Chase Ink Cash & Chase Ink Preferred — Which Is Better?

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Chase has recently switched up their business card portfolio, and right now they have two primary business credit cards — the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. The cards are both fantastic, though are quite different in terms of benefits, return on spend, etc. Therefore in this post I figured I’d do a side-by-side comparison of the two cards.

Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: annual fee

The Ink Cash has a $0 annual fee.

The Ink Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

Winner: The Ink Cash has a $0 annual fee, so is tough to beat in that regard.

Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: sign-up bonus

The Ink Cash is offering a sign-up bonus of 30,000 bonus points (equivalent to $300 cash back) after spending $3,000 within three months. However, below I’ll talk about how you can make the points earned on this card even more valuable.

Card-1

The Ink Preferred is offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months.

Card-2

Winner: Even if we value the points earned on the Ink Cash and Preferred equally, the Preferred comes out way ahead. The difference in the value of the sign-up bonus is $500+, so you’ll come out way ahead even if you keep the Preferred for a long time and pay the annual fee.

Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: value of points

On the surface these cards offer different types of rewards. The Ink Cash is intended to be a cashback card, where each point is worth a cent. Meanwhile the Ink Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points, which you can redeem for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or transfer to one of the other excellent Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, like Hyatt Gold Passport, Korean Air SkyPass, etc.

However, if you have the Ink Cash in addition to one of the cards that accrues Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer these points to Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. Cards that accrue “premium” Ultimate Rewards Cards include the following:

korean-air-747-first-class-4
Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel in Korean Air first class

Winner: Natively the Ink Preferred offers more valuable points, though in practice if you have the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, you can add your Ink Cash points to that balance. So for many of us, the value per point will be the same on both cards.

Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: return on spend

The Ink Cash offers:

  • 5x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services, for each account anniversary year
  • 2x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants for each account anniversary year

Meanwhile the Ink Preferred offers:

  • 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, for each account anniversary year

Park-Hyatt-Sydney
Earn 3x points on travel purchases with the Ink Preferred

Winner: The card offering the better return is highly dependent on what type of a business you have.

Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: perks

The Ink Cash is incredible in terms of the return it offers on spend for a no annual fee card. However, it doesn’t offer much in terms of other perks and benefits.

Meanwhile the Ink Preferred offers an incredible array of benefits:

  • Primary collision damage waiver coverage on car rentals
  • Trip cancellation & interruption coverage on travel
  • Cell phone protection, where you can get up to $600 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 it with your Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card (maximum three claims in a 12 month period, and there’s a $100 deductible per claim)

Those are some top notch perks you don’t otherwise see on many business cards. See my previous post on the Ink Preferred for more details on the protection offered by this card.

Winner: The Ink Preferred offers an incredible array of benefits you don’t see on many business cards. The cell phone coverage is an especially cool benefit that isn’t offered by any other card that I know of.

Car-Rental-Accident
Get primary collision damage waiver coverage on car rentals with the Ink Preferred

Ink Cash vs. Ink Preferred: odds of approval

Both of these cards are subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you’re generally not going to be approved if you’ve opened more than five card accounts in the past 24 months. There are always exceptions, though that’s the general rule. Also keep in mind that among issuers, Chase is among the stricter issues when it comes to approving people for business cards.

If you’re looking for an easier approval on a business card, consider The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN or The Platinum Card® from American Express, both of which offer compelling sign-up bonuses.

Amex-Business-Plat-Approved

Winner: Your approval odds on both of these Chase business cards should be roughly the same.

Bottom line

The Ink Cash and Ink Preferred are two of the most compelling business credit cards out there. It’s tough to say for sure which card is better, as it all depends on your circumstances. However, in general I’d say:

  • Even though the Ink Preferred has a $95 annual fee, you’ll come out way ahead with the much bigger sign-up bonus; I value the incremental 50,000 point sign-up bonus at ~$850, which covers a lot of $95 annual fees
  • The better rewards structure really depends on how big your business is, and what categories you spend most in; it’s worth considering the $25,000 cap on 5x points on the Ink Cash, vs. the $150,000 cap on 3x points on the Ink Preferred
  • The 80,00 point sign-up bonus on the Ink Preferred is really compelling
  • The Ink Preferred offers incredible cell phone coverage; given how easy it is to drop a smartphone, this has the potential to be extremely valuable

So it really comes down to the individual person/business, what categories you spend most in, if you mind paying an annual fee, how much you value the Ink Preferred perks, etc.

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Comments

  1. Is it still possible to downgrade Ink Plus to Ink Cash? Also, any speculation on whether Chase will eventually force current INK Plus card holders to convert to INK Preferred?

  2. Any advice on whether to change my Chase Ink Bold business card to one of these? Or just keep the Ink Bold?

  3. I downgraded my Ink Plus to Ink Cash. If you can do the downgrade, do it. HUCB if a rep doesn’t offer it. I already have CSR as my UR repository and wasn’t doing enough dollars to hit the 5x limit on the Cash.

  4. @Jasmine, I too had the Bold which I just downgraded to the Cash and proceeded to apply for the Preferred and then the Plus soon after.

  5. Downgraded to Ink Cash, but I cant sign up for Any More Chase Products (5/24) so strictly A CB Card for me now.

  6. Can I transfer points from Ink Cash to NO FEE cards such as Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire to redeem for UR points instead of cash? Thanks.

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