Newbie’s progress and his 3X surprise

Do you remember our informed newbie, Ben?  First, we helped him form a credit card plan.  Next, he successfully signed up for three cards at once.  Intentionally, all three were business cards that do not report to personal credit bureaus.  This way, Ben can sign up for lots of cards without exceeding Chase’s 5/24 limits.  I now have Ben’s initial results.  Not surprisingly, his credit score was barely effected.  The surprise was the number of points that showed up on his first statement…

As a reminder, on June 20th Ben signed up for each of the following offers:

Credit Impact

We expected Ben’s credit report to show only two new inquiries since the Chase business card inquiries should be combined into one.  And we expected no new accounts to show on his report since Chase and Amex business cards aren’t reported to the personal credit bureaus.  In other words, the applications and new accounts should have had very little impact at all on his credit report and score.  Early results have confirmed our expectations…

Here, for example, was his prior Experian score and summary:

And, here’s his new one:

You can see above that Ben’s FICO score dropped 6 points due to the 2 inquiries.  That’s not bad at all.  Plus, based on prior experience, I’m sure that his score will fully recover in the next 60 days or so unless he applies for more cards in the meantime.

You can also see above that there are no new accounts on his credit report.  He had a total of 9 accounts before and has 9 now.  That again is because the business cards he signed up for were not reported to the credit bureaus.

Here also is a look at his TransUnion and Equifax scores as reported by Credit Karma.  His TransUnion score fell 3 points and his Equifax score increased by 1:

Progress Towards Minimum Spend Requirements

Ben lives in a retirement village where he is billed about $5K monthly for his rent and other services.  In one fell swoop, he knocked out the $5K minimum spend requirement for the Ink Business Preferred card by paying this bill via the Plastiq bill pay service.

Ben has put all other credit card charges on his Delta card (about $800 so far).  He plans to knock out the Ink Cash $3K spend requirement plus about $2K of the Delta $4K requirement with next month’s rent & services payment via Plastiq (he’ll have to make two separate payments).  Since the Delta spend requirement allows 4 months (vs. 3 months with the other cards), he has plenty of time to tackle the rest later.

Ben’s 3X Surprise

Ben’s Ink Business Preferred statement showed more Ultimate Rewards points than he expected.  He expected to earn just over 5,000 points from spend, plus 80,000 bonus points from the signup offer.  Instead, he found over 96,000 points!

His Plastiq payment had counted for 3X!

This surprised me and Ben!  Plastiq rent payments used to result in 3X rewards with this card, presumably because they were coded as travel.  But, as we reported previously, it seemed that Plastiq 3X opportunities died in May.

I asked Ben to look at Chase’s Blueprint feature to see how the expense was coded.  It showed up as Miscellaneous Services.  That’s weird.

So then I asked him how the recipient was setup within his Plastiq account.  First, he set it up as a payment to a business:

Then, when asked to categorize the business, he had picked “Other“.  He explains that his bill includes things other than rent, so he didn’t pick the Rent or Mortgage option.

It is a complete mystery to me as to why Ben’s bill payment via Plastiq resulted in 3X rewards.  It doesn’t seem to fit in any of the Ink Business Preferred card’s 3X categories (travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, or advertising with social media sites).  Regardless, I’m happy for him!

Note that I have no idea if this result is reproducible.  If you have the Ink Business Preferred card, it may be worth setting up a payee in the business… other category to see what happens.  If you try it, please let us know the results!

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 »


  1. I know he probably doesn’t want to disclose the name of the payee, but I suspect maybe the name of the retirement village that bills him sounds like it is in one of the bonus categories? Like maybe it sounds like or is run by a company that is also in the extended stay hotel business or something? Is that something you could check with him and report back just whether that could be it?

    • I thought that too until I saw the name. It just sounds like someone’s last name. I tried Googling it to see if that name was used for other stuff like internet advertising, travel, etc., but couldn’t find anything.

    • Almost every business has rent expense. If he does anything income producing for his business from his home, his business has rent expense. Now how much of the house’s space/rent/utilities should be allocated to the business is between him and his tax accountant, but from the bank’s perspective it is none of their business.

  2. This is indeed still alive in some cases. My mortgage is currently held by a small, regional bank in the northeast, and I my payment last week through plastiq coded at 3x on my Ink Preferred. Also 3x on my car note, I guess counts as travel?

    • I think some people have stumbled upon a category other than travel that is being coded here. I say that because I haven’t heard any data points of the Sapphire Reserve 3X still working with Plastiq. Makes me think that some things are being treated as shipping, internet, cable, phone, or advertising with social media sites.

      • Yes, it is. I just tested all Plastiq categories, and for Visa most were coded as GOVERNMENT SERVICES-NOT ELSEWHERE CLASSIFIED, the other 2 coded as insurance, and as a CHARITABLE AND SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
        For MC most were coded as a utilities – gas, sanitary, water, and 2 were coded as misc. government services. These too still give 3x with ATTAM.

  3. I am still getting 3x on Ink Preferred paying my Utilities (both electric and water) with Plastiq. Not nearly as lucrative as Ben’s 5k monthly, but I’ll take it!

  4. Does the Chase Ink Preferred code as 3x on CardCash like the Chase Ink Plus (5x on Cardcash). Having trouble finding answers to this one.

  5. Back when I was meeting my wife’s ink preferred signup spend bonus in April and May I can personally confirm that gyft purchases got 3x points. Since I have an ink plus we use that for gyft now.

Leave a Reply

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