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If you could only have one card - Chase Ink Bold/Plus

Lately, I have been asked by a lot of people which ONE card I would have if I could only have one. Obviously, my first answer is always “I wouldn’t have just one card!” but I understand that not everyone wants to have multiple credit cards.

In that case, my answer is always Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus. It’s simply the card I would want to have if I didn’t have any other credit cards for earning miles and points. The points earning potential of these cards and the Chase Ultimate Rewards program are just too strong to ignore.

While Chase does an amazing job marketing their Sapphire Preferred credit card, I believe these business cards are better for a serious points earner.

Just to point out, the Ink Bold is a charge card where you must pay off the entire balance each cycle and the Ink Plus is a credit card where you can opt to carry over a balance each cycle (which you should definitely NOT do).

Here are the marketing bullets for the Chase Ink Bold/Plus:

  • Chase celebrates small businesses with a special bonus offer!
  • For a limited time, earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs with no transfer fees.
  • Direct access to a live service advisor anytime.
  • Free Employee Cards.

Let’s start with the obvious Pros.

5x For Everything

5x per $1 spent on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.

This is the power play of the Chase Ink Bold/Plus cards. Office supply stores like Staples, Office Max, and Office Depot have huge gift card racks where you can purchase gift cards for almost any retailer under the sun. More importantly, they also sell Visa/Mastercard/American Express gift cards from on those racks.

These gift cards do have a fee associated with them (up to $6.95 per card), but the office supply store bonus points you’ll be earning far outweigh this fee. I always try to buy the largest denomination gift card I can, often $500 or even $200. Sometimes you can even do it online and get cash back.

I then, in turn, use these gift cards as my “every day” card. Anything you purchase with these gift cards will essentially be earning 5x points!

Everything Else

Aside from multiple credit card sign up bonuses, the above benefit is the #1 contributing factor to my growing points portfolio. Everything else is just icing.

Included in the 5x points is cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. For me, that is over $200 a month; $2,400+ a year. That’s 12,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points annually just on my cell phone and Verizon FiOS bill. That alone pays for the $95 annual fee (waived the first year) and then some.

The Ink Bold/Plus cards also earn 2x points on gas and hotels. That’s great but, for gas, I just buy my gas station gift cards from office supply stores or simply use the Visa/Mastercard/Amex gift cards. Why earn 2x when you can earn 5x?

Cons

I can really only think of a few worth mentioning.

Since the Ink Bold/Plus cards are business cards, they won’t be helping your credit score. Also, you’ll only be earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points by only having this card. I like to diversify my earning portfolio.

Other than that, I see no real downside to having either of these cards.

Conclusion

The Chase Ink Bold/Plus would be my card of choice if I couldn’t have any other credit cards.

Thankfully, that’s not the case for me so I team my Ink up with my Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred, American Express Starwood, & American Express EveryDay Preferred credit cards. Quite a quiver of cards when going forth in the battle of earning points.

And what do you do once you earn all these Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus points? Look for that in an upcoming post.