51 Responses

  1. Amol (@PointsToPointB)
    Amol (@PointsToPointB) at |

    It was at least worth a mention, but 7 posts? Yikes.

    One has to think that the changes in United award fees for non-status members has something to do with the influx of Chase UR -> United miles.

  2. Gary
    Gary at |

    The standard offer makes Ink Bold/Plus likely the very best card out there already.

    This was a limited-time offer which was 20% better than that.

    Seems like it was at least the very best offer out there in June. It stacks up against the Amex 75k offer that lasted a day that drew your ire in May — and arguably this was even better. Which would make it one of the couple of best deals of the first half of 2013.

    It wasn’t an ex-RGN mistake fare in F (I believe I broke news of the 3rd round of that one). But mistake fares don’t come around like they used to.

    Getting the Ink cards is pretty good advice for most in this hobby, and if you’re going to get it then grabbing the best offer that’s ever come along for them seems like the time to do it.

    Snark aside, which miles and points blogger shouldn’t have written about it?

  3. Rapid Travel Chai
    Rapid Travel Chai at |

    Great compilation, I felt guilty putting just one out on each offer but I was really outdone. For my money the Delta offer is better for anyone interested in Delta status, despite having to pay the annual fee up front. The annual companion certificate and annual MQM boosts for spend are a nice trade-offs for future annual fees. The Ink offers are fine, but in the end, all that effort and need to generate spend for 120k points with little ongoing value to the cards other than those who have the time and energy to work the category bonuses is a bit much for me to jump in for a second helping of those cards.

  4. Gary
    Gary at |

    And I should add that my first post — listed as “Will There Be a Bigger Bonus for the Chase Ink Cards Next Week?–View from the Wing (6/14/2013)” — was, as far as I know, the first on the subject.

    It did not contain links to any Ink cards. In fact, at that time I removed all of the links on my site to the Ink cards on the expectation that the offer was going to get better. The message was DON’T apply for it today (or tomorrow), there’s reason to think next week will be better.

    Was that, somehow, not worth posting?

  5. ABC
    ABC at |

    Are you high on referral commission? Some simple math would be appropriate.
    Ink, increase by 20%, 50k vs 60k UR points. Not a deal breaker
    AMEX gold, 75k vs 50k points. 50% difference. AMEX offer was clearly a much better offer. In my book, 50% increase vs 20% is a relative 2.5-fold higher bonus.

  6. Oliver
    Oliver at |

    Quite frankly, Boardingarea should be renamed Creditcardadvertisementarea.com. Maybe not as catchy, but certainly at least as accurate.

  7. MilesAbound
    MilesAbound at |

    Gary getting all defensive again. The stream of posts as detailed above is absolutely nauseating. In the days before you took the money Gary you’d have posted about this once and that would have been it. You can come back with the usual “snark aside” comeback all you want but it’s a joke to think that there is any justification for 5 posts in one week on one blog about one card other than you are after as much of the commission as possible. I mean, at least be honest about it, you’d have more respect (I actually appreciate how Dan at DansDeals is pretty straight up about it). If every single blogger posted about it once, that would be a sufficient onslaught. It’s a shame BoardingArea can’t come up with some collective arrangement so that you don’t have to have a dozen “me too” repeat posts. when each blogger posts about it multiple times I have no idea how you think you can defend it rationally.

  8. PL
    PL at |

    +1 MilesAbound

    Was it worth mentioning – yes. Was it worth that much attention – definitely not.

    Sure it was limited time but the upside was marginal and did not need multiple reminders (particularly sites like TPG). I really liked FreqMiler’s more honest coverage.

  9. Scottrick
    Scottrick at |

    Assuming Ultimate Rewards points are valued at 2 cents each, the higher bonus is worth at most an extra $200. Given that some people criticize me when I apply any valuation over 0.5 cents (about what you pay if you manufacture spend with a Bluebird), then those people would view the higher bonus as worth only an extra $50.

    Like Amol said, one post per blogger, but not more than that. At least they weren’t talking (again!) about the Sapphire Preferred’s 3X bonus (increased from 2X) on restaurant spend the first Friday of every month. Talk about a niche benefit. You’d have to buy an $800+ dinner every month to earn the same 10,000 bonus points.

  10. Oliver
    Oliver at |

    As always I was quite thrilled to see the various credit card bloggers fall over themselves trying to help one of their “customers” in this thread on MilePoint:


    Sell the card with huge spend requirement, collect referral fee, then move on to the next deal.

  11. HikerT
    HikerT at |

    The title of the latest post on BoardingArea says it all… “Last Payday for Chase Ink Bold and Plus 60,000 Point Offer”

  12. JimmyJoe
    JimmyJoe at |

    LOL but hey no need to be mean to all of them, after all I read their stories with pros and cons and decided to go ahead and apply.

    Of course I used Chase own website to apply. No referral link to any blogger. But thanks for all your work. There you go!

  13. ArlingtonTraveler
    ArlingtonTraveler at |

    I completely agree with the wandering Aramean that the 10k increase in the bonus was overhyped. However, I would like to point out that its great that there is a Amex Delta card providing a similar bonus.. the big BUT is that Ultimate Rewards (UR) are the most valuable currency out there. Not only because they transfer instantly to a multitude of frequent traveler programs, but because most importantly they transfer 1 to 1 into Mileage Plus and Hyatt Gold Passport, which are arguable the most valuable frequent flyer and frequent stay programs out there. The important thing being that there is only one Mileage Plus card that earns a bonus currently offered and the Hyatt credit card offers you free nights but not points. So if you’ve already gotten the Hyatt and United cards, then a UR earning card is the only way to get points in Hyatt or miles with United absent buying them or actually staying/flying.

    Sure Membership Rewards are good for topping off accounts, but they don’t transfer to United or Hyatt. As long as Hyatt and United remain the holy grail of frequent traveler programs I will value UR points very highly.

  14. bluto
    bluto at |


    I agree it was big enough news that it warranted a mention but many bloggers mentioned it multiple times. It wasn’t that big a news to warrant repeated mentions.

    Oddly, when offers like the Sapphire drop down from 50k to 40k, I often read blog posts (not necessarily from you) about how the 10k drop isn’t that big a deal, and that the 40k Sapphire is still worth signing up for. Somehow when the 10k is an increase, it becomes front page news.

  15. Gary
    Gary at |

    @Seth wrote “You didn’t break the RGN round 3, Gary, though you did post it on your blog. Others posted it elsewhere before you shared it.”

    Where was it posted elsewhere first? I’m certainly not aware of that, though I’m happy to be corrected, and it certainly wasn’t central to my point.

    “In fact, I seem to recall you admitting that you lifted it from MilePoint when you “broke” the story.”

    I wrote that I saw something on Milepoint that led me to dig for it (I linked to that thread) and discover what it was that was available.

    “Beyond that, I still think the 4 posts is excessive for the story. You didn’t even mention the AmEx card. Why not? It is a pretty good deal, too, isn’t it??”

    Actually I saw the post about the Delta Amex card right before BoardingArea went down. I had a heck of a week of work/travel/events last week. The Delta Points post with the offer remained on my screen through the weekend. And I have a post scheduled linking to it. But I don’t consider it anywhere close to as good a deal as this. (The 70k and fee waived the first year offer for that card? THAT I pushed.)

    Plenty of deals got this much coverage from me before, although there are also deals I undercovered for sure.

    Your list wasn’t singling me out, but I’m offering my own personal perspective in case it’s useful. You can find that valuable or not of course!

    @bluto – 10k fewer points is a ‘big deal’ in the sense that it’s worth trying to get more not less. It isn’t a ‘big deal’ compared to a terminal disease. These things are all relative.. Sapphire Preferred is still a good card without as big a bonus, it just isn’t quite as rewarding as it was 15+ months ago when it had a bigger bonus.

  16. ffi
    ffi at |

    I personally see a day soon when the “most valuable title” goes away from United. There will be fewer” True” Elites – (Plat premier and above as they can change awards for free).

    Delta may be better for changeable awards as you can stack Amex MQMs to get to PM or DM still without PQDs. AA/US is still an unknown.

    With higher change fees, UA is not as good as it was. However, UR allows (for now) transfer to any UA acct and if you know a personal “friend” who is Plat or above, it can still make sense to get UR points than United’s own points and send to him to book for yourself.

    Having said that, Chase must be paying more / higher commissions than Amex. Anyone in the know can test this out quickly.

  17. abcx
    abcx at |

    Gary is the new FTG! All defensive and such. Must be getting senile in his ‘old age’ like Rick.

    Seth, please set up CC referrals. Don’t do any CC posts. But whenenver a good offer comes up, I’ll come and use your link. Right now I go straight to the bank website…

  18. Matt from Saverocity
    Matt from Saverocity at |

    @abcx – how would you know if a good offer came out if he didn’t do posts about it?

  19. jason
    jason at |

    @MattfromSaverocity. Flyertalk is a good source. No need to reward a blogger for things he read on FT. Original content, yes, but FT…not a chance.

  20. Matt from Saverocity
    Matt from Saverocity at |

    @jason, yeah I agree with that. But my question was how would you find out about the latest blogger offer unless you heard about it from… well a blogger?

    There are different offers from Bloggers, Banks and ‘other’ links.

    Just trying to understand the practicality of people who want to ‘give back’ via links, but then don’t want the links advertised when it is ripe to ‘give back’.

  21. jason
    jason at |

    @MAtt Not sure who was the first blogger with the story but at the end of the week, we had a gazillion of “please use my link please” posts. Nothing original, but the same regurgitated stories copied from each other. Lately they quote one another (hat tip) as they have nothing useful to say.

    I am surprised I did not see Emily more often. Is she sick? And more surprised that BA was allowed to shutdown its servers for an upgrade. It was Christmas in June for Petes sake!

    I think T.W.A. has it right and I applaud him for bringing this up.

  22. My Week in Points: Contest Season and Death by a Thousand Ink Cuts - Rapid Travel Chai

    […] of something clever to say about all the innovative ways found to post, then Wandering Aramean posted his definitive compendium of the onslaught. And thank you, Seth, for adding Eva award inventory to […]

  23. AdamH
    AdamH at |

    I feel like this happens with most intriguing items in the travel hacking blogosphere. If there is a decent deal, everyone feels the need to repost it like they are the only blog out there that has mentioned it/ that their reader reads. In some ways I suppose it is good, but in others it is overload. Compare that to a news story, it is perfectly normal for each news outlet to report the same news story, but frequently you don’t read more than one or two sources a day (or something like Google News will automatically aggregate similar content). With travel blogging I follow multiple bloggers as each has their own unique styles, travel insights, and trip reports that I find interesting, but when you get a news event like this, it quickly becomes beaten to death when everyone jumps to “report” it.

  24. JeffISU
    JeffISU at |

    Amen! You’d think the world was ending with all the cross coverage. Plus today’s posts saying that the link was extended were hilarious too. Not to mention all the questionable tactics about applying for not one but two business credit cards without even having a business. Clearly the cards are not targeted at those who do yard sales or sell occasionally on eBay based on the Q&A sessions when doing final approvals over the phone.

  25. TravelBloggerBuzz
    TravelBloggerBuzz at |

    Great post. Seeing the long list is nauseating indeed! I am featuring this in my next blog post and here is my usual incendiary commentary on it:

    Look at the list of 80+ posts on this offer. It’s RIDICULOUS! No need to post it more than once, maybe at most twice. Posting it more than that is pure sell, sell, sell mode. Personally, I despise sales people looking to sell me things non stop! Like that Jehova’s Witness guy who is still after me to offer me Salvation!

  26. Traveller
    Traveller at |

    The pimping chase card (particulalry) is out of control on boarding area. Even some of the better blogs are sucomimg to non stop pimping. I know these love to fly and this is an enabling mechanism but I think the whole system is becoming corrupted. big loke introducing cash to a naitive community in the Barzilian rain forest.

  27. Carl
    Carl at |

    I must say i am so over credit card sign-up bonuses. I got tired of tracking all of my credit cards and just don’t bother anymore, cancelled most of them. I have a few that i have kept, the usual suspects i suppose, but i rarely apply for credit anymore. And certainly the huge initial spend requirements plays into that, as i don’t do Amazon Payments or otherwise “buy” money.

    For those who like a good travel blog without a lot of credit hawking, i really enjoy Loyalty Traveler. Ric is a very good read and doesn’t go on and on about Park Hyatts, actually writes about Best Western and other low cost options for the budget minded traveler.

  28. Grant
    Grant at |

    Congrats to TPG and MMS for both having 7 Ink Links this week!

  29. hobo13
    hobo13 at |

    Seth — I like the analytics! Fascinating stuff.

    Maybe you include a bar chart or something showing the number of posts by blogger? I tried to count them to find who had seven, but once I ran out of fingers on one hand I gave up!

  30. Lu
    Lu at |

    It’s all about the$. I bet the referral fees for ink cards can total up in the mid 5 digits @ 200 a pop.

  31. levy Flight
    levy Flight at |

    My suspicion is that it is not the scale of the offer that matters but the scale of the sales bonus incentive Chase.

  32. Ken Y.
    Ken Y. at |

    I really only do like TWA and FM among all the bloggers. They really deserve kudos for their original content and thought through.

  33. Don't cry over spilled Chase Ultimate Reward Points | Travel with Grant

    […] Hopefully by the time you are reading this post, the Chase Ink Bold/Plus Business Credit Card with 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points offer will be dead.  I’m sure you are just as annoyed as I am with all the “Ink Links” on the internet.  If you are not sure what I am talking about, read Seth’s post (Was the Chase 60K biz card offer really that big?) […]

  34. Alan
    Alan at |

    I am wondering if there are really that many newbie who would apply and pile on debts with these news cards. it cant be profitable for the banks to offer such great bonus and referral fees if the new cards holders are just going to meet the min spent and pay off and put the cards in drawer.

    in a way, without bloggers popularize the cards for newbie who may become debt slave, there wouldnt be many good offers for the rest of us.

  35. gregorygrady
    gregorygrady at |

    Great post Wandering Aramean!!! It is so nauseating reading all the groveling for credit card referrals from MMS, TPG, Gleff/VFTW, Mommy, etc. Heck, even that clown Delta Points got in on the CC pimping with 3 posts for this offer, and UR pts DON’T EVEN TRANSFER TO DELTA!!! It’s become so bad that I often can’t get myself to read the above bloggers posts anymore cuz all they are is a big giant CC pimping/whoring machine. Pretty sad as many of them used to be decent blogs.

    But I guess what can you expect? I can’t fully blame them for trying to cash in during this (HOPEFULLY) short time that they can make so much bling from these CC affiliate referral kickbacks before the CC issuing banks realize that all these bloggers are only bringing in customers that churn cards by signing up for truckloads of CCs, meeting minimum spend, then cxl CC, or worse yet then call up (per blogger advice) and get retention bonuses and THEN cxl CC. Heck, I bet with gleff’s large readership he easily made into the 6 figures on this deal alone. He is using his past good reputation to cash in while the getting is good. I don’t blame him, but fully agree it is nauseating to have to wade thru his crap CC pumping posts to find the gem posts (which are getting much rarer these days unfortunately).

    I personally used Rapid Travel Chai’s affiliate link to sign up for the Ink Bold this week. And then FrequentMiler’s links to sign up for about 5 other CCs…………..although to be honest I was surprised to see that FM had 3 posts about this Chase Ink 60k deal. Seems like all the easy money might be starting to affect his posting in a negative way as well. Sad. I agree with the above poster that says you should put up some CC referral links and NOT pump CCs. I would use them in a heartbeat as well to reward those bloggers who don’t turn into CC pimps. I also wish Loyalty Traveler and TravelBloggerBuzz would do the same. Only issue would be that sooner or later when you all realize you can quit your dayjobs and earn more in a week creating useless CC pumping posts than you made in a year at your dayjob, then your blogs will also slowly turn into crap like MMS, TPG, VFTW, Mommy, DeltaPoints, etc. And I wouldn’t want that!!

  36. downhillcrasher
    downhillcrasher at |

    Great post, Seth! I always appreciate your blog as being one of the few on this site that doesn’t constantly push credit cards.

  37. Oliver2002
    Oliver2002 at |

    What concerns me even more is that this is a BUSINESS card. Who really has a real business. Getting a pseudo EIN or having a consulting business is utter BS.
    It seems clear that Chase has found a simple way to bump sign up numbers in any category thru this outlet.
    I would love to say that this not going to last but clearly the banking industry has no spine so I’m going to withhold any predictions.

  38. Paul
    Paul at |

    I don’t blame the bloggers for pimping. I blame the idiots who encourage the bloggers by using the blogger’s affiliate links. ANYONE who uses an affiliate link is just as much to blame as the pimps who push them. It takes two to tango.

    And yes, the additional bonus was no great deal, but it was a nice little added bonus. Ink cards are the most valuable cards out there, so I can understand the enthusiasm for pimping the cards – the Inks are way better than the junky Delta card that is being praised by some.

  39. Trevor
    Trevor at |

    Seth – I enjoy these posts.. I’ve really enjoyed hack.travel, it is a game changer as far as being able to follow the mile and point world.

    It definitely felt that there was an over-abundence of pushing the cards. Some more than others, which I think your list highlights quite nicely.

    What I think Hack.travel has started to show me though, is that there are pockets of “original content” and pockets of “re-phrased” content.

  40. Zinc
    Zinc at |

    @Paul, I bet at least 75% of people clicking on the links don’t realize they’re putting money directly into the blogger’s pocket. Probably 90%+ don’t realize how lucrative it is.

    @Gary, just stop. Every time you start up with Seth in these petty comment arguments, you lose.

  41. abcx
    abcx at |

    Seth – one more suggestion. I can see why you’re loath to having aff links. But why not put them up and donate the money to charity? That’d be a nice way to differentiate yourself and attract readers to your link instead of View From The Airplane Bathroom, Moron Points, Senior Travel Guy, Tel Aviv Deals, One First World Problem At A Time…

    You could even get a tax write off maybe! What say?

  42. DFW
    DFW at |


    Great comment. I agree with the assessment and the guesstimates.

    I think the ones who are overselling are not being successful however, hence the excessive posts? Now with awareness spreading, it may be getting more and more difficult, especially since the newbies in the scene are able to see the charades through the comments on IBBs and some Blogs. Explains why some bloggers have taken great offense to the dissection being done these days on their body of work. Used to be an easy free ride not too long ago.

  43. Muerl
    Muerl at |

    gregorygrady : Pretty sure seth already quit his day job 😉 And has MANY angles to create revenue.

    I actually payed for WATT, which is my way of helping seth out in his quest to travel and write cool tools.

    It definitely seems to meet my needs, except for BOS-NRT flights 🙁 Still don’t get why QF and AA can’t see them but BA can.

  44. Jamie
    Jamie at |

    I am definitely not one of the ‘haters’, and I find post about credit cards to often be useful. Frankly, I love a summary of what the best cards are and which bonuses are historical highs. But… And this is a big But, I’m getting sick of reading so much about the chase cards. We all know about the ink cards. They are great if you have a business. I’m not going to forget that the bonus is 10,000 higher than usual. So, tell me once (definitely justified), maybe even remind me while giving some great ideas on redemptions. But that’s enough. Especially since we hear about the inks all the time anyway. So all we need to know is that the bonus is increased. To me it’s maybe more worth while to mention the other two “lesser known” inks. Since maybe a lot of people have the bold and plus already?
    It’s not the volume of credit card posts that’s boring me, it’s that the percentage is so high. Maybe there’s not a lot of other news in the travel/points community right now? But there’s a whole lot more I’d rather be learning from people like Gary, who really are experts in this area (although it’s unfair to name Gary as my one example because there really is a good deal of other interesting and useful information on his site even if some of it is a little too political for my tastes when reading a travel blog)

  45. Tom
    Tom at |

    You have to take the good with the bad. There are a lot blogs out there that will do anything, say anything to hype their affiliate credit card links…some of them even have some nice content that doesn’t have affiliate links all throughout it. As long as the affiliate links remain we’ll continue to see them say or do anything to get you to go through their links. I just look at those posts and laugh…. Kind of like an experiment in ‘how low will people go’ for a little cash.

  46. Jasmine
    Jasmine at |

    Totally agree. I thought that if I saw another Ink Bold post I just might jump off a cliff. Enough already.

  47. VeryGoodPoints
    VeryGoodPoints at |

    I noticed you didn’t actually include your own post in the list.

  48. Andrew
    Andrew at |

    Thanks for focusing on this, Seth. I’m so tired of the crap that’s peddled through the blogosphere as to “If you pay your neighbor’s kid $20 to mow your lawn, that means you have a legitimate business and should sign up for this card!”

    Thanks for standing your ground!