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Hands down my favorite credit card these days is the “new” Chase Ink Bold Charge Card that rolled out at the end of November. Not only is the 50,000 Ultimate Reward points sign-up bonus one of the best out there, but its category bonuses are top notch. Being able to get 5x points on our cell phones, home phone, internet, cable, and office supplies really adds up in a huge hurry. Earning 2x points on gas and hotel accommodations is pretty nice as well (up to the first $50,000 annually in expenses in the relevant bonus categories). We both work from our home office, so we have a pretty large amount of expenses naturally in many of those categories. Heck our iPhone family plans rings in over $200 monthly by itself! That means that just our cell phone expenses brings in 12,000 point per year. Crazy!
Of course, I have also written a fair amount about the fact that office supply stores sell gift cards to other stores (including Visa, MasterCard, and Amex cards). The 5x possibilities there are virtually endless (within reason, don’t go overboard and send red flags to Chase). In fact, I just made my monthly trip to Office Depot today to pick up a $500 gift card (2013 update: $500 gift cards are typically no longer available at Office Depot – $200 is now the largest). I use it to pay for purchases that otherwise would just earn 1x.
Now, none of that is really “new” anymore. However, as I mentioned in this post while I was on vacation last week, the Chase Ink Plus officially rolled out and added an interesting twist to the “Ink” family. The difference between the Ink Bold Charge Card and the Ink Plus is that the Ink Plus is a credit card as opposed to a charge card. What that means is that you don’t have to pay off the balance each month, but instead can pay over time. Of course, if you are using a credit card for the primary purpose of earning miles and points, then it is recommended that you pay the balance off each month to avoid paying interest charges (thus negating the value of the rewards that you earned). Regardless, the introduction of this credit card is still very much worth mentioning because it is a new credit card product.
Application Link: Ink Bold Charge Card (came out in November 2011)
Application Link: Ink Plus Business Card (brand new)
What that means is that you should be able to get this card even if you have (or have had) the Ink Bold Charge card. That means potentially another fee-free first year and another sign-up bonus. If you are able to meet the spending requirements and get the full sign-up bonus for both cards then that is a total of 100,000 bonus Ultimate Reward points from those two credit card sign-ups. Those Ultimate Reward points can transfer 1:1 to United, Hyatt, British Airways, Marriott, Priority Club, and more.
If you don’t already have one of these Ink cards, I would get one as soon as you can. These are both business cards, but almost everyone I know has their own money making business, they just may not realize it at first as they don’t always think of it in that manner. Many of my friends buy and sell stuff from garage sells, on Etsy, on eBay, etc. Heck, one of my friends is even a fishing guide, but he often doesn’t think of it as a business (even though it produces income) since it is also a hobby. Point being, most people really can get a business card. Just apply as a sole proprietorship with your name as the business name and using your SSN. I got my first business credit card using this blog way back when it was still very much just a hobby, and I still got approved.
I would then keep the first Ink card that you get for close to a year. When your fee-free year is coming to an end, I would get the other card to essentially get two fee-free years. Of course, if you can meet the minimum spending requirements, and need/want the bonus points faster, you don’t have to wait a year between getting two different Ink cards. I just think for most people that spacing them out about a year apart will be a pretty good decision. As of right now, that is what I plan to do for myself.
The sign-up bonus just changed for the Ink Bold a couple of months ago, so it seems likely that it will hold steady for a while (though there are never any guarantees). Since the Ink Plus is a new product, it is possible there will be more targeted bonuses sent out for that card, but it is also possible they will keep that bonus pretty much in line with the Ink Bold. That is all just pure speculation on my point. I don’t think it really matters which card you start with, I would just start making the most of the Ink family sooner rather than later, if you aren’t already enjoying the awesome Ink earning potential!
You can read about the experiences people have had getting the new Ink Plus while holding the Ink Bold Charge Card on this Flyertalk thread. I’d love to hear your experiences or strategies here as well!
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