The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are two of the most flexible travel credit cards on the market today, but they vary dramatically in terms of how you can redeem your rewards. Both cards let you exchange points/miles for travel directly or transfer to airline and hotel partners, but they do so at very different values and with a different set of partners.
The way you earn points/miles with each card also varies, with the Venture offering a flat 2X miles on all purchases and the Sapphire Preferred giving cardholders a higher rate in select categories.
With both of these travel credit cards offering generous sign-up bonuses right now, you may be wondering which one would leave you better off. Bankrate’s expert analysis below will help you determine the value of each offer and which card might work better for your needs.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card|
|Welcome bonus||80,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, worth $1,000 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards||60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel|
||2X miles for each dollar you spend|
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture highlights
At first glance, these cards seem somewhat similar in terms of their rewards structures and bonuses. However, they earn different types of rewards, which are not valued the same. We go over the most popular categories each card stands out in below.
Welcome bonus winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred lets new cardholders earn a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening. Because these points could be worth $1,000 when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards, this bonus slightly beats out the Capital One Venture welcome bonus. The Venture card offers a bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel.
The Sapphire Preferred bonus has a much lower barrier to entry, but that’s not the only reason it’s more valuable. Valuations from The Points Guy show that Capital One miles are worth 1.4 cents each, but that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 2 cents each. This means that the Sapphire Preferred’s bonus could be worth up to $1,120 when transferred to partners, while the Venture bonus’ welcome offer may be worth up to $600 in travel, on average.
These values assume you’ll take advantage of each issuer’s transfer partners to maximize return. But even if you prefer to keep your redemptions simple, the Sapphire Preferred wins. When you redeem Capital One miles for travel, with the issuer or any other site, your miles are worth 1 cent each. But with Sapphire Preferred points, each is worth 1.25 cents if you redeem through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Rewards rate winner: Capital One Venture
While Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth more in general, the Capital One Venture still wins for its rewards rate. This card offers a flat 2X miles for each dollar you spend, which will likely help you rack up more miles on all your regular spending and bills over time.
However, recent updates to the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s rewards program are closing the gap. The card used to only offer 2X points on dining (including eligible delivery services) and travel. As of August 17, 2021, the Chase Sapphire Preferred also earns 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out), 3X points on select streaming services, and 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs).
Depending on how you spend, these bonus categories could potentially make the Sapphire Preferred the more valuable choice for you. We estimate that a cardholder who puts all their purchases on one card will come out ahead with the Venture, but you should do the math on your own budget to see which works better for your individual needs (check out an example of how to calculate this below).
Annual fee winner: Tie
Both of these cards charge the same $95 annual fee, which is very reasonable considering the rewards proposition each card offers. The fact you can earn such a big bonus the first year with both cards also makes the fee a good value for the first year especially.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Neither card charges foreign transaction fees on purchases you make outside of the United States. That means both are a good value and a good option if you travel abroad often or plan to.
Which card earns the most?
With the Capital One Venture letting cardholders earn 2X miles for every dollar they spend, this card can easily help you rack up a higher number of miles over time. But with the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points being higher in general, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can still help you earn a similar amount of value in rewards.
Let’s do the math.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture spending example
Imagine you’re someone who spends a lot on travel and dining each month, but that you also use your credit card to pay for regular spending and bills. In that case, your monthly spending might look something like this:
- $200 per month spent on dining
- $150 per month spent on travel
- $300 per month spent on groceries
- $1,350 spent on utility bills, gas and other purchases
With the Capital One Venture, figuring out how much you would earn in rewards is easy. With 2X miles for each dollar you spend, $2,000 in monthly spending would result in 4,000 miles per month and 48,000 miles by the end of the year.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, on the other hand, you would earn 600 points on dining, 750 points on travel (if you booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards), 900 points on groceries (if you made your purchases online and didn’t shop at Walmart, Target or wholesale clubs), and 1,350 points on regular spending each month. This means you would end each month with 3,600 points, and that you would have only 43,200 points at the end of the year.
However, due to the valuations of these rewards points, 48,000 Capital One miles are worth $480, but 43,200 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $540 for travel purchases via Chase Ultimate Rewards. So, while you may earn a higher rate of rewards with the Capital One Venture, Chase Ultimate Rewards points give you more bang for your buck.
On the other hand, Chase obviously requires you to jump through more hoops. If making your grocery purchases online or booking flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards sounds bothersome to you, earning the flat 2X miles per dollar spent with the Capital One Venture is going to be the better choice.
Why should you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
With so many bonus categories, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a good rewards card whether you travel often or not. You can earn 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs), 3X on dining, 3X on select streaming services, and 1X on everything else. When it comes to using your rewards, you can cash them in for a lot more than travel as well.
Here are some additional reasons to consider signing up.
Beginning on August 17, 2021, Sapphire Preferred cardholders also get a 10 percent anniversary point bonus each account anniversary. That means if you earned 50,000 points in a year, you’d receive 5,000 additional bonus points (which is worth $50).
The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives cardholders perks like trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. You also qualify for benefits such as primary auto rental coverage, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, purchase protection and extended warranties.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred really stands out in terms of its rewards program. Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for options like statement credits, cash back, gift cards and merchandise. However, you can also redeem points for travel through the Chase portal and get 25 percent more value when you do.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program also offers a robust transfer program that lets you move your points to airline and hotel partners like Marriott Bonvoy, Southwest Rapid Rewards, World of Hyatt and United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio. Make sure to read more about the Chase Ultimate Rewards program so you can decide if this card is for you.
Recommended credit score
To successfully apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred, you typically need at least a FICO credit score of 670 or better.
Why should you get the Capital One Venture?
The Capital One Venture lets you earn a flat number of miles for each dollar you spend, which can be a better deal if you don’t like to keep track of bonus category spending. The welcome bonus on this card can also be lucrative and a bit easier to reach than the bonus on the Sapphire Preferred.
The Capital One Venture stands out due to the fact you get up to a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership as a cardholder perk. You also get free cardholder benefits such as auto rental collision damage waiver, travel insurance and extended warranties.
When you earn miles with this card, you can redeem them to cover travel purchases at a rate of one cent per point or cash them in for purchases made on Amazon.com. You can also transfer your miles to airline and hotel partners like Aeromexico, Aeroplan, Flying Blue / Air France, Accor and more.
Just remember that Capital One miles do not transfer at the same favorable ratio as Chase Ultimate Rewards and that most Capital One mile transfer partners let you convert miles at a ratio of 2:1.5. Some Capital One transfer partners like Accor, Emirates and Singapore Airlines even let you transfer at a worse ratio of 2:1.
Recommended credit score
To get approved for the Capital One Venture, you typically need at least a FICO credit score of 670 or better.
The bottom line
Both of these rewards credit cards offer generous bonuses and rewards schemes, and they both let you redeem your points for travel or for additional options for more flexibility. However, each program has a different set of transfer partners that may work better for you depending on how you normally travel.
If you can’t decide between these Chase and Capital One credit cards, you can easily consider signing up for both as well. Just make sure to do the math to figure out if you can earn both welcome bonuses by using your cards for regular spending and bills.