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As I’m sure everyone knows by now, there’s an increased 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus on the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card. In order to earn the points you have to spend $5,000 within three months, and the $95 annual fee on the card isn’t waived. The increased sign-up offer expires this Sunday, October 19, 2014.
Interestingly the same increased sign-up bonus isn’t available on the Ink Bold® Business Charge Card. The card has virtually identical benefits, with the only major difference being that it’s a charge card, meaning you can’t carry a balance (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, in my opinion). The sign-up bonus on that card is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points with the same spend requirement, though the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
However, the slight complication is that rumor has it that the Ink Bold will be discontinued at some point. I don’t have any inside information on whether that’s true or not, so have no clue on the timeline on that if it were to happen.
So which Ink card is best to apply for?
What it comes down to is one of two options:
- Go for the promotional increased sign-up bonus since it’s the better offer (we don’t know if/when the increased bonus will return)
- Choose the card which might go away
Keep in mind that you can be approved for and earn the sign-up bonus on both cards, since they’re considered unique products. Generally I recommend waiting at least 30 days between Chase business card applications, though.
So I guess the question comes down to whether you think the Ink Bold will be around for at least another 30 days or not. Like I said, I don’t have any insight here. I would guess that if it is going away it probably won’t be within the next month, but that’s just speculation on my part.
Are Ultimate Rewards points actually valuable?
With the Ink Plus sign-up bonus you earn 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points. If nothing else, each of those can be redeemed for 1.25 cents towards the cost of a travel purchase. So that’s $875 worth of travel, though that’s definitely not how I would redeem the points, since there are much better uses of them.
Ultimate Rewards has almost a dozen transfer partners, including three of my absolute favorite loyalty programs:
I’d argue that Korean Air and Singapore have the two most underrated programs when it comes to aspirational premium cabin redemptions. Hyatt Gold Passport is also the best hotel program for aspirational hotel redemptions, in my opinion.
Infinity pool at the Park Hyatt Seoul — just 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night, or 7,500 points + $100
I value Ultimate Rewards points at well over 1.5 cents each, given the number of great redemptions you can make with these points for some of the most aspirational airlines and hotels in the world.
Both the Ink Plus or Ink Bold have great sign-up bonuses, and Ultimate Rewards are a very worthwhile currency, so I’d definitely pick up one or the other in the next couple of days. Which is better for you depends on your risk tolerance and which of the cards you currently have or have had in the past.