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How These Chase Business Cards Have Changed the Way We Book Business Travel

Anisha Sekar

Anisha Sekar

Credit Card Specialist at Fundera
Anisha Sekar is a personal finance expert who led NerdWallet's credit and debit card business. She has written for U.S. News and Marketwatch, and featured in Time, NPR's Marketplace, CNN, and more. She currently writes about everything from getting out of debt, to saving for retirement, to finding affordable health insurance.
Anisha Sekar
Advertiser Disclosure

In the past few years, Chase has really stepped up their travel credit card game.

Whether it’s with the consumer Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earned a place on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek, or with the business Ink Preferred, which is one of the best credit cards out there for travel signup bonuses, Chase has won their way into our hearts.

Here are four ways that Chase’s cards have changed the game for business travelers.

1. Booking with the Bonus

Chase’s reputation for high signup bonuses made timing your card application with an upcoming vacation or business trip all the more compelling.

The Ink Business PreferredSM is a prime example: It offers 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. (Its ongoing rewards are nothing to scoff at, either.)

The Ink Preferred’s consumer counterpart, the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM, offers a solid 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Getting a travel credit card solely for its signup bonus is pretty common in the consumer credit card world, but with its stellar offers, Chase is making the practice popular among businesses too.

Plus, Chase business cards have an edge if you’re chasing bonuses: Chase usually limits you to five new cards every 24 months, but business cards don’t typically count toward that limit. If you have a major trip coming up, look to a business card for a great bonus.

2. The Return of All-Purpose Points

General travel points can get a bit of a bad rap.

The flat-rate Capital One Spark Miles, for example, pays out in No Hassle Miles that are only ever worth 1 cent apiece. By comparison, Starwood’s loyalty points are valued at 2.5 cents each, and Virgin America miles at 2 cents each.

However, Chase’s premier travel card is making all-purpose points great again. That’s because you can transfer your points 1:1 to any of Chase’s airline and hotel loyalty partners, including United, Southwest, and Hyatt, whose points are valued at 1.5, 1.5, and 1.8 cents apiece respectively.

Not only do you get the value of airline or hotel points, but you get the flexibility to choose which program suits your needs at the time.

3. Loyalty Credit Cards Are Even Better

That said, Chase’s branded airline and hotel credit cards have a lot to offer.

The new United TravelBank Card, for example, combines the convenience of cash back with the appeal of loyalty cards.

This one—a consumer card—earns 2% rewards on United airfare and 1.5% rewards generally, which can be redeemed for United tickets. You’ll also get 25% back as a statement credit on in-flight food and beverage purchases. And unlike most airline credit cards, there’s no annual fee.

Of course, if you’re willing to pay an annual fee, you have your choice of great options.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card comes with a solid 60,000 Rapid Rewards Points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first three months, and though it carries a $99 annual fee, you get 6,000 points (valued at $90) as an anniversary bonus every year.

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Business card, which offers a 50,000-mile signup bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months, offers a suite of perks: first checked bag free, priority boarding, and more. Its $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

Finally, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Business comes with an 80,000-point signup bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Though it has a $99 annual fee, you’re looking at an anniversary bonus of 15 Elite credits and a free night’s stay at a Category 1-5 hotel. Plus, you’ll get automatic Gold Elite status when you spend $50,000 in a year; 2 points per $1 spent on airfare, car rentals, restaurants, office supply stores, and for internet, cable and phone services; and a whole 5 points per $1 on Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest hotels.

None of those cards charges a foreign transaction fee, so business travel is much more appealing when you’ve got one.

4. Cash Back Instead of Miles

Finally, Chase has made cash back cards appealing to business travelers as well.

Transferring points to travel partners is a benefit reserved for Chase’s elite cards, the Ink Preferred and consumer cards Sapphire Preferred and Reserve.

The Ink Preferred earns 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines; and 1 point per $1 elsewhere. The Sapphire Reserve and Preferred earn unlimited bonus rewards on travel and dining, 3 points and 2 points respectively.

The no annual fee Ink Business CashSM nominally earns:

  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services spent annually
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants spent annually
  • 1% cash back everywhere else

However, there’s a twist. The Ink Cash will technically earn you 5, 2, and 1 Ultimate Reward Points per $1 in those categories, and usually your Ultimate Rewards Points are worth only 1 cent each.

If you have one of Chase’s elite cards, though, you can combine your Ultimate Rewards Points into the top-tier card’s account.

From there, you can take advantage of the points transfer, 1.25 cent valuation when you use points for travel booked through Chase, and so on.

With all of these perks, Chase gives business travelers a reason to give cash back a second look.  

 

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Anisha Sekar

Anisha Sekar

Credit Card Specialist at Fundera
Anisha Sekar is a personal finance expert who led NerdWallet's credit and debit card business. She has written for U.S. News and Marketwatch, and featured in Time, NPR's Marketplace, CNN, and more. She currently writes about everything from getting out of debt, to saving for retirement, to finding affordable health insurance.
Anisha Sekar

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