Down to Business
One last Chase card you need - an Ink Business card.
The Ink Plus card has a $95 annual fee and is an Ultimate Rewards membership card in itself. The Ink Cash card has no annual fee and, like the Freedom card, it markets itself as a cash back card, but if you have a Sapphire card you can use that cash back as UR points again.
The Ink Plus has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months. The Ink Cash has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points when you spend $3000 in the first three months.
Personally, I would go for the Ink Plus, get the big bonus, and then, if you have a Sapphire card you want to keep, downgrade the Ink Plus to an Ink Cash card within the first year. The ongoing benefits are the same - as long as you keep your Sapphire card.
If you don’t like the sound of extra points for dining and travel, you could also skip
the Sapphire cards and JUST GET AN INK PLUS card - this alone will give you access to the Ultimate Rewards program with your Freedom cards.
So what makes the Ink cards great? 5x points on cellular, cable, and internet services, and at office supply stores, up to $50,000/year. Throw your cell phone and cable bills on this one, and use it at Office Max. Shit, I even hear you can buy Amazon gift cards at Office Max, so use that for all your Amazon purchases and get de-facto 5x points buying from Amazon.
You also get 2x points at gas stations.
To recap, I really recommend that your first four cards be:
Chase Ink Plus (downgrade to an Ink Cash within the first year)
This will give you an annual fee the first year of $545; down to $450 the next year when you downgrade the Ink card. BUT if you spend at least $300 on travel-related purchases a year, those annual fees become $245 the first year, $150 every subsequent year. That’s peanuts for four premium cards.
For this, you get better than 1 point per dollar on EVERYTHING you buy, in many cases WAY better than 1 point per dollar. And you get sign-up bonuses totaling 190,000 points for spending a total of $10,000 over the course of as much as one year.
Note that I DIDN'T DO IT THIS WAY, and I wish I had. This is because three developments in the credit card industry happened AFTER I began the Hobby ...
Chase instituted the 5/24 rule, AFTER I had spent 8 months applying for every credit card I could think of.
Chase introduced the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, when I was already using the American Express Everyday Preferred card for a similar purpose (despite the fact that the AMEX card has an annual fee - more on that later).
Chase introduced the Sapphire RESERVE card - when I was already behind the curve on the 5/24 rule.
So ... this guide is what I WOULD HAVE done if I had it to do over again.
Moving on ...
Photo by MrX
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