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

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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?

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 
Aer LingusBritish AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)
IberiaJetBlueSingapore Airlines
SouthwestUnited AirlinesVirgin Atlantic
…and hotels
 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.

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.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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