HP Instant Ink is an ink subscription service offered by HP for its compatible printers. With HP Instant Ink, customers pay a low monthly fee based on the number of pages they expect to print, rather than paying for ink cartridges. The service aims to save users money on printing costs while offering the convenience of automatic ink delivery.
How Does HP Instant Ink Work?
HP Instant Ink works through an auto-replenishment service. After signing up for the service, HP sends replacement cartridges to customers before their printer runs out of ink.
Here is an overview of how HP Instant Ink works:
- Compatible Printers: HP Instant Ink works with most HP printers produced since 2014. The printer must be connected to the internet to enroll and use the service.
- Plans & Pricing: Customers pick a monthly page allowance plan starting at $0.99 per month for 50 pages. Plans go up to $19.99 for 700 pages. Overage rates are available.
- Ink Delivery: HP monitors ink levels and automatically ships replacement cartridges when needed. Cartridges are mailed free.
- Printing: Print in color or black & white as normal. Pages are counted towards monthly allowance.
- App: The HP Smart app allows monitoring of remaining pages and makes changing plans easy.
- Cancel Anytime: There are no long-term contracts. Customers can cancel anytime without penalty.
HP Instant Ink provides predictable printing costs based on pages printed rather than ink cartridges purchased. It’s an affordable and convenient option for high-volume printing.
Pros and Cons of HP Instant Ink
HP Instant Ink offers many benefits but also has some downsides to consider:
- Cost savings: Pay less per page than buying individual cartridges, especially with high print volumes.
- Convenience: Ink is automatically delivered before you run out so you likely never have to think about it.
- Flexibility: Plans can be changed easily through the app if print needs change. Cancel anytime.
- Fixed budget: Predictable monthly fee with no spikes from purchasing ink cartridges.
- High-quality ink: Original HP inks provide professional quality results.
- Free cartridge recycling: HP recycles used cartridges for free through the mail. Eco-friendly.
- Must use HP ink: Printers are locked to HP Instant Ink cartridges. 3rd party inks blocked.
- Print limits: Exceeding the monthly page limit results in overage fees.
- Subscription model: Some may prefer owning cartridges rather than subscribing.
- Internet required: Printer must be connected to enroll and to monitor ink.
- Not for infrequent printing: Those with very low print volumes may save with individual cartridges.
- Limited printer models: HP Instant Ink is not compatible with all HP printer models.
For most home users or small offices that print regularly, the savings and convenience of HP Instant Ink are well worth it. But it may not suit all users’ needs and preferences.
How Much Does HP Instant Ink Cost?
HP Instant Ink offers several monthly plans based on the number of pages you expect to print. Here are the current monthly fees for each plan:
| Plan | Monthly Pages | Monthly Price | Overage Rate |
| Basic | 50 | $0.99 | $1 per 10 extra pages |
| Moderate | 100 | $2.99 | $1 per 15 extra pages |
| Frequent | 300 | $9.99 | $1 per 10 extra pages |
| Business | 700 | $19.99 | $1 per 10 extra pages |
Additional plans are offered for higher volume printing. HP also now offers Occasional Use plans with a lower monthly fee but require purchasing full-priced cartridge sets after using the included pages.
The overage rate is the cost per page if you exceed the monthly limit. Overage fees are charged monthly in arrears.
Overall, HP Instant Ink plans offer savings of up to 50% compared to buying standard cartridges for equivalent page yields. The more pages you print, the more you can save. Light users may save more with occasional cartridge purchases.
How Do HP Instant Ink Plans Compare?
Choosing the right HP Instant Ink plan depends on your estimated monthly print volume. Here’s how the key plans compare:
| Plan | Best For | Avg. Cost per Page | Savings vs. Cartridges |
| Basic | Light use <100 pages/month | $0.02 | 10-15% |
| Moderate | 100-200 pages/month | $0.015 | 15-30% |
| Frequent | 200-400 pages/month | $0.01 | 30-50% |
| Business | 400+ pages/month | $0.008 | 40-50% |
The Occasional Use plan provides 50 pages for $1 with additional set purchases. It offers flexibility for very light users.
Those printing over 400 pages per month save the most with HP Instant Ink. Moderate 100-300 page users can still realize substantial cost savings versus standard cartridges.
Evaluate your monthly document and photo printing needs to pick the optimal plan. The HP Smart app makes it easy to upgrade or downgrade plans as usage changes.
What Types of Printing Are Included in the Monthly Allowance?
The monthly page allowance includes any and all printing completed on an enrolled HP Instant Ink printer. This comprises:
- Black & white text pages
- Color photos or documents
- Two-sided duplex printing (counted as 2 pages)
- Pages printed from any device – computer, mobile, tablet
- Envelope or label printing
Essentially, any page printed on the Instant Ink printer counts towards the allowance.
The number of pages is determined by printer firmware, not by physical sheets fed. So a sheet printed on both sides counts as 2 pages. Photos print faster since ink coverage is higher.
There are no restrictions on types of documents – both personal and business printing is permitted. As long as the printer is enrolled in Instant Ink, all pages count towards the plan.
What Printing Is Not Included in the Monthly Allowance?
While the bulk of printing through an enrolled HP Instant Ink printer counts towards the monthly page allowance, there are some exceptions:
- Coloring pages: HP provides some free coloring pages that don’t count towards the allowance.
- Promotional bonus pages: Occasional promotional offers provide free extra pages.
- Printouts while paused: Printing done if the plan is temporarily paused is not included.
- Non-HP Ink: Any pages printed with third-party or refilled cartridges do not count.
- Multiple Enrolled Printers: Pages count towards the allowance of the specific printer used. Allowances are not combined for multiple enrolled printers.
- Unused Pages: Leftover pages do not rollover month to month. The allowance resets on the monthly billing date.
Aside from promotional pages, coloring pages, and prints made while paused, virtually all other printing through an enrolled HP Instant Ink printer is included in the plan and counted against the monthly cap.
What Happens If You Exceed the Monthly Page Limit?
If you exceed your plan’s monthly page allowance, you will be charged overage fees at the specified overage rate for that plan.
For example, on the 100 page Moderate plan, the overage rate is $1 per additional 15 pages. If you printed 135 pages that month, you would be charged the $2.99 monthly fee plus $1 overage for the extra 15 pages.
Overage fees are capped at 2x the monthly plan fee. After hitting the overage cap, additional pages can be printed at no extra charge.
Overage fees are billed monthly in arrears on the billing date alongside the next month’s regular fee. You can upgrade your monthly plan at any time to avoid overages.
The HP Smart app provides notifications when you are approaching your page limit so you can upgrade plans or modify printing accordingly.
While overages are possible, the fees are still far below the cost of purchasing individual cartridges for the same number of pages.
Can You Pause or Cancel an HP Instant Ink Subscription?
Yes, HP Instant Ink plans are flexible and can be paused, changed, or cancelled anytime without penalties.
Pausing a Plan pauses your monthly charges and print allowance. No ink is shipped while paused but the printer remains enrolled. Print pages normally but they do not count towards your allowance. You can unpause anytime to restart regular charges and ink shipments.
Changing Plans can be done seamlessly through the HP Smart app by picking a new monthly page allowance. The fee and allowance adjust starting the next billing cycle.
Cancelling the plan can be done online or through the HP Smart app. You can continue using remaining Instant Ink cartridges in the printer. However, the printer will be blocked from using regular HP cartridges once cancelled, so third-party cartridges will be required.
There are no annual contracts or cancellation fees. You can adjust plans up, down or cancel anytime you want. The flexibility makes it easy to align with changing print needs.
How Do You Enroll in HP Instant Ink?
Enrolling in HP Instant Ink is simple. It can be done through the HP Smart app or online:
- Confirm printer eligibility – Most HP models from 2014 onward support Instant Ink. Refer to the compatibility list.
- Choose monthly page allowance plan – Pick a plan based on your estimated print volume needs. You can change plans anytime.
- Enter account and payment information – Provide HP with billing details. A valid credit card is required.
- Install setup cartridges – HP will mail free Instant Ink setup cartridges to install in the printer. This activates and registers the printer with the service.
- Set upHP Smart app – Connect printer to WiFi and install the app to manage your account and plans.
- Start printing! – Print as normal once activated. Ink will automatically be delivered when low.
The enrollment process takes about 2 weeks total but can be faster if you already have a compatible HP printer. Take advantage of the savings and convenience Instant Ink provides!
Can You Use HP Instant Ink With Multiple Printers?
Yes, you can enroll multiple eligible HP printers in the same Instant Ink account. However, each printer will need to be on its own distinct plan with a separate monthly page allowance.
For instance, you could have:
- Office printer on a 300 page Frequent plan
- Home printer on a 50 page Basic plan
The two printers cannot share one pooled allowance. Pages will be counted per device towards the respective printer’s plan cap.
You will be charged the monthly fee for each active printer enrolled in your account. Having two printers on Instant Ink is still typically cheaper than buying cartridges for two printers separately.
Enrolling additional printers is easy through the HP Smart app or online dashboard. Pick a plan suited for that specific printer’s usage needs.
You can manage all enrolled printers from one account for convenience. But monitor and upgrade plans for each printer individually based on ongoing usage.
What Printers and Countries Are Supported by HP Instant Ink?
HP Instant Ink is available in the following countries:
- United States
- New Zealand
The service is only available for eligible HP printer models. In general, most HP Deskjet, ENVY, OfficeJet, and LaserJet models released from 2014 onward support Instant Ink. Certain older or basic models may not be compatible.
Refer to the official HP Instant Ink eligibility page to see the full list of supported printers by country. Be sure to verify your printer works with Instant Ink before subscribing.
Both home and business HP printers can utilize Instant Ink, provided they meet the compatibility requirements. The service is not limited just to consumer models.
Is HP Instant Ink Worth It?
For most home users and small offices printing over 100 pages per month, HP Instant Ink can provide significant cost savings versus buying standard ink cartridges.
The break-even analysis below shows estimated monthly costs for different print volumes using Instant Ink versus cartridges:
| Monthly Pages | Instant Ink Cost | Equivalent Cartridge Cost | Savings |
At higher monthly print volumes, the savings are substantial. Even printing just 50-100 pages per month can save $5-10.
Additionally, Instant Ink provides convenience through automatic delivery, flexibility to change plans, and predictable budgeting. There are no obligations so you can cancel anytime if dissatisfied.
For very light users printing less than 50 pages a month, occasional cartridge purchases may be cheaper. But for most home and small business printing needs, HP Instant Ink provides excellent value.
Subscribe to our list
Don't worry, we don't spam
Frequently Asked Questions About HP Instant Ink
Q: Does HP Instant Ink work with third-party cartridges?
No. HP printers enrolled in Instant Ink are locked to only use original HP Instant Ink cartridges. Third-party and refilled cartridges will not work. The printer checks cartridge serial numbers to verify authenticity.
Q: Can Instant Ink cartridges be refilled?
No, HP Instant Ink cartridges use built-in chips that prevent refilling or reuse once depleted. This allows HP to monitor ink levels and ship replacements automatically.
Q: What happens if you run out of ink before new cartridges arrive?
The printers are designed to alert HP when ink is very low so replacement cartridges ship out in time. But if you do run out, the HP Smart app will provide temporary printable black and white pages until the new cartridges arrive.
Q: Can Instant Ink cartridges be used in non-Instant Ink printers?
No, the Instant Ink cartridges are specially designed only for enrolled printers. They cannot be used in HP printers not registered to Instant Ink or third-party printers.
Q: Is there a binding contract or commitment?
No, HP Instant Ink does not involve any long-term contracts or commitments. You can cancel, pause, or change plans anytime without penalties.
Q: What happens when you cancel Instant Ink?
You can continue using any remaining Instant Ink cartridges. However, the printer will be blocked from using regular HP cartridges after cancelling. You would need to use third-party cartridges going forward.
Q: How long does cartridge delivery take?
HP ships Instant Ink cartridges free via standard mail, which takes 3-5 business days within the US. Expedited 1-2 day delivery is available for a fee. Cartridges arrive before existing ones run out based on ink monitoring.
Q: Can you return unopened cartridge shipments?
Yes, if you have accumulated unneeded cartridge multipacks, you can return them to HP within 90 days. Call customer support to initiate a free return.
HP Instant Ink offers substantial savings and convenience for home and small business users printing over 100 pages per month. With Instant Ink, you only pay based on pages printed, not cartridges purchased. Plans start at just $0.99 per month for 50 pages.
The automatic cartridge delivery means you likely never have to think about buying ink again. Just print as needed and HP ships new cartridges before you run out. Changing plans is easy if print needs evolve.
While Instant Ink may not be cost-effective for very light users, most moderate+ home and small office printing will realize major savings versus standard cartridges. Plans can be cancelled or changed anytime with no commitment.
Evaluate your monthly print volume and printer compatibility. For most home and small business needs, HP Instant Ink is a no-brainer that provides outstanding value through cost savings and convenience. Sign up to start saving on ink!