Chase Ink Bold 5X: Use AMEX Bluebird to Spend $50K for 250,000 Points?
Avatar_160_hilary
Hilary Stockton
Google+

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Peninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

GOT A BLOG POST IDEA?
Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

Chase Ink Bold 5X: Use AMEX Bluebird to Spend $50,000 for 200,000 Points?

 

TravelSort reader Jason asks "I've read I can use the new American Express Bluebird Prepaid card loaded with Vanilla reloads bought with the Chase Ink Bold to earn 5X points paying my rent, utilities, and student loans. Can I maximize this to get as close as possible to the $50,000 limit for 5X spend by the end of the year, netting me 250,000 points?"

I have mixed feelings about AMEX Bluebird--certainly it's generating tons of excitement now on blogs and FlyerTalk, because of its ability to pay bills that normally weren't able to be paid by credit card at all, such as mortgages, rent, and a variety of loans, and not only pay them with credit card, but also get 5X if you reloaded the card with Vanilla refills. Sounds great! But here are the issues I see:

1. It's becoming VERY difficult in many places to buy Vanilla reloads at Office Depot with a credit card because the cards are out of stock (and not being restocked). For example, there haven't been any in NYC, where I am, for months, and reports are that they are next to imposible to find in the SF Bay Area, Chicago and DC area as well. If your Office Depot is still carrying these cards and you can consistently buy them with your Ink Bold, count yourself lucky! 

2. You can't load the AMEX Bluebird directly with a credit card, at least as far as I'm aware; you can only load it with a Vanilla reload card (if you can find it, see above) or a debit card or cash at Walmart. Depending on where you live (e.g. here in NYC), there's no Walmart nearby. And not everyone has (or wants to have) a debit card. Not to mention you don't generate anywhere near the points benefit with debit cards as you do with the Ink Bold or Ink Plus.

3. Bluebird is ripe for abuse, which is usually followed by some crackdowns on individuals (cards shut down) and a change in the rules. Yes, you currently can use Bluebird to withdraw from an ATM or transfer funds to your bank account--but a pattern of doing that is likely to get you shut down by American Express and/or by Chase (your Ink Bold or Ink Plus account, for abuse of the 5X perk with excessive reload purchases at Office Depot).

 

That said, if you've gotten the AMEX Bluebird and have ready access to Vanilla reloads, by all means use it to pay your rent, utilities and student loans. Some normal ATM withdrawals are fine too, just not more than what you would normally withdraw at one time.

I still wouldn't rush out and try to spend $50,000 too soon. Sudden very high Office Depot spend of $5000 or more a month could trigger some unwanted scrutiny of your account, especially if it dwarfs other spend you put on the card. 

Also know that the Ink Bold $50,000 annual limit for 5X spend is NOT by calendar year; it's from the date you became a cardholder (your "Enrollment Date"). So if you got the Ink Bold or Ink Plus in August 2012, you have until August 2013 to hit your maximum 5X spend of $50,000, for a total of 250,000 points. See the terms below:

Chase Ink Bold 5X: Use AMEX Bluebird to Spend $50K for 200K Points?

 

That said, I'd still advise against going for the $50,000 maximum spend if it means that virtually all spend on your Ink Bold or Ink Plus card will be at 5X. That's simply not profitable for Chase, and you have to consider--if you were Chase, wouldn't you focus on retaining profitable customers and culling unprofitable ones, especially if they seemed to be abusing perks? As with most things in life, moderation is key.

Have any questions or tips to share about the new AMEX Bluebird or maximizing points with the Ink Bold? Share in the comments!

 

Related Posts and Resources
 
 
 
 
 

Check out and apply for the Best Travel Credit Cards.

If you enjoyed this, please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a Member to find your perfect luxury or boutique hotel at up to 50% off: TravelSort Hotels

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Square_100k_citi_prestige_card_signup_bonus_offer
4/18/2015
A 100K Citi Prestige Card targeted signup bonus offer has started arriving via mail to some Flyertalk posters such as ILGfly.   I have largely ignored this card, partly because I'm most focused on Citi AAdvantage cards in terms of...
Square_maldives_surfing_at_four_seasons_kuda_huraa-surfing_lesson-kids_can_learn_to_surf
4/17/2015
  Surfing in the Maldives? Yes, at the Four Seasons at Kuda Huraa! While there is an international surfing competition held at Kuda Huraa each August, you don't need to be a pro to learn the basics. If you've ever...
Comments
Leave a Comment
Comment
Facebook-logo
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_50k_united_mileageplus_explorer_business_card_bonus
2/3/2015
  There's a 50K United MileagePlus Explorer Business Credit Card offer targeted to most United MileagePlus members. While United MileagePlus miles aren't as valuable as they were over a year ago, before the United Award Chart Devaluation that increased awards...
Square_100k_amex_business_platinum_bonus_offer
3/2/2015
  A 100K AMEX Business Platinum signup bonus offer just arrived in the mail, so I applied and was approved. I'd been hoping for such an offer, since in my view the 40K public offer is too low given the...
Square_50k_amex_premier_rewards_gold_bonus_offer-new
1/30/2015
  A 50,000 American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card offer is available to new AMEX card holders. Here are the details: Earn 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after $1000 in eligible purchases on the Premier Rewards Gold Card within 3...
Square_75k_amex_business_gold_rewards_bonus_offer_2015
3/9/2015
  A 75K AMEX Business Gold Rewards card bonus offer is available online, although unlike some previous offers, it has a minimum spend of $10,000 during the first 3 months. Update: some have written to say they can't get the...
Square_new_british_airways_avios_devaluation
1/28/2015
  Another British Airways Avios Devaluation--already. I thought it might be towards the end of this year, given the major British Airways devaluation in late 2011, but it's again time to burn Avios, at least if you're planning on British...
Square_chase_refer_a_friend-earn_50000_points_
2/27/2015
Chase Refer a Friend is back: earn up to 50,000 points for referring family and friends to the Chase Sapphire Preferred and other Chase cards. You'll earn 5000 points for each successful referral, up to a maximum of 50,000 points...
Square_discounted_united_partner_business_class_awards_bookable_for_all_of_2015-asiana_business_class
2/1/2015
  Discounted United Partner Business Class Awards are Bookable for All of 2015 Starting Feb. 10 if you ticket by February 28 (see United announcement) via Dan--good news if you have tons of United miles you didn't manage to redeem before...
Square_75k_and_50k_amex_business_gold_card_bonus_offers-50k
2/11/2015
  There are 75K and 50K American Express Business Gold Card signup bonus offers which you may be targeted for or be able to get. Here are the details: 75K AMEX Business Gold Card Bonus Offer Via teddy25 at Flyertalk,...
Square_150k_amex_business_platinum_card_bonus_offer
4/5/2015
  I just received a 150,000 AMEX Business Platinum Card bonus offer in the mail as a targeted offer, which was thrilling, as to my knowledge, this is the highest bonus offer available for the American Express Business Platinum card....
Square_cathay_pacific_first_class_awards_available_boston_to_hong_kong
1/21/2015
  Cathay Pacific First Class awards are available on its new Boston to Hong Kong route. Previously, I wrote that Cathay Pacific would launch its Boston to Hong Kong flights starting May 1, 2015. At the time, only paid flights...