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Bank of America Travel Rewards vs Chase Sapphire Preferred
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Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card details updated Sept. 9, 2021
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.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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 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.||Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.|
|Rewards rate||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.||5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.|
|Intro APR on purchases||0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases||N/A|
|Regular purchase APR||13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR||15.99% - 22.99% Variable|
|Foreign transaction fee||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 with its 0% intro APR promotion. Read on to see the pros and cons of each card.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card pros and cons
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, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
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% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases (after that, 13.99% - 23.99% 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 1.5 points, 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.
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 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 is a solid offer for a flat-rate card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card pros and cons
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.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Bonus points in popular categories. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you will earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.
Transfer points at a 1:1 rate. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1:1 to 11 airline partners, including British Airways, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines, and three hotel partners, including Hyatt, IHG and Marriott Bonvoy.
Additional benefits. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a number of travel benefits, including $0 foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and more. Terms apply.
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 15.99% - 22.99% Variable.
Which credit card is right for you?
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.