June 22nd, 2013
Update: The increased bonus offer is now dead, though these cards remain excellent thanks to their bonus categories and still generous signup bonus.
Originally posted on 06/16:
The Chase Ink business cards are some of the best credit cards out there.
This week only (through 06/22) you can earn additional bonus points for signing up for them.
Several forum members that got an Ink card in the past months are already reporting that they have been matched to the new offers by sending a secure message or calling the number on the back of their cards.
Here is a chart with the differences between these cards.
|Signup Bonus||Normally 50,000, now 60,000||Normally 50,000, now 60,000||Normally 20,000, now 25,000|
|Spend Threshold||$5,000 in 3 months.||$5,000 in 3 months.||$3,000 in 3 months.|
|Type of card||Charge Card: Pay off in full every month.||Credit Card: Can be paid back over time.||Credit Card: Can be paid back over time.|
|Annual Fee||None for the first year, then $95||None for the first year, then $95||None|
|Points transfer into miles?||Yes||Yes||No, but they can be transferred if you or your spouse also has a Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Sapphire Preferred|
|Annual limit for 5 point per dollar categories||$50,000 of spending.||$50,000 of spending.||$25,000 of spending.|
|Double point categories||Gas and Hotels||Gas and Hotels||Gas and Dining|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||0%||0%||3%|
|APR for purchases and balance transfer.||N/A||13.24%||0% intro APR for 6 months then 13.24%|
The really great thing about business cards from banks like American Express and Chase is that they don’t report your spending on your personal credit report.
On personal cards if you spend money on your card your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes a lot of effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a few dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month.
On a business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due and even max out your line without it having a negative effect on your score. Plus if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.
On a card like Ink Cash with 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for 6 months you can owe money without having any negative effect on your credit score.
Benefits on all Ink cards:
All of the Ink cards offer 5 points per dollar on internet/cable service and telecom purchases, so that’s a nice rebate when you purchase a new cell phone and off your cable bill.
They also earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores. There are hundreds of gift cards sold by office supply stores.
-Upgrading at your local carrier’s store to an iPhone or Galaxy S4? 5 points per dollar.
-Buying gift cards for gas? 5 points per dollar plus you’ll pay the lower cash rates at the pump.
-Buying gift cards for Amazon, Gap, Groupon, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, TJMaxx, etc? 5 points per dollar.
Plus you can buy $200 Visa gift cards that earn 1,000 points and can be uploaded to Bluebird or used for cash back, bill pay, money orders, etc. Or you can use them for everyday spending thereby getting 6-7% back on everything you buy anywhere via the Visa gift cards.
You can also buy Chase gift cards for free with free shipping.
Chase Ultimate Rewards offer instant and fee-free transfers to top-notch mileage and points programs at a 1:1 ratio.
Transfer partners include:
-United (Star Alliance) is one of the best mileage currencies around. They never charge fuel surcharges, they allow free date changes, they have very flexible routing rules, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have a short-haul awards for 20,000 miles, they allow for a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips if you play your hand well, they have an around-the-world award to visit tons of cities on one award ticket, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
-British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards. Just 9,000 miles for a round-trip zone 1 or 15,000 miles for zone 2 short-haul award. The zone 3 award for 25,000 miles round-trip can also be a bargain, for example for flights between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands or between Boston and Ireland with no fuel surcharges. Flights to Israel on Air Berlin are 60,000 miles with no fuel surcharges. They allow one-way awards for half the mileage. There are no close-in or expedite fees. You can cancel an award for as little as $2.50. Infants are only charged 10% of the miles on international trips instead of 10% of the full fare like US carriers charge. Plus they don’t collect fuel surcharges on AA within the western hemisphere, on Qantas within Australia, on Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Alaska, or LAN and you can transfer points to Iberia to limit fuel surcharges there as well.
-Korean (Skyteam) offers unbeatable first class availability (A380 First Class Trip Report here) and they also have true bargains on partner travel, just 30,000 miles to fly round-trip on Hawaiian or Alaska to Hawaii in coach or 60,000 miles in first. And it’s just 20,000 miles to fly to Alaska in coach or 40,000 miles in first. You can even get a free stopover on the way to or in Alaska!
-Southwest offers a value of about 1.95 cents per point towards award travel. Plus if you prefer points can be transferred to Airtran for flat-rate awards like business class upgrades or free tickets at a flat rate instead of a rate that corresponds to the ticket price.
-Virgin Atlantic has some niche uses like a one-way ticket from the US to London for 13,000 miles+$98 in fees with their current award sale. The return trip from London direct to the US will encounter those rip-off UK APD fees, so better off returning from elsewhere in Europe to avoid those if possible. A one-way London to Paris ticket is just 4,500 Avios+$22 in fees.
-Hyatt is one of my favorite hotel award program. You can stay in fantastic world-class hotels that normally cost $1,000 per night or $2,000 per night in a suite for a maximum of 22,000 points in a regular room or 33,000 points in a suite. Award nights start at just 5,000 points. Plus you can funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak.
The beauty of miles over points or cash-back:
The great thing about being able to transfer points into airlines or hotels are the incredible values you can attain.
-A first class ticket to Hawaii can cost $4,000 but you can use 60,000 miles for that same ticket, a value of 6.7 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 400,000 points per ticket.
-A last minute ticket or a ticket where you don’t stay for 3 nights from New York to Cleveland costs $1,200 in coach but just 9,000 miles. That’s a value of 13.3 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 120,000 points per ticket.
-A first class ticket to Asia can cost $20,000 but you can use 135,000 miles for that same ticket, a value of 14.8 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 2,000,000 points per ticket.
-A night at a Park Hyatt in Paris, Sydney, or the Maldives can run $1,100 with tax but you can use 22,000 points for that room, a value of 5 cents per point. If you were using Capital One points you would need 110,000 points per night.
And that’s all besides for the fact that getting a Capital One card costs a minimum of 3 credit pulls whereas you can get 3 or 4 Chase or American Express cards with just 1 credit pull.
I value Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum of 1.9 cents per dollar, so 5 points per dollar purchases mean a 9.5% rebate. 2 point per dollar purchases would mean a 3.8% rebate.
Yes, the Ink cards are business cards. But you may be already running a business that qualifies for a business cardand there are several huge advantages that business cards have over consumer cards as you can read here.
For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items on Ebay or on Amazon, or if you have any other side business/hobby and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business name. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field as well as in the social security number field.
If you do run more than one business you can get the same card for each business.