Ink Preferred Card
80,000 Ultimate Rewards points
$5,000 initial spend
($1,225 net value, .25/$)Signup Bonus Chart
3x Travel (≈5.1%)
3x Most Online Advertising (≈5.1%)
3x Shipping (≈5.1%)
3x Telecommunications Services (≈5.1%)
1x Everything Else (≈1.7%)
No Foreign Transaction Fee
If you advertise online, or ship products for your small business, the Ink Preferred card is indispensable, earning the highest possible reward rates in those categories. Even if you don't it is worthwhile getting this card (if you can) for its extremely lucrative signup offer.
Introduction to Ultimate Rewards
Chase's loyalty program is called Ultimate Rewards. Ultimate Rewards Guide
- You can transfer your Ultimate Reward points to many different frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. Ultimate Reward points can be converted into frequent flyer miles with any of about a dozen different frequent flyer programs. This gives you the flexibility to take advantage of award space on over a hundred different airlines, and the ability to combine the points you earn from your credit card, with points you earned directly with the airline program. In many cases, you can take advantage of available award space, by booking frequent flyer tickets with one of several different programs, allowing you to take advantage of whichever program's award chart requires the fewest miles for the trip.
- Unlike the other "transferable" point programs, you can get good value from your Ultimate Reward points, without needing to hassle with frequent flyer tickets. Ultimate Reward points can be converted into Hyatt hotel points, which can easily be used for award nights, at values typically over 1.7 cents per point. If you have the Sapphire Reserve card, you can use your points, instead of cash, to purchase most types of travel, via the Chase website, at 1.5 cents per point. And you can get often get slightly more value than that when using your points to purchase Southwest Airline tickets.
- We value Ultimate Reward points at 1.7 cents each. Because you can take advantage of award space and "sweet spots" from many different frequent flyer programs, Ultimate Reward points are worth more than any single type of airline miles. If you highly valuable premium-cabin award tickets, Ultimate Reward points are worth a little more. If you want to avoid the hassles associated with frequent flyer tickets, they are worth a little less. How Much are Points Worth?
- The Ink Preferred (or Sapphire cards) makes the Ultimate Rewards points you earn from other cards more valuable. Only Ink Preferred and Sapphire cardholders can transfer their points to airline and hotel partners. In addition, Sapphire Reserve cardholders get 1.5 cents per point, and Ink Preferred and Sapphire Preferred cardholders get 1.25 cents per point, rather than 1 cent per point, when purchasing travel through Chase. These benefits extend to all your Ultimate Rewards points, not just to ones earned directly from these cards.
While you can typically get the most value for your points, by using them for frequent flyer tickets, you can easily get good value, with much less effort, with other types of redemptions.
Even if you just use them, like cash, to purchase travel at 1.5 cents each, the reward rate on any purchase with the Chase Freedom card is 2.25 cents per dollar, the reward rate on travel and restaurant purchases with the Sapphire Reserve is 4.5 cents per dollar, and the signup bonus for the Sapphire Cards is worth $750.
For example, if you have the Ink Preferred card, the points you earn from the Freedom Unlimited card can be transferred to airline partners. But, if you don't have one of these cards, the points are only worth 1 cents each for purchasing travel through Chase.
Collecting the Signup Bonus
- It is worth signing up for this card, just to collect the signup bonus. The normal 80,000 point signup offer is valued at $1360 (at 1.7 cents per point). This is one of the most valuable signup offers of any card..
- You might be able to get a 100,000 signup offer, by applying through a "Business Relationship Manager. These in-branch specialists sometimes have access to better bonus offers. Our net value for this offer would be close to $1,560!
- It is difficult to collect the signup bonus a 2nd time, because of the Chase 5/24 rule. Normally, you are eligible for a Chase signup bonus, if you haven't already earned the bonus, from the same card, during the last two years. However, due to the Chase 5/24 rule, if you've been signing up for other cards, you won't be able to get approved, when you reapply. You'll need get under the 5/24 limit, before you can earn the bonus again. Dealing with the Chase 5/24 Rule.
- You can earn signup bonuses from multiple different Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. You are limited to only one version of the Sapphire card (every 24 months), but there is also the Ink Cash, Ink Unlimited, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited cards.
After subtracting the annual fee, and the opportunity cost of using the card for $5,000 of spending, the calculated net value of the sign-up is $1225 (25 cents per dollar spent). Your value may be higher or lower, depending on how much you value the Ultimate Rewards points. Introduction to 'Transferable' Reward Points.
Other Notable Benefits
- Free cell phone protection. If you use the card to pay for your cell phone bill, you'll get free cell phone protection for an unlimited number of lines on your account, but only for employee accounts. This includes coverage for damage or theft, but not for lost phones. Benefits are capped at $600 per incident, and three incidents per year, with a $100 deductible. Get Free Cell Protection from these Credit Cards.
- "Primary" rental car insurance. If you use this card to pay for your rental car, you'll get primary rental car insurance. Unlike the "secondary" insurance you get from most other cards, if you damage your rental card, your don't need to involve your personal auto insurance company. Credit Cards That Provide “Primary” Rental Car Coverage.
- Access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. As with all Visa Signature cards, you'll get access to Visa's luxury hotel program. Whenever you book one of the 900+ participating hotels, you'll receive a set of valuable benefits, including free breakfast, late check-out, and a $25 food and beverage credit. The Visa program has slightly weaker benefits than the other luxury hotel programs, but includes a number of more affordable hotel options, and a price guarantee. Take Advantage of Luxury Hotel Programs for Valuable Extra Perks.
- Access to Visa Signature Offers. Your card entitles you to a set of special offers available from Visa.
- The Ink Preferred earns the highest possible rewards on your advertising and shipping purchases. You'll earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points, valued at 5.1 cents per dollar. This is higher reward rate than you can get from any other card, although some people might prefer to earn a different type of reward currency. .
- This card can be the best card for paying your cell phone bill. You'll earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points, valued at 5.1 cents per dollar, and you'll get automatic cell phone protection. But, you'll only receive coverage for employee's phones, not family members'. Get Free Cell Protection from these Credit Cards.
- The Ink Cash card is a better option for other telecommunication purchases. It earns 5x Ultimate Rewards points, rather than 3x points. However, since it can sometimes be hard to get both cards, your advertising and shipping purchases will determine which version makes the most sense for you. Other credit card options top out at 5% back.
- This card earns the highest rewards of any card for travel purchases. You'll earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points, valued at 5.1 cents per dollar. This is better than you can earn with any other card, except for airfare purchases on the Amex Platinum card. You can get the same reward rate with the Sapphire Reserve card. For people who don't spend a lot of money on online advertising and shipping, and are looking for a full featured Ultimate Rewards card, the Sapphire Reserve is usually the better option, because of its bonus rewards on restaurant spending, and airport lounge access. Best Credit Cards for Travel Spending.
- You'll only earn bonus rewards on the first $150,000 worth of bonus category purchases each year.
- You don't want to use this card for your everyday spending. You'll earn higher rewards from a good general-purpose reward card. Get a Great General Purpose Reward Card and Use It for All of Your Spending.
Getting Rid of the Card
If you still have a significant balance of Ultimate Rewards points, make sure you keep at least one Ultimate Rewards credit card (any of the Sapphire, Freedom, or Ink cards), otherwise you will lose you points. You need to have an annual-fee-based card (Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Preferred) in order to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners. Alternatively, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to another person in your household who has an Ultimate Rewards card.
If you are collecting signup bonuses, it is useful to hold onto at least a couple of business credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points. At some point, you are likely to be blocked from getting any new cards by the Chase 5/24 rule. If there is an existing or newly introduced Chase card that you want to get, you'll still be able to product change one of your existing cards.
If you want to stop paying annual fees, you can convert to the Ink Cash Card (or the Ink Unlimited Card). The Ink Cash earns 5x Ultimate Rewards points on telecommunication services and at office supply stores. You can convert back to the Ink preferred at any time, if you need a card that lets you transfer to travel partners, or want to take advantage of the Ink Preferred's unique bonus categories.
When downgrading your card, you'll get a prorated rebate of the annual fee. So it can be worthwhile doing so, even if you forgot to downgrade at your account anniversary.
If you are under the 5/24 limit and are collecting lots of Chase business cards, it can make sense to cancel some of them, to make it more likely you'll be approved, and to reduce the total number of Chase accounts you have, decreasing the risk of going for new Chase signup bonuses.
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