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These days big credit card sign-up points bonuses seem to be sticking around, but scoring 50,000, 75,000 and even 100,000 points can often mean having to meet large minimum spending requirements. The good news is that some of the most lucrative cards out there are giving new cardholders more of a fighting chance by lowering the intro APR on purchases and balance transfers to 0%.
Case in point: the Chase Ink Plus. This card is one of the best products and sign-up bonuses on the market right now, offering new cardholders with 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $5,000 spent within 3 months. Those points can then be transferred for high-value redemptions with travel partners including United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean Air, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club and Amtrak. I roughly value those points at 2 cents a piece, so about $1,000 (100,000 points transferred to United is a roundtrip business class ticket to Europe, which I’d gladly pay $2,000 for).
Chase is pretty good about posting points quickly – you can meet the minimum spend immediately and have the points within a month depending on when your statement closes. So if you need the points quickly, that’s good news, but only if you can meet the minimum spending requirement, which might be a bit high for some people.
Making the Ink Plus even more competitive, though, is the intro offer of 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 6 billing cycles, meaning that if you can spend up to the $5,000 minimum, you have a little breathing room before paying it off. It’s even more of a bargain considering the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
Or, if you’re trying to meet the minimum spending requirement on another card, you can make the charges on it and then transfer the balance to the Ink Plus. However, just note that there is still a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, so if you were transferring a $1,000 balance, you would be paying $30 in fees. That would likely negate the value of the points you earned from the initial card, but luckily there is a better option if you are currently running high balances and need some reprieve on internet. The Chase Ink Cash card, which doesn’t earn you points, has an introductory offer of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 6 months (though there is a $5 or 3% fee whichever is higher on balance transfers). Note: Chase won’t let you transfer balances from other Chase cards, so it must be a balance from another issuer.
Still, with a bit of creativity and flexibility, you can really leverage both the Ink cards to give you a little breathing room when trying to complete minimum spends or simply when running large amounts of monthly bills and having some flexibility in paying them off without huge fees.