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Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth keeping vs the Ink Business Preferred during COVID-19?

Oct. 23, 2020
6 min read
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It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of our credit card strategies in 2020. Cards that were once easily justifiable slots in our wallets are now less valuable, spending habits — and the cards we use the most — have shifted and perks we once held in high esteem have sat unused.

Many have started looking at which cards they should keep and which would be better to let go of in the short or even long term.

While we write a ton of guides comparing specific credit cards at TPG, those are typically done with the backdrop of our everyday lives rather than talking about the COVID-19 era. We’ve gotten a few reader questions about Chase cards specifically — is it worth keeping both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card if travel is on hold for the time being?

Today, I’m walking through whether it still makes sense to have both cards and your options if you decide to downgrade one or the other.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Ink Business Preferred Overview

Card Chase Sapphire ReserveInk Business Preferred Credit Card
Sign-up bonus 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.100,000 points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Bonus categories10x on Lyft

3x on travel and dining

1x on everything else

3x on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on the following each account anniversary year:

Travel

Shipping

Internet, cable and phone services

Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Annual fee$550$95
Portal redemption value1.5 cents per point1.25 cents per point
Other benefits $300 travel credit

Priority Pass lounge access

$100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years

Complimentary one-year DashPass membership 

Complimentary Lyft Pink membership (which now includes free Grubhub+ and Seamless+ membership)

Cell phone protection 
Additional cards $75$0

Is it worth keeping both?

The answer to this depends on your specific spending habits and goals.

The more expensive of the two to keep in your wallet is undoubtedly the Chase Sapphire Reserve, so it’s probably the first one someone would look at canceling or downgrading. But while it does come with a much higher annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve also offers a much higher value potential than the Ink Business Preferred — even if you aren’t traveling as much currently because of the coronavirus.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Chase has been great about adjusting perks and adding new benefits to its Sapphire cards that it has kept using them still valuable throughout 2020. While you may not be using airport lounge access, there have been other opportunities to maximize the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

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The card now offers a way to redeem your points for 1.5 cents each through the Pay Yourself Back program for more than just travel — including grocery stores, home improvement stores and dining establishments, including take-out and delivery services through Sept. 30, 2021.

And keep in mind that the Lyft Pink membership you get with the Reserve now includes Grubhub+ and Seamless+ to help you save on food delivery. All of these benefits make it easier to get the full value out of your card even if you aren’t traveling much right now.

While the Ink Business Preferred hasn’t added any knock-out perks, it is now part of the Pay Yourself Back program as well, offering the ability to redeem points for 1.25 cents each for online advertising and shipping purchases through Dec. 31, 2020.

If you can take advantage of the current set of perks and benefits offered, I’d recommend holding on to both, despite annual fees of $645. While you may not be traveling much right now, this isn’t permanent. And if the cards can still serve you in the short term well enough to justify the annual fees, it’s worth holding onto them until travel returns and you can start using them like you used to.

Related: Which card should I use? A guide to navigating COVID card bonuses and benefits

Should you cancel or downgrade?

Of course, if it simply doesn’t make sense for you to continue paying $645 in combined annual fees each year when you aren’t getting that much value from your credit cards, then you should consider canceling or downgrading.

In general, I recommend downgrading over canceling. That way, you can hold onto your credit limit and account history. And Chase has several solid options that you can downgrade to rather than outright canceling a card.

If you aren’t eligible for the current Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s sign-up bonus, then the CSP is an excellent option to downgrade from your Chase Sapphire Reserve. The card still earns 2x on Lyft (through March 2022) and 3x on dining and 5x on travel.

You’ll also get 2x on groceries (up to $1,000 per month) from Nov. 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021. The annual fee is much lower at $95, which is easier to justify when you’re not traveling as much right now.

If you still think you’ll utilize the Chase Sapphire Reserve but have concerns about the Ink Business Preferred, you can always try downgrading to the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card. The card earns 1.5% cash back on every business purchase and charges no annual fee. While you won’t earn full-fledged Ultimate Rewards points with the card, you can redeem for cash back or continue moving points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve account to get maximum value.

Related: Pros and cons of downgrading your credit cards right now

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred are two excellent cards, but it can be hard to justify keeping both travel-centric cards when you may not be flying to far-flung destinations anytime soon. Luckily, Chase has been pretty good at adapting card benefits to help most people still get value from their Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.

If you maximize your $300 credit, take advantage of the Pay Yourself Back feature when it makes sense and still earn points on dining with your CSR, I’d recommend holding onto it.

As for the Ink Business Preferred, if you’re still able to use the more business-centric earning categories while you aren’t traveling as much, the lower $95 fee makes this card easy to justify keeping in my mind.

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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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023