Credit card showdown: Chase Sapphire Reserve versus Ink Business Preferred
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Editor’s Note: At TPG, our top priority is providing our readers with the information you need to make educated decisions about travel and your rewards-earnings strategy. This is not the best time to travel, domestically or internationally, as airlines have cut major parts of their route network. But we are sharing this information because these cards have great offers that could provide value to cardholders for future travel once coronavirus concerns have subsided.
Chase Ultimate Rewards credits cards are among the most valuable on the market today. This is partly due to their broad bonus categories and partly due to their flexible redemption options. There are three Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points on their own: the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
Today, we’re comparing the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred to see which card might be the better fit for your wallet.
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|Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve||Ink Business Preferred|
|Sign-up bonus||50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.||100,000 points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months of account opening.|
|Bonus categories||10x 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:
Internet, cable and phone services
Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
|Portal redemption value||1.5 cents per point||1.25 cents per point|
|Other benefits||$300 travel credit
Priority Pass lounge access
$60 annual DoorDash credits (in 2020 and 2021)
$100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years
Complimentary one-year DashPass membership
Complimentary Lyft Pink membership
|Cell phone protection|
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is obviously the more premium credit card when it comes to travel benefits (and annual cost). However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for you or your business.
When to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Here are a few scenarios where it is better to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Related reading: Chase Sapphire Reserve card review
You don’t own a business
Aside from the stark contrast in annual fees, the most notable difference between the two Chase credit cards is the fact that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a consumer credit card while the Ink Business Preferred is a business credit card. It’s easier than you’d probably assume to apply for a business credit card, but you do need to have some sort of small business or sole proprietorship in order to qualify. Those who don’t will want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead.
Related reading: Do I need to get a business credit card?
You want luxury travel benefits
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the top premium travel credit cards due to its great lineup of travel benefits. Cardholders get a $300 travel credit each account anniversary, which can be used across a number of travel purchases, from airfare to hotel stays to Lyft rides and more. The card also comes with Priority Pass Select membership (which includes a number of airport restaurants), DoorDash benefits (especially useful as more of us are ordering delivery these days), complimentary Lyft Pink Membership and a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
For someone who is constantly traveling, the benefits and rewards structure can easily outweigh the Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s $550 annual fee and make the card well worth it to have in your wallet.
You book almost all travel through third-party portals
While both cards give you access to the same transfer partners, the Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you to redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal for 1.5 cents per point versus 1.25 cents per point with the Ink Business Preferred. If you are almost exclusively booking your travel through a third-party portal, then you could end up getting a lot more value from your points by having the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
For example, a $500 flight would cost you 40,000 points with the Ink Business Preferred, but only 33,334 points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Related reading: When to book travel through Chase and when to transfer points
When to get the Ink Business Preferred
You’ll utilize the business-specific spending categories
The Ink Business Preferred offers 3x on a wider range of categories than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. In addition to travel, you’ll also get 3x on shipping, internet, cable and phone services and advertising on social media sites and search engines. If you are a business owner who spends in those categories, the Ink Business Preferred will be more rewarding.
Keep in mind that the Ink Business Preferred does have a $150,000 cap on combined bonus spending each account anniversary year.
Related reading: Best business credit cards for each category
You want the more valuable sign-up bonus
While both cards do offer a valuable sign-up bonus, the Ink Business Preferred is currently offering a bonus twice the size of the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Currently, new cardholders can earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points on the Ink Business Preferred after spending $15,000 in the first three months from account opening. That’s a hefty spending requirement for just a three-month period, but those who can hit it will enjoy a sign-up bonus that TPG values at $2,000. Even if you book through the Chase Travel Portal, it’s still worth $1,250.
You don’t travel enough to justify the higher annual fee
The Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s annual fee is only worth it if you’ll utilize the benefits offered. That requires a significant amount of travel each year to take advantage of the lounge access, travel credit and other perks. If you only travel a few times per year, it may not be worth it to pay a $550 annual fee. The Ink Business Preferred comes with a low $95 annual fee that is much easier to offset, which can make it more appealing for beginner or casual travelers.
Keep in mind that both cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened five or more credit card accounts across issuers in the past 24 months, you’ll likely be denied for a new Chase credit card.
If you are under 5/24, you really can’t go wrong with either of these credit cards. Each makes up one third of the Chase Trifecta, which is one of the most valuable trios of credit cards out there, and both earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. It really comes down to whether you are looking for a premium travel card to help you elevate your travel experiences or a versatile business credit card that will reward you on common spending categories.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
SIGN-UP BONUS: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on all travel and dining, $300 annual travel credit, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners.
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
- Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more