Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Worth the $95 Annual Fee, If You Already Have the Chase Ink Plus?

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Update:   The Chase Ink Bold card is no longer available for new sign-ups. 

Million Mile Secrets reader John emails:

Are there benefits to keeping a Chase Sapphire Preferred and paying the annual fee if you have a fee-waived Chase Ink Plus?
Thanks!
Is The Chase Sapphire Preferred Worth The 95 Annual Fee If You Already Have The Chase Ink Plus

Is It Worth Paying a $95 Annual Fee to Keep the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card When John Already Has the Chase Ink Plus Card?

To answer this question John should take a look at the amount of spending he does in the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus categories.

John is referring to the fact that the Chase Ink Plus and (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold each have a $95 fee that is usually waived for the 1st year.  But Chase may offer folks, who are big spenders and otherwise good customers, an incentive to keep the card.

Note that there is currently a better offer for the Ink Plus in Chase branches!

You can check out this thread on FlyerTalk to find out more about the retention bonuses folks have been offered to keep Chase credit cards.

John was given a 2nd year with no annual fee on his Chase Ink Plus card and he is definitely keeping this card.

However, John wasn’t offered a retention bonus for his Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

So should John keep his Chase Sapphire Preferred card and pay the $95 annual fee when he already has the Chase Ink Plus card?

What’s the Difference?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, and Chase Ink Plus cards all earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred to several partner airlines…

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
British AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)Korean Air
Singapore AirlinesSouthwestUnited Airlines
Virgin Atlantic

…and hotels

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 
HyattIHGMarriott
Ritz-Carlton

But the primary difference between the 2 cards is they have different bonus spending categories.

With the Chase Ink Plus card, John earns 5X points at office supply stores along with cable, internet, and phone.  He also earns 2X points at gas stations and hotels.

Is The Chase Sapphire Preferred Worth The 95 Annual Fee If You Already Have The Chase Ink Plus

John Can Earn 5X Points at Staples With the Chase Ink Plus Card

And with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, John earns 2X points on dining and travel.

Is The Chase Sapphire Preferred Worth The 95 Annual Fee If You Already Have The Chase Ink Plus

John Will Earn 2X Points on Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus Categories

There is one overlap in the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus categories, though.  They both earn 2X points on hotels.

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Worth the Annual Fee?

John should decide which card will earn him the most points based upon his personal spending habits.  He can check his Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus category spending through his online account.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives John 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel.  So John should add up how many Chase Ultimate Rewards points he earns in a year from those 2 categories.

He should NOT count Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on hotels because this is also a 2X bonus category for the Chase Ink Plus.  If he thinks the points he’s earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth more than $95, he should keep the card!

Is The Chase Sapphire Preferred Worth The 95 Annual Fee If You Already Have The Chase Ink Plus

John Should Add Up His Regular Expenses in Dining and Travel to Determine If He Can Justify the $95 Fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Folks who value the flexibility of Chase Ultimate Rewards points and spend a lot on restaurants and travel (including flights, parking, tolls, trains, etc.) will probably want to keep their Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  But do the math to see what’s best for you!

Another Option

If John adds up his spending and finds that most bonus category spending is dining.  He could sign-up for the Chase Sapphire card instead, which is the NO annual fee version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  John will still earn 2X points at restaurants with this card, but NOT travel.

And he can transfer these points to his Chase Ink Card and from there to partner airlines and hotels!

He will also get 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when he spends $500 on the card within 3 months.

Keep in mind, the Chase Sapphire card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus & Chase Ink Bold cards.

Bottom Line

Are you wondering if you should keep the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with a $95 annual fee when you already have a Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Bold card?

If so, you should decide based upon your personal spending habits, whether you will earn enough points in the 2X bonus categories of travel and dining to make up for the $95 annual fee.

If you do most of your bonus category spending on dining, you could also consider signing-up for the Chase Sapphire card because you will still earn 2X points at restaurants and there is NO annual fee.

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10 responses to “Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Worth the $95 Annual Fee, If You Already Have the Chase Ink Plus?

  1. Good post. I have the same dilemma having just got the Ink Plus with the 70K branch offer(AF not waived for this offer). I spend enough on dining that it’s worth it for me to keep the Sapphire. I don’t want to downgrade to the no fee version of the Sapphire because I can use it at restaurants overseas without the foreign transaction fee. Plus it’s such a beautiful looking card!

  2. No, gas isn’t included in the travel category for CSP. Another benefit is the primary insurance if you rent cars often.

  3. Can you downgrade from the CSP to the CS card without an application/hard credit inquiry?

  4. I was in the same dilemma. I ended up replacing my Ink Plus with the Ink Cash which does not have the annual fee, but still earns UR points that I can transfer to my Sapphire Preferred.

  5. Darius, informative post. Isn’t another pending benefit that the CSP will soon offer primary insurance coverage for auto rentals? Or is that heresay for now. Thanks!

  6. I wrote this analysis of the same question over on Milepoint almost two years ago.
    If anything, the math has tilted farther into the “no” camp since then.
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/doing-the-second-year-math-on-the-chase-sapphire-preferred.49007/

  7. I currently have CSP and will be cancelling next week when annual fee is due. Is CS without annual fee considered the same card or can I apply for it in the future to get the sign-up bonus?
    THANKS in advance for sharing your wisdom!

  8. Does the Ink card also offer the Extended Warranty Protection that the Sapphire Preferred card offers? I’ve come to love saying NO to all extended warranty offers that seem to be parroted by every retail store on my purchases, because I know I’m automatically covered by my card.

  9. What about the 7% annual UR points bonus with CSP? I know if will be expiring soon, but it is still available for 2 more years.

  10. Is there still a Chase Sapphire card with no annual fee?