Frequent travelers – or even semi-regular travelers – should carry a travel rewards credit card (or two) in their wallets. These cards are designed specifically for those who want to see the country – or the world – and award points or miles that can be redeemed for free travel. Many have additional perks, such as trip interruption insurance and emergency assistance.
For people with excellent credit and for whom the travel rewards card landscape is wide open, the decision could rest largely on how frequently you travel and the simplicity you want from your rewards.
Two options are the CardNamediscontinued and the CardNamediscontinued. While both provide valuable rewards, their features may appeal to different people. One is a no-annual-fee, no-fuss card while the other has an annual fee but also more bells and whistles.
Let’s take a look at how the two stack up so you can decide which is right for you.
Welcome bonus offers
One of the fastest ways to rack up travel rewards is to earn a credit card’s welcome offer, also sometimes called a signup bonus of early spend bonus. These offers typically require new cardholders spend a certain amount after their account is opened in order to receive a bonus chunk of points or miles.
The CardName offers 25,000 online bonus points if you spend at least $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of your account opening. Those points are worth $250 when redeemed for a statement credit toward travel and dining purchases.
The CardName welcome bonus is even larger – 60,000 bonus points worth $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards; however, the spending requirement is also much larger. You’ll need to spend $4,000 on purchases within three months to earn the Sapphire bonus points.
Rewards for everyday purchases
Outside of the bonus points, both cards also offer rewards on everyday purchases.
Bank of America takes a simple approach and offers cardholders 1.5 points for every $1 spent. If you are a Preferred Rewards client with Bank of America, you could earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase, meaning Preferred Rewards clients earn 1.87-2.62 points per $1 spent depending on their tier. Either way, unlimited points can be earned, and they do not expire.
Chase, on the other hand, uses a tiered system for awarding points with the Sapphire Preferred® card:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, excluding any hotel purchase that might qualify for Chase’s $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
- 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services
- 3x points on online grocery purchases
- 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on other travel purchases
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Rewards redemption options
When it comes time to turn those points into free travel, Bank of America again keeps things simple. You simply redeem points as a statement credit to offset eligible charges including those for travel and dining, such as:
- Hotel stays
- Vacation rental properties
- Baggage fees
- Takeout meals
The ability to redeem points to cover dining purchases gives the Bank of America card a unique ability to help offset food expenses, a substantial part of most vacation budgets, but also not one that credit card rewards can often help offset.
With Chase Sapphire Preferred®, you have several redemption options. These include the possibility of getting additional value when redeeming points in a certain way:
- 25% more value when redeeming points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 25% more value when using the Pay Yourself Back option to redeem points for statement credits against existing purchases made in eligible categories
- 1:1 point transfers when moving points to one of multiple partnering airline and hotel loyalty programs. Learn more in the Guide to Ultimate Rewards points
Rates and fees
You won’t pay a foreign transaction fee with either the CardName or the CardName.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card also comes with no annual fee and offers IntroAPRRate and any balance transfers made within the first 60 days of accounts opening (after the intro periods, a RegAPR APR applies). With Sapphire Preferred®, you’ll pay a AnnualFees annual fee, and there is no introductory APR offered. Current rates for the Chase Sapphire Preferred are RegAPR.
If you’re looking for a travel rewards card that doesn’t have an annual fee and makes it simple to earn and redeem rewards, pluse offers the ability to offset your dining purchases with rewards even when you aren’t traveling, the CardName is an excellent option. Thanks to its introductory APR offer, it also makes sense for those who need to carry a balance for a short time. Remember, though, that carrying a balance on a rewards card is never recommended; interest charges will completely eat up any rewards you may earn.
While the CardName charges an annual fee and doesn’t have an intro APR offer, it may provide more value to some people. The ability to transfer points to other loyalty program or book travel directly with points through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal are nice perks and could make your rewards go even further. Plus, the card comes with extras such as trip interruption insurance, purchase protection, baggage delay insurance and more.
Look at the side-by-side comparison below, consider your preferences and then apply for the card that best fits your personality and lifestyle.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®
New Cardholder Bonus Offer
Earn 25,000 online bonus points – worth $250 when redeemed for statement credit to cover eligible travel or dining purchases – after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 90 days.
Earn 60,000 bonus points – worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards – after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months.
1.5 points per $1 spent on all your purchases. Up that by 25%-75% more points on every purchase for Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients (extra earning based on Preferred Rewards tier)
- 5X points on travel through Ultimate Rewards (except hotels eligible for the $50 annual hotel credit)
- 3X points on dining, including eligible takeout and delivery
- 3x points on select streaming services
- 3x points on online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 2x points on all other travel
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro 0% APR
IntroAPRRate and any balance transfers made within the first 60 days, then RegAPR
No introductory APR offer. Ongoing APR of RegAPR
Foreign Transaction Fees
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- None that are openly disclosed by Bank of America. There may be benefits included as part of the card’s Visa Signature status, but those benefits aren’t publicly advertised by Bank of America.
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel and emergency services assistance
- Purchase protection, extended warranty protection
- $0 Liability Guarantee, contactless chip technology, account alerts, Balance Connect for overdraft protection
- Fraud protection, fraud alerts, zero liability protection, chip-enabled security
For a full synopsis of each card see our CardName and CardName.