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Chase issues the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit cards and if you like to travel, if you enjoy playing the miles and points game and if you like being able to earn valuable points with relative ease, you should probably have one of these cards in your wallet…but not necessarily because of what these cards offer on their own.
Both cards are currently offering good welcome bonuses:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Card: Earn 50,000 bonus points (which I value at $750) after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership (Annual fee $550)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn 60,000 bonus points (which I value at $900) after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership (Annual fee $95)
Both cards offer good earnings rates for travel and dining and, for a limited time, excellent rates at grocery stores:
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card earns:
- 10 points/dollar on Lyft spending (Through March 2022)
- 3 points/dollar on all travel spending
- 3 points/dollar on dining worldwide
- 5 points/dollar at grocery stores up to a maximum of $1,500 per month (Through 30 June 2020)
- 1 point/dollar in all other categories.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns:
- 5 points/dollar on Lyft spending (Through March 2022)
- 2 points/dollar on all travel spending
- 2 points/dollar on dining worldwide
- 3 points/dollar at grocery stores up to a maximum of $1,500 per month (Through 30 June 2020)
- 1 point/dollar in all other categories.
Both cards earn Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred to other loyalty programs…
…and which can be used to buy travel directly (through the Chase portal) so you don’t have to worry about blackout dates or award availability.
Both cards also offer a good set of benefits for cardholders (like primary rental car cover, cover and, in the case of the Reserve card, a $300 travel credit, Priority Pass membership, elevated earnings with Lyft (for a limited time) and trip delay protection…but none of these is the main reason I believe most people should hold a Sapphire credit card.
One of the biggest benefits of holding one of the Sapphire cards is that they open up the option for cardholders to improve their earnings from 3 of the best no annual fee cards around.
Let’s start with the Chase Freedom Card.
This a card that comes with no annual fee and which earns 5% cashback on spending made in specific categories (up to $1,500 of spending) every quarter.
On its own, the 5% cashback is a great return on spending, but for holders of a Sapphire card that 5% can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points which I value (conservatively) at 1.5 cents each.
Holding one of the Sapphire cards alongside a Freedom Card will allow the cardholder to exchange the 5 cents of cashback for 5 Ultimate Rewards points worth 7.5 cents – that’s an uplift in value of 50%.
Then there’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.
This card also comes with no annual fee and earns 1.5% cashback on every transaction made (with no cap). This makes it one of the better cashback cards on offer….but combined with a Sapphire card it gets even better.
Just as with its sister card, the cashback earned through the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points if you also hold a Sapphire credit card and that would see 1.5 cents of earnings converted into 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points worth 2.25 cents – that’s another 50% uplift in value.
Last, but not least, we have the Ink Business Cash Credit Card which is one of the best business credit cards you can get…but it becomes even better if you pair it with a Sapphire card.
The Ink Business Cash Credit Card charges no annual fee, offers fantastic earnings…
- 5% cashback on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each year on:
- Office supply store purchases
- Internet services
- Cable services
- Phone services
- 2% cashback on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each year on:
- Gas station spending
- 1% cashback on all other spending (no cap)
…and it offers primary rental cover protection (when renting for business), purchase protection, and extended warranty protection too.
On its own, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card is a fantastic card to hold but, if you hold it alongside a Sapphire card, the cashback can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points (1% cashback = 1 point) and the value you can extract gets even better.
I could probably make quite a few reasonable arguments as to why you should hold the Sapphire Reserve or the Sapphire Preferred cards based purely on the earning rates and the benefits that these two cards offer, but the best reason to have one of these cards in your wallet is that they turn very good no annual fee cards into cards that no miles and points enthusiast should be without – how else can you get a no annual fee card to return an effective rebate of 7.5%?