Chase Ink: Check your X

The Chase Ink family of cards are, in my opinion, the most rewarding cards for those who collect points and miles.  The cards earn 5 points per dollar for office supplies, cellular, landline, and cable; and 2 points per dollar for gas and hotels.  Through tricks like the one described in the post “One card to rule them all” it’s possible to earn 5 points per dollar for all purchases.  It’s almost ridiculous how great this family of cards can be.

Chase gives 2X and 5X bonus points based on how the transactions are coded by each merchant.  Purchases made at Office Supply stores such as OfficeMax, Office Depot, etc. are generally awarded 5X regardless of what you buy.  This is not true, though, for phone and internet charges.  A reader found, for example, that he was not given 5X when he prepaid a Verizon bill.  When he called Chase to ask about this, he was told that the transaction was listed as an equipment purchase.  Chase awarded the 5X to him to make up for the mistake.  This reader’s example shows how important it is to check that you were awarded the proper number of points with each monthly statement.

How to check

I haven’t found an easy way to do this.  Chase’s billing statements do not show bonus points awarded for each transaction.  Instead, each monthly statement shows base points earned for all transactions (1 point per dollar), bonus points earned for 2X categories (an extra 1 point per dollar), and bonus points earned for 5X categories (an extra 4 points per dollar).  So, here is how I check my X:

  1. Log in to my online Chase account and view the most recent statement.
  2. Copy transactions from the statement to a spreadsheet application (e.g. Microsoft Excel)
  3. Check base points: Total dollars spent across all transactions should match the “+1 point per $1 earned on all purchases.”  You may be off by a few points depending on how Chase rounds the transactions for awarding points.
  4. Check 2X points: Add up all of your hotel and gas transactions.  The total dollars spent should match the 2X bonus points earned (give or take a few due to rounding error).  Look for something like “+1 pts per $1 gas, lodging” on your statement.
  5. Check 5X points: Add up all of your office supply, cellular, landline, and cable transactions.  Multiply the total by 4.  The total should match the 5X bonus points earned (give or take a few due to rounding error).  Look for “+4 pts per $1 intrnt, cable, phone, ofc sply st” on your statement.

The hardest part is when the points don’t match up.  Then, you need to figure out how big the discrepancy is in order to figure out which transactions were coded differently than you expected.  If you feel you were not awarded points correctly, call Chase or send them a private message asking for the additional points.  They’re usually very good about such things.  If you don’t get a adequate response, don’t feel bad about calling again.  You’re very likely to get a more sympathetic response on your second or third try.

I’m hoping that a reader will comment something like “you idiot, there’s a much easier way to do this…”  If so, please explain the better way, and I’ll update this post!

Related posts

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.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. Barclaycard just updated their website for the US Airways Mastercard, and now it shows you on a column right next to your purchase price how many rewards you earned for that singular transaction. It’s a GREAT feature and I wonder if we can ‘squeaky-wheel’ Chase into offering it for their cards!

  2. Use blueprint. It breaks down all of your purchases by categories. The ink card doesn’t have it but it works with the freedom and sapphire cards. Click on blueprint, then click on see spending in the track it box. Then click on each category. You can search by each statement by clicking the blue lines in the bar graph. Hope that helps.

  3. Does anyone else have trouble with Chase not adding rewards for transactions towards the end of the billing cycle, and then making it up for it on the next one? It makes it doubly hard due to that + the categorization problem.

  4. @Sunny – Yes, and this is a relatively recent (6 months) thing for me. I usually track down all 1X,2X,3X,5X spends + UR mall points across my accounts and this makes it really irritating.

  5. I consistently call them about mis attributing my Verizon and they tell me it’s right and that is that. I shouldn’t have to do so much math to make sure I’m not being shorted. Bullocks.

  6. @Sunny – yes I have similar experience. In fact ,last week I msg Chase and they confirmed that due to credit card billing cycles, (ie, your cycle may start on 12th to 11th of following week), you may see your transaction on 20th showing up in the following months’s statement.

  7. I would love to know how a merchant can send through the charges with the code that incurs the 5x points. I have a monthly data center/colocation charge that is quite large and would love to get the points on this. Chase tells me that unfortunately the company puts the charge through as consulting and it doesn’t qualify.

  8. @Jessy- Blueprint should be the best way to do this, but unfortunately the categories on blueprint are Not the same as the categories that Chase uses for calc-ing category bonuses. I had some large wine purchases that show on blueprint as dining expenses, yet, quite understandably, Chase did not give me the 2x dining bonus for those purchases.

  9. My Directv bill shows up as “miscellaneous” on my bill but Chase assures me I’m getting the 5x on it. It’s so tedious and time consuming to check so I’m just gonna have faith 🙂 anyone else have their satellite/cable listed as misc?

  10. just made a spreadsheet for every month dating back to May. they made massive mistakes every month except for the first month. I had two purchases on that statement. I think I’m owed between 12k and 15k points.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *