Ink Plus

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The Chase Ink Plus business credit card is offering 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. During this offer, the annual fee of $95 is NOT waived the first year.

The normal offer for the Ink Plus card by Chase is 50,000 points after spending $5,000. Normally the annual fee is waived, so this offer is for 10,000 extra points at a cost of 95 extra dollars.

Below is a breakdown of the sign-up offer.

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after $5,000 in spending in the first three months
  • Category Bonuses:  5x at office supply stores and on cable TV, landline, cell phone, and internet bills on first $50k spending in 5x categories per year; 2x at gas stations and on hotels booked directly through a hotel on first $50k spending in 2x categories per year
  • Value of Ultimate Rewards: Can be transferred to 6 airline miles and 4 hotel points or used like cash toward the purchase of any flight at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. I value Ultimate Rewards at 2 cents each, and I would not use them like cash toward the purchase of a flight. I would mainly transfer them to United miles.
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $95 annual fee

Sign Up Bonus

The Chase Ink Plus business credit card is offering 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. No end date is known for this sign up bonus.

Ultimate Rewards have two primary uses.

  1. Use them like cash to purchase any flight on any airline with no blackouts at a rate of 1.25 cents each. Please don’t use your points like this.
  2. Transfer them to miles or points with 10 travel partners. This is the best way to use them.

Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to:

Category Bonuses

The Chase Ink Plus offers 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cable TV, landline, cell phone, and internet bills on the first $50k in spending in 5x categories per year.

Office supply stores sell a lot of gift cards, so you can greatly expand the reach of the 5x categories.

The card also offers 2x at gas stations and on hotels booked directly through a hotel on the first $50k spending in 2x categories per year.

Can You Get a Business Card?

The Chase Ink Plus is a Business Card. Here is some information about getting Business Cards. I noticed that I got approved more easily for business cards when my business had revenue, and I estimated I’d spend at least $1,000 per month on my new card.

Fees

The Chase Ink Plus has no foreign transaction fees. It also has chip technology for global acceptance, so it’s a great card for overseas travel. Although you should take note that, while minimal, currency conversion fees tend to be higher on Visas than MasterCards (and the Ink Plus is a Visa).

The card has has a $95 annual fee that is not waived.

Chase Application/Approval Rules

Applications for all Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards are being denied if the applicant has applied for 5+ credit cards–personal or business–in the last two years from any issuing bank. This has been labeled the 5/24 Rule.

That is why for the reasons presented in this post, the Ink Plus is one of the first three cards I recommend you get if you can get a business card.

Bottom Line

I think the Ink Plus by Chase is the best business credit card out there that offers travel rewards– especially if your business is still growing and doesn’t have a lot expenses because you’ll get a lot out of its valuable sign-up bonus.

This card is not for everyone. It isn’t for you if you spend more money when you pay with a credit card than when you pay with cash. It isn’t for you if you don’t pay your cards in full each month. It isn’t for you if you can’t meet the minimum spending requirement. If none of those points apply to you, then I would seriously consider the Ink Plus.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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I have a friend who, after about five months off from applying for any new cards, decided to give it another go recently. He is writing a series for MileValue on his experience. Below is Part 2: applying for the Ink Plus and the British Airways Visa Signature by Chase, as well as the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature and Business credit cards by Bank of America. Read Part 1 if you haven’t, where he explains how he decided on those cards. Take it away, buddy:

In Part 1 of my story, I explained to you why I decided to apply for the following cards:

  • the Ink Plus by Chase
  • the British Airways Visa Signature by Chase
  • the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card by Bank of America
  • the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card by Bank of America

To put it simply, I decided on applying for the Ink Plus and the British Airways cards as a last ditch effort–to see if I could slip them in before the Chase 5/24 rule completely solidifies. People on FlyerTalk have been reporting lots of denials and some approvals, so I wanted to give it a shot. Might as well, since I don’t plan on taking any two year breaks from this hobby any time soon and the longer I wait, the less likely I am to be approved.

The Alaska cards I decided on because I didn’t want to add a ton of required spend to the $7,000 I would need to put out for the Chase card bonuses. I found a link to apply for the personal card in this Flyertalk thread that offers 25,000 miles just for signing up, and the business card’s official public offer only requires one purchase to earn the 25,000 mile bonus.

Read on to find out what happened when I applied.

Applying for the Chase Cards

I started with the Chase cards, the Ink Plus and the British Airways Visa Signature, and received the same response.

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Both applications would require further review. Buzz kill. All things considered, 90% of me was expecting this response, so I couldn’t be too disappointed.

I immediately returned to the FlyerTalk thread I found about applying for Chase cards, in search of the reconsideration phone number as it is standard practice to call when you receive this type of pending application response from a bank. But as I was skimming through the wiki at the top of the thread, I came across the following statement:

“It may be better to avoid calling Chase unless your application is denied. Many recent calls on pending applications led to denials, and many people report having success letting applications work their way through the system. Be patient. Time is on your side; increasingly, Chase [customer service representatives] are not.”

I found this to be interesting and also make sense, so I heeded the advice and didn’t call the reconsideration line.

Applying for the Bank of America Cards

Next up was the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card, which I was auto-approved for!

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The final application was for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card. Perhaps it was because I filled out the application just minutes after I had applied for the business card, I’m not sure, but I received another “we can’t give you a decision right now” pop-up:

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The FlyerTalk thread that discusses the application process for the Alaska cards does not advise against calling Bank of America’s reconsideration line like the Chase thread did, so I called 1-866-811-4108 to discuss my application with a Bank of America representative.

I am accustomed to this conversation as I have had it multiple times before. I always start out with the same line:

“Hello, I recently applied for your ____________ card and was told that more time was needed to review my application. I am calling to see if there is any information I can provide you with that would help speed along that process.”

I always strive to sound extra friendly. The reps on the other end have never ask me more than surface level questions that I already answered on the credit card application.

And that’s exactly how this call to Bank of America reconsideration went. The rep asked me who I worked for and what I did for a living, to which I answered briefly and truthfully. And that was it. He congratulated me on approval, and let me know that I would get my card in the mail in the next seven to ten business days.

The 25,000 miles from opening the personal card have already hit my Alaska Mileage Plan account, and the other 25,000 from the business card will hit shortly, once I purchase something with it and this month’s statement closes.

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Waiting Out Chase

In the next post, I’ll have Chase’s decisions about my applications for the Ink Plus and the British Airways Visa Signature. Dun…dun…dun…cliffhanger!

Final Words by Scott

Curious as to how his luck turns out with the dreaded Chase 5/24 rule? I am. Tune in next time to see the results!

If you want to apply for the British Airways Visa Signature,  Alaska Airlines Visa Signature, or the Ink Plus (all mentioned in this post) please consider doing so through the links below. I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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Through May 15, 2016, the Chase Ink Plus is offering 70,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months–in branch only. That’s 10,000 points more than the business card is currently offering online. The card has a $95 fee that is not waived the first year.

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In Branch Offer

There’s a good chance this offer will come online next week, as we have often seen a 10,000 point increase in the online offer during Small Business Week, which is May 1 – 7 this year.

Branch Offer Details

  • 70,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

I value 70,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards at $1,400, so the offer is worth $1,305 to me after the annual fee.

Here is how to locate the nearest Chase branch.

Chase will probably not approve your application if you have gotten five new credit cards in the last 24 months.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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The Ink Plus currently offers:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

That means you’d have at least 65,000 Ultimate Rewards after meeting the minimum spending requirement (60,000 for the bonus, and 5,000 for 1x spending), enough to fly several Korean and Singapore First Class routes with no additional miles.

You might qualify for a business card and not realize it, so don’t write off the possibility just because you don’t have your own booming startup. Before applying though, remember to consider the 5/24 rule that Chase apparently began enforcing for the Ink cards in March of this year. In short, if you’ve opened any five credit cards in the last 24 months, an application for a new Chase card will be denied.

So just what kind of First Class awards can you book with your 65,000 Ultimate Rewards? 

  • Transfer them to Singapore KrisFlyer miles to book Singapore Suites, which is possibly the most luxurious First Class in the world. It is the only First Class that allows two suites to be combined into a flying double bed. Singapore KriFflyer miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites.
    • Singapore First Class is also a world class product with many of the same amenities as Suites Class. It is also only bookable with Singapore miles.
  • Transfer them to Korean Air’s SkyPass program to book Korean First Class. Delta miles cannot book their partners’ First Class, so Korean miles are the main way to fly Korean First Class.

And when considering that United devalued its First Class awards in 2014, and American Airlines devalued its chart on March 22,  now Singapore and Korean First Class awards are looking a lot more reasonable.

Book Singapore Suites and First Class

Singapore Suites Class

Singapore’s A380s feature one of the world’s best First Class products that it calls Suites Class, and it is only bookable with Singapore miles as the airline doesn’t release Suites Class space to partners.

It is a fully enclosed suite with over the top service, fancy alcohol, and delicious food.

The cabin is laid out 1-2-1 and is most famous because the two suites in the middle can be combined into one double bed. If the cabin isn’t full, sometimes they even offer the double bed to a solo traveler!

This is one of the best, if not the best, product in the world.

Only the A380 planes feature Suites Class. Here is a list of routes that feature Singapore A380s (and thus Suites Class.)

Here are some deals I particularly like (I’ve bolded the ones you can get with just the Ink Plus’ bonus):

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo: 74,375 miles in Suites Class + $113
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore: 91,375 miles in Suites Class + $276
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt: 57,375 miles in Suites Class + $203
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore: 93,500 miles in Suites Class + $286
  • Singapore to Hong Kong: 31,875 miles in Suites Class + $30
  • Singapore to Mumbai: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160
  • Singapore to Beijing: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160
  • Mumbai to Beijing: 61,625 miles in Suites Class + $322
  • Hong Kong to Sydney: 63,750 miles in Suites Class + $188

And here is Singapore’s award chart to fly its own flights and its subsidiary SilkAir.

An important factor to note is that Singapore awards include fuel surcharges when an identical cash ticket would have fuel surcharges, as you can see from this list. They are a necessary evil though if you want to fly Singapore’s premium products, with the exception of flights originating in Brazil as fuel surcharges are illegal there.

Singapore First Class

Singapore First Class is available on routes that fly the Boeing 777–300ER and refitted Boeing 777–300 aircraft. Click here to see where you can fly Singapore First Class. It is also only bookable with Singapore miles as Singapore releases no First Class space to partners.

The product has many of the same amenities as Suites Class, and the “New First Class” has an even wider seat which is, according to Singapore, “progressively more available on our Boeing 777–300ER aircrafts”.

First Class seats are arranged 1-2-1, so everyone has aisle access.

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They also feature a lie-flat bed with plenty of room to stretch out.

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You can also “Book the Cook” just like you can in Suites Class, e.g. reserve your choices online from an array of dishes like these King Prawns before your flight:

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Since it avoids fuel surcharges, I think one of the best deals flying Singapore First Class is from Sao Paulo to Barcelona for 58,225 miles and only $37 in taxes.

Read this post about sweetspots with Singapore Krisflyer miles to learn more about the award rules and process of redeeming Krisflyer miles.

Book Korean Air First Class

Korean Air flies to more American cities (11) than any other Asian airline. Korean flies a modern First Class, which gets good reviews. Korean releases more First Class award space than any airline I’ve ever seen, and there is almost no competition for those award seats because Delta SkyMiles can’t book them.

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The best one, the Kosmo Suites 2.0 was introduced in May 2015, and this blogpost (Google Translate) says they will be on the 747-8i, 787-9, 777-300ER, and A330-300. It looks like they will only be on new planes delivered, and other planes will not be retrofitted. I do not think all 777-300ERs or A330s will have them.

Read a full trip report here from a FlyerTalk contributor who flew from Seoul to San Francisco on a 747-8i featuring the Kosmo Suite 2.0.

Here are some deals I particularly like (I’ve bolded the ones you can get with just the Ink Plus’ bonus):

  • Los Angeles to Sao Paulo: 70,000 miles in First Class
  • Seoul to Los Angeles, stop up to a year, Los Angeles to Sao Paulo: 110,000 miles in First Class
  • United States to China, Japan, Korea, Northeast Asia: 80,000 miles in First Class
  • Japan, Korea, or China to Southeast Asia: 45,000 miles in First Class
  • Japan, Korea, or China to Southwest Asia or Maldives: 57,500 miles in First Class

And here is Korean Air’s award chart for flying its own flights.

There are fuel surcharges on some Korean Air awards but thankfully they are minimal.

Prices are about 50% higher during the peak window, which only affects 60-70 days a year. If you want to fly Off Peak, it is very easy to do. Just avoid these peak dates:

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You can search and book Korean Air awards directly on koreanair.com. To search you’ll need to first sign-up as a member of Skypass. Read this post to learn more about sweetspots and award rules using Korean Air miles.

Bottom Line

Singapore Suites and First Class are impossible to book unless you have Singapore KrisFlyer miles, and Korean Air (member of SkyTeam alliance) First Class awards are not bookable with Delta miles. The Ink Plus Card has the ability to unlock fabulous First Class options because you can transfer Ultimate Rewards to Singapore Airlines and Korean Air.

Just getting the card and meeting its spending requirement earns enough points (65,000) for several long international routes in Korean or Singapore First Class.

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited now offers a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening and 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no annual fee.

That’s great and all, but you can actually turn the sign up bonus into 15,000 airline miles and earn 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases with several top programs including United through the Freedom Two Step, which will be explained in detail below.

This is very different from the original Chase Freedom, which offers 1% back on all purchases and 5% back on rotating categories each quarter.

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: $150 (15,000 Ultimate Rewards) after $500 in spending in the first three months and $25 (2,500 Ultimate Rewards) extra for adding an authorized user on the application
  • Category Bonuses: none, 1.5% cash back (1.5x Ultimate Rewards) per dollar on all purchases
  • Value of Ultimate Rewards: Worth 1 cent toward cash back OR 1 United/British Airways/Singapore/Southwest mile each through Freedom Two Step
  • 0% Intro APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; balance transfer fee is 5%
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: no annual fee

Sign Up Bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited now offers a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. It also offers a $25 bonus for adding an authorized user on the application.

Well, technically, it offers 15,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards and 2,500 bonus Ultimate Rewards. Ultimate Rewards have two main uses:

  1. Redeem them for cash back at a rate of 1 cent each. That’s why all the marketing of the card features cash back language.
  2. Transfer them to your Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus account and from there to airline miles or hotel points. I call this the Freedom Two Step.
Cash Back

If you redeem Ultimate Rewards for cash, you will instantly get 1 cent per point. That makes the sign up and authorized user bonuses worth $175 and makes this a 1.5% cash back card. Those are both phenomenal rates for a card with no annual fee.

Those rates show that the card is clearly designed to compete with the Quicksilver card from Capital One that Samuel L. Jackson is constantly flogging, and in fact, it out-competes the card by offering the same cash back rate, no annual fee, and a higher sign up bonus.

Freedom Two Step

Facts:

  • Ultimate Rewards earned on the Freedom Unlimited do not transfer to airlines or hotels.
  • Ultimate Rewards earned on the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus do transfer to airline miles and hotel points with partners like United, Korean, British Airways, Singapore, Hyatt, Southwest, and many more.
  • Ultimate Rewards earned on the Freedom Unlimited can be transferred to your or your spouse’s Ink Plus or Sapphire Preferred account.

Combine these facts and you get the Freedom Two Step. You transfer Ultimate Rewards from Freedom or Freedom Unlimited to Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus, and from there to airlines and hotels.

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I value several of the transfer partners’ miles in the 1.6 to 1.8 cent range, so the Freedom Two Step should allow you to get far more than 1 cent of value from those same Ultimate Rewards.

Once your Ultimate Rewards are transferred to airline miles, they become those miles, subject to that airline’s award chart and rules. And if you know how to use frequent flyer miles well, you will get way more than 1 cent of value from them.

Check out my full post on the Freedom Two Step for more explanation, screenshots of the process, and high value awards with the partner programs.

Category Bonuses

There aren’t any. You get 1.5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar on all purchases. That’s either 1.5% cash back or, through the Freedom Two Step, 1.5 United miles or Korean miles or Singapore miles, etc per dollar on purchases.

That rate of miles per dollar on all purchases is unprecedented.

0% Intro APR

I hesitate to mention this because credit card rewards are quickly swamped by interest and late fees, so the only people who should read my blog about credit card rewards are people who can pay their balances in full every month.

The Freedom Unlimited offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, although the balance transfers themselves have a 5% fee. After the introductory APR, the regular APR is 14.24% to 23.24%.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Don’t use the card abroad. It has a 3% foreign transaction fee. Use your Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus abroad, both of which have no foreign transaction fee.

No Annual Fee

The Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee. You can get it and hold it forever, using it to get 1.5% back or 1.5 miles per dollar through the Freedom Two Step when none of your other cards is offering a category bonus.

Bottom Line

The Freedom Unlimited is an exciting new offering because its 1.5x earning rate plus the Freedom Two Step allows you to get 1.5 United/Korean/Singapore/British Airways miles per dollar on all purchases.

While I can not directly link to the current Freedom Unlimited offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

To do the Freedom Two Step, you’ll also need a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus. Here’s a little info on those.

The Sapphire Preferred is one of the best personal credit cards on the market. It offers:

  • 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards for adding an authorized user
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • no annual fee the first year and $95 thereafter

While I can not directly link to the current Sapphire Preferred offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

The Ink Plus is easily the best business card on the market. It offers:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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If you are an existing Chase Ink Plus cardholder, you can refer friends via email, twitter, or facebook to the 60,000 point offer on the Ink Plus. You get 10,000 points per approved friend, up to 50,000 total Ultimate Rewards.

Start here and input your name, zip code, and last 4 digits of your Ink Plus. You can then get a link for Facebook or Twitter or send emails to friends.

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I like to choose the Twitter option.Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.32.41 PM

Here is my link, embedded in this tweet, to apply for an Ink Plus and earn me 10,000 Ultimate Rewards on top of 60,000 for you:

Feel free to leave your link in the comments.

Hat Tip Frequent Miler

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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The Chase Ink Plus business credit card is offering 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. During this offer, the annual fee of $95 is NOT waived the first year.

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The normal offer is 50,000 points after spending $5,000. Normally the annual fee is waived, so this offer is for 10,000 extra points at a cost of 95 extra dollars.

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after $5,000 in spending in the first three months
  • Category Bonuses:  5x at office supply stores and on cable TV, landline, cell phone, and internet bills on first $50k spending in 5x categories per year; 2x at gas stations and on hotels booked directly through a hotel on first $50k spending in 2x categories per year
  • Value of Ultimate Rewards: Can be transferred to 6 airline miles and 4 hotel points or used like cash toward the purchase of any flight at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. I value Ultimate Rewards at 2 cents each, and I would not use them like cash toward the purchase of a flight. I would mainly transfer them to United miles.
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $95 annual fee

Sign Up Bonus

The Chase Ink Plus business credit card is offering 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. No end date is known for this sign up bonus.

Ultimate Rewards have two primary uses.

  1. Use them like cash to purchase any flight on any airline with no blackouts at a rate of 1.25 cents each. Please don’t use your points like this.
  2. Transfer them to miles or points with 10 travel partners. This is the best way to use them.

Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to:

Category Bonuses

The Chase Ink Plus offers 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cable TV, landline, cell phone, and internet bills on the first $50k in spending in 5x categories per year.

Office supply stores sell a lot of gift cards, so you can greatly expand the reach of the 5x categories.

The card also offers 2x at gas stations and on hotels booked directly through a hotel on the first $50k spending in 2x categories per year.

Can You Get a Business Card?

The Chase Ink Plus is a Business Card. Here is some information about getting Business Cards. I noticed that I got approved more easily for business cards when my business had revenue, and I estimated I’d spend at least $1,000 per month on my new card.

Fees

The Chase Ink Plus has no foreign transaction fees. It also has chip technology for global acceptance, so it’s a great card for overseas travel.

The card has has a $95 annual fee that is not waived.

Chase Application/Approval Rules

Applications for Chase’s personal cards that earn Ultimate Rewards–Freedom and Sapphire (Preferred)–are being denied if the applicant has applied for 5+ credit cards–personal or business–in the last two years.

Applications for the Ink MAY be approved even if you have more than 5+ applications for other cards in the last two years, but your chances are low and go down if you call Chase’s reconsideration line after your application. Just wait for a final decision before calling reconsideration.

Bottom Line

The Ink Plus was already my favorite business card because of its sign up bonus, category bonuses, and transfer partners. That was with a 50,000 Ultimate Reward bonus. For the next few weeks (I’m guessing based on the length of past 60,000 point bonuses), it has a 60,000 Ultimate Reward bonus.

This card is not for everyone. It isn’t for you if you spend more money when you pay with a credit card than when you pay with cash. It isn’t for you if you don’t pay your cards in full each month. It isn’t for you if you can’t meet the minimum spending requirement.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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3

The Chase Ink Plus, one of the best business cards on the market, has long offered new applicants no annual fee for the first 12 months, then a $95 annual fee.

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Today I noticed two other offers on the Ink Plus being split tested by Chase (and there may be more.) By repeatedly going to the Ink Plus’ page in a Chrome Incognito browser, I got three different offers.

They were:

  • $0 annual fee for first twelve months, then $95 (current standard offer)
  • $95 annual fee (ie not waived for first 12 months)
  • $0 annual fee for first twelve months, then $150 (ie a bigger annual fee)

As far as I could tell, only the annual fee varied. Every other aspect of the offer was the same.

Here’s the non-waived annual fee offer.

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Here’s the $150 annual fee (waived year one) offer.

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Clicking the Pricing & Terms link brought up this page, which confirmed the annual fee of $150.

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You can access that page by clicking this link.

Companies split test offers all the time. If Chase finds that people sign up for the worse offers at the same rate as the better offer, they’ll surely switch to a worse offer as a profit-maximizing company. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

In the meantime, if you go through an affiliate link to get the Ink Plus, you will get the best offer of $0 annual fee for 12 months, then $95. Affiliate links are not being split-tested to my knowledge.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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14

Just Another Points Traveler reports that the 70,000 point sign up bonus on the Ink Plus is back.

That’s fantastic news because the Ink Plusis already one of the best cards on the market for business when it has its normal 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Offer details of 70,000 point offer from Just Another Points Traveler:

  • LIMITED TIME BONUS OFFER: Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $875 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Named “Best for Travel Rewards for Small Business” MONEY® Magazine, October 2013
  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs with no transfer fees.
  • $95 Annual Fee

The big difference other than the extra 20,000 bonus points is that this offer does not waive the $95 annual fee for the first year. That’s a bummer, but it is worth paying $95 for 20,000 extra points.

There are three ways you can get big points from this new offer:

  1. Folks who don’t have an Ink Plus can get one and get 70,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in three months
  2. Folks who got an Ink Plus in the last three months can try to get matched to the new better offer to get 20,000 more bonus points.
  3. Folks who have had an Ink Plus for a while can refer friends and get 10,000 bonus points per approved friend.

Keep reading for more information on the three ways to earn extra Ultimate Rewards today.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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From now until June 22, Chase is increasing the sign up bonus on the Ink Bold and Ink Plus to 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in three months.

These are two of my absolute favorite cards. I’ve gotten the Ink Bold for two of my businesses and the Ink Plus for one, earning about 200,000 Ultimate Rewards in the process that I’ve used to book Rookie Alli on her first flat bed business class experience, my United Global First flight to Australia to see the Aussie Open, and my upcoming trip in Thai First Class on an A380 with an hourlong massage on the ground.

What’s the full deal, how can you use 60k Ultimate Rewards, and what has my experience been with the Ink Bold and Plus?

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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25

A reader wrote to me:

For credit cards, HSBC is by FAR the best for foreign purchases but not sure if it is because it is HSBC Premier rather then regular HSBC. HSBC Premier gives me the same exchange rate as what they get when exchanging money between other banks with no mark-up. It is crazy how much I save. I’ve found Chase to be the most expensive and American Express somewhere in between. The difference in exchange rates negates any benefit from earning miles etc even though all the cards say no foreign transaction fee.

Many American credit cards charge a 3% fee when the origin of the charge is foreign. This is frustrating, and swamps the value of the miles you earn usually since one mile is rarely worth three cents.

You’ll get hit with the fee even when the charge is in dollars, as I found out when I paid a 3% fee on the taxes charge on an Avios booking made at BA.com in dollars.

But there are several cards that advertise no charge for foreign transactions. The Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, and Ink Plus all mention the benefit in their marketing.

But there are two ways banks make money on foreign charges. The first is the fee they might charge. The second way banks make money on your foreign purchases is by converting the purchase into dollars at a bad rate for you. This is what the emailer suspected Chase was doing.

To test out how much of that was happening, I’ve made two purchases with my Ink Plus in New Zealand.

The first purchase was NZD 260 for a 440 foot bungee jump. The second was NZD 109 for a Milford Sound cruise. In both cases, those amounts were the exact amount charged to me since New Zealand follows the enlightened practice of including all taxes in quoted prices.

Both are showing as pending in my Chase account online.

Doing a little math, the conversion rate was 1 NZD to $0.8289. (I’ll be using “$” to denote US dollars and “NZD” for New Zealand dollars.)

How does this compare to the prevailing rate? The easiest way to check is to google “1 NZD to USD.”

Google says I would need to spend 84 cents to buy 1 NZD. Chase sold me 1 NZD for less than 83 cents! For whatever reason, Chase offered me a better deal than the prevailing rate.

Maybe you could see this more easily if we look at one $1 should buy me according to google and Chase.

Google: $1 = 1.19 NZD

Chase: $1 = 1.21 NZD

Chase is clearly giving me an incredible deal. Even more so when you compare it changing money on the street.

Street Rate

Banks throughout Auckland and Queenstown show their prices for buying and selling dollars. The one I saw today in Queenstown would sell NZD for $0.8815. This is about 4% worse than the prevailing market rate according to google. (Remember the fewer dollars we spend for 1 NZD, the better.)

If I had taken dollars to a New Zealand bank and changed them to NZD to book my tours, I would have needed 369 NZD total. That would have cost me $325.27 at the bank. Chase charged me only $305.86.

Conclusions

Today in Queenstown, New Zealand, I was way better off paying for tours with my Ink Plus than I would have been changing American dollars or using another card with a 3% foreign transaction fee.

I’ve made that conclusion very specific because I am very surprised by the results of my experiment. I expected Chase to offer me about the same rate than if I had changed at a bank.

Clearly my results were different than the emailer’s experiments of splitting foreign charges halfway between Chase and American Express cards. He found both to offer a bad rate with American Express offering a slightly better exchange rate.

I do think New Zealand’s banks and change houses offer bad rates for cash, implying about a 3% fee. I generally notice rich world countries offer way worse exchange rates than developing countries. For instance, in Arequipa, Peru there are dozens of change shops that have only a 1% spread between their dollar buy and sell prices, meaning they are only shading about half a percent on each side.

Recap

Today in New Zealand dollars, I got a better deal by charging to my Ink Plus than I would have gotten from an exchange house. Your exchange rate may not be as good when you use a credit card for a foreign transaction.

But I was very happy to see that a “no foreign exchange fee” card like the Ink Plus didn’t try to make up for that lack of a fee with a bad exchange rate. A reader’s email made me fear that “no foreign exchange fee” cards might be a scam, but in my experience they aren’t.

I got a great exchange rate and paid no foreign exchange fee.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.

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