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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card [Detailed Comparison]

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is undeniably one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards in the U.S. Chances are you know someone that has this credit card in his or her wallet, and you might even be considering replacing your ordinary credit card with this credit card.

Perhaps you’ve also heard of the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card, another ubiquitous credit card with a slightly different appeal.

If you’ve heard of both of these cards and are deciding between the 2, you’re in the right place.

There’s a clear winner for most consumers, but we’ll walk you through the benefits and features of both cards in this guide. Let’s get right into it!

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card — Overview

If you’re looking for the 30,000-foot view of these 2 cards and can’t set aside the time to look through the benefits and features in detail, we’ve put together an overview table below:

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Feature/BenefitChase Sapphire Preferred® CardBank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Welcome OfferEarn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.Earn $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Earning Potential
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 5x points on Lyft through March 31, 2025
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
  • 3x points on dining, online grocery, and select streaming purchases
  • 2x points on other travel purchases
  • 1x points on other purchases
  • 10% anniversary earning bonus after you renew your card every anniversary year based on the total dollar amount spent
  • 3% cash-back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings (your category can be changed each month)
  • 2% cash-back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases
  • Preferred Rewards members earn 25% to 75% more rewards on every purchase, which can boost rewards up to 5.25% cash-back
Redemption Options
  • Transfers to airline and hotel partners, including United, Southwest, and Hyatt
  • Pay Yourself Back (up to 1.25 cents per point)
  • Chase travel portal bookings at a 25% redemption bonus (1.25 cents per point)
  • Amazon.com purchases
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Cash-back or statement credits
  • Statement credits
  • Checks ($25 minimum redemption)
  • Deposits made directly into a Bank of America checking or savings account
  • Credit for an eligible account with Merrill
  • Qualifying 529 contributions with Merrill 
  • Automatic redemptions into an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account starting at $25
Hotel and Rental Car Program Benefits

Access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

None
Statement Credits
  • $50 Ultimate Rewards hotel credit every year
None
Travel Benefits and Protections
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Secondary rental car insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Lost luggage insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Complimentary Instacart+ subscription for 6 months and up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024 when you activate by July 31, 2024
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription for a minimum of 1 year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • No foreign transaction fees

No foreign transaction fees

Annual Fees$95$0
Authorized UsersAuthorized users for no additional annual fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers industry-leading rewards with rewards that can be used for redemptions, including transfers to airline and hotel partners.

Meanwhile, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card‘s points can only be used for cash-back or cash-like redemptions.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be worth upwards of 5 to 10 cents each, which can ultimately translate to a return on spending of up to 25% to 50%, which is an enormous jump over the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card’s maximum redemption value of 5.25% cash-back (assuming you also have Preferred Rewards).

However, when paired with Preferred Rewards on your eligible deposit or investment account, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card could offer better cash-back rewards if you have no interest in travel. 

Welcome Offers

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is Chase’s flagship rewards credit card for the mid-market premium segment. Chase routinely offers terrific welcome bonuses when you’re approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Conservatively, these welcome bonuses are usually worth at least $750, though they may be worth much more than that, depending on the specific welcome bonus you can get.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers a small welcome bonus, though nowhere near the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s bonus.

However, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card usually offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, which can be helpful if you need to carry a balance or if you need to consolidate some high-interest debt you’ve racked up in the past.

The Value of a Welcome Offer

Welcome offers are one of the easiest, quickest ways to rack up many points quickly. In many cases, the welcome offer alone can pay for years’ worth of annual fees, even if you redeem your points at a relatively low value.

For example, a welcome bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card can be redeemed for $750 on purchases through the Chase travel portal thanks to the 25% redemption bonus that gets you a redemption value of 1.25 cents per point.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card has no annual fee, so any welcome offer will translate to extra dollars back in your pocket without any costs.

Earning Potential

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Earning CategoryChase Sapphire Preferred CardBank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card
Lyft (Through March 31, 2025)5x points1% cash-back
Select Peloton Purchases Over $250 (Through March 31, 2025)5x points1% cash-back
Travel Purchased Through Chase Travel5x pointsN/A
Dining3x points1% cash-back
Select Streaming Purchases3x points1% cash-back
Online Grocery Purchases3x points2% cash-back
Other Travel2x points1% cash-back
Category of Your Choice (Gas, Online Shopping, Dining, Travel, Drug Stores, or Home Improvement/Furnishings)N/A3% cash-back
Other Grocery Store Purchases1x points2% cash-back
Wholesale Club Purchases1x points2% cash-back
Other Purchases1x points1% cash-back

We value Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, which means that a 5x earning structure is equal to a 10% return on spending, though it’s certainly possible to get more than that.

Cash-back on the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is self-explanatory for the most part. 

However, if you have Bank of America Preferred Rewards, you’ll earn a points bonus depending on your total investment and deposit balances with Bank of America, Merrill Edge, or Merrill Lynch. This bonus ranges from 25% to 75% more points.

A bonus of 75% more points, which requires an aggregate balance of at least $100,000 with Bank of America, offers a return on spending of up to 5.25% cash-back on select purchases.

If you have the ability to keep large deposits in Bank of America and are looking strictly for simple cash-back rewards, the maximum 5.25% cash-back structure on the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card outperforms the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s non-bonused earnings, especially when you consider that non-bonused purchases on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card earn 1x points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — 10% Anniversary Earning Bonus

Another unique benefit of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the 10% anniversary earning bonus, which gives you a bonus after you renew your card every anniversary year based on the total dollar amount spent.

So if you spend $100,000 in a given year, you’ll receive an anniversary bonus of 10,000 points.

Bottom Line:

If you plan on using your points for travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card probably rewards you more in the long run. If you are focused on fixed-value rewards, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card could offer a better return on your spending, assuming you spend a lot outside of dining and travel.

Redemption Options

British Airways first class
Using Chase Ultimate Rewards points, luxury experiences like British Airways first class are a reality! Image Credit: British Airways

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns Ultimate Rewards points, which are transferrable rewards points, while the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card earns fixed-value points.

Here’s a breakdown of how each type of point can be used:

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Redemption OptionChase Sapphire Preferred Card — Ultimate Rewards PointsBank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card — Cash-back
Transfer to Airline and Hotel PartnersYesNo
Travel Booked Through Bank’s Travel PortalYes (25% redemption bonus)No

Amazon.com Purchases

YesNo
Gift CardsYesNo
MerchandiseYesNo
Cash-back or Cash-Back or Statement CreditsYesYes

Deposits Made Directly Into a Bank of America Checking or Savings Account

N/AYes

Credit for an Eligible Account With Merrill

N/AYes

Qualifying 529 Contributions With Merrill

N/AYes

Automatic Redemptions Into an Eligible Bank of America or Merrill Account Starting at $25

N/AYes

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s Ultimate Rewards points are much more effective for booking award travel. In contrast, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card’s rewards are straightforward cash-back.

Ultimate Rewards points are so incredibly valuable because you can transfer points to partners including World of Hyatt, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and British Airways Executive Club to book luxury award travel!

Hot Tip:

Transferring points to travel partners can be incredibly useful. For example, if you want to book a stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico costing $600 per night, you might be better off transferring around 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night to World of Hyatt to book this stay, netting you a redemption value of 4 cents per point.

Hotel Program Benefits

The Luxury Hotel Resort Collection
Image Credit: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card affords you access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, which offers you the ability to enjoy these benefits on eligible bookings:

  • Daily breakfast for 2
  • Room upgrade, if available
  • Early check-in, if available
  • Late checkout, if available
  • A special benefit worth up to $100, unique to each property

This collection of hotels consists of over 1,000 properties around the world.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card does not offer hotel benefits.

Statement Credits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers:

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers no statement credits.

Travel Benefits and Protections

Passengers waiting at baggage claim carousel
Image Credit: CasanoWa Stutio via Adobe Stock

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers excellent primary rental car coverage, which can take effect when you decline the car rental company’s loss damage or collision damage waiver (LDW/CDW) and pay for your rental car reservation using your card.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is a Visa Signature card, which confers secondary rental car insurance. You’ll need to file a claim with your insurance before your card’s insurance takes effect.

Roadside Assistance

Although roadside assistance is an increasingly rare benefit, both cards offer roadside dispatch for a flat service call fee. Each service call includes:

  • Fuel delivery (up to 5 gallons, the cost of fuel is not included)
  • Jump starting (battery boost)
  • Lockout service (key replacement is not included)
  • Tire changing (must have a good, inflated spare)
  • Towing (up to 5 miles)
  • Winching (within 100 feet of paved or county-maintained roads only)

Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers impressive trip interruption and cancellation insurance, which allows you to get reimbursed for up to $10,000 per claim and up to $20,000 per trip for prepaid, nonrefundable expenses lost due to covered interruptions and cancellations, including eligible illness, weather, or covered incidents. You can also get up to $40,000 in reimbursements every rolling 12 months.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card doesn’t offer this coverage.

Trip Delay Reimbursement

One of the most useful benefits we love about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the trip delay reimbursement. On covered delays of more than 12 hours, or on delays that require an overnight stay, you can get up to $500 in reimbursements with a maximum of 1 approved claim per trip.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card doesn’t offer trip delay reimbursement.

Lost and Delayed Luggage Insurance

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers coverage for lost luggage and delayed luggage. You can get up to $3,000 per person in lost luggage reimbursements and $100 per day for up to 5 consecutive days in delayed luggage reimbursement for covered delays over 6 hours.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers the same lost luggage reimbursement but does not offer delayed luggage coverage.

Travel Accident Insurance

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card boasts up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance when you pay for your common carrier ticket using your card.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card doesn’t have this perk.

Travel and Emergency Assistance Services

With both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, you will have access to select travel and emergency assistance services while traveling. Remember that assistance includes referrals only, and all costs are strictly your financial responsibility.

Here are the included services:

  • Emergency message service
  • Emergency ticket replacement
  • Emergency translation service
  • Emergency transportation assistance
  • Legal referral assistance
  • Lost luggage locator service
  • Medical referral assistance
  • Pre-trip assistance
  • Prescription assistance
  • Valuable document delivery arrangements

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Clothing rack
Image Credit: S O C I A L . C U T via Unsplash

Instacart+ Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a complimentary Instacart+ subscription for 6 months when you activate by July 31, 2024, and up to $15 in statement credits per quarter when you activate your Instacart+ subscription (through July 31, 2024).

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card doesn’t offer any benefits with Instacart.

DoorDash Benefits

Another benefit we love about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription for at least 1 year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card has no DoorDash benefits.

Purchase Protection

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a generous purchase protection policy if items you buy are damaged or stolen up to 120 days past the date of purchase. You can cover up to $500 per item and up to $50,000 in total reimbursements per calendar year.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card doesn’t have purchase protection.

Extended Warranty

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 1 additional year of warranty on eligible original manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less — when a claim is filed, you can get up to $10,000 in reimbursements per item and up to $50,000 in total reimbursements per calendar year.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card doesn’t offer an extended warranty.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card have no foreign transaction fees.

Annual Fees and Adding Authorized Users

Annual Fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has an annual fee of $95 while the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card has an annual fee of $0.

Adding Authorized Users

There are no additional annual fees to add authorized users to either card.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the most popular rewards credit cards on the market and for a good reason.

For a reasonable annual fee, you can access an award-winning points system in Ultimate Rewards, excellent rewards structures on dining, travel, and more, as well as travel benefits and protections that rival even ultra-premium credit cards.

Meanwhile, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is an unfussy cash-back credit card. You can maximize this card’s potential by participating in Bank of America Preferred Rewards, which earns you bonus rewards points depending on your total investment and deposit balances with Bank of America, Merrill Edge, or Merrill Lynch.

We recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to the vast majority of consumers. We only recommend the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card if you’re a cash-back fiend or if a $95 annual fee is more than you want to pay.

The information regarding the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card good for international travel?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is an excellent card for international travel. This is probably the best starter card for travel rewards thanks to its abundant rewards categories, no foreign transaction fees, and strong travel protections.

What is the advantage of a Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card?

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card focuses on cash-back rewards on all purchases and is great because it has an annual fee of $0.

 

Is it hard to get a Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card?

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card generally appeals to those with great credit who can pay their bills in full and on time. We recommend you have a credit score of at least 760 before applying for this card.

 

How does Chase compare to Bank of America?

In general, Bank of America tends to focus on fixed-value rewards while Chase tends to focus on its proprietary Chase Ultimate Rewards system where you can potentially get so much more value from your points. There’s no right or wrong answer, but Bank of America errs on the side of simplicity while Chase errs on the side of catering to savvy travelers with goals to extract as much value from their credit card spending as possible.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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