Keep, Cancel or Convert? Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 Annual Fee) & Chase Ink Plus ($95 Annual Fee)

Good morning everyone.  Ahh, I feel so refreshed, I just spent the last week on tropical Kauai with my girlfriend. We enjoyed inner tubing down an old sugarcane plantation irrigation canal, a 4×4 off road vehicle tour of Kipu Ranch, driving around Waimea Canyon, and eating as much poke and shaved ice as our stomachs would allow. I would definitely recommend all of those activities if you are heading to Kauai anytime soon.

During the good ole days of credit card sign up bonuses, I used to do epic 4-8 credit card App-O-Ramas every 3 months.  I probably did that for the first 2 years I was in the miles and points game.  Over those years, I accumulated a lot of credit cards, but now is the time when several annual fees are posting.  I have 8 credit cards that posted annual fees in March (totalling $1,165 in annual fees), so now is the time for me to decide: keep, cancel, or convert?  Here is the list of credit cards and annual fees.  I am going to cover the first 2 Chase credit cards in today’s post, and then cover the other credit cards in a few more posts.  Let’s start with my beloved Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – $450 (posted 4/1)
  • Chase Ink Plus Business – $95 (posted 4/1)
  • American Express Hilton Ascend – $95 (posted 4/3)
  • American Express SPG Business – $95 (posted 4/6)
  • Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business – $75 (posted 4/2)
  • Citi AT&T Access More – $95 (posted 4/4)
  • US Bank FlexPerks Gold – $85 (posted 4/3)
  • Wells Fargo Propel World – $175 (posted 3/31)

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth the $450 annual fee? Several months ago, I converted my Chase Freedom into a Chase Sapphire Reserve, and it was one of the best credit card decisions I ever made.  After I converted to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I started to receive the $300 in travel reimbursements (before I even paid the first $450 annual fee).  I also received my Priority Pass card which includes unlimited guests (you have to request this through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal).  Between the $300 travel credit and the free meals I have had at Priority Pass lounges, the $450 annual fee is basically a wash.  Then add on the 3x Chase Ultimate Reward Points on travel and dining purchases, plus the ability to redeem Chase Ultimate Reward Points for travel at 1.5 cents, keeping this credit card is the easiest credit card decision of the year.  The only downside is that I had to give up my Chase Freedom and I would have loved to get 5x on PayPal purchase this quarter (that would have taken me only a few days to max out).

Decision: Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card is a keeper.

Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card

Up next, let’s review the $95 annual fee on my Chase Ink Plus.  I have had this credit card for a few years and it is probably my second favorite credit card.  I love the ability to earn 5x Chase Ultimate Reward Points at office supply stores, internet / cable / phone bills, and other utilities.  I looked at my year end summary and I spent $31,000+ at 5x merchants.  I would have easily maxed out the $50,000 5x cap, but PayPal Digital Gifts (PPDG) stopped coding as 5x.  Even without maxing out the $50,000 cap, this credit card is a keeper.  I can easily generate enough Chase Ultimate Rewards to cover the $95 annual fee.  I would have to earn 6,333 Chase Ultimate Reward Points to cover the $95 annual fee (since I transfer all my Chase Ultimate Reward Points from my Chase Ink Plus to my Chase Sapphire Reserve).  To get 6,333 Chase Ultimate Reward Points, I only need to spend $1,267 at 5x merchants.  That is a piece of cake, and every dollar spent after that is just gravy.

Decision: Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card is a keeper.

What about calling for retention offers?  I could probably get decent retention offers (bonus Chase Ultimate Reward Points or courtesy statement credits to offset the annual fee), but I don’t want Chase to review my credit card accounts.  The less eyes on my account, the better.  With that said, do you agree that both of these Chase credit cards are both keepers?  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

P.S. If you want to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, here is my referral link.  I will get 10,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Reward Points and you will get 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points after you spend $4,000 in 3 months.  Unfortunately, the 5/24 rule does apply.  Thank you for using my referral link and supporting the site!  I wish I had a referral link available for the Chase Ink Plus, but that credit card is no longer available :(

17 thoughts on “Keep, Cancel or Convert? Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 Annual Fee) & Chase Ink Plus ($95 Annual Fee)

  1. Kai

    Hi Grant, did you have to give up Chase Freedom for Reserve because of the 5/24 rules? I’m asking this is because my wife wanted to get the Reserve and also I wanted her to keep the freedom (5X categories, no annual fee). I assume is possible can it?

    1. Grant Post author

      Correct, I couldn’t get approved for the CSR when I applied because I’m way over 5/24, but I could convert my Fredom to CSR. I decided the CSR was worth more than Freedom’s 5x categories.

  2. ktc

    Hi I currently have 3 Ink cards: 2 Plus (3+ yrs old) + 1 Preferred (4 months old). I’d like to apply for Ink Cash at the moment, am thinking about cancelling (move credit) one of the Plus will help. Any suggestions? Do you know how many Ink cards can one have? thx

    1. Grant Post author

      How many businesses do you have? If you have several, you should be able to get a Chase business credit card for each business. I would keep your Chase Ink Plus cards for as long as possible since those credit cards are no longer available. If you are not able to spend more than $25k at 5x merchants, then I guess it would make sense to downgrade to a no annual fee Chase Ink Cash.

  3. Rick

    Hi Grant,

    My SO and I both have individual CSR cards, but after the initial year bonus, we put all future charges on my acct, & he never used his again altho he renewed the card last year. Is there a way to transfer all his UR points to my UR acct if we have an Ink acct with both of us as signers? If so, we could close his unused CSR acct, save the next $450 annual fee, and still use his points. Thanx in advance!


    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Rick, since you are married, you can directly transfer Chase Ultimate Reward Points from one account to another. Instead of closing the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I would suggest downgrading to a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. You can also transfer points from those credit cards to your Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  4. WR

    I don’t think CSR is a keeper for those people that have another card with GE/PP/travel insurance benefits, like an Amex Plat or Citi Prestige. I’ve lost count of how many superfluous PP or GE cards I have. The incremental value of those benefits to me is exactly $0. So in the end your are pre-paying $300 in travel expenses, and also paying $150 just to get an extra 1x on Restaurants. It was an easy decision for me to downgrade to a CFU (I already have two CFs, one of which I will upgrade to CSR in a year or so when I need to transfer URs, and hopefully I can double dip travel credit).

    A better strategy for most is to downgrade to a CF/CFU, and if you don’t already have one, get one of the many flavors of Amex Plat for the benefits.

    1. Grant Post author

      That is good advice. If you compare the incremental $150 annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve to the $95 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, I think the extra 1x and ability to redeem Chase Ultimate Reward Points at 1.5 CPP makes the Chase Sapphire Reserve a keeper.

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  8. RabbMD

    Grant, I think you need to compare the ink plus to the ink cash to assess the annual fee. So to me break even on the $95 annual fee is earning $95 more in ultimate rewards points than you can on the ink cash after the ink cash’s $25000 cap. Using your value of $0.015 the $95 fee requires spending over $6,333 plus the $25,000 ink cash cap or $31,333. This is the opportunity cost type analysis of the ink situation IMHO. Based on your $31,000 plus spend you look to be barely breaking even on that $95 fee. I do think having the option if new 5x ur points options open up is valuable, and I keep my ink cash even though I am only spending about like you. I may reconsider that though when my next annual fee is due in November as more and more 5x options dry up.

    1. Grant Post author

      My biggest fear is downgrading my Chase Ink Plus to a Chase Ink Cash and then a great 5x MS opportunity comes along and I cannot upgrade to the Chase Ink Plus. My FOMO is probably worth more than the $95 annual fee, even if the math doesn’t make it look very conclusive.

      1. ed1chandler

        But, that would only be a concern if you planned to MS beyond the $25k that the Chase Ink already allows, right? Right now I have the CSR and the Ink+, and I’m trying to come up with a reason *NOT* to downgrade the Ink+ to the Ink$. Apart from the extra $25k of potential 5x earning, I don’t see that the Ink+ offers anything over the Ink$ that isn’t offset by an identical or better feature of the CSR. Am I missing anything?

        1. Grant Post author

          You may not spend over $25k a year at 5x merchants, but what if next year you do? By downgrading from the Chase Ink Plus to the Chase Ink Cash, you will never be able to convert back again. It just depends if you think you will ever need more than $25k of 5x spend.

    1. Grant Post author

      If by organic you mean shopping at Whole Foods, no.

      If you mean buying gift cards online and paying my cable/internet bill, then yes.


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