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Sunday Reader Question: Can I Get the Ink Bold and the Ink Plus?

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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Chase Ink credit cards has expired. View the current offers here – Ink Plus, Ink Bold, Ink Cash.  

TPG reader JP wants to get another business credit card (and sign-up bonus!):

“I have a question about a business credit card I would like to apply for. I have the Chase Ink Bold charge card and earned the 60,000-point bonus back when there was a promo. I am ready to apply for another card to build my Ultimate Rewards points now. I was interested in the Chase Ink Plus card and was wondering if having the Ink Bold  will prevent me from earning the 50,000-point bonus on the new Ink Plus.”

The short answer is: yes, you can get both the Ink Bold and Ink Plus. In fact, I have both cards myself and got the sign-up bonuses on both. Having both cards gives small business owners like me a lot of options for maximizing both my credit and the points I earn with my cards.

Each card comes with a 50,000-point sign up bonus (good for you getting in on the 60,000-point bonus in April, JP), so with the two of them, you’re earning 100,000 points off the bat. Just remember with each card you have to spend $10,000 within the first 3 months in order to get that bonus, so you’re looking at $20,000 minimum spending within 3 months at least. Just keep that in mind and don’t bite off more than you can chew. I value Ultimate Rewards points at about 2 cents each, so that 100,000-point bonus is equivalent to $2,000, or at least a 20% return on your minimum spending.

Although these cards are nearly identical, there is one major difference. The Ink Bold is a charge card while the Ink Plus is a credit card. Charge cards give cardholders a lot more spending power, but require full payment every month or else you get hit with high fees and penalties. Credit cards generally have pre-set limits, but if you need to carry a balance, the cost is less (though still not a bargain) – this is still a good option to have as a small business owner so you have the flexibility to carry a balance if you absolutely must.

Both are the “premium” Ink Bold cards in that they have $95 annual fees (both waived for the first year), and accrue points into Ultimate Rewards, which allows partner transfers to United, British Airways, Korean, Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club and Amtrak. Both award 5 points per dollar spent on office supplies/cell phone/internet/landline/TV spend on office supplies (up to $50,000 per year), 2 points per dollar on gas stations and hotels (up to $50,000 annually) and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

If you spend a lot at office stores, you can really start raking in those points with the 5x bonus. Essentially, if you plan intelligently, you can earn half a million (500,000) points at office stores using both cards to their full potential. That’s a lot of free travel!

One more thing to note: even though the Ink Plus is a business credit card, when you apply for it, you will get a little 2-5 point ding on your personal credit score if you’re applying with your own social security number, but once the account is opened it will sit on your business credit report, so it won’t affect your personal credit utilization.

If you get declined, you can always call the business card reconsideration line and ask them to approve you. In my experience, Chase customer service is great and easy to persuade when presented with all the information, so it can’t hurt to try…especially with this many points on the line.

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