As you have probably seen, the Minimum Spend Requirement for the Chase INK Plus Card has dropped from a whopping $10,000 in 3 months to $5,000 in 3 months.
For signing up for the Chase INK Plus you get 25,000 Ultimate Rewards Points, and if you complete the Minimum Spend Requirement, you get an additional 25,000 UR Points.
I suspect this a glitch because Chase.com is still showing $10,000 Minimum Spend. I don’t know when they will fix this, so if you have thought about getting a Chase INK Card, now would be the time.
For those of you not familiar with the Chase INK Plus, it is a “Business Card” and is identical to the Chase INK Bold except that it is a true Credit Card, and not a Charge Card like the Bold.
That being said, many of you may be reading this saying I don’t have a Business and there is no way I can spend $5,000 in 3 months, so why are you telling me this.
Well for those of you at the Chicago Seminars who sat in on Frequent Miler’s presentation on Gift Card Churning, you are aware that the Chase INK Plus or Chase INK Bold is central to easily earning 150,000+ Ultimate Rewards Points a year for next to nothing.
More information on that is below, but since the the Minimum Spend has been cut in half on the Chase INK Plus from $10,000 to $5,000, if you don’t have a Chase INK Card now would be the time to get one, so you can get in on Frequent Miler’s current points extravaganza.
I don’t know how long this reduced Minimum Spend is going to last, it might just be a glitch, so I’d suggest signing up ASAP if you are interested.
Using the Amazon Payments trick and Frequent Miler’s gift card tricks below, you can easily clear this Minimum Spend in a month or two without even putting any actual spend on the Card.
I currently have the INK Bold and got it in Spring 2012, when the Minimum Spend Requirement was still $5,000. I am extremely happy I did so because it has been extremely useful at Office Depot.
Frequent Miler’s – One Card To Rule Them All
First, I have to give credit to Frequent Miler’s and his amazing post called “One Card To Rule Them All”.
If you have any questions, check out his post because there are 300+ comments with answers.
I just did this entire process yesterday, so I am just going to recap my experience and throw in some information that I learned from the Chicago Seminars.
Basically what Greg (Frequent Miler) figured out is that because the Chase Ink Bold and Chase INK Plus both earn 5x UR Points at Office Supply stores like Office Depot, you could buy pre-paid Vanilla brand gift cards there, and then use those gift cards like it is your normal Credit Card, and essentially earn 5x Points everywhere.
It is really genius because by purchasing a pre-paid gift card with a Card that earns 5x UR Points, you are basically “transferring” that 5x earning power to the gift card. So when you go out and fill up gas, groceries, restaurants, you are essentially earning 5x Points!
If that wasn’t cool enough, Greg then discovered that you could get a free permanent AMEX Pre-Paid card, that is essentially a Debit Card that has a PIN. So you can make ATM withdrawals, etc. You can load those AMEX Pre-Paid Cards with the Vanilla Pre-Paid Gift Cards you bought at Office Depot with your Chase INK Card that earns 5x UR Points.
So basically not only can you earn 5x UR Points for buying Pre-Paid Gift Cards, but there is also a way to extract the money off of them via an ATM.
Then this past week, Walmart & AMEX announced a partnership of a new Pre-Paid Card called Bluebird. With this Card, you can do online bill pay, ATM withdrawals, etc, and you guessed it, you can load it with the Vanilla Gift Cards.
Step By Step Instructions
If you are interested in earning 5 UR Points per $1 spent on every purchase, here are the steps.
Again for any questions or more detail, check out Frequent Miler’s post.
1. Get A Chase INK Card
Without a Chase INK Card, you can’t earn 5x UR Points at Office Supply Stores, so if you don’t have one, you need to sign up for one.
The 2 options are either the Chase INK Bold or Chase INK Plus. They are identical except the INK Plus is a Credit Card while the INK Bold is a Charge Card.
I’d recommend the Chase INK Plus since the Minimum Spend is only $5,000 instead of $10,000.
Remember you don’t need a “Business” to get a Business Card. Anything counts as a Business, including a future business idea and you can use your Personal Social Security Number when you apply.
A Step By Step Guide on how to apply for a Chase Business Card can be found here.
Even if you recently signed up for a Personal Chase Card (Hyatt, United, Sapphire Preferred), you can still get a Business Card because Chase treats them separately.
2. Visit Your Local Office Depot
After you get your Chase INK Card, you will need to go to Office Depot to purchase the Pre-Paid Gift Cards below.
The reason why you have to go to Office Depot is because they sell these Pre-Paid Gift Cards, and Office Depot qualifies as a “Office Supply” store so it earns 5x UR Points.
Not all Office Depots carry the Pre-Paid Cards. In downtown Chicago, I was unable to locate the Cards, so I had to trek out to the suburbs.
3. Look For The Vanilla Pre-Paid Gift Cards
Once you are inside Office Depot, look for a rack of gift cards. Normally they are near the register or door.
On the rack, you will see a couple types of Pre-Paid Gift Cards.
The ones you want are called Vanilla.
There are a few type of Vanilla Gift Cards, so this is where it can kind of get confusing.
OneVanilla Pre-Paid Gift Card
The Vanilla Pre-Paid Gift Card looks like this. It costs $4.95 and you can load up to $500 on it when you purchase it.
This is an actual Visa Card, so once you register it online, you can use it at gas stations, grocery shopping, eating out, etc and technically earn 5 UR per $1 spent, since you purchased it with a Chase INK Card.
Vanilla Prepaid Reload Packs
Office Depot also sells Vanilla Prepaid Reload packs. Basically as the name implies, these are just reload packs that you can use to re-fill the OneVanilla Card above, or you can use the packs online to re-fill your AMEX Pre-Paid Card, which is below.
If you buy the Vanilla Prepaid Reload, you CANNOT use this as a Everday Card when you go out because it doesn’t come with a Card. These Reload Packs only come with a PIN number that you use to re-load your OneVanilla Card or AMEX pre-paid Card.
The Vanilla Prepaid Reload costs $3.95 and you can load up to $500 on it. It looks like this.
What I suggest is purchasing 1 OneVanilla Card, so you have an actual Card that you can use when you for Everyday Purchases, and then reload it with the $3.95 Vanilla Prepaid Reload packs.
Although there are some nominal fees to purchase these Cards, because you are earning 5x UR Points for the purchase, when you purchase a $500 Vanilla Card for either $3.95 – $4.95, you are earning 2,500 UR Points!
When you scale it, you could easily earn 250,000 UR Points and pay only $495.00 for all these gift cards…
4. Order An AMEX Pre-Paid Card
If you are happy just earning 5x on all your Everyday Purchases, feel free to stop here.
It can get kind of complicated going forward, so if you are new to this, I’d suggest first doing the steps above before advancing.
The reason why it is important to get an AMEX Pre-Paid Card is because the OneVanilla card has a $500 limit and doesn’t have a pin for ATM withdrawals.
So if you have a big purchase, such as Tax Payments, etc, you would only be able to do $500 in payments via the OneVanilla Card.
That is why you want to get a free AMEX Permanent Pre-Paid Card.
AMEX has 2 options, a regular Pre-Paid card & a new Bluebird Card.
Both are free and can be loaded with the Vanilla Reload Packs.
AMEX Pre-Paid Card
The AMEX Pre-Paid Card is similar to the OneVanilla, however you can load up to $2,500 on the Card and it allows for ATM withdrawal (up to $400) a day.
This is essentially an AMEX Card, so you can use it anywhere AMEX is accepted.
The best part is that you can load the AMEX Pre-Paid Card online with the Vanilla Prepaid Reload Packs!
The only limitation is that you can load up to $1,000 in a 24 hour period and there is a limit of $2,500 that can be loaded every 28 days. However, you are allowed to have 3 of these cards, so $7,500.
Even with the $2,500 a month limitation X 5 UR Points X 12 Months, that is still 150,000 UR Points a year.
You can either buy the AMEX Pre-Paid Card at Office Depot for $3.95 and then order a permanent card online, or you can skip that step / fee and simply order one online below for free.
I personally would just order it online because even if you buy it in the store, you still need to go online to upgrade it to the permanent one.
The in-store version looks like this and has a $4.95 fee.
When you order your AMEX Pre-paid Card, you don’t have to load any money on it online. They will simply send you a blank AMEX Pre-Paid Card that you can load with the Vanilla Reload Packs when it arrives.
Bluebird is a new Pre-Paid Card that is a partnership between AMEX & Walmart.
As Joe Biden would say, “This is a BIG F$^i%NG DEAL”!
Full information about the Bluebird Card can be found at Frequent Miler.
It is very similar to the AMEX Pre-Paid Card above, but it has way more features and allows you to store up to $10,000 on it.
Additionally you can load up to $5,000 via Vanilla Reload Cards every month.
$5000 X 5 UR Points X 12 Months = 300,000 UR Points A Year
It is free to order a Bluebird Card and you can do so here.
Since both Cards are free, to diversify risk, I just went ahead and ordered both Cards.
Tying It All Together
So if any of that was complicated, here is a summary of what to do.
In short, using your Chase INK Card that earns 5X UR Points at Office Supply stores, you go to Office Depot and buy Vanilla Pre-Paid Cards. You can either use the OneVanilla Card as a “Everyday” Card and earn 5x points everywhere or you can use the Vanilla Pre-Paid Reload Packs to fund your AMEX Pre-Paid or Bluebird Card. If you choose, you can then use your AMEX Pre-Paid or Bluebird Card as your “Everyday” Card and continue to earn 5x everywhere. However since the AMEX Pre-Paid Card & Bluebird allow for ATM withdrawals, you can very easily withdraw some of your money out in cash and deposit it right in the bank!
Hopefully that makes sense!
Although there are a few moving parts to this and it does take some work, the potential for this is huge.
Back in the day, I did the Mint thing where you could buy $1 coins with a Credit Card and deposit them straight at the bank but I think this is much easier because it is all electronic.
I just went to Office Depot yesterday and bought 1 $500 OneVanilla Card and then 4 $500 Vanilla Reload Packs.
That $2,500 purchase earned me 12,500 UR Points, which is almost a free Round-trip on Southwest or British Airways, or a free One Way on United!
Although all the steps in this process do have to be done in moderation, as I stated earlier even doing $2,500 a month would earn 150,000 UR Points a year.
When was the last time you earned 12,500 Miles a month for less than $20.75 in cost?
One thing I will caution is that I know Chase reads the travel blogs and is fully aware of what we are doing, so in the event of protecting yourself, I’d recommend transferring out any UR Points from your Chase INK Card as they come in.
Transfer them either to a Mileage Program, or transfer them to your Chase Freedom, Sapphire, or Sapphire Preferred, if you have any of those Cards.
I haven’t heard of Chase closing anyone’s account for this, but to be safe, in the event that your Chase INK Card does gets shut down, you won’t loose all your UR Points because they will be in a separate account.
I just transferred out my 74,000 UR Points from my Bold to my Freedom last night.
Anyways, hopefully you take advantage of this offer and I strongly suggest checking out Frequent Miler’s many posts on this topic.