How to increase the Ink Bold bonus by 27K

Just two days ago I was approved for the Ink Bold credit card.  I already have an old Ink Bold (which I refer to as an Ink Old), but I’ll get another signup bonus from the new one because the new one is a different product.  The new Ink Bold offers 5 points per dollar for office supplies, phone services, and cable bills and 2 points per dollar for gas and hotels.  The Ink Old, on the other hand, offered only 1 point per dollar base (with some options to increase the payout a little bit).

The current offer for the Ink Bold, if you signup via a referral link (see Preparing for Miles), is 50K points after $5K of spend in 3 months.  Unfortunately, it looks like this deal will go away soon (my guess is end of month) to be replaced with a $10K spend requirement.  See Gary’s View from the Wing post for more information.

The +27K bonus plan

I love that the Ink Bold offers 50K Ultimate Rewards points as a signup bonus.  To me, Ultimate Rewards points are among the most valuable points available, so 50K is awesome.  However, I’m greedy and will happily do what it takes to earn even more!  The trick is to spend the required $5K in ways that will earn as many points as possible.  Here’s my plan:

Office Depot via Ultimate Rewards Mall: $100 = 1,500 points

Currently, Office Depot is offering 10 points per dollar for purchases made via the Ultimate Rewards Mall if you sign in with your Ink card.  By going through the mall and making purchases that I need anyway, I’ll earn 10X from the mall and 5X from the Ink Bold’s office supply category bonus.

Staples Free After Rebate Downloads: $3000 = 21,000 points

Almost every week, a new deal is available in which you can buy “free after rebate” software from Staples.  By going through the Ultimate Rewards Mall you can earn 2X bonus points, plus you’ll get 5X from the Ink’s office supply category bonus.  Staples has been averaging about $1000 per month in available FAR deals so I hope to do $3000 worth in 3 months. 

Note that some people see Staples at 3X in the Ultimate Rewards Mall so they will earn even more points!

Office Depot $500 Visa cards: $2000 = 10,000 points

As I posted a couple of days ago, it is possible, in person, to buy $500 Visa gift cards at Office Depot with only a $4.95 service fee.  Purchases made at Office Depot count as office supply purchases, so these Visa cards will net 5X points!  I’ll buy at least two of these and use them for non category purchases such as groceries and department stores.

Add it up

The plan shown above will return over 32,000 points with only about $5,000 spend.  If all $5000 went instead to 1X purchases, you would gain only 5,000 points above the sign-up bonus, so this plan gives you an extra 27,000 points!  In reality, of course, you would probably have a mix of 1X, 2X, and 5X purchases without this plan, so 27K extra is a bit of an exaggeration, but it sounds better than saying “between 0 and 27K extra”…

Note that the amounts shown are approximations of what will be spent.  The Staples deals, in particular, will depend on what is available at the time.

Caution

As I wrote about a few days ago, Chase may cancel your accounts if they suspect you of abusing your card’s benefits.  That being said, unless you have a very low credit limit, I do not think that spending $5K in 3 months on office supplies will raise any eyebrows.  If you spend $10K per month all on office supplies, however, you may be at risk.  No one but Chase (I suppose) knows the magic amount that is safe, so use your own judgment here.

If you do not have a Chase Ink card, you can read more about those and other cards on the Preparing for Miles page which can be found as a menu item at the top of every page on the Frequent Miler blog.


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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. FM, I have the ink bold but am about to have my wife apply. Is there a link I can use that will ensure you get a referral? It’s the least I can do for all the great information you provide. K

  2. This is exactly what I have been doing for last month and half. I am almost done with the purchase of 4 $500 vanilla visa cards from office Depot last night.

  3. How do you know that you will get another sign up bonus from the new Ink? Did you hear from anybody that they got?… Thanks

    • Joe: Yes, I’ve heard from people who have received both sign-up bonuses (and now another person: thanks bluto!). Also, the rep I spoke with to get approved confirmed that I was eligible for the bonus

  4. Very nice! We don’t have the old or new Ink Bold, but have been receiving a lot of solicitation letters in the mail for the no-fee regular Ink that gives the same bonus categories, requires just first purchase for the 50k pts. Since I already have the Sapphire Preferred card to ensure transferrability of UR points, I am considering the solicited offer. Also, last night before I was going to get gas, I stopped by the Albertson’s next door and used my Freedom card to get a $500 Visa gift card (the fee was $5.95) first. Thought that I had to practice what we “preached”, haha. A lot of gift card choices, including Amazon, Southwest Airlines, restaurants, Disneyland, etc. Too bad Albertson’s is not running the specials currently (they ran the promos during Christmas time two years in a row where every $100 gift card purchase produced $20 in free grocery).

    • Jimmy: I would definitely jump on the 50K offer for the Ink Classic if I were you. 50K for first purchase is great and you’re right that it has many of the same benefits of the Bold especially when you pair it with a Sapphire Preferred. You could also sign up for the Ink Bold in the future to get another 50K!

    • Cheaplee: I applied for the Ink Old in November 2011 right before the new product came out. I wasn’t approved though until after the new Ink Bold came out so I was confused for a while about which I had. I contacted Chase and learned that I had the old product. I asked them if I could get the 5X benefits but they told me that the new Bold was a new and different product and that I could apply for the new one in 6 months. I applied recently for the new one (about 5 months after the earlier one). The first reconsideration line rep I talked to told me he couldn’t approve it because it was less than 6 months. I called a few days later and the rep didn’t even mention the 6 month thing. After a number of questions he approved the card.

  5. Thanks… Got mine in Dec so it won’t work. Maybe they will come up with a Visa branded card. Will wait at least 6 months though.

  6. I’m a newbie and and my wife has the INK Bold card with the 60K bonus after the 5K spend, but we wanted to ask some Q’s before buying :

    Office Depot $500 Visa cards: $2000 = 10,000 points

    “”As I posted a couple of days ago, it is possible, in person, to buy $500 Visa gift cards at Office Depot with only a $4.95 service fee. Purchases made at Office Depot count as office supply purchases, so these Visa cards will net 5X points! I’ll buy at least two of these and use them for non category purchases such as groceries and department stores.””

    Are these VISa cards then able to be used as debit cards??

    How else can one use them ?

    Could they be used to pay another CC balance, say a nonChase one like CITI ??

    It doesn’t seem possible to buy these Office Depot $500 Visa cards thru Ult Rewards Mall–is that correct – they have to be bought in person at Office Depot ??

    Thanks guys for your forbearance – have never bought & used an Office Depot $500 Visa cards before

    TIA

  7. FrequentMiler — Do you have referral link for the INK Classic 50K offer?

    April 12, 2012 at 11:12 am
    Jimmy: I would definitely jump on the 50K offer for the Ink Classic if I were you. 50K for first purchase is great and you’re right that it has many of the same benefits of the Bold especially when you pair it with a Sapphire Preferred. You could also sign up for the Ink Bold in the future to get another 50K!

    • wagger:

      1) To your first set of questions: you would use the visa gift cards just like credit cards. You can’t use them to pay credit card bills, but you might be able to use them to pay insurance and utilities. They definitely can be used to buy groceries and other in-person purchases.

      2) No, I just have this 25K offer. The good news is that you might be able to signup for this and then PM Chase to request the 50K offer. I don’t have any proof that this would work, but it seems likely to me.

  8. Thanks for your quick reply

    Can U answer this one :

    It doesn’t seem possible to buy these Office Depot $500 Visa cards thru
    Ult Rewards Mall–is that correct ??
    – they have to be bought in person at Office Depot ??

  9. It has been 5 days since I have seen “check has been printed/mail and I have not received my rebate cheque from Staples. Do i need to wait longer?

  10. From the date it says printed/mailed it usually takes as much as two weeks to actually arrive in my mailbox. It’s been consistent this way.

  11. I realize I’m late to the comment party on this one, but I have a question about the Staples “free after rebate” purchases. In my experience (last night) you still have to pay sales tax and that, alone, makes the purchase not worth the effort. For example: $49 software + $3.55 tax = $52.55 – $49 rebate = $3.55. Therefore, profit is: (points earned on $52.55) – $3.55 out of pocket. At your FMV for UR points of $.0131, you’d need to earn 271 points to break even. With a $52.55 spend, you’d need to be getting slightly more than 5x points to be “in the money.” Granted, your method earns 7x points, but that only leaves us with 2x points of “profit” and 2x is easy to earn in tons of other places without having to fuss with rebates. Apart from its value in satisfying a minimum spend for signup bonuses (which I grant), what’s the appeal of this method? (You’re better at this … what am I missing?)

    • Ed: The trick is to buy free after rebate downloadable software and specify “pickup in store”. Pick a store in a no sales tax state (New Hampshire, for example). Since the software is downloaded, not picked up, it doesn’t really matter where you specify.

  12. How do you find Staples free after easy rebate download? I searched the ad and did not find any for the coming week.

  13. Karen, none are available right now. Staples hasn’t offered any for several months. I’m hoping that we’ll see some in August at least for ‘back to school’ promotions

  14. Hi, will you please explain step by step to me (73 years of age), How to proceed to pay Federal and California Estimate Taxes?. I have purchased 8 Visa Vanilla Gift Cards from Office Depot in a three month span. Thank You.

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