What Still Earns 5X with Chase Ink Business Cards

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Earns 5X with Chase Ink Business Cards

What Still Earns 5X with Chase Ink Business Cards

Chase’s Ultimate Rewards may be the most sought after points available today.  Chase offers some of the most rewarding cards out there. None have been more rewarding than the Chase Ink Business line of credit cards.  But with so many recent changes I wanted to review what still earns 5X with Chase Ink business cards.

Updated 7/9/21: Fluz added to what earns 5X

Chase Ink Cash & Plus Cards

The Chase Ink Business Plus was discontinued by Chase a few years ago to make way for the Chase Ink Business Preferred.  Many of us still have the Ink Plus since Chase pulled the application but kept the card active for anyone who already had it. For anyone who doesn’t have the Ink Plus the Chase Ink Business Cash card has the same earning structure as the Plus. It just comes with lower earning caps for the 5X earnings, $25,000 per year instead of $50,000.

Earns 5X with Chase Ink Business Cards

Chase Ink Cash Devaluation

The Chase Ink Plus/Cash cards are a favorite of many, including myself, because of it’s 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards earning capabilities.  You were able to earn 5X UR in a variety of ways, many that were probably coding in error.  These were easy “increase spending” opportunities.

Most of those avenues have dried up recently.  We have lost the following 5X earning partners over the last 6 months:

Earns 5X with Chase Ink Business Cards

What is Left?

That brings us to the question of what is still left?  Where can we still earn 5X Ultimate Rewards easily?

Here is a list of the partners that are still earning 5X Ultimate Rewards points:

  • Cell Phone Service – this should include cell phones and accessories purchased from a cell phone provider like AT&T (except T-Mobile it appears – that codes 1x in store).
  • Verizon Wireless – This should really work for any cell phone service that gives a discount when prepaying with a debit card or bank account.  But it does for the $10 credit on Verizon.  Use PayPal Key with your Ink Cash card to get the $10 discount plus 5X earning since PayPal Key codes as a debit card.  This may not last long.
  • Cable & Internet Service 
  • Office stores – Staples and Office Max/Depot are still earning 5X and they are most likely not going anywhere anytime soon.  It is a good place to purchase 3rd party gift cards at 100% cost, like Amazon.  They do have occasional third party gift card sales.  You can also pick up Visa gift cards when they go on sale or at the regular rate.
  • Staples website – This is another option for gift card purchases.  They sell 3rd party gift cards (sometimes at a discount) and Visa gift cards online, unlike Office Max/Depot.  Staples.com is also the best place to source Visa gift cards when they are not on sale.
  • Netflix/Hulu/Sirius/Sling TV/Tivo – this is just a reminder that these memberships earn 5X – no MS here though.
  • Dropbox
  • GoDaddy
  • Gogo Wifi/Southwest in flight WiFi
  • Microsoft.com
  • Rakuten.com – It appears some vendors code 5x on Rakuten when paying with PayPal.
  • LivingSocial – It should code 5X when checking out with PayPal. 
  • Fluz App – Some retailers code as office store.
No Longer Works


It is getting down to slim pickings and that has almost knocked the Ink Plus/Ink Cash off of my favorite card perch.  The Blue for Business Plus by American Express is creeping closer and closer to that top spot.

While there isn’t as much meat on the bone anymore there are still some opportunities to be had.  Make sure you are using all avenues while you can because who knows when the next one will fall!

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I’m trying to figure out the best way to buy a new iphone.
    I have multiple Chase cards. Use the Ink Cash to buy Apple gc’s at Staples?
    Use one of the Freedoms to go through the Chase shopping portal to get 2x points?

    • For Rakuten, how do you get 5x? Simply by clicking through to a store via Rakuten and using PayPal triggers 5x as opposed to purchasing from that store’s website directly using PayPal?

  2. Since Staples keeps running no fee $200 Visa/MC gift card promotions with a daily max of 5 cards or $1000 it might be pretty easy to hit the $25,000 limit. Any indications that this could raise a red flag with Chase?

    • It hasn’t really been a problem so far. The key is to pace it and not have huge spikes in spending and you should be okay.

  3. oh one more thing that’s heavily implied in your article but not directly mentioned. Amazon gift cards at staples and office depot B&M are a good option

  4. Hey Mark wanted to circle back and say thanks for writing this up. May not be a bad idea to write this up every now and then since it changes to often and I forget. Thanks again

    • Thanks Dave, I do republish and update it every so often as things change so be sure to bookmark it 🙂

  5. Does anyone know of anywhere you can buy amazon gift cards online that will trigger the 5x? Staples stores are closed.

    • If you use them in the US I don’t think it should be an issue as long as it places you in the US. When using overseas you will run into issues with it not coding properly or orders being cancelled even when using a VPN.

    • Ebay/Amazon gift cards from an office store and then buy it off eBay or Amazon etc? Although you would lose the protection from the Ink plus that way but I don’t think the Ink Cash has any protections so you wouldn’t lose it with that card.

  6. I don’t think it codes as 5x if you buy the phone directly at the tmobile store. In the past, it was coded as 1 pt per dollar for me.

    • You are correct Michael – I just did a search and it does code as 1X per reports. That surprises me since Sprint, Virgin and Verizon have coded for purchases for me in the past.

  7. I need some advice, if I buy my Apple IPhone at T-Mobile store does it code as 5x with the Ink Plus mentioned above?
    Thanks everyone

  8. Sorta off topic, but I like to throw extra travel expenses on the CIP & all phone expenses on the CIC to move that spend onto business cards & off my personal ratios. Really improves utilization & ultimately scores.

    • I think a lot of people hit their business cards a lot harder than their personal cards for that very reason.

  9. Gotta love the 5x with the Ink Cash… At least gift cards are still available through office supply stores, which allows for 5x on nearly everything if you get creative.

  10. I understand what to do, but not the why. Gyft paid with Ink – I assume does not code as office supplies. Normally any site paid with Paypal paid with Ink – does not code as office supplies, but Gift paid via Paypal paid with Ink does code as office supplies?

  11. I am confused regarding how you wrote about Gyft. You list it under the bullet points to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards but you then note ” Make sure to pay with PayPal for the 5X.” What does that mean? Does Gyft code as an office supply store on Chase Ink or not? I am not aware that Paypal codes to give 5x either.

    • When you go to check out on Gyft:

      Select pay with PayPal
      After opening PayPal select your Ink Card and pay with that
      Then it properly codes and will earn you 5X on the purchase

  12. Mark. I dont have a LLC and i earn so very little as part of my side job (freelance). Can I still apply for the Chase Business Cash?

    • They don’t usually discriminate against smaller businesses since they hope it turns into a bigger one so you should be okay.

    • I believe that it used to – not sure if it still does or not. If you try it out let us know but I am leaning towards yes.

  13. Made a couple more purchases of the mastercard gift cards at staples and its only showing 1x points. Im afraid they dont count as 5x points anymore.

  14. FYI I used the Ink Cash card via Paypal with the Raise gift card app (sells gift cards at discounts) and only got 1x points back. Gyft and Swych still getting me 5x.

  15. Mark, can you use the Chase Ink (Cash or Plus) Shopping Portal to access Staples.com for an extra 2% cb on top of the 5% on VGC purchases? I haven’t tried it, but I’m about to pull the trigger based on your response.

  16. Hi. You say above that Staples sells 3rd party gift cards (sometimes at a discount) and Visa gift cards online, unlike Office Max/Depot. But I’m on the Office Depot website, and they do have 3rd party gift cards for sale. I’m confused. Is that new? Thanks!

  17. Just bought a Lowe’s $50 gift card for $45 at Gyft. I followed your instructions, checking out via PayPal and paying PayPal via my Ink Business Preferred. I called Chase right away to see if I got the 5X URs on the purchase, and the customers service person said it would only be the usual 1 point per dollar. Any idea what I did wrong?

    • The Ink Preferred doesn’t earn 5X on anything since it has a different earning structure. Only the Ink Plus and Cash earn 5X UR’s. Though I believe you will still earn 3X on the Ink Preferred for Gyft purchases via PayPal so I would just wait till it posts to double check. Here is a link showing what you should see once it posts. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28202135-post221.html

  18. Mark,
    When you talk about purchasing GC from Gyft you say to “make sure to pay with PayPal for the 5X.” I probably missed it somewhere but how is Paypal getting me 5x UR points?

    • You have to check out via paypal when using your ink card on gyft. It codes the purchase as a utility where paying directly does not.

  19. I’m relatively new at this, but have Inc Business Preferred and Inc Cash to get the 5x; you mention using Paypal to buy at Gyft and Swych; how exactly is this done? Thanks for the columns!

    • Gyft you can buy online and just chose PayPal when checking out and pay with your ink cash card. Swych is a app you need to download on your phone and you can choose PayPal to check out.

      • Thanks very much for the tip- has been working well. Please let us know if there are other ways PayPal can be used in this manner. Since it codes as utility, would it also get a bonus (though only 3x) on Inc Business Preferred?

  20. I have the Chase Ink Business Plus — still getting 5% on the internet, phone, and cable TV. Which is the main reason I have this card. Occasionally use it for office supplies.

    • Do you surpass 25K per year? If not why not downgrade it to the cash unless you don’t have a CSP or CSR?

  21. Sadly, who knows if Staples will continue to have gift cards in sale now that they have gotten rid of rebates.

  22. can you please elaborate on why you think Staples.com is the best place to get visa gift cards that are not on sale ?

    • Max $300 cards with 8.95 fee(about 3%) instead of max $200 cards with 6.95 fee(about 3.5%).

      Also you can buy up to 6 cards in one order ($2k max order). Try doing that at Staples and you get stares.

      Plus, you know, the lazy factor… Online shopping vs b&m.

    • Pretty much what Mikey said. Lower cost, bigger cards, easier to purchase and drain. Only in terms of earning 5x though.

  23. Mark, want you to know too that Capital One just allowed me to upgrade my ancient card with them to a Savor, 3x cash back on dining. Great news for some good cash back on bonus spend with no AF, no point expirations, no caps, & no hassles with redemptions. Can (obviously) do the same/better with my CSR but finally able to put a decrepit credit line to some addtl use besides just increasing the age of my credit history. Might be a workable strategy for other Cap 1 acct holders, thx.

  24. Not sure why anyone would pick the Blue for Business over the Ink Plus. I have both and rarely see any reason to use the Blue. Particularly now that Open is dying!
    I have yet to see a decent Amex offer on the BfB, while there have been a few good Visa offers. I am a reseller and the office supply 5% is killer. Whether I buy merch or G/C, the UR points convert to cash easily. The MR points are cumbersome. The Simply Cash and Blue cash are much better options than the BfB.
    Of course that’s why they make Chocolate and Vanilla, glad the card works for someone!

    • What do you use for non bonus spend Dave? It is the best card out there for non bonus spend in my opinion.

      • Could you clarify non-bonus? Do you mean not calendar quarter based, single store or store category (like grocery/office/Amazon)? I buy a lot of G/C, but all for organic spending. I prefer a 2% card with no redemption minimum for daily spend. And a debit card or two, though the PPBDC has lost its appeal and the Redbird/Serve are dead. I don’t do traditional MS.
        The Visa is accepted everywhere, I never have to worry about acceptance. I can barely spend my MR points that I earn.

        • I meant places that don’t traditionally earn bonus points like car repair, medical bills etc. sounds like you use a 2% cash back card for that.

          But if MR’s are not valuable/easy to use for you then it wouldn’t be a good fit. But most people would get 3% back (or more) from the 2 MR’s the card earns on non bonused spend.

  25. Hi Mark, I would like to ask you a very frank question since I have been following your MS strategies for a while now with interest. How much cash do you generate annually (net) from gift card buying/reselling?

      • Nice…extrapolated is $3k/yr but those numbers certainly imcrease rapidly during holiday season/specials.

        My own observation to Dave’s response (below) is to use SPG AMEX for non-bonus spend. MRs (BfB) are great for airline tix redemptions but NOT hotel redemptions – awful because MRs accumulate quickly for airline purchases (5x MR) but just don’t redeem fluidly for good hotel stays. SPG points on the other hand can also be easily transferred to airlines if needed, along with a nice bonus.

        I think both free hotel stays AND free airline tix are the optimal mix for a starter portfolio. Doesn’t help much to get a cheap/free tkt to Iceland, for instance, with no help on $400/nght rooms! Points stagnate & age if BOTH sides of the travel equation aren’t met.

        • Agree that you need a mix. I get most of my hotel points from sign up bonuses and try to focus my spend on airline miles/cash back.

  26. I have to call in to downgrade (already tried by SM). Really hate to do it but it’s not worth the AF. We’re not in a position to travel much anyways so what may happen is I accumulate UR and perhaps upgrade down the road if or when the time is right and cash in the rewards at better than 1cpp.

  27. i’m sure there is a comprehensive list on ft somewhere. but Tmobile.com and us mobile and all cell phone companies still code 5x

    • They do for sure – this was more about increased spending opportunities. I should have made that more clear.


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