Ink Bold vs. Ink Plus vs. Ink Classic vs. Ink Cash: Which Business Card?
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, Belmond Bellini 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?

Ink Bold vs. Ink Plus vs. Ink Classic vs. Ink Cash: Which Business Card?

As if 3 different Ink business cards weren't confusing enough, Chase has resurrected the Ink Plus, adding a fourth Ink business card to the mix. Since I've already gotten a couple emails asking about the Ink Plus that I mentioned in passing in How to Buy Ultimate Rewards Points, I figured it was time for a comparison of all the Ink business cards:

 

Ink Bold Business Card: 50,000 Points

The main difference between the Ink Bold Business Card and the resurrected Ink Plus is that the Ink Bold is a charge card. That means that there's no predefined credit limit, but you must pay off the card in full every month. 

Pros:

  • No predefined spend limit, as a charge card
  • 50,000 bonus after $5000 spend within the first 3 months
  • 5X points for Internet, cable, phone services, office supply stores (including gift cards, e.g. Amazon)
  • 2X points for hotel and gas spend
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee is waived the first year
  • Lounge Club membership and two complimentary lounge passes per year

Cons:

  • Must spend $5000 within 3 months to receive 50,000 point bonus
  • Maximum of $50,000 in spend can receive the 5X bonus, for up to 250,000 points
  • Annual fee after first year is $95
  • No 0% APR grace period, as a charge card


Ink Plus: 50,000 Points

The Ink Plus isn't new--it was around in 2010 in a different incarnation, and with a much lower bonus. This time around, it looks exactly the same as the Ink Bold--same 50,000 bonus, same $5000 spend requirement to receive the bonus, same 5X and 2X bonus categories, etc.--except the Ink Plus is a credit card.

So all the pros and cons above apply except:

Pros of Ink Plus vs. Ink Bold:

  • 0% intro APR for first 6 months means that it can be easier to meet the $5K minimum spend within 3 months by purchasing gift cards for Amazon, Visa, etc. that you can use later for business expenses, then paying these off in months 4-6 without incurring any interest penalties.

Cons of Ink Plus vs. Ink Bold

  • As a credit card, you will have a predefined credit limit. For my business, I like the flexibility of not having to worry about bumping up against a too low credit limit in any given month.


Ink Classic: 20,000 Points

The key aspect of the Ink Classic in addition to the lower bonus is that it has no annual fee, and because of this, you can't transfer points out to Ultimate Rewards partners (United, Hyatt, etc.) unless you also have a fee-paying card, such as the Ink Bold or Sapphire Preferred. 

Pros of Ink Classic vs. Ink Plus

  • No annual fee, making it a good card to keep open for your credit score: increase average age of accounts and show low credit utilization
  • Lower spend requirement for bonus

Cons of Ink Classic vs. Ink Plus

  • Lower bonus: 20,000 points after spending $3000 in three months
  • Maximum of $25,000 in spend can receive the 5X bonus, for up to 125,000 points
  • Must have an Ink Plus, Ink Bold or Sapphire Preferred account in order to transfer points out to Ultimate Rewards partners such as United, Hyatt, etc.


Ink Cash: $200 Cash Back

Unless you have no interest in redeeming for travel, I don't recommend the Ink Cash, as it's a pure cash back card: no points at all. Instead of 5X points, you earn 5X cash back on the same categories as you do for the other Ink cards: office supply stores, Internet, cable TV, and mobile/landline telephony. But note that the 2X categories are gas and restaurants, not gas and hotels.


Strategy

If you don't have any Ink business cards, your first question may be--am I eligible? While business cards are almost never approved instantly, don't let that faze you. Check our post with reconsideration phone numbers. If you have any kind of hobby that makes some money, such as selling things on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, at garage sales, etc.--that's a business. If you're a landlord, that's a business. If you do any consulting work, that's a business. 

Next, figure out if you can front load expenses in order to complete $5000 spend within 3 months, for the 50,000 Ink Bold or Ink Plus bonus. For help, see Maximizing the Chase Ink Bold: How to Meet Minimum Spend 

Between the Ink Bold and Ink Plus, it's down to whether you prefer a charge card with no predefined spending limit, or if you want the Ink Plus with its initial 0% APR for the first 6 months. 

Can you apply for both the Ink Bold and Ink Plus at the same time? It is possible to get both, but you'll need to complete $10,000 in spend within 3 months. Personally I think a good strategy for anyone who already has the Ink Bold is to wait and apply for the Ink Plus around the time that their Ink Bold 1 year anniversary comes up, since you may not be able to negotiate an annual fee waiver for the Ink Bold. That way, you'd basically have a replacement Ink card product with another annual fee waiver that's almost exactly the same as the Ink Bold except as a credit card, not a charge card--hopefully you'd get a high enough credit limit. 

 

Related posts

Bye Bye Ink Bold: Last Chance for 50K Points with No Annual Fee

Ink Bold Signup Tips

Maximizing the Chase Ink Bold: How to Meet Minimum Spend

5X Points for All Amazon Spend

Make Your Own 100,000 Credit Card Bonus Offer

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.

If you enjoyed this, join 150,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Amenities! 

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Comments
Avatar_60_masha Masha G. commented 02 Aug 2012

Do you know how much is the annual fee for the Ink Plus?

Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 02 Aug 2012
Masha, the Ink Plus annual fee is waived the first year, then $95; same as the Ink Bold.
Leave a Comment
Comment
Facebook-logo
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_best_premium_economy-seat_pitch_41_inches
4/3/2016
  I had my best Premium Economy flight today. Granted, I normally try to fly at least business class for international flights, but this was a relatively short international flight and I decided Premium Economy was all my son and...
Square_amex_platinum_airline_fee_credits_posted-400_off_american_airlines_flights
5/14/2016
Our 2016 AMEX Platinum Airline Fee Credits have posted, which will give us $400 off American Airlines flights. My husband and I both have the AMEX Business Platinum card, so we each were reimbursed $200 for our American Airlines e-gift...
Square_75k_mercedes_benz_platinum_amex_bonus_offer
4/30/2016
  A 75K Mercedes-Benz Platinum AMEX bonus offer is available, for $3000 minimum spend, so I've updated our Best Travel Credit Cards page and made it 4th on that list. Recently I wrote about the semi-targeted 75K AMEX Business Platinum...
Square_70k_united_mileageplus_explorer_bonus_targeted_offer
6/16/2016
  A 70K United MileagePlus Explorer bonus offer is being targeted to some MileagePlus members. Here are the offer details: 70,000 bonus MileagePlus miles after spending $3000 in purchases in the first 3 months after account opening 5000 bonus miles...
Square_review-american_a321_first_class_seat_2f
4/5/2016
  This American Airlines A321 First Class Review is part of a trip report on Bora Bora, Tahiti and New Zealand luxury resorts, dining and activities. For the prior posts, please see: Review: American A321 Business Class New York to Los...
Square_50k_lufthansa_miles_and_more_bonus_offer_returns
4/5/2016
  A 50,000 Lufthansa Miles & More World MasterCard bonus offer has returned, and I've added it to the Best Travel Credit Cards page.   Here are the offer details: 20,000 Miles & More miles after first purchase Additional 30,000 Miles & More...
Square_japan_airlines_jal-no_seat_selection_online_for_aa_award_tickets
4/26/2016
  Update: JAL online seat selection is again available, perhaps thanks to my and others' complaints about the system update that had eliminated it. -----Original Post----- JAL Seat Selection Online is No Longer Available for AA Award Tickets and other...
Square_ritz-carlton_stars_benefits_and_top_stars_exclusive_offers-ritz-carlton_pudong-3rd_night_free
4/24/2016
Ritz-Carlton STARS Benefits are the perks of the Ritz-Carlton's preferred partner program, and can only be reserved through TravelSort, as a TravelSort Client, or via another STARS member luxury travel advisor. Here are the benefits: Guaranteed 4pm late check-out, when...
Square_british_airways_first_class_from_1984_roundtrip
5/12/2016
  British Airways First Class Can Be Booked for as little as $1998 roundtrip today, May 12, thanks to a BA first class and business class fare sale combined with an AARP discount and an extra 10% British Airways Visa...
Square_jetblue_mint_or_american_a321_business_class-which_is_better-jetblue_mint_suite
4/19/2016
  JetBlue Mint or American A321 Business Class: Which is Better? Since I've flown JetBlue Mint a couple times SFO-JFK in 2015, and very recently flew American Business Class on the A321 for a transcontinental flight LAX-JFK, I thought it...