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Remember my post right before the new year about getting my first credit card since I was 18?
So that we could try our hand at travel hacking?
And how it was such a major, out-of-our-comfort-zone decision for my debt-averse husband and me?
Well, we moved on pretty quick from those anxious feelings. We did not overspend and actually monitored our budget even more closely after we began using a credit card.
In fact, we just applied for and received our second card.
If you missed that post, I’ll back up for a minute.
The first card was the Chase Sapphire Preferred that my husband finally gave me the okay to apply for in December. We chose to begin with this card after reading Choose FI’s Chase Gauntlet Strategy. The reasoning behind this strategy is that Chase will decline you if you have opened five credit cards from any bank in the last 24 months (commonly referred to as the 5/24 rule), even if you were only listed as an authorized user. Therefore, it is recommended to start out with Chase.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a 50,000 point bonus when reaching the spending limit of $4,000 within the first three months of opening the account, and since the $95 annual fee is waived the first year, it is the card most travel hacking bloggers recommend starting out with.
Thanks to flights that were purchased for our upcoming Russia trip for the FIFA World Cup, we met the spending limit and received our 50,000 point bonus on Valentine’s Day.
On the same day my husband Ron, who had recently applied for the same card, was told he was not eligible due to a lack of credit history. His name was not on the mortgage that we recently paid off, so there just wasn’t a lot there for the creditors to review.
Not only did this throw us off of our original plan of repeating each card to turn Chase’s 5/24 rule into a 10/24 rule, we were also hoping to begin using his card right after the spending limit was met for my card. It just felt like a waste now to spend money that wasn’t putting us closer to earning major sign-up bonuses.
We pivoted quickly, however, after receiving a timely email from the Mad Fientist providing the second card to be used in his Travel Card Series – the Chase Ink Business Preferred. I had actually completely forgotten that I had signed up for this segment of his email list, which only sends emails once every six months or so.
I used his referral link to sign up for this card since it was his email that sparked our decision. Doing this will give him a commission at no cost to me. If you are a disciplined, responsible and organized budgeter who does not carry a balance, are interested in travel rewards and would like to sign up for this card, you can do the same for me by using my referral link. This will give me 20,000 extra points at no cost to you, and you will receive your own referral link after you receive your card.
I had read about the Chase Ink Business Preferred card in ChooseFI’s Chase Gauntlet Strategy post that I mentioned earlier, so I already knew what it entailed. There is one con to this card, but we felt that it was worth it.
- Sign-up Bonus Points: 80,000
- Spending Limit to Receive Bonus: $5,000 in the first three months from account opening (This is important to remember. The clock starts on the date you’re approved, not on the date you receive or activate the card!)
- $95 annual fee, not waived
- No foreign transaction fees
- 3X the points per dollar spent in certain categories up to $150,000
- Shipping purchases
- Advertising on social media and SEO
- 1X points on all on all other purchases with no limits
- Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel
- Up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage
The con I mentioned should be easy to spot – the $95 annual fee that is not waived the first year. However, we decided we’ll spend $95 in exchange for $1000-$1200 in travel rewards any day. [Update: Since the credit card offers cell phone protection, we later canceled the protection plan I had with AT&T. It was $12.99 per month, so even with the $95 annual fee, we are actually saving money.]
Combining the points with the 50,000 bonus points we earned from meeting the spending limit for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card will bring us to about $1700-$1900 worth of travel rewards.
So, you may be wondering – are there limitations on personal spending on the Chase Ink Business Preferred card?
I have found this to be a gray area – some people say business cards should be used for business expenses only, while others say it’s okay to use it for business and personal expenses.
However, Chase is not the IRS, and with that being said, we will be including personal expenses on my card.
Which brings me to another question you may have – can anyone apply for a business card?
The answer is yes – if you have something you can consider a business. Or if you’re planning something that can be considered a business. Or if you’re thinking about planning something that can be considered a business.
Mine is the blog you’re reading right now.
The application for a business card is obviously a little different than the application for a personal credit card. In addition to the typical questions you can expect when applying for a personal card, such as whether you rent or own, household income and source of income, you can expect to provide the following:
- Legal name of business (I used my own name.)
- Type of business (I chose sole proprietor.)
- Tax identification number (I used my social security number.)
- Select a business category (I chose Other Services.)
- Select a business type (I chose Other Personal Services.)
- Select a business subtype (I chose All Other Personal Services.)
- Number of employees (I entered 1, as I am my only employee.)
- Annual business revenue/sales (Don’t be intimidated by this question; just be honest. You can get approved for this card even if your revenue was less than $100.)
- Years in business (I chose 1.)
- Business mailing address (I listed my personal address.)
Unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred, I was not instantly approved for this card. Instead, I was advised that I would receive their decision by mail in up to 30 days.
This made me a little nervous, as we need to book hotels in Russia ASAP and were wanting to use this purchase as a chunk of the spending limit on our second card.
I spoke to one of Chase’s surprisingly friendly customer service representatives a few days later and was told that I had been approved the day after I applied, and my card was in the mail already.
It arrived yesterday, nine days after I applied, and we are starting today on our list of things we’ve held off on purchasing until this card was received – starting with hotels for our trip.
I am so excited to begin the process of tracking our very intentional spending with the Chase Ink Business Preferred card so that we can earn the huge sign-up bonus of 80,000 points, all while planning out what our next step will be after this bonus is earned.
And with no anxiety this time.
- My First Credit Card for Travel Hacking: Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Debitize, the Service That Takes Credit Card Charges Out of Your Checking Account and Pays Your Credit Card Bill for You – For Free ($10 Credit Included)
- Our Real, Live, Monthly Zero-Based Budget
- 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia