Chase Ink Cash Card
No annual fee
50,000 points, with $3,000 initial spend.($880 net value, 29/$)
30,000 Ultimate Rewards points
$3,000 initial spend
($490 net value, .16/$)Signup Bonus Chart
5x Office Supply Stores (≈8.5%)
5x Internet, Cable, and Phone Services (≈8.5%)
2x Restaurants (≈3.4%)
2x Gas (≈3.4%)
1x Everywhere Else (≈1.7%)
3% Foreign Transaction Fee
The Ink Cash card offers the most valuable rewards at Office Supply stores and on telecommunication services. But, you'll need the Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Preferred card to get full value from the reward points it earns.
Introduction to Ultimate Rewards
Ultimate Rewards is the name of Chase's own rewards program. Ultimate Rewards Guide
- Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to many different frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. his gives you the flexibility to take advantage of award space on over a hundred different airlines. In many cases, you can choose to book a flight through one of several different partner programs, allowing you to take advantage of whichever program requires the fewest miles and fees for your trip.
- Unlike the other "transferable" point programs, you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards Points for good value, without needing to hassle with frequent flyer tickets. Ultimate Rewards points can be converted into Hyatt hotel points, which can easily be used for award nights at point values typically over 1.7 cents each. If you have the Sapphire Reserve Card, you can "cash out" your points at 1.5 cents per point. And you can get similar value 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 even more. If you want to avoid the hassles associated with frequent flyer tickets, they are worth a little less. How Much are Points Worth?
- You need a Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Preferred Card to get full value from your Freedom or Ink Cash Card. Only these annual-fee-based cardholders can transfer their Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt or airline partners. In addition, Sapphire Reserve cardholders can "cash out" their points at 1.5 cents each and Ink Preferred and Sapphire Preferred cardholders can cash them out at 1.25 cent each, rather than than at the base rate of 1 cent per point.
While you can still typically get the most value for your points through good-value frequent flyer tickets, you can easily get good value, with much less effort, through these other types of redemptions. And you can sometimes get as much as 3 cents in value on better-than-normal Hyatt redemptions.
Even if you use them like cash, the reward rate on any purchase with the Chase Reserve / Chase Unlimited combo 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, you can transfer the points earned from your Ink Cash card to your Sapphire Preferred account and then cash them out for 1.25 cents each, transfer them to Hyatt for a free hotel night, or transfer them to an airline program to use for frequent flyer tickets. But, if you don't have one of these cards, your Ink Cash points are only worth 1 cent each.
Collecting the Signup Bonus
- It is worth signing up for this card just to collect the signup bonus. The typical signup bonus is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, valued at $850 (at 1.7 cents per point). This point value assumes you have another Chase card (Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Preferred) that lets you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners.
- Your best option may be to apply for the Ink Preferred card, and then convert to an Ink Cash Card later. The Ink Preferred card has a 80,000 Ultimate Rewards point signup bonus, but has a $95 annual fee and a less useful set of bonus reward categories for many users. If you are interested in the Ink Cash's bonus categories, your best option may be to start out with the Ink Preferred card and downgrade it to the Ink Cash card at the end of your first year.
- 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 48 months), but there is also the Ink Preferred, Ink Unlimited, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited cards.
After subtracting the opportunity cost of using the card for $3,000 of spending, the calculated net value for the initial year is $490 (16 cents per dollar spent). Your value may be higher or lower, depending on how much you value Ultimate Rewards points. Introduction to 'Transferable' Reward Points.
That's pretty good, but if you are only interested in the signup bonus, you might do slightly better with other Chase 5/24 cards. Dealing with the Chase 5/24 Rule.
- "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 car, you don't need to involve your personal auto insurance company. Credit Cards That Provide “Primary” Rental Car Coverage.
- Access to Chase's Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. Along with other Chase cards, you'll get access to Chase's luxury hotel program. When you use the program to book one of the participating hotels, you'll receive a set of valuable benefits, including free breakfast, late check-out, and a hotel-specific amenity (which is typically a $100 hotel, restaurant, or spa credit). Take Advantage of Luxury Hotel Programs for Valuable Extra Perks.
- 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 larger number of more affordable hotel options and a best 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 Cash card earns the highest possible reward rate on your office supply and telecommunication purchases. You'll earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points, valued at 8.5 cents per dollar, assuming you have another Chase card (Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Preferred) that lets you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to airline or hotel partners.
- This card offers good rewards on your restaurant purchases. You'll earn 2x Ultimate Rewards points, valued at 3.4 cents per dollar. That is very good for a no-annual-fee card, but you can earn considerably more valuable rewards with a handful of other cards that do have annual fees. Best Credit Cards for Restaurant Spending.
- There are better options for your gas purchases. 2x Ultimate Rewards points are more valuable than what you would get from a good general-purpose reward card, but you can earn even more valuable rewards with other cards. Best Credit Cards for Gas Spending.
- 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
- You need to be careful or you could lose your Ultimate Rewards points when you cancel your card. Before you close your card, you need to transfer your points to another card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. You could also transfer them to the Ultimate Rewards account of another person in your household. If you can't transfer your points, you probably want to keep your card or transfer your points to your favorite travel partner.
- We recommend holding onto your Ink cards rather than cancelling them. Chase's 5/24 rule can make it difficult to get a new Chase card when you want to. Keeping your card preserves the option of getting a new card through a product change, rather than a new application. You can product change between any of the Ink cards.
- However, if you are aggressively collecting Chase signup bonuses, you'll want to cancel extra Ink cards to lower your overall Chase credit limit and number of cards.
- Chase doesn't make retention offers. Unless something has changed, you don't need to bother checking.
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