Product Change from Chase Ink Plus to Ink Preferred
After writing up my article earlier this week about what still earns 5X with the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Cash cards I started thinking about whether or not a product change to the Chase Ink Preferred makes sense. I know most of you are thinking no way, and I was there too, until the recent devaluations to the 5X earning rates. But I think it may make sense in some situations.
This is more me thinking out loud than a recommendation to anyone. And it is a thought exercise more than anything. The answer to whether or not this makes sense comes down to each individual’s situation.
Chase Ink Plus/Cash Loss of 5X Partners
To even get to this point there had to be some pain going on with the Ink Business Plus card. The pain came from the loss of many of my favorite 5X earning avenues. Over the last 6 months the card has lost the following 5X earning avenues:
- PayPal Digital Gifts via eBay or their own site
- CardCash discounted gift cards
- GiftCardMart discounted gift cards
- And the office stores seemed to have lessened their Visa gift card promos
That is a lot to lose. PPDG is the biggest loss for me. As a gift card reseller that was an easy way to pump out a ton of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And they were all earned from the comfort of my couch :).
I don’t “increase spend” with the card as much as some do. As I have said in the past I only increase spend when it is very profitable and buying Visa gift cards at office stores without a sale isn’t really my style. For me, the return just isn’t good enough to get on the Walmart money order wheel.
So that left me comparing the two cards and thinking about whether or not this makes sense.
You need to understand my situation to get a better understanding of my thought process. I have the Chase Ink Plus card but no other premium Chase UR earning cards. I do not have the ability to get another one since I am way over 5/24.
If I had a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred card (or even the ability to get approved for the Chase Ink Preferred) then I would simply downgrade to the Chase Ink Business Cash card. But since I need a premium card to make transfers possible my choices are stay with the Ink Plus or product change to the Chase Ink Business Preferred card.
Details on the Chase Ink Preferred
Now let’s take a look at the Chase Ink Preferred’s earning structure:
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in the following categories each account anniversary year
- Internet, cable and phone services
- Advertising purchases on social media and search engine optimization
- Shipping purchases
- Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchase
The Ink Plus earns 5X on internet, cable, and phone services so the Ink Preferred is a step down for that category. The Ink Preferred offers bonus points on travel, advertising, and shipping purchases which are not offered by the Ink Plus.
CLICK HERE to compare this card and other business cards.
My Thought Process
With the loss of PPDG earning 5X I am no longer going to come close to the $50,000 limit on 5X earning each year. For some $50,000 is still an easily obtainable goal.
I earn 5X from cable, internet and phone currently which would go to 3X earning. The costs for those are only a few hundred dollars a month so it isn’t really that much of a loss in my opinion.
I don’t spend any money on social media advertising but that category alone would make this a no brainer decision for some.
For Travel I do my best to spend as close to zero as I can but there are still expenses that I could take advantage of. And I don’t currently have a great go to for travel purchases. I use an Amex Platinum for flight purchases and the Citi ThankYou Premier for my other travel purchases.
Shipping is an interesting one since I have been reselling a little more lately. I do most of my selling on eBay so my shipping costs have started to increase. If I continue to grow this aspect of my spending then this could become a big bonus category for me.
These are all of the things I need to consider when making a decision. The best thing I could do would be to crunch the numbers and see which card offers the best return on my spending pattern.
I am probably going to stick with the Ink Plus for the time being. Some of my hesitation may be fear of letting go of a card I can never get again and some may be from the Ink Plus being my favorite card for many years.
I plan on seeing how my spending goes the first half of this year and doing a comparison to see which card would have earned me more points. With my application issues as of late I need to maximize the return from my spending now more than ever. And if the office store sales don’t start rolling in, or if Gyft or Swych get dropped as well, I may make the leap sooner rather than later.
Let me know what you think in the comments section. Is it worth considering? Have you found yourself considering making the switch?