Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Credit cards earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points 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.
The Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve are personal credit cards, with the Reserve being the premium option. It offers additional bonus categories for earning extra points, along with perks like lounge access and up to $300 in annual travel credits. Conversely, the Ink Business Preferred is a small-business credit card and is the main business card earning Ultimate Rewards points with Chase.
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 and for your common purchases.
|Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve||Ink Business Preferred|
|Sign-up bonus||80,000 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 categories||10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Travel.
10 points per dollar on dining purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
10 points per dollar on Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025).
5 points per dollar on flights purchased through Chase Travel.
1 point per dollar on everything else.
*Note that you won’t earn any points on the first $300 spent on travel purchases each cardmember year, as that will trigger the card’s $300 travel credit.
|3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 of combined purchases each cardmember year in the following categories: shipping purchases, internet services, cable services, phone services, travel and advertising with social media and search engines.
1 point per dollar on all other purchases and purchases past the $150,000 threshold.
|Points redemption value||1.5 cents per point in the travel portal or Pay Yourself Back.||1.25 cents per point in the travel portal or Pay Yourself Back.|
|Other benefits||Up to $300 in annual travel credits.
Priority Pass lounge access.
Complimentary DashPass membership through Dec. 31, 2024.
|Fee for additional cards||$75 each.||$0.|
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is obviously the more premium credit card when it comes to travel benefits (and bears a more premium annual fee to go with it). 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: 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, freelance gig or sole proprietorship in order to qualify. Those who don’t will want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead.
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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 can enjoy up to $300 in travel credits 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), monthly food delivery credits with Instacart and Gopuff and up to $100 in reimbursement for your application fee to Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus.
For someone who is constantly traveling, the benefits and rewards structure can easily make the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee worth it year after year.
You book almost all travel through third-party portals or booking engines
While both cards give you access to the same transfer partners, the Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you to redeem points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal at an elevated 1.5 cents per point. With the Ink Preferred, points on these redemptions are worth just 1.25 cents each. 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
For those who are eligible, here are some reasons why the Ink Business Preferred could be advantageous.
You’ll utilize the business-specific spending categories
The Ink Business Preferred offers a wider range of categories than the Chase Sapphire Reserve when it comes to earning 3 points per dollar. In addition to travel, you’ll also get 3 points per dollar on shipping, internet services, cable services, 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 spending cap on bonus earnings across those categories 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 better bonus than what’s available on the Sapphire Reserve. Right now, 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, those points are still worth $1,250.
Typically, the differences in the bonuses are even greater. The Sapphire Reserve has an elevated bonus right now; when it returns to its standard bonus, it will offer half the value of the standard bonus on the Ink Preferred.
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 attached to that annual fee. That requires a significant amount of travel each year to take advantage of the lounge access, $300 travel credit and other perks. If you only travel a few times per year, a $550 annual fee can be hard to justify. 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 card makes up a third of the Chase Trifecta, which is one of the most valuable trios of credit cards you could have in your wallet. Plus, both of these cards 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 in categories where many businesses spend money regularly.