Which Credit Card is Better, the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Preferred? We have clients who recently got the 100K Ink Business Preferred, and are thrilled that the card earns 3X on all travel spend, in addition to the 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points. Plus, the card only has a $95 annual fee, compared to the $550 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. That said, there are a few other nuances to consider. Here's a comparison by category:
Signup Bonus: Ink Business Preferred
As mentioned above, the Ink Business Preferred is offering 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points as a signup bonus, vs. 50,000 points for the Sapphire Reserve.
Minimum Spend to Earn the Signup Bonus: Sapphire Reserve
The Sapphire Reserve, as expected for a personal credit card, has a lower required minimum spend to earn the signup bonus: just $4000 over the first 3 months of card membership, vs. $15,000 for the Ink Business Preferred.
Annual Fee: Ink Business Preferred
The annual fee for the Ink Business Preferred is just $95, compared to the $550 annual fee of the Sapphire Reserve. That said, the Sapphire Reserve also includes a $300 annual travel credit, which is easily earned via airline, hotel, train, and even taxi or rideshare spend, so it's better thought of as a $250 annual fee.
Category Bonuses: Tie
The Ink Business Preferred earns 3X on travel; Internet/cable/phone services; shipping; and advertising on social media sites and search engines. The Sapphire Reserve also earns 3X on travel, but also 3X on dining, which can be a significant spend category for many people and businesses, especially while traveling. There are additional spend bonuses for flights, hotels, and car rentals purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, but we don't recommend doing that, since it's better to book flights directly with airlines, in case there are operational issues or a refund is required, and it's better to book luxury hotels through TravelSort or a similar luxury travel advisor for additional perks and a higher chance of an upgrade.
Different people may have different amounts of spend in given categories such that one card or another is better, but overall, the cards are about tied.
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance: Sapphire Reserve
The Sapphire Reserve provides twice as much trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage as the Ink Business Preferred. The Ink Business Preferred's maximum coverage is $5000 per claim, up to $10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 max per 12 month period. The Sapphire Reserve's maximum is $10,000 per claim, up to $20,000 per trip, with a maximum benefit amount of $40,000 per 12 month period.
Trip Delay Insurance: Sapphire Reserve
Similarly, the Sapphire Reserve is the better card to have if you're facing a flight delay. The Ink Business Preferred requires a delay of at least 12 hours or an overnight stay, in order to reimburse reasonable expenses incurred (save your receipts) of up to $500. The Sapphire Reserve's trip delay benefit kicks in after 6 hours, or an overnight stay.
Emergency Medical Benefit: Sapphire Reserve
While not a significant benefit, it's worth mentioning that the Sapphire Reserve includes up to $2500 emergency medical benefit (subject to a $50 deductible) for emergency medical services recommended by the attending physician incurred on a trip of at least 5 consecutive days (but less than 60 days) that is at least 100 miles away from your primary residence. This insurance is supplemental to anything covered by your existing medical insurance. This benefit isn't available with the Ink Business Preferred.
Auto Rental CDW Coverage: Tie
Both cards provide primary coverage for auto rental collision damage waiver. You must decline the auto rental company's CDW in order to be covered by your Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred auto rental coverage.
Because we have significant dining spend and value the greater trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage, it's a no brainer for us to keep a Chase Sapphire Reserve card. But for those who qualify, the Ink Business Preferred's attractive 100K bonus and 3X earnings on travel make it a great option for just a $95 annual fee.
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