There are a variety of credit card options for consumers, and it can be hard to determine not only which card is the best – but which is the right one for you. Such is the case when deciding between the American Express Gold Card and the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card, two cards designed with business users in mind.
American Express Business Gold vs. Chase Ink Business Preferred Comparison
|APR||16.49% – 24.49%||18.24% – 23.24%|
|Annual Fee||$0 intro for first year; $175 after||$95|
|Rewards||$0 intro for first year; $175 after||3x points for a variety of combined purchases. All other purchases will earn 1x points per dollar spent|
|Suggested Credit Score||Above 700||Above 700|
|See how these cards stack up against our top rated business credit cards|
*If enrolled in the Pay Over Time feature; otherwise cardholders are expected to pay the balance in full each month
Getting the American Express Business Gold Card
Applying for an American Express Business Gold Card, like any other major business card, is fairly straightforward. Applicants are required to enter their legal business information as well as the industry type, company structure, years in business, annual business revenue, and estimated monthly spending.
While Amex doesn’t include specific credit score cutoffs, the American Express Business Gold Card is limited to business owners with excellent credit, and typical cardholders have a credit score above 700.
Those approved for the Amex Business Gold Card are expected to pay the balance in full on a monthly basis. Cardholders do, however, have the option to enroll in the Pay Over Time feature. If enrolled in this feature, the annual percentage rate (APR) for the remaining balance is currently 19.74%, with a penalty APR of 29.99%, and the variable penalty APR is capped at 29.99%.
For the first year, cardholders will not be charged an annual membership fee, though after the first year that fee is $175. Additionally, the Amex Business Gold Card does not include any foreign transaction fees, a benefit for business owners who frequently make purchases outside of the United States.
Benefits of the American Express Business Gold Card
The Amex Business Gold Card is most frequently marketed as a rewards card, the evidence of which is seen in its competitive rewards points program and sign-on bonus. The primary rewards perk is a 3x points structure for all purchases made within a single Amex-created category chosen by the user. Categories include Airfare (purchased directly from the airline), U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. purchases at gas stations, U.S. purchases for shipping, and U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud purchases made directly from the provider. Cardholders also earn 2x points on all of the remaining categories and 1x points on all other purchases.
Business owners looking for a business credit card compatible with their airline and hotel chain of choice should know that Amex typically offers a 1:1 transfer ratio for a number of airlines, including Delta, Cathay Pacific, and Virgin Atlantic. Points can also be transferred to other Amex travel partners including Hilton hotels, Starwood hotels, British Airways, and JetBlue.
The Amex Business Gold Card also comes with a sign-on bonus that can earn cardholders an additional 50,000 points after they spend $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
Downsides of the American Express Business Gold Card
Though some may find the “choose a category” to be a big perk, others may find they don’t spend enough in any one category, limiting their ability to really capitalize on the 3x points offer. Additionally, some users might find that purchase eligibility within categories is a bit more restrictive than some of their competitors, like Chase Ink.
Additionally, some card users find the points system to be complicated, making more straightforward or all-inclusive bonus structures more appealing. Other users may also find issues with the point transfer ratios, with Delta being the only U.S. airline that Amex transfers points on a 1:1 ratio.
Finally, the Amex annual fee, though waived the first year, is higher than some of their major competitors, making it a sticking point for those who see no other major difference between the Amex and comparable cards.
Getting the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card shares some similarities with the Amex Business Gold Card, like the application process. Chase Ink Business Preferred is also designed for business owners who have excellent credit, with the typical FICO score above 700.
The Chase Ink Preferred Business Card comes with an APR between 17.49% and 22.49% variable rates, both of which depend on the market Prime Rate. Unlike the Amex Business Gold Card, the Chase Ink Preferred Business Card also allows cardholders to transfer balances, though the transfer rate is the same as the APR, making other cards that offer a 0% introductory APR more attractive for balance transfers.
Cardholders can also expect to pay a penalty APR up to 29.99% as well as a $95 annual membership fee beginning the first year.
Benefits of the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
Similar to the Amex Business Gold Card, the benefits of this card are largely based on the rewards program. Unlike the Amex Express Gold, the Chase Ink Card offers 3x points for a variety of combined purchases, including travel; shipping purchases; phone, internet, and cable services; and advertising purchases with social media sites, and search engines – users do not need to choose a specific category. All other purchases will earn 1 point per dollar spent.
Though the rewards program does not include the 2x point tier, cardholders that don’t spend a significant amount in any one category may find the umbrella 3x point tier to be more desirable than the American Express counterpart.
Chase also offers sign-on rewards, and new members can earn up to 80,000 bonus points if they spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months, which is a bit less restrictive and more lucrative than the Amex.
Chase also partners with a variety of travel merchants and offers a point transfer for their Unlimited Rewards partners, which include Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriot, IHG, and Ritz-Carlton.
Downsides of the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
Similar to the American Express Business Gold Card, some cardholders may find the points and rewards program to be a bit complex, making it hard to get the most out of points earned. Additionally, the annual fee is not waived the first year, unlike the American Express card.
If you’re looking for a card to make large purchases and you plan on paying those purchases off at the end of each billing cycle, you might find the American Express Business Gold Card can better accommodate your need for a flexible card limit while still offering competitive rewards benefits.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a card that operates more like a traditional credit card (i.e., you can transfer balances and aren’t required to pay it off in a single cycle), then you might want to consider the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card.
Both of these cards offer competitive rewards programs that can help you save more on things like flights and hotel reservations. Which one is best for you depends on which features you need and how you’ll use the card.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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