Whoa, a brand-new travel hacking offer has just landed! And this one is excellent.
Long, long ago, I wrote about my adventures in buying gift cards at Office Depot. It took a lot of schlepping back and forth, but I earned at least 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the effort. (I was then able to fly Business Class to South Africa and Switzerland from this points, so it was well worth it.)
As of this week, you can now earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points with a lot less effort. Chase has debuted an all-new card, the Ink Business Preferred, which offers the 80,000 points as a signup bonus.
In addition to the 80,000 points, this card offers some interesting, additional bonuses. You’ll get 3x points on everything you spend in a number of different categories, including travel, shipping, internet, telephone and online advertising on social media. There’s a cap of $150,000 spend each year—which is pretty great, because if you managed to spend that much, you’d have 450,000 points and shouldn’t complain.
It also provides cell phone protection. If you currently pay your phone provider $12 a month (or similar) for insurance, you can cancel that and save $144 a year. The protection is valid for up to six phones. I tend to lose or shatter my phone at least once a year… with this card I’ll be much more idiot-proof, at least in terms of paying for a new one.
The full list of benefits is as follows:
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year
- Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don’t expire as long as your account is open
- No foreign transaction fees
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- $95 Annual Fee
One important note: the card is marketed as “$1,000 toward travel,” and indeed that’s the case if you book travel directly through the Ultimate Rewards network. That’s not a terrible approach if you’re busy—and $1,000 in travel credit is a lot better than $0 in travel credit, which is what you get from most cards. I’d be happy to pay a $95 annual fee for $1,000 in credit any day of the week.
However, as I’ve explained before, the much better value is to transfer your points directly to airline or hotel partners. That can get you much more value. You can fly to Asia in First Class on Singapore Airlines. You can stay at any Hyatt hotel in the world for 3 or more nights. Or of course, you could just book a bunch of domestic tickets on Southwest Airlines or United.
The point is, this is a very strong offer. It’s also marketed as a business card, which often generates a lot of questions. The bottom line is that most banks and issuers don’t make much of a distinction between cards that are designated as “business” and those that are “consumer.”
If you do any sort of consulting, freelancing, online selling, or anything semi-related, you have a business. If you plan to start a business at some point, you need a business card. The credit check is done on your personal credit score, and that’s what will determine approval, not the info about the business.