Getting a travel rewards credit card is a smart move that can help you save money and make your travels more convenient. So, today, we’ll compare two popular travel rewards credit cards: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card.
The Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular travel rewards cards because it offers nice welcome bonus and extra points on travel and dining, which can be transferred to airline and hotel partners or redeemed directly for travel at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Sapphire Preferred also offers great travel and purchase protections for a card with a $95 annual fee.
The Premium Rewards Card is a travel rewards card offering a $100 airline fee credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, and nice travel and purchase protections.
This article will compare each card based on several factors to help you make an informed decision on which card is the best to add to your wallet.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently offers the following welcome bonus:
The Premium Rewards Card currently offers the following welcome bonus:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points and offers bonus points on spending in several categories:
- 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal;
- 5 points per dollar on Lyft purchases (through March 2025);
- 5 points per dollar on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $250 or more (through March 2025, with a limit of 25,000 bonus points);
- 3 points per dollar on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out;
- 3 points per dollar on online grocery store purchases (excludes Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs);
- 3 points per dollar on select streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, Youtube TV, Pandora, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Hulu, and ESPN+;
- 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal; and
- 1 point per dollar on all other eligible spending.
Members of the Preferred Rewards program earn 25% to 75% more cashback on every purchase based on the amount of money in Bank of America banking and/or Merrill Investment accounts.
Gold ($20,000 to $49,999) = 25% rewards boost.
Platinum ($50,000 to $99,999) = 50% rewards boost.
Platinum Honors ($100,000+) = 75% rewards boost.
The Sapphire Preferred offers nice benefits, including:
- Receive 25% more value on points redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
- $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards.
- 10% Points Bonus for each Cardmember anniversary.
- A complimentary one-year subscription to DashPass by DoorDash when you enroll by December 31, 2024.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance (up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip).
- Primary car rental insurance.
- Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 per passenger)
- Baggage delay insurance (up to $100 per day for five days).
- Trip delay insurance (up to $500 per ticket for a delay longer than 12 hours or overnight).
- Extended warranty.
- 120 days purchase protection (up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per year).
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Free 6-month membership to Instacart+ (activate by July 31, 2024).
The Bank of America Premium Rewards Card offers the following benefits for its cardholders:
- $100 airline fee credit.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit.
- Trip delay insurance.
- Trip cancelation/interruption insurance.
- Baggage delay insurance.
- Lost luggage reimbursement.
- Purchase protection for 90 days, for stolen and damaged items.
- Extended warranty
- Secondary car rental insurance.
Winner: Tie. Both cards offer nice travel and purchase protections in addition to special credits and perks.
Value of the Annual Fee
The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with an annual fee of $95.
While some users might be initially deterred by this cost, it’s important to consider the value and benefits that come with the card.
The rewards points, travel benefits, and purchase protections can help offset the cost of the annual fee for frequent travelers.
The Premium Rewards Card has a $95 annual fee, which can be offset by a $100 travel credit, trip and purchase protections, and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.
Winner: Tie. Both cards offer benefits that can offset their annual fee.
The earns Ultimate Rewards points, one of the most flexible points currencies.
You can use your points to book flights, hotel stays, and even rent a car through Chase Travel — all at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. For example, 100,000 points are equivalent to $1,250 towards travel.
You can unlock even more value than 1.25 cents per point by transferring rewards to Chase airline and hotel partners.
Redeeming Bank of America rewards is a hassle-free process. Plus, your rewards won’t expire as long as your account remains open.
Here are the redemption options you’ll have:
- Travel redemptions such as flights, car rentals, or hotels. You can pay for all or part of your trip with points.
- A statement credit of any amount.
- Direct deposit into an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account.
- A check with a minimum redemption of $25.
- Contribution to a Merrill 529 account with a minimum redemption of $25.
- Gift cards from partner retailers and restaurants.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Sapphire Preferred offers more redemption options at a higher redemption value. Plus, Chase points can be transferred to several airline and hotel partners.
Deciding between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Premium Rewards Card can be challenging because both cards offer nice benefits and rewards-earning rates.
For most people, the Sapphire Preferred is the best option due its ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners and its superior travel protections.
But the Premium Rewards card could be a good option if you have enough money in Bank of America or Merrill Lynch to qualify for Preferred Rewards to increase the return on your spending.
Which card are you going to choose?