My hands down favorite credit card is the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold. If you are well versed in the points and miles world, this post is not for you, but if you are newbie then this is a good read. I’ve had many new readers to the site lately, so need to get everyone up to speed!
The reason that these are my favorite cards is because at office supply stores, such as Staples, I can purchase gift cards for a variety of stores. There is a Staples about 4 blocks from my apartment, so I usually past the store on a daily basis. To go in and pick up a gift card for a store where I am about to make a purchase is too easy.
Gift cards I typically purchase:
- ExxonMobile gift cards frequently and just leave them in the car. Now I am earning 5x points every time I fill up the tank.
- Panera Bread gift cards as I eat lunch there quite frequently!
- Marriott gift cards only when I know of an upcoming reservation and I am not using points. While I have the Marriott credit card that gives 5x points on my purchase, I’d prefer 5x Chase Ultimate Reward points over 5x Marriott points.
- Southwest gift cards although have been using my points frequently so won’t be purchasing those until I deplete my account balance. This is better than the double points I earn by using my Southwest credit card.
- Starbucks gift cards to keep in my wallet.
- Home Depot if I know of a big purchase I am going to make. Apartment living doesn’t bring me there too much, but still a good way to get 5x points (at Loews as well, but there isn’t one in the city)
- TJMaxx and Marshall’s as I almost always buy something upon entering their store. 5x points on already discounted prices is great!
There are many other gift card options as well (in-store and online), and they all will earn 5x points. Now, while this might be my favorite way to earn points, it is definitely not the best option for those that are not willing to go out of their way for points. But for those that are able to plan ahead and are willing to go out of their way slightly, this is a great card. I personally value Chase Ultimate Reward points as one of the highest currencies available (that and Starwood points). My favorite Ultimate Reward transfer partners are Hyatt, United, and British Airways (all points transfer at a 1:1 ratio).
While there is a maximum amount you can earn on the 5x point purchases at office supply store, it is at a generous $50,000 spend per year. There is no way I come even close to that!
The Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold are for the most part the exact same card, the only difference is that the Chase Ink Plus is a credit card, while the Chase Ink Bold is a charge card.
- Charge card: Does not allow you to carry a balance. If you do not pay your balance in full by the due date, you will pay a penalty. However, with these types of cards you are typically allowed to borrow money for about 30 days.
- Credit card: Allows you to carry a balance and just pay a minimum payment. The balance rolls over to the next month and you are charged interest.
A charge card vs. a credit card is really up to you and your spending and payment habits and desire. Having both types of cards actually helps your credit score in the “types of credit used” category. This particular category makes up about 10% of your overall FICO score.
Make sure to check out this Chase Ultimate Rewards series to fully understand the program.
- Chase Ink Bold charge card application – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months; $95 annual fee waived for the first year (blog post)
- Chase Ink Plus credit card application – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months; $95 annual fee waived for the first year
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I will only list the best credit card offers as my goal is for you to travel on a deal!