[FALSE ALARM] Is Chase taking away our Ink Cash 5X categories? Answer: No

Ink Cash 3X

Are we about to lose our beloved Ink Cash 5X categories?  Via Twitter, a reader asked what’s up with Ink Cash:

He was referring to the fact that this Chase’s cardholder information page for the card shows 3% cash back categories rather than 5% and 2%.  

Verdict: No, we’re not losing 5X categories. As PointsYak points out in the comments, the landing page found by Jay P is for an old, no longer available, version of the Ink Cash card.  Cardholders with that card still earn points under the old 3X bonus categories, but all new cardholders earn 5X under the current structure.

Here’s a comparison of the current 5X version of the card, and the old 3X version:

Spend Category Current 5X Ink Cash Old 3X Ink Cash
Office supply stores 5X 3X
Internet, cable and phone services 5X 1X
Gas stations 2X 3X
Restaurants 2X 3X
Home improvement stores 1X 3X
Everywhere else 1X 1X
Bonus Category Limits: $25K spend per membership year $2K spend per billing cycle

Note that the bonus information for the 3X version comes from a details page link at the bottom of Chase’s page.  The relevant text is as follows:

3% Cash Back: You’ll earn 3% Cash Back rewards total for each $1 of the first $2,000 spent each billing cycle on combined purchases in the following rewards categories: office supply stores; home improvement stores; gas stations; restaurants (2% additional Cash Back rewards on top of the 1% Cash Back rewards earned on each purchase). This equates to $0.03 in Cash Back rewards, which is equal to 3 points, for each $1 spent. After $2,000 is spent on combined purchases in these categories each billing cycle, you go back to earning 1% Cash Back rewards for every dollar spent, with no maximum. We may offer you ways to earn bonus points through the program or special promotions.

Recommendation

If you have the old 3X version of the Ink Cash card, you’ll likely do much better with the current 5X version.  Your best bet is to apply new so that you can take advantage of the Ink Cash welcome bonus (currently 50K points!).  If you don’t want to do that, you can call and ask to product change to the current Ink Cash.

You can read our analysis of the current 5X Ink Cash card, and find an application link, here.

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Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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PointsYak
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PointsYak

Seriously Greg? That’s the old legacy Ink Cash card.

Fathiss
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Fathiss

Worst click bait I’ve seen in awhile. Losing integrity!

CaveDweller
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CaveDweller

An error was made the bloggers made lite of it I need my 5x
Thanks .

CHEERs

Jeff
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Jeff

At what point does it make sense to downgrade to the fee free version assuming you have one of the Saphire cards in order to transfer points and get the better value when available?

Nick Reyes
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Are you talking about downgrading the Ink Plus or the Ink Business Preferred?

If you mean the ink plus — the time to downgrade is at precisely the point when you realize you don’t spend much more than than $25K/yr cap on the 5x categories. If you know you’ll spend a lot more, the extra rewards could be worth paying the annual fee — but if you’re not spending much more than $25K/yr in those categories, it’s probably not worth it.

Of course, once you PC off of the Ink Plus, you can’t get it back – so you’ll want to be sure you want to downgrade.

If you’re talking about downgrading the Ink Business Preferred, it just depends where and how you spend, though I think most people would be better off downgrading to the Ink Cash if they have a CSR anyway.

Jeff
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Jeff

Currently I have the Ink Business Plus. Have just been waiting for a good offer from one of the Sapphire cards. Thanks for the advice!