Why the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred combo is perfect for couples who travel

30 March 2023

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card are two of our favorite travel rewards cards. Most travelers only get one of these cards, but there is an argument for some households to have both cards.

In particular, some couples may benefit by one person getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the other person getting the Ink Business Preferred. These cards can form the perfect combination for couples who sometimes travel separately or use travel providers that require travelers to use a credit card in their name when booking travel. Here’s why.

Card benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred each provide valuable perks. Here’s a quick overview of these two cards:

Chase Sapphire Reserve
Ink Business Preferred

Sign-up bonus
60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Earning rates
10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually).

10 points per dollar on Chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards.

5 points per dollar on flights when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually).

3 points per dollar on other travel (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually).

3 points per dollar on other dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.

1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in the following categories each account anniversary year: Shipping purchases, travel, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines and internet, cable and phone services.

1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Redemption rate for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
1.5 cents per point.
1.25 cents per point.

Annual travel credit
$300.
None.

Annual fee
$550; $75 for each authorized user.
$95; no additional cost for employee cards.

Both cards also offer valuable travel insurance, including trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

However, the travel insurance offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve is slightly better. For example, if you pay for your common carrier fare with the Ink Business Preferred, trip delay reimbursement requires a 12-hour (or overnight) delay. In contrast, if you pay with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it only requires a six-hour (or overnight) delay.

Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

2 is better than 1

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You might consider getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve and paying an additional $75 annual fee to add your partner as an authorized user.

After all, Chase Sapphire Reserve authorized users get a card in their name, including access to the standard earning rates and travel insurance when using the card, and a Priority Pass Select membership.

But by paying a slightly higher combined annual fee, your partner could get their own Ink Business Preferred. They’d need to be eligible for a small-business card, but many hobbies and side hustles can qualify you for a small-business card.

The Ink Business Preferred’s current sign-up bonus — 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening — is certainly appealing. Based on TPG’s valuations, this bonus is worth about $2,000.

By getting and keeping both cards, you’ll also get access to two sets of Chase Offers. And you’ll have two separate accounts that earn well on travel purchases if one of your cards becomes compromised while traveling together.

Related: Why you should carry a backup credit card while traveling

Transfer rewards between accounts

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You might worry that one negative of you and your partner having multiple Chase cards is that your points will be separated. But Chase lets you combine Chase Ultimate Rewards points with “another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you or one member of your household or owner of the company.”

So, you can combine your points if your partner is a household member. This is particularly important if you want to redeem points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal since Chase Sapphire Reserve accounts can do so at a rate of 1.5 cents per point — 0.25 cents per point higher than the rate you’d get if you redeemed from an Ink Business Preferred account.

But it’s also useful if you plan to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points by transferring to one of Chase’s 14 transfer partners. After all, you can only transfer points to “partner program accounts belonging to you or one additional household member who is listed as an authorized user on your Chase credit card account.”

So, if your partner needed more Flying Blue points to book an award flight and doesn’t have enough Ultimate Rewards points in their account, you could move Ultimate Rewards points from your account to theirs (even if they aren’t an authorized user on your account). Then, they could transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue for their redemption.

Related: How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for maximum value

Alternate combinations

You might wonder whether you could replace either of the cards in this combination and still get similar benefits. Here’s a look at two alternate combinations you might consider:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card instead of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

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You might consider getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card instead of the Chase Sapphire Reserve. After all, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a significantly lower $95 annual fee, doesn’t charge an additional fee for authorized users and offers 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases and select streaming services.

But, the Chase Sapphire Preferred only gives 1.25 cents per point when you redeem for travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (whereas the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives 1.5 cents per point). And the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns fewer points than the Chase Sapphire Reserve on most travel.

Plus, the Chase Sapphire Reserve provides a Priority Pass Select membership and an up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus application fee credit every four years.

Related: Chase Sapphire showdown: Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card instead of the Ink Business Preferred

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You might also consider getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred instead of the Ink Business Preferred, especially if you aren’t eligible for a business credit card.

The two cards offer similar travel insurance and annual fees. And the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers some additional bonus categories and up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

But, if you opt for the Chase Sapphire Preferred instead of the Ink Business Preferred, you’d miss out on the Ink Business Preferred bonus categories. In particular, you’d earn less on most travel purchases.

Related: Why I chose the Ink Business Preferred over the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Bottom line

In this post, I discussed why the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred card combination is a good choice for couples who travel frequently. In particular, this combination is best for couples who sometimes travel separately and often need to book travel on a card in their name.

However, some couples may get better value from an alternate card combination or from simply opening one card account and adding an authorized user. So, consider how you’ll use your cards and redeem your rewards when deciding on a credit card strategy.

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