Ink Is Beautiful

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The Chase Ink cards are some of the most powerful tools in any mileage junkie’s arsenal.  They are truly a must-have.

-Chase Ink Plus Card Linky
-Chase Ink Bold Card Linky
-Chase Ink Cash Card Linky

Many people don’t even realize that they can get a business card. If you or your spouse have any business, side business, or even if you are just in the planning stages of a business you can get a business card.  For example if Joe Smith sells items or wants to start selling items online and wants a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures he can 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.

Here are some of the reason that Ink Is Beautiful:

1. The signup bonus.
Both the Ink Bold and Ink Plus offer a very generous 50,000 point signup bonus for spending $5,000 in 3 months.  The $95 annual fee on those cards is waived for the first year.
Not only that, but you can have the same card at the same time for different businesses, each with their own signup bonus.

The Ink Plus and Ink Cash cards are credit cards that can be paid off over time if needed.  The Ink Bold is a charge card that must be paid off in full monthly.

The Ink Cash card has no annual fee and a 20,000 point signup bonus for spending $3,000 in 3 months. It says $200 cash back but that’s just because you can use the 20,000 points for $200 cash back. I sure hope you don’t.

2. 5x points on telecom.
You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on internet/cable service and landline/cellular purchases.  That’s a nice rebate when you purchase a new cell phone and off your telecom/internet bills.

3. 5x points on office supplies.
You’ll earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores.
Office supply stores like Office Max, Staples, and Office Depot sell gift cards to hundreds of other stores. You can click here to view a list I compiled last year.

By buying gift cards you can get 5 points per dollar at hundreds of places you shop at anyway, including Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond/Buy Buy Baby, Marriott (You can even use these to cater a wedding!), Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Whole Foods, and hundreds of others.

Plus Office Max and Staples accepts credit cards for Visa prepaid gift cards.  Even when there isn’t a sale the 5 points per dollar easily is worth more than the $6.95 fee on a $200 gift card.  But they often go on sale where they sell them for less than the $200 face value AND you get the 5 points per dollar.  They can be loaded onto Bluebird or just used anywhere you shop and you’ll still come out ahead.

On the Ink Plus or Bold card you can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $50,000 of spending per cardmember year per card.
On the Ink Cash card you can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $25,000 of spending per cardmember year per card.

4. Earn 5x points on Charity?

Your local school or other charity will be more than happy to accept donations of Amazon gift cards for supplies or any other useful gift cards for chinese auctions, raffles, fundraisers, etc.

They will give you a tax deductible receipt for the full face value-the price you paid for the gift cards.  And at the same time you’ll earn 5 points per dollar.  So while doing good you can still get a nice chunk of points and you’ll save on your taxes.  Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

5. Cash back on top of points.

Ink cards used to be issued as Mastercards though now they are all Visa cards.

Programs like Mastercard Easy Savings and the Visa Savings Program offer cash back on top of points at select stores just for registering your card.

For example with an Ink Visa you’ll get an additional 1% cash back on top of 5 points per dollar every time you spend $200 or more at a Staples store or online.  That makes gift cards even more lucrative!

With Visa you’ll also get cash back on top of 2 points per dollar at several gas stations and hotels.  You’ll even get a 4% cash rebate at Alamo and National rent a car.

With Mastercard you’ll 5% cash back at Avis or Budget and cash back at 19,000 participating gas stations nationwide on top of 2 points per dollar.

6. Double point categories.
The Bold and Plus cards offer 2 points per dollar for spending on gas and hotels.
The Cash card offers 2 points per per dollar for spending on gas and dining.

7. Free lounge visits.
The primary cardholder and additional cardholders (which are free!) can each get a free Lounge Club membership that allows access 2 free lounge visits per year.

There are participating lounges all across the globe.

A recent addition to Lounge Club is the new Art & Lounge in Newark. That lounge is intended for use by El Al business and first class passengers and offers exclusively kosher food. With a Platinum card you can get unlimited free access to this lounge.

8. No foreign exchange fees.

The Ink Plus and Ink Bold cards have no fees for using their cards when abroad. Just opt to pay in the local currency and you’ll always get the best exchange rate with no fees.

9. Spending won’t hurt your credit score.
The really great thing with 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 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 an Ink 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. That makes life a lot simpler.

Plus if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

10. A year of 0% APR

The Ink Cash card offers a full year of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers.  So do many other cards.  The difference is that because spending on the Ink cards won’t show up on your credit report (unless you’re delinquent), carrying a balance on an Ink card won’t hurt your credit score like it will on other cards.  The 0% APR is just icing on the cake.

Note that there is a one-time 3% balance transfer fee. If you want a card with 0% APR and no fees for balance transfers you’ll want to look into Chase Slate which gives 15 months of 0% APR. However that is a consumer card, so carrying a balance there will hurt your score.

11. The Chase Trifecta.

Years ago I coined the term “Chase Trifecta.”

It refers to having a:
-Chase checking account
-A Chase Freedom card
-Either a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, a Chase Ink Plus card, or a Chase Ink Bold card.

The reason is that the Chase Freedom is a very generous no annual fee card thanks to its rotating 5 point categories (such as gas stations, restaurants, etc).  Plus if you have a checking account you’ll even get an annual 10% bonus making those 5.5 point categories and making all purchases earn 1.1 points per dollar.

The problem is that Chase Freedom points can’t be transferred into much more valuable airline miles and hotel points.  To rectify that either you or your spouse has to have either a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, a Chase Ink Plus card, or a Chase Ink Bold card.  That way you can transfer the Freedom points to one of those cards and from there into airline miles or hotel points.

12. Chase UR points are still awesome.

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 still an excellent currency, even after their devaluation last month.  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, 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. Read more in the BA knowledgebase. Next week you’ll have access to book USAirways flights with Avios. See 102 places you can go to nonstop from NYC with Avios.
Korean (Skyteam) offers the best first class availability of any airline in the world (777+A380 First Class Trip Report here), it’s truly incredible.  Did you know that they fly to 13 US cities as well as Tel Aviv and the Maldives?  They also have amazing 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 award travel without capacity controls, though the value per point will dip effective 03/31. It will still offer a great value for award flights and they don’t charge for changes or cancellations. Plus you get 2 free checked bags and you can even get a point refund if the price of your flight goes down. You can also transfer points 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. From Airtran they can even be converted back into the old Southwest program that also offers flat rate awards.
Virgin Atlantic has some niche uses like discounted awards on Delta and Cyprus Air.  For example a round-trip from Tel Aviv to Cyprus is just 5,000 miles!
Hyatt is a powerful hotel currency. They have added a new cash and points option that offers some excellent values and more importantly those stays earn points, elite stay credits, promo credits, and you can use suite upgrades on cash and point stays as well.  It remains far less expensive for high-end hotel stays than any other hotel program, a $1,500/night villa at the Park Hyatt Maldives would run just 25,000 points or 12,500 points+$150.
You can also funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak. I’ve never been on an Amtrak in my life, but some people have reported getting some really nice bargains on Amtrak travel via their program.

When you use your points for travel you can get far more value out of them than when you sell them or cash them out.  It’s easy to get an insane value from your points when flying in business or first class or staying in 5 star resorts.  But even when you are in a pinch and need a last-minute ticket, a one-way ticket, or a ticket with stopovers in several cities, you can do far better using real miles than booking with cash or proprietary bank points that directly correlate with the cash price of the travel.  That $1,200 last-minute coach ticket would cost 120,000 Capital One points versus 9,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

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68 Comments On "Ink Is Beautiful"

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“For example a round-trip from Tel Aviv to Cyprus is just 5,000 miles!” plus fuel surcharge


Incorrect, taxes only.


“You can also funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.” Is this elaborated on anywhere?


Thinkin of applying but should I wait till 60 offer? Do you think it will come back?


My brother told me not to open chase because they closed his and alof of frum people’s cards.

Why bother?


Chase doesn’t want to give me ink cards. They say I have a lot of business cards. I only have amex business cards.



Haven’t seen that offer since last year’s small business week.

If they do offer it again for small business week that will be May 12-16:

Chase will match any better offer for 90 days, so you would be covered if they do offer 60K again that week.

Right, because Chase doesn’t like frum people 🙄

People that violate the rules get shutdown. I wrote what not to do during the peak of that hyteria:

Since then people have gotten smarter and we rarely hear of shutdowns.

Plus Chase has had a change of heart and most people who lost points have found that the points are back in their accounts when they login on

Did you HUCA their business reconsideration or try to SM them?
If you pay your bills on time there’s no reason they wouldn’t want to capture your business from AMEX. You can even offer to close your AMEX card on the spot to get approved for a Chase card 😀




Hi Dan,

I need to close my Gold card …
Where do you suggest i should send my MR points before i close the card?


Depends on your travel patterns, needs, how many points you have, etc.
There is no one size fits all answer.


If i run 2 seperate busineses both as sole proprietor under my ss#, can i apply for both ink cards for both business names even though its all under the same ss#?


Dan from the t&c it seems as if you would not earn 5x points on the purchase of the actual phone
“You will earn 1 point for each $1 of Net Purchases. You will earn an additional 4 points for each $1 of Net Purchases made in any of the following categories: internet, cable, and phone services (excluding equipment purchases)”


once I need to pay AF on ink, not sure if its worth it.
I assume will be hard to re apply for B,M again, agree?
and they will ask: why did u close?


Just applied and did not get a approved and I called in they say there is nothing to do any idea if there is a way to get approved ?
Have a amex gold platinum chase freedom a shappire
Anything to do ?


Yes. I have done that myself.

Ts and Cs can say whatever they want. But I have bought cell phones from cell phone stores and always gotten 5x points.

They have no idea if you’re paying for service or your bill.

There is no fee the first year.

I’m not sure how you called in as last I checked business reconsideration isn’t even open on a weekend. Though that’s probably why they couldn’t help you.

You can also send an SM. Or wait until tomorrow and offer to shift over credit from your personal cards.


I have seen by tmobile store that they have a tmobile visa prepaid card that you can purches in 500 increments and pay for with a credit card and the upside is if youre a tmobile customer you dont pay purchase fee and you can withdraw the money from an atm with no fee as well the question is if that would qualify as telecom. I once contacted chase and asked them if I buy a cellphone would I get 5 points per dollar and they said no


There’s no point in knowing or asking about rules.
Experience and trial and error is the only thing that counts.

I would assume you would earn 5 points per dollar. Will have to go try it out myself 🙂


@Dan: as of late though chase business has been much tougher, even a retaliative of mine who has been a chase customer for 20+ year had to huca multiple times to get a bushiness card.


HUCA isn’t the end of the world. I HUCA all the time, it’s a way of life 😀


I know that regarding t&c they usually don’t enforce it, I was referring to the fact that if you bought a new iPhone through apple, Or a nexus through google play store, you would probably not get the bonus points because they know ur buying the equipment, as opposed to when you buy it through your carrier when they just see it as part of your phone bill.
(Thanks for moderating my earlier comment, inadvertently hit submit before formulating my point)


@Dan: I’ll try it too. Nothing will make me happier than to see this as the next big dans deals trick. (Don’t forget to mention me if it works lol)


whats about car rental insurence in israel?


dan, i received a very disappointing letter from chase this week. apparently, since i opened my checking account on dec. 19th, AFTER my december closing statement, which is the 6th, i will not be getting a 10% dividend on my 2013 Freedom purchases. crazy. i specifically opened it BEFORE the 31st, as per your instructions, to ensure the dividend. any suggestions??


Correct, you would have to buy the phone from your carrier as they are categorized as telecom.

Apple isn’t telecom.

All Chase cards provide free car rental primary coverage in Israel!

I SM’d Chase and they told me it just needs to be open by 12/31.

Additionally look at the language from the Freedom card application where it’s clear,
“Your Chase checking account must be open, and your Chase Freedom card account must be open and not in default, at the end of the Year.”

I would SM and HUCA for sure. Attach screenshots from the Freedom app details:

Dan's the man

Dan, asides from the initial sign up bonus is it a good idea to just have freedom, ink cash, and sapphire preferred? This way I only pay 1 annual fee but can still transfer points or book travel with the 20% bonus. This make sense?

I had the Ink bold, got the 50K sign up bonus, then when the annual fee was coming up I canceled it and got the Ink Cash and got the 20K bonus and plan on keeping it since it still gives 5% on internet, phone, & office supply.

My plan make sense?

Dan's the man

@meny: All Chase cards now offer it. Just get written confirmation both for yourself so you know it’s for sure covered and in case the car rental company asks for proof. Just keep in mind the no fee Chase cards charge a 3% foreign transaction fee the fees with annual fees generally don’t (such as the saphirre preffered).


@Dan: When I called they quoted me 5k miles plus 150 euro. may be taxes are so high.


@Dan’s the man:
Depends if you need to spend when abroad in which case you’d want the bold or plus.
And if you spend more than 25K ($2K/month) at office supply stores.

Why not get the Ink Plus when you’re done with the Bold?

Several DDFers have booked it for 5K miles round trip plus $49 in tax. It’s a real steal.

I’d definitely HUCA that one.


I went thru your list of stores that sell gc’s. I thought OD doesn’t take cc for them anymore.

Also is the only we to cash out a one vanilla thru loading it to bb at wm?


OD doesn’t take credit card for Vanilla cards, but they do for other GCs.

There are other ways, such as money orders, AP, etc. But BB at WM is an easy one.


I’ve huca’d & sm them. I never paid a bill late in my life. The only thing I could think of is I put my income under 25,000. But they never mentioned that as being a reason.


Dan, can you transfer points from a chase freedom card to your siblings’ chase ink card or does it have to be your spouse’s?


I have a new business (opened LLC but did no business as of yet, so no income or expenses) am I better off putting in EIN or SS#?


That is pretty low to get an Ink card and that’s probably the reason.

Don’t forget that you are allowed to include all household income when applying. If there is income you left off you should call back.

Officially just spouse.
Though on the Ink card is can be anyone in the business, AUs on the card, etc.

I don’t think it matters.


@DansDeals Your mention quite often to SM which I figured out means to secure message. My question is how do you secure message? Thank you


It’s in your account online, see end of this post:


I’ve had much better experience with amex. I’ve never been declined & in the past I’ve put as low as 12,000 annually.


Does someone have to have excellent credit in order to have this card? Or can it be used to build up credit if never had a credit card before?

Amazon Gift Cards

Hi Dan,

Can Amazon Gift cards only be bought in store for Staples and Office Max?

Losing sapphire and ink


I plan on closing my Ink Plus and Sapphire Preferred in a few months in order to avoid the annual fees that are coming up. What will happen to my ultimate reward points, and what do you suggest?

PS I will still have my Freedom card
PPS I got denied an application for the Bold card

yitzy pitzy

Hello Dan.I have a sapphire preferred card & a ink cash card.witch combo of cards would you suggest to keep? ink cash +SP OR ink bold i only wanna pay 1 annual fee.Ty


Chase sapphire annual fee went up to 149$ after the first year


Hi Dan,
I applied for the plus and bold. Recon approved me for 1 but not for the other. Every time I call the rep tells me that they see that I already tried with other reps and because I opened up to many personal cards last year they are not willing even to transfer credit from another card. It seems like the HUCA method is no use, for they have it all in front of them. My history with them is great. You once wrote that you got several of these cards for multiple businesses, wondering how you pulled that off. Do you have any ideas on how to try to get the card approved?


@yitzy pitzy: Don’t pay any annual fee. I would get the bold and plus. when the yr of sapphire is up down grade it to freedom and get another sapphire. when bold and plus yr is up try to down grade to the cash, or use them as leverage to get 2 others 🙂


Dan thnk you very much I love your blog


There are easier options out there,

@Amazon Gift Cards:
In-store only.

@Losing sapphire and ink:
You can hold them in your Freedom account for free or transfer them anywhere you want now.

Still $95 with this link:

Have you tried SM?

Glad you enjoy!


Dan to me it makes more sense using sapphire pref. then INK because of the additional 7% annually it really adds up on general spending, what do you think?


I am new in the country trying to build up credit score. It’s at about 650 now, i applied for the card and got turned down.
Do I need to wait till my credit climbs into the 700s before trying again?
Do you have any suggestions? ( annual income is around 40g per annum)

Losing Sapphire and Ink


1. When I move my Ultimate reward points to my freedom account,do they “downgrade” to Freedom Points, or do they remain Ultimate reward points with the ability to transfer to Hyatt etc.?

2. I missed the spend threshold deadline for the 20,000 Freedom signup you posted by 4 days. Any suggestions besides HUCA to get me the bonus? I tried Secure message but they wouldn’t do it.



If you have Chase checking then Freedom earns more than Sapphire for everyday purchases.

Ink is awesome for the signup bonus, the 5x spending, and everything else in this post.

I wrote how to start building credit up here:

@Losing Sapphire and Ink:
1. It’s all Ultimate Rewards points. But Freedom can’t transfer to airlines/hotels, only Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold can do that.

If you or your spouse gets one of those 3 cards in the future then you can transfer again.



I applied for the ink and the declined me because they want a copy of articles of income or business license
and verification of identification number. why are they asking me for it?


If they’re asking you for that you didn’t follow the directions in the post.
You should have applied as a Sole Proprietorship and your social security number.

Losing Sapphire and Ink:


1. Thanks!
2. Lol!


” recent addition to Lounge Club is the new Art & Lounge in Newark”

Do I need to be flying that day and show boarding pass to gain access or can I go anytime with lounge card


Hi Dan,

Thanks for all your wonderful help.

In this posting, you mention that “Flights to Israel on Air Berlin are 60,000 miles with no fuel surcharges. They allow one-way awards for half the mileage.”. I have tried for days and days now, but I cannot see that this still exists. As far as i can see, there are no longer any direct frights on Air Berlin from NY to TXL or DUS, you must go through LHR. Once you do that, as you have often written, the added charges make it prohibitive to use Avios. I carefully read your “primer” and tried myself all kinds of combinations, but nothing gets me away from those extra charges that make a ticket using Avios on AB cost on the order of 80,000 AVios + about $500. I even tried seeing if I could use Avios through Iberia which is also a World Alliance partner, so that I would not have to go through London, but came up with similar results.

If in fact it is still possible to go to “Israel on Air Berlin are 60,000 miles with no fuel surcharges.” please tell me how. I am making a wedding this summer and need to bring three people from Israel – Help!

Thanks so much


You shouldn’t need anything besides your lounge club card.

News to me:

Summer award availability is always tough, just need to find available dates,


1. Went to MC link for ink, no mention of staples. where would it be listed?
2. Had same research as Leonard, Cant do avios to TLV using AB. Can only do TXL-TLV with AB. Crossing the ocean would default to BA, hefty tax. Dan, if you figure out how this could be done, would be eager to hear.
3. Any other low miles low tax NYC-TLV with ink?
4. best low miles NYC-LAX?


i have the slate, freedom, and sapphire. (i also have a checking with chase)

i would like to open an Ink and i think cash would be the best option because i don’t plan on spending abroad. my question is- should i close my sapphire and get the sp preferred? i didn’t want to open the preferred because of the annual fee. what are the pros and cons??


Does Korean have domestic availability linked to any US airlines? operated by?
NYC-LAX no saver seats for memorial weekend, so before open Korean ac and transfer, need to know how to see if any availability.


I’m looking into flights for the summer and on Avios I’m not seeing any options come in for Air Berlin, and for many dates no options at all. I’d like to find that 60k point deal with Air Berlin.


How many pulls if I apply for chase business and personal same day?


I have chase Business Ink,Bold & Personal United Milage plus explorer.
My wife has Business Ink & Saphire Preferred.
I also have a chase checking acct on my name only.
What do I need to have and do in order to qualify for those bonuses od 10% and rotating categories? Do I need the Chase freedom for that and can I downgrade any of these to have that?

chana k

As written today in DDF, the Ink also has travel insurance for weather related, 12 hour or longer, delays.

reply 889


@dan or any1 else that can help. I got rejected for the citi aa 100k deal because of “credit score” do u think its worth fighting over or is that a losing battle?!!?


Yitz, wont work. drop it. life moves on.


do they usually tell you right away if you are approved?
they told me I will see it in the mail, what does that usually mean ?


@Dan: Did an 2BM for Chase Slate and Chase Freedom thinking that its my best option considering that I have a bank account with them.

Got the decision pending screen and called reconsideration immediately.

On the first call (slate card), they asked a few verification questions about me and my chase account. After a few minutes, I was approved for $4800

I decided to press my luck and call again for the freedom card.

The rep asked me why I have 2 applications in and I told him that I wanted the Slate card to transfer a higher percentage balance over and that I wanted the freedom card for the points, etc…..

He proceeded to transfer me to another rep who also ran through some verification questions and subsequently approved me for $4000 on the Freedom card.

Thanks for all the info here. I probably wouldn’t have gotten these if it wasn’t for the site.

How long do you think I should wait before applying for an Ink business card?