Key takeaways

  • When it comes to travel-related card perks, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an overall better choice than the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, but the Travel Rewards can still be the right choice for some people.
  • Bank of America offers a Preferred Rewards program that boosts the rewards rates of its credit cards, so if you’re already a member of this program, you’d get a lot more value out of this card
  • The Sapphire Preferred also has a better welcome bonus offer and a higher overall rewards rate, but the Travel Rewards card has no annual fee and offers a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.

If you’re trying to decide between the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you have quite a bit to think about. For example, you’ll have to consider your routine spending habits, the type of rewards you want to earn and whether you’re comfortable paying an annual fee.

In the meantime, you should also consider whether you could benefit from a 0 percent APR on purchases for a limited time. Why? Because only one of these cards gives you this opportunity.

While the Bank of America Travel Rewards card and Chase Sapphire Preferred have quite a bit in common, there are some areas where one card undoubtedly beats out the other. Read on to learn which of these cards wins in the most important categories, as well as reasons to sign up for either option.

Main details

Chase Sapphire Preferred Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card
Welcome bonus 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening
Rewards rate 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Lyft Rides (Lyft offer through March 2025); 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs); 2X points on other travel purchases; 1X points on everything else Unlimited 1.5X points on all purchases
Intro APR N/A (21.49% – 28.49% variable APR) 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles (19.24% – 29.24% variable APR after)
Annual fee $95 $0
Redemption options Redeem points for:
  • Cash back
  • Statement credits
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal (for 25 percent more value)
  • Point transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners
Redeem points for:
  • Cash back into an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account or Merrill Cash Management account
  • Statement credits
  • Travel credits
  • dining credits
  • Gift cards

Bank of America Travel Rewards card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred highlights

Both cards offer generous rewards for travel and let you redeem your points for flexible options. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred beats out the Bank of America Travel Rewards card in the more important categories.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Bank of America Travel Rewards card

Bank of America Travel Rewards card

Which card earns the most?

Now for the interesting part. Which of these travel credit cards will net you the most in rewards? That really depends on how you use your card and the categories you spend the most in.

Our spending example shows how much the average family might earn with either card.

Bank of America Travel Rewards card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred spending example

This example scenario shows the average rewards for a family of four with a man and woman under the age of 50 and two kids between the ages of 9 and 11. The average food spending for this family would work out to $1,324.30 per month (or $15,891.60 per year) on a moderate plan, according to the USDA.

Since we’re comparing cards for people who travel, let’s also estimate that this family spends $5,000 per year on airfare, hotels and other travel purchases, with half of it able to be booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Add onto that $300 per month ($3,600 per year) in restaurant purchases and $1,000 per month ($12,000 per year) on miscellaneous purchases.

Points Bank of America Travel Rewards Chase Sapphire Preferred
Groceries No Preferred Rewards tier: 23,836

Gold: 29, 795

Platinum: 35,754

Platinum Honors or higher: 41,634

47,673
Travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards N/A 12,500
General travel No Preferred Rewards tier: 7,500

Gold: 9,375

Platinum: 11,250

Platinum Honors or higher: 13,100

5,000
Dining out No Preferred Rewards tier: 5,400

Gold: 6,750

Platinum: 8,100

Platinum Honors or higher: 9,432

10,800
Additional purchases No Preferred Rewards tier: 18,000

Gold: 22,500

Platinum: 27,000

Platinum Honors or higher: 31,440

12,000
Total points No Preferred Rewards tier: 54,736

Gold: 68,420

Platinum: 82,104

Platinum Honors or higher: 95,606

87,973

With the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, earnings would total 68,420 to 95,606 points, depending on their Preferred Rewards membership status. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, earnings would total 87,973 points. As you can see, the Chase Sapphire Preferred would net more points overall — but with some caveats.

Which card will suit your spending habits?

The Chase Sapphire preferred only has boosted rewards rates on grocery purchases if you make those purchases online, and its 5X rewards rate on travel only applies to purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Without shopping online or using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you’d get less points.

Also, the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card could earn more if you’re at least at the Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors member tier or higher.

If you’re already a Bank of America loyalist and plan on keeping your Platinum Honors status or higher, then the Travel Rewards card might be better off for your budget. But if you’re not a Preferred Rewards member, you’ll likely get more mileage out of your Sapphire Preferred — especially given that their points are worth much more if you transfer them to a high-value travel partner.

Why should you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

The spending example above shows that the Chase Sapphire Preferred can help the average family earn more rewards on their spending, but there are other reasons to sign up for this card.

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers quite a few cardholder benefits that may not be obvious unless you read the card agreement. Major perks include a $50 anniversary hotel credit through the Ultimate Rewards portal, DoorDash and Lyft benefits and no foreign transaction fees.

    Travel and purchase protections include:

    • Primary rental car coverage
    • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip
    • Baggage delay insurance
    • Trip delay coverage
    • Travel and emergency assistance services
    • Purchase protection against damage or theft
    • Extended warranties
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most flexible rewards on the market today. Cardholders can use their points for cash back, statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. You can also redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 25 percent more value when booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Chase also lets you transfer your points to airline and hotel partners, like:

    • British Airways
    • Southwest Rapid Rewards
    • United MileagePlus
    • Marriott Bonvoy
    • World of Hyatt

    When you transfer your rewards to partners for premium redemptions, Chase points can be worth up to 2 cents each, according to the latest valuations from Bankrate.

  • Chase refrains from listing specific credit score requirements for their roster of cards. However, you’ll need a good credit score or better to qualify, or a FICO score of 670 and higher. Your approval odds may be even higher if your credit score is above 740, which is considered “very good.”

Why should you get the Bank of America Travel Rewards card?

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred is hard to beat, there are some compelling reasons to choose the Bank of America Travel Rewards card instead — its lack of an annual fee among the biggest. Other reasons to sign up include a generous intro APR period and unique opportunities to boost your earnings.

  • The introductory APR offer on this card is a benefit that has the potential to help consumers save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on interest. With a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 18 billing cycles (19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR thereafter), consumers can make large purchases and pay them down interest-free for more than a year.

    While the Travel Rewards credit card doesn’t come with the travel protections typically offered with cards in this category, it does come with other benefits unique to Bank of America. Those include:

    • The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. As previously stated, this program allows cardholders to earn 25 percent to 75 percent more points depending on their combined balance between eligible Bank of America or Merrill accounts.
    • The BankAmeriDeals program. By activating your BankAmeriDeals offers, you can earn additional cash back with a rotating selection of retailers.
    • The Museums on Us program. This program allows Bank of America cardholders to earn free entry to select cultural centers during the first week of every month.
  • The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card lets you redeem points for statement credits to cover travel and dining purchases charged to your card. All you have to do is use your card to pay for eligible purchases. From there, you can use your points to erase all or part of the charges from your bill. Plus, Bank of America defines “travel” much more broadly than Chase does, so in addition to airfare and hotel purchases, you can use your points for purchases like:

    • Timeshares
    • Trailer parks, motorhomes and recreational vehicle rentals
    • Campgrounds
    • Car, truck, trailer and boat rentals
    • Cruise lines
    • Travel agencies, tour operators and real estate agents
    • Passenger trains
    • Buses
    • Taxis, ferries and limousines
    • Parking lots and garages
    • Tolls and bridge fees
    • Tourist attractions and amusement parks
    • Art galleries and museums
    • Carnivals and circuses
    • Aquariums and zoos

    The Travel Rewards card also lets you redeem your points for gift cards and cash back as a deposit into an eligible Bank of America or Merrill Money Management account.

  • Similar to Chase, Bank of America refrains from listing specific credit score requirements for credit cards, though you’ll likely need a good credit score or better to qualify.

The bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred definitely has more to offer out of these two cards, yet the Bank of America Travel Rewards card’s lack of an annual fee and generous intro APR makes it a good option, too — especially if you already have a significant amount of money saved up in Bank of America accounts.

If you still can’t decide between these two cards, however, it never hurts to compare them to alternative travel credit cards from Chase, Bank of America and other major issuers.

Issuer-required disclosure statement

Information about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card was last updated on May 8, 2024.