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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Chase Ink credit card has expired. View the current offers here – Ink Cash Business Credit Card
From June 16-22 Chase is increasing the sign-up bonus on the Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards to
60,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months and the $95 annual fee is waived the first year. The normal offer is 50,000 points, so this is a nice 20% increase.
The sign-up bonus on the no-annual fee cards is also getting a nice 25% increase – Ink Cash and Ink Classic cards increase from 20,000 to 25,000 points when you spent $3,000 within the first three months.
The Power of Chase Ultimate Rewards
The Ink Bold and Ink Plus allow you to transfer points to United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club and Amtrak. The Cash and Classic are cash-back cards, which means that the points can be used for statement credit/gift cards/travel expenses. However if you also have a premium Ultimate Rewards cards like the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Plus or card you can combine all of your Ultimate Rewards points and then transfer them to partners, making them much more valuable.
Beyond the sign-up bonuses, the Ink cards are great because they allow you to earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services. The Ink Bold and Plus have a limit of $50,000 per year at the 5x rate (1x thereafter) and the Cash/Classic cap the 5x bonus at $25,000.
They also offer 2x points at gas stations and hotel accommodations (when booked directly through the hotel). The Ink Bold and Plus have a limit of $50,000 per year at the 5x rate (1x thereafter) and the Cash/Classic cap the 5x bonus at $25,000.
Value of Ultimate Rewards
Chase sells Ultimate Rewards points for 2.5 cents apiece, but I personally value them at about 2 cents apiece, because I can routinely get at least that much when transferring (instantly) them to my favorite partners United and Hyatt.
United is my favorite, because they are a Star Alliance partner, meaning I can transfer points and then book award tickets on over 30 different partners, like Lufthansa First Class to Europe for 67,500 miles one-way and ~$50-$70 in fees. These flights can easily exceed $4,000 each way so United miles allow me to fly a product I wouldn’t otherwise pay for with cash, which is why I love miles in general. Eating caviar across the Atlantic on a seat you shelled out ~$70 in cash for is a pretty good feeling!
United also has great domestic availability because they partner with Air Canada and US Airways (until they merge with American). I often use 12,500 miles for one-way coach or 25,000 miles for business class tickets New York-Los Angeles, both of which can be very expensive tickets. United is installing all lie-flat beds in their transcon business class and they open up a ton of availability- especially last minute, so being able to transfer Ultimate Rewards have been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.
I love transferring Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt, because it only costs 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points to book at their top tier Park Hyatt properties, which often go for over $1,000 a night. A $1,000 room night at 22,000 points means you’re getting over 4.5 cents per point.
I just transferred 88,000 points to book a 4-night stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney for my first trip to Australia next year, which would have been over $900 a night. I was also able to transfer 44,000 points for two nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives, which was over $1,100 per night. So even though I could have booked a cheaper property if I were paying in cash, being able to transfer my Chase points to Hyatt has allowed me to book top-notch properties that I normally wouldn’t be able to afford.
Sign-up Bonus Value
Conservatively at 2 cents a point, the 60,000-point sign-up bonus is worth about $1,200 in value and the 25,000-point bonus is $500 – pretty incredible since you don’t pay an annual fee for the first year on the Ink Plus or Bold ($95 thereafter) and none ever on the Ink Cash and Classic.
However, even if you don’t transfer the points to partners, Chase allows you to book any flight/hotel at 1.25 cents per point through Ultimate Rewards travel, so the 60,000-point sign-up bonus at a minimum is worth $750. The 25,000-point sign-up on Cash/Class is worth $250 in statement credit.
Which to Get?
If you’ve never had a Chase business card, I’d go for the 60,000 point sign-up on the Ink Plus. The Bold and Plus have nearly identical benefits, except Ink Bold is a charge card (no pre-set spending limit, but you have to pay off in full every month) and the Ink Plus is a credit card (you can pay off over time, albeit with high interest fees). Since I pay off bills every month to avoid huge fees it doesn’t really matter, but if for some reason you ever need to carry a balance, the fees/surcharges are lower on the Ink Plus, so that’s why I’d get that card. I actually have both since I have separate businesses and like to keep my expenses separate.
Chase doesn’t have any published rules on how many cards you can get. You can get more than one Ink card and you will get the sign-up bonus if approved for a card as long as you haven’t had that exact card in the past.
Both cards also give cardholders complimentary Lounge Club membership. It’s sort of like Priority Pass membership where you pay to join and then each time you visit a lounge, you pay a day pass fee. Lounge Club has 350 VIP airport lounges worldwide and membership is priced at $150 per person per year. Ink Bold and Ink Plus cardholders get two free lounge passes per year and then after that, they will have to pay the usual $27 per person per visit fee.
Related Ink Posts:
Top 10 Benefits of the Ink Bold and Ink Plus Cards
A Detailed Look at Ink Bold Benefits You Might Not Know About
Maximizing Chase Ink Bonus Spending Categories
Maximizing the Ink Office Category Bonus Spending
Maximizing the Ink Bold’s 5X Spending Bonuses With Gift Cards
Maximizing Ultimate Rewards With the Chase Ink Cards
Chase Ink: Which Card Is Best For You
Can You Get Both The Ink Bold and Ink Plus?
Ranking the Top Business Credit Cards