If you happen to’re leaping into the journey rewards recreation, it may be overwhelming to choose which bank card to get began with. There are numerous aggressive choices, every with its personal set of benefits and downsides.
On this information, I’ll stroll via two well-liked newbie journey bank cards — the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked Card and the Financial institution of America® Journey Rewards bank card. Each provide an entry level into incomes journey rewards, however which is greatest in your pockets?
Card comparability overview
Earlier than we dive deeper into how these playing cards stack up towards one another, let’s run via a fast overview of every card’s particulars.
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|Perk/profit||Chase Sapphire Most well-liked Card||Financial institution of America Journey Rewards|
|Signal-up bonus||60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.||25,000 factors after you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.|
|Incomes charges||5 factors per greenback on journey bought via Chase Final Rewards.
5 factors per greenback on Lyft rides via March 31, 2025.
3 factors per greenback on eating, together with eligible supply companies, takeout and eating out.
3 factors per greenback on choose streaming companies.
3 factors per greenback on on-line grocery purchases (excluding Goal, Walmart and wholesale golf equipment).
2 factors per greenback on all different journey.
1 level per greenback on all different purchases.
|1.5 factors per greenback on each buy.|
|*Level worth||2 cents every.||1 cent every.|
*Level worth relies on TPG calculations and isn’t offered or reviewed by the issuer.
The Chase Sapphire Most well-liked clearly has a superior bonus by way of worth. You’ll obtain 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening, which is price as much as $1,200 in response to TPG valuations.
By comparability, you’ll solely get 25,000 factors after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening (a $250 worth) from the Financial institution of America Journey Rewards bank card.
Nevertheless, one thing to bear in mind right here is the spending necessities. Whereas it’s important to spend $4,000 within the first three months to earn the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked bonus, you’ll solely must spend $1,000 within the first 90 days with the Financial institution of America Journey Rewards bank card.
On the finish of the day, the worth of the bonus doesn’t matter should you can’t moderately hit the spending necessities. For these with smaller budgets, the Financial institution of America Journey Rewards sign-up bonus could be the extra attainable (and subsequently extra useful) choice — although make sure to take a look at our information on reaching minimal spending thresholds for tips about hit the next requirement.
As soon as once more, the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked comes out forward within the incomes division. You’ll earn 3 factors per greenback on eating and a pair of factors per greenback on journey purchases, plus 5 factors per greenback on Lyft purchases via March 2025.
Then again, the Financial institution of America Journey Rewards bank card earns 1.5 factors per greenback throughout all purchases. Nevertheless, most popular cardholders can enhance this incomes fee considerably. If you’re an present Financial institution of America buyer with sufficient cash stashed away with the financial institution to qualify for the Most well-liked Rewards program, you’ll be able to earn wherever from 1.87 factors per greenback to 2.62 factors per greenback on all purchases.
Those that are Platinum Honors Most well-liked Rewards members (that means you’ll earn 2.62 factors per greenback on all purchases) may find yourself getting extra worth from incomes this greater flat fee throughout all purchases in the long run.
One other main distinction between the 2 playing cards is the redemption choices. The Financial institution of America Journey Rewards bank card earns fixed-value factors, which basically function like money again on eligible purchases. You’ll be able to redeem your Financial institution of America Journey Rewards factors at a price of 1 cent apiece as a press release credit score to cowl flights, accommodations, trip packages, cruises, rental automobiles or baggage charges.
The Chase Sapphire Most well-liked gives numerous flexibility in its redemption choices. You’ll be able to redeem your factors at a 25% bonus for journey if you guide via the Chase journey portal, however you can too switch factors at a 1:1 fee to considered one of Chase’s useful switch companions. At a minimal, you may get a 1.25-cent worth out of your factors via the Chase portal, however transferring to the precise associate might get you much more worth.
Chase additionally has a Pay Your self Again function, which lets you redeem factors for Airbnb purchases and donations to pick charities at an enhanced worth of 1.25 cents per level via Dec. 31.
Whereas there’s one thing to be mentioned in regards to the simplicity of Financial institution of America’s redemption course of, Chase nonetheless takes the cake with extra potential worth and suppleness.
Neither of those playing cards is a premium journey card, which suggests they provide comparatively little by way of further advantages.
That mentioned, the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked stands forward on this class, because it does provide cardholders not less than one complimentary yr of DashPass service, which supplies you $0 supply charges and decreased service charges on eligible DoorDash meals supply and takeout purchases (should activate by Dec. 31, 2024).
You’ll additionally get a $50 annual lodge assertion credit score for reservations booked via the Chase journey portal, plus a strong lineup of bank card protections, together with journey cancellation/interruption insurance coverage, main automobile rental protection, baggage delay insurance coverage, journey delay reimbursement, journey and emergency help companies, buy safety and prolonged guarantee safety.
Then again, the Financial institution of America Journey Rewards card is rather more restricted, although — just like the Sapphire Most well-liked — it’s a Visa Signature card, so that may present some advantages.
Which is best for you?
On paper, the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked is definitely the extra useful bank card. It comes with the next sign-up bonus, a extra strong incomes fee (until you’re one of many few who’ve over $100,000 in eligible Financial institution of America banking or funding accounts to qualify for Platinum Honors Most well-liked Rewards standing), extra worth and suppleness in redemption choices and extra journey protections.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mechanically imply it’s the higher card for you.
For starters, the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked comes with a $95 annual charge. Whereas many will be capable to simply offset that value with the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked’s incomes charges and different advantages, newbies with small budgets might wish to begin with a no-annual-fee bank card just like the Financial institution of America Journey Rewards card.
One thing else to think about is that the Financial institution of America Journey Rewards bank card is nice for newbies who don’t wish to fear about maximizing redemption choices or diversified bonus classes. You’re incomes a flat rewards fee throughout each buy, it doesn’t matter what. After which, these rewards might be redeemed at a set fee as a press release credit score. It’s easy and simple, which can attraction to newbies who really feel overwhelmed on the concept of switch companions and journey portal redemptions.
Whereas each could also be thought of starter journey bank cards, every appeals to a special viewers. For individuals who hope to construct a sturdy journey bank card technique and find out about maximize switch companions and card pairings, the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked is a superb beginning place.
But when the considered navigating transferring factors to a selected airline and juggling completely different bonus classes and momentary perks makes you get away into hives, the simplicity of the Financial institution of America Journey Rewards bank card makes it a superb alternative.
On the finish of the day, it’s all about deciding which sort of journey bank card meets your particular needs and wishes.
Apply right here: Chase Sapphire Most well-liked
Apply right here: Financial institution of America Journey Rewards
Extra reporting by Ryan Wilcox.