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There is no question that rewards credit cards are the #1 undisputed way for most of us in the US to earn miles and points. With most cards you can only get the sign-up bonus once, or at least only once every few years. Because of that it is very important to strike when the iron is hottest on sign-up offers if you want to maximize your points earnings, and right now the iron is hot on the Ink cards. However, time is running short since the increased bonuses end on Saturday June 22nd - update extended until Monday June 24th! Since my site is about to be “frozen” for the next few days as it moves to a new host, I wanted make sure to address the common Ink-related questions before that happens so no one accidentally misses out.
Is the one week only increased sign-up offer really worth all the fuss?
60,000 Ultimate Reward points after spending $5,000 in the first three months is the best public sign-up bonus I can remember for the Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus. I think 60,000 points are easily worth at least $1,000 if used wisely, and the 10k increase over the standard bonus is worth close to $200 by itself in my view. In my mind it is a pretty big deal!
What are the differences in the four Ink cards?
The four different Ink small business cards are:
Ink Plus® Business Card: 60k Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 in three months. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. This card is a credit card which means you have the choice to pay over time or pay in full each month.
Ink Bold® Business Card: 60k Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 in three months. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. This card is a charge card which means you pay the balance in full each month.
Ink Cash® Business Card: Earn $250 bonus cash back (aka 25,000 Ultimate Reward points) after you spend $3,000 in 3 months from account opening. This card has no annual fee.
Ink Classic Business Card: Earn 25,000 Ultimate Reward points after you spend $3,000 in 3 months from account opening. This card has no annual fee.
All four cards earn 5x at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services, but the annual max for the 5x bonus in those categories is $50,000 for the Ink and Plus and $25,000 for the Cash and Classic. The Ink Bold and Ink Plus earn 2x at gas stations and for hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel up to the first $50,000 annually. The Ink Cash earns 2x on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants, and the Ink Classic earns 2x on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and for hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. The Ink Bold and Ink Plus have no foreign transaction fees while the Classic and Cash do have foreign transaction fees.
What types of businesses can get these cards?
Obviously only Chase knows the exact approval details, but I know of blogs, dog walking services, Etsy shops, eBay businesses, and more that all have these small business cards.
If I have the Ink Bold can I get the Ink Plus?
They are different cards – and I personally have both for my business. The same would theoretically hold true for any of these cards as they are distinct products that could meet different needs for your business.
Will this increased sign-up bonus return?
I sure hope so, but only Chase knows that answer. Historically this has not been a card that frequently increases its public sign-up bonus. If you had plans to get any of the Ink cards in the near future, I would recommend pulling the trigger by Saturday as the sign-up bonuses are scheduled to drop back down after that time.
My own experience with these cards:
I personally have both the Ink Bold and Ink Plus and use them frequently to earn 5x on all purchases at office supply stores, on my cell phone bill, landline phone bill, internet, TV service, and more. I’m embarrassed to say how much that comes to each month, but it is many hundreds of dollars each month that in turn results in thousands of Ultimate Reward points just for paying bills we had to pay anyway. Heck, our data and voice AT&T family plan alone each month results in serious points! Another good example of serious points is when we recently both upgraded to the iPhone 5 through AT&T and that pretty hefty expense also earned 5x on these cards.
I don’t yet have the Ink Cash or Ink Classic, but I think they are good compliments to those who might already have the Plus and/or Bold since they carry no annual fee. You do have to have the Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Sapphire Preferred in addition to the Cash or Classic if you want to really maximize value and transfer the points to hotel or airline partners such as Hyatt, United, Southwest, British Airways, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Priority Club, Amtrak, Korean Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. Here is a post on some ways you could use your Ultimate Reward points from this bonus.
There’s no question these are all great cards both for their initial sign-up bonus, the value of the points they earn, and the quantity of points they earn – especially at the 5x level. The only real question is whether this is the right time for you to apply for a small business card. If it is, remember Saturday is the deadline for the increased sign-up bonuses. If it isn’t, don’t stress too much – even the regular sign-up bonus is pretty great!
Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links. As always, your support is very much appreciated!