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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. 😉