Why a Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred combo is perfect for couples who travel
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best travel rewards credit cards available. It's the go-to card for my husband and me when we purchase travel because it provides excellent travel protections. Plus, earning 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all travel purchases is pretty awesome.
But we don't each want to pay a Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee. After all, we're able to put most of our travel purchases on his card and most of the Chase Sapphire Reserve's other perks wouldn't provide much incremental value to me. However, some travel providers require travelers to use a credit card in their name when booking travel. So, sometimes I miss out on the Chase Sapphire Reserve's earning and travel protections when I need to use a card in my name.
Of course, we could pay the Chase Sapphire Reserve's $75 authorized user fee. Or I could use my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which provides lesser earning rates and travel protections than the Chase Sapphire Reserve in exchange for a lower annual fee. But, as I explained, I don't plan to keep my Chase Sapphire Preferred long term. After all, I've found a better option: the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
In this post, I'll review the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, including benefits and current sign-up bonus offers. Then, I'll describe why I think the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred card combination is perfect for couples who travel.
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Chase Sapphire Reserve overview
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the top premium travel rewards credit cards. Although the card charges a massive $550 annual fee (and a $75 annual fee per authorized user), it's still possible to get significant value from the Chase Sapphire Reserve. After all, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get the following perks:
- $300 annual travel credit (gas station and grocery store purchases also count toward this credit through Dec. 31, 2021)
- 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining; 10x points on select Lyft purchases through Mar. 31, 2022; 1x points on all other purchases
- Valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption options, including:
- 1.5 cents per point in value when you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
- Chase Pay Yourself Back, which allows you to redeem points for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories (currently at a rate of 1.5 cents per point) through March 31, 2022
- Access to 13 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners
- Priority Pass Select membership for the primary cardholder and authorized users with up to two complimentary guests per visit
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit of up to $100 every four years
- Get up to $120 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through Dec. 31, 2021
- At least 12 months of complimentary DashPass from DoorDash (when you activate by Dec. 31, 2021) and earn up to $60 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases through 2021
- 12 months of complimentary Lyft Pink membership when you activate with your card by March 31, 2022
- Access to book hotels through Chase's Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
- Shopping protections, including extended warranty protection, purchase protection and return protection, when you use your card for purchases
On top of these perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve also provides travel protections when you use your card to book travel. I often rely on these premium credit card travel protections instead of purchasing travel insurance. After all, you'll get trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, primary car rental insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement when you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve to purchase travel.
If you don't already have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can snag an elevated sign-up bonus if you apply now. Specifically, you can earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Chase says these 50,000 bonus points are worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. But, TPG's valuations peg the value of these bonus points at $1,000. If you're wondering about these valuations, here's why Chase and TPG list different values for Ultimate Rewards points.
For more information, check out our Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card review. And, if you decide to apply, here's the official application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Ink Business Preferred overview
Meanwhile, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a popular small business credit card with a $95 annual fee. Despite its modest annual fee, the Ink Business Preferred Card offers the following perks:
- 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in the following categories each account anniversary year:
- Shipping purchases
- Advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines
- Internet, cable and phone services
- 1x points on all other purchases
- Valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption options, including:
- 1.25 cents per point in value when you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
- Chase Pay Yourself Back, which allows you to redeem points for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories (currently at a rate of 1.25 cents per point)
- Access to 13 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners
- Add employee cards to your account for no additional cost
- Shopping protections, including extended warranty protection and purchase protection, when you use your card for purchases
- Travel protections, including trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and car rental insurance (primary unless you're renting for personal reasons inside your country of residence, in which case it's secondary), when you use your card to purchase travel
- Cell phone protection against theft or damage when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card (up to $1,000 per claim, maximum of three claims per 12 month period with a $100 deductible per claim)
There are many reasons to apply for a business credit card. Although you do need a business to apply for a business credit card, you might be eligible for a business credit card without realizing it. For example, many side hustles could qualify you for a business card.
If you apply for the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card now, you can earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Chase values this 100,000-point bonus at $1,000 cash back or $1,250 when you redeem by booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. However, TPG's valuations peg the value of this bonus at $2,000 if you maximize your Ultimate Rewards points by transferring to valuable transfer partners such as World of Hyatt or Singapore KrisFlyer.
For more information, check out our Ink Business Preferred credit card review. And, if you decide to apply, here's the official application link: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. However, applying for small business credit cards is a bit different than applying for consumer credit cards. So, you may want to read our guide to completing a Chase business credit card application before applying.
Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred combo
Typically, travelers decide between the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred. For example, TPG's Chris Dong wrote about why he chose the Ink Business Preferred over the Chase Sapphire Reserve last fall. And TPG's Madison Blancaflor has previously compared the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred.
But these two cards can form a good combination when used together. After all, for couples who sometimes travel separately or each need to book travel using a card in their name, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred can be the perfect combination. And, at least for us, earning 3x points on travel with both cards is a primary benefit of this combination (up to a maximum spend cap per account year on the Ink Business Preferred) . This combination shouldn't come as a surprise, though, since these two cards combine with the Chase Freedom Unlimited to form the powerful Chase Trifecta.
Sure, my husband could pay an additional $75 annual fee for me to be an authorized user on his Chase Sapphire Reserve. Being an authorized user would give me a card in my name, 3x earning on travel and dining, access to the Chase Sapphire Reserve's travel insurance when booking travel with my card and a Priority Pass Select membership.
But I'd rather pay a slightly higher annual fee to get my own Ink Business Preferred and 3x earnings on the first $150,000 spent each account year in combined purchases (including travel). After all, I already have multiple other Priority Pass Select memberships from other cards. And, although the Ink Business Preferred's travel protections aren't as good as the Chase Sapphire Reserve's, they're still suitable enough for the trips I'm booking on my Ink Business Preferred. Finally, I don't need bonus earnings on dining since I already have one of the best cards for dining purchases.
Of course, assuming you don't have either of these cards yet, you'll need to consider who should apply for each card. Chase's 5/24 rule may be a factor to consider, since Chase's business cards don't count toward your 5/24 status. But, you may also want to consider other factors such as who is eligible for a business card, who incurs more business expenses and who could benefit from the Chase Sapphire Reserve's 3x earning on dining.
Finally, you should also consider whether the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card might be a better fit than the Chase Sapphire Reserve in this card combination. In particular, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card might be better than the Chase Sapphire Reserve if you:
- Won't use partner perks from DoorDash, Lyft and Peloton
- Don't plan to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for Chase Pay Yourself Back or for travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
- Don't plan to put a large amount of travel and dining purchases on your card
- Won't use the Priority Pass Select membership
- Don't need an up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
It can be challenging to assess and build your credit card portfolio. But, especially if you're transiting from a single-player to multi-player credit card scenario, it's essential to consider how to maximize credit cards as a couple. For example, it likely makes sense for both partners to keep no annual fee cards and hotel cards with an annual free night. However, you may want to cancel or downgrade other card accounts that no longer provide significant value to make room for cards that are a better fit for your situation.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is well-regarded as a top travel rewards card with a sub-$100 annual fee. But, the combination of my husband's Chase Sapphire Reserve and my Ink Business Preferred is a much better fit for our current spending and travel needs.
Official application links: Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred