Chase Ink Bold 5% Cash Back Credit Card & $500+ Sign Up Bonus

Posted by Madison on November 14, 2012

As part of my $3,000 Credit Card Application Spree I’m a proud new Ink Bold Card carrier.

I was intending to scoop up the $500 bonus when you redeem the 50,000 bonus points and move on… but I found a whole new world of excitement with this card. I didn’t know that it was going to become one of my new favorite cards! Essentially, it is a 5% cash back everywhere card.

How to Earn 5% Cash Back Everywhere

I didn’t pay much attention to this card at first because the 5% (or 5x points as they like to call it) is for office supply stores, cell phone, landline, and cable/internet. I didn’t shop much at Office Supply stores… until, I realized they also sell the Visa Prepaid Credit Cards.

I was buying them at the grocery store for American Express 6% Cash Back, but I just got an email from a reader, Barbara, who let me know that Amex is going to cap the grocery store spending at $6,000. Good news, Barbara…. we can move on to buying our gift cards at office supply stores! You still have to pay the fee for each $500 card, which is usually around $4, so you end up netting around 4.2% cash back.

How to Get $500+ Sign Up Bonus

In addition to the 5%, Kate highlighted that the Ink Bold card has a $500 – $625 Sign Up Bonus with 50,000 bonus points in a recent Free Money article. Update: Just this week, Chase announced the spending requirement for the 50,000 points was lowered to a $5,000 spending requirement (it was a bit harder with a $10,000 spending requirement).

I found that we could get partway there with the gift card purchases above. Another easy way is to buy the free after rebate offers that are pretty common at Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples. (I further maximized the free rebate offers by selling the office supplies I didn’t need on Amazon).

Chase Ink Bold Card

  • Annual Fee: $95, waived for first year
  • Points do not expire.

Tips and Tricks of the Ink Bold

Pay in full. The Ink Bold card is a charge card, so you must pay the balance in full each month (which I do anyways). They do have another version, the Ink Plus which is a credit card and allows you to carry a balance. Although, it’s only 0% interest for the first 6 months of purchases.

Rewards Mall. The Ink Bold card comes with the added bonus of the Ultimate Rewards mall. Stay tuned for more on the rewards mall in a future article!

Maximizing Points. Once you get your points, check out the Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.

Stacking with Gift Card Offers. In addition to buying the prepaid cards, you can stack them with the gift card deals. For example, right now you get a $15 Staples gift card when you buy a $100 Visa or Mastercard. On Black Friday, Office Max is offering a similar deal. The gift card more than covers the activation fee and increases your net return!

Business Card Hurdle

The business catch. I know, the Ink Bold is a business credit card, but if I would have let that stop me years ago, I’d have missed out on a lot of free money! The way I look at it, everyone is in a business of some sort. My favorite “business” before I had a real business was to apply with my income I made selling my old college textbooks on the old I used to put down $200 in income, and the credit card companies issued me a card.

If you don’t have a business, consider some of your extracurricular money making habits… do you sell things on ebay or are you now an Amazon seller? Do you hold garage sales? What about selling your used car? Or are you are thinking of starting a business? See where I’m going here? You can use your own name and SSN and list the type of business as a sole proprietor. They might call you to confirm, but on one of my last business applications I happily told them that the particular business I applied with didn’t make any money, but I’m planning to make a lot more in the future!

And now for an idea even further outside the box… could an individual potentially be “in the business” of signing up for credit card offers? That would be a good business right… and very lucrative, I might add!

More Ways to Maximize the Ink Bold Card

I was a little slow to pick up on this card, so just to make sure I was covering all the possible ways to maximize the earnings, I asked a reader, Stanley, for even more tips about the card. He’s had the Ink card longer than I have and has some fantastic tips to share with readers:

Use Reloadable Cards. Not only can you buy Visa Prepaid Credit Cards (and standard gift cards), but you can get the Vanilla Reload Card to reload the money. Frequent Miler points out that you can reload the card with $2500, which means we can finally use one card, instead of juggling multiple gift cards. There are some reports that they may stop selling these, so scoop them up if you still see them in your store!

5% Categories. In addition to office supply stores, cell phone, landline, internet, and cable services all earn 5%. (Gas stations and hotels earn 2%).

Transfer Chase Freedom card points to Ink Bold. Stanley adds “Chase Freedom has this program call “Chase Exclusive“, if you have a Chase Checking, you can earn 10% + 10 points for every purchase, meaning that if you spend 10 dollars, you get 10 points + 1 point (10%) + 10 pints (10 points per spending) = 21. So what you have earned on the Chase Freedom, you can transfer them to the Ink Bold card.”

Thanks Stanley, for pointing out that the Ink Bold Card isn’t only as good as I thought… it’s even better! Now, off to my new favorite shopping spots: the office supply stores!

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