The Chase Ink Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve are two of the top credit cards in the market. Let’s take a look at the benefits of both cards to help you determine which one is right for you and which one you should sign up for first.
Chase Ink Preferred
The Ink Preferred Card is offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, with only a $95 annual fee. These points can be combined with those earned on other Ultimate Rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve.
The Ink Business Preferred offers 3x points (a 6% return, based on my latest valuations) on the first $150,000 spent on the following combined categories:
- Travel – from airfare and hotels to taxis and trains
- Shipping purchases
- Advertising purchases made with search engines and social media sites (i.e., Google AdWords or Facebook)
- Internet/cable/phone services
Although the Ink family of cards are business cards, many people qualify. If you sell things on eBay, you have a small business! Just use your SSN to as your tax ID when you apply.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Enough has already been said on the internets regarding the benefits of this card, so I’ll just summarize in bullet points. You get:
- Earn 100K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s $1,500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card
- 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
- Access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Ultimate Rewards
Comparison of points earned on purchases
Both cards have different category bonuses on your purchases. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll earn 3x points on travel and dining out. With the Chase Ink Preferred card, you’ll earn 3x points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. If most of your purchases are travel related, then you’ll earn 3x points on both cards. If you frequently eat at restaurants, then the Chase Sapphire Reserve will allow you to earn more. But if you are looking for a card to maximize your internet/cable/phone bill, then the Chase Ink Preferred will be better for you.
One isn’t better than the other; it depends on the type of purchases you’ll be making with the card. But most people will likely spend more on dining than on internet/cable/phone combined. For all other purchases not in the bonus categories, you’ll earn 1x point per dollar spent on both cards.
If you don’t have a business, get the Reserve card. However, if you have a business and you can only have one card, I believe the Chase Ink Preferred is the better choice to get, given the bonus points to annual fee ratio and how the annual fee is more easy to justify (I tend to keep my cards year after year).
Since neither Annual fees are waived, the 80,000-point sign-up bonus is superior to the 100k CSR when you consider the annual fee (and for the second year). Those rewards will get you far either through the Chase travel portal or with the program’s transfer partners and at $95 a year, the Ink might be worth considering if you don’t want to pay $450 for the Reserve and you want to keep your business expenses separate from your personal spending. If you spend a considerable amount on purchases eligible for 3x points, this new card will likely be the only one you need in your wallet.