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Last week I shared how my dad is desperately in need of a credit card makeover. For years I was focused on optimizing the credit card strategies for everyone in my family, though somehow I fell behind in that regard, and I’d say his current credit card portfolio is sup-optimal, even for someone looking for a simple strategy.
Optimizing his Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
I don’t want to overwhelm him too much with these changes, especially since he’ll have quite a few minimum spends to reach. In the previous post I shared what I consider to be “step one” of this strategy, which will help him optimize his Ultimate Rewards points. Currently he has the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, and Chase Freedom® Card. My plan to upgrade his current Chase card portfolio is as follows:
- Step 1: have him apply for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
- Step 2: have him downgrade his Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Step 3: have him apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠
When all is said and done he’ll have the perfect set of four Chase cards, in my opinion, as he’ll have the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase Freedom® Card, and Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Between these four cards he’ll be earning:
- 5x points in rotating quarterly categories (up to $1,500 of spend per quarter)
- 3x points on dining and travel
- 3x points on shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engine (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per cardmember year)
- 1.5x points on everyday purchases
That’s an amazing return on spend, when you consider that at a minimum all those points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards a travel purchase (that means even base spend is earning a return of 2.25%).
Why he applied for the Ink Business Preferred Card
- This card has the single best sign-up bonus of any card on the market, as it offers 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months; I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me that return is worth ~$1,360
- This card offers 3x points on shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engine (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per cardmember year)
- The card offers an incredible cell phone protection plan of up to $600 per claim, against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your Ink Business Preferred Card; you can have a maximum of three claims in a 12 month period, and there’s a $100 deductible per claim
How did the Ink Business Preferred application go?
My dad applied for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card last Thursday, and got the typical “thank you for your request” message. Instant approvals on Chase business cards are rare, in my experience.
There are two approaches people can take at this point:
- You can wait for your application to naturally be processed
- You can phone up Chase and speak to an analyst; I find this can be quite time consuming, as they ask a lot of questions
My dad let the application just go through the usual process. I was worried he might not be automatically approved since his other Chase business card has a really high credit limit (in those cases they’ll sometimes ask you to switch around some credit lines in order to be approved). However, to my surprise, as of yesterday his online account shows the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card that he had applied for, with a credit limit of $15,000. Sweet!
I’m happy that the first step of my dad’s credit card makeover is complete. Next up he’ll be converting the Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited, and then he’ll be applying outright for the Sapphire Reserve. At that point he’ll have the best credit card quadfecta out there, in my opinion.
I’m happy (and sort of jealous, since I can’t get the card myself) that my dad got approved for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, and that he’ll earn the huge 80,000 point sign-up bonus. The icing on the cake was that he didn’t even have to call, but rather the application just automatically came through within a few days.