Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Juan Ruiz
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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!
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:
|Feature/Benefit||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card|
|Welcome Offer||Earn 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.|
|Hotel and Rental Car Program Benefits||
Access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
|Travel Benefits and Protections||
|Shopping Benefits and Protections||
No foreign transaction fees
|Authorized Users||Authorized 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.
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.
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card is a great option for those who want an easy way to earn travel rewards without paying an annual fee.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a great option for those looking to dip their toe into the world of travel rewards cards, without paying an annual fee.
The card makes earning points and redeeming them for travel super easy for cardholders.
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 Category||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card|
|Lyft (Through March 31, 2025)||5x points||1% cash-back|
|Select Peloton Purchases Over $250 (Through March 31, 2025)||5x points||1% cash-back|
|Travel Purchased Through Chase Ultimate Rewards||5x points||N/A|
|Dining||3x points||1% cash-back|
|Select Streaming Purchases||3x points||1% cash-back|
|Online Grocery Purchases||3x points||2% cash-back|
|Other Travel||2x points||1% cash-back|
|Category of Your Choice (Gas, Online Shopping, Dining, Travel, Drug Stores, or Home Improvement/Furnishings)||N/A||3% cash-back|
|Other Grocery Store Purchases||1x points||2% cash-back|
|Wholesale Club Purchases||1x points||2% cash-back|
|Other Purchases||1x points||1% 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.
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.
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:
|Redemption Option||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — Ultimate Rewards Points||Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card — Cash-back|
|Transfer to Airline and Hotel Partners||Yes||No|
|Travel Booked Through Bank’s Travel Portal||Yes (25% redemption bonus)||No|
|Cash-back or Cash-Back or Statement Credits||Yes||Yes|
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
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.
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:
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.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a few statement credits to help you get ahead with your card. These are the:
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers no statement credits.
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.
Although roadside assistance is an increasingly rare benefit, both cards offer roadside dispatch for a flat service call fee. Each service call includes:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card have no foreign transaction 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.
There are no additional annual fees to add authorized users to either card.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.