Ink Plus or AMEX Business Gold: Which Is the Better Small Business Card for You?

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The Chase Ink Plus and The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN are 2 small business credit cards that earn flexible points.  Transferable points are my favorite because you’ll have many options for Big Travel With Small Money.

And both small business cards offer a sign-up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements.  Plus, you can accumulate bonus points in certain spending categories.  You’ll also get certain purchase protections while traveling and shopping when you pay with either card.

Best Business Credit Cards Compared

Earning Transferable Points on Small Business Cards Like the Chase Ink Plus or AMEX Business Gold Can Help You Get Big Travel! Like Flying Business Class to or From Tahiti!

I’ll compare the perks of both cards.  And explain which card might work best for your small business!

Best Business Credit Cards Compared

Link:   AMEX Business Gold Rewards

Link:   My Review of the AMEX Business Gold Rewards 50,000 Point Offer

Link:   Chase Ink Plus 

Link:   My Review of the Chase Ink Plus 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Point Offer

The Chase Ink Plus and AMEX Business Gold Rewards are small business cards.  So you’ll need a for-profit business to qualify for these cards.  But you might be eligible if you’re involved in any of these 10 small businesses or activities.

And you can get BOTH cards to earn perks with Chase and AMEX.  But there are some differences between both cards to consider, which I’ll explain shortly.

Let’s look at the best business credit cards compared.

1.   Sign-Up Bonus & Annual Fee

The AMEX Business Gold Rewards card is currently offering a sign-up bonus that’s double the normal offer.  You can earn 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. 

The card has a $175 annual fee that is waived for the first year.

The sign-up bonus is worth $500 of flights booked through the Membership Rewards travel portal.  Redeeming the sign-up bonus for cash back is not a great option.  Because you’ll only get $300 cash back (50,000 X 0.6 cents per point)   

Meanwhile, you can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Ink Plus card after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

The sign-up bonus is worth $600 in cash back.  But Chase offers a 25% bonus on points redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  So this makes the sign-up bonus worth $750 when you book travel like airfare or hotel stays!

Best Business Credit Cards Compared

Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Like Cash to Book Rental Cars or Other Travel Through the Chase Portal Without Blackout Dates!

The Chase Ink Plus has an annual fee of $95 that’s NOT waived for the first year

So you’ll get more points from the sign-up bonus with the Chase Ink Plus.  But you’ll have to pay the card’s annual fee.

That said, the extra points could be worth the annual fee, especially when you transfer to airline and hotel partners.  I’ll discuss those options in a moment!

And even though the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card has a higher annual fee after the first year, it could be worth keeping.  Million Mile Secrets team member Keith was able to get a retention bonus on the card that offset the annual fee.

Also, I’ve written the annual fee could be worth it if you spend a lot in 1 of the 5 bonus categories.

Note:   Some folks report targeted mail offers with higher sign-up bonuses for both cards.

2.   Bonus Spending Categories

After you get the sign-up bonus, you’ll still want to have a card that earns you points for everyday spending.  With the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card, you’ll earn 3X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 you spend in 1 of these 5 categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • US purchases for advertising in select media
  • US purchases at gas stations
  • US purchases for shipping
  • US computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

And you’ll earn 2X AMEX Membership Rewards points on the 4 remaining categories you don’t choose.

You’ll earn 3X and 2X points on the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year.  After that, you’ll earn 1 point per $1.

The Chase Ink Plus offers:

  • 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 you spend (5% cash back) on the first $50,000 (combined) spent per year at office supply stores and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points points per $1 you spend (2% cash back) on the first $50,000 spent per year at hotels booked directly with the hotel and gas stations combined

The best card for earning bonus points depends on your spending habits.  For example, if you spend a lot at gas stations, you can do better with the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card if you select this category for your 3X bonus.  The Chase Ink Plus only offers a 2X bonus for this category.

But if you don’t have a lot of spend in the AMEX bonus categories, the Chase Ink Plus might be better.  Because you’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on monthly expenses for your business like telephone bills, utility costs, and internet expenses.

3.   Travel Transfer Partners

You’ll get the most value for the points you earn with the AMEX Business Gold Rewards and Chase Ink Plus by transferring them directly to airline and hotel partners.

Because it’s possible to use points for an award flight that might otherwise cost thousands of dollars out of pocket.  The same number of points might only get you a few hundred dollars in cash back.

Best Business Credit Cards Compared

Use Transferable Points With AMEX Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards to Book Big Travel Like Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

With the Chase Ink Plus, you’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points you can transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the following partners:

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
British AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)Korean Air
Singapore AirlinesSouthwestUnited Airlines
Virgin Atlantic
 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 
HyattIHGMarriott
Ritz-Carlton

There are never any fees for transfers and most transfers are instant.

You’ll earn AMEX Membership Rewards points with the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card that will give you transfer options to these airlines and hotels:

 American Express Membership Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
AeroMexicoAir CanadaAlitalia
ANAAsia MilesBritish Airways
Delta AirlinesEl AlEmirates
EtihadFlying Blue (Air France / KLM)Hawaiian Airlines
IberiaJetBlueSingapore Airlines
Virgin AmericaVirgin Atlantic
 American Express Membership Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 
Choice HiltonStarwood

But, not all transfers occur at a 1:1 ratio.  And AMEX charges a fee to transfer points to US airlines.  Points transfers usually occur within 2 days, but can take longer depending on the airline.

For Big Travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards is my favorite points program.  Emily and I have used Chase Ultimate Rewards points for trips to Paris, Maui, Kauai, Switzerland, Italy and many other destinations!

4.   Purchase & Travel Protection

When you pay for your trip or purchase a new item using your Chase Ink Plus or AMEX Business Gold Rewards card, you may be able to get reimbursed for your expenses if things go wrong.

Here’s a quick comparison of the coverage you get with these cards.

CoverageAmerican Express Business Gold RewardsChase Ink Plus
Purchase Protection• Covered up to 90 days from the date of purchase if it's stolen, accidentally damaged, or lost.

• Up to $1,000 per occurrence, with a maximum of $50,000 per card member account per calendar year

• See the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Benefits Guide for more details
• Covered up to 120 days from the date of purchase in the event of theft, damage, or involuntary and accidental parting with property

• Up to the amount charged to your card, with a maximum of $10,000 for each claim and no more than $50,000 per account

• See the Chase Ink Plus Benefits Guide for more details
Extended Warranty1 extra year added to warranty of 5 years or less

• Up to the amount charged to your card, with a maximum of $10,000, and no more than $50,000 per calendar year

• See the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Benefits Guide for more details
1 extra year added to warranty of 3 years or less

• Up to the amount charged to your card less shipping and handling fees, with a maximum of $10,000, and no more than $50,000 per calendar year

• See the Chase Ink Plus Benefits Guide for more details
Primary Rental Car Insurance• Enroll for free in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program

• But you’ll pay ~$25 (~$18 for California residents) per rental for up to 42 consecutive rental days (30 consecutive rental days for Washington State cardholders)

• See the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Benefits Guide for more details
• Cardholders covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency's collision damage waiver

• Rental car insurance is primary when renting for business purposes in your country of residence or outside of the country. Otherwise, this coverage is secondary.

• See the Chase Ink Plus Benefits Guide for more details


Delayed BaggageNone• If your baggage is delayed for more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed for emergency purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and more)

• Up to $100 per day for a maximum of 5 days

• See the Chase Ink Plus Benefits Guide for more details
Lost Luggage• Up to $1,250 (or more) per person per trip for loss of carry-on baggage

• Up to $500 (or more) per person per trip for loss of checked bag

• Up to $250 per person per trip for loss of high risk items (i.e. jewelry & electronics)

• See the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Benefits Guide for more details
• Covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and personal items inside

Up to $3,000 per person each trip with a limit of $500 for items such as jewelry and electronics

• See the Chase Ink Plus Benefits Guide for more details
Trip Delay ProtectionNone• If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)

• See the Chase Ink Plus Benefits Guide for more details
Trip Cancellation & Interruption InsuranceNone• Up to $5,000 for per occurrence, if you pay for your trip with points you'll get a value of 1 cent per point

• See the Chase Ink Plus Benefits Guide for more details

Be sure to read the terms carefully, so you know what is and isn’t covered on your card.

5.   Warranty Protection

American Express is known for provided extending warranties when you make purchases with your card.  This can be especially important if you’re making a business purchase.

With the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card, you’ll get 1 extra year added to a warranty of 5 years or less.  If there’s an issue with the item you purchased during that time, you can receive a refund for your purchase amount up to $10,000 per item and no more than $50,000 per calendar year.

So it’s possible to have up to a 6 year warranty when you pay with your AMEX card, which is a terrific benefit!

Meanwhile, the Chase Ink Plus provides 1 extra year of warranty to a warranty of 3 years or less.  It provides the same reimbursement coverage as the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card.

6.   Save Money With Credit Card Programs

Link:   My Full Review of AMEX OPEN

Link:   Visa SavingsEdge Could Save You Money on Travel

Both small business cards give you access to business savings programs.

With the AMEX Business Gold Rewards, you’ll have access to AMEX OPEN.  You can get discounts of up to 5% or earn up to 2 extra Membership Rewards points per $1 at popular merchants including HP, Hertz, and FedEx.

Here’s my full review of AMEX OPEN discounts.

The Chase Ink Plus is eligible for the Visa SavingsEdge program.  After you register your Chase Ink Plus Visa business card, you will automatically earn cash back at certain hotels, restaurants, and auto stores.

As an example, you can earn 5% cash back at hotel chains like La Quinta or Microtel.  Or get 1% cash back at Chevron or Texaco gas stations.

There’s also a free Visa SavingsEdge app to help locate nearby discounts.

You can read my previous post with more details of how the program can save you money.

Overall, Visa SavingsEdge has many more merchants participating than AMEX OPEN.

7.   Authorized Users and Spending Limits

You can add cards to your account for employees.  For AMEX, you’ll pay a $50 fee for the first card, and no fee for future authorized users.  There’s no fee to add an authorized user on the Ink Plus card.

Remember to only add someone you trust as an authorized user.  Because YOU are ultimately liable for any charges.  And you can read my previous post on how to freeze spending on authorized user accounts.

One major difference between the AMEX and Chase small business cards is the spending limit.  The AMEX Business Gold Rewards card is a charge card.  So there’s no pre-set credit limit like you’ll have with the Ink Plus card.

The AMEX card can be great for small business owners looking to make a large one-time purchase

8.   Application & Sign-Up Bonus Rules

If you have lots of new credit cards, it might be more difficult to get the Chase Ink Plus card.  Because Chase has tougher application rules which have made it more difficult to get approved.

So, if you’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months (excluding certain business cards), you likely won’t get approved for the Chase Ink Plus card.

So, you could consider the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card.  Emily just added this card to her wallet because of the increased sign-up bonus! 

Best Business Credit Cards Compared

Emily’s Excited to Earn the Sign-Up Bonus and Use the Perks of Her New AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card

Remember, AMEX business cards do not appear on your personal credit report.  So adding the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card will NOT hurt your chances of getting a card with Chase in the future if you’ve had fewer than 5 cards in the past 24 months.

If you’ve had the Ink Plus or AMEX Business Gold Rewards cards in the past, the rules for earning the sign-up bonus again are different.

With AMEX, you can only earn the sign-up bonus once per lifetime per card.

But Chase allows you to earn the sign-up bonus again as long as it’s been 24 months since the last time you earned the bonus.

Bottom Line

The Chase Ink Plus and AMEX Business Gold Rewards card are terrific small business cards.  Because they earn transferable points that can be used for Big Travel!

Each card also offers bonus spending categories, purchase protections, and business savings programs.

The card best for you depends on your small business spending habits and recent card history.  Because it might be tougher to get the Chase Ink Plus card if you’ve had lots of new credit card accounts.

You could also get both cards!  But you’ll want to make sure you can meet the minimum spending on each to earn the sign-up bonuses!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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