Can You Product Change Between Chase Ink Cards?

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Yesterday we saw Chase introduce the Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card, meaning that there are now three Chase Ink business cards for people to choose from. This is great news, as each of these cards has a big welcome bonus and valuable benefits.

The very basics of the three Chase Ink Cards

The Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card:

  • Has no annual fee
  • Offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months
  • Offers 1.5x points on all purchases

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card:

  • Has no annual fee
  • Offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months
  • Offers 5x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on office supply stores, internet, cable TV, mobile phones, and landlines, and 2x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on restaurants and gas stations

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card:

  • Has a $95 annual fee
  • Offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 points after spending $5,000 within three months
  • Offers 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Can you product change between Chase Ink Cards?

Rather than applying for a card outright, card issuers will often let you “product change” between cards. The idea is that you can switch from one card to another because that card works better for you, either because it has a lower (or no) annual fee, because it offers a better rewards structure, or whatever else.

When the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card was first introduced, Chase wasn’t allowing any product changes to the card, though over time that changed. Given that the Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card was just introduced, I was curious if Chase was allowing product changes to this card.

I phoned up Chase to ask about the product change opportunities for my Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (which is the only one of the Inks that I have right now), and sure enough, they gave me the option of product changing to the Ink Preferred or Ink Business Unlimited. So it would appear that you can now product change between all three Chase Ink Cards. Note that this is typically limited to cards within the same family, so you typically can’t product change other business cards to these cards, and certainly can’t product change personal cards to business cards.

Product change opportunities are technically targeted, which is to say that not all customers will be eligible for this. For example, your card typically has to be open for at least 12 months before you can product change, so that’s a restriction to be aware of. Furthermore, sometimes there’s a minimum available credit limit required in order for a product change to be allowed.

To find out if a product change is available, you can either call Chase or send them a secure message through your online account.

What are the benefits of product changing between cards?

There are some benefits to product changing cards:

  • It’s a way to get a card if you’re otherwise prevented from getting it due to the 5/24 rule
  • It’s a way to get a card without having a further credit pull
  • If you currently have a card but it’s not working for you anymore, product changing is a way to swap it for another card without losing your credit history (one of the factors impacting your credit score is the average age of accounts, so you want to keep some cards open as long as possible)

What are the downsides to product changing?

There are downsides to product changing as well:

  • You typically don’t receive the welcome bonus when product changing a card (sometimes card issuers will offer an upgrade offer, but it’s rarely as good as the welcome bonus for new cardmembers, and it’s not available on the Ink Cards)
  • This doesn’t help if you want to add a card rather than replace it; in other words, the way I view it, the Ink Cards are complements and not substitutes, so I’d rather have two (or more) Ink Cards, rather than just swapping one for the other

Should you product change between Chase Ink Cards?

Personally I’d do everything in my power to avoid product changing between Chase Ink Cards. Why?

First of all, all three cards offer phenomenal welcome bonuses. The Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offer welcome bonuses of 50,000 points upon completing minimum spend, which I consider to be the best welcome bonuses offered by any no annual fee card (I value the welcome bonus on each card at $850). Meanwhile the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers the best welcome bonus of any credit card out there. If you product changed you’d be missing out on those great bonuses.

Furthermore, I view all three of these cards as complements rather than substitutes. Ideally I like to product change between cards that I consider to be substitutes. For example, I view the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card as substitutes. That’s because the cards have overlapping benefits, and if you have the Reserve you’ll get almost no value out of the Preferred. So there it absolutely makes sense to switch between the cards.

But what makes the Ink Cards so great is that they have such unique benefits. Each “flavor” of the card offers different bonus categories, and if you have all three cards you’ll have an almost unparalleled return on your business spend. You’d earn:

  • 5x points on office supply stores, internet, cable TV, mobile phones, and landlines (on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year)
  • 3x points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines (on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year)
  • 2x points on restaurants and gas stations (on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year)
  • 1.5x points on all purchases

Bottom line

It’s great to see the way in which Chase is developing their lineup of Ink Cards, as the collection of the cards is a real winner. The good news is that you can generally product change between any of the three cards, assuming certain conditions have been met.

However, in general I’d avoid product changing between the cards, given the great welcome bonuses offered by each of them, and also given that the cards are complements rather than substitutes. It’s especially great that two of these are no annual fee cards, so you have have three cards and pay just one annual fee.

However, understandably not everyone can pick up three Chase business cards, so that’s not going to be practical for everyone, in which case product changing may be the best option.

Is anyone product changing to the new Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card?

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Comments

  1. Hi Lucky,
    If we have a Chase Ink Plus will that preclude us from getting one of these other Chase Ink cards–like what Chase does with the Sapphire line?
    thanks.

  2. @ gina — Nope! You’re eligible for the Chase Ink Preferred, Unlimited, and Cash. You can get the welcome bonuses on all three.

  3. One thing is that if I product changed my card from the Ink Preferred to the Ink Unlimited, I get to avoid the $95 annual fee, and I would be able to apply for the Ink Preferred again when the language is over.

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