Comparison of Four Chase Ink Credit Cards

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This is post #9 of a series regarding the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

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The differences of the four cards range from the sign on bonus, annual fee, capped amount on bonus points, foreign transaction fees, point redemption, etc. All four cards give you the 5x bonus on office supply spend and telecommunications (tv, internet, cell phone service). I personally have both Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus card and use it for the following spend:

  • Purchase free after rebate items at Staples
  • Purchase gift cards at Staples for merchants I typically shop at (gas stations, best buy, clothing stores, etc.)
  • Purchase actually needed items at Staples/Office Depot
  • Paying my internet/tv/phone bill

I personally would separate the four Chase Ink Bold cards into two categories: 1) cards where points can be transferred directly to partner programs (Premier cards), and 2) cards where points cannot be transferred directly to partner programs (non-Premier cards). So which card falls into each category?

Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus
These two cards fall into the category where points can be transferred directly to partner programs. These partner programs include: Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Carlson, InterContinental Hotels Group, Amtrak, United, Korean Airways, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways. All points transfer at a 1:1 ratio (you can read more about the best redemption value of airline and hotel partners here). If you decide to redeem your points directly for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center instead, you’ll get a 20% bonus so each point is worth 1.2 cents per point. The two cards are 100% the same, except for one thing:

  • Chase Ink Bold is a charge card. This means you are not allow you to carry a balance. If you do not pay your balance in full by the due date, you will pay a penalty. However, with these types of cards you are typically allowed to borrow money for about 30 days.
  • Chase Ink Plus is a credit card. This means you are allowed to carry a balance and just pay a minimum payment. The balance rolls over to the next month and you are charged interest.

With both these cards you earn:

  • 5x points per $1 on business expenses up to a maximum of 200,000 bonus points/$50,000 spent (business expenses include: wireless communication services, cable and satellite television and radio services, office supply stores and wholesale distributors of office supplies)
  • 2x points per $1 at gas stations, hotels and motels up to a maximum of 50,000 bonus points/$50,000 spent
  • 1x points per $1 on all other purchases – no limit on points you can earn

Chase Ink Cash and Chase Ink Classic
These two cards fall into the category where points cannot be transferred directly to partner programs. You can redeem your points directly for 1% cash back. OR, if you have a credit card where points can be transferred to a partner program (Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Sapphire Preferred), you can transfer points from your Ink Cash or Ink Classic account into the account of one of your other accounts. You can also transfer points to a partner/spouses account as well.

With both these cards you earn:

  • 5x points per $1 on business expenses up to a maximum of 100,000 bonus points/$25,000 spent (business expenses include: wireless communication services, cable and satellite television and radio services, office supply stores and wholesale distributors of office supplies)
  • Chase Ink Classic: 2x points per $1 at gas stations, hotels and motels up to a maximum of 25,000 bonus points/$25,000 spent
  • Chase Ink Cash: 2x points per $1 at gas stations and restaurants up to a maximum of 25,000 bonus points/$25,000 spent
  • 1x points per $1 on all other purchases – no limit on points you can earn

The only difference is the Chase Ink Classic gives 2x points at hotels/motels while the Chase Ink Cash gives 2x points at restaurants. If you are interested in either of these two cards, get the one where you spend more between restaurants and hotels/motels.

Unfortunately, Chase has gotten rid of many of the cards above for new applicants, but those who already had the cards can still earn and redeem their points for all the cards. As of now, only the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink cash are available for new applicants.

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Comments

  1. Typo: “Chase Ink Classic and Chase Ink Cash have been increased to 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within 3 months” should say “Chase Ink Classic and Chase Ink Cash have been increased to 25,000 points after spending $3,000 within 3 months”

  2. You say 5 x at “office supply stores and wholesale distributors of office supplies”.

    I buy a lot at United Stationers, a large wholesaler of office supplies – but Chase doesn’t consider this office supplies and gives only 1 x points.

    • @frank – I’m sorry that chain is not coded office supplies. It all comes down to how the store is coded as the merchant type.

  3. can the ink cash rewards be transferred to UR points in sapphire preferred? I’ve read other comments and articles that says you can’t. It specifically says cash back unlike the ink classic which says points. And I heard that internet only is not 5% but 1% since it isn’t bundled.

    • @jj – I do not have an Ink Cash account, so I cannot speak from personal experience. Let me do some research. I thought you could, but let me look into it. Do you have both accounts, and did you try it?

      • The Ink Cash is similar to the Freedom where it earns “cash back” but you can transfer those points to the CSP and use to transfer to airlines/hotels.

  4. I’m confused – chase says you can earn 5x the points up to $50k. Shouldn’t the maximum number of points allowed be 250,000, not 200,000?

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