Inking Money

21

The New Ink Bold credit card from Chase is quickly becoming my favorite points earning credit card.  Yes, you read that right:  I’m beginning to favor it over the Sapphire Preferred!  The reason?  The Ink Bold gives 5 points per dollar at office supply stores.  And, as I’ve written about before, you can go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Staples and buy gift cards to effectively get 9 points per dollar for almost all of your purchases!  4 points per dollar come from the Ultimate Rewards Mall and 5 points per dollar come from the Ink Bold category bonus.

Does it really work?  Yes!

There are a few reasons why this double dip might not have worked: 1) often purchases of gift cards do not count for bonus points when shopping through an online portal; and 2) gift cards from Staples are actually shipped from GiftCardMall.com so there was some question as to whether you would even get the 5X category bonus from the Ink Bold.

Several readers have assured me that they have received the full 9 points per dollar with this trick, but I felt that I had to try it myself.  Going through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Staples, I bought a Lands End gift card and a Visa gift card.  It took over a week, but the points for both purchases posted!  Unfortunately, I don’t have the new Ink Bold (I have the older one without the category bonus), but I do see that the purchases show up on my account as coming from Staples, so I feel safe in saying that this trick will work!

Buying Money for 9X

If you’re planning to shop at a merchant for which Staples.com carries gift cards, then your best bet is to buy those gift cards as described here.  For other purchases, you still have a great option: buy $100 Visa gift cards for $105.95.  By using your Ink Bold through the Ultimate Rewards Mall, you will earn 106 X 9 = 954 points for this purchase.  You can then spend the Visa at any place for which the Ink Bold does not have a category bonus (grocery stores, for example).  For every $100 spent this way, you will earn 854 points more than you would have earned had you simply used your credit card directly.  At the Fair Trading Price of 1.31 cents each, those 854 extra points are worth $11.18: almost twice the fee of the gift card!  Even if you exchanged 600 of the points for cash to pay yourself back for the gift card fee, you would end up with 254 extra points (2.5X bonus in addition to the 1X non-category points).

Both are better

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Sapphire Preferred!  The best combination, without a doubt, is to get both cards.  With both cards, the trick is to log into the Ultimate Rewards Mall with your Sapphire account, click through to Staples, and then pay with your Ink Bold.  With this combination, the 4 bonus points from the mall will post to your Sapphire account and you will earn a 7% annual bonus on top of those points.  In other words, you will earn 9.28 points per dollar for all Staples.com purchases!

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