Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Kellie Jez
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It’s no secret we’re fans of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. With stellar earning potential, flexible redemption options, and a long list of travel and shopping protections and benefits, the card stands out as a fine choice, especially if you’re looking for your first travel rewards credit card.
It’s also no secret that we’re always on the lookout for other card options to which we can compare to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that may challenge its position as one of our favorite picks.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card is generally a flat-rate earnings card but with a bonus-earning twist that caught our interest. We’ve chosen the card for our comparison today because, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, the card earns on every travel purchase and offers travel redemptions.
Let’s look closer at both cards for greater insight into why you’d want to choose one over the other.
We’re going to be covering details of the features and benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Bank of America Travel Rewards card shortly.
But first, it might be helpful to offer a high-level comparison of our featured travel rewards credit cards in a quick side-by-side comparison.
Here’s how the cards compare in all the key areas:
|Feature or Benefit||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card|
|Welcome Offer||Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.||Earn 25,000 points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.|
||Statement credits for travel and dining purchases at a value of 1 cent each per point|
|Travel Protections and Benefits||
|Shopping Protections and Benefits||
|Annual Fee and Authorized Users||
Once you’re approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, you’ll have an immediate opportunity to earn a welcome bonus. Welcome bonuses are earned after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first few months of being a cardholder.
You’ll want to take advantage of this unique opportunity to earn a large number of rewards in a short period of time. Welcome offers do change so reviewing the most current offer before applying for any card is always recommended.
Here are the current offers for our featured cards along with the information you’ll need to estimate the value of each offer:
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.
Deciding which rewards card offers the best earnings for your situation involves determining your highest spending categories and matching those to the card that best rewards those expenses.
While earnings are just one key factor in finding the right card, it’s an important one.
Here’s how the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Bank of America Travel Rewards card compare when we look at earnings:
|Earning Category||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||Bank of America Travel Rewards Card|
||1.5x points per dollar spent|
|Dining, Online Grocery Purchases, Select Streaming Services||3x points||1.5x points|
|All Other Purchases||1x points||1.5x points|
|Additional Earnings||10% annual points bonus based on total purchases each account anniversary year||Preferred Rewards Members earn an additional 25% to 75% points, up to 2.62x points per dollar spent|
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the clear winner for earnings if you spend heavily on travel, dining, online groceries, and streaming services. However, if you have a current relationship with Bank of America, you’ll want to consider the earning potential of the Bank of America Travel Rewards card for elevated earning opportunities beyond the flat earnings rate of 1.5x points for all purchases.
The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program offers higher credit card rewards-earning rates for existing customers who hold assets with the bank. Here’s how the earnings can add up specifically for Bank of America Travel Rewards cardholders who have deposits currently with the financial institution:
|No Preferred Rewards Status||Gold ($20,000 to $49,999 in assets)||Platinum ($50,000 to $99,999)||Platinum Honors ($100,000 to $999,999)||Diamond ($1,000,000 to $9,999,999)||Diamond Honors ($10,000,000+)|
|1.5x points per dollar spent||1.875x points||2.25x points||2.62x points||2.62x points||2.62x points|
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s 10% annual points bonus is earned each card anniversary year and is equal to 10% of your total purchases. For example, if you spent $20,000 on the card, you would receive 2,000 bonus points.
Not only do the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Bank of America Travel Rewards card earn on every travel purchase, but you’ll also be able to redeem your rewards for travel at redemption time.
Let’s look closer at how your rewards can be turned into vacations, and more, with each of the cards.
|Redemption Option||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||Bank of America Travel Rewards Card|
||Redeem points for 1 cent each for a statement credit for previous travel purchases|
|Additional Redemption Options||Statement credits, direct deposit, a check, gift cards, shopping with select retailers, charitable donation||Redeem points for 1 cent each for a statement credit for dining purchases, redeem for gift cards|
You’ll notice that redeeming rewards on the Bank of America Travel Rewards card results in a flat rate value of 1 cent per point with no opportunity for increased redemption value. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers more potential for greater value both when redeeming points via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (1.25 each) and when transferring to airline and hotel partners.
Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card allows you to redeem points for a statement credit for any purchase, while the Bank of America Travel Rewards card limits statement credit redemptions to travel and dining purchases.
Travel protections and benefits can provide peace of mind during your travels and also save you money. And, while these protections and benefits shouldn’t be the sole reason for securing any particular travel rewards card, the value added can be significant.
Here are the travel protections and benefits you’ll find on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Bank of America Travel Rewards card:
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card does not offer significant travel protections or benefits:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Bank of America Travel Rewards card come with protections and benefits that offer coverage for eligible items purchased with your card and economic value for purchases made with specific retailers and service providers.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card charges a modest annual fee of $95 while the Bank of America Travel Rewards card has a $0 annual fee.
There is no charge to add authorized users to either card.
You will need a good to excellent credit score, generally considered 670 to 850, to be approved for either the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Bank of America Travel Rewards card.
As mentioned above, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card comes with 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers; variable rate of 16.24% - 26.24% applies thereafter.
If you have high-interest credit cards and would like to repay your balances over time without incurring interest charges, taking advantage of this offer could save you money. This offer applies to balance transfers made within the first 60 days after card approval.
Chase has an unwritten 5/24 rule you should review before you apply for any credit card, not just Chase cards. Bank of America has a 2/3/4 rule which means you can apply for just 2 cards within a 2-month period, 3 cards within a 12-month period, and 4 cards within a 24-month period. Read more about these rules and additional bank requirements for credit card applications in our article on the topic.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card stands out as the better overall travel rewards card. With elevated earnings on several key bonus categories, flexible redemption options that provide higher potential value, and a long list of travel benefits, the card is an excellent choice. The card does charge an annual fee but if you use even a portion of the available statement credits, you’ll easily offset that amount.
If you’re a Bank of America current customer, there is a case for considering the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, especially if you have enough deposits with the bank to qualify for earning the maximum 2.62x points per dollar spent on the card. The 2.62x would apply to all of your spending not just specific categories. The biggest downside is that you’ll still receive just 1 cent per point in value at redemption time.
Finally, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card does not charge an annual fee and comes with an introductory APR offer. If you value these features and you’re looking for simplified earning and redemption options, you may find the card worth considering.
The information regarding the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the better travel rewards card due to its elevated earnings on bonus categories, flexible redemption options, and a long list of travel/shopping protections and benefits.
Although the Bank of America Travel Rewards card does not charge an annual fee, it has flat-rate earnings and redemption options that do not exceed 1 cent in value for each reward point. Existing Bank of America customers who have large deposits with the bank and qualify for greater earnings may find value in being a cardholder.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card earns unlimited 1.5x points per dollar spent on every purchase. Rewards can be redeemed for statement credits for travel and dining purchases at the rate of 1 cent each.
Existing Bank of America customers who have deposits with the bank may earn up to 75% more reward points depending on the amount on deposit with the bank.
No, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card does not offer lounge access. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® does offer complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that includes access to airport lounges and lounge alternative properties.
No, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card does not charge foreign transaction fees.
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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.