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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 should spend some time pondering your regular 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.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card|
|Welcome bonus||60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening||25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening|
|Rewards rate||3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs); 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Lyft Rides (Lyft offer through March 2025); 2X points on other travel purchases; 1X points on everything else||Unlimited 1.5X points on all purchases|
|Intro APR||18.99% to 25.99%||0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles (16.99% to 26.99% variable APR after)|
|Redemption options||Redeem points for:
||Redeem points for:
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.
Welcome bonus winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
While you do have to meet a higher spending threshold ($4,000 within three months of account opening) to earn the welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the spending threshold is still reasonable, and the bonus is worth significantly more.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth a minimum of 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back or statement credits, so 60,000 bonus points have a baseline value of $600. However, users get 25 percent more value when they redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, so these points are worth $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase.
By contrast, the 25,000 online bonus points you can earn with the Bank of America Travel Rewards card (after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days) are only worth $250.
Rewards rate winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card does offer a higher rate of 1.5X points on all regular spending, but there are no bonus categories for customers to maximize. On the flipside, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers more rewards in several everyday categories.
For example, Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (and on Lyft rides 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 general travel and 1X points on everything else.
As you’ll see in the spending example below, these lucrative bonus categories can help the average family boost their rewards despite the lower rate of 1X points on non-bonus spending.
Annual Fee winner: Bank of America Travel Rewards card
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card does not charge an annual fee, so it wins in this category. With no annual fee to pay or keep track of, this Bank of America travel card is an easy option to keep for the long haul. In comparison, the Chase Sapphire Preferred charges a $95 annual fee that is not waived the first year.
Intro APR winner: Bank of America Travel Rewards card
With the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, new customers are eligible for an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 16.99 percent to 26.99 percent. This offer can be immensely helpful for consumers who want to pay down large purchases over time, as well as those who may need to carry a balance when cash is tight. Just remember that intro balance transfers must be made in the first 60 days and a 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.
If you carry a balance on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll pay a variable APR of 18.99 percent to 25.99 percent right off the bat. Even on the lower end, the interest you’ll pay will cost significantly more than the value of the rewards you can earn with this card.
Redemption options winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card lets you redeem your points to cover travel or dining purchases charged to your card, which is definitely a plus. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with the same option, plus several others.
In fact, you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for gift cards, merchandise or for 25 percent more value when booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer your Chase points to airline and hotel partners, like British Airways, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt. And when you transfer your rewards to partners for premium redemptions, Chase points can be worth up to 2 cents each, according to valuations from Bankrate.
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 below 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 two adults under the age of 50 and two kids. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average food spending for this family would work out to $1,239.50 per month (or $14,874 per year) on a moderate plan.
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.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this family would earn 84,922 points within a year:
- 44,622 points on groceries (if they used eligible online grocery delivery services)
- 12,500 points on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal
- 5,000 points on general travel
- 10,800 points on dining out
- 12,000 points on all other purchases
With the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, this family would earn 53,211 points within a year:
- 22,311 points on groceries
- 7,500 points on travel
- 5,400 points on dining out
- 18,000 points on all other purchases
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 over the cardholder terms and conditions. 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 and extended warranties.
As already mentioned, 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, merchandise, travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal or for transfers to airline and hotel partners.
Recommended credit score
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—and the biggest one is its lack of an annual fee. Other reasons to sign up are highlighted below.
The introductory APR offer on this card 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 (16.99 percent to 26.99 percent variable APR thereafter), consumers can make large purchases and pay them down interest-free for more than a year.
Also, be aware that members of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program can earn 25 percent to 75 percent more points for each dollar they spend. At the high end, that means program members with this card could earn 2.62X points on all their purchases.
If you have a considerable amount of money on deposit with Bank of America already, you should look into this program right away.
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.
Since each point is worth 1 cent each, this card’s 25,000 online bonus offer (earned after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days) is worth $250 in travel or restaurant purchases.
Recommended credit score
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.
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.
Information about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card was last updated on October 3, 2022.