Thursday, January 31, 2019

Taking Chase Sapphire Reserve Into Account

In a previous post, I came out in favor of the American Express Business Gold and Platinum Schwab (Personal) over the Chase Ink Business card for my particular spending habits

I spend about $35,000 a year on shipping.  The business gold earns 4x and the Schwab makes that worth 5% cash back.  Chase Ink earns 3x on shipping which turns into 3.75% towards travel but it's annual fee is far lower.

Well, it turns out that I neglected to take the Chase Sapphire Reserve into account. 🤦

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a very high annual fee of $450 but it means the 3x earned from INK turns into 4.5% towards travel and it comes with a very generous $300 airline reimbursement which many people consider to be almost as good as cash since it is pretty easy to activate.

Summary of Last Post Calculation

Here is how the original math shook out

American Express combo:

Annual fees - $295 and $550 = -$845
Travel reimbursement - ~$160
$35,000 of shipping expenses = 140,000 Membership Rewards Points = $1,750
Tax deduction at marginal rate of 30% of annual fee = $253.50

That's $1318.50 of value (3.767% on $35k of spending).

It's another $70 if you have $250k with Schwab ($100 off annual fee but lose the 30% tax deduction so only gain $70) and another $70 if you have $1 million+ with Schwab.

Chase INK

Annual fee = -$95
Travel reimbursement = $0
$35,000 of shipping expenses = 105,000 Ultimate Rewards points = $1,312.50 towards travel.
Tax deduction at marginal rate of 30% of annual fee = $28.50

That's $1246 of value towards travel (3.56%)

I pointed out that as I continue to spend more money on shipping, the benefit of the amex combination would increase and I also get the extra benefits of platinum like lounge access and credit to Saks Fifth Avenue, Uber Credits and Status at certain hotels and rents a cars so it made sense to go with American Express.

$1318.50 cash vs. $1246 for travel and Platinum has more benefits.  It was easy to choose American Express over Chase

The problem is that I completely ignored the Chase Sapphire Reserve in this calculation. 

Adding in Chase Sapphire Reserve 

Here is the Calculation of the Chase Ink and Sapphire Reserve combo

Annual fee = -$545
Travel Reimbursement = $300, let's give it full value for simplicity sake since most people can get full value out of it
$35,000 of shipping expenses = $105,000 Ultimate Rewards = $1,575 towards travel.
Tax deduction at marginal rate of 30% of annual fee = $163.50

That's $1493.50 of value towards travel  (4.267%) vs. the $1318.50 of cash


The Chase combination actually provides more value for me.  I had already applies for the Schwab Platinum which I don't regret since it will unlock all my Membership Rewards but going forward I am considering going the Chase route instead of American Express.  My only question is whether Chase will approve me for multiple cards. 

I want 3 Chase cards in total.  The Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Cash (5x office supplies with no annual fee - limit of $25k of spending for 5x).  We will see what I can get!