From printing out homework assignments to handling small business projects, many of us are printing more than we ever did before. And with that increase in printing comes a profound need for reduced costs and increased convenience associated with printing, either at home or at the office.
Convenience and lower printing costs are at the core of what makes the HP Instant Ink program so beneficial for eligible HP printer owners, but is it worth it to subscribe to this printing subscription? Here's how you can determine if continuing your subscription, or starting a new one, makes sense for your printing needs.
What is HP Instant Ink?
HP Instant Ink is our smart ink and toner subscription that delivers ink or toner the moment you need it, for up to 50% less. It makes getting new cartridges easy and automatic. Instead of heading to the store to buy a new ink cartridge or shopping online, your compatible HP printer wirelessly communicates with your connected HP Instant Ink account, then ships ink to your home or office before you run out.
It’s billed as a monthly subscription-based on print page volume, which simplifies how you shop for ink and can even save you money. You pick the right-sized plan for your needs and you can even adjust your subscription as your printing habits change.
HP Instant Ink only sends new cartridges when you run low on ink, so you won’t have to store stockpiled ink supplies. Your printer automatically notifies HP when it’s time to send out your next cartridge based on your printing plan and history of use. This way, you never have to store extra cartridges, but you’ll have the next one in time to keep printing as usual no matter when during the month you begin to run low on ink.
What HP Instant Ink plans are available?
Subscription plans range in price depending on how many pages you plan to print each month. Every page counts the same, regardless of whether you’re printing in color or in black-and-white. So you’re able to print as many color pages as you want without having to ration ink. (Pricing is accurate as of the date of publication, June 2021. Click here to check for the most current pricing information
For compatible ink and toner-based printers, HP Instant Ink offers five subscription plans to choose from with differing page counts.
They start with a low-cost plan for low-volume users and go all the way up to a business-class subscription service for offices that really churn through prints.
What if you aren’t sure how many pages you need? It can take a month to figure out your exact printing habits, but you can easily upgrade your plan if you find out your need more.
Our intermediate plan is the plan we recommend for most homes. This plan level offers versatility to households that print things like articles, coupons, photos, and financial documents.
Small offices and households with bigger capacity may want to start at the 300 pages for $11.99 per month to account for their printing needs. Remember, you can always downgrade your plan if you find that you are rolling over pages every month. The change would go into effect the next billing cycle, but you still keep your rolled-over pages.
The plans for ink are:
- 15 pages per month: $0.99
- 50 pages per month: $2.99
- 100 pages per month: $4.99
- 300 pages per month: $11.99
- 700 pages per month: $24.99
The plans for toner are:
- 50 pages per month: $1.99
- 100 pages per month: $3.99
- 400 pages per month: $13.99
- 800 pages per month: $19.99
- 1,500 pages per month: $25.99
What if I don’t use all my pages?
Unused pages are automatically rolled over to the next month, up to the number of pages allowed under your plan. So, if you are on the 300 pages per month plan, our recommended plan for small businesses, you can save up to 300 rollover pages in addition to the 300 pages given to you at the start of each billing cycle. This way, you don’t pay extra for heavy print months since you are using your allotted rollover pages.
What if you need to print more than your plan and rollover pages allow? If it’s a one-time bump in volume, and you don’t want to upgrade your plan to the next level, you can always buy more on a per-page basis. The cost per additional page is just pennies and provides flexibility without a long-term change to your plan.
Top reasons to subscribe to HP Instant Ink
HP Instant Ink is innovative, but is it enough to make you want to sign up
? Consumers and small businesses are changing the way they buy ink through the program, using it to print homeschool worksheets, marketing materials, family photos, college homework, and more.
Here are some of the ways it can help simplify your life and even save you some cash.
1. Never run out of ink
It seems like the “low ink” notice pops up just when you absolutely, positively must get that paper printed for class, the document printed for an important client, or the photos printed for your child’s birthday party. Now is not the time to dash to the store for pricey ink or search for a coupon.
With HP Instant Ink, you never again have to stress over ink levels or deals. Your printer monitors ink levels in real-time, so your new ink shipment arrives before your current cartridge ink runs out. It’s not a timed delivery, like some subscriptions, so there is no guessing involved. And you get a low price per print, month after month. Sign up and forget it, then print what you need, when you need it.
2. No more rationing color prints
Since every page counts as one page toward your monthly printed pages, you no longer have to print in grayscale when a color print is what you really want. Now you can say yes when the kids ask if they can print their projects, when you are putting together a presentation for your newest client, or when you want some photos of last weekend’s family reunion to send to your loved ones.
3. No more hassle shopping for ink in-store or online
Is it time for you to replace cartridges again? Going to the store can be a big time commitment, even if you're already out shopping. Plus, there’s the hassle of making sure you’re picking the right cartridge model for your printer. That is, if the store even has it in stock at all. Long story short; it’s just not as simple as having the ink to come to your door.
If you shop online, there's still the risk that you may not place your order in time. How low do your ink levels need to get before you should buy? HP Instant Ink takes the guesswork out of ordering by putting an order in for you at just the right moment, so you never run out of ink but don't have to buy too far in advance, or buy multiple cartridges at once when you only need one. Out-of-stock notices, incorrect purchases, and low ink warnings? You can safely put them behind you.
4. Save money
One low monthly price per month is all you pay for your allotted plan pages. You never have to buy additional ink cartridges, pay for shipping, or buy (and store) those extra-large bulk cartridge packs to try to save on ink costs
. In fact, HP Instant Ink is unique in that you can print black-and-white or color pages, and they count equally as a page on your monthly plan.
You can save a lot compared to printing your photo pages at a print shop, too. Plus, since many color printers require three cartridges for a brilliant print, you don’t have to try to find the best deal on all the colors you use. You get the best deal simply by subscribing, because the HP Instant Ink value goes well beyond the price of each page.
5. Help the environment
HP Instant Ink uses larger capacity cartridges with less packaging than those manufactured to comply with standard retail regulations. This saves money through economies of scale. Not only do we pass those savings on to you, we also make it easy to recycle your spent ink cartridges.
Hunting down recycling programs can be challenging, especially for products that require a specific type of program – like ink and toner cartridges. With HP Instant Ink, you gain access to the easiest way to recycle your cartridges.
You no longer have to drop them off at a store or hoard them for a community recycling drive. Just wait until you have 2 to 5 cartridges (enough to fill an envelope) and pop them into the postage-paid return envelope that comes in each HP Instant Ink shipment.
The program is very much in line with HP’s overall mission that focuses on using recyclables in our print products to reduce waste. Plus, by having your ink or toner come to you, there are no associated fuel costs with that extra trip to the store.
Plus, we use these plastics to make new products including HP Original ink cartridges, which are made with 5% to 45% post-consumer or post-industrial recycled plastics. When you buy ink through the HP Instant Ink program, you are making good use of your recycling efforts.
6. Access to ongoing HP support
Whether it's your first time or one-hundredth time installing a cartridge, HP is always on hand to help you with any of your printing questions. HP print products are backed by quality guarantees, too. While it's likely you won't run into any trouble, if your cartridge doesn't work properly or it runs out early, you can easily get a new one by contacting us through your HP Instant Ink account.
You won’t get this same type of customer service when you buy from a retailer, and there’s even more of a risk if you try to save money buying off-brand or refurbished ink cartridges
. Not only do you not really know what you’re getting, but there’s no guarantee that the ink will last as long or provide the quality prints your HP printer is designed to deliver.
7. Amazing and consistent print quality
Using HP Original Ink is the best way to make sure each and every print is the highest print quality. And the most cost-effective and convenient way to do so is through the HP Instant Ink program.
All new HP printers and nearly every printer manufactured in the last five years are compatible with the HP Instant Ink subscription service, too, so you can rest assured that you’ll always have the most seamless, high-quality print experience ever. From borderless prints to the best in full-color scanning, the lineup of HP printers
is varied and inspiring.
Since HP makes the printers and ink, plus the technology that supports both, troubleshooting is easy and prints stand out. When you buy an HP printer, you're getting the best in hardware, software, and service. One of the best parts of the HP Instant Ink program is the continued relationship with a company that really knows printers.
How to get started with the HP Instant Ink program
If you already own an HP printer, simply go to www.hpinstantink.com
to enroll. It’s easy to get started. And if you still have some leftover ink cartridges, you can use those up before your subscription begins – even after you sign up. Simply wait to install the HP Instant Ink cartridge that arrives in your Welcome Kit until you have used your stock of cartridges. You won’t be charged until 30 days after you install the Welcome Cartridge into your printer.
Buying a new printer? When you set up your new printer, you may receive a prompt to enroll in the Instant Ink program. Some printers even come with a free month or more to let you “try before you buy.”
The HP Smart app
is another way to enroll in the HP Instant Ink program, as well as check your ink levels and troubleshoot your printer. From printhead cleaning
to connecting to a new wireless network, you can handle it all from the HP software on your computer or phone.
Is HP Instant Ink worth it?
If you're already using HP printers and know that you'll print more than 15 pages per month, the answer is clear. The HP Instant Ink subscription service is convenient, ecologically sound, and provides you with high-quality ink products at a price that makes sense. It is definitely worth signing up and giving yourself the gift of easy, inexpensive printing, month after month, with no cumbersome commitments.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.
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