April 13, 2012
UPDATE: Since this post was written, Chase introduced a new card: the Ink Plus. The Ink Plus is identical to the Ink Bold except that it is a credit card instead of a charge card. That means that with the Ink Plus you are allowed to run a balance from month to month (although I don’t recommend it!) whereas with the Ink Bold you cannot. The instructions below work equally well with any Chase Ink card…
If you’re a regular Frequent Miler reader you probably already know that I love the Ink Bold business card. Like the Sapphire Preferred, the Ink Bold rewards you with Ultimate Rewards points which can be incredibly valuable when transferred (instantly and for free) to airline miles or hotel points. Where the Ink Bold beats the Sapphire Preferred is in the ability to earn points quickly. The Ink Bold offers 5 points per dollar when used for office supplies, phone, and cable bills (for up to $50K in purchases per year).
Who can apply
The Ink Bold is a business charge card so you do need to have a business in order to apply. Examples of legitimate businesses include blogging, owning rental property, consulting, merchandise sales (online or in person), etc.
Now let’s look at how to apply:
Step 1: Find the best bonus offer and click through
Look to my Best credit card offers page to find the best current link. Or, click one of these affiliate links to sign-up:
- Ink Bold® Business Card
- Ink Plus® Business Card
- Ink Cash® Business Card
- Ink Classic® Business Card [expired offer]
The Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards are nearly identical in every way except that the Bold is a charge card whereas the Plus is a credit card. The Classic and Cash cards offer lower signup bonuses and vary a bit in their 2X bonus categories. Also, you need the Bold or Plus (or Sapphire Preferred + any Ink card) to transfer points to loyalty programs such as United, Hyatt, etc.
Step 2: Prefill info
If you already have an online account with Chase, you can have Chase retrieve a lot of info for you. Do this first before anything else since it will cause other entries to be cleared out:
Step 3: Check the boxes
Step 4: Tell Chase about your business
If you already have a well established business, then the answers should be straightforward. If you are just getting started with your business, here are some examples of how to fill this out. These answers assume that you do not have any employees and you operate as a sole proprietorship (which is the most basic form of a business). Use your judgment to answer differently if the examples given don’t match your circumstances:
- Legal Name of Business: If you don’t already have a business name, you can use your own name or take this opportunity to create a name for your business.
- Business Address: Use your home address if you do not have a dedicated business address.
- Type of business: Sole Proprietor
- Annual Business Revenue: 0 (or project an amount based on monthly revenue to-date)
- Tax ID: Use your social security number
- Number of Employees: 1 (you)
- Nature of Business: Other
Step 5: Tell Chase about yourself
- Authorizing Officer: Owner
- Gross Annual Income: An estimate is fine.
The rest you should be able to figure out yourself:
Step 6: Optionally get additional cards
I always leave this part blank.
Step 7: Agree to the terms
Here you agree that you will use the card for business purposes only.
Step 8: Call the reconsideration line
Has anyone ever been approved instantly for a Chase business card? I haven’t. So rather than wait to be contacted or denied, I always call them proactively the day after I apply. The number for the business cards is 800-453-9719. They generally answer quickly (Monday through Friday during business hours). Here are some tips for the call:
- Be honest. if your business doesn’t yet make any money tell them so
- Be sure to mention if this is just a side business and that you also have a real full time job (or a real pension, or a retirement nest egg, etc.).
- Be prepared to negotiate. You may have to move available credit from a different Chase card in order to get a credit line for this one. It helps to know in advance which cards you are willing to do this with. Note that they won’t usually move credit from a business charge card (such as the Ink Bold) to free up credit for another card.
To get an idea of what this conversation might be like, please see “Considering and Reconsidering Ink.” Additionally, here are some questions that you may have to answer (hat tip senti20):
- Tell us more about your business, type, what you do?
- Is this a side business, do you have a full-time job?
- How long have you been in your job? Position?
- Type of income, confirm income from application?
- How much do you plan to spend on the card per month?
Step 9: If not approved, call again
If the first call doesn’t go well, try again. In my case, it had been 5 months since I had applied for the “Ink Old” and the first person I talked to said that I had to wait at least 6 months between applications. So, I called a few days later. The second person I talked to never even mentioned the 6 month requirement. After several questions he approved the card.
Once you get the card, read my blog daily for tips on how to meet minimum spend and how to maximize benefits.