Thinking About Going for the Ink Preferred? Read This First

Chase is on a roll right now when it comes to offering great sign-up bonuses and is really bringing the heat to its competitors like Amex. The Ink Plus 70K offer has been out for quite some time, the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100K was introduced this summer, and now the Ink Preferred is on its way out with an 80K sign-up offer. Here are some things to think about if you’re planning on applying for this card.

The Ink Preferred is like a remixed version of the Ink Plus geared toward different business expenses and with a better sign-up bonus. It should be available to apply for in mid-November 2016. Keep in mind that the Ink Plus is going away for new applicants, although existing cardholders will be able to still hold on to their Ink Plus cards indefinitely. 

Sign up bonus

  • 80,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus after you spend $5,000 within 3 months of opening your account.

This is a step above the 70K in-branch offer for the Ink Plus. 80,000 Ultimate Rewards is very valuable and one of the best sign-up bonuses ever offered by any Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards. I don’t know how long the offer will be around or if it will eventually be reduced but I would jump on it as quickly as possible if I wanted the card. 

Bonus categories

Ink Preferred will earn 3X the points on every dollar spent up to $150,000 on the following categories:

  • Travel
  • Advertising with social media and search engines
  • Shipping
  • Cable, internet, and phone services

The 3X on travel and advertising is ideal for digital nomads who are often on the go and who likely spend a lot on advertising online. Also, the cap of $150,000 is a big step up from prior caps on bonus spending so that’s another major positive to the Ink Preferred.

This is contrast to what the Ink Plus and Ink Cash offer: 

Ink Plus 

Ink Plus offers 5X up to $50,000 spent on 

  • Cable, internet, and phone services
  • Office Supplies Stores

And 2X up to $50,000 spent on 

  • Hotels and gas 

Ink Cash 

Ink Cash offers 5X up to $25,000 spent on 

  • Cable, internet, and phone services
  • Office Supplies Stores

And 2X up to $25,000 spent on 

  • Restaurants and gas 

Obviously what card is best for you and your business will depend on your spending habits. I could definitely see how arguments could me made for each card. Ultimately, I think a great combination would be the Ink Cash and the Ink Preferred, since the Cash does not have an annual fee and you’d be able to combine the 5X earnings of the Ink Cash with the 3X earnings of the Ink Preferred. 

I think the Ink Preferred is a direct shot taken at the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card. That card offers you the option of choosing one category to earn 3X on, while allowing you to earn 2X on the remaining categories. The categories for the Business Gold Rewards Card are: 

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

It also comes with a 50,000 Membership Rewards bonus after spending $5,000 (although other targeted offers quite often appear) and a $175 annual fee (waived the first year). Again, which card is best for you will depend on your spending habits but I’d probably take the Ink Preferred since it would offer me 3X on more categories. 

Annual Fee

  • $95 but waived when applying in-branch.

Cell phone benefit

According to The Points Guy,

“When you pay your cell phone bill with this card (including the fees for any employees listed on the bill), you’ll get up to $600 in protection against any covered damage or theft, for you and any other lines listed on your bill, up to three claims per year. According to Chase, this will be subject to a $100 deductible.”

That’s certainly a nice added perk compared to the Ink Plus (assuming the Plus won’t receive that benefit as well).

5/24

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Chase 5/24 rule will be imposed on this card, so if you’ve opened up 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months you’ll likely be denied, subject to certain exceptions.

There’s also the added hurdle of getting approved for 2 Chase business cards that many report. Personally, I had no problem getting two Chase business credit cards and I know of some who have gotten 3 business cards, but others seem to have had issues getting approved for more than one. So if you already have the Ink Plus or Cash, you might run into some trouble trying to get approved.

Increase your odds of approval

If you’re thinking about applying for the Chase Ink Preferred, then I suggest reading up on my tips for getting approved for the Chase Ink Plus. The same logic and tidbits should apply for the Preferred. I can’t promise those tips will lead to an approval but I don’t think it can hurt to give them a try. In addition, because so many Chase business credit card applications go to reconsideration, I suggest you read up on my article on what to expect in a Chase business reconsideration call.

Final word

Overall, I’m very excited about this card as the bonus categories fit with my business expenses much more closely than the Ink Plus. Although I already get 3X on travel with the Sapphire Reserve, the 3X on advertising will likely net me more than the Ink Plus’ 5X categories. Since 5/24 will likely exclude me, I’ll probably have to product change to the Preferred but if it means earning more through bonus category spending that’s okay with me.

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