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Update: The current offer for the Ink Bold is 50,000 points after you spend $5,000 within 3 months.
Chase just officially launched a new 50,000 point sign-up bonus for their Ink Bold with Ultimate Rewards business card when you spend $10,000 within 3 months and the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
These Ultimate Rewards points, which are the same as the Sapphire Preferred (Personal) points, can be instantly transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Continental, British Airways, Korean Air, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club and Amtrak. Chase is extremely flexible with these programs and allows you to instantly transfer points to other Chase member’s Ultimate Rewards accounts, which allows for maximum flexibility when pooling a group or family of people’s points together to make a trip happen.
The key differences between this and the Sapphire Preferred card (which also has a 50,000 point bonus – Update: offer is now for 40,000 bonus points) are:
The Ink Bold is a charge card, which means there is no pre-set spending limit (which is the flexibility that many businesses require).
The Ink Bold is a business card, which means that it is secured by your personal credit (they will run an inquiry against your SSN), but it will sit on your business line of credit, meaning it won’t show up on your personal credit reports after you get it.
The Ink Bold also has category bonuses:
Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, on cable and wireless service, and landline communications
Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually on gas and hotels
Additionally, the new card will give Priority Pass membership and waive foreign transaction fees.
Additionally, if you have Chase Business checking accounts, having an Ink Bold card attached will waive any monthly fees (so you don’t have to require a minimum monthly balance).
The Ink Bold card also has a bunch of interesting technologies that makes business bookkeeping a lot easier – like automatic categorizing of expenses and electronic receipt keeping – I’ll cover more of those in a future post.
The great thing is that this is a business card, so even if you’ve had a bunch of personal cards from Chase this year, you should be eligible to get this card and the sign-up bonus. You don’t need to be incorporated or have an LLC to get this card – you can list sole proprietership and use your SSN as the Tax ID number. Many people have small businesses – heck this site started out as a sole proprietorship before I made it an LLC when it started growing. In fact I still have an old Chase Business Checking account from the Continental checking account gravy train days.
I’m not recommending people to apply for this card who has no intentions of starting a business, but I can recommend (as a small business owner) that keeping all business finances separate from personal funds is a good thing to do even in the very early stages of creating your business.
Overall, this is a solid deal since these points can be easily combined with your existing Ultimate Rewards points and transferred to all three alliances and hotel partners. Remember, there are some phenomenal awards out there that these 50,000 points can get you – like 2 free nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives or a one-way Cathay Pacific business class ticket to Asia with a stopover in Hong Kong (via British Airways until they change their program November 16, 2011).