The Best Downgrade Options For The Chase Ink Preferred Card

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is the credit card with the single best welcome bonus right now, in my opinion. The card has a bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 within three months. I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me those points are worth $1,700, which is a massive bonus.

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

Why the Ink Business Preferred Card is worth holding onto

The Ink Business Preferred 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 travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per cardmember year (you can learn more about this benefit here)
  • 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 (you can learn more about this benefit here)
  • 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 (you can learn more about this benefit here)
  • 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
  • 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 (you can learn more about this benefit here)

Your best downgrade options for the Chase Ink Preferred

Let’s say you want to give the Ink Business Preferred a try, thanks to the big bonus, great return on spend, and excellent perks. I think most will find this card to be worthwhile long term, though maybe some won’t find it worthwhile.

The good news is that you then have the option to downgrade this card to one of two other great no annual fee cards. Specifically, you could downgrade the card to:

These are both fantastic no annual fee cards that are great complements to any other cards earning Ultimate Rewards points. Which of those cards makes more sense for you will depend on how much value you’d get out of the Ink Cash’s bonus categories, and what other cards you have.

Of course there are some downsides to these no annual fee cards. They don’t have the same great cell phone protection of the Ink Preferred, they have foreign transaction fees, and the Ink Cash has a lower cap on how much spend you can earn bonus points on (though some of the bonus categories are bigger, as you earn 5x points rather than 3x points).

Lastly, the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited don’t directly earn Ultimate Rewards points, unlike the Ink Preferred. However, if you have either in addition to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, then the points earned on the cards 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 or Ink Unlimited 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.

What about upgrading to the Ink Business Preferred?

In the interest of being thorough, I should also mention that if you have either the Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited, you should also be able to upgrade to the Ink Preferred as long as you’ve had the card for a year. You’ll have to call Chase to find out all the options, but this generally is a possibility.

Do remember that if you upgrade or downgrade a card you maintain the credit history of that card and there’s no hard pull. You don’t earn the welcome bonus for product changing, however.

Do you have to choose between the three Chase Ink Cards?

The Ink Preferred, Ink Cash, and Ink Unlimited are all considered separate products, so if you wanted to you could pick up all three cards.

Not only could you earn the bonuses, but these are cards that are great for maximizing points long term, since you can combine the benefit of earning 5x points in some categories with the Ink Cash, to unlocking the full value of Ultimate Rewards with the Ink Preferred, to earning 1.5x points on all purchases with the Ink Unlimited.

Bottom line

The Ink Business Preferred is arguably the most well rounded business credit card out there in terms of the 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 and Ink Unlimited are excellent alternatives. Both cards have no annual fee and nicely complement the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve. Whether the Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited makes more sense depends on whether you’d get more value out of 5x points bonus categories, or more value out of a flat 1.5x points on all purchases.

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  1. I would guess the consumer “Freedom” versions (Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom.) They are very similar to the business ones. Which one just depends on your spend.

  2. I’m just curious, how long should one wait to apply for the Ink Preferred after getting the Ink Cash? I would like to have it but don’t want to upgrade and lose the signup bonus.

  3. Ben,

    I have ink preferred and ink cash. Can I apply for ink unlimited, keep a year and product change to ink cash? I’d ideally like an ink preferred and as many ink cash cards as possible.

  4. @ William — That’s a great question, I’m not 100% sure. I think you can only have one of each card, though perhaps with product changing it might be possible. Does anyone know for sure?

  5. What’s the downside to just cancelling the Preferred and signing up for then Ink Cash? I’d hate to downgrade and forgo the sign up bonus.

  6. @ KG @ AB — You can also apply directly, assuming you’re under 5/24. Only downside is that you don’t maintain the history/credit line of the card, but otherwise should work.

  7. I closed the Ink Preferred a while ago. Do you know if it’s possible to reapply and get the bonus again?

  8. @ Lucky, any update on this? I have the 3 ink cards and wondering if downgrading the preferred to another Cash would be possible.

    @ William — That’s a great question, I’m not 100% sure. I think you can only have one of each card, though perhaps with product changing it might be possible. Does anyone know for sure?

  9. I just want to confirm for anyone that comes to this article that I indeed started with a Ink Preferred, applied for an Ink cash, waited a little less than a year, applied for the ink unlimited, and then product changed my ink preferred to an ink cash,

    final tally,

    2 Ink Cash
    1 Ink Unlimited
    1 CSP which I will product change to a CSR within a year.

    Total AF – credits = $150 to earn:

    3x travel/dinning from CSR
    5x up to $50k at office supply stores
    1.5x on everything else.

  10. @William, I curious about why you’re PCing your CSP to CSR – wouldn’t doing this stop you from getting the CSR bonus at some point down the road?

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