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Update: The Chase Ink Bold card is no longer available for new sign-ups. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
I’ve written about changes to the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus business credit cards and how they’re among my favorite cards because of the 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in the 1st 3 months. And also because you earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points for cable, TV, internet and office supply purchases.
Until last summer, the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus business credit cards were issued as MasterCards. Now, if you apply for either card, it will be issued as a Visa card. The Visa card has special perks through the Visa SavingsEdge program.
Some folks are reporting that they’ve been able to get the Visa version, and the 50,000 point bonus, even if they’ve had the MasterCard version in the past!
I don’t have any personal experience with getting the bonus a 2nd time, but here’s Running For Status‘ experience.
What’s the Difference Between the Ink Bold and Ink Plus?
The Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus cards are almost identical. They both offer:
- 50,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the 1st 3 months
- 5 points per $1 you spend at office supply stores (like Staples), cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV
- 2 points per $1 you spend at gas stations (including gift cards) and hotels purchased directly from the hotel
- No currency fees when you use them outside of the US
- You can transfer your points to many hotel and airline programs
- No annual fee for the 1st year, then $95
The big difference between the cards is that the Ink Bold is a charge card, which means you must pay your balance in full every month. The Ink Plus is a credit card, so you can carry a balance (but you shouldn’t!).
You can earn cash back for purchases at certain stores through the Visa SavingsEdge program with certain business Visa cards. This is in addition to the regular and category bonus points earned on the Chase Ink cards.
Read my review of the Visa SavingsEdge program and see if you can save some extra money.
Discounts vary, but for example, you’ll save:
- 1% at Staples
- 1% at gas stations like Texaco and Chevron
- 1% to 2% at restaurants like Red Robin and Buca di Beppo
- 5% at hotels like Days Inn, Ramada, and La Quinta
These discounts are a great reason to get an Ink card, in addition to the possibility of getting the bonus again.
Visa Signature Hotels
There are 900+ hotels participating in the program. The hotels in the collection can be quite expensive, but by booking through the Visa Signature Hotels website and using your Ink Bold or Ink Plus card, you can get:
- Best Available Rate
- Automatic room upgrade, if it’s available
- Free internet
- Free continental breakfast
- 3:00 pm check-out, where it’s available
- VIP Guest status
- A $25 voucher to spend on food and drinks
Free internet and breakfast can save you a lot of money. But is it worth booking an expensive hotel through the Visa Signature Hotels program just for the perks?
I decided to compare hotel rates on the Visa Signature Hotels website to rates on other sites.
1. The Plaza Hotel, New York City
A Plaza King Room at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, booked through the Visa Signature Hotels website for March 28, 2014, is $650 plus tax. Cancellation is free before 4:00 pm the day before arrival.
The same room, on the same date, with the same cancellation policy on Travelocity is only (?!) $540 plus tax – a savings of $110!
I don’t value free internet, continental breakfast, and late check-out at $110, so I don’t think booking through the Visa Signature Hotel website is worth it. Besides, paying $650 for 1 night at a hotel is definitely not Big Travel with Small Money, no matter how nice the hotel is!
2. Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas
The Visa Signature Hotel site has the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino for $219 plus tax on April 24, 2014. The hotel will charge you if you cancel less than 72 hours prior to arrival.
The same luxury suite, on the same date, with the same cancellation policy is also $219 plus tax when you book through Orbitz.com.
In this case, it would be worth it to book through the Visa Signature Hotels site. You’ll pay the same as on Orbitz, but you’ll get all the extra benefits like free internet and breakfast.
3. Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio
A Grand King room at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, booked through the Visa Signature hotels program, costs $242 plus tax on March 28, 2014. You can cancel up to 72 hours before arrival with no penalty.
The same room and date with identical cancellation policy is $269 plus tax through Kayak.com.
It’s definitely worth booking through the Visa Signature Hotels site in this case!
Before booking a room using the Visa Signature Hotels site, you should definitely compare the price to other online travel sites. It might not be worth paying extra for the perks.
The Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus business cards are now issued as Visa cards. In addition to 5X points at office supply stores and on your phone and cable bills, you can register your card with Visa SavingsEdge for extra discounts at a variety of places.
When comparison shopping for expensive hotels, include the Visa Signature Hotels website. When their price is competitive (not always the case!) consider booking because you’ll get a $25 voucher for food & drinks along with free internet and breakfast.
Some folks also report getting the 50,000 point bonus on the Visa after having had the MasterCard version in the past.