Nowadays Chase issues three cards in their excellent Ink Business Card lineup — the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, and Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card. However, back in the day they also issued the Ink Bold and Ink Plus Cards, which were popular.
While these cards are no longer open to new cardmembers, they’ve continued to honor the cards for those who have them. Perhaps more accurately, they converted anyone with the Ink Bold to the Ink Plus last year, so at this point those who used to have one of these cards have the Ink Plus.
I’m often asked what I recommend people do with this card, so in this post wanted to address that.
What is the Chase Ink Plus Card?
The Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus were the premium Ink Cards that Chase used to issue. Chase stopped accepting applications for the Ink Bold in late 2014, and they stopped accepting applications for the Ink Plus in late 2016. At that point they instead started focusing on the new versions of the cards, as the discontinuation of the Ink Plus coincided with the introduction of the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.
So, what are the benefits of the Ink Plus, which is no longer open to new cardmembers? It has a $95 annual fee and offers:
- 5x points on the first $50,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on office supply stores, internet, cable TV, mobile phones, and landlines
- 2x points on the first $50,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchasing directly from hotels
How does this compare to the new Chase Ink Cards?
There are quite a few people who continue to hold onto the Ink Plus. If you’re one of those people who still has the card, should you keep it, or should you consider one of the other Ink Cards that are currently open to new cardmembers?
As a point of comparison, here are the bonus categories offered by the three current Ink Cards:
- The Ink Business Preferred has a $95 annual fee and offers 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- The Ink Business Cash has no annual fee and 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 Unlimited has no annual fee and offers 1.5x points on all purchases
What should you do if you have the Ink Plus?
The Ink Plus Card used to be extremely compelling, and among the best in the industry. However, the business credit card landscape has become much competitive, and nowadays we’re seeing better cards than ever before. So if you do have the Ink Plus, you are still eligible to get the Ink Preferred, Ink Cash, and/or Ink Unlimited, as they’re all considered separate products. You can do this in one of two ways:
- You could try to product change the card (no guarantee that this will always be allowed, as you’ll have to call Chase to ask what options are available to you); if you do product change, you won’t be eligible for any welcome bonuses
- You could apply outright for the Ink Business Preferred, Ink Business Cash and/or Ink Business Unlimited, and you’d be eligible for the welcome bonuses
Why could a product change make sense? Because the Ink Business Cash has very similar bonus categories to the Ink Plus, except it has no annual fee. The card offers 5x points on office supply stores, internet, cable TV, mobile phones, and landlines, and 2x points on restaurants and gas stations (the difference there is that you earn 2x points on gas stations rather than hotels). The catch is that the bonus categories are capped at $25,000 per year rather than $50,000 per year, though I’m guessing that won’t be an issue for most people.
That’s a no annual fee card, so if you’re open to still maintaining a $95 annual fee card, then complement the Ink Cash with the Ink Business Preferred, and then you’ll also earn 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. Furthermore, the card offers a great cell phone protection plan, and allows you to transfer points fully into the Ultimate Rewards program.
The Ink Plus used to be one of the best business cards out there. While it’s still solid, in my opinion it has been outshined by the Ink Business Preferred, Ink Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited.
If you are still one of those people who has an Ink Plus, I’d consider making the switch to one of Chase’s new Ink Cards. I think the only people who should keep the old card are those who spend nearly $50,000 per year in the bonus categories, since the cap on earning 5x points is two times as high as on the no annual fee Ink Cash. If you’re one of those people then you absolutely should keep it, but I suspect that relatively few people are maxing out those categories.
Otherwise you’d come out way ahead having a combination of the other Ink Cards, in my opinion. Even if you had all three you’d pay just one annual fee, and you’d be earning a very well rounded return for all of your spend.
To those who still have the Ink Plus, why do you keep the card? Any benefits I’m missing compared to the new Ink Cards?