3 Inks approved again. 420K points “in the bag”.


Last week, my wife, son, and I each applied for the Ink Business Preferred card.  The card’s current welcome bonus is for 100,000 points after $8K spend.  Even better, it’s possible to refer friends to this card from other Ink Business cards.  The person doing the referring can earn 40,000 points and the person who accepts the referral can earn the full 100K welcome bonus.  We did a mini conga-line: I referred my son; he referred my wife; and she referred me.  All three applications were approved.  After meeting minimum spend requirements, we should each earn 100,000 super valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the welcome bonus plus 40,000 points from the refer-a-friend bonus.  Once all is said and done, that means adding 420,000 points to our household (before even counting points earned from spend).

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Easier Approvals

Anecdotally, it seems like Chase is much quicker to approve applications for cards that they are most heavily promoting.  For example, in March while Chase was offering an all-time best 90K offer for the fee-free Ink cards, I wrote about how all three of us in my family were instantly approved for the Chase Ink Business Cash card despite us each already having the same card and despite my being over 5/24.  And now the the Ink Business Preferred card is up to an all time best offer of 100K after only $8K spend, we’re seeing the same pattern.  People are reporting success getting approved even when they are above 5/24!

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.  This is true for Chase business cards too: you won't be approved if you are over 5/24. That said, if you are under 5/24 and get approved for a Chase business card, that card won't add to your 5/24 count.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

In my case, no one in the family was at or over 5/24 when we applied, but it was still awesome to get all three automatically approved.  Please note: Even though approvals seem to be easier than usual, that does NOT mean that your application will be approved.  To increase your chances of success, please see this post (especially the section about what to do if your application is denied).

Interestingly, the way in which family’s applications were approved was slightly different in each case:

  • Son: Website said “Your application is under review.  We’ll let you know our decision in writing as soon as we can, and if you’re approved, you’ll receive your card in 7 to 10 business days.”  Despite this, he received an email moments later saying that his application was approved.
  • Wife: Website showed that her application was instantly approved.
  • Me: Website said “Your application is under review.  We’ll let you know our decision in writing as soon as we can. Our email or letter will include instructions on how to provide additional information or documentation if needed.”  I received an email about an hour later saying that my application was approved.

Multi Referrals

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You don’t need a Chase Ink Business Preferred card to refer a friend to one, but you do need a Chase Ink card of some type.  As long as you have any Chase Ink card, you can refer people to any of the others (they choose which they want when they click your refer-a-friend link).  If you don’t already have any Ink cards in your family, you could apply directly for one now (see this post for links and instructions) and then refer family members later.

You can find your own Chase Ink refer-a-friend (really “refer a business”) links here: www.chase.com/referabusiness/inkfamily

Keep in mind that while welcome bonus points aren’t taxed, points earned from refer-a-friend offers are taxed.  When you earn 40,000 points, that will be treated like $400 of taxable earnings.  So, for example, if your effective tax rate is 20%, you’ll pay $80 in taxes.  That’s not a reason to avoid this, though!  At worst case, if you cash out points for only a penny each, you could cash out 8,000 of your 40,000 points to pay your taxes and you’ll still be 32,000 points ahead (I don’t usually recommend this since Chase points are super valuable for transferring to loyalty programs like Hyatt).

How to apply

Even if you don’t think you have a business, you probably do something that makes you qualified and you can apply as a sole proprietor.  Rather than rehash the details here, I recommend you read our dedicated post to this topic:

How I plan to meet the spend requirements

Tim recently published an awesome post: Using Buying Groups to Increase Credit Card Spend.  This is my inspiration for how to meet the $8K spend requirements on each of the three new cards.

To-date, I’ve barely dipped my toes into buying groups.  I think it’s time for that to change.  My idea here is to sign up for three different buying groups and try to meet the minimum spend on each of the 3 Ink cards with a different buying group.  That way, I can see for myself the pros and cons of each one and I can share my successes and failures with our readers.

Based on the descriptions of buying groups in Tim’s post, here are the buying groups I’m thinking of including in this experiment:

  • BuyForMeRetail (BFMR)
  • MaxOut Deals
  • Pointsmaker

If you have experience with these and want to argue for a different list, please comment below with your recommendations (and please include the reason why).

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