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!
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.
What’s the Difference?
|Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners|
|Aer Lingus||British Airways||Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)|
|Iberia||Korean Air||Singapore Airlines|
|Southwest||United Airlines||Virgin Atlantic|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners|
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.
And with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, John earns 2X points on dining and travel.
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!
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!
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.
He will also get 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when he spends $500 on the card within 3 months.
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.