Chase Ink Bold Review: Business Card Bonus Worth $500 Cash, $625 in Airfare

Chase Ink BoldThe Ink Bold® Business Charge Card is a premium small business being offered by Chase, directly competing with the biz cards from American Express. If you have a small business including freelance or online eBay/Etsy sales, using a business card allows you to separate your personal and business expenses as well as get some nice rewards in the process. Just to get you to try it out, Chase is offering 500 bucks in the form of 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months your account is open.

50,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for $500 cash (real money, via statement credit or check) or 25% extra = $625 when used towards airfare, split up however you like into multiple tickets. If your total is more than $625, you simply pay the difference. I’ve used this feature and it’s very easy and flexible to book airfare using their points (system and prices are like Expedia, Travelocity, etc). Here’s an example of combining cash and points:

If you prefer, you can also transfer points to British Airways Avios miles, United Airlines miles, Hyatt hotel points, and Marriott hotel points. 1 Chase point = 1 mile/hotel point for these transfers, so that’s 50,000 miles.

You’ll also earn up to 5 points per $1 spent on the first $50,000 spent annually on eligible business purchases:

  • Earn a total of 2 points for each $1 of net purchases made at merchants that classify themselves the following categories: gas stations and hotels stays booked directly with the hotel. (on the first $50,000 spent annually)
  • Earn a total of 5 points for each $1 of net purchases made at merchants that classify themselves the following categories: wireless/telecommunications services (excluding equipment such as phones and fax machines), cable and satellite television services, office supply stores and wholesale distributors of office supplies. (on the first $50,000 spent annually)
  • All other purchases will earn 1 point for each $1 of net purchases.

Getting 5X points back at Office Depot, Staples, and Office Max also means that you get 5X points back on the gift cards sold at these office supply stores. This includes places like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kmart, Starbucks, TJ Maxx, and more.

There is no annual fee for the first year, $95 after that if you decide to keep it. You also get a free annual membership in Lounge Club, which gets you 2 complimentary visits to participating “first class” airport lounges each year and discounted rates on future visits. After you get the Ink card, register at loungeclub.com/inkcard. The Ink Bold Business Charge Card is a business charge card where you must pay in full each month after a 30-day grace period with no interest.

Jot business receipt management. Chase has now partnered with Jot, so now I can snap a picture of my business receipts with my smartphone and link it to my card purchases. No more shoeboxes or scanning, and it exports into Quickbooks. I haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds like a good backup in case the IRS comes knocking.

Business Credit Card Eligibility

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. Why? Because any individual can be a business as well. The business type is called a sole proprietorship. Perhaps you sell items on eBay, Craiglist, or Etsy. Maybe you do some freelancing and/or consulting. You might have gotten a 1099 tax form and filled out a Schedule C. Boom! You’re a sole proprietorship. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

In addition, Chase business cards won’t show up on your personal credit report. Now, this card will require you to personally guarantee that you’ll pay them back what you charge on the card, which means they’ll check your personal credit score like any other consumer card. However, it won’t affect your credit score otherwise, since it doesn’t change things like your credit limits, average account age, or credit utilization ratio.

  • Ink Bold® Business Charge Card Application Link

This card is essentially the small business version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, a consumer card which offers 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points = $500 in travel) Compare with the other $500+ Bonus credit card promotions currently available.

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Comments

  1. Nice offer. Thank you for clarifying how business accounts differ from personal ones.

    Would an applicable for a business account incur a hard credit inquiry?

  2. Yes, the application for a business credit card will incur a hard credit inquiry, because they still want to verify your creditworthiness. But after that, the business credit card will not show up on your personal credit reports.

  3. The only disappointing thing is that they did not waive foreign exchange fees for this. You’d think they definitely waive it for a business card! Either way, another great card to have with an awesome rewards program.

  4. Readers should also know that the recent credit card reforms passed don’t apply to business cards. More info here: http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_report_detail.aspx?id=85899359841

  5. I was recently denied for a Chase personal card for having too many applications. Do you think I might still be eligible for Chase business credit card?
    Or should I just wait for another 6 months?

  6. I’m not sure how long ago your previous denial was, but if it was recent, try the following, taken from a previous post:

    If you have any issues with approval, call the Chase credit reconsideration line at 1-888-245-0625. Ask them politely for the exact reason why you were denied, and offer to cancel and/or lower your existing credit lines in order to get the new card you want. You should be offered some way to get approved, I have heard many success stories. They want your business.

  7. I’m actually on hold on that number right now trying for the chase sapphire. I’m a bit nervous about my chances. I’ve already gotten the amtrak, continental, and british cards this year all after calling them after not getting it initially. Last time when they asked me why I wanted the British card I said “at first I thought I’d be taking the train a lot, then I realized I would be flying, and now I realize I’m flying overseas”. This time my excuse will be that I’ve heard the card looks really nice (people have raved about it).

    Still, I have no good use for October’s amazon payment, so that means its time to go for a new card.

  8. Johnathan, thanks a lot for that phone number. I will try calling later.
    David, please do update here once you finish the call. Good Luck!

  9. I got it! Got worried when the rep. said he had some questions. Then he said “I notice you got a Continental card in February and only spent $13 on it” (it was a 1 time purchase get miles card). I’m thinking s*** the gig is up, it’s obvious I’m just going for the bonus. But instead he asks if I’m willing to move half of my continental credit line to the new card. I hammed it up by thoughtfully pausing to consider it, and agreed.

    It helps that I have the freedom card, and actually have been using that legitimately for years…especially back when they had the 3% back on top 3 categories thing. So outside of taking advantage of them, I do have some history of spending real money too.

  10. I would like to learn more about Biz credit, when it comes to ebay,craigstlist, arnt these Businesses considered Hobby Business by the IRS? So would the Biz credit be negatively impacted by this? I mean, is it still legit if its a very small Biz? Also do you have to show proof to the CC company that you are a viable business? I want to open a biz later in life & would like to start Biz credit…I currently have excellent credit! So thats got to help…

  11. Alexandria says:

    To clarify the IRS position on hobbies – if a business makes money you pay taxes on it. Period. If it regularly loses money, it is a hobby and you can’t deduct the loss. That’s the simplified answer. IRS concern with hobbies is only in regards to losses. If you make money, doesn’t matter how, the IRS considers it a business.

  12. Jonathan,
    I see the Ink Bold also has a 1-year complementary airport lounge membership. Have you used that benefit? If so, could you explain how it works?
    –TIA

  13. @Harish – Where did you see that mentioned? I don’t recall that feature being part of the Ink Bold card.

  14. Ah, here are the details on the lounge access via Priority Pass:

    Airport Lounge Access
    Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. For full terms and conditions, please refer to the Conditions of Use section of your Priority Pass™ Lounge Directory book you will receive upon enrollment. Lounge visit fees may be adjusted with prior notice. Complimentary visits may apply to Members and/or an accompanying guest. After the first two visits, InkSM cardholders simply pay $27 per person per visit for themselves and any accompanying guest(s) when visiting a participating lounge. This offer is valid for only your first year.

  15. What I meant was if you’re aware about how to use this benefit. Suppose I get the card. Do I need to call Chase before I travel to get a voucher or something else before I can visit the lounge?

  16. What does everyone do with these cards when they have to start paying the annual fee? Seems like there are tons of cards out there without the fee. From what I read, canceling the cc will hurt your credit, so I dont get why someone would have more than one cc with the yearly fee. If I’m missing something, please fill me in.

  17. @Dan – Here are some previous posts about having these cards:

    Can Having Too Many Credit Cards Hurt Your Credit Score?
    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/can-having-too-many-credit-cards-hurt-your-credit-score.html

    Credit Score Myths – Don’t Cancel Old Accounts
    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/credit_score_my_1.html

    I basically see these offers as paying me to try out their cards. If I decide the benefits aren’t enough to warrant keeping it, I just cancel before the annual fee is charged, or in the same month it is charged as they always refund it for me. If you open a new card and cancel a new card, the effect on credit score has been negligible for me. See posts above for the reasoning based on FICO score formula weightings.

  18. FYI – just checked your link and it’s still active as of November 1st :)

    Just trying to decide if I want to get another credit card for the $500 bonus… very tempting.

  19. Hi all, does anyone know when this “chase ink bold business card 50k bonus offer” expires?

  20. @anshel – It’s really all up to Chase, I don’t know if even they have decided yet. Often they decide to extend the time period or end it early. I thought this one was just for October but I was wrong. I do know that 50k is definitely higher than their usual offer, so it won’t last forever.

  21. I have two personal cards with chase. One real old one and another opened up recently. Will this affect my chances for their business card or do they take personal cards into consideration?

  22. @Joshua – Chase probably has some sort of limit on how many business cards any given business can have, but that won’t be affected by your personal cards.

  23. ParatrooperJJ says:

    Be aware that business cards are exempt from the provisions of the CARD act…

  24. ho wlong does it take to post the 50k points?
    I made the 5k in purchases right away – and then the statement closed without the 50k points posting about 3 weeks ago
    called the CSR and got conflicting answers… 1 month vs 3 months vs ‘soon’ depending on which CSR I got
    the reason I care is that Chase has a sale on 25% off their UR catalog – great delas for products that are normally never on sale

    frustrating…

  25. Hmm. I just applied for the business card from chase and it said “decision pending — receive by mail” Does that mean I was denied? :/

  26. In response to Joshua above: I called up Chase at the phone number another posted shared above and was transferred to the business department, who reviewed my small business and usage rate before approving me. It was quite simple and harmless.

  27. @Joshua: Same thing happened to me with the “decision pending”, but after ~3weeks, I received a letter in the mail saying I was approved.

    @Harish You get a free 1 year membership at prioritypass.com. After you enroll at their website, they will send you a membership card which will let you in the airport lounges. 2 are free, after that it’s $27. I just signed up. It should be valuable for the inevitable winter travel delays.

  28. Do you know if you can receive 5x points for things like gas from countries outside the US and phone bills etc.. I wasn’t sure what this meant:
    You do not earn points on cash-like charges such as travelers checks, foreign currency, and money orders, overdraft advances, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind.

  29. ananyomous says:

    So I wasn’t paying close enough attention and was at only $4500 spend by my 3 month deadline. Does anyone have experience with having missed a promotion requirement but somehow getting the promotion benefit or part of it?

  30. @ananymous – My advice would be to spend the $5,000, and then e-mail Chase via online customer service and explain the situation and that you only missed the deadline by X amount of time and if they would consider granting you a one-time exception. They should have the power to give you at least a chunk of points. Good luck!

  31. Please note that small biz cards are NOT covered by the CARD Act aka “Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure” Act.

  32. Just want to point out that if you do have a business, make sure you are also filing any taxes if it due. The late filing fee (for a partnership, don’t know about sole prop.) is $185 per month per partner. Yes, per month per partner!! No matter how much you actually earned, it is just late filing fee. Point is, don’t miss the business tax returns if you need to file (or make sure extension is filed).

  33. @AB
    Does that mean if I don’t have a business, and just getting the card, I still have to file tax?

  34. Sole proprietorships don’t need to file a separate business return, their income is just reported on Schedule C which can be handled by TurboTax or similar for simple situations.

  35. Jonathan, is there a list of airlines you can use the rewards points towards? You mention transferring points to British or American, but could you say use the points towards a purchase of a Delta flight?

  36. @Scott – You can purchase any Delta flight through their flight portal (like Expedia) using your points for a 25% bonus. That’d probably be the best bet.

    Alternatively, you could transfer to Korean Airlines, which is a Skyteam member, and redeem those miles on a Delta flight. That might be a hassle and you’d be redeeming Korean Air miles which can’t mix with Delta miles.

    Here is the complete list of current airline transfer partners:

    United Airlines
    Southwest Airlines
    Virgin Atlantic
    British Airways
    Korean Air

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