astronautcowboy wrote:Now that you mention it, are Ink rewards part of Ultimate Rewards as well? It would be nice to have a dedicated gas card with Chase, and I think I could find a way to get an Ink card if they are.
Yes. And honestly it depends on how you want to spend - but from my research most people are better off with an Ink Cash and a CSP instead of the Ink Bold or Ink Cash Plus (and of course either combo benefits equally from having the Freedom and Checking so it isn't included in this comparison).
Both the Ink Cash, Ink Bold, and Ink Cash Plus give you 5 points/$ at office supply stores, land line phone service, cell phone service, internet and cable services. The only difference is that for the Ink Cash the 5% limit is up to $25,000 while for the Ink Bold and Ink Cash Plus is up to $50,000. So both cards are even in this regard (unless again you will go above the $25k spending cap).
The Ink Bold and Ink Cash Plus give you 2 points/$ at gas stations and hotels purchased directly from the hotel while the Ink Cash gives you 2 points/$ at gas stations and restaurants.
So why is the CSP plus Ink Cash better than the Ink Bold or Ink Cash Plus for most people? Because of the 2.14/$ you get from the CSP on both travel and restaurants that you wouldn't get from the Bold or Cash Plus. Instead of the 2 points/$ you would get from the Bold or Cash Plus - which you only get if you book directly from the hotel - you can get at least 2.14 points/$ on the CSP and you can purchase directly from the hotel or using any travel site. If you use the UR portal and purchase directly from there you earn 3.14 points/$ on the CSP - and if you use the UR mall which offers even more points by using sites such as Hotels.com you can get even more points. No matter which way you book your travel the CSP will always beat out the points you could earn on travel on the Ink Bold or Ink Cash Plus.
The only time the Ink Bold or Ink Cash Plus beats out the CSP plus the Ink Cash is when the spend on the 5% categories is above the $25k threshold (at an amount high enough to negate whatever points one would have gained by using restaurants and travel on the CSP). Another benefit the Ink Bold and Ink Cash Plus has is 2 free lounge visits per card each year - which is a benefit of $54 per card. Since employee cards don't cost extra you can easily pay for the annual fee with yourself and an employee (or authorized user - i.e. your wife).
I personally carry the Ink Bold w/ Freedom and Chase Checking because I wanted a charge card for my business, because I wanted the lounge access for myself and my wife, and because I won't be typically paying for travel on my Chase cards (I have an Arrival+ which I use for a lot of non-bonus spending that I have to put travel on to cash out the rewards) and instead will be using it strictly for earning miles for the bonus categories.