Review: Chase Ink Bold with Ultimate Rewards

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The quickest way to increase your rewards is to use a card not just for your personal spending but for your business expenses as well. Chase’s Ink Bold Charge Card is a business charge card – not a credit card – that earns Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for a variety of valuable options. In addition, it offers up to five times the points on certain purchases.

(Unlike a credit card, a charge card requires you to pay your balance in full every month or face a steep penalty. The upside is no spending limits and better rewards. American Express offers the best-known charge cards.)

Advantages

  • Earn Ultimate Rewards Points. Each dollar you spend earns a single point in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. Purchases from gas stations and hotels earn 2 points per dollar, and you can earn an incredible 5 points per dollar spent at office supply stores and on telephone, Internet, and cable services.
  • Spend Ultimate Rewards Points. Once earned, these points can be redeemed for frequent flier miles with Southwest, United, Korean, and British Airways. You can also exchange them for hotel points or even Amtrak Rewards. Or instead, you can redeem them for 1 cent each in cash back.
  • Receive a huge sign-up bonus. You receive 25,000 points after making your first purchase, and another 25,000 points after spending $10,000 within the first three months of opening an account. Since points are worth a minimum of 1 cent each as cash back, that can be worth $500.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Unlike most cards, you won’t have to pay a surcharge on charges processed outside of the United States.
  • Lounge access. This card comes with a Lounge Club membership that offers two free visits a year to airport business lounges and discounted admission after that.

Disadvantages

  • Annual fee. There’s a $95 annual fee that’s not waived the first year (something other cards regularly do). That’s a little on the high side, but you can easily make this up with spending in the bonus categories.
  • No flexible payment option. As a charge card user, you’re expected to pay your balance in full each month. There’s no option to extend payments.
  • Difficult to qualify for. You must have excellent credit to get approved. Even then, a Chase representative is likely to contact you to confirm the details of your application.

Bottom line…

Get it if: You want to use your business spending to rake in valuable Ultimate Rewards points that you can redeem for free travel.

Forget it if: You need to carry a balance or you just don’t spend enough to justify the annual fee.

Get the Ink Bold with Ultimate Rewards.

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