This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, Ink Plus, Ink Bold, Ink Cash.
Last Sunday, Chase announced limited-time higher sign-up bonuses on all four Ink cards. 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. 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. These offers are just live until tomorrow, Saturday, June 22, 2013, so if you haven’t done so yet, apply now. I’m not 100% sure when the offer will be pulled down, so if you want to get in on this deal don’t wait around.
I actually just applied for another Ink Plus card yesterday (I already had it and the Ink Bold) for a new small business that I started, so I’m looking forward to a nice points haul myself. Chase doesn’t have any published rules on how many cards you can get or if you can get the same business card for different businesses so it might be possible that 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. I have asked Chase for an official position on this and haven’t heard back yet, so there’s no guarantee, but I will report on my experience, and if you have done this please comment below.
If you are still on the fence about applying and think that 60,000 bonus points isn’t quite enough to entice you since it’s only 10,000 points more than usual, I would just caution you that we don’t know what the post-promo bonus will drop to. It could be just back to 50,000 points, but it could be lower. So don’t just assume “it’s only a 10,000 point bump”, because the sign-up could drop to below 50,000 once this deal is over.
Value of the Offer
In case you’re wondering just what 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points will get you, remember that if you have the Ink Bold or Ink Plus (or Sapphire Preferred) Chase will 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 one or more of those premium Ultimate Rewards cards, you can combine all of your Ultimate Rewards points and then transfer them to partners, making them much more valuable. For ideas on how to use your Ultimate Rewards points best with each partner, check out this post from earlier next week on Ways To Maximize Each Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner and this post where I Rank Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners.
I value Ultimate Rewards points at at least 2 cents apiece – though I usually get much more value out of them when transferring them to United, British Airways and Hyatt – so each Ink Bold/Plus bonus alone is worth over $1,200 in my estimation – especially since their $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
For examples of what I mean, check out this week’s Maximize Monday post on What Will 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Get You? including how to use them for business class tickets to Europe and Asia on carriers like Lufthansa, ANA and Singapore; expensive short-hauls on British Airways and partners like American; upgrades on Virgin Atlantic, and some ultra-expensive premium Hyatt redemptions.
Other reasons I love the Ink cards are their bonus spending categories – which really allow you to rack up tons of bonus points. You 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.
So which one should you 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. Not only that, but just in case I need to negotiate the credit lines I have with Chase to get my application approved, it will be easier to do so with the Ink Plus since the bank can preset its spending limit, which it will not with the Ink Bold.
For more background on the Ink cards, why they can be such valuable travel credit card products, and how to make the most of Ultimate Rewards points, check out these 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
If you’re going to do a round of applications because of these offers, here are the other current top bonuses to keep in mind.
- Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express: Update: As of October 29, 2013 there is no current sign up offer for this card.
50,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months. $175 annual fee waived first year.
- Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card from American Express: 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months. $475 annual fee.
- Delta Platinum Business Amex: 30,000 miles when you spend $500 in 3 months. $150 annual fee.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
- Barclaycard Arrival: 40,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. $89 annual fee waived the first year.
- British Airways Visa: 50,000 Avios when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. $95 annual fee.
- Starwood Preferred Guest Amex: 25,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 6 months. $65 annual fee waived the first year.
- Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio after $2,500 in eligible purchases within 4 months of account opening. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
- Club Carlson Rewards Premier Visa Signature: 85,000 Gold Points when you spend $2,500 in 90 days. $75 annual fee.
- Freedom: 10,000 points when you spend $500 in 3 months. $0 annual fee.