Chase Ink Bold® Business Card Review
Chase has recently introduced a new series of business credit cards called “ink” along with a new reward program called the “Ultimate Rewards” program. They are called the “Ink” business cards in their line-up. Today, we’ll explore the Ink Bold® Business Card, which is actually a business charge card. Right now, new cardholders can get a whopping 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 within the first three months.. These bonus points are worth a lot because you can transfer them to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.
Rewards – The reward program is based on their new Ultimate Rewards program. According to Chase, you can earn up to 5X Points on business expense. Upon further investigation, here are the details. You can earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. You can also earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and for hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel.
Travel Rewards and Benefits – The Ultimate Rewards program allows you to redeem points in a few ways. Firstly, you could book your own travel with anyone and use points later once they are in your statements. This method will work for folks who simply love to do your own research and get the best deals and prices. You could also use the their travel booking site to book your airline tickets from their travel portal.
Transfer Points To Airline and Hotel Partners – This card is the business version of the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM Card in this aspect because you can transfer points into airline and hotel partners. Their airline and hotel partners include Continental, British Airways, Korean Air SkyPass, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club and Amtrak. You can transfer them at a 1:1 ratio.
Fees and Other Details – The annual fee for this card is $95 though the first year fee is waived. There is no pre-set spending limit for this card. Additional cards for employees have no fees and still earns you reward points.
This card was launched to directly compete against the Amex Green Business Card. But first, let’s compare this with their own Ink with Ultimate Rewards, the no annual fee version.
vs Chase Ink Classic Business – The Chase Ink Classic is the no annual fee version of this card. Hence, it lacks a few features that the Ink Bold has. For example, you cannot transfer points into frequent flyer miles and guest points. You do not get the complimentary first year Priority Pass membership. And you also do not earn extra points based on spending levels. But it comes with no annual fee. So under a couple of circumstance (which we will explain later), the no annual fee version may be the better choice.
vs Amex Rewards Green Business Card – Both these cards are identical in many ways. For example, the have the same annual fee. Employee cards have no fees. You can also transfer points into airline miles and frequent guest points. But the big difference is that they both have different partners. For example, Chase has Continental United and British Airways. The Amex Membership Rewards has more partners, but Chase has some exclusive partners which MR does not have. For example, come September 2011, Continental will no longer be with MR. Chase also has Hyatt and Amtrak, which MR does not have. MR has more airline partners and exclusive partners like Starwood and Hilton.
The one area which Chase has the edge over the Amex Green is that you earn additional bonus points based on annual spend.
vs Amex Business Gold Card – The Business Gold Card is a step up from the Amex Green Card and comes with a higher annual fee of $175. The Business Gold Card also has a bonus points system based on annual spend. If you spend $50,000 on the card, you will get an additional 25,000 bonus points. The Gold Card also has features like Gold Card Events and Priority (before public) booking for concerts and events because Amex sponsors many events.
How Does this Card Stack Up?
Opinion and Verdict – Charge Cards are getting very rare these days and only American Express and Diners Club issue them. So it is actually quite a surprise from Chase that they have actually come up with a business charge. What they have come up with essentially resembles the Amex Business Green Rewards Card from Open, which incidentally also has a $95 annual fee.
There are a couple of things you should ask yourself if you are considering this card. The first is do you intend to transfer points to airline miles or hotel points? If the answer is yes, then which airlines and hotels? This will determine whether you choose Chase or Amex depending on the partners. If the answer is no, then you may actually want to consider the Chase Ink Classic with no annual fee instead since it will save you on that.
I like this card a lot and I think Chase has done well with the introduction of this card. The Ink Bold® Business Card will appeal to the business owner who pays his or her bills in full every month, but would need the no-preset spending feature in case of any huge orders and hence short term working capital that they need. They would preferably like to earn reward points for travel. Since this is a Visa card, some business owners would prefer this as some Vendors will not accept Amex. I recommend this card.