The 50,000 Ink Bold Offer Didn’t Exactly End and Commentary About Affiliate Links

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About a week ago I did a post about how the Chase Ink Bold Business card offer updates today (11/28).  I didn’t know if updating meant for the better, or for the worse.  I also didn’t know if the sign-up bonus was changing or not.  All I knew was that I was told that the links I had for the card would be “deactivated” today and that the offer would then be changing.  Well, the old links I had did indeed deactivate today, and the offer did indeed get updated.  In fact, as I speculated last night, (for many people) it got better!

I’ll talk more about the updated offer in a second, but for the sake of transparency, I do want to share some of my “inner turmoil” about talking about when offers will end.  Since I am still very new to the affiliate link world, I don’t know how normal it is to have an offer end for affiliates but continue on directly from the bank (like the Southwest 50,000 point offer did).  I do know I felt bad/silly/etc for sharing the information I had been told that it was ending, only to see it go on.  I am glad the 50,000 point Southwest offer is still available directly from Chase, but I don’t like sharing information that turns out to be incorrect.  I do know with the Ink Bold it was a little different as we were told the offer was updating, and it indeed did update to a whole new set of benefits.   For some people the old benefit structure was probably better, and for many the new structure will be better.  I also know some people will just see that the sign-up bonus is the same, and assume the talk of the offer ending was all a bunch of smoke and mirrors again.

I think I will probably continue to do what I did for this one, and that is to share exactly the information that I am told (when possible).  In this case it was that the offer was updating.  I certainly don’t want to paint the “sky is falling, the offers are ending” picture unnecessarily, but I don’t want to withhold information that I have about an offer potentially ending or changing in case a person is on the fence about applying for a card.  I’m certainly open to thoughts on this topic, but that’s where I stand right now.  I know that it is a “hot topic” in blogland right now.  Just know that I really am very sensitive to writing about what I feel will be most useful and beneficial for you, and I am bothered when I share information I was told only to have it turn out to not exactly be correct.

Okay, back to the new, updated, and improved Ink Bold Business offer.

The good news:

There are some pretty great new bonus point categories!

Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, on cable and wireless service, and landline communications

Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually on gas and hotels

Earn 1X point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limits on how much you can earn.

Why yes I will be switching my cell phone bill auto payments, home internet, and all other telecommunications to this card.  Heck, just for our home/home office we have at least $500-600 in telecommunication charges each month – that will result in close to 3,000 Ultimate Reward points each month just for those expenses!  Since I will be using my business card frequently for travel, I also love that hotels now earn 2x points.  I wish that all travel expenses were 2x like on the Sapphire, but it’s a start.  2x gas is also a welcome bonus!

Another great piece of news is the elimination of the foreign transaction fee.  Apparently the foreign transaction fee is “so 2010”, because we are seeing it disappear from more and more cards.  That is a great trend in my book.  Additionally, the card now comes with a Priority Pass membership that will allow you access to 350 lounges worldwide.  It includes two complimentary visits per year.  After that I believe that visits are available at a discounted rate.

The $95 annual fee is still waived the first year and the 50,000 point sign-up bonus is still very much intact.  Hurray!

The not so good news:

The tiered spending bonuses seem to be gone.  Previously they were: 7,500 bonus points for spending $25,000; 15,000 bonus points after spending $50,000; and 25,000 bonus points after spending $100,000.  I highly doubt I will be putting $25,000 on this card each year, so I am not overly upset that the bonuses are gone, but I can see how that would be a huge loss if you were putting $100,000 on the card each year.

The confusing news:

I’ve read several accounts written by people who have the previous version of the Ink Bold that they will be eligible for the new benefits.  That would make sense to me.  When the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card added 2x on travel and dining they extended it to both old and new card holders.  I sent a secure message to Chase today to see if I was eligible for the new benefits and was told:

I regret to inform you that, currently this credit card does not provide 2 points on gas and hotels and also, the account does have a 3% foreign transaction fee applicable for purchases made overseas. However, if you may provide us with the link online where you show these benefits, kindly reply to this email with the link and we will be happy to review your account to add these benefits.

I didn’t really think anything of it since the benefits are brand new and sent a link directly to a Chase website that displayed the new benefits.  Here is what the next Chase reply was after I sent in the link showing the improved benefits:

I apologize for the incorrect response sent earlier.

I would like to confirm that, other than the rewards structure that was mentioned in the earlier e-mail, you will also earn 2 points for each $1 spent on qualifying airfare purchases made online through the Program Booking Tool.

If you have any further questions, please reply using the Secure Message Center.

The reward structure that Chase had mentioned in the previous email to me was just the standard 1x for most purchases, up to 20x through Ultimate Rewards, etc…. So, I am really left not knowing when, if ever, customers with the previous version of the Ink Bold Business card will be given the new benefits.  I will follow-up tomorrow with a phone call to see if I can get more information.  I am happy with the card I got, but I like these new benefits even more.

11/29 Update:  I did call and was told very nicely and clearly that this new version of the Ink Bold is being considered a different card, so the benefits cannot be granted to the old card.  I was told I would have to reapply for the new card if I wanted the new benefit system.  That is kind of annoying, but might work out in our favor since this may be considered a “new card”.  I plan to hit my minimum spending requirement and then apply for the new card in a few months.  Who knows if I will be eligible for the sign-up bonus again or not, but it will be worth a shot and that seems to be the only route to the new benefit structure.

What version of the card do you like better?  If you have the old version, have you tried to see if the new benefits will be applied to your account?

 

Yes, these are my affiliate links, so I will receive a commission if you are approved for the card while using my link.  And yes, I would still be talking about the improved offer even if the links weren’t mine.  😉

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Comments

  1. I got the card in the mail today, and tried talking to two different representatives trying to get switched to the “new” Ink Bold. I even told them the night I applied I was looking at the Chase website and it already had the details of the category spend bonuses, no foreign fee, etc. – but both representatives told me no luck. They suggested I apply again for another Ink Bold card! This is pretty frustrating and I’m hoping that enough people will request the change over that Chase will listen. Sigh.

  2. So strange…I can’t recall a card changing it up so drastically…I assumed that all accounts, new and old, would be under the new earning scheme.

  3. Also, after signing into my Hawaiian miles account to do some Amazon.com shopping, I noticed that they slashed the point earnings from 1 mile per dollar, to .5 miles per dollar. While some companies try to enhance their benefits like Chase, others look to reduce them. :-/

  4. I really don’t think that you should be so concerned about trying to make a little money for you and your family from these referal links. I personally have benefited financially from this site and your efforts, I hope you have as well. You obviously work hard to put this all together for us to utilize, there is nothing wrong with you getting something in return . I truly believe that most people have guilt making money from sources other than a paycheck. I know I did, but my only advise would be get over it. You deserve it.

    As for the Ink Bold, I am not too excited by the changes. I recently applied and I will surely hit he upper bonus with odd category spend. I would never spend 50k (not even 1/4 of that) on telephone charges in a year and I already have 2 gas cards which earn 4% each. I hope they don’t force the new terms on us. We will see what happens.

    Thanks again!

  5. I always dig until I can find a direct, non-affiliate link. This is only fair because I’m not able to decide which particular blogger over another should get my referral commission. Considering that every single blogger I read on a daily basis (TPG, View From the Wing, One Mile at a Time, Frugal Travel Guy, Dans Deals, Mommy Points) plus some I read less often all discussed this “sky is falling” Ink Bold promo, the choice is impossible.

    That’s entirely my own opinion, certainly. I don’t fault any blogger for using affiliate links – so long as everyone continues to disclose this up front. The money’s on the table, someone might as well take it. Unfortunately, since the applicants are the ones who take a minor credit hit regardless of approval status, it’s a shame applicants can’t use their own affiliate links for the compensation.

  6. Mommy: Welcone to the affiliate marketing game. Be prepared to have some of your hair fall out as communication between the card issuers, affiliate marketing companies and us as publishers is at best “spotty” Believe me, it gets more confusing at times

    Report what you believe to be the most current info you have and that is all you can do.

  7. @Neil, I agree that it is frustrating and a bit strange. I guess worst case scenario I will hit the minimum spending requirement, keep it about 6 months, cancel, then reapply for the “new” Ink Bold to get the benefits that will better suit my spending pattern.

    @David, that assumption would be logical, or better yet a choice to switch to the new benefit schedule would be great.

    @Neil, yeah I just got another comment about that as well. Too bad. Though I honestly have yet to ever see a mile post from my Amazon/Hawaiian purchases, so I haven’t been overly impressed by them to begin with.

    @jkm, thanks for sharing your thoughts. At least so far it would seem that your old Ink Bold benefits are in place. Since seem to not be letting people voluntarily change to the new benefits, I don’t think they will force you to change anytime soon. I do think you are correct in that monetizing my site is still very strange to me. It’s necessary in order to continue investing the time in it, but it still is strange.

    @chontzy, thanks for your support.

    @ArizonaGuy, that’s an interesting approach. I actually was always pretty deliberate about the application links I would use as well. I would try to rotate them around to “share the love”. You gotta do what works for you, but I would encourage you to at least consider using someone’s link if it is for a card you plan to apply for anyway. Even if you never use one of my links, it is the way that many of these bloggers we all read and love are able to keep doing what they do. Just a thought. Either way, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    @Rick, I already have bags under my eyes and now my hair is going to fall out?! Oy vey! What excitement to look forward to. You are right that the only thing you can do is share what you know. Thanks!

  8. HI MP’s,
    So if you do not spend 50K on the categories listed (office suuplies etc…) then you do not get 5pt/$?? Just 1pt/$$?? If so, other than the sign up bonus and the fact that they are Ultimate Rewards points (which I love)what are the advantages over the Amex MR card for example?
    Thanks, I love your blog.

    • @Deborah, sorry for any confusion. Up to the first $50,000 in those categories earns bonus points, so any amount you spend up to that amount in those categories gets the bonus points. Hope that helps!

    • @Deborah, my understanding is that if you spent $25K in those categories you would get the bonus points. You would earn bonus points for every dollar in those categories up to $50,000. Once you spend more than $50K in those categories, you would just earn 1 point per dollar.

  9. I think honesty is the best policy when it comes to disclosure and sharing information, it looks like you are doing the right things.

  10. I think you’re worrying too much over it. You were pretty clear last week about saying that you were just making an educated guess that the Ink Bold offer might change. Most of us appreciated the heads up, and it was enough for me to get off my butt and finally apply for the Ink Bold. I’m glad I did even though the 50k offer remained. As long as you continue being clear that these are educated guesses, and state what you’re basing it on, I don’t see any problem.

    There should be no angst about collecting income for producing a useful blog. I used your links to apply for the card. Hopefully you’ll get credit (I read now something about your links expiring). I applied last week but didn’t get approved until after calling the reconsideration number yesterday. I will be curious to find out if I am under the old bonus scheme or the new 5x/2x/1x scheme.

  11. Very awesome!
    I wonder if their priority pass membership covers United lounges…

    For such a small fee, it might be worth dropping Amex Plat all together.

  12. @MJLouise, thanks – I agree honesty is always best. 😉

    @bluto, I really do appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I bet you will be approved under the old scheme since that is what you applied under, but I would be interested to know for sure when you find out! Also, that you for using my links.

    @Mike, it seems to have a pretty small list of included lounges and UA doesn’t seem to be on there, unfortunately.

  13. I am actually disappointed to see the change other than the continued 50K offer since if you already have Sapphire Preferred or JP Morgan Select, the new Ink Bold won’t get you much compared to Ink Classic – 50K spending cap vs. 25K and Priority Pass with 2 entries. BTW the old Ink Bold link still works but I don’t know what people will get if they sign up via that link. I have updated my review on Ink Bold please check out my site if you are interested.

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