The value of having a business credit card is obvious. These cards can serve as a means to keep business and personal expenses separate, to keep track of expenses in real-time, and to offer annual reports that make it easier to gather needed information at tax time.
But over and above the practical aspects of using a business credit are the potential reward-earning possibilities. Rewards earned on a business credit card can help improve your business’ bottom line by offsetting business expenses such as travel.
Making the decision to secure a business credit card was probably easy but now you may need to decide which card to select.
That’s why we’re focusing on 2 of the most popular business credit cards and putting them head to head for the purpose of making a fair comparison.
We’ll look at every aspect of the cards including earning, redeeming, statement credits, benefits, and more.
Yes, the benefits of having a business credit card may be obvious, but it will also be clear as to which of these popular cards is a winner for your operation after you review our article today.
Let’s get started with our comparison of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express versus the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
The Value of a Welcome Bonus
Welcome bonuses are often used by the credit card issuer as an incentive to sign up for a card. Bonuses vary in amount but they represent an opportunity to receive a lump sum of rewards upfront to jump-start your rewards account.
Bonuses can also be quite lucrative. You can receive hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in value when redeeming your welcome bonus points for travel.
These bonuses are deposited into your account after meeting minimum spending requirements that are required within the first 3 months after card approval.
Here is a snapshot of the current welcome bonuses for the 2 cards we’re comparing today.
Membership Rewards Points Versus Ultimate Rewards Points
The Amex Business Platinum earns valuable Membership Rewards points while Ink Business Preferred earns equally valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
You’ll find extraordinary value with either type of rewards points, especially when redeeming for travel.
Comparing Earning Potential
When we compare earning potential, it’s clear that the Amex Business Platinum rewards heavily on travel purchases while the Ink Business Preferred adds additional bonus earning categories for other business-related purchases.
|Amex Business Platinum|
- 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
- 1.5x points on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year)
- 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
|Ink Business Preferred|
- 3x points on travel, internet/cable/phone, shipping, and advertising purchased through social media and search engines (maximum $150,000 in purchases per year)
- 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
When selecting a business credit card, it’s important to identify your largest purchases and apply earning rates to determine which card gives you the highest return for your mix of spending.
Bottom Line: It’s important to estimate your largest expenses before selecting a business credit card. Your mix of business spending determines which card will ultimately deliver the highest earnings for your business.
Comparing Redemption Options
Both Membership Rewards points and Ultimate Rewards offer flexible redemption options and have similar redemption processes.
|Redemption Option||Amex Business Platinum||Ink Business Preferred|
|Redeem for Travel|
- Redeem for 1 cent per point on Amex Travel.
- Receive a 35% rebate on points for flights booked with your pre-selected airline when booked through Amex Travel, up to 1,00,000 bonus points per year.
- Redeem for 1.25 cents per point on Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
|Transfer Points to Travel Partners|
- 21 airline/hotel partners, most with a 1:1 transfer ratio; a small fee applies to transfers.
- 13 airline/hotel partners, 1:1 transfer ratio.
|Other Redemption Options|
- Statement credits, gift cards, Amazon, Uber, Ticketmaster, and other shopping partners.
- Statement credits, gift cards, plus Amazon, Apple, and Chase experiences.
Each rewards program has its own proprietary travel portal that offers incentives for redeeming points via these sites.
Redeeming points earned on either card via the associated travel portal results in fixed values of 1 cent for Membership Rewards and 1.25 cents for Ultimate Rewards. The Amex Business Platinum also rebates 35% of your points back when booking flights on your selected qualifying airline through Amex Travel.
It is possible to receive even greater value, however, by transferring Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards to airline partners and purchase award tickets with the resulting frequent flyer miles.
Membership Rewards has 18 airline transfer partners and 3 hotel transfer partners while Chase Ultimate Rewards has 10 airline transfer partners and 3 hotel partners.
The number of travel partners may be relevant, yet each program offers its own set of valuable opportunities. We’ll show you lots of ways to maximize your Membership Rewards transfers and Ultimate Rewards transfers in our creative guides.
Bottom Line: Each card offers the best potential value for your points when the points are redeemed for travel, either through the card’s proprietary travel portal or by transferring points to airline and hotel travel partners.
Airport Lounge Access
The Business Platinum is the clear winner for lounge access as the Ink Business Preferred doesn’t offer any complimentary lounge access benefit.
The Business Platinum provides access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide including prestigious Centurion Lounges. The value of lounge access alone justifies this card’s annual fee.
Enjoy complimentary access to the following lounge networks:
Hotel and Rental Car Program Benefits
Each of the cards we’re comparing offers benefits with select resort and hotel programs. In addition, the Amex Business Platinum offers hotel program elite status.
You’ll also receive member discounts, vehicle upgrades, and other benefits with each card’s rental car program perks.
Hotel Program Benefits — Amex Business Platinum
- Gold Elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy hotel programs.
- American Express® Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits that include:
- Room upgrades when available.
- Breakfast for 2 guests each day.
- Early check-in and late check out.
- Free Wi-Fi.
- A unique property amenity (such as a spa, or food and beverage credit) worth a minimum of $100.
- The Hotel Collection benefits on 2-night stays:
- $100 room credit per stay to use on spa, dining, or activities.
- Upgraded room if available.
Hotel Program Benefits — Ink Business Preferred
Book your hotel directly through the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection and receive several benefits. Chase partners with this brand that has over 900 properties worldwide.
- Complimentary daily breakfast for 2.
- Early check in and late check out.
- An upgraded room if available.
- Free Wi-Fi.
- A local amenity specific to the property.
Rental Car Program Benefits
The Amex Business Platinum offers the following rental car program benefits:
- Avis Preferred status benefits.
- Hertz Gold Plus Rewards.
- National Emerald Club Executive status.
The Ink Business Preferred offers discounts with several car rental companies including Dollar, Hertz, Silver Car, and more through Visa Signature benefits. Additionally, Ink Business Preferred cardholders qualify for upgrade and discount benefits with Avis Access Ink Insider after registering.
Bottom Line: While both cards provide benefits at resort and hotel program collection properties, the Amex Business Platinum comes with actual hotel program elite status with Hilton and Marriott. The Amex Business Platinum also offers broader rental car program benefits.
Statement Credits and Additional Benefits
The Amex Business Platinum offers several additional benefits that translate into economic value if your business can use them.
The Ink Business Preferred does not offer any statement credits.
Both cards offer the additional business-related benefits of annual statements, zero liability and fraud protection, employee cards, and card management to track employee spending.
Travel Benefits and Protections
Travel benefits and protections can save you money and assist you in getting help when something goes wrong during your travels.
Here’s how the 2 cards compare when we look at key travel coverages.
|Benefit||Amex Business Platinum||Ink Business Preferred|
|Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance||Secondary coverage comes with the card; primary coverage can be purchased.||Primary rental car coverage comes with the card.|
|Lost, Damaged and Delayed Baggage Coverage||Up to $3,000 for carry-on, $2,000 for checked for stolen or lost baggage; no coverage for delayed baggage.||Up to $3,000 for carry-on, $2,000 for checked for stolen or lost baggage; up to $500 for delayed baggage more than 6 hours.|
|Roadside Assistance Service||Premium coverage with 4 free service calls per year.||Flat fee for each service call.|
|Travel Accident Insurance||Up to $500,000 for loss of life or dismemberment.||Up to $500,000 for loss of life or dismemberment.|
|Concierge and Emergency Travel Assistance||Complimentary 24/7 assistance.||Complimentary 24/7 assistance.|
Note that this is not an all-encompassing list of benefits and protections, just key coverages for comparison purposes. You can view full descriptions and the terms and conditions for each coverage in each card’s guide to benefits.
Bottom Line: The Amex Business Platinum offers complimentary premium roadside assistance and $100,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. The Ink Business Preferred shines with primary rental car coverage, cell phone protection, and baggage delay coverage.
Shopping Benefits and Protections
Here’s how shopping benefits and protections compare with the Amex Business Platinum and the Ink Business Preferred.
- Purchase Protection — Both cards offer 120 days of theft or damage protection of $10,000 per claim/$50,000 per account.
- Return Protection — If an eligible item you purchase on the Amex Business Platinum declines in price within 90 days of the purchase date, you could receive up to $300 per item/$1000 per year. The Ink Business Preferred does not have return protection.
- Extended Warranty — The Amex Business Platinum extends the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for eligible items for 2 additional years on warranties less than 5 years. The Ink Business Preferred extends for 1 year on warranties of 3 years or less.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees – Neither card charges foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fees and Adding Additional Users
While annual fees can change, you’ll find that the Amex Business Platinum has a much higher fee than the Ink Business Preferred. The difference in annual fees, however, also parallels the difference in benefits.
As you read through the benefits of each card, just keep track of the ones that will provide value to your business. In the end, the value of the benefits you will use should exceed the cost of the annual fee, regardless of the card you choose.
Adding Additional Users
Adding authorized users to your card can increase your rewards earning and grant card benefits to the additional user.
The Amex Business Platinum charges $300 per additional authorized user (see rates and fees). The additional person receives their own card, complimentary worldwide lounge access, hotel/car rental elite status and benefits, Global Entry/TSA Precheck fee credit, and more.
The Ink Business Preferred does not charge a fee for adding an authorized user. The additional user can share in the card benefits provided, including cell phone coverage when their bill is paid for with the card.
Premium travel rewards cards come with high annual fees but they also come with premium benefits. If you’ll use the associated benefits, you can receive value beyond the cost of the annual fee.
The Amex Business Platinum comes with enough luxury travel benefits to make it worthy of the annual fee.
And while the Ink Business Preferred does not have all those luxury travel perks, it does come with a much lower annual fee. It also has strong earning power, flexible redemption options, and a nice welcome bonus.
The best card for you will be the one that matches your tolerance for an annual fee, provides value in the form of usable benefits, and aligns with your business spending patterns in order to maximize earning potential.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.