Frequently Asked Questions on Ink Bold/Ink Plus Bonus Offer

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To celebrate national small business week Chase is offering a limited time sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points on the Ink Bold® Business Charge Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card after spending $5,000 within three months.

The normal sign-up bonus on the card is 50,000 points, and I consider that to be the best sign-up bonus out there, especially given the otherwise reasonable $95 annual fee is waived the first year. I’ve received lots of questions about the cards, so I figured I’d answer some of them here.

What if I already have a Chase card?

One of the things I really appreciate about Chase is they don’t preclude you from getting the sign up bonus on a new card if you already have another Chase product. This makes it possible to accrue points more quickly, given you can split your spending across various cards (due to bonus categories, card benefits, etc.).

On top of that, the Ink Bold® Business Charge Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card are both business cards, so they’re considered separately from any personal cards you may have with Chase.

While everyone’s individual situation varies (income, credit score, number of open accounts, credit utilization, etc.), it’s very possible to be approved for a Chase business card even if they won’t necessarily approve you for another personal card.

So if you already have another Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you should have no problem adding either of the Ink cards and receiving the sign up bonus, assuming you’re otherwise eligible..  

Wait, I had an Ink Bold/Ink Plus a while back, but I’m sure it was a Mastercard. Why does the application say this is for a Visa card?

Chase is moving towards using the Visa system across much of their network, so both the Ink Bold® Business Charge Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card are now issued by Visa.

This means the ancillary benefits of the cards are slightly different than they’ve been in the past, as things like rental car coverage are now covered under the Visa umbrella rather than Mastercard.

It also means that if you’ve had either card in the past you may still be eligible for one of these cards, as the Visa versions of the both cards are considered a new product.

Which credit card is easiest to get approved for — the Ink Bold® Business Charge Card or Ink Plus® Business Credit Card?

The Ink Bold® Business Charge Card is a charge card, which means the balance has to be paid off in full each month. Meanwhile the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card is a credit card. This means you can finance charges over time.

In theory the Ink Bold should be easier to be approved for, given that it’s lower risk to Chase (since you can’t finance charges).

In practice, however, it really shouldn’t make a big difference unless you have a lot of cards with Chase. In some cases they may suggest moving credit line from another one of their cards so they limit their overall exposure.

These are small business cards – do I need to have a tax ID in order to apply?

You don’t have to have a company with a tax ID to apply. Any business — even a sole proprietorship — would make you eligible. If you’re a sole proprietorship without a tax ID then you’d just put your social security number in that field.

I know many people that have been approved for the card with start-ups and limited business income. Just be honest about the type of business, income, etc.

Which is better for your credit score, the Ink Bold® Business Charge Card or Ink Plus® Business Credit Card?

As I mentioned above, these are both business credit cards, so this can be a bit complicated.

If you apply for either card using your EIN, then your personal credit will take an initial hit when the application is processed, though long-term neither card will be considered on your personal credit report. You will see the inquiry listed, but the ongoing spend and utilization won’t typically be factored in to your overall personal credit profile.

So if you’re still trying to build up your personal credit keep in mind that you won’t necessarily get “kudos” for positive behavior on your business credit cards.

I already have the Ink Bold® Business Charge Card— can I be approved for the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card as well (or vice versa)?

Yep, it’s possible to have both of these cards at the same time, and even earn the sign-up bonus on both cards. However, I wouldn’t recommend applying for both at the same time.

It typically makes sense to wait 30 days between Chase business applications. Some may have luck being approved sooner, though the vast majority of data points suggest getting approved for more than one Chase business application within a month isn’t possible.

Even though the annual fee is waived the first year, I’d still prefer a no-annual fee card. What are the alternatives?

In that case you’ll want to look at the Ink Cash® Business Card, which is the no annual fee version of the Ink Plus and Ink Bold. They’ve increased the sign-up bonus on that card by 50%, from $200 to $300 after spending $3,000 within three months, and I think it’s the best no-annual-fee small business credit card.

If anyone has any other questions I didn’t cover above, let me know in the comments section and I’ll do what I can to help!



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  1. If I’m considering a mortgage in the next 6 months is a business card a bad hit to me? I’m thinking I need to just avoid new signups until the mortgage closes, is this flawed thinking?

  2. Has anyone been getting approved instantly for this or are people having to wait for a response in the mail? If the latter, does anyone know of the number to call and get a quicker response?

  3. @ Lantean — It hasn’t been announced, so don’t have any inside information on that. I’ve heard rumors that it could be May 31 or mid-June, but it’s all speculation.

  4. @ Alan — Ultimately it counts as an credit pull, and that’s the extent of it. It shouldn’t be a big deal either way assuming your credit score is good. If you’re applying for a mortgage and have a bunch of inquiries in a short amount of time you may be asked to explain it, but assuming your credit utilization is low it really shouldn’t make an issue. So with a good credit score and limited number of inquiries I wouldn’t let it stop you.

  5. Between my wife and myself we have 6 Ink cards. I love the 5x bonus on gift card purchases at Staples.

  6. Have Bold M/C, Plus Visa. Chase sent letter last month indicating they were moving me to Visa. They also change my accnt number. But I will not receive the card until sometime in June. Can I get the Bold Visa?

  7. Yet another post with links to the Ink cards…

    People – this represents a 20% increase in sign up points over what’s available anytime. So, if in doubt – pass.

    How many bloggers downplay minimal transfer bonuses from AMEX Membership Rewards points to airline miles?? Yet, this 20% bonus is all the rage.

    Wonder why????

  8. On applying for both at the same time:
    Last year I applied for the Ink Bold and Ink Plus at the same time. I called the reconsideration line and was approved for both. My wife also applied for both at the same time and got approved.

    This year I applied for both Visas at the same time and called in. This time they only approved me for the Ink Plus. My wife applied for just the Ink Bold Visa and was approved, not instantly but at least she didn’t have to call.

    So my advice is that it is ok to apply for both at the same time if you have zero Ink cards, otherwise do 1.

  9. @ lucky – why would personal credit take a hit if applying under a corporate EIN? Should have no relation to, and no impact on, personal (SSN) credit.

    @ Ron – I don’t really understand your complaint. 20% bonus sounds like a good time to sign up if it’s otherwise desired. What rewards is Amex offering that are better and regardless, that’s a whole different animal – Amex instead of Visa (not as widely accepted) and some like me already have an Amex and aren’t necessarily interested in another one. In fact, if anything, I am thinking of ditching my (personal) Skymiles platinum altogether, since it is no longer able to assure me Silver status on Delta with CC spend alone and has a $149/yr annual fee.

  10. @ Truth — Those applying as a sole proprietor often still need to list their SSN in many cases, which results in a personal credit pull, but won’t report on your personal profile going forward, as I understand it.

  11. “Chase is moving towards using the Visa system across their network”

    Really? The Chase IHG card just changed from a Visa to a MC

  12. I applied for both Ink Bold and Ink Plus on the same day but only got approved for the Ink Plus. I called the reconsideration line and was told I could not apply for both cards. Is it recommended to wait 30 days and try again for the Ink Bold?

  13. Applied for Ink Bold Plus (via link on this page) for my business. Maybe that’s why – my other cards are personal only – but I was not instantly approved, instead received an email saying I’d get an answer by mail within 30 days following further review of my application. After overcoming the initial shock – I haven’t been turned down for a credit card for decades! – I am wondering about this reconsideration line – do you wait until you get a denial letter before calling? Or do you call preemptively, while the application is under review (i.e., now), to see what the issue(s) is/are, and see what info. they may need to help push the decision to a yes? There is no phone number at all in the email I receiving acknowledging my online application.

  14. @ Truth — If it’s your first business card they may just want to verify some information. You can call the business card specialists at 800-945-2028.

  15. I signed up for the Ink Bold when it was still on Mastercard. There was a fraudulent charge on my account so Chase quickly replaced the card on a Visa. I’d like to know if I can cancel the reissued Visa card and re-apply for another Ink Bold.

  16. @ Sue — That’s a great question, not sure one way or another there. Do you have the Ink Plus Card? If not, you’d definitely be eligible for the bonus on that one, otherwise.

  17. @lucky – You were correct – the card came through for me (and a little something for you, too!) without any further action required on my part post-application.

  18. I’ve had a Ink visa bold for ~5yrs. With >6 mos left before card exps I just recieved in the mail an “updated” card issued from chase that is converted to ink plus. If I activate this new card will it mean I miss out on sign-up bonuses as chase converted this acct on their own from bold to plus? Seems like if I activate this new card I miss out on 80k sign up option but if I decline I would have to cancel acct (& 5 yrs worth of cc history). What are your thoughts?

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