If you’ve got a small business and want to spread the word, the days of cooking up print ads and billboards with Don Draper and the gang at Sterling Cooper are long gone. These days, online advertising is king.
Whether you're the head of a major company or simply running a side hustle, you're probably eligible for a business credit card. And no matter what industry you're in, online advertising is the gold standard … but it's not exactly cheap. So if you're shilling out big bucks each month to attract and retain customers, you should make sure you're rewarded with extra points and miles by using the right credit card to pay for it.
Let's take a closer look at these two cards and determine which is best for your business.
The American Express Business Gold Card
The American Express Business Gold Card is hands down one of the most rewarding business credit cards on the market today – and it's not particularly close. No other business card helps you earn earn more points in many useful business categories as Amex does with its Business Gold Card.
With the Amex Business Gold, you'll get 4x Membership Rewards in your two most utilized business spending categories each month. The eligible categories include airfare, gas stations, restaurants, shipping, advertising, and select technology providers. The card's 4x Membership Rewards earning is capped on the first $150,000 in combined spending each year, but that cap still gives businesses quite a bit of opportunity to stack up some serious rewards.
That means if you spend $100,000 a year on advertising and another $50,000 on airfare for yourself and employees, you'd earn a total of 600,000 Membership Rewards points: 400,000 for your online ads and 200,000 points for flights. Even if you don't spend nearly that much on advertising, flights, or one of the other eligible categories, that multiplier is tough to beat.
On top of piling up points on your ad spending, you'll also get some other useful business and travel related benefits with the card. Purchase protection should give you some added peace of mind knowing that the new piece of equipment you just bought is protected against damage or theft for the first 90 days. And the card's lost or damaged baggage insurance, and trip delay protection, will protect you in the case of any future travel hiccups.
When it comes to using your rewards, you'll have the option to redeem for statement credits, gift cards, book travel through the Amex Travel portal, or our favorite option – transfer the points to one of the many Amex travel partners for even greater value.
So beyond the card being an obvious choice for your online ad spending, it's one you'll want to use for a good chunk of your other business purchases as well.
Amex Business Gold Card Benefits
- *amex biz gold bonus*
- Earn 4x Amex Membership Rewards for every dollar spent in your top two spending categories each month. Eligible categories include, airfare purchases made directly with the airline, U.S. purchases at gas stations, U.S. shipping purchases, U.S. restaurant purchases, select U.S. technology providers, and advertising with select U.S. media providers (online, tv, radio), on up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year.
- Earn 1x Amex Membership Rewards for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Trip Delay Insurance*
- Lost or Damaged Baggage Insurance*
- Rental Car Insurance*
- Purchase Protection: Cover your new purchases for 90 days against damage or theft up to $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Foreign Transaction Fees: None
- Annual Fee: $295 (see rates & fees)
*Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
Learn more about the *biz gold*.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Preferred is a really well-rounded card and an especially good one for racking up Chase Ultimate Rewards points – which can be much harder to earn than Amex points.
It earns 3x points in several key business categories such as travel, shipping expenses, phone & internet bills, and online advertising. Similar to the Amex Business Gold Card, the Ink Preferred's 3x points categories are limited to the first $150,000 in combined spending per calendar year.
On top of earning lots of points, the card also offers some rock-solid travel benefits and other protections for your business. And when it comes time to reap your rewards, the Ink Preferred allows you to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards in a variety of ways. You can use them to book travel at 1.25 cents per point in the Chase travel portal, or they can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to any of Chase's travel partners.
But if travel isn't your goal, you can also cash out your Ultimate Rewards at a rate of 1 cent per point, applied to your bill as a statement credit or even used for gift cards. This versatility makes the points earned on your online ad spending and all other business expenses all the more valuable.
Chase Ink Business Preferred Benefits
- Earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards for every dollar spent on travel, shipping, phone, internet, cable, and online advertising with social media sites and search engines, up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year.
- Earn 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Travel Protections: With the card's trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per person ($10,000 per trip) for pre-paid non refundable travel expenses if your trip is cancelled or cut short due to a covered event.
- Rental Car Insurance: Get primary rental car coverage when you're renting for business purposes and pay for your rental with the Chase Ink Preferred.
- Purchase Protection: Cover your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Cell Phone Insurance: Get up to $1,000 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay for it with your Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card.
- Foreign Transaction Fees: None
- Annual Fee: $95
Learn More about the *chase ink preferred*
Which Card Is Best for Online Ad Spending?
On the surface, the Amex Business Gold Card is the best option for your online ad spending considering it can earn more points per dollar. But does that really tell the whole story?
It's tough to beat the possibility of getting 4x Amex Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on online advertising with the Business Gold Card. But with a $295 annual fee, those additional points don't come cheap. By comparison, you could get 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards on that same amount of online advertising and only be out-of-pocket $95 in annual fees.
If your business can max out that $150,000 in spending each year on ads or other categories, that extra point per dollar should more than offset the higher annual fee. But the math will likely be different for every business.
Another thing to keep in mind: What other categories your business is spending a lot on?
If your business does some online advertising but it's not one of your two highest spending categories each month, you might be left earning 1x on all of those purchases instead of the possible 4x Membership Rewards points. In that case, you'd be much better off getting 3x with the Chase Ink Preferred since it will reward 3x Ultimate Rewards in all of its bonus categories, up to the yearly maximum.
And really, maybe you don't need to decide which card is best. If your business spends big in online advertising, but also makes big purchases for travel, gas, dining, and other business expenses, perhaps the best move for your company is to have both cards at your disposal!
Still not sure which card is right for you? Read our head-to-head comparison for a full breakdown on both cards!
These days, the most efficient way for businesses to reach their customers is through online advertising. That doesn't come cheap.
Both the American Express Business Gold and the Chase Ink Business Preferred are business credit cards that award extra points for online advertisement spending – among other big expense categories – that could easily make sense for a small business owner.