I opened the Chase Ink Plus card in November 2012 for the 50,000 bonus Ultimate Reward Points (worth $625 in travel) which easily transfer to Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Amtrak for award travel.
The Chase Ink Plus is a small business credit card and I have been using it for my environmental consulting business. The card pays 5x points on routine purchases at office supply stores, and on various telecommunications expenses, 2x points on gas and hotels, and 1x point on everything else. I have set up most of my routine business expenses like the phone bill, long distance provider, web hosting fees, internet access, etc. as automatic payments on the Ink Plus credit card.
By the time I noticed the annual fee, I had already missed the 60-day deadline for closing the card and requesting a fee waiver. I called Chase to see if it would be possible to get a fee waiver anyway. Frankly, I really didn’t want to close the card or downgrade it at this point, because it would mean transferring automatic payments from a dozen different vendors to another credit card.
The customer service rep offered me a nice deal: if I spent $5000 on the card within 90 days, I would get 10,000 Ultimate Reward Points, worth $100 in cash, or $125 toward travel. That would more than offset the $95 annual fee. I’m sure I could find a good use for an extra 10-15,000 points, as I am saving up for a big trip!
Here’s the rub. I don’t anticipate having $5,000 in business expenses in the next three months. I don’t have any big computer purchases planned, and I have only two business trips coming up this quarter. The routine business expenses from my sole proprietorship are far less than the $1666/month in spending that this offer would require.
Couldn’t I just go to Staples and load up on Amazon, Starbucks, and iTunes gift cards? Not $5000 worth!
My husband, who does our taxes, taught an accounting course in college, and he insists that I carefully document all my business expenses for tax purposes.
This offer was a no go!
That’s okay though. If I expect to have $5000 in business expenses over a three-month period, I might try for this offer another time, or perhaps apply for a different credit card offer to earn 50,000 or more bonus points.
In the meantime, I am okay with keeping my Chase Ink Plus account open. As a fee-based product, it gives me flexibility in using or transferring my points. Because it is a MasterCard, it gives me access to savings on gas and hotels through the MasterCard Easy Savings Program.
Savings on Travel from Ink Insider
In doing research for this post, I came across the Ink Insider program that Chase runs to offer discounts to their credit card customers. There are a couple of offers for travel savings from Expedia and Avis if you register with the Ink Insider program. The Expedia offer could easily provide a 10-20 percent discount on your hotel costs, if you rely heavily on Expedia for hotel reservations.