September 12th, 2013
Update: The Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, and Chase Ink Cash cards are now being issued as Visa cards instead of Mastercards.
This was reported on DDF over the past few days by Achas Veachas, george, Ephcc90, and Solomon.
These cards will participate in the Visa Savings Program instead of Mastercard Easy Savings for instant cash back on top of the already lucrative bonus points offered by these cards.
As far as the new rental car benefits that are coming 11/01, stay tuned.
Originally posted on 09/08:
-The Bold and Plus cards have very generous 50K signup bonuses and all of them offer highly lucrative bonus categories.
-These are business cards, but many people that run businesses probably don’t even realize they run a business. If you sell items on eBay or Amazon you have a business that should have a credit card dedicated for its expenses. Any entrepreneur can get a business card, even if your business is still new. You don’t need a Tax ID number, you can apply as a sole-proprietor with your social security number in the Tax ID field.
-The really great thing about these business cards 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 printed to avoid that, but that takes a lot of effort and laying out money well before you have to.
On a business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.
Some people have reported seeing these cards show up on their personal credit report. They were able to have them removed by sending Chase a secure message. I don’t have any on my report but it’s always good to stay on top of your report in case of mistakes like that. You can get all 3 of your reports free from annualcreditreport.com.
-I’m in the process of opening a new business and I now have 6 active Ink cards split among different businesses. The Ink Plus cards offers the ability to pay over time while the Ink Bold card must be paid in full each month and a business can get both of those cards. By having both I can keep health related expenses (like sole proprietor insurance premiums and health savings account spending) on its own dedicated card.
-Additional user cards are free on Ink cards. For now that means that each additional user can buy $2,600 of fee-free Chase gift cards per month with free shipping though it seems like that option will be going away.
-Effective 11/01 Ink Cards will give primary insurance outside of the USA even on leisure rentals. That means you won’t have to file any claimwork with your own personal insurance. (In the USA it will be primary as well for business related rentals). The language implies that it is valid worldwide except where prohibited by law but I’m told they won’t be able to positively confirm if Israel is covered until 11/01 so stay tuned.
Many other improved benefits kick in 11/01 such as $500 return protection, 120 day purchase theft/damage protection, trip cancellation insurance, price-drop protection, lost luggage protection, trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, travel accident insurance, and roadside assistance.
-You can register your card for Mastercard Easy Savings which gives an automatic cash rebate on top of points. Get 5% cash back on rentals from Avis or Budget, 5% cash back at Wyndham hotels on top of 2 points per dollar, 4% cash back at thousands of participating hotels on top of 2 points per dollar, and 1% cash back on gas from 19,000 station nationwide on top of 2 points per dollar, and much more.
I have actually been receiving the gas rebate even without registering my 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, I list them all in this post.
-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 loaded 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. Points will rack up very quickly that way.
-All Ink cards give 2 points per dollar on gas.
-The Bold and Plus cards gives 2 points per dollar on hotels while the Cash card gives 2 points per dollar on dining.
-The Bold and Plus cards have no foreign transaction fees and they allow you to transfer all of your Chase points to airlines and hotels.
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, have very flexible routing rules, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have a short-haul awards for 10,000 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 25,000 miles round-trip with reduced fuel surcharges with their current award sale.
-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 say, 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 multiple cards from other banks with just 1 credit pull.
I value Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum of 1.9 cents per dollar, so 5 points per dollar categories mean a 9.5% rebate and 2 point per dollar purchases would mean a 3.8% rebate. Of course airline miles and hotel points are best as aspirational awards that you could otherwise never afford, so the sky is the limit on how far you can stretch them!