My Most Lucrative Credit Card And How I Use It To Earn the Most Points I Can

I carry the Chase Ink Plus card.

It offers a 50,000 point signup bonus after $5,000 spend within 3 months.

The annual fee is $0 the first year, $95 thereafter. It has no foreign currency transaction fees.

And most crucially, the card earns

  • 5x points at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services.
  • 2x at gas stations and hotels.

It’s a small business card. Here’s the how and why you should add a business card to your wallet.

The Ink Plus is a credit card, which you should pay off every month — it has a charge card cousin Ink Bold with the same benefits.

My own telephone, cell phone, texting, mobile (‘mifi’) internet, and home internet connectivity adds up to hundreds of dollars a month. I’ve got TV service at home, in more than one spot and in my office. It’s quite easy to earn a couple of thousand bonus points each and every month with this card from telecommunications spend. And for folks with big business connectivity bills, the points bonuses only get bigger.

Office supply store purchases are bonused as well at 5 points per dollar. Every since I was a kid I’ve loved office supply stores. I loved roaming the bookstore in college. Don’t ask me why, but just the right pen has always mattered to me.

So add in bonus points, and all the things you can get at office supply stores (electronics, coffee machines, coffee, gift cards) and I find that I earn more bonus points from office supply store purchases than I do from telecommunications.

I was thrilled when I saw Whole Foods gift cads on sale at Staples, in addition to my usual ‘staple’ of Starbucks,, and iTunes. The existence of gift cards is almost enough to make me fly Southwest and stay at Marriotts.

Ink Plus will let you earn bonuses on the first $50,000 spent each year in the 5x categories and the first $50,000 on the 2x categories. That’s up to 350,000 points just for spending in bonus categories. Most people will not get there, but it’s still significant potential at that level.

(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “The existence of gift cards is almost enough to make me fly Southwest and stay at Marriotts.”

    No it’s not and you know it :)

  2. I just completed spending $5000 on it last night. Can’t wait to add more points to my UR account. I like the Ink Plus more than the Ink Bold due to the fact that I have some room to pay off the bill.

  3. Do you have to OWN a business to get a business cc? I’m wondering if you can get approved for use with reimbursable business expenses, and things like phone and internet at home you use for your job but pay for yourself, as an employee working from home?

  4. OMG Gary, I just imagined you on a Southwest plane and I think I threw up in my mouth a little.

  5. @Robert – You do not have to Own a business to get a business cc. You can also ‘plan’ to start a business this year. =)

    @DBest – yes and no. Business card apps also require a hard pull, so it will show as an inquiry. However, the credit balance/utilization for business cards do NOT show on your credit reports

  6. I cant find any Marriott gift cards at office supply stores. The one staples I found them at could not ring them up.

  7. I just got this card. :) Gonna use it to pay for a few thousand dollars in corporate training I have to take.

  8. @Robert- I have the same question… I am in sales, but don’t get reimbursed for expenses. I’ve often wondered if I could get a business card to keep the expenses I deduct on taxes separate from my household expenses. Plus, I’d like to take advantage of the perks too…

  9. Yuck. Finally had to remove VFTW from my rss. A once insightful man (“Air Genius Gary Leff” — ha!) has become a lowly whore. I’ll be waiting if you ever decide to focus on content again. Best, Theo.

  10. @Danh – if you aren’t paying off the bill every month you should focus on cards with lowest interest costs over rewards, I beleive

  11. @DBest – applying for the card does generate a credit pull. Business cards don’t report on an ongoing basis so spend from the card should hurt your utilization ratio.

  12. Gary,
    In case you haven’t tried to purchase Marriott gift cards at Staples recently: I attempted to do so for a trip in mid-Feb. I took the amount I needed to the counter, along with some other gift cards. The other cards worked fine, but the Marriott cards would not validate, and the manager had to credit back their value eventually. I went to a second Staples and the same thing happened. Two weeks ago, I spotted some Marriott cards at a third Staples, and tried to make a test purchase of one. It would not validate. During this past week, I’ve been in two Staples stores, and neither had ANY Marriott cards in its collection. I’m wondering if Marriott has pulled the plug?

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