Posted by Chuck on January 11, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on January 11th, 2017 | by Chuck


[Incorrect] Chase INK Cash will Become Part of Ultimate Rewards on January 29th

Read our full post on corrections to this post

Update: This post was written in error. The email shown below is being sent out to legacy INK Cash members who’s cards weren’t part of Ultimate Rewards and couldn’t transfer to other UR cards at all. There is no change to ordinary INK Cash cards. Oops!

Chase is sending out an email to their INK Cash cardholders about a positive change coming January 29, 2017:

On January 29th, 2017, your Ink Cash® Rewards will become a part of Chase Ultimate Rewards! Your Cash Back rewards that have not already expired will automatically transfer to Chase Ultimate Rewards where you’ll have even more benefits and options



Currently, INK Cash points are only valid for cash back unless you transfer them to a premium card like the INK Plus, INK Preferred, CSR, 0r CSP. Starting January 29th, these points will work like premium points which can be redeemed for travel. Even points previously earned will be able to be transferred. No other fee-free Chase card has that capability.

My understanding is that these points will function exactly like other Chase premium cards, and will be able to be transferred to travel partners + be redeemed at 1.25 cents-per-point. We’ll have to wait for more details from Chase to verify for certain.

The big question is whether this is a harbinger of things to come for the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards to become part of Ultimate Rewards as well. My personal guess is that this will not happen. The INK Cash move is part of a consolidation on the business card front, and the Freedom cards will continue being cash back cards.

Most of us have at least one premium card so it doesn’t really matter much, but some people don’t – especially those newer to the hobby since Chase now doesn’t approve cards easily. Also, if you don’t max out your INK Plus, you’ll be able to save the annual fee by downgrading to INK Cash, and still maintain the ability to transfer.

Hat tip to Matt

56 Responses to [Incorrect] Chase INK Cash will Become Part of Ultimate Rewards on January 29th

  1. J.M. says:

    Does this mean we can now maintain Freedom and Cash Ink cards without needing a premium card to consolidate points? Would be helpful for those who don’t care to keep the CSP bc of AF.

  2. Corey S says:

    Does this mean that UR points with Ink Cash can be transferred to airline/hotel partners? If so, it would make it the only card with no AF with transfer abilities.

  3. Dave C says:

    Only UR card I have is Ink+ so this would be awesome, save me $95 / year and get the better 2x earner. Although they usually waive the AF anyways. Thinking this may mean the end of the Ink+?

  4. Gaurav says:

    Chuck, what does this mean on a practical level? Cash already earns UR and my understanding was that is subject to 5/24. What does the addition to the UR program change?

    • Chuck says:

      INK Cash currently earns cash back only. It needs to be transferred to become real UR. Updated post to clarify.

      • Pete says:

        I got an Ink cash 6 months ago that very definitely was advertised as “with Ultimate Rewards,” shows up in the UR portal, and allows me to redeem for flights and whatnot at 1¢ per post in its section of the UR portal. This doesn’t look like a change to me…

        Is it possible that a bunch of people had a legacy version of the card without UR, and they’re just switching all of them over now?

        • Chuck says:

          Hmm, my understanding was that it’ll now become fully integrated into Ultimate Rewards with the ability to transfer to partners. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out for sure.

          • Pete says:

            Just curious, do you have a source beyond that email?

            I don’t see a thing about travel partners in it, and it describes the Ink Cash I currently have (which doesn’t allow for transfer partners) perfectly.

          • Chuck says:

            Right, I was just assuming since they are sending out about a change, there has to be a change, right?

            But now I’m thinking this email was only sent to people on an old grandfathered card.

        • AB says:

          You could be right. Here’s the official language for “Ink Cash Rewards”

          Note the reference to a card that earned 1% CB or 2% CB in certain categories (on up to $2K spend per month:

          Earning Rewards: You will earn 1 point for each $1 of Net Purchases. You will earn an additional 2 points
          for each $1 of Net Purchases made in any of the following categories: gas stations; home improvement
          stores; office supply stores; restaurants.

          That doesn’t sound like the current version of the Ink Cash card at all.

          • Pete says:

            Also, the language about “your cash back rewards don’t expire” really suggest it’s a legacy version of the card.

            Current Ink Cash card points already don’t expire.

          • Chuck says:

            Makes sense, updated

          • CEJ says:

            I have an Ink Cash Rewards card that Chase sent me years ago when they converted their old business cards to the Ink brand. I have been getting 3x (cash back only) on gas, home improvement/hardware, office supply, and restaurants. I got the email about switching to UR today. This is great news if they keep these old categories at 3x because UR’s effectively can double their value.

          • Ly says:

            this link will give you more detail about the legacy card

            This change is for every old Ink Cash card not the current one

  5. Daivd says:

    Is this now a premium card that enables transfers to United and 1.2 value on travel through chase portal?

    also i thought this card already was earning UR points whats the change?

    • Chucks says:

      I’m confused as well. I’ve always earned UR on my Ink Cash, it’s just that I could only redeem them for Cash unless I first transferred them to a premium card account.

      • Chuck says:

        Right, INK Cash earns cash back, but it can be transferred. Starting January 29, it will be like real UR points even without transferring.

      • JM says:

        I have (had) a 10-year old Ink Cash – no AF but earned unlimited 3 points on restaurants, office supplies stores, and gas stations. Bad news was that I could not combine the points with UR; it was only good for statement credit or gift cards. I tried several times to try to link it to UR so I can pool and redeem for travel but Chase wouldn’t allow it.

        I finally decided to PC the card to the current Ink Cash version last week, so I could link with my other UR cards. I just received this email today, and if it means what I think it means, I really have horrible timing! I would have loved to retain the old card and its earning structure but with the ability to combine with my other UR points!

  6. H says:

    How about transferability? Say if I only own ink Cash and Freedom, starting Jan 29, can I combine and transfer points to united airlines?

  7. AB says:

    Chuck or Will — can you make a referral page for this one as well? I know there is a $300 offer (that would now be 30K UR points) floating around out there.

  8. Credit says:

    Also 5/24?

  9. Aaron says:

    If this includes airline/hotel transfer ability (not to mention some sort of portal multiplier, a la CSP’s 1.25x), this is actually pretty rad news — basically Chase’s first/only AF-free card of that type.

  10. Treesha says:

    Wow, pretty impressive for a no fee card. I guess the CSP and CSR are beneficial only for primary rental car insurance and trip coverage?

    • Chuck says:

      Hopefully. We’ll have to wait to find out more details.

    • AB says:

      The Reserve card has a 50% bonus as opposed to the 25% bonus. But the CSP is pretty useless compared to any of the Premium Inks (and now the Ink Cash as well). And all of the Inks (including Cash) have primary coverage.

      Here’s the language on PRIMARY Insurance from Ink Cash:
      Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver – Decline the rental company’s collision
      insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary when
      renting for business purposes and provides reimbursements up to the actual cash value of
      the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad.*

  11. MH says:

    The Ink Cash & Freedom already have Ultimate rewards, they can be used on the Chase travel for flights and hotel. No transfer like the Plus or CSP. a lot of people think these cards are ONLY cash back.

    The only thing new will be if they allow points transfer to partners.

    Here is what my page looks like after moving some points from my CSP,

    “Your 30,000 points are worth $300.00 towards travel when you book through Ultimate Rewards.
    Not enough to get you there? Pay with your points, your Chase card, or both.”

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I think there is some confusion on what is really going on here. Chase has (at least) two different versions of the Ink Cash card. The original version which I had until recently only accrued points for cash back and had expiration periods on those points. The points on that card were not at all transferable to Ultimate Rewards cards (CSP, Ink+, etc.).

    I recently converted this Ink Cash card to a “Ink Cash 521 Visa Signature Business Card with Ultimate Rewards” which finally allowed me to not only receive better bonus point categories but also transfer/combine those points to other UR cards with airline/hotel partners.

    From what I can tell in the email posted, those with the original version of Ink Cash card will now be part of Ultimate Rewards and points earned will be able to be combined with other UR cards. What it doesn’t show here is if the cards are being converted to the “521” version with 5x on telecom/office supplies or not.

  13. Zak says:

    So this is another card that earns 5x at OS stores?

  14. Ben says:

    Just throwing out a theory (this theory just led me to pay the AF on my Ink+)…

    I’ve got an Ink+ and a InkCash. Chase just came out with an InkPreferred that essentially lowered the UR earned from 5X to 3X. At the same time, they stopped allowing new sign ups for Ink+. This means that the only Ink business card that you can currently sign up for that earns 5X is the no AF InkCash. To me the addition of the InkPreferred (w/ only 3X) and deletion of Ink+ seems like Chase is ready to dump 5X earnings. I realize Ink+ is grandfathered into 5X, but it seems likely to me that they will either get rid of InkCash all together or reduce InkCash from 5X to 3X since there is no AF on that card. This led me to paying the AF on the Ink+ b/c I assume Chase won’t mind keeping around the “grandfathered” 5X on the Ink+ since there is an AF, but Chase would be very happy to change terms of InkCash to reduce 5X to 3X. I was all set to cancel my In this year, but these thoughts made me keep it for one more year in case Chase guts the InkCash.

  15. duke5150 says:

    I got the email and this is for the “OLD” Ink Cash card that give 3% on Gas, 3% on Restaurants, 3% on Office Supplies, and 3% on Home Improvement.

    This is a great deal now that the 3% will be in UR as when combined with Sapphire Reserve the percentage value rises to 4.5% for each category.

  16. Christopher Wallin says:

    Coming up on my 1 year anniversary with the Ink Plus and just called to have it downgraded to an Ink Cash. Did not get a retention offer nor did she know about the new change outlined here.

  17. bob says:

    wow, so the only benefit to keeping my Ink + is, (1) you can only get teh Ink Preferred now, with its 3x earns, and (2) it has a higher annual cap on the categories ($50K vs $25K for the Ink Cash).

    My SO and I both have Ink + cards, and both are tired of paying the AF. I racked up about $29K in Office Supplies this year thanks to OM/OD’s VGC promotions, but i doubt i’ll do more than $25K again.

    • frekwentflier says:

      Bob, you should look into buying iTunes and other GCs when they are on sale at Staples and reselling them. You can easily make up the annual fee by doing this.

  18. Curmudgeon says:

    I spoke to a Chase rep today about this. My Ink Cash card is several years old and I was concerned that the earnings rate would change to match the current Ink Cash card. I was told I’ll still get the same rates (5% on office supplies, telecom, 3% on gas/dining/home improvement, etc) but now it would be Ultimate Rewards points.

    If it works out that way this will be a welcome change and I won’t feel bad about giving up the Ink Plus to get the Ink Preferred, since it will save my 5x categories and I’ll only have to pay one annual fee.

  19. Mike says:

    Keeping this item open for comment is like leaving the lipstick out when you’re visited by a pig. The story here is not what this story says.

  20. Kay says:

    This is great news! I just downgraded my Ink Plus to Ink Cash and I do not have a Freedom card but just got in the Reserve card which makes it a goo combination. 🙂

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