Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus Still the #1 Rewards Card?

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It has been a while since I did “inventory” on my own wallet to determine which rewards credit cards I am really using, which ones I am really not using, and which ones I still want to get in the future.  Recently my husband has been the focus in our rewards card household since he had none until earlier this summer.  However, now that we have gotten him into his own groove, it is time to shift the attention back to the bigger household picture.

This brought up the question, are the Ink Plus® Business Card and Ink Bold® Business Card still the top dogs in our reward card points earning wheel house?

I have cards in my wallet that give great perks when it comes times to redeem, such as the 10% rebate on American Airlines miles using the Citi AAdvantage Visa Signature.  I have cards that are great for earning points to use for lower cost airline tickets that we buy “with cash” like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.  We have cards that get us airline lounge access like the United Club Card or The Mercedes Benz Platinum from American Express.  I have cards that give a good annual perk for having them like the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature.  I even have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card that in addition to being a very solid all around personal credit card, is also a good window scraper in a pinch due to being made out of metal rather than plastic!  We don’t get much ice here near Houston!

I like all the cards we have for various reasons, but after a wallet review, I think still like the Ink Plus and Ink Bold the best.  Meaning, if I could only have one card (ah, the horrors!), it would probably be one of those.  While I still actually have both cards, if (or when) I only have one, it will likely be the Ink Plus since it is a credit card instead of a charge card like the Ink Bold.  While I don’t typically carry balances on my cards, I like the mental reassurances that I could carry the balance on the credit card if I needed to for a bit.

What makes the Ink Bold and Ink Plus my favorites now, are the same reasons they have been for quite a while now.  They earn lots of very valuable points.

Earn Lots of Points:

In addition to the very good 50,000 point sign-up bonus that each card offers after spending $5,000 in the first three months, you can earn a significant number of points every month using this card.  The card pays out 5x Ultimate Reward points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, on internet, on cable and wireless service, and landline communications.  It awards 2x points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually on gas, and on hotel expenses paid directly to the hotel.

Add up your monthly cell phone bill(s), internet, landline bill, and cable bill and then multiply by 5.  That is the amount of Ultimate Reward points each month just by using this card for your reoccurring bills.  Our large iPhone plan (with sister and Grandma also on there), ridiculous TV package (ugh, the repugnant DirecTV football monopoly on Sunday Ticket), home phone, home internet, etc. come to an embarrassing amount each month.  We predominately work from home and have several services, so our amounts may be larger than yours.  Let’s just call it $500 per month for the sake of easy math.  That means those bills I was going to pay anyway net me 2,500 Ultimate Reward points per month, or 30,000 Ultimate Reward points each year.  That is more than enough points for one domestic round trip flight each year just for a few bills that total $500(ish) per month.

Add in the 5x we earn on office supplies and gift cards (Amazon, Shell, Starbucks, Outback, Visa, etc.) we are able to pick up from office supply stores from time to time when needed, and the Ultimate Reward points really start to add up.  The 2x on gas and hotels doesn’t hurt either.  This doesn’t even take into account what you can earn via the online Ultimate Rewards shopping portal.  Bottom line, many people can earn a good amount of points on an ongoing basis with this card without even trying hard.

Valuable Ultimate Rewards:

The points are valuable because they are Ultimate Reward points that transfer to the following partners:

  • United
  • Hyatt
  • British Airways
  • Marriott
  • Southwest
  • IHG Rewards (Priority Club)
  • Korean Air
  • Amtrak
  • Ritz Carlton
  • Virgin Atlantic

The two transfer partners I use on a regular basis are United and Hyatt as it is not that hard to get 1.5 – 2.0+ cents per point value via those two partners.  This has helped us be able to afford some really amazing vacations, including our nights this summer at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and the Andaz Maui at Wailea that cost us 22,000 Hyatt points per night, transferred from Ultimate Rewards.  Both hotels were in the $400+ per night range, so the type of points these cards earn made those stays possible.

Pool at Grand Hyatt Kauai

Pool at Grand Hyatt Kauai

Andaz Maui at Wailea

Andaz Maui at Wailea

Other perks:

There are other perks associated with these card such as no foreign transaction fees when you use your card on purchases made outside the United States, and a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. After the first year, your annual fee will be $95.

You also receive a complimentary annual LOUNGE CLUBTM membership and 2 complimentary lounge visits each year, with access to over 350 VIP airport lounges in over 200 cities worldwide. Enrollment is required and can be done at the linked page above (use invitation code ChaseInk).  Visits after the two complimentary visits, subsequent visits are $27 each.   It is even been written that the Ink Bold and Plus may be offering improved coverage when using it for rental cars beginning in November.

These are small business cards, but this is the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Entrepreneur”, so don’t discount your Etsy shop, photography side business, dog sitting empire, website/blog, Ebay reselling, etc. when considering this card.

Have you done some “wallet inventory” of your own recently?  What is your current favorite rewards credit card?


Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a rewards credit card using one of my affiliate links.  As always, thanks for your support. 

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. It’s hard to believe Mr. Mommy Points doesn’t have rewards cards but under the circumstances, I completely understand. Now that he is eligible, you can expect to earn twice as many points/miles. Between my wife and I, we earned close to 5 million points and miles in the last 6 years or so.

    My favorite cards are Chase Ink and AMEX SPG. Best of luck!

  2. If you have one Chase Ink Plus account but added an employee/auth user, can both cardholders sign up for the Lounge Club? Or is it one membership per card account?

  3. You SERIOUSLY just freaked me out by not listing Southwest as a transfer partner with UR points. I figured I would have heard something if they stopped transferring to Southwest…but you never know in this day and age. BTW, the Southwest transfer is HANDS DOWN the most valuable point transfer partner out of all the ones that Chase partners up with. I basically get 80% off of flights thanks to this partnership

  4. LOVE my Ink card and all the many UR points I am earning. I am not seeing a lot of value in keeping the Chase Sapphire Pref card AND the Ink card, though, so am thinking of closing the CSP. Would love to hear your thought process as you go through your own cards and decide what to keep and what to close. Thanks!

  5. I love the chase sapphire because of 2x on restaurants, including fast food and travel, parking, transportation etc. Also no foreign fees.

  6. My problem with all the coverage of the Ink this year is it leaves those of us without a small business out in the cold. I’m not comfortable stretching the truth as some seem to encourage people to do — I don’t have a small business. So how doing a post re the current favorite card for non-business owners? There are a lot of us out here….

  7. Bit of a curve ball here…Citi ThankYou Prestige. Flight points on tickets purchased, points used for flights = 1.33% and count for status, yearly companion ticket in coach, and my yearly TY point bonus this year will be 25% based on Citi relationship and spend. Yeah, Airport Angel isn’t a great domestic lounge program, but I fly a lot to Asia and the Middle East and the lounges it gets me there are plenty good.

    Really don’t hear much of this card around the travel blogs, likely because TY points are fixed value and not used for reward flights, but I have easily gotten value out of it.

  8. Do you keep these cards despite the annual fee or do you close them prior to the fee being charged? I’m trying to figure out which cards (with fees after the first year) I should keep – if any?

  9. -So sorry for the Southwest overlook! My apologies for the heart attack. 😉
    -I am so glad that he is now “rewards card” eligible. 😉
    -I do keep at least one of the cards despite the fee as I really use the heck out of it and I want to keep a good history with Chase.
    -I also love the Sapphire Pref, and it would be my favorite rec for a personal card for those without a small biz.

  10. I have had an AMEX Skymiles Platinum card for the past 12 years. It has a high annual fee ($150) but i get the “free” ($150) companion pass every year. I keep it because it does save me a couple hundred dollars on a ticket and because i have had it for so long, it helps my credit score. Other than that, i will cancel probably every other card after one year except the Chase Holiday Inn. $49 fee for a free night every year isn’t bad. My husband and i each have one.

    I am staying away from Chase for awhile after getting denied for the Ink Plus 🙁 but i think i will sign my hubby up for the Chase Sapphire early next year and we will probably keep that one to use as our “primary” card in between churn times.

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