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Chase credit card showdown: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Ink Business Preferred

Sept. 23, 2020
12 min read
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Editor's Note

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Editor's note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

With so many fantastic travel rewards credit cards currently available, including some with unprecedented sign-up bonuses and phenomenal benefits, you might have a hard time choosing one (or a combination) that is right for your needs. This can become even more overwhelming if you qualify for a small business credit card, which opens the door for a ton of other options.

Two of the most valuable mid-tier cards from Chase include the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which have similar benefits — both earn Ultimate Rewards points and annual fees of $95. While they make a pretty powerful team, you might only want or be eligible for one or the other – for instance, if you are not looking for a business card, or if you are nearing your 5/24 limit with Chase. Today we're going to take a look at how these cards stack up against each other and help you decide whether one or both deserve a place in your wallet.

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Comparing the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Preferred

This table provides a quick snapshot of the cards' various benefits and key differences.

 Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Business Preferred
Annual Fee$95$95
Welcome Bonus80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Plus earn a $50 statement credit on grocery purchases in the first year of account opening.100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
Earning5x on Lyft through March 2022, 2x on travel and dining, 1x on everything else3x on up to $150k on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, social media & search engine advertising (each account anniversary year); 1x on everything else
Trip Cancellation/Interruption$10,000 per person, $20,000 per trip$5,000 per trip
Trip Delay12 hours, $500 per ticket12 hours, $500 per ticket
Lost & Delayed Luggage6 hours, $100 per day up to 5 days, $3,000 for lost bags6 hours, $100 per day up to 5 days, $3,000 for lost bags
Rental Car CoveragePrimaryPrimary for business purposes
Purchase Protection$10,000 per claim, $50,000 per account$10,000 per claim, $50,000 per account
Cell Phone ProtectionN/A$100 deductible, up to $600 per claim

Now for our detailed look at both cards, including factors in each one’s favor and why you might want one instead of the other. Afterward, you might want to have a look at our complete reviews of the Chase Ink Business Preferred and Chase Sapphire Preferred for more information.

Annual fee

Your first consideration is probably the annual fee you’ll have to pay for either card. This is a wash, since both charge $95 per year, and neither card waives the annual fee for the first year. $95 is a modest sum, especially when you look at the incredible earning potential both of these cards offer.

Winner: Tie

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Sign-up bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Plus earn a $50 statement credit on grocery purchases in the first year of account opening. The Chase Ink Business Preferred currently offers 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months.

TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, making these bonuses worth $1,200 and $2,000, respectively. While the Ink Preferred cleans the table when it comes to bonus value, that $15,000 minimum spending requirement will be difficult for many businesses to hit, so you'll want to take your spending power into consideration when deciding which card to get.

Winner: Chase Ink Business Preferred

Related: A great all-around business card: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card review

Earning points & bonus categories

Both cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, which are some of the most useful points around. Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to a number of airline partners, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest and United, and three hotel programs including Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt and IHG Rewards Club. Cardholders of either product who redeem Ultimate Rewards points directly for travel through the Chase travel portal get 1.25 cents per point in value. For more information on redeeming Ultimate Rewards points, check out the following guides:

However, the cards’ earning rates are very different. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points per dollar on a broad range of travel purchases, including airline tickets and hotel stays, but also things such as taxis, tolls and parking. The card also earns 2x points per dollar on dining worldwide, and one point per dollar on everything else, all with no caps on earning.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred earns a phenomenal 3x points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent each account anniversary year on a combination of travel (the same broad category as with the Sapphire Preferred); shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. It earns 1x point per dollar on everything else.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

There are a couple things to keep in mind here. First, if dining is one of your major expenses, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the way to go. However, if travel is your main outlay, the Ink Business Preferred’s 3x bonus blows the Sapphire Preferred’s 2x out of the water.

The one consideration is if you are a business owner and you spend a lot of money in the card’s other bonus categories, you might hit that $150,000 annual cap sooner than you think. Still, in order to make the Sapphire Preferred worth it over the Ink Business Preferred strictly in terms of travel, you’d have to make $225,000 or more in travel purchases each year instead of $150,000 with the business card.

Winner: Chase Ink Business Preferred

Baggage arrives from Delta Air Lines Inc. flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. © 2019 Patrick T. Fallon for The Points Guy
Baggage arrives from Delta flights at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, March 29, 2019. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon for The Points Guy)

Travel protections

Both cards offer phenomenal travel protections that are quite similar, though the Sapphire Preferred’s are slightly more comprehensive.

Each card includes trip cancellation and interruption insurance. With the Ink Business Preferred, you’re covered for up to $5,000 per trip for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses. With the Sapphire Preferred, that coverage is up to $10,000 per person or up to $20,000 per trip. Trip delay reimbursement for things like overnight lodging or meals kicks in at 12 hours with both cards and covers you up to $500 per ticket.

The baggage delay insurance is identical on both cards: up to $100 per day for up to five days when your bag is delayed or misdirected for more than six hours. Lost luggage insurance with both cards is up to $3,000 per passenger. Both also carry travel accident insurance for death and dismemberment up to $500,000.

Surprisingly, both cards offer primary rental car coverage, which is a fantastic benefit and alleviates both the expense and hassle of dealing with an agency or your own insurance if things go wrong with a rental. However, the Ink Business Preferred’s benefits state that your rental must be for business purposes in order for its protection to kick in.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review

Purchase protections

In addition to the travel protections, both cards offer purchase protection against theft or damage up to 120 days after an item's purchase. Coverage maxes out at $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. Both cards also offer warranty extensions of up to a year on purchases with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less.

However, the Chase Ink Business Preferred offers one additional, outstanding purchase protection benefit that the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not: cellular telephone protection.

)Photo by Pornchai Jaito / EyeEm / Getty Images)
)Photo by Pornchai Jaito / EyeEm / Getty Images)

Ink Business Preferred cardholders and any employees on the company’s monthly service bill are eligible for coverage of up to $600 per claim and $1,800 per 12-month period for theft or damages. You must pay your monthly bill using your card. There is a $100 deductible per claim. Still, given the price of phones these days, this coverage can come in handy and be a really money-saver for small companies.

Winner: Chase Ink Business Preferred

Personal vs. business

(Photo by @criene via Twenty20)
(Photo by @criene via Twenty20)

The final major factor you should consider is whether you want to carry a personal credit card or one for business. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to own your own business to apply for or have a business credit card. Issuers recognize that even employees and freelancers often need business credit cards for many reasons, such as being able to charge purchases related to work. You might be eligible to apply for a business card without even knowing it. What’s more, the activity on your business account usually sits apart from the information on your personal credit report, so it should not impact your personal credit score.

That said, if you prefer a personal credit card and can maximize the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s superior travel protections, not to mention its handy dining category bonus, it might be the better option for you.

Should I get both cards?

Before you make a final decision, think about whether your points strategy would benefit from getting both cards. As mentioned above, it’s not a bad idea to carry both personal and business credit cards for different uses and benefits, and the massive welcome bonuses on both of these cards make them worthy of consideration.

By applying for both, you could haul in more than 180,000 Ultimate Rewards points just from their sign-up bonuses and associated spending. The $95 annual fees on both cards are pretty reasonable, especially if you don’t already have a lot of other credit cards with high fees. Plus, depending on your spending habits, you could max out the Ink Business Preferred’s 3x categories with that $150,000 cap, and then use your Sapphire Preferred to continue earning 2x points per dollar on both travel and dining.

On the downside, you’d have to spend a combined total of $19,000 to earn both sign-up bonuses, so if you decide to apply for both cards you might want to stagger your applications to give yourself more time to hit the bonus spending. Applications for both cards are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule so if you have opened several other credit card accounts in the last two years, you might not be eligible to apply for either or both of these cards. That said, if you apply for and open the Ink Business Preferred, it should not count toward your 5/24 limit for future credit card applications.

Still, the combination of the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred is a powerful match-up that could boost your travel rewards earning into the stratosphere.

Bottom line

If you’re trying to decide between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Business Preferred, think about whether you want a business or personal card, which one’s category bonuses you will best be able to take advantage of, and which one’s travel protections are better suited to your needs. Both are among the best travel rewards credit cards currently available, and carrying both is a good way to boost your points earning on a regular basis.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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