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It has been a while since I did “inventory” on my own wallet to determine which rewards credit cards I am really using, which ones I am really not using, and which ones I still want to get in the future. Recently my husband has been the focus in our rewards card household since he had none until earlier this summer. However, now that we have gotten him into his own groove, it is time to shift the attention back to the bigger household picture.
I have cards in my wallet that give great perks when it comes times to redeem, such as the 10% rebate on American Airlines miles using the Citi AAdvantage Visa Signature. I have cards that are great for earning points to use for lower cost airline tickets that we buy “with cash” like the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases. We have cards that get us airline lounge access like the United Club Card or The Mercedes Benz Platinum from American Express. I have cards that give a good annual perk for having them like the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature. I even have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card that in addition to being a very solid all around personal credit card, is also a good window scraper in a pinch due to being made out of metal rather than plastic! We don’t get much ice here near Houston!
I like all the cards we have for various reasons, but after a wallet review, I think still like the Ink Plus and Ink Bold the best. Meaning, if I could only have one card (ah, the horrors!), it would probably be one of those. While I still actually have both cards, if (or when) I only have one, it will likely be the Ink Plus since it is a credit card instead of a charge card like the Ink Bold. While I don’t typically carry balances on my cards, I like the mental reassurances that I could carry the balance on the credit card if I needed to for a bit.
What makes the Ink Bold and Ink Plus my favorites now, are the same reasons they have been for quite a while now. They earn lots of very valuable points.
Earn Lots of Points:
In addition to the very good 50,000 point sign-up bonus that each card offers after spending $5,000 in the first three months, you can earn a significant number of points every month using this card. The card pays out 5x Ultimate Reward points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, on internet, on cable and wireless service, and landline communications. It awards 2x points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually on gas, and on hotel expenses paid directly to the hotel.
Add up your monthly cell phone bill(s), internet, landline bill, and cable bill and then multiply by 5. That is the amount of Ultimate Reward points each month just by using this card for your reoccurring bills. Our large iPhone plan (with sister and Grandma also on there), ridiculous TV package (ugh, the repugnant DirecTV football monopoly on Sunday Ticket), home phone, home internet, etc. come to an embarrassing amount each month. We predominately work from home and have several services, so our amounts may be larger than yours. Let’s just call it $500 per month for the sake of easy math. That means those bills I was going to pay anyway net me 2,500 Ultimate Reward points per month, or 30,000 Ultimate Reward points each year. That is more than enough points for one domestic round trip flight each year just for a few bills that total $500(ish) per month.
Add in the 5x we earn on office supplies and gift cards (Amazon, Shell, Starbucks, Outback, Visa, etc.) we are able to pick up from office supply stores from time to time when needed, and the Ultimate Reward points really start to add up. The 2x on gas and hotels doesn’t hurt either. This doesn’t even take into account what you can earn via the online Ultimate Rewards shopping portal. Bottom line, many people can earn a good amount of points on an ongoing basis with this card without even trying hard.
Valuable Ultimate Rewards:
The points are valuable because they are Ultimate Reward points that transfer to the following partners:
- British Airways
- IHG Rewards (Priority Club)
- Korean Air
- Ritz Carlton
- Virgin Atlantic
The two transfer partners I use on a regular basis are United and Hyatt as it is not that hard to get 1.5 – 2.0+ cents per point value via those two partners. This has helped us be able to afford some really amazing vacations, including our nights this summer at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and the Andaz Maui at Wailea that cost us 22,000 Hyatt points per night, transferred from Ultimate Rewards. Both hotels were in the $400+ per night range, so the type of points these cards earn made those stays possible.
There are other perks associated with these card such as no foreign transaction fees when you use your card on purchases made outside the United States, and a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. After the first year, your annual fee will be $95.
You also receive a complimentary annual LOUNGE CLUBTM membership and 2 complimentary lounge visits each year, with access to over 350 VIP airport lounges in over 200 cities worldwide. Enrollment is required and can be done at the linked page above (use invitation code ChaseInk). Visits after the two complimentary visits, subsequent visits are $27 each. It is even been written that the Ink Bold and Plus may be offering improved coverage when using it for rental cars beginning in November.
These are small business cards, but this is the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Entrepreneur”, so don’t discount your Etsy shop, photography side business, dog sitting empire, website/blog, Ebay reselling, etc. when considering this card.
Have you done some “wallet inventory” of your own recently? What is your current favorite rewards credit card?
Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a rewards credit card using one of my affiliate links. As always, thanks for your support.