Do NOT apply for Chase Ink Bold’s 50,000 points w/o reading!

The offer for the Ink Bold is currently unavailable. The information below is for reference only.

I hear from a lot of people who are lured by the 50,000 bonus points offer currently available with the Chase Ink Bold.

The problem? They sign up for it, without first doing the math as whether their spending over the next 90 days will be high enough to fulfill the bonus requirement.

The last thing you want to do is apply for a new a credit card and miss out on the bonus!

On the Ink Bold offer, the spending requirement is higher than most: $5,000 within the first 3 months. An average of $1,667 per month.

If you think you may have difficulty reaching that target, this strategy will save the day…

Solution = buying gift cards at office supply stores

Not only will this help you easily fulfill the spending requirement, but it also has the potential to earn you a total of 75,000 points, worth $750.

Here’s the math…

Since the card gives 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually on eligible categories – which include office supply stores – you can swing by your local Staples or Office Depot and load up on gift cards.

If you buy $5,000 worth, with 5x points per dollar that’s 25,000 points ($250 worth). Then when you add in your 50,000 bonus points from the promotion, you get a grand total of a whopping 75k points!

Rather than waste money on things don’t need to fulfill the $5k spending requirement, you can be practical and “pre pay” your everyday living expenses by purchasing store gift cards from Staples and Office Depot.

Staples gift card selectionAt my local Staples in Los Angeles, here’s the gift cards which they sold at face value as of 2013 (pictured right):

  • Amazon
  • Nook
  • Chili’s/Macaroni Grill/Magiannos/On The Border restaurants
  • Starbucks
  • Toys R Us
  • Macy’s
  • and of course Staples

Your local store may even have a bigger selection. The Staples website actually offers 88 different gift cards but when you buy them online, roughly half of them are sold at above face value (avoid those).

The real gem here is Amazon. A lot of people see these gift cards branded as Amazon Kindle and assume that’s you need to use them for Kindle purchases. Guess what… that’s not true!

Amazon gift cardDespite the Kindle branding, these are regular gift cards that you can use for any and all purchases on Amazon.

Think about it… it’s like getting a 5% discount on Amazon! Go to Staples and using your Chase Ink Bold or Plus card, buy these cards at face value. But then when you factor in the rewards, it’s like you’re getting a 5% discount on them since you’re buying them at a qualifying office supply store.

When use this “prepay” strategy, it makes reaching the $5k threshold easy for any budget, no matter how little you normally spend per month.

I asked the manager at Staples how many gift cards max could I buy with my credit card. He explained “around a couple hundred dollars” at a time, but it didn’t sound like there was an official policy.

My guess is it’s at the discretion of the manager and you *might* be able to buy even more if you explain yourself. But even in a worst case scenario, it just means you can’t buy all your desired gift cards at once.

As you can see, this makes the Bold arguably the best rewards card on the market.
But there still is one catch to be aware of; the Chase Ink Bold is a charge card. That means you can’t carry debt on it. When the bill arrives each month, you are required to pay it in full. So if you can’t afford to pony up $5k in the next three months, then the Bold won’t make sense. Fortunately the Chase Ink has another 50,000 point deal for the “Plus” version, which is good ol’ fashioned credit card that does allow you to carry a balance if needed…With this one you can actually carry a balance, so if you have to take a little bit longer to pay off the $5,000 in purchases, that’s no problem.

But obviously, I would advise against carrying a large balance. If you do that any longer than two months, then the amount you’re forking over for finance charges will really eat into the value of your bonus.

With either of these business credit cards, you can apply as an individual (sole proprietor). When you do that, your business name will be the same as your personal name. And you will use your SSN in lieu of a biz tax ID number.

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“When the bill arrives each month, you are required to pay it in bull.”

Haha! The “bull” usually comes from Chase.

Nope 🙂 Almost all of the retailer gift cards are sold at face value. The exception are the Visa and American Express prepaid gift cards which are marked up.

those gift cards are marked up, right?