I carry both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Ink Plus business card.
Both have fantastic signup bonuses, a $0 fee the first year, and great earning –
- Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points on travel and dining, plus a 7% annual bonus on points earned
- Ink Plus earns 5x on telecommunications and at office supply stores, and 2x on gas and hotels
Both have no foreign transaction fees, and points that transfer to airline miles (United, Korean, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest), hotel points (Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, IHG Rewards), and Amtrak.
But after the first year each has a $95 fee. Most people are better off with just one of these cards and with the no-fee version of the other.
The ‘no fee version’ will earn points that do not transfer to miles. But if you have both cards, you can combine points from the no fee card whose points don’t transfer to miles, over to the premium card whose points do. And from there you can transfer points to miles.
In other words, you can get most of the best features of both cards, while only paying an annual fee for one card.
There have been two versions of the no fee small business card, Ink Cash and Ink Classic. Ink Classic is no longer available for new applications. It’s not on the Chase website, by phone, or in-branch although you may be able to find an old application by Googling. (HT: Deals We Like)
Ink Classic Has Vanished From This List!
So the no-fee option that remains is Ink Cash which earns 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, and on cell phone, landline, internet and cable tv bills. And it earns 2 points per dollars on gas and at restaurants. Just like Ink Plus.
The differences between Ink Cash and Ink Plus are:
- Lower signup bonus, 20,000 points after $3000 within 3 months (advertised as $200 cash back) for Ink Cash
- Double points on restaurants instead of hotels (when you pay the hotel directly) with Ink Cash
- Bonuses on your first $25,000 of spend in the 5x and first $25,000 of spend in the 2x categories for Ink Cash – instead of capping your bonus earning in each at $50,000 with Ink Plus
So someone with a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, who isn’t going to max out in the 5x categories at the higher $50,000 level, would want to pair that card with an Ink Cash instead of Ink Plus.
Similarly, if you decide to keep Ink Plus (probably because you do max out in the bonus categories at the higher spending level), then instead of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card you can go with the Chase Sapphire instead which has a signup bonus of 10,000 points after $500 spend within 3 months, and still earns 2x at restaurants (but not on travel).
For many people I think the best combination is Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Cash — especially folks that have already first gotten the Chase Ink Plus card and found that they’re not using it at the levels which will justify an annual fee on that card.
(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)