Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why the Chase Ink Plus Business Card is the best credit card for churning points

Earlier this year, Chase introduced their Ink Plus Business Card, which offers a generous 50,000 point sign-up bonus.  The sign-up bonus became even more lucrative this past month when Chase lowered the spending threshold requirement from $10,000 to $5,000 within the first 3 months.  This is in contrast to the 40k points after $3k in purchases offered by their Sapphire Preferred card, which still stands as the best card on the market for everyday purchases.  Both cards carry the same annual fee that is waived for the first year ($95), no foreign exchange transaction fees, and Ultimate Rewards points earnings which can be transferred to various frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 ratio.  However, the Ink Plus card has a definitive edge when it comes to points accrual as you earn 5X at office supply stores and on cell phone, landline, Internet, and cable TV services along with 2X on gas and hotels.  The Ink Plus also carries a 0% intro APR for the first 6 months.  And no, you don't actually have to own a business to be eligible for the card despite its label as a "business card".
Whereas a 50k sign-up bonus is already lucrative in itself, the Ink Plus is also one of the few cards that offers the potential for continuous churning.  Many office supply stores, such as Office Depot, Staples, and Office Max, sell credit card gift cards for a nominal fee.  For example, you can purchase a $500 Visa gift card for as low as $504.95, which would land you 2,525 points for a cost of $4.95, or 0.196 cents each.  Seeing how 100k points can land you a free roundtrip business class flight to Europe by transferring your Chase points to United Airlines miles, that's like paying $196 for a business class ticket that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars.
As with all credit card offers, use but don't abuse.  Though it's uncommon, Chase has closed accounts and voided all points for churners who were deemed as abusers.  Over the past few months, churners have taken advantage of Vanilla Reload cards from Office Depot, which allowed them to land points for <0.157 cents each.  However, Office Depot recently pulled them likely due to abuse from churners.  That being said, pick your spots carefully, and you'll be off on a free roundtrip biz class flight to Europe in no time courtesy of your Ink Plus Card and your local Office Depot(s).
Lufthansa's, a United Airlines mileage redemption partner, transatlantic business class hard product: definitely worth your $196 in credit card churning.

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