Chase Ink Bold: One Month Review (3.55 UR points per dollar)

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My first statement for my New Ink Bold business card recently closed.  In my own weird sick world, that is actually really exciting.  For the first time I could see the 5x bonus categories of telecommunications and office supplies at work.  Since I am trying to meet my $5000 minimum spending requirement, I put the majority of my expenses on this card for the month.  In total, my family charged $4211 dollars on the card (it was an expensive month) and earned 14,960 Ultimate Reward points for those purchases. These are points that I can transfer to Hyatt, United, British Airways, Marriott, Korean Air, Priority Club, and more on a 1:1 basis.  In short, they are super valuable and flexible points.  I paid for everything from batteries to domain names to hotel stays to phone line on this card, and I ended up averaging 3.55 Ultimate Reward points per dollar for these very mixed expenses.  You can see the breakdown below.  The “courtesy adjustment” was from an Office Depot online purchase I made through the Ultimate Rewards portal when Office Depot paying out at 10x.  The purchase did not automatically post (which is pretty unusual for the UR portal), but Chase immediately did a courtesy adjustment when I alerted them to the problem.

Application Link: Chase Ink Bold

I bought a few gift cards on the card for anywhere from 5x – 10x.  This was actually super fun and semi-addicting.  I bought a $50 gift card to Outback Steakhouse on the website and received 5x points for the office supply store purchase and 5x from the Ultimate Rewards portal for the purchase.  That comes to 10x for dining at a restaurant that we typically visit about once per month anyway.  Hey, we live in suburbia and Outback is about as good as it gets around here.  10x clearly kicks the pants off of the 2x that I would otherwise get for dining on my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.  Some other gift cards that you can order from in the Ultimate Rewards portal for a total of 10x with your Chase Ink Bold include: Macaroni Grill, Maggianos, Cheesecake Factory, Ruby Tuesdays, Chili’s, and Pizza Hut.  Perhaps the most exciting retailer available at 10x via this method for some addicts will be…….Starbucks.  Hey Gary, you need to re-do this post!  😉  If you visit some of those restaurants anyway, this can be a great way to really maximize your earnings. There are many other non-dining retailer gift card options on that website as well.

We also purchased a $500 Visa gift card from our local Office Depot and earned 5x for that purchase.  We used it all to pay one large bill we had online, and it was just about the easiest 2,500 points we have ever earned.  Were it not for that card, the online purchase would have only earned 1x.  We did have to pay about $5 extra for the purchase of the gift card, so the 2,500 points cost us about $5.  We recently had some more large payments (like what we owed for when Little C visited the ER about a month ago), so again went and got a $500 gift card at a local office supply store for another easy 2,500 points.  I’m not personally a fan of putting every purchase on a gift card, as it is harder for me to keep track of the purchases, and I like some of the purchase protections that come with some of my credit cards.  I also have no desire to get in any potential trouble by solely or primarily using my card for this type of purchase, but there are some purchases (like the balance we owed the ER) that I am more than happy to put on a Visa gift card for the 5x points.

Another reason that I am digging this card is that they just matched me to the 60,000 point offer that was briefly available right before I applied for my card.  I didn’t try to get matched to the offer until now (thanks Delta Points for the push to ask), and they immediately said yes, and the points are already in my account.  So, it is very much worth a sending secure message if you applied in the last 90 days and want to be matched to that higher offer.

The moral of this story is that the Chase Ink Bold is at least as awesome as I thought it would be – in fact, it might be even better than I hoped.  It’s earning power is unparalleled for many.  Even if you never bother with gift cards, almost all families have cable, internet, and phone bills each month that total hundreds of dollars per month.  If your family pays $300 per month in those categories, that is 18,000 Ultimate Reward points per year just for those expenses that you were going to have anyway.  Of course, many folks can earn much more than that with this card.  Heck, we earned just shy of 15,000 points in the first month alone.  There is a $50,000 annual limit for 5x in the categories of telecommunications and office supplies, so don’t think you can get bajillions of points per year at office supply stores, but you can get quite a few.

I know many others were getting their New Ink Bold cards around the same time I did, so what are your thoughts so far if you have the card?  How did you do maximizing the 2x and 5x categories so far?


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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. 🙂 Rock on MP – it is so fun to be a part of TEAM and to help all our readers! And I 100% agree that Chase is just tops on so many levels.

    Now it is time for AMEX to come out with some offers to get back all that we are doing with Chase. 😉

  2. MP, I think you’ve ruminated in the subject before, but could you explain the mechanics of the UR mall? I note that you mentioned it just redirects you to the vendor site, but how does it track your purchases, are the prices the same, etc.

  3. Can ou purchase the Visa gift cards from Office Depot online as well? And does any gift card at Staples meet the criteria?

  4. I paid my $111 parking ticket with the Visa card I bought at Office Depot. And my son’s tutor said she wouldnt mind being paid with gift cards!!!!!!!!

  5. i see nothing on as for staples? well, last month there was google $5 for $10 starbucks gift card deal,
    so for $150 starbucks gift, i paid $75= different emails and cards. Many were virtual cards. lol

    i use my ink bold for ofice , gas cell phone bill and more purchases. If you regularly buy goftcards at same office stores online or in store, YOU ARE JUST ASKING CHASE TO CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNTS, LOSE POINTS AND GET BANNED FOR LIFE! becareful guys with large purchases at same stores.

  6. I’ve been stocking up on Nordstrom gift cards at Office Depot for when I have to buy some business-appropriate clothes. This is great since I really don’t like buying clothes online (particularly clothes that must be tailored), so I miss out on the bonuses.

  7. glad to hear the online purchases at UR are crediting correctly for the 5x Ink office supply merchant category. For some reason with my Freedom, the department store 5x bonuses did not seem to work when I purchased online from UR in the 4th quarter.

  8. @Delta Points, I’m all for a little competition!
    @Susan, as far as I know, Staples is the online shopping portal that gives currently gives points for gcs…at least of the ones I have done.
    @Kadence, yay! My sister does jobs here and there for me sometimes and she accepts gift cards as well! 😉
    @kt, not sure what you mean that you don’t see anything on Just search gift cards. As far as being careful wi
    th this – I agree 100%, that is why in the post I said “I’m not personally a fan of putting every purchase on a gift card, as it is harder for me to keep track of the purchases, and I like some of the purchase protections that come with some of my credit cards. I also have no desire to get in any potential trouble by solely or primarily using my card for this type of purchase”. I very much agree that you need to use the card for a mix of purchases, don’t get greedy. 😉
    @milkchug, I don’t think so, but you could pay other bills with it.
    @Scottrick, nice! You graduation is coming up soon, huh!
    @Carl, did they fix that for you? From my math, all of the purchases I expected to post at 5x and did, and a couple I didn’t expect did as well.
    @milevalue, I likely will be doing the same a few more months down the road. I’ve been loving your posts recently!
    @Mark, no, not right now. Visa is easier for me than Amex and I am only getting them when I have a large purchase right now and then throwing them away, so a re-loadable card wouldn’t make much difference to me. We’ll see if I change my game later down the road.
    @Rick, ha ha. How could anyone not be excited about this stuff? 😉 I think I missed out on a few great opportunities by not hopping in with both feet earlier, but I’m glad to be in now.

  9. to warn you fellow mommy’s kids. One of the new story I heared yesterday is another bad and on going story which is CHASE CLOSED ALL HIS CARD ACCOUNTS. He has united, Hyatt, INk BOld. Was a customer of chase for at least 6 yrs and top customer. without any warnings/letters or phone calls. Chase gave him the middle finger and close his acccounts. He not only lost his 40k already earned points. I asked him what could he has possibly done something with his cards, he said nothing except few $500 gift cards at staples and office depot last couple of months for his graduating son. NO EXPLAINATION and nothing. All he was told was pay the remaining balance on the cards.

    • @Riva, it is important to play nice with Chase for sure. I have heard some stories like that – there is usually something you can figure out that triggered it, but I haven’t heard this story so I have no clue if there is something else to it or not. I do agree with the be careful portion though! I would not want to land on Chase’s bad side. Again, just don’t get greedy (not saying he did – again, don’t know his story). Use your cards for a mix of things. In the end, it is business and if you are costing them a bunch of money I doubt they will want to keep you around forever.

  10. I secure mailed Chase requesting the 60,000 bonus instead of the original 50,000 UR bonus and they quickly replied saying that they would give me 10,000 more UR points. Your suggestion paid off! Thanks!

  11. @Rick in Post #11: Be careful what you wish for. Had MommyPoints or the other spoon feeding bloggers been around back in the “good old days” of the TYPs, I’m willing to bet the TYP deal would have lasted less than 5% of the time it actually lasted.

    And you wouldn’t have had time to drive all the miles on your car to take advantage of the Drivers Edge M/C cuz the deal would have been pulled far before that. Just because you have some discretion when you blog Rick doesn’t mean that other’s do. 😉

    Race to the bottom………………..

  12. @Riva in Post #13: I am going laugh (and cry) the eventual day when all these blog reader newbies get their credit completely ruined and blacklisted for life by certain credit card companies from following all this “expert” advice of the bloggers. Just like with the constant blog pumping of Amex Bump the Bonus with not a second thought regarding the bagholders who would obviously get stuck at the bottom of the pyramid………………maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of their life……….their credit will be ruined.

  13. @gregorygrady, posting about the advertized 5x categories of the Ink Bold in my mind hardly is not showing “discretion”, that isn’t a secret. That said, we all have our own opinions. I am not one to blog about real tricks and secrets that would be shut down if done on a large scale (for that matter – I don’t participate in those sorts of things myself).
    Also, if a person new to miles and points goes out and only makes large purchases of gift cards on their credit card it certainly isn’t because they read here that they should do that. In fact, I am clear that I would not advise doing that. However, utilizing the advertized bonus categories while using some common sense should not result in anyone ruining their credit. That said, you won’t find me laughing at anyone who somehow ends up on the wrong side of the credit card companies, regardless of how they ended up there.

  14. I requested the additional 10,000 UR Points. They approved me for it, though not a direct 10,000. They stated to send a reply to their message once I hit the spending requirement for the 50K offer. So it sounds like I will get the bump. We shall see.

  15. I sent Chase a message using the other/inquiry not listed subject and my request to be matched to the 60k offer was denied. However, I later sent another message and selected rewards inquiry. This time they said they would give me an extra 10k UR after I spent 10k. I was hoping they’d reduce my spend also to 5k, but never look a gift horse in the mouth, right?

  16. @MommyPoints in Post #20: Possibly I should have been more clear, but I was NOT suggesting discretion is neccessary regarding the 5x Ink office supply purchases. Rather I was referring to FTG/Rick’s wish that you were around in the old TYP days. I doubt you bloggers (especially Mr Bowtie) would have had the fortitude to keep it under wraps, and therefore would have destroyed it much sooner simply cuz you all wouldn’t have been able to resist pumping the Citi PPE and Citi Drivers Edge to all who would listen in order to get yourselves more referral commissions from Citi.
    “I am not one to blog about real tricks and secrets that would be shut down if done on a large scale (for that matter – I don’t participate in those sorts of things myself).”

    Cough cough…………….Amex Bump The Bonus…………cough

    BTW, nor will I be laughing at the newbies whose credit is ruined and are blacklisted from certain credit card issuers for life. Rather I will be crying for them, however I will be laughing at you bloggers for putting them in that position (sorry I have a bad habit of lumping in the good bloggers with the bad, if you personally aren’t a culprit, then you can disregard this portion of my comment). 😉

  17. @Cory, congrats!
    @Serion, ha ha. It was worth a shot and congrats no the extra 10K!
    @GregoryGrady, who knows what everyone who is in the blogging game would or wouldn’t have posted then. I know most of us do put thought into what to say and how to say it, but of course, you unfortunately can’t ever please everyone.

    The Amex debacle was certainly a learning experience. It was before I even know I could get credit card referrals, so it certainly wasn’t motivated by that. At the time, it was essentially Amex policy to match offers (much like it is for Chase now), so I don’t think any of us expected for the company to make such a 180 degree turn based on us blogging about what seemed to be standard practice……however, we all know that the Amex iron curtain fell, and fell hard at the end of all that. It wasn’t really posting about a secret – it was sharing what seemed to be company policy. I do have some fear about the same thing happening with Chase, and that is one of the reasons I work that info into a post sometimes instead of doing a separate post. Many people are benefiting from the Chase bump though, so it is a delicate (and subjective) line to walk.

    I’m sure I’ll never do perfect at deciding what to post and not post, but it won’t be for lack of trying. I am glad to hear you won’t be laughing at the newbies if anything goes wrong. I also won’t be laughing at any bloggers who try to share info in the best way they know how. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  18. Regarding what bloggers would or wouldn’t have posted then, I’m pretty sure MMS would have blabbed everything and then the rest of the hat tipping bloggers would have quickly followed in order to get as much CC referral money as possible from Citi. Back in the good old days, the few bloggers around knew better than to expose things that would quickly die, unfortuntely it seems those days are gone.

    The problem with all you newbie bloggers is that you DON’T have the experience, and despite what you might say, I don’t think you think through it much before you post. How can any rational human being expect Amex Bump the Bonus to just go on indefinitely when Membership Rewards is hemmoraging points left and right due to you bloggers egging everybody on to Bump their Bonuses? You ruined it for Amex, and mark my words you will ruin Bump The Bonus for Chase as well sometime fairly soon.

    “Too good to be true” deals (ie, TYP, BumpTheBonus, Mint Coins, etc) are sustainable for only so long. The second you blogs start pushing everybody to jump in, you are in effect killing the deal even more quickly. Let’s see when Chase Bump The Bonus dies. The thing that might keep them alive longer is that the Bump is only usually an extra ~10k UR pts, rather than the ~75-100k Bump that people could get off of Amex before you bloggers killed the deal.

  19. @gregorygrady, well, if it anything like these days, most bloggers rarely post an affiliate link for a Citi card as we usually don’t have the best offers. The public or FT links are the best ones. 😉 On many of the other points, we will just have to agree to disagree as I know many (but certainly not all) bloggers personally, and we do take this very seriously and thoughtfully. We may think differently from one another, but that doesn’t mean we don’t think about what to write and how to write it. I am worried about the longevity of the Chase bump, but the other side of that coin is how many people got many points from Chase and Amex that otherwise wouldn’t have even known to ask. I don’t know the actual number, but I know it was a whole lot of folks who were able to benefit. I hear where you are coming from though, and it is admittedly a tough balance to keep.

  20. Well, I tried this afternoon around 4pm to bump the bonus on the Ink Bold and was denied, so it’s at least starting to die out already.

    It’s frustrating because I actually meant to message them about this a couple of weeks ago, but forgot because things have been so hectic, and now I saw the post and went for it just as it got shut down. Oh well. I’ve never had any luck getting any bonus bumped, it just doesn’t seem to work for me.

  21. I have had many negative experiences with Chase, more than all my others combined. With that being said I think I understand some of their thinking. Once you start racking up a ton of those 5X or more bonuses from buying Visa gift cards or such dont be surprised to get a letter stating the following: your account is closed, we are keeping all of your points, have a nice day. When they offer some of those bonus categories they dont expect you to hit them hard. When you do they will state “card not used as intended” Just a warning out there.

  22. Can Chase find out what exactly I purchased at Office Depot? How do they know that my purchase was for gift cards?

  23. I just got my Ink Class card in the mail. I am going to mix 5% charges like OD, phone with regular charges. Does Chase mind if I use the business card to buy groceries/coffee/clothing? I heard that American Express does like people charging non-business items on the business cards.

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