The card will go live sometime this year, and will exist in tandem with the Chase Ink Plus card. BOTH will have $95 annual fees, which begs the question - which one do I get?
The new Chase Ink PREFERRED card will presumably be an Ultimate Rewards (UR) card (like the Sapphire Preferred) is announced with the following benefits:
An 80,000-point sign-up bonus after the first $5,000 in spending in the first three months! (YOU HAVE TO APPLY AT A BRANCH TO GET THIS.) That's bigger than any Chase card other than the Sapphire RESERVE.
3x points on the first $150,000 spent in a year on telecommunications, travel, shipping, and advertising done on social media platforms and search engines (Facebook boosted posts, Google AdWords, etc.)
Compare this to the Ink Plus card ...
A 60,000-point sign-up bonus after $5,000 in spend.
5x points on he first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on cellular, land line, internet, and cable services.
2x points on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and hotels.
The Ink Cash card has the same benefits as the Ink Plus, but only earns Ultimate Rewards instead of cents' cash back if you have ANOTHER UR card (a Sapphire card, or an Ink Plus or - presumebly - an Ink Preferred).
Some things that jump out to me:
The Ink PREFERRED is better for businesses that spend big (bonus spend capped at $150,000 instead of $50,000).
Ink PREFERRED is great if you spend a lot on search engine and social media ads.
The 3x points on travel for the Ink PREFERRED replaces the 3x points benefit on the Sapphire RESERVE (but not the dining bonus); and bests the 2x points benefit for hotels on the Ink Plus (but not the gas and other benefits).
Still, I love me that 5x point bonus that the older Ink cards have on cellular and internet services, since I'll probably always have a cell phone and internet bill, and 5x points pushes an 8% discount.
At some point, the Chase Ink Plus card may be phased out, or automatically downgraded to a Chase Ink Cash card (but you were going to do that anyway, remember?), with the Ink PREFERRED being the only premium business card in the lineup.
So how does this effect my Chase strategy? Which do you get? The new Ink PREFERRED or the older Ink Plus?
Based on how you spend, one reward structure may look better to you than another, so that's something to take into account ...
But why not get both?
Both sign-up bonuses are bigger than the largest co-branded sign-up bonuses from Chase (50,000 miles for the British Air or Southwest cards) AND the points are more flexible - UR points can be changed into Southwest, British, United, and other kinds of points at will. (They can't be changed back, though.) So by getting both, you bank a total of 140,000 flexible bonus points!
You could downgrade the Ink Plus to an Ink Cash, just like I describe, to save the annual fee. The Ink PREFERRED could even replace the Sapphire card as the premium card you hold onto, if you don't want to get a Sapphire.
But wait, there's more ...
Remember the 5/24 rule? No more than 5 credit card applications in 24 months, or Chase automatically denies you?
It's not even clear that this applies to the co-branded cards (Southwest, United, IHG, British, Mariott, etc.) This makes sense - the partner programs want to add customers and don't want to be restricted by Chase rules.
So your five Chase cards that you kick off the Hobby with could become:
The Sapphire of your choice
Ink Plus (downgrade to Ink Cash in the first year)
....and you could potentially STILL go on to get co-branded cards like the Southwest, United, IHG, etc. cards from Chase! Until 5/24 starts applying to them, that is.
Pretty brilliant. Hope I'm not old and gray before I can take advantage of this ...
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