The Best Downgrade Option For The Chase Ink Preferred Card

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The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is the credit card with the single best sign-up bonus right now, in my opinion. The card has a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months. I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me those points are worth $1,360, which is a ton of value for a sign-up bonus.

What makes the card so great is that it doesn’t just have a great sign-up bonus, but is worth holding onto long term.

Why the Ink Business Preferred Card is worth holding onto

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has an annual fee of just $95 per year, and offers some fantastic bonus categories and benefits that make this card a keeper long term. The card offers:

  • 3x points on shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engine (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per cardmember year)
  • An incredible cell phone protection plan of up to $600 per claim, against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your Ink Business Preferred Card; you can have a maximum of three claims in a 12 month period, and there’s a $100 deductible per claim
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver coverage when you decline the rental car company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card; coverage is primary when renting for business purposes and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most cars in the US and abroad
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance; if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather, and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels
  • Purchase protection, which covers your new purchases for up to 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account, and extended warranty protection, which extends the time period of US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less

Your best downgrade option for the Chase Ink Preferred

Lets say you want to give the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card a try, thanks to the big sign-up bonus, great return on spend, and excellent perks. I think most will find this card to be worthwhile long term, though lets say you don’t.

The good news is that you could then downgrade the card to the no annual fee Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. This card 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.

The upside to this card is that it has some really cool 5x points categories, and it has no annual fee.

There are a few downsides, though. It doesn’t have the excellent travel, car rental, cell phone, and purchase protection that the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers. The bonus categories also aren’t as well rounded, and are capped at $25,000 rather than $150,000 per account year.

Lastly, the Ink Cash doesn’t directly earn Ultimate Rewards points, unlike the Ink Preferred. However, if you have the Ink Cash in addition to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or  Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, then the points earned on the card can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio, and then can be transferred to airline or hotel partners, or redeemed at 1.25-1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase.

While the ability to downgrade from the Ink Preferred to Ink Cash should eventually be possible for most (or maybe all) cardmembers, the catch is that you often have to wait a year from when you opened the card to downgrade. If you’re a cardmember you’ll want to contact Chase directly to inquire about your particular situation.

Bottom line

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is arguably the most well rounded business credit card out there in terms of the sign-up bonus, return on spend, and perks, and best of all, it has a reasonable $95 annual fee. If you’re eligible then I think the card is absolutely worth getting. Personally I think the card is worth holding onto for the cell phone protection, if nothing else.

For those who end up getting the card and find it’s not working great for them, the Ink Cash is an excellent alternative. It has no annual fee, offers 5x points in select categories, and nicely complements the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and  Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, since having one of those cards will allow you to convert those points into Ultimate Rewards points.

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  1. If you are under Chase 5/24, would it make more sense to cancel the Ink Preferred and apply for the Ink Cash so you can get the sign-on bonus for Ink Cash?

  2. Even if you have a $950 phone, paying $95 just for the extra phone insurance makes little sense. Would you pay $1,000 a year for comp & collision (not liability) coverage on a $10,000 car, with a $1,000 deductible?

  3. I had a different Ink Business Preferred card several years ago and downgraded to the Ink Business Cash. I still have the Cash card. Can I now apply for the newer version of the Ink Business Preferred and receive the 80,000 miles after I meet the spend requirement?
    Also, you didn’t mention double miles on gas purchases using the Cash card. I thought this was still applicable. Is this correct?

  4. Do you know if it’s possible to upgrade Chase Ink Cash to a more premium Ink version? Such as Preferred or Plus.

  5. The disadvantage of the Chase Ink Cash is that they charge foreign exchange fees, so you generally should use another card for travel to foreign countries.

  6. Do I need to pa cell phone bill every month to benefit ‘cell phone protection plan of up to $600 per claim’ ? Or paying cell phone bill once qualifies me to take advantage of this benefit? I usually use Chase Ink Plus card to receive x5 UR points so I am reluctant to switch payment to Chase Ink Preferred for the cell phone insurance benefit but if I can just pay once and enjoy the benefit then I would. ( I have both Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Preferred)

  7. Orman: even on the surface it’s not a stretch to say it’s worth it for only the cell phone insurance. Your apples to oranges comparison to car insurance overlooks that phones are lost or stolen far more often than cars are damaged (phone coverage up to 3x per year). And with multiple employees’ phones (i.e. family members) and regular insurance already from the phone companies at around $11/mo EACH, granted even if overpriced, the 80k points and some of the bonus spend is for dessert. I don’t think any auto insurance actuary could make such a plan work even without the added value of points and spend.

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