Air Canada 787 dreamliner enginer

I’m finally getting my next credit card

Today is somewhat of a holiday for me as I have finally dropped back below the dreaded 5/24.

As I mentioned in my last post, there are some things that I incorrectly estimated with my count, so this date definitely could not come soon enough. I have  some thoughts about the future of my credit cards over the next few months, but for the purposes of this post I wanted to talk about the immediate future. In other words, the one card that I plan applying for ASAP.

Taking current inventory

To start, I want to look at my wallet and briefly touch on the purpose for holding each of these cards.

Any travel or dining spend goes on this card, where I’ll get 3x the points per dollar spent, and for the time being, any non-bonus spend is put on this card.

I picked up this card when you were still able to receive a bonus on both Sapphire cards, but now am waiting to be able to downgrade to another Chase product without an annual fee. After receiving the annual fee, this card serves really no value from a daily spending basis.

Any spend towards the rotating quarterly categories is put on this card. I will ideally max out the $1500 maximum per quarter and after the 5x bonus per dollar spent I’ll receive 7,500 Ultimate Rewards per quarter.

  • Chase Ink Business Preferred

While this card offers a few different bonus categories, I am currently using it to pay my Internet bill for 3x the points per dollar spent.

  • Wells Fargo Rewards Credit Card

This was the card that set my credit straight, and is my oldest standing card so I put one bill a month on the card to keep the history active. In all honesty though, I am not too focused on maximizing any kind of rewards, though.

Similarly, this card was born of a downgrade after I no longer found value in paying an annual fee for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card. I really do like this card for those looking to earn Delta SkyMiles without paying an annual fee, but with the other cards in my wallet I can earn way more elsewhere.

Taking a step back, I think my credit card portfolio is starting to pan out nicely. I am earning way more on a daily basis than I was maybe 6 months ago, but there are definitely some areas for growth. Which brings me to my next card.

Finding an area for growth

When I am considering a new card there a few things that help me decide whether or not to sign up. Of course, most importantly I need to look at whether or not I think I’ll get approved or not — taking into account 5/24 first when applying for a Chase card.

But beyond that, I try to find a purpose behind signing up for each card. While some people may flock to every special sign-up bonus that comes around, I am in no position to be wasting a spot on my 5/24 count. So I definitely want to get the best sign-up bonus possible, but I also want to ensure I am maximizing my spend wherever possible.

Which leads me to my main point, the main area of “growth” I’m looking for in my credit card strategy.

I put a large percentage of my spend on travel and dining, but there is still a significant amount of wasted points that I miss out on each month. When looking at the full portfolio of Chase credit cards, there is really no reason to be earning only 1 point per dollar spent on anything. The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5 points back on each dollar spent on all purchases. No category restrictions, no max, nothing.

So in reality, that is the card I am most looking forward to. But instead of wasting another credit card application on that card, I am going to downgrade my Chase Sapphire Preferred in about a month to the Chase Freedom Unlimited. (*downgrading a card does not add to your 5/24 count)

But there are a few more options…

My two options

So I really did write this post with the intention of deciding on a credit card. I know where I need to enhance my spending, but there are really two options I am considering. And had I posted this 6 months earlier, one of the options would have been non-existent — making this decision a little easier.

But let’s look at the options.

1. Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card

The Unlimited card is the newest business card that Chase added to their portfolio just this year. I find the card interesting, as it creates an almost mirrored business line-up to its Chase personal card relatives. Nevertheless, it has got me thinking. The cards terms are simple:

  • No annual fee
  • 50,000 points sign-up bonus after $3,000 spent in the first 3 months
  • 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases

2. Chase Ink Business Cash Card

The Business Cash card has long been the go-to Chase business cash-back card, and does offer some great benefits to complement the Ink Business preferred. But does have some very distinct differences to the new Unlimited card:

  • No annual fee
  • 50,000 points sign-up bonus after $3,000 spent in the first 3 months
  • 5% cash back on all purchases at office supply stores, and on internet, cable and phone services, up to $25,000 in spend each year
  • 2% cash back on purchases at gas stations and restaurants, up to $25,000 each year

So when you look at these two cards, the real difference is in the daily spending bonuses. The Ink Cash card provides a bit higher upside, with 5 points back on internet and cable (versus the 3 points I am getting now), but the Unlimited card fills the gap on what I consider to be my miscellaneous spending.

So when I consider that I’ll be downgrading my Chase Sapphire Preferred soon to the Freedom Unlimited, and also getting that 1.5% cash back, I am definitely a bit torn.

Thinking through the decision

So I think that I’ve made my decision.

In reality, I think the Ink Cash card makes the most sense. When I get the Freedom Unlimited in a month’s time, the spending bonuses on the Unlimited card are redundant. So I have decided to look at the card that can get me the most benefit right now.

My current spending habits fortunately don’t require a ton of money right now — in other words, I don’t put a ton of spend on my cards on a monthly basis. While I could probably hit $3,000 in a month pretty easily, when I’m working towards a signing bonus I usually focus all my spend on that card. Regardless of the potential bonuses I could be putting elsewhere.

So when I consider putting $3,000 of spend on one of these cards, the obvious choice is the Ink Business Unlimited card. On the surface, the Ink Cash may look better, but I don’t think I will realistically be putting enough on any of those categories to make a difference.

So hopefully within the next few days I can confirm my successful approval of the Ink Business Unlimited card!

Would you have gone a different route?

 

 

Tucker is an avid points and miles enthusiast. Being fully involved in the world of credit cards and frequent flying for only a few years now, he brings a very fresh and unique perspective to the world of travel.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: