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Bank of America Travel Rewards vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

Bank of America Travel Rewards vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

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This article was last updated Sep 04, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you’re considering a travel rewards card, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are two cards that should be at the top of your list. Both cards offer rewards on every purchase and neither charges foreign transaction fees. However, one comes with an annual fee, while the other doesn’t offer bonus points in travel categories.

While there are several factors to take into account when deciding which card is best for you — in short, it comes down to the following:

  • Consider the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card if you want to earn a flat rewards rate on every purchase and want a $0 annual fee. Additionally, you can book travel without being limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you want to earn a higher sign-up bonus, you want to earn bonus points in popular spend categories, like travel and dining, and you don’t mind paying a $95 annual fee.

See how the cards compare side by side in the table below.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Sign-up bonus 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Rewards rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Intro APR on purchases 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles N/A
Regular purchase APR 16.99% - 24.99% Variable APR 17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual fee $0 $95
Foreign transaction fees None $0

Ultimately, the right card for you depends on how you plan to use the card. For example, if you want to get the most value from the sign-up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be best. But if you want to finance a big-ticket item, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card will be the better choice. Read on to see the pros and cons of each card.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card pros and cons

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases

  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles

  • 16.99% - 24.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Highlights
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 16.99% - 24.99% Variable APR will apply
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more points on every purchase

See additional details for Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

More Info

Pros

Simple rewards structure. With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you won’t have the hassle of dealing with rotating bonus categories or spending caps, since cardholders earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.

Plus, when you’re ready to redeem your points for travel, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card doesn’t limit you to a specific website. Instead, you are free to book your trip through any website, including Travelocity, Hotels.com or Expedia, and apply your points as a statement credit from Bank of America within 12 months.

No annual fee. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card comes with a $0 annual fee, so you’re able to test out the card without a financial commitment.

Intro APR on purchases. Although we recommend paying off your balance in full each month, if you’re planning a big purchase, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers a 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles (after that, the APR is 16.99% - 24.99% Variable APR).

Extra points as a Bank of America customer. If you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase. So, instead of earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, you can potentially earn 2.62 points per dollar as a Preferred Rewards member.

Note, to participate in the Preferred Rewards program, you must keep qualifying combined balances in your Bank of America banking and/or Merrill investment accounts. For example, the required three-month average combined balance to receive the 25% rewards boost ranges from $20,000 to $50,000, while the balance required to receive the 75% boost is $100,000 or more.

Cons

Limited travel perks. As for foreign transaction fees? The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has none. However, it does not come with a lot of the same travel benefits that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers, like trip cancellation insurance and baggage delay insurance. Terms apply.

No bonus spend categories. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card does not allow you to earn bonus points in popular spend categories, like travel and dining. That said, the ability to earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases is a solid offer for a flat-rate card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card pros and cons

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

Pros

High sign-up bonus. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a considerably higher sign-up bonus than the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.

Cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals or cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you will get 25% more value — so the sign-up bonus will be worth $750.

Bonus points in popular categories. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you will earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

Transfer points at a 1:1 rate. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1:1 to 10 airline partners, including British Airways, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines, and three hotel partners, including Hyatt, IHG and Marriott Bonvoy.

Read: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Airline Transfer Partners

Additional benefits. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a number of travel benefits, including no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and more. Terms apply.

Cons

Annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a $95 annual fee. However, the value you’ll get from the card’s sign-up bonus more than makes up for the annual fee the first year.

After the first year, depending on how much you spend on travel, dining and general purchases each year, you should be able to easily earn enough rewards to cover the $95 annual fee.

No intro APR on purchases. If you plan to finance a trip or other large purchases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is not ideal, since it does not offer a 0% intro APR on purchases. If you do not pay your balance in full each month, you will be charged a purchase APR of 17.99% - 24.99% Variable.

Which card should you choose?

If you prefer a simple approach to earning rewards, the $0-annual-fee Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a solid option. But if you want to earn a higher rewards rate and have access to more travel perks, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a better pick — as long as you don’t mind paying a $95 fee each year.


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