The new Ink Bold Business Card for small business owners isn't new–it was launched back in 2009–but it's worth considering if you have (or soon will have) a small business, have ample spend, and would like the 50,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points. Since you can no longer transfer Membership Rewards points to Continental, it's a good way of earning MileagePlus miles towards Star Alliance awards for travel on Lufthansa, Swiss, Thai, ANA and other partner airlines.
- 50,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points after spending $5000 in 3 months
- Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to Amtrak, British Airways, Continental/United MileagePlus, Hyatt, Priority Club, Korean Air and Marriott
- Annual fee of $95 waived the first year
- No foreign transaction fees: this is a great new change that brings the card more in line with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, since the old Ink Bold card did apply a 3% foreign transaction fee
- 2x points for spend on hotels and gas stations (Update: travel agencies used to be included, and I was grandfathered in, but going forward only direct hotel bookings are at 2x)
- 5x points for spend on “office” expenses such as wireless/cellphone service (excludes equipment such as phones and fax machines), cable/satellite TV, and office supply stores. Note that warehouse clubs and superstores (e.g. Costco, Sam's Club etc.) are excluded.
- 2 complimentary airport lounge passes each year: choose from over 350 airport lounges worldwide
- No pre-set spending limit
- MasterCard, which is accepted more widely than American Express
- Dedicated advisors you can speak with (easy to get a human on the line)
- Expenses and potential tax deductions itemized
- Additional cards for employees (you may set spending limits and define the types of allowable charges for these employee cards)
- You should be able to receive this card and bonus even if you already have some Chase personal credit cards, since this is a business card product, although it would be best if you haven't just recently had a lot of Chase applications or have a history of churning Chase credit cards.
- You can usually apply for a Chase business and personal card at the same time and get approved for both
- Must spend $5000 within first 3 months to receive the bonus
- Card does not give 2x points for dining and travel spend, except for the 2x on hotel spend.
- $95 annual fee after the first year
Update: We now include the Ink Bold Business card and its relative, the Ink Plus Credit Card, in Best Travel Credit Cards, because of its lucrative 5X category bonuses. You can get 5X points for most spend by purchasing Visa gift cards at office supply stores (they incur a fee, but with the $500 denomination cards it's still worth it) or other merchants' gift cards, such as Amazon, to get 5X points on all Amazon spend. There's also no foreign transaction fee, which is convenient not only for traveling, but when purchasing anything from an international vendor or where the transaction will be processed outside the U.S. And for most small businesses, the $5000 spend within the first 3 months is quite manageable.
If your goal is simply accruing miles or points at the lowest possible spend and you're looking at business cards, I'd recommend you apply for the cards in this order:
1. CitiBusiness AAdvantage Visa Card: 50K AAdvantage bonus miles after $2500 spend within the first 4 months. See our post American Airlines Citi 50K AAdvantage Bonus and our Best Travel Credit Cards page for the best current offer.
2. Chase Ink Bold: 50K points or Chase Ink Plus: 50K points after $10,000 spend (if this article was helpful, we'd appreciate your using our referral link to apply for the Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus, as we receive a small commission)
3. American Express Business Gold Rewards Card: 75K Membership Rewards bonus points after $10,000 spend within the first 5 months. Even though the Web site says “Today's Exclusive Web Offer” which led us to post it as a today-only offer in our post 75,000 Membership Rewards Points for AMEX New Business Gold Rewards Card it's still on offer several days later. High spend though, so look out for any targeted offers you receive with a lower spend requirement.
Check out and apply for the Best Travel Credit Cards.