through Amex, so it’s not the card to use for most of your spending. In contrast, the Ink Business Preferred offers a slightly lower 3 points per dollar spent on a wider range of categories, including travel. Plus, Chase defines travel broadly, including booking directly with airlines and hotels, trips booked through the Ultimate Rewards program and ride-hailing services.

My only real complaint with the Ink Business Preferred‘s rewards structure is that it caps out at $150,000 in spending each year. It’s not the only card with a spending cap on rewards (it’s pretty common for small-business cards), but it does limit the earning potential for large-budget businesses. If you spend more than $12,500 a month across all four categories, you’ll end up capping out your bonus at 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points each year. While $150,000 a year may seem like a high cap, keep in mind that online advertising is a bonus category. If your company uses paid search or advertises on social media, it’s very feasible that you could hit $150,000 in bonus category spend a year.

While the Amex categories are very limited, if you’re spending $90,000 or more on hotels and airfare each year (or $7,500 a month) for your business, you’ll end up out-earning the Ink Business Preferred‘s bonus category potential.

Winner: For most business owners, the Ink Business Preferred offers a better rewards structure.

Redeeming points

Ink Business Preferred
Amex Business Platinum

Redemptions through rewards portal
1.25 cents.
Up to 1.54 cents when redeemed for business- or first-class flights with any airline or any ticket with your preferred airline.

TPG points valuation
2 cents.
2 cents.

Number of transfer partners
14.
21.

Both cards are part of valuable rewards programs that offer a lot of redemption flexibility. Both offer an incentive for booking award travel through their portals and have a solid list of transfer partners. However, I would say that you can get more value out of the Amex Membership Rewards program because of two primary features: a superior transfer partner program and a Pay with Points rebate.

Chase and Amex each have a solid list of transfer partners that include both airlines and hotels, but Amex soars above with 21 partners to choose from, including Delta, Emirates, Hilton and Marriott. Amex also frequently runs transfer bonus promotions. Chase, in comparison, has only 14 transfer partners and seldom offers transfer bonuses. Of course, if Chase offers certain partners that are more attractive to you personally — say you are a loyal United flyer rather than a Delta fan — that may be a reason to put Chase’s program over Amex. However, objectively speaking, Amex has a more beneficial program for most users.

Another reason I rank Amex’s Membership Rewards program above Chase when looking at these two cards specifically is because of the Amex Business Platinum Pay with Points rebate. When you redeem Membership Rewards points for travel through American Express Travel Pay with Points, you’ll get a 35% rebate on first- and business-class flights on any airline and economy-class flights on your selected airline (up to 2 million points per calendar year). This means points are worth around 1.54 cents when you book award flights through amextravel.com. You can also get more value out of these points if you are strategic in your transfer partner redemptions, but 1.54 cents is a great value for portal redemptions. In contrast, Ink Business Preferred points are only worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Even if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points are only worth 1.5 cents through the Chase portal.

If you hold the Amex Business Platinum, you get better value on redemptions almost every time.

Winner: The Amex Business Platinum can’t be beaten with its transfer partner program and Pay with Points rebate.

Valuable benefits

Ink Business Preferred
Amex Business Platinum

Statement credits

None.

Up to $200 annual airline fee credit on a selected airline.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100).
Up to $400 annually for Dell purchases.
Up to $360 annually for Indeed purchases.
Up to $189 annually for a Clear membership.
Up to $150 annually for subscription services from Adobe.
Up to $120 annually for U.S. wireless phone plans.
Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Purchase and travel protections

Purchase protection.
Trip delay and cancellation insurance.
Travel accident insurance.
Extended warranty.
Lost baggage insurance.
Primary car rental insurance.

Trip delay insurance.*
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance.*
Cellphone protection.*
Purchase protection.**
Baggage insurance plan.**
Extended warranty.**
Return protection.^
Secondary car rental insurance.^^
Premium Global Assist Hotline.#
Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Lounge access

None.

Centurion Lounges.
Priority Pass lounges.
Delta SkyClub lounges (when flying Delta that day).
Airspace lounges.
Escape lounges.
Plaza Premium lounges.
Lufthansa lounges.
Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Business tools

Expense tracker.
Account manager access.
Bookkeeping integration.
Fraud alerts.
No-cost employee cards.

No preset spending limit.
Pay Over Time option.
Quickbooks integration.
Vendor Pay by Bill.com.
Three options for employee cards with varying benefits and annual fees (see rates and fees).
No cost to add or assign an account manager.
Account alerts.
Year-end summary.
Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Other benefits

Cellphone protection.
Access to Chase Offers.

Gold status with Marriott and Hilton.
Access to Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts.
Elite status with Avis, Hertz and National rental car programs.
Access to Amex Offers.
Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Foreign transaction fees

None.

None (see rates and fees).

Annual fee

$95.

$695 (see rates and fees).

*Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
**Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
^Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details.
^^Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
#Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, cardmembers are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

Both the personal and business versions of the Amex Platinum have arguably the best perks of any travel card on the market. Between access to thousands of lounges worldwide, elite status with two top hotel brands and business tools to help you manage your business expenses come tax season, the Amex Business Platinum is an excellent value-add to any business traveler’s wallet.

One thing that the Ink Business Preferred offers is primary rental car insurance coverage. Meanwhile, the Amex Business Platinum only offers secondary coverage*. This means you must file a claim with your primary insurance provider before Amex covers any other costs. While this perk isn’t necessary if you rarely drive rental cars, domestic business travelers who rent frequently should consider choosing the card with superior rental car coverage.

THE POINTS GUY

At the end of the day, the Amex Business Platinum takes the cake regarding valuable benefits — especially if you’re traveling a lot throughout the year for work. While the annual fee is significantly higher, utilizing most of the Amex benefits will easily offset that cost. If you maximize the annual airline fee credit and Dell statement credit, your out-of-pocket cost for the card is already only $195 each year. Spending $3,900 annually through Amex Travel would accrue enough points to make up for the rest of the annual fee.

Winner: The Amex Business Platinum is hard to beat when it comes to travel perks and benefits.

Bottom line:

These cards are very different and serve different purposes. One is built for earning, while the other is built for upgrading your travel experience. For many people, it makes sense to hold both cards. Ensure you understand the credit card application rules and restrictions before you apply.

Official application link: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Official application link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Ryan Smith.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.

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