Should You Apply For The 50K Ink Cash Or 80K Ink Preferred Offer?

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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A few days ago Chase launched a new welcome bonus on the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, which is by far the biggest welcome bonus that has ever been offered on the card. The Ink Business Cash has a welcome bonus of $500 cash back (which can potentially be converted into 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 within three months. This is a massive welcome bonus for a no annual fee card.

Yesterday I wrote a post sharing seven reasons (other than the welcome bonus) that you should consider applying for the card. One question I’ve been asked a few times since then is whether it makes more sense to apply for the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. Let’s take a closer look at that question.

The basics of the Chase Ink Cash & Chase Ink Preferred

Here are the basics of the Ink Business Cash:

  • Welcome bonus: $500 cash back (which can potentially be converted into 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 within three months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Return on spend: 5x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per account anniversary year at office supply stores, and on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as 2x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per account anniversary year at restaurants and gas stations

Meanwhile for the Ink Business Preferred:

  • Welcome bonus: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Return on spend: 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per account anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

One important point of clarification is that on the surface the Ink Business Cash is a cash back card, while the Ink Business Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points. However, if you have the Ink Cash in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and/or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, then you can also convert those points into Ultimate Rewards points.

Which card should you apply for?

In absolute terms the Ink Business Preferred has a significantly bigger welcome bonus. Actually, I’d argue it has the single best welcome bonus of any credit card at the moment. However, that welcome bonus has also been around for over a year, so it seems like it’s not going anywhere anytime soon .

Meanwhile the welcome bonus on the Ink Business Cash is by far the best it has ever been, though it’s still 30,000 points lower than on the Ink Preferred. So there are two ways to look at it:

  • In absolute terms, the Ink Preferred has a better welcome bonus
  • In relative terms, the Ink Cash has a more compelling welcome bonus, since it’s limited time and we’ve never seen such a big welcome bonus on the card (the previous bonus was $300/30,000 points)

If you’ll only ever be able to apply for one of the two cards, I’d go for the Ink Preferred. If you’re able to apply for one card now and one card later (whether that’s in a month or a year), personally I’d apply for the Ink Cash now and Ink Preferred later. There’s no guarantee the Ink Preferred welcome bonus will stay at its current level forever, though I generally feel confident that it will have a bigger welcome bonus than the Ink Cash long term.

The two cards are complements and not substitutes

Many people view this as an option between one or the other, which is perhaps the case if you’re near the 5/24 limit, and won’t be under it again for a long time. However, long term I think there’s potentially tons of value in having both cards. That goes way beyond the welcome bonuses as well. The Ink Cash has no annual fee and offers 5x points in completely different categories than the Ink Preferred, so you could have both cards and maximize value that way.

Bottom line

While the Ink Business Preferred continues to have the best welcome bonus of any credit card, there is something to be said for prioritizing applications for credit cards that currently have a “best ever” bonus that’s limited time. Getting a welcome bonus of 50,000 points on a no annual fee card that offers a lucrative return on spend, like the Ink Business Cash, is compelling.

If I were considering applying for one card or the other, right now I’d choose the Ink Cash. At least that’s the case if I knew that I could eventually apply for and be approved for the Ink Preferred. If you know you’ll only ever be able to get one card and not the other (even long term), then I’d probably select the Ink Preferred.

What do you guys think — is it more worthwhile to apply for the Ink Cash with the 50K bonus, or Ink Preferred with the 80K bonus?

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
  1. Don’t forget about getting 100k on the Ink Preferred if you apply in-branch (my data point: instant approval on 3/19).

  2. I actually went into a Chase branch last week and the manager was able to get me hooked up with the 100k bonus on the Ink Preferred. Obviously YMMV, but depending on your business revenue and other banking factors, it might be worth popping into a branch to see if you can score the extra 20k…

  3. The Ink Cash bonus is a no-brainer if you’re under 5/24 and have a “premium” UR card like the CSR or CSP. The Ink Preferred is a better match with no-fee cards like the Freedom/Freedom Unlimited, as UR “points” earned by the no-fee cards become much more valuable and flexible when transferred to a premium card.

  4. Does it make sense to cancel my Chase Ink Plus ($95/yr) that they no longer offer, and still get the same benefits/bonus categories I believe as the Ink Business Cash with no annual fees? Would I be losing any benefits? And does canceling a business card effect my credit? Thanks!

  5. Can you apply for this INK CASH card if you have had it before? I actually have one that I opened many years ago. Could I close that one and open a new one and get the bonus?

  6. Lucky, must you have a Tax ID to apply? I can’t seem to get around it. Amex business cards ask only for a SSN…

  7. My wife and I definitely want to each get both. She got back to 4/24 a month ago and got the Ink Preferred. She was planning to next go for the Sapphire Preferred (I’ve had one for 10 years) She will put that off for now to get the Ink Cash 50000 before it disappears.
    When I get back to 4/24 in 3 months I’ll go for Ink Cash first if it hasn’t dropped from the 50000 by then.
    We both currently hold the Ink Cash from product change downgrades from Chase Ink Plus 2 years ago. So we never got the Ink Cash bonus. We could just cancel her Cash before applying again for the 50000. How long would you wait from cancel date to new application,days, weeks, or months to hopefully survive the uncomfortable reconsideration call questions? We worry about the bonus staying this high if we wait very long. Would we be better off to product change than cancel? Is there a viable product change card option?

  8. Wanting to use the sign up bonus to book a trip sooner rather than later. If I meet minimum spend earlier, when does Chase post the sign up bonus to my account? After the three month or sooner?

  9. @ Michelle — Typically the sign-up bonus posts when the statement closes where you complete the minimum spend, though sometimes it could take longer.

  10. @ Grant — If you have a sole proprietorship then you can enter your SSN in place of the tax ID.

  11. @ Robert — To be eligible for the card you can’t currently have it, and can’t have received a new member bonus in the past 24 months.

  12. @ Michelle — Canceling a business card wouldn’t materially impact your credit. Personally I think the Ink Cash is more compelling than the Ink Plus given that it has no annual fee, so I’d consider doing that for sure.

  13. I just signed up, and got, the Ink Business Preferred (I am an LLC). Can I also sign up for the Ink Business Cash, or do I have to wait (I think this was covered somewhere, but I cannot seem to remember).


  14. @ SKF — You should be able to get both of them. Generally Chase will only approve you for two cards in a 30 day period, so assuming you haven’t surpassed that limit, you should have no issues.

  15. @ Michelle — Thanks for the support, I appreciate it! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  16. Thanks Lucky for the quick reply! Will definitely be using your referral link for both myself and my wife.
    One last question, if I currently have the old Chase Ink Plus card, do I need to close that before opening the Chase INK Business Preferred or the Chase INK Business Cash?

  17. @ Robert — Thanks! 🙂 Nope, you’re eligible even if you currently have the Ink Plus. These are all considered separate cards/products.

  18. I grabbed the Ink Preferred a few months ago and just jumped on the Ink Cash card…no brainer to pick up the Cash card and dump the AF Ink Preferred card before renewal. Fantastic to pick up 130k points!

  19. Lucky, I used your link. There seems to be no way of getting around entering a Tax ID. Even when listing my business as a sole proprietorship – it still demands a Tax ID. Of course it also requires your SSN under personal info, too.

    I entered my SSN as my Tax ID – even though it formats it as a Tax ID. After doing so I was able to ‘submit’, however, I got the ol’ ‘we need more time; get back to you in 30 days.’ Hmmph…

  20. @Lucky

    Hey I just got my ink cash card last month.. (Before this new bonus) is there anyway chase would grant this new signup offer? I have yet to meet my quota to receive the miles.


  21. I applied for the ink business cash card when I saw the $500 sign-up bonus (and it is approved but I haven’t received the card yet) without realizing that one is not eligible for the signup bonus if he currently has it (I currently have one that’s downgraded from Ink Business Preferred about a month ago). The offer detail doesn’t say that, and I had the experience of getting the signup bonus for chase freedom even when I already have one, but that’s long time ago though.

    Is it too late to cancel the one I currently have to be eligible for the signup bonus? Will fighting with chase representative about this not being stated in the offer details work?

  22. Husband had Chase Ink Bold (Chase replaced it with Chase Ink Plus recently). Am planning to get him CSR as he is one who will use the dining and travel aspect most. I won’t be AU as I don’t want a ding on 5/24. If I get Freedom for me,for the 5x rotating categories, can I benefit from his CSR or CIP by transferring to his account, or must I have my own CSP, CSR or CIP?

  23. I tried applying for the ink cash, but keep getting entry error when I got to submit. It asks for name and address repeated 4 times as if I didn’t fill it out. Any ideas?

  24. I tried using my work PC, it worked this time. I had previously tried Chrome, Chrome incognito, and my android phone with the same entry errors.

    Is there a published end date on this promo? Id like to get my wife signed up to get the bonus as well.

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