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When the Chase Sapphire Reserve® hit the market late in August 2016, it set a new benchmark for rewards-earning credit cards. The card featured an introductory signup bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards point (NOTE: this bonus has since been reduced to 50,000 bonus points), and premium perks that have set it at the top of travelers ‘must have' list of cards.
In fact, even with its $450 annual fee, the card has been so popular in the first few months that Chase ran out of the original metal cards and had to issue temporary plastic cards to meet demand.
Sapphire Reserve highlights include:
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit
- 3X Points on travel and dining
- Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
- 50% more value when you redeem Sapphire Reserve points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 1:1 Point Transfers to Ultimate Rewards travel partners
- Global Entry or TSA Pre ✓® Fee Credit
- Access the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection℠
- Travel Insurance and Primary Auto CDW
The good news is that all the Sapphire Reserve benefits we’ve grown to love will remain untouched, and with a 50,000 point signup bonus it is still worth a cool $750 if redeemed through Ultimate Rewards and potentially much more when transferred to one of Chase’s 11 travel partners.
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card Now Has the Biggest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus
The Ink Preferred offers an impressive 80,000-point signup bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.. Plus, you'll earn 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.
The Ink Preferred also offers some of the best card benefits available including Primary Auto CDW when hiring for business purposes and a great Cell Phone Protection package. The Trip Interruption and Cancellation insurance also cover employees of the account holder, so in addition to earning 3X points on travel purchases, employee travel is covered when purchased using your Ink Preferred.
And all of this for an annual fee of only $95. It’s a hard value proposition to beat.
2 Credit Cards with a Similar Signup Bonus but over $350 Difference in Annual Fees
Now that the Sapphire Reserve signup bonus has dropped to 50,000 points, it shines the spotlight back on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The card earns a 60,000 welcome bonus but attracts less than a quarter the annual fee at only $95.
The Sapphire Preferred still holds it’s ground as the best mid-tier credit card in the market and the best beginners card for rewards travelers, and dependant on your needs, plenty of situations would make the Sapphire Preferred a better travel rewards card than the Sapphire Reserve.
The card has a 60,000-point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide Receive fantastic perks, and points are worth 1.25¢ per point when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
An alternative to the ultra-premium travel credit cards is to mix up a combination of cards like the Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Preferred. With both annual fee's combined totaling less than half a premium card's fee of $450 per year, you can enjoy many of the same perks, a huge amount of bonus Ultimate Rewards after meeting minimum spend requirements, and earn 3X points on bonus categories via the Ink Preferred.
Now is the time to plan your 2019/20 rewards travel strategies and start kicking some travel goals for the year ahead.
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