I review the UBS Visa Infinite Business credit card which easily provides more than $1000 in value in its first year with no annual fee.
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Doctor of Credit UBS post:
Frequent Miler UBS post:
Bougie Miles on airline incidental credits:
You’re listening to the Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Vacula, here to help you travel the world at next to no cost through credit card points, miles, benefits, and rewards. Make money, save money, and take advantage of great deals!
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Thanks for joining me for episode 25 – UBS Business Credit Card Increased Offer Review. I’ll talk about why I’m applying for the UBS Visa Infinite Business credit card which easily provides more than $1000 in value in its first year with no annual fee.
I’m always excited to see new credit cards and credit card offers! Might the card be worth it? How can we gain great benefits and come out well ahead? The UBS Visa Infinite Business credit card hasn’t been on my radar, but it is now.
Some quick highlights: the card’s first year annual fee of $550 is now being waived; each calendar year (not cardmember year) provides a $350 airline incidental credit (so this is $700: $350 for 2020 and $350 for 2021); and a 25,000 point signup bonus after spending $10,000 in year one. The card also provides numerous benefits including a TSA Pre or a Global Entry credit which also gives TSA pre; twelve sessions of GoGo in-flight wifi access in the cardmember year; Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge visits; purchase protections; trip delay protections; and so much more.
The card also gives 3x points on airline purchases and hotel stays; 2x points for qualifying office supply store purchases, shipping services, phone services, cable, internet, and advertising; and 1x points everywhere else. Points can cash out at one cent per point and have value ranging from around 1.4 cents per point to 1.8 cents per point when used for flights booked directly with UBS.
The card also has a high-spend goal of $50,000 in spend which provides a $500 credit for membership with airport clubs including United and American Airlines for example. The $500 credit covers membership for the current year and the following, so if $50,000 is spend in the year of 2020, membership is covered in 2020 and 2021. Most of the information is available on posts from Doctor of Credit, Frequent Miler, and UBS’ website. See links in the show notes.
This card fits really, really well into my current strategy and works well for me when I’m traveling post-pandemic. I’m currently prioritizing business cards in my quest to be under Chase’s 5/24 rule and am running low on options for business cards, so this gives me another goal. I aim to always work on signup bonuses and get new cards, so this UBS card comes at a great time as I’m waiting until July for another application with Barclay’s Bank following the suggestion of one new Barclay’s card every six months.
I’m also waiting for time to pass with Bank of America, for a new EIN to mature, and will soon be able to get another business card with American Express since an annual fee will be coming up on my Bonvoy Business card which is on the chopping block due to very little value for me in year two – far more value comes from adding a new card. US Bank’s Altitude Reserve card is also in my sights as well, one card well worth a 5/24 slot for me, but more time needs to pass…
Back to UBS, I embrace this opportunity which won’t take up a 5/24 slot and provide tremendous value – at the minimum $375 from the signup bonus and $700 from the airline incidentals. Even if I end up buying miles with Delta at 2 cents per point using the mileage boost feature, thanks to Bethany Walsh from BougieMiles for the tip, link in the show notes, I’m still well up without having to pay an annual fee.
I usually use airline incidental credits for award travel taxes and fees, but with $350 a year credit, the $8 or so charges per flight may not get to the $350 especially considering the uncertainty of travel. The various purchase and travel protections and other perks like wifi access also provide decent value.
The $50,000 spend goal is also interesting. Since I’ll spend $10,000 in three months for the signup bonus, it’s $40,000 more in spend for a club membership advertised at $500 in value good for two years or less than that since it will take time to hit the spend goal and return to airports.
There’s opportunity cost here, but let’s consider some calculations: if I were to place spend outside of a bonus category on a 2% cashback card, I get $800. If I spend on the UBS card getting the minimum of 1.4 cents per point, that’s $560 in value if valued same as cash. At a 1.8 cents per point value, that’s $720 in value. Might it be worth going for the $50,000 goal, effectively giving up $80 to $340 in value? Less is given up if spending in bonus categories with the UBS card.
This depends on frequency of travel and other perks you have. Personally, I have Delta SkyClub and Centurion Lounge access at the moment, so can use those, so value of the UBS perk goes down if I can use Delta SkyClubs and Centurion Lounges.
Since I’m mostly flying Delta and go through airports with SkyClubs, the club credit isn’t looking too great unless I cancel my Business Platinum card when its annual fee comes due. There’s also further cost if not working on others’ cards signup bonuses or missing other high spend goals even 2x points on all spend on American Express Blue Business Plus. Either way, there’s no need to spend $50,000 – just $10,000 in three months is needed.
Benefits like TSA Pre and Priority Pass have no value to me since I already have these from other cards, but even without those two and the airline club credit, there’s tremendous value in year one with this card. Year two’s annual fee may also be worth paying while year three and up is a harder sell if UBS doesn’t give a retention offer.
The signup bonus is 25,000 in the first cardmember year and also another 25,000 points in the second cardmember year granted after paying the annual fee. Paying $550 for the 25,000 points, another $350 airline incidental credit granted in 2022, and continuance of card benefits seems to be a good offer. As always, you never have to commit to more than one year, so that decision can be had later.
The UBS card indeed has great value for frequent travelers, but even semi-frequent travelers can benefit. The 25,000 point signup bonus can be cashed out at $250 and the two $350 airline incidental credits can be cashed out for some value.
Even if you value the two $350 credits at $600, you’ll get a minimum of $950 in value for $10,000 spend including 1 cent per point for that $10,000 in spend…and this isn’t considering many of the other card benefits. It’s a slam dunk for those who can spend the $10,000 in three months.
Thankfully, the card offer expires July 31st of 2020, otherwise, with spend being down for so many sheltered in place now in April of 2020, it’s possible to apply in mid-July with the hope that spending will increase as more stores open, more deals come, and travel is more likely.
Personally, I’d rather wait until later to apply to give myself more of a cushion to reach the spend goal and not start my cardmember year so early especially when I’m not traveling. I’m also working on two American Express signup bonuses at the moment, so can wait before adding a third new card. This offer may not return, who knows, so I don’t want to let it pass even with uncertainty surrounding travel.
I’d recommend this card for those, of course, who can reach the spend goal and are happy to play the long-game, get many cards, and prioritize increased offers as I suggest in almost every podcast episode especially episode 14.
Since this card has a limited-time increased offer, I want to get it and can wait on other cards which don’t have increased offers. I’m not in a rush, for example, to get the Hilton Business card with American Express because its offer has been the same for several months and has gone up in the past. People who won’t fly or travel at all may not be as thrilled with this card, it’s harder of a sell. but even with one cent point cashout and some creativity surrounding airline incidental credits, there’s still a big win to be had.
Currently, one has to call UBS to get a paper application for this card – quite an odd process – but that phone call was quick for me as I drove back from a local grocery store. Multitasking wins the day. Additionally, those who aren’t UBS clients have limited access to paying the card off. One podcast listener in comments of the Doctor of Credit post told me that you have to use online bill pay features pushing money from banks or banking account products, not a big deal, but not the best way to pay. Be warned, but please don’t let these simple things dissuade you. Value generation takes some effort.
Approval process, according to commenters on Doctor of Credit, seems easy as UBS isn’t requesting business documentation or existing funds in an account with them. One commenter notes that his Transunion score was around 700 with several recent inquiries and he was approved. This is nice to hear as banks seem to be stricter with business approvals most notably Chase, just this April of 2020, denying people for Ink cards noting insufficient business structure, low account balances/lack of checking account, and other factors especially not liking sole proprietor applications with social security numbers.
Bank of America and US Bank has also been stricter as of late wanting older EINs and wanting business documentation. Either way, I suggest that people have good business foundations when applying – listen to podcast episode 12 with Cakeologi for more on business credit.
Finally, the UBS personal Visa Infinite card is also an option, but $10,000 spend is still required and the airline incidental credit is only $250. The personal card has 2x points on grocery and gas but as I usually say – highlighted in episode three – return from categories, especially from low spenders, should not be a high concern because much more value comes from signup bonuses and card benefits. Grocery and gas, too, are better covered on many other cards.
The personal UBS card also appears on your personal credit report which may make getting other cards more difficult, so why not get the business card for a higher airline incidental credit and a cleaner credit report? It appears that bonus offers aren’t available for both cards because the increased offers are available only to new credit customers with UBS, but godspeed to those who apply for both cards and at least get the extra airline incidental credits…that is if UBS will approve both applications!
I’m really excited to apply for the UBS Visa Infinite Visa card in July of 2020 and even more excited to return to travel when it’s safe.
Thanks for listening and stay tuned for more content!
Visit my website at HurdyGurdyTravel.com where you can contact me, read episode transcripts, complete a free credit card questionnaire to receive tailored recommendations, follow me on social media, view helpful resources, and listen to past episodes.
Support my work through Patreon, PayPal, the Cash App, and referral links by visiting the donate tab on my website. Subscribe on YouTube at Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast; like my Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast Facebook page; follow HGtravelpodcast on Twitter; and follow Justin Vacula on Instagram.
Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with full-time business coach and YouTuber Cakeologi who can help you formally establish your business, build business credit, and get premium business credit cards. When you select from various paid services after the free consultation, I will receive credit for referring you. Listen to Cakeologi on episode twelve of my podcast.
Visit my other podcast at stoicsolutionspodcast.com where you can find practical wisdom for everyday life inspired by the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome.
Thanks to generous patrons and fans of this podcast who help support my work. Have a great day.