After getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card $500 in airfare bonus, I developed a taste for Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. Chase’s answer to American Express Membership Rewards (MR) points, UR points provide some features that MR points don’t (and vice versa). You can cash out UR points at a flat 10,000 points = $100. You can also use them towards travel at an Expedia-like portal for 10,000 points = $125 toward airfare, hotel, and car rentals. The prices are not marked up at all and you can combine cash and points however you like, so I use 1.25 cents per point as a baseline value. Finally, you can transfer them to United Airlines, Southwest, British Airways, Korean, Hyatt, and Marriott rewards at a 1:1 ratio. If you use United and British Airways for international and/or business-class flights, you can get closer to 2 cents per point in value.
Example of combining cash and points:
Therefore, in my last round of application I decided to apply for the Ink Bold® Business Card which was a small business card offering 50,000 bonus points – after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months your account is open. I wouldn’t mind only earning 1 UR point per dollar on most of my business spend, although they do offer 5X points per dollar in select business categories. (More details on the Chase Ink Bold Business Card here.)
Spending $5,000 on a card over three months is not something I usually do and I didn’t have any large business expenses coming up, however, I do have to pay quarterly estimated taxes to Uncle Sam. As a result, I found PayUSATax.com (accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover) which had the lowest fee for making tax payments with a credit card at 1.89%. You can verify them as an authorized payment provider here at IRS.gov.
The IRS deadline for quarterly payment was coming up, so I decided to make a $5,000 payment for one quarter now and another $5,000 payment on the next billing statement for the next quarter. This meant I could charge $10,000 ($5,000 x 2) which would earn me 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points ($125 value) and I would be charged a $189 fee ($94.50 x 2). However, this would satisfy the spending requirement and would get me another 25,000 UR points ($312.50 value). Still a nice net win even after taking the fee into account.
As you can see from my statement scans below, the first $5,000 tax payment and $94.50 fee went through separately with no cash advance charges or other issues.
I also received my first 25,000 points on my very first statement:
Another useful perk of Ultimate Rewards points is that you can transfer them over to any other person’s account with no fee. This is handy to transfer between family or household members for pooling points and miles. My small business Chase Ink Bold Business Card UR points are in a different account than my personal Sapphire Preferred points, so I just transferred them over and it showed up instantly.
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