60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with Little Opportunity Cost
You may recall a post from September talking about the about-to-be-launched Chase Sapphire Banking. In short, it’s a new version of their Platinum checking, aimed at those with a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.
60,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you open a new account with a banker (who must first double check the offer is “on your account”) and fund it with $75,000 in new money within 45 days and keep it there for 90 days. The account only has a service fee if the balance is below $75,000, so assuming you are in this for some points, that won’t be an issue.
And you get a shiny new Sapphire Banking Debit card:
(no, it’s not metal)
But many people screamed about this offer to say “Not worth it!”
The OPPORTUNITY COST, they screamed.
The chatter was that if you parked $75,000 in a Chase checking account at nearly 0% interest, you would lose almost as much in interest as you would gain in points.
However, there are two easy ways around this. While you DO need to have $75,000 available to move in cash or assets, you do not have to take a hit in order to earn this bonus.
That is because investments count. And Chase’s new “You Invest” product is fee-free and can be linked to your Sapphire Checking account. While you can only trade stocks, ETFs, and funds, that’s all you need.
Option 1) If you don’t have the liquid cash, but you do have $75,000 in investments, you can simply move them over. Using the automated clearing system with each broker (called ACAT), your costs should be close to zero. After you have fulfilled the terms, you can always transfer them out. Or maybe you’ll enjoy it enough to stay!
Option 2) Many people play bank bonuses using cash. And they are the ones saying you can’t make this work. But if you are sitting on cash, you probably have it in a “high yield” (high yield for 2018, anyway, which is a laughable rate) savings account such as Marcus, from Goldman Sachs. Marcus is currently paying 2.05%. So what if I told you that you could link your online savings account to your Chase account, transfer it in and then straight over to your You Invest account where you could then instantly park that money, at no fee, into a Vanguard Money Market fund? When you purchase (at no fee) the mutual fund with the ticker VMMXX, you are buying the Vanguard Prime Money Market fund.
While not technically FDIC insured (because it’s not a bank account), one share is pegged to one dollar and it currently yields 2.30%. So you’ll earn, for example, 0.25% better than in Marcus. The fund has over $100 Billion in assets and is one of the most conservative places to park your money. If you don’t know Vanguard, they are among the most trusted financial companies in the business. This particular fund has been around since 1975 and has always never “broken the buck” meaning that there has never been a day it couldn’t be redeemed, at par, for the amount invested plus interest.
If you had the money in an online savings account and moved it to You Invest, your total opportunity is maybe a couple of days of interest. Under $10.
One note: They may or may not issue a 1099 for the points, and we don’t know how they would value them if they did. But last year, during a similar offer for points when upgrading to Chase Private Client, they warned of a 1099 and nobody I’ve asked has heard that they actually sent one. So YMMV.
Some key terms for the offer: Maintain at least a $75,000 balance for at least 90 days from the date of funding. Gains, losses, or market fluctuations will not be counted when determining if you have maintained the $75,000 net new money for 90 days. Excludes insurance products; fixed and variable annuities; 529 College Savings Plans; any retirement accounts including but not limited to Traditional and Roth IRAs, Keogh, Simple IRAs, and 401(k) Plans. The qualifying new money cannot be funds or securities held by Chase or its affiliates.
New to all of this? My new “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available now.
|Small Business Credit Cards||Bonus Offer||Best Features||More info|
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
|80,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months||Earns 3x points on travel, advertising, and shipping.|
This massive Welcome Bonus offer makes this card a great first business card. The bonus alone is worth $1,000 - $1,200 at a minimum.
These points can be transferred to a range of Ultimate Rewards partners like United and Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio or spent in the Ultimate Rewards portal on travel with a value of 1.25 cents per point. Also provides complimentary cell phone insurance if you pay your monthly bill with the card. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited
|50,000 Ultimate Rewards points (or $500 cash) when you spend $3,000 in 3 months||Best for small businesses with a lot of every day spend. This card earns 1.5x everywhere. |
If you don't spend a lot in the bonus categories of other cards, or want a second card to pair with one that you use in the bonus categories, this is a great card. No annual fee. Pair this with the Chase Ink Preferred for a killer 1-2 card combo.
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
|50,000 Ultimate Rewards points (or $500 cash) when you spend $3,000 in 3 months||5x points on up to $25,000 in office supplies, internet, cable, and phone annually.|
There are lots of ways to maximize this amazing 5x benefit. If you combine these points into a Chase Sapphire Reserve account to book travel, it's like 7.5% effective cash back. No annual fee.
The Business Platinum Card(R) from American Express
|75,000 possible bonus Membership Rewards points. 50,000 after you spend $10,000 within 3 months and 25,000 more if you spend a total of $20,000 in your first 3 months.||Access to Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta SkyClub lounges (with Delta ticket) $200 annual airline credit||Learn More|
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
|60,000 Rapid Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months||Those trying to get a Southwest Companion pass (the bonus points count).|
Read more about how to qualify for the Companion Pass here.
The Business Gold Card
|50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months (this is a personal referral offer - click "View All Cards with a Referral Offer" on landing page to find this deal)||Earns 4x Membership Rewards points on two categories of your choice (options include US-based: advertising, computer services, gas stations, restaurants, or shipping - up to $150,000 a year in spend). Other purchases earn 1X. This card is a good choice IF you will spend heavily on at least one of the bonus categories, as this card has a $295 annual fee.||Learn More|
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card
|10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months (personal referral offer)||Earns 2x Membership Rewards points on all of your purchases, regardless of category, up to $50,000 a year. This is a great card to earn Membership Rewards from spend in categories with no bonuses on other cards and has no annual fee. |
As well, it earns standard Membership Rewards points meaning that if you wanted to close a Green/Gold/Platinum card, you would keep your points alive if you have this card.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
|Limited Time Bonus of up to 200,000 miles (which would become 150,000 airline miles). You will earn a bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account and then another 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first 6 months.||This card earns 2 miles per dollar. As of December 2018, these miles are transferable to 11 frequent flyer programs (0.75 airline miles per one Capital One mile). If you spend the full $50,000 for the full bonus amount, you would have 300,000 Capital One miles worth 225,000 airline miles - enough for a first or business class round trip almost anywhere.||Learn More|
Capital One Spark Cash
|Limited Time Bonus of up to $2,000. You will earn a bonus of $500 when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account and then another $1,500 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first 6 months.||This card earns 2% cash back. If you spend the full $50,000 for the full bonus offer, you'll have $3,000 in total cash back in your account. ($2,000 for the bonus + $1,000 in earned rewards from spend)||Learn More|
Starwood Preferred Guest(R) Business Credit Card from American Express
|75,000 bonus Marriott points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months||Earn 6 points per dollar at Marriott/SPG properties, 4 points per dollar for US restaurants, gas, wireless telephone services, and shipping, and 2 points per dollar on everything else. |
It also comes with a free night at any Marriott/SPG hotel up to 35,000 points each year after you renew the card.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
|125,000 bonus Hilton points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months||Complimentary Gold Status in the Hilton Honors program (Diamond upgrade if you spend $40,000 in a calendar year). 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits. Free weekend night rewards (valid for any hotel) when you spend more than $15,000 in a calendar year and again if you spend more than $60,000.|
Earns 12x points at Hilton, 6x points on US gas, wireless services, shipping, flights booked direct with the airline or Amex Travel, and car rentals. 3x on everything else